Category Archives: PTO Meeting Minutes

PTO Meeting Minutes 10/8/2014

The first PTO meeting of the 2014-15 school year kicked off with a fun ice breaker led by Principal Kelly!  Parents broke into groups of two, three and four and shared a memory from elementary school, a great recent parenting tip and their favorite thing about the Franklin.

Communication – communication at the Franklin is achieved through multiple channels:

  • Franklin website (http://franklin.newton.k12.ma.us/) and PTO website (http://www.franklinpto.com/)

  • Two listserves – discussion and PTO announcements.  If you are not on one or both of these, you can request to be added by emailing kace.dreitlein@gmail.com

  • PTO Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/FranklinPTO)

  • Franklin school blog -> link is on the Franklin school website homepage or go directly to: http://franklin-school.blogspot.com/

Committees

  • Great Job filling committee chairs this year

  • Need someone to work on “Frankly speaking” with 4th and 5th graders

Fundraising – Shop for Franklin!

  • Next time you shop on Amazon, go to the PTO website “Shop for Franklin” page (http://www.franklinpto.org/shop_for_franklin/) and click on the link on the left hand side “Support Franklin through Amazon”.  Franklin PTO will receive a small portion of your purchase!

  • Box Tops – Find Box Tops on hundreds of products, clip Box Tops from each package, and send Box Tops to your school.  Box Tops are worth $0.10 / each.

  • Stop and Shop Rewards – Register your existing Stop & Shop card at http://www.stopandshop.com/aplus . Every time you shop, a certain percentage will come back to Franklin in points. These points earned us hundreds last year!

  • Target Credit or Debit Cards can link to the school – Register your card at https://www-secure.target.com/redcard/tcoe/home and Target will donate 1% of your purchase to the Franklin.  As of August 2014, $2463.61 had been donated to the Franklin PTO!

PTO Budget – Michelle Marini

  • A draft for this year’s budget was shared with those in attendance

  • Goal is to spend everything we raise, your money is being contributed to support your school

  • Biggest sources of money are the auction, garden city soccer (K and pre-K),  and PTO Dues

  • Biggest expenses

    • Creative arts and sciences

      • The PTO provides funding for 5 or 6 programs for each grade!

    • Technology – $15k

 

School Appreciation Day – Bob Zuckernick

  • October 18th

  • Painting

  • Photo Copying

  • Swing a Hammer, do guy stuff

  • Grounds work

  • No childcare, no kids allowed

Halloween Bash – Linda and Sari

  • The bash requires 90-100 volunteers

  • Especially need help with setup, Friday after school ends

  • Event is October 25, set up is Oct 24

  • To volunteer, click on Volunteer Spot link in Halloween Bash emails: http://www.volunteerspot.com/login/entry/1089121598069

Special Presentation – Math at Franklin

  • Special guest presenters:

    • Mike Smalley, K-5 Mathematics Coach, Newton Public Schools

    • Jennifer Shore, K-8 Mathematics Coordinator, Newton Public Schools

  • What is the Common Core?

    • National Academic Standards

    • 45 states and DC and 4 territories have adopted the standards

    • 2015 testing will all be based on common core

    • MA needs little changes, our education reform was in 1993 and was very similar to common core

    • Two types of learning standards:

      • Content Standards

        • What students learn – Ex: addition and subtraction

      • Practice Standards

        • How students learn – Habits of mind, this is the way we want you to think about math

  • What is our current math curriculum?

    • Every day math / daily curriculum

    • Contexts for learning mathematics (2x/year)

      • Scenarios that are fairly involved – 10 sessions, 2-3 weeks

      • Ex. Carlos and his family, subtraction on the open number line

    • Example – asked those present how to solve a subtraction problem to help illustrate how children are currently being taught.

    • There is no existing curriculum that adequately teaches math the way that the Newton Public School believes that it is best taught.  Staff in the math department research the best methodology around the globe (!) and pull together best practices for our students.

      • One example is Kathy Richardson

        • Understanding number concepts (k-2)

        • Developing number concepts (3-5)

    • Example – presenters went into depth on the Grade 3 content standards

      • Measurement Data

      • High cognitive demand tasks

        • Fandango – presented students with the list of all of the movies playing in a particular theater on a particular day and asked “How many movies can I see in one day?”

        • Kids discussion to come up with solutions

          • Problem solve

          • Argue it

          • Students are incredibly engaged

          • Different methods are used to come up with the solution(s)

  • How can we help our children at home?

    • Tips for families – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics http://www.nctm.org/resources/families.aspx

    • “ We all use math everyday”

    • Shopping list to the grocery store

    • How long is the drive going to take?

    • How much carpeting do we need?

    • Creating a culture where it’s safe to take a risk

    • Please avoid saying things like “I’m not good at math” as children model their own parents behavior.  Rather say “math can be challenging but we can figure this out if we keep trying.”

PTO Meeting Minutes 10/16/2013

Thanks to all who attended the first PTO meeting of the year last week – I think we had a record turnout! For those that weren’t able to make it, the meeting minutes are below.

The next PTO meeting will be on Thursday November 21st at 7:30pm – hope to see many of you there!


PTO meeting notes, Wednesday, October 16, 7:30pm

Over 50 people attended, all PTO Board members in attendance except Karen Walsh, Jamie Martin, and Erica Terk

Welcome and Introductions

Liz Marshall kicked the meeting off with an energizing icebreaker “Concentric Circles” which had us mixing and mingling and getting to know a few new people.

Julie Pinto welcomed new and returning families and introduced PTO board members.

Communications

Julie gave a rundown of the many ways to communicate within the PTO and Franklin community:

  • PTO meetings
  • PTO announcement and parent discussion email lists
  • PTO website
  • The Franklin Connection newsletter published every other Friday
  • The new on-line directory (next month the hard copy will be distributed to all who have paid PTO dues)
  • Amy Kelly’s blog on the Franklin school website
  • At the Principal’s Coffee on the first Friday of each month

We have one more committee chair needed – Safe Routes to School Coordinator – contact Julie Pinto for more information.

Past and upcoming events

Thank you to Lauren Walsh for running the first BOKS session.  Thank you to Seema Brodie and Leslie Maxwell for a successful Halloween costume drive.  19 bags of costumes went to Cradles to Crayons.

Bob Zuckernick listed 10 compelling reasons to attend School Appreciation Day on Saturday and Linda Hanusaik implored everyone to volunteer for the Halloween Bash on Saturday Oct 26.

Julie reminded everyone about Artsonia the website for your child’s artwork.  Marysol Masse-Makimura is the contact if you have questions.

Budget

Michelle Marini, PTO Treasurer, presented the annual budget.  It was voted on and unanimously approved.

Fundraising

Deb Rooney listed the many opportunities to contribute funds to the PTO and Franklin community:

  • Stop & Shop  – register your rewards card and when you use it funds are paid to Franklin
  • Amazon – shop via the link on the PTO website
  •  Box Tops for Education – a collection box is outside the window of the main office.  Fill it out with your teacher’s name
  • The on-line auction – Franklin’s largest fundraiser – will be held in March
  • Garden City Kindergarten Soccer – Saturday soccer at Burr for pre-K and K students
  • Circus Smirkus – a week-long circus school for 3rd, 4th & 5th graders
  • BOKS
  • Trivia night at the end of February – this year we show up Burr Elementary with how much trivial knowledge Franklin parents have
  • Viridian – Eric Friedberg gave a convincing presentation for enrolling in this energy supply option – it is simple to sign-up for and raises funds for Franklin.  We are the #1 school in the state for the number of meters and we have a goal to sign up 50 more families this year

Keynote speakers

Terri Bancroft and Kara Temple presented information about the new school-wide behavioral plan based on the principals of the responsive classroom.  Franklin is the first school in Newton to implement this.  More information can be found on the Franklin website.

School Council

Amy Kelly requested volunteers for the school council which is an advisory board to the Principal made up of an even number of teachers and parent volunteers.  Topics of focus include school improvement plans, the discretionary school budget, building related issues, and fostering parent involvement.  School Council meets five times per year after school and is a 2-year commitment.  Five people expressed initial interest in participating.

The meeting ended at around 9:00.

PTO Meeting Minutes January 19, 2012

Prior to the main PTO meeting, Liz Marshall met with all the room parents to review the status of classroom holiday gifts and volunteering in the classroom. Most room parents reported that their rooms were very generous and that they were able to purchase many items on their teachers’ holiday wish lists. On the subject of parent volunteers in the classroom, most room parents agreed that, while there seemed to be a sufficient number of volunteers in general, additional messages from Amy Kelly and the room parents to the Franklin community would help encourage more parent engagement during the school day. Particular concern about parent volunteers for Franklin specialists was noted.
Following the room parent meeting, the main PTO meeting started off with an icebreaker based on “time and space” from Liz Marshall.
Deb Rooney then reviewed the PTO budget year to date. The budget is in “very good shape” so far, having collected over $12k in PTO dues and being generally on target with expenses. The dues overage, combined with a surplus from prior years, a $10k anonymous donation from a Franklin family, and a $10k contribution from last year’s 5th grade has allowed the PTO to contribute $40k to technology at Franklin.
A review of the PTO business also included a debrief on Circus Smirkus by Gail Guerrero, which successfully performed at Day Middle School on January 13th to a nearly sold-out audience. Liz Marshall talked about Multicultural Night, which was originally scheduled for March 6th but will need to be rescheduled due to an election day conflict. The new date for Multicultural Night will be announced in the coming weeks.
Alyce Kukilinski updated everyone on the Spring Auction, which is to be held on March 31st at the Post 440. Auction fundraising is currently underway and communications to the Franklin community, as well as the ‘Bidding for Good’ online auction will be coming in early February. This year’s auction will most likely include a Casino Night type of event, in addition to the traditional silent and live auctions from past years.
Following the conclusion of the PTO business, Trish Kelleher, Franklin’s IT Specialist, and Leo Brehm, Director of Institutional Technology for Newton, gave presentations  on how technology is used in Franklin and other Newton schools and on the state of the Newton schools technology funding.
Trish presented an impromptu video of Franklin teachers and students talking about how technology is used in Franklin classrooms and what it means to them. Highlights included:
  • Using technology in the classroom teaches kids independence
  • Having laptop carts in the classroom every day gives teachers a resource they can depend on
  • Technology adds excitement and interest to math and writing
  • Laptops and software provides additional resources for struggling students
  • “ELMO” document cameras allow teachers to share student work on the fly
  • Computers teach kids organizational skills and allow them to work at their own pace
Leo gave a talk on his role in the Newton schools and discussed the state of technology at Franklin, his plans for the future, and the budget. Key points included:
  • Introducing technology into schools is about “developing a teaching and learning plan that includes integration with technology, not a technology plan”
  • Working with technology at the elementary level builds good habits that are reflected later in students’ lives
  • 85% of technology in Newton schools comes from PTO budgets
  • The Newton IT budget cannot make up the gap between the financially well and less endowed Newton schools
  • Leo’s department is developing a 3 year plan to try to address the technology needs of Newton’s least equipped schools
  • The high level goal is to put audio, video and computer/tablet equipment in each classroom
  • Part of the IT plan includes standardizing and streamlining infrastructure in order to squeeze more money out of the budget
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