PTO Meeting Minutes 2015-02-23

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Mr. Etlen’s remarks

  • A big thank you to the PTO volunteers who helped with the first STARS positive behavior assembly; it was a great experience, the kids that were able to attend had a wonderful time and it wouldn’t have happened without the parents help
  • AEF Fundraiser is coming up in March, the AEF supports school district activities and helped to provide the prometheum boards for all classes; tickets are available in the office
  • Presentation on Comprehensive Student Support Process (CSSP) – there is a core team (principal, elem curriculum specialist, school psychologist & reading specialist) who meet weekly to review academic & behavioral data to identify children who are or may be at-risk academically or behaviorally
    • they figure out how the school can help make the student more successful
    • the parent/guardian is always brought in to assist the core team
    • if it is determined that regular education support isn’t working for the child, the team will ask for permission to evaluate to determine if special education services are needed
    • parents can also ask at any time for their child to be evaluated for special ed services

Treasurer Report – financial report was distributed

Technology Report – website is great, check often for updates and important info; back to electronic packets, as long as your email is in Skyward; paper copy comes home with youngest child on Thurs

  • still need someone to take over newsletter for next year; there is an easy to use file that will be passed on, as well as plenty of instruction (there is also the definite possibility of changing to a monthly newsletter)
  • a vote was taken, split 50/50 whether people prefer paper copy or electronic
  • make sure to check Skyward to ensure that your email address and phone numbers are correct; this also applies to school delay calls, make sure to change the order of the phone numbers if you’d prefer to get the calls on cell vs. home phone

AEF Carnival – Fri 3/27 6-9pm, a big fundraiser for the Abington Education Foundation (, we need to have a Highland PTO table with Spring Fling games; parents Van Hellerslia and Melissa Mason kindly volunteered to help man the table; would be great to get another couple volunteers so that there can be rotation

Box Tops – raised about $500 so far; for the class that wins this month, each student will get a $5 voucher for the book fair; an entire grade will win in march

Book Fair – 3/12-3/20; teacher previews where kids go and make wish list will be 3/12-3/16
will be set up for shopping during conference times
will need volunteers for set up and to staff the fair throughout; a signup genius will go out

Race for Education – Fri 3/20; our biggest fund raiser of the year; packets will go out the first week of March; it’s a walkathon, with the students walking around the school

  • Money is raised through sponsorship of each child/family
  • will be family packets this year, each family is asked to send in 12 sponsor names (each child fills out the sheets with family/friend’s address, then send back in to school; PTO will mail them out using bulk mail rate; addresses and names are not collected or recorded)
  • great family prizes for sending in 12 sponsors – ipod touch, 4 tickets to Hershey Park, $20 gift card for each child
  • there will be a DJ, pretzels, exercise challenges along the way
  • those who signed up to volunteer at the beginning of the year will be contacted
  • can make a family donation instead, but family will not be entered into prize drawing
  • there will be a school-wide ice cream social if we meet our goal

Spring Fling – April 25th 11-4

  • Need parents to apprentice and learn the ropes for food and prize table – will need someone new next year and this is a perfect chance to follow along this year
  • will have goldfish, bake sale, performers (Zumba, cheerleaders), fire truck, police K-9 demo
  • considering an inflatable obstacle course
  • was mentioned that kids want games and activities to be in front of school to help draw neighborhood people in

Chocolate lollipop sale – made about $350; was a big hit and went smoothly, thank you to the Walters family

Open positions for next year – a letter will go out to K-2 parents telling them what’s available and asking for help; if anyone has any interest in any positions, please contact someone on the PTO board

  • Need – Art show/Ice cream social in May; Assignment books; food & prizes at Spring Fling; Directory; Newsletter/Husky Happenings; Assemblies (this has the biggest budget, you get to hang out and plan with Mr. Etlen, 3 assemblies a year – 3/3 is Brain Show, later Sky Dome, an author event either in spring or next fall w/ Gene Barretta “Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin)
  • Big thank you to everyone that has already volunteered for next year: Tracy – Campell’s labels; Leslie – hospitality; Laura – apparel; Heidi – library; Jaime – coupon books; Nicole – fundraising

Native American assembly – Music at Abington brought a Native American storyteller and musician who mesmerized 4th and 5th graders last month

Fundraising – Anthony’s Coal Fire pizza was Tues 2/24, Elevation Burger is coming in March, possibility to be the Whole Foods community giving 5% recipient one day over the summer

  • Zumba – currently in second series for girls only; first was 2nd-6th and made $350 and second is 1-6 and we made $450
  • there will be a 3rd girls series after PSSAs
  • would need about 30 boys to commit to do a boys only class, please call or email Nicole to talk about it
  • there will be another family Zumbathon in the spring

6th grade – doing well with fundraising; things are costing more this year; still getting activity fees

  • Applebee’s pancake breakfast was a huge success – made $700, 144 people went, including 6 kindergarten buddies, 30 6th graders served
    • a non 6th grade parent commented that the kids were super engaged and wonderful and other parents were very impressed with them
  • there is a desperate need for pictures for the year book (If you’re struggling to upload pics, contact John Spiegelman for help)
  • 3/8 skating party
  • bake sales at conferences

Need a better sound system in the gym for after school activities

Boy’s and Girl’s nights – no school in the district is allowed to have a “sweetheart dance” or father/daughter, mother/son activity – the district has done away with single gender events in respect of various family dynamics

  • Highland culture is different than other schools, the 5th and 6th grade dances have always been very important
  • if we do plan these events for next year, the event will be specific to Highland and will look different than the events held at other schools
  • could plan a night out that is for both boys and girls and a special person, maybe near Valentine’s Day
  • Needs to be inclusive, open and welcoming
  • Will need to form a committee to hash out the details – please contact the PTO board if you’re interested in being on the committee

Next PTO Meeting is March 16th 7:00pm