PTO Meeting Minutes 2015-01-12

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Welcome – Erica Bacich & Laura Kremp

Mr. Etlen’s remarks

  • Ms. Crouthamel & Ms. Howe joined Mr. Etlen to talk about STARS program
    • new program starting, STARS card – right now the program is a team/class reward, this will be for individual’s behavior
    • each student starts with clean card, can get 3 warnings/strikes before the consequence – no participation in special assembly
    • call to home to parent after each strike
    • all teachers will be observing all students, STARS behavior should be consistent among each grade level
    • special, fun (non-academic) assembly by teachers with first in February so students can see what the perks of keeping card are, will only have 10 days between getting cards and assembly, so goal is all students should attend
    • teachers will reinforce expectations often/daily
    • this is a program that gives incentives for consistent positive behavior each marking period will be a clean slate and restart counting of strikes
    • this reward program does not take anything from students, but adds something special for keeping strikes
    • if student is unable to attend assembly because they lost all 3 strikes, they will spend the time with Ms. Howe, role-playing and completing a worksheet about how to be proactive and do things differently the next marking period
    • examples of assemblies – Smarter than a 5th grader, Hollywood Squares
    • PTO will give the teacher program $200
    • 12 parents have expressed interest and will attend planning meeting on 1/22 at 3:30 in room 113
  • PTO support to STARS – $750 budgeted for year, mostly goes to cafeteria reward, best behaved class in each grade gets a party each month with popcorn and ice cream
    • some concern that the kids enjoy this, but it doesn’t necessarily improve behavior
    • same kids continue to behave, the same kids continue to run around
    • maybe connect the cafeteria reward with the Husky ticket winners
    • Mr. Etlen personally provides incentive to teacher’s for supporting STARS
    • need to know specifically what is needed for the budget next year
    • can be used however teachers, aides see fit
    • Highland has the best behaved cafeteria in the district
  • Mr. Etlen showed a slide show about Highland’s school Performance Profile (PSSA)
    • quantitative score on 100 point scale, Highland’s score was 97.8 – the highest elementary school in Abington school district
    • Previous year score was 86.2, went up to 97.8 in 2013-14, out of 7 elementary schools, only one other had a score in the 90s
    • advanced proficient in reading – score from 82-89
    • advanced proficient in science – score from 85-94
    • all Abington elementary schools were above 85.7
    • Highland significantly exceeded PA standard
    • we have great kids and a solid teaching core
    • How to help children succeed: ready daily, tell them to ask questions in class, encourage writing to connect with reading, use online resources (Study Island, Compass Learning, First in Math), communicate with teachers
    • the PSSA test this year will be drastically different, more difficult this year
      • Highland is doing best to prepare
      • take depth of knowledge to 2 and 3, stretch student’s understanding of subjects
    • most important thing is for our children to be happy and learning, the focus is on the child as a whole, PSSA is only a piece
    • At the end of the day, we want them to do well on the test, but loving school is more important

Financial report was distributed by Treasurer

Chief of Technology – John Spiegelman

  • Troy is doing an excellent job on the PTO website
  • Still looking for a replacement for Husky Happenings
  • website lead will be Race for Education after Flower Show
  • approved documents should be sent electronically to Troy to go on site
  • consistent complaints about newsletter whether paper or electronic
    • students don’t know about Spirit Day – how to remind? maybe use Skyward
    • also use FB page for reminders
  • make sure teachers are distributing Husky Happenings on Thursday

Assemblies chair needed for next year (contact Laura or Erica if that’s you!)

  • really fun job, there are 3 assemblies each year, maybe 1 of the 3 could be replaced by a STARS assembly
  • PTO is here to support staff & administration for guidance on assemblies

Box Tops

  • class with most for the month gets announced during announcements & class gets lollipops
    already collected $538 in just a few months, almost more than all of last year
  • need help counting them in PTO office on first Monday of each month
  • It’s a really easy way for PTO to raise money – make sure to ask family to save them and pass them on also
  • expired Boxtops cannot be used
  • maybe ask teachers to remind students to bring them in at the end of the month

Race for Education – bringing our biggest fundraiser back this year

  • Friday 3/20, rain date 3/27
  • Laura is running and is on top of schedule and what needs to be done
  • have DJ, break sessions
  • have kids dress up

Chocolate Lollipop sale – Lores chocolates – local Highland family

  • preorder for $3.50, delivered to students on 3/12
  • got some orders at Science Fair
  • will be in packets next week, and will have forms at Family Fun night
  • Considering a Mother’s Day/Special Person’s day flower sale

Adopt a Family – went well, Highland got gifts for 72 kids

  • 98 children total, Kiwanis buys for some, a local company took some
  • some money leftover for next year

Spring Fling – in good shape, possibly move some activities to the front of the school

Zumba – beginning again in Feb., flyer has been approved and will go out soon, for girls 1-6 grades, Tuesdays 3:20-4:45

  • kids love it, 30 girls last time (need to keep girls and boys separate)
  • Need parents to volunteer and be there each Tuesday
  • kids get prizes for bringing their teacher

Restaurants – 1/27 Elevation Burger, school gets 15%, will need voucher; Anthony Coal Fired Pizza in Feb, Mr. Etlen needs to get approval from school board

  • John Spiegelman will talk to someone about having fundraiser at Senor Salsa

Book Fair – week of 3/12, should get delivery week of 3/9, will be open 3/12-3/20
will run during conferences, don’t need to do a family night, but maybe have one day later after school

  • Will need volunteers to help organize and setup and run it each day
  • Will post in Husky Happenings, maybe use sign up genius

Next PTO meeting Monday, February 23rd at 7:00pm (We need you to attend the meetings and bring your ideas and enthusiasm for making Highland a great school!)