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Sept 2019 GO-PTO Meeting Minutes
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GO-PTO  Meeting Minutes

Tuesday September 3rd, 2019  

7:00-8:30 pm



Officers PTO Board :



Autumn Bouck , Dganit Sivan Cohen ,Carrie Cross , Brad Dickerson , Sarah Evans , Judy Geyer , Ken Greenly , Philana Hampton , Julia Matthews , Dana Michelson        , Michelle Keenan, Nicole Kelley . Cheryl Ourfalian-Smith , Alisa Pascale, Chris Saunders ,Carolyn Schneyer  , Mark Tuttle ,Brian Walsh ,Xueliang Wang , Jennifer Worden

  1. Review and approval of June minutes

  1. Principal’s Update: Brian Meringer

-All  students have been given drawstring bags to transport to classes

-Back to School night is on September 11th

-After School Program: exploring the possibility of running an extended day program from 3:30-4:30pm . Enrollment in this type of program had dropped last year but Brian wishes to see if this program could be revived. Would need to find someone to staff this program and gauge interest from the community.

-AM/PM program starting tomorrow; cost is $80 per term

-Brian reviewed the concept of the ASPIRE teacher to address any day to day problems (lockers, etc)

The school counselors and assistant principal or principals can assist with schedule changes---> parents can reach out or students can go to the office to schedule appts

-parental concerns re: plumbing issues, profanity in bathrooms, fights addressed by Brian ; he advised to reach out to him directly with specific issues

-Arlington now has a School Resource Officer and he has an office at OMS. THis role is to act as a liaison between the schools and the police department .

  1.  Diversity and Inclusion - Rajeev Soneja

        -Discussed new family welcome group which was previously run by Dana Michaelson

        -Rajeev noted that we would need to recruit parents to run this group and also needed parental volunteers who can help orient new parents to the community

-one of the attendees mentioned that Hardy has a very robust Buddy program

  1. Arlington Education Foundation- Judy Geyer

-AEF has given out $100,000 over the last few years in the form of grants

-AEF has partnered with parents and schools to assist with special initiatives

- Judy asked if anyone is interested in specific programs at OMS/Gibbd please contact AEF

-also can fund grants with Star Initiative

  1. Fundraising- Carla Rice and Melina Salerno 

-main source of funding is through fundraising drive- direct outreach through the community in late fall . Letters sent, email, shout-out in the weekly newsletter

Suggested donation is $75 per family-- some families will give less and some will give more; any amount is helpful!

Last year $22,000 was raised → we were able to increase participation from 33% to 47% of families

-shoe drive: collected 2475 pairs of shoes and we raised $958.40  

-also ran an initiative through NYAJ; $400 raised

-fundraising helped with teacher appreciation, cluster supplies via Amazon, mini-grants  

  1. Special Events- Marisa Martin Sobczynski

-Committee tasked with organizing events for the school such as breakfast for teachers, catered dinners on conference nights, Teacher Appreciation lunch in May

-committee also plans and organizes events for parents- discussion of curriculum, breakfast events with Principal, outside speakers

-always looking for ideas on topics that parents want to hear

-Marisa to plan a poll in the newsletter to solicit ideas

-one idea discussed was an event to meet the new School Resource Officer ; however, the town may already have an event planned

  1. Ashley Lorenz- Communications

-subscribe to Weekly Update to get info

-She will post info on Facebook and the GO-PTO website

  1. Parent questions-

--parents asked why there weren’t any field trips at Gibbs last year-- unclear; will  double check with principal re: budget

  1. Treasurer report: Steve Berczuk and Tracy Swyst

-discussed splitting of activities between the co-treasurers

-officially got new name for the PTO so that there will not be issues at the bank; awaiting ATM cards in the mail

-we have an official new treasurer’s email address for teachers

-taxes have been in process

-got an online Amazon, Citizens account

-GO PTO to send out letter to the teachers--

-currently we have a MINT account to follow transactions fully but Tracy can’t see the full detail yet-- based on current numbers our balance is $5800

-we also have $958.40  from the shoe drive

-Christine has a fundraising request from the Show Choir→ we have never received a request from this group. Request is for  funding for costumes this year.

Ms Flynn asked parents to consider a fundraiser but also wanted to see if the PTO could fund some of this; the costumes would be used every year by 6,7 and 8th graders. After a vote, Board members agreed to fund half of the amount needed which would be a $1200 contribution

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm

Next meeting: Tuesday October 1 at 7:00 pm at Gibbs