Francis Scott Key Elementary School PTO

5001 Dana Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016

July 24, 2017

Dear Parents,

Welcome to Key!  Or perhaps it’s Welcome Back to Key!  Either way we are delighted to have you as part of our school community.  This packet contains the school calendar for next year, the PTO and Bulk Supplies Dues worksheet, answers to Frequently Asked Questions and volunteer committees.

This year we are increasing our electronic communications and decreasing our paper communications.  This means it is very important to register in our directory and to be included in our weekly email called Next Week @ Key.  If you do nothing else all year, you should read the weekly email to stay informed about what is happening at Key. Parents will notice the new and improved format with links to important forms and pertinent websites and information. To be sure you are registered send an email to

There are a few dates we would like to highlight so you can add them to your calendar now.

There are many opportunities to get involved at Key through the PTO. If you have an interest in getting involved, have a suggestion or comment, or you have general questions we are here for you.  Our email addresses are below.  Again, get signed up to receive Next Week @ Key and stay informed!


Jim Mello                                                Tricia Duncan

PTO Co-President 2015-2017                        PTO Co-President 2016-2018                                            

312-835-7069;                202-288-5498;


F.S. Key 2017-18 DUES



Name(s):  ____________________________________________________________________________

Address (for sending tax receipt): _________________________________________________________

Secondary Address (if applicable): _________________________________________________________


Last name

First name


  1. _______________________



  1. _______________________



  1. _______________________




(Please pay the amount shown based on the number of children you have at Key)

# of Children




Classroom Bulk Supplies*




PTO Dues








Technology Fund ($50 recommended)




Arts Fund ($50 recommended)

Additional $$  (includes scholarships)





You can pay by check now or on-line in August. Checks should be made out to KEY SCHOOL PTO and return by mail or directly to the school office in the enclosed envelope.  Remember, 100% of your dues and contributions (not bulk supply fee) may be tax-deductible.  Key School PTO is a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization (Federal Tax ID No. 52-1644961).

See Frequently Asked Questions for more information about where this money goes!




  1. Are the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) fees required to attend Key? No, the annual PTO dues are suggested amounts.  Even if you cannot pay this full amount, please contribute what you can. You may also pay the dues over a period of time. The dues are important! The mission of the PTO is to support the students, teachers and community involved with Key Elementary School.
  2. How are the PTO funds used? All of the PTO funds go towards supplementing programs and funding for critical programs that make Key School the superior neighborhood school that it is. Programs such as covering teacher aide salaries, classroom set-up and teacher funds, the science fair and science program support, library books and reading and math resource materials, and capital improvements and supplemental technology upgrades. Without your contributions these programs wouldn’t exist at Key because, unfortunately, the DCPS budget cannot – and does not – support all the costs associated with our excellent academic program.
  3. Who determines the PTO dues? The dues amount and any future increases are suggested by the Executive Committee of the PTO and voted on by the body of the entire PTO. This is why it’s important to attend PTO meetings!
  4. What is the required amount to join the PTO? A $5 minimum is required to vote on PTO business and take advantage of PTO sponsored activities, including KEHP (the aftercare program).
  5. What are Bulk Supplies? Key School parents do not need to spend time or money purchasing school supplies! The shopping – and savings – has already been done for us by the Bulk Supplies Committee. The supplies, specified by the teachers, are ready and waiting for our students and teachers on the first day of school.  The amount due is a fixed amount that reflects a great deal of savings for the supplies your child(ren) will use this year.  
  6. Are the Bulk Supplies fees required?  Yes. We ask that this fee be paid by every family to cover your child’s school supplies regardless of whether the family joins the PTO.  The fee is $75.
  7. What is the Technology Fund and why am I being asked to pay money to it? The fact is technology upgrades are always needed before funding comes in through the DCPS budget.  In order for our technology to stay relevant and upgraded we ask you to make a contribution towards this program.
  8. What is the “Additional Contribution” line item? This is just extra money you would like to see go to the PTO.  Some families just round up the total to the nearest whole number and that extra money goes straight to help fund our programs. This is entirely at your discretions and, as with all contributions, very much appreciated! It also supports the scholarships we offer for our families in need.



There are endless opportunities to volunteer at Key no matter how much (or little) you want to be involved.  There are plenty of opportunities that fit into any schedule.  If you are interested in any of the following committees please contact the nominating committee chairperson, Maria Garcia, at or either of the PTO’s Co-Presidents, Jim Mello (, or Tricia Duncan (

MORNING DROP-OFF Start your day off with some fun!  Help ensure the safety of our students and keep curb drop-off as an option in the mornings.  It’s easy, and surprisingly fun to greet the kids and keep them safe from 8:35am to 8:55am.  Look out for the Sign-Up in NW@Key.

BOOK FAIR Held in May, the book fair requires the help of volunteers to set-up, to work check-out, and to help the children with their book selections.

BULK SUPPLIES Volunteers needed to support school-side bulk supply committee.  This unique program means that parents are not tasked with long lists of needed school supplies before each school year.  Opportunities include assisting with coordinating teachers’ lists, online and in-store purchases at area retailers, on site supply distribution to individual classrooms and more.

CHRISTMAS TREE SALE  Your help is needed the first weekend in December- loading trees onto cars, being cahiers and bringing holiday cheer to the neighborhood.

COMMUNITY SERVICE  Get involved in school-wide projects and fundraisers designed to instill a sense of community service in our children.

DIRECTORY Help compile, design, print and distribute the school directory and handbook.

FILLMORE The Fillmore Committee nurtures our collaboration with Fillmore Arts Center by facilitating communication between the schools, conducting course-feedback surveys, and developing relationships at Fillmore.

GREEN TEAM Environmentally conscious?  Join this crowd in helping the school maintain its garden and sell Key-grown produce at our Farmer’s Market, promote Waste-Free Wednesdays, work with our school and students to adopt greener practices, impart that commitment to our kids and more.

HARDY FOCUS GROUP  This group helps make Hardy Middle School, our only guaranteed middle school option, a school of choice for the Key community.  The group meets with parents from Hardy’s other feeder schools, Hardy and DCPS officials, and other stakeholders.

GROUNDS One weekend day each fall and spring we join together to help spruce up school grounds.  Volunteers help to keep our grounds neat and clean.

HARVEST FESTIVAL This fun-filled neighborhood event, held on a Sunday in late October, features hours of games and activities for the children, including a moon bounce, DJ and bands, haunted house, and pumpkin decorating contest. This is a “all hands on deck” event, so count on being asked to volunteer!

HEALTHY FOODS The Healthy Foods Committee promotes healthy eating at Key by writing articles, speaking at PTO meetings, helping to set snack guidelines and bringing in special guests, local chefs, or programs, including farms to school events.

HOLIDAY SECRET SHOP Each December, key School becomes a small boutique with thousands of pre-wrapped gifts for students to purchase for family, friends and charity. Help is needed shopping for presents, wrapping presents ahead of time, guiding the students through the store and check-out.

HOSPITALITY/STAFF APPRECIATION  This committee coordinates refreshments and events for PTO functions that include teacher appreciation lunches, New Parent Reception, Open Houses, PTO meetings, and Back to School and End of Year picnics.

JULY 4TH PARADE  Help orchestrate our entry in the Palisades 4th of July Parade, build a float, and recruit participants.

LIBRARY VOLUNTEER Assist our librarian in daily restacking of bookshelves.  Work one day every other week, either just after drop-off or before pick-up in the afternoon.

KEYNOTES NEWSLETTER  We need writers to ‘get the scoop’ for Keynotes to keep Key families in the loop.  This year Keynotes will be published on-line with a one time hardcopy at the end of the year.

OPEN HOUSE  Key holds three Open Houses throughout the school year from 9am-11am for prospective parents wanting to know more about Key. Parent volunteers guide visiting parents on tours.

RETAIL REBATES  Help organize and promote participation in programs that earn free money for the PTO through retailers, merchants, BOXTOPS,  Amazon and others.

ROOM PARENT We need two parents from each class to provide support to the classroom teacher, help coordinate volunteers for special events and field trips and help disseminate information to the membership.  This requires a lot of emailing.

SCIENCE FAIR Find judges to judge the 3rd-5th grade science fair projects. Help with the design, set-up and presentation of the annual Spring Science Fair.

SPRING AUCTION This is Key’s largest PTO sponsored event and biggest fundraiser.  A lot of volunteers are needed to make it a success.  Volunteers are needed for solicitations, sponsorships, decorations, set up and tear down.

AFTER SCHOOL ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (ASEP) Help design the January-March program offerings, process enrollment forms, and purchase and distribute snacks to the kids.

WORLD FAMILY Key prides itself on its vibrant international presence.  Families with international experiences are invited to introduce the student body to another country and culture.  The World Family Committee holds periodic parent get-togethers and hosts World Family Day in May in which students “travel to” various countries without ever leaving school.