>Next Meeting: May 5, 2015
Come to two consecutive meetings at PTO and you are a voting member!
Presidents: Jenn Irvine and Kevin Fudge
Treasury: Andy Forbes and Jennifer Lewis-Forbes
Recording Secretary: Sarah Evans
JI: sends around sign-up sheet. And introductions around table.
6:35 AEF PRESENTATION by Amy Spears
I wanted to talk about AEF. We want to give a general overview and give a summary on technology project. We are wrapping that initiative up and we are now in phase of asking for public help.
We’ve been around for 25 years this fall in some form or fashion. We are non profit and volunteer run. We raise money from community to give grants to teachers in several buckets including innovative and/or curriculum-related projects, culture change/development and technology.
>Innovation grants are twice a year $3-5K. Others are smaller. If a teacher has innovative idea or entire grade has idea – they can fund it. Examples: Japanese looms, snow shoes, all sort of innovation grants.
>Dev/expansion grants. About $10K about 2-3 times a year. All elementary classrooms have tools in class to help with kids who need self-regulartion strategies. The wiggle room! Awarded to all elementary classes. No need for an IEP to use the Wiggle Room.
>Teacher Continuing Scholar. Profeessional growth. For example. European history teacher went to Prague. Spanish teacher went to South America. Something the teacher wants to learn to expand their personal experiences to bring back to class.
>School Improvement Grant. Multiple year use. 'The Sausage Making Grant." These tend to be planning grants. Example: Just finishing up Ottoson grant. Six years ago a lot going on after new prinicipal came on board. Four years ago they came up with a plan: what is our culture going to be? How to set up meeting clusters? Leadership team strategies. Better way to communicate with each other and community. New services so the 1100 students have the resources they need. New structure so VPs have more connections into school clusters. They were awarded $150K over four years (paid for teacher planning time outside of contract and traveled to other schools to see other schools also outside consultants). About $20-25K a year.
>STARS: School Teachers are Really Special. Fundraising. Recognize and thank teachers and small donation to AEF. That money ultimate goes back to community.
Last four years we’ve been able to give $100K per year. Many grants start small and become district-wide initiatives. Especially the innovative grant.
Hardy Examples: Garden. Science grant early on. Concentration Tools (teacher professional development attached to it). Kindergarten around the world. Lucy Caukins Writing Program used to expand curriculum. Teosinte sister city in 4th grade (now district wide).
Who can apply for a grant? Innovative one are usually written by teachers but parents can work with a teacher – keep in mind it must be linked to curriculum.
The Technology Grant. Partnered with school district to bring more tech to schools primarily at secondary level. At elementary they already had iPad cart and Elmos in classroom. But at secondary different and more expensive gear needed.
-First year raised $50K to build a computer science lab at high school because the lab was downsized out because of budget cuts. Now lab is set and running. Two courses first year and now five classes and an AP level one!
Second year spent 34K. Middle school focus. Two things. Tech and engineering program – Brandy Whitney is teacher and she revamped curriculum. AEF gave the technology. She got national grant to help with curriculum. They build rockets, etc. but not just bottle rockets and balsam wood. Nope. Cad and 3D printers! Then test in real world environment. AEF gave the technology so currciulm more real world.
Second component. Digital Citizenship in Literacy. Very outdated program. Now revamped. Every sixth grader gets a full year of computer science. Scratch and different programs. That sets up everything well for investment AEF made in high school.
Third year is this year. Three programs planned for $130K. $50K already raised. Plan is to have money in place to start in September 2015.
1. Digital Arts Studio at High School. So many career paths. Animation, reporting, architecture, etc. AEF funded a work station. We want to raise money for additional 24 work stations. Stations would be open to arts program and all HS students to make videos, documentaries.
2. Sciences at HS. Computer science lab created was to be STEM lab. But computer science so popular that no one else can use it. Biology, chemistry, physics - they want their own mobile lab for their own curriculum projects. Experiential learning!
3. Expand middle school lab. District is growing. Sixth grade class in 2016 will be big. The existing lab created by AEF needs to be larger.
Next Weds night; April 13 6-8 Technology Showcase (Open House Trade Show) 30+ demonstrations from k-12 teachers for all kinds of uses of tech. At the High School Media Center. Kids welcome!
If you are a donor, consider donating to Tech Initiatives. Whatever is raised by June 30 will be spent and in the classroom by Sept 2015 first day of school.
6:45 PRINCIPAL REPORT
School council: Math Week June 1-5. Some class field trips also that week but we are prepared and field trips won’t effect grade level activity. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! KD will be making a Math Suit.
June 2 is K-1 day. Will need PM volunteers.
June 3 is 2-3rd grades. Need PM volunteers.
June 4 4-5th graders - Need volunteers.
June 6 - Mini-assemblies onFriday
k-1 : playdoh, 2-3 volunteers needed to support Origami Guy.
4-5 grade no volunteers because someone will be talking about sports math. Statistics and sports.
VPs will go out and help collect volunteers.
Teacher Week. Thanks! Nice to have a break and chat/eat at breakfast when staff meeting was to be. Doors look fabulous.
MCAS: wrapping up next week. Many still happening this week. ‘MCAS is like any other project at school. We put our best foot forward because we are conscientious.’ Focus was on reducing stress. Building has been quiet. Everyone supportive. May dates coming around.
Kindergarten registration for Fall 2015 looks like 67. Doesn’t include repeats. Might go up. Only includes buffer of kids already here (4-5). List of buffer between Hardy and Thompson. Last year at this time we were at 70-72. Over summer we pushed into 84.
Why does big worry me? Right now I don’t need to hire anyone. Everything is offsetting quite nicely. But if new first grade runs small, I don’t want to squish smaller kindergarten into groups of 25.
6:50 PTO EVENTS 2014-2015
Teacher Appreciation Week April 6-10 (Danielle/Bethany)
If you haven’t signed up there is a luncheon on Thursday and need bakers.
Spring Concert/Art Show 4/16 (Need bakers and sign up genius food and volunteer)
Breakfast as usual in cafeteria. So need bakers. Donation for breakfast. Kevin Guiney will do DVDs (set up through paypal)
5th grade flower sale 5/8
Jump/Walk-a -hon 5/15 (Melissa Jacobs)
Math Week June 1-June 5
Colonial Day June 18 (Eva Bitteker)
Darcy and I gathered information. Feeling good. After Spring concert will have an info session with parents. So material will be ready. Any examples out there of third grade costumes? Tin punching? Candles? Bring in old costumes?
5th grade graduation 6/17 at 7pm
4th grade parents involved – they will get info from 5th grade parent who is in charge
Field Day 6/12 (1st) Michael/Vic (rain date either 6/15 or 6/19)
Family/Science BBQ 6/22 (Monday)
Playground (spring painting, signage and supporting rules)
JI: We have a AEF grant for playful playground but now doesn’t make any sense with Stratton Modules. We are repainting b-ball, four squares and a few things. But not the big map, etc.
School committee discussions. Inspector report said $60K is needed for repairs. School only budgeted $20K for repairs. Report says if Diane Johnson can’t find the extra $40K in budget parts of the playground close. They will find the money. Just as information, to build a new one is $500K. Current playground is 12-13 years old.
If Hardy owns the playground (it does) but other community members use it what does it mean? This is Hardy property. What if someone gets hurt after 2:10?
Any time a school is renovated the school owns the new playground. But was the budget increased? orking toward school and public works to co-own the playgrounds.
Bishop owns the PTO playground. Who owns Dallin?
Garden Clean Up 5/3 3-5pm Need volunteers.
And in the middle of May the brick will be laid down in outdoor school. More bricks to buy. Buy a paver.
7:40 OTHER BUSINESS
>Enrichment Form – JI and KF working on a form or presentation to help teachers figure out how to spend PTO enrichment money.
Class Pictures (Jen Roderick) Current vendor Hayward. 25% plus yearbook and a disc and Coffeepond is 17%. Ends up 4-6 bucks more than others. With Coffeepond we would lose $1000. Voted down to use Coffeepond. Will vote on the new vendor at next meeting.
Board Job Descriptions/Nominations/Elections.
PTO Board in the front Hall (need pics of all current Board members)
-discussed structure of the Pres. VPs and other positions. The make up of the PTO. How does the VP (maybe 2 VPs?) and parent room person differentiation?
PTO Handbook Committee Meeting Tuesday 4/14 Common Ground 8pm
Countdown to Meltdown! Winner announced soon!
Pushing Pavers for the outdoor garden.
7:55 Wrap up/Schedule May Meeting May 5.