>Next Meeting: February 3, 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
The PTO bulletin board is on playground. Look there for the latest news! News also updated online!
6:35 PRINCIPAL REPORT
(1). Visit a colleague month
>Teachers visit others to learn new ways to teach from other folks in the building. Vertically good to know where kids came from and where they are going. Plus good as a team in terms of once one teacher does a common plan – what does that same lesson look like in another class.
First grade teacher Jamie Sliney says of experience: First we went to second grade. Two classes. Really cool. Thumbs up. Not enough time for all three but felt like the teachers received good general view.
(2). New Math Program?
Looking at data for the math program. Laura is chatting about that right now. Will need financing from curriculum money and PTO funds.
Laura: Dream Box is a math website that enables kids to work at home and in school. Get a free two week trial. Common core aligned that takes kids through math on their level – may need modification or enrichment for kids who need more than what they get in class. And teachers can see the data – what are kids doing at home? At school? Stratton is interested, too. Glitch. A cost. A year membership. Third grade only since teachers in that grade still have $500 per classroom they can spend. Subscription would cover ½ third and ½ forth grade – the year subscription period.
>$25/student. We might get it down to $20 with negotiations.
KD: School might be able to fund 1-2 classes. Rest from PTO.
What makes this unique?
>Differentiates based on student needs. Skill and conceptual
>Teachers can track progress.
Question: Is it worth it to have one grade for one year do a different technique than other grades before and after.
Answer KD: 3rd-4th is a good grade to start. On the radar. But I’ll ask Matt Coleman about switching for a year from one technique to another and back to original technique.
Laura: We looked at iExcel, too
KD: iExcel is quiz-like and a good program but not for struggling mathers.
Laura: This Dream Box is similar to Raz Kids.
Answering a question about RazKids….
KD: Claire Blumenfeld knows stats on RazKids. Is it working? We know kids are using it at home.
(3) Playground Rules. No more organized games afterschool on blacktop space.
Principal has gotten lots of push-back. The decision was made because of so many emails about behavior issues. Technically school property but KD doesn’t want to be in business of policing after school. Problem is that the issues on playground after school were spilling into recess behavior problems during school and principal had to spend time dealing with mitigating issues. So the behavior is following kids through next day. Because it impacts education time, she closed the playground area by basketball hoops. Competitive nature of game playing is just too much.
Not necessary to close entire playground. Organized games is the issue. Fifth graders can still toss a ball back and forth. But kickball and soccer games stop for awhile until kids are polite and safe.
And so logical consequences. Law 222. Negates zero tolerance around bullying. The state found zero tolerance that every single thing across a desk meant suspension which interrupted kids’ education. 222 is restorative. So first offense isn’t an automatic suspension. So when principal feels she has a plan in place that is restorative then we can think about playground reopening in terms of games. With 222, principals can’t suspend without a trial and parents involved, etc.
Principal: But I’m holding kids accountable for behavior. Kids shouldn’t come to school feeling bad.
Restorative means that both the wronged and wrongee work to fix problem. So one kids works with social worker and maybe the two kids talk together. But in-house suspension is still a consequence possibility.
Winter craft fair. Holiday lighting, yay!
Henry Bear. $200 cash and $200 worth of gift cards.
>Who gets money? The four new teachers will split the cards right before holiday.
Movie night –NEW DATE: 2/6 at 6:30p – Michelle
Horton Hears a Who! is the movie
She needs help. So far Japanese film but in English. This may be weird.
Katie Garrett insisted that we go to the licensure website and we pay $75.
Get posters and fliers up!
Music Concert – is not in Feb but on April 9
Game and Math Night
Heather not here. Talked about moving it to Feb 7 but not sure.
JI: Seque to how can the PTO and events be more efficient. How can we make the VPs more successful? Earlier list of whole grade level lists. Most folks feel like we are not communicating well out to VPs. Not good vibes about communication and events. Having exec meeting with VPs to discuss.
Literacy night: In March. Not date from Margaret. Dr. Suess is the theme.
Parents Night Out
Jennifer says “can anyone help?” Last year was at Menotomy Wine and the SpeakEasy last year. Tentaively booked ACA for some night the week of March 22.
Cedrine is still working on Science Fair.
Jump/Walk a thon
5th grade flower sale
5th grade graduation
Committee head is Jenn Irvine
>Alex Bilsky respectfully being persistent with district saying that district should continue with repairs. Lots of yes, thank yous but so far no more action beyond wood chip delivery. To which Kristin tells parents that “we didn’t force kids to spread the wood chips. A volunteer effort!” :)
>JI still has grant money to paint in the spring.
>signage with rules to come.
Bylaws are happening next time.
Finances - Andy
>December slow month because of holidays. Aome more annual appeal. Tracking lower. We are down between 1-2k. By end of last year we were closer to 100.
>Appeal letter: second round of letter.
Next PTO meeting is Feb. 3