Meeting began at 11:00 PM
In attendance were:
- Un Kyong Ho
- Matt Gibson
- Versha Shah
- Heather McConnell
- Chrystele Baden Desouza
- Amy Terlecki
- Danyll Lockett
- Kusuma Muglurmath
- Megan Edwards
- Michelle Iwachiw
Call to order
School update: Principal Gibson
- Packet pickup is going well, we will continue to do this twice a month
- Some confusion regarding packet pick up has been addressed.
- A lot of positive feedback has come in from parents.
- Working with athletic director Mr. Kevin Pechin to put together a plan for sports – in line with county and PIAA guidelines.
- Teachers and coaches are working together to come up with a plan to make sports work.
- Waiting on guidance for winter sports.
- Music teachers are working to put together something virtual for mornings.
- They will have their plans ready within a week.
- Asking teachers not to create printing work for students.
- Families cannot use their home printing devices connected to the district laptops as they can cause security issues.
- There is still opportunity to change your child’s mode of attending school – virtual/hybrid.
- Please note that this change could cause schedule and teacher changes.
- Teachers are learning, trying to help. It is heartening to see them go beyond their space and make things happen.
- No games can be played in fall as no other teams are playing middle school sports.
- We could do fall sports in spring. However, if students already participated in fall, they will not be able to participate in spring sports of the same category.
- It may be hard for families for pickup and drop as their children may be doing it virtual/hybrid.
- Once decided, we will keep going well into fall if weather permits.
- Will work with teachers and coaches to come up with the best plan to benefit students and let the school community know.
- 7th and 8th grade sports will begin first as they have been through the sports seasons and are trained in sports etiquette.
- Question: Can we use schoology to send PTO blasts?
- Ans: It causes too many responses which becomes hard to manage and also causes distraction from the academic blasts.
Treasury report: Danyll Lockett
- Many companies match donations. Some companies are changing some of their policies. It is worth speaking with your HR to learn about the matching gifts policy at your company.
- Versha Shah: I have made a list of employers and their matching gift policy. I will share it with the board.
- When parents pay with PayPal, some part of their donation is taken off as service fee.
- Projecting directory sales to be the same as last year. Need to get PTO blast running for announcing the sale.
- This year locker shelf sales income is not coming in.
- Yard sign sales are going well.
- We need $13,000 to break even this year.
- Last year spirit wear sales came in only in the beginning of the year and not much towards the end due to the pandemic. Sales were $165.
- We have an accountant who reviews the PTO account – this is mandatory.
- The budget runs from July 1- June 30.
- Received $1000 from TE district towards cultural expenses, however more than 90% of cultural expenses came from the PTO.
- TE district purchased IPads for teachers who were in need, hence there is no need to use Golden Apple Grant money for that.
- Website operation costs are a lot, and we need to streamline them. The board recognized the expenses and plans to minimize them.
- Small donations were made last year to FLITE, ARCH, T&E Care and The Children’s Dental Clinic; these are not mandatory.
- We are holding a small amount of money this year for Hospitality – should it be needed. Monies could be used for 8th Grade Graduation and Year End Teacher’s Luncheon. Historically, the hospitality budget covers the New Family Breakfast, Halloween Costume Contest, lunch for visiting authors and artists for Cultural Arts, Teacher’s Appreciation Breakfast.
- Last year, in lieu of the Year End Teacher’s Luncheon, we made a donation to Chester County Food Bank in honor of the VFMS Teachers and Staff; it was greatly appreciated by teachers.
- An amount of $20,000 has been committed to school to improve the Auditorium. However, given many fundraising impediments due to the pandemic, the board decided to revisit the amount pledged (perhaps lower to $15,000?). Need more information and background from Mr. Gibson.
- In VFMS PTO’s last year’s budget amount of $20,000 was committed to VFMS for improvements of the Audion and the Auditorium.
- The original ask for the 2019-20 school year was 40k. PTO commited the funds to cover 1/2 of the ask.
- Before the first Pto meeting of this new school year 20-21 on Sept.8th, 2020, Tereza Keohane asked Mr.Gibson, if during these times other, possibly more pressing, needs arose to the forefront and if he would rather spend the money elsewhere. Mr.Gibson confirmed the pressing need for the full 20k for these upgrades.
- It is recommended that PTOs have a year’s worth of reserve in funds.
- $6,300 was collected last year for the Teacher’s Holiday gifts. Each teacher, staff member (~88 people) received $72 gift cards. We distributed equally among teachers per Mr. Gibson’s request.
- Question: Should we do electronic gifts to teachers this year? The board decided to go electronic for teacher gifts as it is risky to go to multiple banks to get 90+ gift cards.
- Everyone please copy Michelle and Danyll when Fundraising events start so PayPal deposits can be accounted for.
- Parents can mail PTO checks to school. It will be placed in the PTO mail box.
- Any member of PTO who spends their own money on PTO cost can file for reimbursement using the form on the website.
Reminders from Danyll
- PTO Contact list should go to the Main Office – Meghan Myers (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Meghan Myers in the Main Office has asked more than once for the Box Tops Donation Box to be collected from the Main Office. Who is going to do this?
- “Direct Donation Letter” was sent out for the Board to edit.
Fundraising: Heather McConnell & Versha Shah
- Worked with the t-shirt and medal vendor for the virtual half marathon.
- Named the contest “Fly Eagles Tri”.
- The charge for a student to enter the run is $15.
- For a family of 4 it will be $50, and $10 for every additional member.
- Working on spirit wear will have a link where families can click to see.
- Need to have a meeting with communication to co-ordinate the information blasts.
Direct Donation forms: https://www.vfmspto.org/how-to-help/direct-donation/
President’s update: Un Kyong Ho
- There is a need for conversations beyond the curriculum. Salon series could fill in that gap.
- ARCH has a meeting in September with Karen Moon presenting coping strategies for managing our stress. Should we promote this event for September as there is limited time to organize a Salon series event?
- October Salon series topic: Racism 101. The speaker Kate Schatz is an author who was recently on Conan show lately and talked about the topic. She addresses racism in a way that makes everyone comfortable engaging in the discussion.
- Board: We need endorsement from Principal Gibson on running the series. We can talk to the school administration and TE board for any resources they may have that might help the series. If kids get involved in this program the turn out will be bigger.
- Un Kyong: Will reach out to Mr. Gibson for approval to run the series.
Update from Cultural Arts – Amy Terlecki
- Will hold a yard sign distribution desk at school shortly.
- Coordinating with teachers at the moment regarding the distribution.
- Magnets sold could also be distributed at the same desk.
- Different methods of accomplishing this goal were discussed.
Update from Communications – Un Kyong Ho
- Un Kyong: Need to revamp the PTO website such that Judy and Tracy can be responsible for the back end.
- Do we need to hire someone permanently? Could we not create institutional knowledge and pass it on to the incoming communications team?
- Will get in touch with personnel regarding communications and ensure that we publish pending blasts immediately and the future publishing promptly.
- Heather: It would be beneficial to have a PTO board position such as VP Technology – served by someone who has the knowledge and is willing to help with the website.
- Policy for communications: We have a form that needs to be filled out including material that needs to go in the blast.
Update Socials and Volunteers – Chrystele Baden Desouza
- Emailed Dr. Rothera regarding setting up the VFMS Welcome committee.
- Received the list of new families provided by Dr Rothera.
- Secured opt in forms for new families and anyone willing to serve on the Welcome committee.
- Shared the forms with the VFMS community via PTO blast.
- Dr. Rothera encouraged meeting in groups rather than grade level.
- What do we do for Halloween? The board agreed upon exploring costume photo contest ideas.
- Will work on the photo contest details.
- Will work on electronic prizes for winners.
- Information will be sent out by the school with etiquette requirements.
- Contest details will also go out through PTO blast.
The meeting ended at 1:30 PM