>Next Meeting: January 6, 2015
Come to two consecutive meetings at PTO and you are a voting member!
Presidents: Jenn Irvine (JI) and Kevin Fudge (KF)
Treasury: Andy Forbes and Jennifer Lewis-Forbes
Recording Secretary: Sarah Evans
The PTO bulletin board is on playground. Look there for the latest news! News also updated online!
6:30 Introductions/Sign-in sheet
6:35 Principal (KD) report
(1) School council meeting: working on a resource book that talks about who we are during the day and what we do and how we create a community of learners and what parents can do to reinforce and help at home. Split into teacher and parent and talked through curriculum, social thinking, responsive. What is the standard space curriculum and judged on a rubric.
>plan is to send out to parents with PTO funding (hard copy).
Other Issues Meeting
>principals told council about class size sand other issues.
>full time social in each elementary but 2.5 are funded by soon to run out grant – that is a priority for council. Principals can’t have a good day without social workers
>inquiry based learning for children and basing instruction on data. This means math coaches and what data looks like. Having PD around talking about data at meetings. Also Literacy lab model = teachers watch good teachers and learn from each other (Lucy Cawkins in NYC model). She wants more PD to look like this and we need coaches. So asked for 1.5 literacy coach per school. More ELA with lab learning.
>Tools of the Mind lays foundation for learning so we need kindergarten TAs all day.
>STEM and science curriculum based on inquiry based learning. Bit too random.
Andy asked principal about playground.
KD: On the 12th she has an admin cabinet meeting so Diane Johnson will have answers. Wood chips came fast and furious. Bobby and others put out the chips. Kathy and Bill Haner (committee) did come by to check out the horror. We need to identify what needs to be safe.
IF you see something, say something – in terms being diligent in reporting unsafe playground things. Email Kevin, Jenn, or Kristen with concerns.
KD: Getting a lot of parents reporting bad behavior after school. They are being really mean to each other. HASP Will and staff are doing some extra training. Please parents: be vigilant. One parent wanted cameras! “I don’t want to close the playground but I will.”
Andy: Good month for Annual Appeal. Up to 71 donations an $12, 500. Brought in $4000 last month.
Spending: Library Margaret is spending book money. Another round of Hardy sweatshirts. Teacher supplement. Garden shed. Income: Election day bake sale. $1600 from book fair! Hardy Hoedown broke even. Resolved picture day issue and got a $2300 refund.
JI: looking to sell shirts on Fridays. Sending out sign up genius.
Andy: sending out another Appeal letter with reminder of tax break if you give by 12/31. Directories printed.
JI: Tshirts for field day. How do we get the rest of people shirts? 50% have shirts. Other 50% need one. Letters in folders in specific classes?
6:50 Pto Events 2014-2015
Bake Sale (made $200 for PTO)
Hoe Down 11/14 (3rd) Pete (lots of bandanas for next year and event went okay)
Winter Craft Fair CANCELLED
Holiday Gate Lighting Dec 5 / Jenn - 6 pm.
Simple event with white lights. Kids make snowflakes and drink hot chocolate. Principal lights the light.
HOUR OF CODE / Eva / TBD: Day and time.
Henry Bears Wrapping Fun Dec 13 at 9:30 / Heather
Wrap presents for an hour! Sign up. Henry Bear matches donations with gift card. Some schools make $300-400 in the day.
Movie Night 1/15 (2nd grade) Michelle/Bryan.
Michelle says Bryan has everything all set. What movie? And put the permit in!
Game/Math Night 2/6 (Heather Smith/Susan Dorsen) 2/27 – the natural pi J
Winter Concert 2/15
Literacy Night TBD March Mickey (K)
Parent’s Night Out March Jennifer Susse
Science Fair 4/5 (Cedrine Bell)
Cedrine has ideas and will talk to Kristen – make an apt with her.
Teacher Appreciation Week TBD Jan/Feb (Danielle and Bethany). April 6-10.
Jump/Walk a thon May 2 (Melissa Jacobs)
5th grade flower sale 5/9
Colonial Day TBD June
5th grade graduation 6/11
Field Day 6/13 (1st) Family BBQ 6/16
Holiday Star Board.
JI: Amy did the work and made sure it worked. Pick up a star/tag by Friday 12/5. Or just give Amy money and she will shop for something. The kids are specific so don’t worry about name brands – it’s a wish list. Just give what you are comfortable with in terms of price point. Hey, you can even go in with another family. Leave the money with Donna at front desk. (1) pick up a star (2) give money to Donna and Amy will shop. (3) join with a family to buy one star gift.
Sarah is making survey monkey with what do you want to sell? and putting it on the google group PTO.
New Family Welcome Committee
Are we working with new families? Everyone in each grade level. When new families come in Donna can forward information for new families. Roll in METCO families. And the VPs will deal with that new family thing for now until new volunteers arrive on scene.
Other business? No.
7:45 Educatius: High School Student Exchange Program - Host a student!
The Exchange Student. Organization that facilitates high school exchange program. Kids from around world stay for a year at US high school. Based in Sweden. One of the offices is in Boston. Visas have been an issue the J-1 used to be used as the visa for a year long study. But now they use F-1. Private schools, community college, lots take advantage of the year long program. Growing over 100% each year. 800 placed last year. 1600 students this year. 60 districts in US. 20 in Mass. Arlington HS is the largest and mostly by word-of-mouth. Why? Despite the building it is a great school. Has a good rep from teachers. And close to Boston and universities. Educatius has exclusive HS relationship. 30 students in Arlington. educatius.org/
Who are the students? 14-18 years old. Usually 15, 16, 17. Attend high school. They try to have more families in Arlington closer to High School since many don’t live in Arlington while attending the HS here. So kids travel via subway to get here. Better community experience if they can live and go to school in same district.
Why host? Learn about each other’s culture and language. Many different types. Families, old, single. Young kids and older kids in family. FYI –the family can’t really ask for a particular language so you can learn a language. Point is that students learn English. Must maintain a B average. Own spending money and insurance. They have orientation
Who can be a family? You need a room, bed, dresser, desk, three meals a day. Family pass CORI test. And you share daily life with student. This isn’t a money maker. Those students are not guest but part of the family. Same rules as all in family. Chores. In return for hosting, stipend is $700 per month.
Family holidays? They can go and pay their way or the organization has a back up families for those holiday weeks so exchange students have a place to stay.
How much contact with student parents? Up to host family. Not required. But good to be in touch. The students are encouraged to be on their own as much as possible. Up to discretion of host family.
What countries participate? China, Germany, France, Norway, Chile, Italy, Brazil, Sweden. They themselves are very well traveled, too.
Support Team: They help organize activities for all kids. HS organizes activities for kids, too.
As much as we want to offer this opportunity for culture but this is also a business. The highschool makes money because students pay full tuition. Extra income for schools! That makes Arlington better. More money. Hosting is like community service!
Mary-Ellen – My kids and I enjoyed the experience. Her German exchange student is leaving in January here for a semester. 15-year-old daughter feels like she has a big sister. Her 5th grader values foreign languages in a new way. And good to know what is going on in the high school.
Rudy - French 16 boy. Same age as his daughter plus younger son. They are just like siblings. What changed for us? Laundry – lots more because kids have just one bag. Food is about the same. Space? One more person in the room. What are the rules in our house that we know but don’t really talk about? What are our values? Who are we? Been a positive experience.
Next PTO meeting: January 6