PTO Meeting Minutes 2015-09-21

posted in: Minutes | 0

Highland PTO Meeting Minutes
September 21, 2015 9:00am

Welcome – Erica Bacich welcomed everyone and especially new PTO members. There are many opportunities to volunteer.

Mr. Etlen’s remarks – Welcome, thank you to the PTO for an awesome picnic; we had a great turnout and great weather. Thank you PTO for monetary donations; part will be used to get new pictures of the school for the main hall/kindergarten entrance; 6th grade composites have been organized, the pictures were all out of order, but now as 12th grade graduates, those composites will come down and the current 6th grade composite will go up. Back to school was a great success.

  • Celebrity scoop will be Thurs at Rita’s – a robocall will go out; this is a fundraiser for SWPB (school-wide behavior support) Stars program; behavior posters with simple rules that kids can understand are all over school and need to be replaced.
  • Please cc Kathy Lu when emailing Mr. Etlen

Parent Council – Angel Belka Parent Council is the umbrella organization over the PTOs/PTA for Abington School District; lots of info at meetings, including what other schools are doing; next meeting is 10/21 at Copper Beech and will cover web based tools and curriculum updates; following meeting is 12/2 at Highland and will cover volunteer clearances (everyone will need this to go on class trips)

Treasurer Report – please email Vicki Turner for a copy of this years budget; PTO did amazing fundraising and cost cutting/saving last year, we were $6,000 over budget; PTO gave teacher gifts at the beginning of the year ($2,100 total) – $50 to each classroom teacher and $25 to speech, specials to help stock their classrooms; membership is projected to bring in $1,600, could be more if all families paid dues; 6th grade made $230 at their bake sale at the picnic

  • Major changes to budget this year because of last year fundraising: able to give $1,200, up from $500 to STARS program; pays for monthly cafeteria reward for one class in each grade, rest goes to fund assemblies for STARS
  • School asked for money for multicultural event; able to give $600 this year and we have a new committee chair to help plan this great event

Recent event review – Erica thanked everyone who has volunteered at the events we’ve already had since school started : Lesley, Nicole & Claire for the welcome breakfast; Sue Scheid and Vicki for staffing the table at back to school night; thank you to all who came to the back to school picnic and Claire for drinks; Laura for personally moving hundreds of mums and playing music; Laura Enama for staying at the apparel table all night

  • Laura has bought a lot of new merchandise; including the husky keychains, which were a big hit; and it will be available at school events; plus there will be even more available online in October; including sweatshirts, sweatpants, winter gear

Other Business

Facebook group – if you’re not on the Highland facebook page, please search for it and ask to join. It is a private group that requires the admin to verify that you are a parent/gaurdian of a Highland student for safety reasons. It’s a wonderful resource for parents/guardians.

  • Please think before you post. People have put a lot of time and effort into everything happening at the school, so be kind and considerate.

Science Day chair – still need someone for this great event on 3/9; parents, HS students, community come in and do presentations in the classrooms, Melanie Wills, past chair is still around and will assist/train new chair; $20 PTO reimbursement per presenter available

  • Amid lots of cheering, Van Hellerslia volunteered. Thank you Van!

Special Person’s Breakfast – 10/9 7:45am; Kelly Pennekamp will assist Laura Kremp. This is for kindergarteners to bring a special person before school to have breakfast, play games, color. Teachers, Mr. Etlen, Mrs. Howe will be there. Checking with Giant for donations, also ask Donut Connection. Will put a call out for baking donations. A flyer will go to K teachers for RSVP.

Picture Day – also 10/9, need volunteers, a flyer will go home soon, please contact Amy Ott at or Luisa Gray at to volunteer.

Zumba – Mikki Whiting & Erin Pugh running this year. Will hopefully be 5 Mondays, starting in November, after school for 1-6th grade girls. This is a paid activity, but donations are welcome to offset costs. There was the question of including k students, possibly with a parent or 6th grade buddy.

Special Person’s Night – in Feb. Email Jen Deters to volunteer/help plan

Lunchroom – Mariana Hinkel still needs volunteers for Monday & Wednesday, contact her if you can help,

Library – There are still some open class slots, it’s a great way to help out in a meaningful way and see your child in action. It doesn’t have to be every week, you can take turns with other volunteers. Please contact Heidi Fitzgerald at

Assemblies – PTO gives $3,500 for 3 education assemblies each year, Taryn is the chair this year and great addition to the PTO (Thank you!). There will be a music technology assembly in Nov, the Franklin Institute in March and the Star Dome group from last year will be back with an Earth Dome this year.

  • Mr. Etlen also requested an author even for the reading program, so the PTO is sponsoring Gene Berreta who wrote Now & Ben about Ben Franklin. He will read his book to the kids and have a special appearance by Ben himself and there will be an opportunity to buy an autographed copy of the book.

Party funding – Lori Mcmahon & Laura Kremp are classroom parent co-chairs; plan to have one person responsible for organizing each party – Halloween/ Winter/End of Year; plus possibly one in charge of classroom communication. Chairs will be in touch with those who signed up and will have meeting to go over all info. Possibly save $500 budgeted for parties for end of year party as it’s a better use of resources – do Rita’s, pretzels, plan to ask Mr. Etlen about moving end of year party outside, have each grade on different day/ time. Party items are always given on a volunteer/whatever you can give basis, you don’t have to contribute anything if not able; room parents should not be asking for money.

AEF 5k – 10/30 Fri 4:00. Sounds like a fun event, $15 if sign up by 10/1. Contact Erica if you want to walk as a Highland team, everyone wear their Highland shirts.

Family Fun Night – Vicki Turner and Claire McHugh are co-chairs; 10/16 PINGO, pizza and bake sale fundraiser for 6th grade; 5:30 for pizza, game starts at 6:00.

Thank you to everyone for coming, it’s wonderful to see new faces. We’re looking forward to a great year!

Next meeting is Monday 10/19 at 7:00pm in the library