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 ( and PTO website (

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

  • PTO Facebook Page (

  • Franklin school blog -> link is on the Franklin school website homepage or go directly to:


  • 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 ( 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 . 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 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:

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

    • “ 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.”