September 18, 2015 PTA Meeting at Administration Building
Welcome, Introductions and Board Update:
Our meeting was started at 8:35 A.M. by Jacki and Angel. Jacki introduced the board to Dr. Daniel McCann, our Interim School Superintendent. Dr. McCann gave a brief introduction and talked about his credentials and experiences. Members of the PTA went around the table and introduced themselves. A very open and informative Q&A session followed. The board also heard from Pamela T. Rourke the Director of Human Resources, as well as Dr. Debbie Hand, the Director of Curriculum and instruction.
Kelley distributed last year’s budget vs actual financials, as well as this year’s budget. Kelley also handed out this year’s Principal Fund checks for each elementary school. She asked that the Board please fill out the PTA check form when requesting funds. The form is called “EPTA Check request”. Kelley also asked that we fill out a form when depositing money from any events i.e.: fundraising proceeds. This form is called “Funds Received”. All forms can be found on the Horseman PTA website, http://www.horsemenpta.com under volunteer resources. Lastly, Kelley pointed out 2 changes on the budget from last year: 1) The Morse Publishing Center increased from $150 to $300 as was voted on and approved by the board last year and 2) The JP Book Fair Kick-Off Ziti Dinner decreased from $300 to $200 as there is no longer a ziti dinner, just a book fair celebration like at Morse and WI.
Jacki noted that in the eyes of NY State, elementary PTA is treated as separate from the middle school PTA. The elementary unit is in good standing. The MS is still tied to the HS and is a different unit in the eyes of the state. Our regional representatives are working hard to help us do what needs to be done to make it possible to become a K-8 organization in the eyes of the State. A strong middle school membership this year would help to promote our attempt at merging the two, and creating one K-8 PTA. Jacki and Angel will keep us advised, as they hear more from the regional group.
David reviewed the membership form with the board, and reminded everyone to include their name, email, phone and grade. He suggested signing up online and that Paypal is now in effect, with a $.75 surcharge per membership. The membership fee is $10 and it includes advocacy, and some local as well as national discounts. Currently we have 39 paid memberships this year, and our goal is 136. Membership forms will be coming through backpack mail soon.
The new position of Volunteer Coordinator has been filled by Tara Schatzel. Tara noted that the W.I. and Morse volunteer forms have been collected. Once all of the back to school events has taken place, Tara will finish compiling the list for the Class VP’s and event Chairs.
Donna Gates advised the board that wrapping paper for W.I. and the M.S. start on Monday September 21st. She also mentioned that photo day will be Oct. 13th for JP, Oct. 20th for Morse, and the 21st for W.I. The “Kids Stuff” coupon book fundraiser for the M.S. begins October 15th. The books cost is $25 and the PTA will receive $15 of each book. The funds are being used to help fund the MS Recess redesign. Andrea talked about Spirit Wear. She brought a horseman pride t-shirt, and also mentioned the horseman hoodie, as well as the pajama bottoms. A local business will be handling the clothing merchandise. Andrea also mentioned that sizes run small so she will be bringing samples to school events.
JP- Jen Bayliss advised the board that the class-parent tea will be next Friday at noon. The JP wrapping paper event just started. October 1st is JP’s back to school night, and Jen needs volunteers to help set up.
Morse- Elia and Dancy and the other Morse VP’s will schedule their first meeting with Mr. Holland at Morse as soon as possible. The Wellness Committee is attempting to eliminate cupcake parties for individual birthday celebrations. The committee adopted a district policy that a celebration including cupcakes, brownies/etc. be done once a month to celebrate birthdays. Children’s birthdays will still be celebrated on the child’s day (or as close to it as possible) just without food. The Book fair for Morse was moved to October this year, with the hopes of a better turnout.
W.I. – Donna noted that there has been a lot of positive feedback after back to school night regarding the school’s new principal, Ms. Susan G. Bretti. Ms. Bretti seems to be very involved with the kids on a day to day basis, and has been an excellent communicator to the community thus far. Monday September 21st will be the W.I. class parent tea.
MS- Mitch suggested that everyone come down and see the progress that has been made to the recess space. The new basketball and volleyball nets are up. A fresh coat of paint, along with tree trimming and garden cleanup has really helped to make a difference. Pictures have recently been posted to the 10591 local facebook page.
A costume drive is being organized to help kids in the schools that need. Flyers will be distributed soon.
Karina spoke to the board about the Univision website and their national program showing learning material for grades K-8. A translation program exists to help with email exchanges between parents and teachers. A phone app is coming soon as well. Tutorials and videos can be found on the Univision website to help parents engage their children in reading and writing. We will include the Univision link on our Horseman PTA website once Karina sends it to Jacki.
Jen Povman read the press release to the PTA board for Rivertown Parents. Jen distributed the press release around the table as well as a flyer and invitation for October 22nd for a free seminar hosted by Jessica Lahey titled “The Gift of Failure”.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30; our next meeting will be Friday, October 16th.