Minutes for February 6, 2018
In attendance: Steven Miller, Sloane Torres, Jaime Cambell, Matthew Baya, Geraldine Shen,
Joelle Brookner, Kelly Paul, Kathleen Igoe, Jenna Dickinson, Alicia Maher. Meeting started at
8:40am and ended at 9:40am.
1. Attendance policy clarification: Joelle printed the State law on attendance in the
newsletter– regulations that schools need to have in place to ensure proper attendance. Elea
tracks attendance records and makes calls to families when necessary, noticed 25% of school
with 7 or more unexcused absences. Didn’t know which were excused (say flu) or not.
Publishing the policy has successfully encouraged families to let the school know when children
are sick, out for family emergencies (both excused absences), or away for other reasons
(unexcused absences) so the school can keep track and make sure children are attending
school appropriately. Volume of calls about absences has increased exponentially since blurb in
newsletter was published.
Q: Should we have a call to parents when children are absent? What if someone doesn’t make
it to school? Maybe an opt in? What if we send an email?
A: Not everyone has email but most do. Many are bothered if contacted too many times about a
kid absent, and the school does not have the ability to send calls or emails selectively. Even if a
parent called in an absence, that parent would still receive a call or email. Idea of the school
contacting parents to notify about absence laid aside for now.
Some talk of coordinating vacation calendar with Williams to eliminate the February and April
vacations in favor of a two week March vacation (last two weeks of March) while retaining a
three day weekend for the holidays in April and creating a four day weekend in February.
Placing Williams students in WES is hard with the current calendar. From the student
perspective would be great for classroom continuity. Reaction from teachers is mixed due to
desire for a break in February, but hadn’t been presented with possibility of four day weekend
then. This potential change will be discussed, not at the very next committee meeting, but at the
2. Student Author Night K-6: Can choose a piece of writing from in or out of school to read
aloud for 4 minutes or less. Buy notebooks so can write notes and share a comment. Used to
have a food reception, got rescheduled, maybe no food for past two years. Last year had 85
sign up, had 75 show up, met in cafeteria. Would love to have someone else working this year
who can take over next year. Alicia expressed interest but was not able to make a commitment
and asked that the roles be publicized. Date changed from March 26th (Williams vacation week)
to Thursday, April 5th, 6:30-7:30pm
Sloane will send out a “help needed” email: Camp Fair coordinator, Boxtops coordinator,
Student Author Night coordinator, Social Events committee, Clothing Sale
3. Boxtops: Tanya is considering stepping down and would like to see if anyone has interest in
taking over. It’s challenging to come up with excellent prizes but wonderful to see the student
excitement and school spirit.
Suggestion to post on the bulletin board and website a list of Boxtops products. Many parents
may believe they don’t have access to boxtops– perception that they’re not on healthful
products or products carried at Wild Oats, but they are on many products including Annie’s,
Cheerios, and many paper products and household necessities.
The suggestion was made to provide smaller, less expensive prizes like wristbands or small
toys. For this contest’s prize, Kira Kathleen is generously donating her time, so the cost to the
PTO will only be $50 for materials. The Images cost was expensive in comparison to the money
raised from the Boxtops, but there is a value in the school spirit of the contests, too. PTO is
looking for a way to make the burden less on Tanya as well.
Some ideas were floated for future prizes. Matt suggested a Boxtops trophy that would go to the
winning class until the next contest and then would go to the next winning class. This idea was
very well received! Alicia suggested the possibility of enabling the winning class to get small
gifts but make the real prize the opportunity to donate to a charitable organization of the kids’
choosing. Joelle suggested the possibility of school spirit items as prizes.
4. Parent Social : There are no March dates available at Mingos. April 7th (after Camp Fair)
might be a possibility, but Sloane and Jenna would both be absent (conflict with skating show).
Will check with Lindsay when she’s back about setting a date and communicating that to the
Board for discussion via email.
Jaime Campbell will be added as an At-Large Board Member and will receive those emails.
5. Art to Remember: Art teacher has the materials needed, and the project is well in hand. We
will double check on dates for publicity.
6. Camp Fair: Matt would like a co-coordinator primarily for reaching out to camps by phone.
He’s happy to stick with emails. Joelle suggested some cold calling to remind camps to
participate could be done by 6th grade students. We’re going to implement that idea while
continuing to look for an adult co-cordinator. Meanwhile, Sloane agreed to help with
informational phone calls. Matt will provide Joelle and Sloane with FAQ sheets so they have
information to give via phone.
7. Pancake Breakfast: This year the third grade field trip will be different– closer to home and
more accessible to all students. Decisions about the trip have not been made yet, which is why
there has been no talk about the pancake breakfast. The fundraiser may not be necessary.
Joelle contacted teachers to ask them whether the fundraiser was necessary, and, if so, to
contact their room parents and ask them to be in touch with Sloane to get information she has
from previous years (on the PTO drive) about the pancake breakfast. Kelly noted that the room
parents should be in touch with Lisa Spencer so ingredients can be ordered through the school
cafeteria to keep down costs. Lead time is necessary for this. Also, this is not a PTO event, per
se. This is a fundraiser the third grade does themselves to fund their trip. The PTO gives them
the money to set up the fundraiser and agrees to cover any necessary funds for the trip not
raised through other means. If the fundraiser makes more money than the third grade needs for
their trip, that money goes back to the PTO, and if they make less, the PTO covers the shortfall.
This is an optional event that can be changed or discarded. The third grade makes that
8. Signage: Lindsay provided sample signage via email as well as a cost estimate. There was
a question about how the signs would hang. The signage team may be planning to hang
two-sided signs from the ceiling or out from the wall, and this might not be possible with current
fire codes. Sloane will contact Lindsay and ask her to be in touch with Joelle to make sure all is
well before the PTO authorizes the go-ahead for signage.
9. WESPAC update: WESPAC is creating an informational trifold to distribute to parents.
10. Evening Meeting Plan: The PTO has been dedicated to having quarterly evening meetings
to provide an opportunity for those who cannot attend morning meeting times to participate, but
when the PTO has offered evening meetings, they are very poorly attended. The PTO wants to
include all parents who want to participate, but evening meetings seem not to be the answer.
Now that agendas and minutes are published online and via Facebook and the PTO receives
emails, in-person meetings aren’t always necessary for parent participation, and many parents
are participating in meetings virtually while volunteering for publicized events or are getting
involved without attending meetings at all. The decision was made to retain the beginning of the
year evening option while continuing for the rest of this year to hold meetings in the mornings
only. The idea of lunchtime meetings was raised for future discussion. Geraldine suggested
hanging a physical suggestion box on our bulletin board for those who prefer to communicate
that way rather than through email, and we will do that.
11. Budget: No surprises or concerns
Current Balance $13,240.80
expected income remaining (+) $11,676.64
Commitments remaining (-) $14,721.46
Projected year-end balance $10,195.98
225.00 clothing sale
95.00 Birds of prey
classroom support 203.01
signs and Promos 19.40
clothing sale 170.00
art to remember 233.28
12. New Business:
Update on Transition Committee from Steve Miller:
a) Having discussions on what level to set tuition. Moving up towards average cost (has been
below that at LES and MtG). Some pushback from tuitioning in towns, want it phased in.
Transition committee considering that, and also considering having some part of the building
cost phased in.
b) Agreed to conduct an expedited search for a superintendent. Application online. Applications
should be received by march 1, goal to make a decision by early April.