President: Terry Holt
Treasurers: Kate Leary and Andrew Malone along with Aletta Tibbetts (end of year tax review)
Secretary: Roslyn Fitzgerald
VP of Fundraising: Patsy O’Brien
VP of Committees: Stewart Ikeda
Meeting facilitated tonight by Stewart Ikeda. Terry sends her apologies, but can’t make the meeting due to a family commitment. She is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org for any follow-up questions.
Treasurer’s report - Kate Leary:
Kate and Andrew have experimented with various financial software to perform their treasury duties, but found it was more than needed. They will be using a Google spreadsheet to keep track of what is spent vs. what we’ve budgeted. Daniel Jalkut to review monthly bank statement (per our financial safeguards). There were a couple of 2nd grade enrichment requests that had to be denied due to budgetary constraints, but overall we’re spending around $10,000 on field trips this year. MBTA buses are being used more than private buses this year, which has significantly reduced costs. See budget here.
Walkathon – Patsy O’Brien:
Will be held Friday April 27th (with rain date the following Friday). Permission slips and information forms were sent in backpack mail today, and Sarah Evans will post it online at the Hardy school website by the end of the week (hardyschool.com). A Sign-up Genius request will also be sent via room parents this week. Patsy is trying to ask Whole foods to donate oranges and watermelon. We need at least 4 volunteers for each grade level, plus registration and food prep volunteers.
Teacher appreciation week – Patsy O’Brien:
Runs during the week of 4/30/18 through 5/4/18. Celebrations include a lunch for the teachers, door decorating by room parents, and other ideas which are currently being worked on. We need many volunteers to be in the school that week. A Sign-up Genius request will be sent out via room parents.
Field day – Patsy O’Brien:
Friday June 1st (with rain date of 6/8). Again, we need volunteers but will wait until after the former events have concluded before sending out a volunteer sign-up to avoid volunteer fatigue. The permits have been secured to use the fields. Patsy is thinking of asking families to donate old, unneeded shirts back that we can wash and distribute to kids who don’t have them, or forget them that day.
Teacher representatives’ report – Heather Smith (ELL teacher):
No updates from faculty. However, Heather mentioned a program which she is coordinating with Hardy parent Laura Saylor. The goal is to organize playground playdates/connections among ELL families. The plan is to schedule one at Hardy on 4/20, one at Magnolia playground on 5/4 and one at Spy Pond on 5/18; each from 2:45-4pm. Holly Rossi will send out this information in the next newsletter.
Committee Updates – Stewart Ikeda:
Enrichment - Stewart Ikeda:
Spy Pond cleanup project going ahead. The Friends of Spy Pond (FOSP) have also made a request for help with a new erosion control project there. They are asking Hardy families to help clear a 20 x 20 foot patch of eroding land in preparation for planting new trees that the Town has secured. They also need help with maintaining and watering the trees. Cedrine Bell suggested that our school could make laminated signs to post next to trees, asking if people on the bike path who have extra water in their water bottles could dump it on the trees. If anyone is interested please contact Stewart at PTOnewsletter@hardyschool.com
Any interested committee members? We need new volunteers to help with this committee.
Communications – Aimee Miller and Holly Rossi:
Many parents involved in our communications team have kids aging out of Hardy and we need a transition plan for running the website, google groups, making decisions about ownership of the website, domains etc. Stewart started a doodle poll for a meeting date to take place after the April break. It may need to become another committee. Please contact Stewart at PTOnewsletter@hardyschool.com if you would like to join this effort.
Holly Rossi noted that we are up to 254 subscribers for the email newsletter, which will be sent out on Friday. Some teachers had tried to sign up but it got stuck in spam, so please check your spam filters. Holly makes an extra copy of the paper copies for teachers to keep (after distributing in student backpacks) and asked the teacher representative to find out if staff specialists would also like a copy of the backpack mail for their own use? Heather Smith will ask at the next staff meeting and remind them they can sign up online.
Terry Holt is organizing volunteers to attend a meeting for Kindergarten families on May 8th in hope of encouraging participation in PTO and to begin soliciting information for next year's directory earlier. There was also a brief discussion about whether to make the directory a PDF vs. paper copy next year. PTO hopes to work more closely with the school to find other options to make directory opt-in easier.
It was a huge success and included a visit by new principal, Kate Peretz. Ms. Muirhead suggested in the future we have multiple organizers so that it’s not on one main organizer next year. Next year needs more advance planning as many parents didn’t realize they needed volunteers and could have signed up earlier. There was a question about whether to assign certain events to certain grade levels to increase parent participation.
While usually held in the gym, this year it was held in the cafeteria which didn’t allow the kids the required room to move around. It was led by Steve Nugent, a martial arts teacher. There was a discussion about making it more an enrichment/curriculum event rather than a one-off event, in keeping with the school’s goal to improve their social/emotional intelligence.
Announcements or new business :
A parent asked if we have finalized copies of the new renovation playground maps? Patsy (who is involved with school council) said she hadn’t heard anything but would follow up with Kristin DeFrancisco.
5th grade car wash - Sunday May 6th. More details to follow.
There was a request from 2nd grade for reimbursement for a food project that ties in with what they are learning in their Japanese cultural unit. It was denied because of lack of funding, but it raises a larger question about food allergies and how it excludes some students from participating in educational events. There was a discussion about creating a working group of parents who can advocate on behalf of students to the Principal and administrators. It was felt that the school needs to set a clear policy about what is allowed rather than some classes allowing food/others not.
THE NEXT PTO MEETING WILL BE MAY 1st at 6:30pm.