PTO Minutes 2016-10-24

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Welcome from President and Co-PresidentPresident welcomes everyone to the meeting and asks that attendees hold brief introductions.

Principal’s Remark- Mr. Etlen led a successful Title I parent meeting which was held this evening (10/24).  During the Title I meeting, Mr. Etlen shared a PowerPoint regarding PSSA key points.  PSSA results will be available to families after the next school board meeting which will be held on November 7th.

Mr. Etlen ended with thanking the PTO for funding the First in Math computer program. First in Math is a fun/competitive program focusing on mastering basic facts, decimals, fractions, integers, exponents, variables and order of operations. All students in grades 1st- 5th will have access to this program.

Treasurer’s ReportPTO membership has brought in $1900 to date, budget was set for $2000.

Parent asked why restaurant fundraisers result in low profits. After brief discussion, it appears that the popularity of the restaurant may be the main factor affecting attendance.

Parent Council– Parent council is an organization that assists with strengthening and unifying all PTO/PTAs district-wide.  They hold 4 meetings a year; next meeting will be held Wednesday, October 26th at 7:30pm at Roslyn Elementary regarding Internet Safety. All are welcomed.

Parent Council can assist our PTO when advertising events via their website and FB page. Two senior scholarships are available through Parent Council; as well as, service learning opportunities. It was noted that many Abington Senior High students receive the Abington Award (150 service learning hours needed) and the President’s Award (250 service learning hours needed).

Angel Belka, President of Parent Council, invited us to view their website ( and “like” their FB page (asd parent council) for more information regarding their services and updates

Review of recent events

Special Person’s Breakfast– this was a great event that was well attended.

Family Fun Night– this was a great event as well. Some feedback included rave reviews regarding the prizes, number callers, and the length of time of this event was ideal.

Barnes and Noble Event– This is an evening event at Barnes and Noble in Willow Grove.  Proceeds go towards additional books for the Highland Library.  The date for this event is 11/18 and if anyone wants to volunteer to help please contact Lori @  It was also suggested to reach out to Panera Bread for a fundraising opportunity the same night of our Barnes and Noble event due to the proximity of both locations. Its possible many families would like to have dinner at Panera before or after this event.

Thanksgiving Food Drive and Adopt a Family are all ready to go.  Flyers will go out in the November packets.

Computer Coding for Highland Students- Parent discussed interest in “Hour of Code” involvement for Highland students. Hour of code is a global movement by Computer Science Education Week and and is a one-hour introduction to computer science and computer programing. Mr. Etlen mentioned that this will be discussed during a November in-service day with all teachers. Roslyn Elementary has participated in this program; Mr. Etlen offered to reach out to Roslyn’s Principal, Dr. Osborne, regarding their experience with this program.

There could be a great opportunity for an after school program for coding.  Highland would need a parent volunteer to lead the after school program prior to discussing logistics. The need for a parent volunteer will be advertised in the Husky Happenings. Possible service learning opportunity for Abington High School students to assist with this program.

Question was asked regarding possible limitations. Mr. Etlen explained that we cannot upload “outside” programs onto Highland computers; would have to be a website students can access.

Directory– will go to the printer this week and hopefully via skyward as well. Question was raised regarding all families receiving the directory, regardless of participation or not.  This was due to a parent concern regarding printing cost.   An option to consider for next year- PTO members will receive a directory as a result of paying membership dues. All non-PTO members can order a copy by filling out a form and paying a fee.

Membership– Thank you to all the families who joined this year. Thank you to Mr. Etlen and many of our teachers who joined. We’re able to fund so much for the kids with the dues we collect.

Indoor recess gamesParent proposed a game/toy closet that teachers could borrow from for all days kids have indoor recess. While discussing, it was questioned whether a closet would be needed considering many teachers already have games for their students within their classrooms. There was a concern with the games being returned and/or missing pieces. A suggestion was to create a game “wish list” for teachers and collect donated games based off of the games listed on “wish list”. Games would be donated new or used (great used condition please).

Update on Chess Club- Mr. Chou is taking the lead on the chess club.  Start date is not yet confirmed.

Blood Drive This event is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14th from 2-7pm and during parent/teacher conferences.  Chair will complete all permits needed and will be onsite for the drive. We will need help getting the word out in order to recruit donors- possibly reaching out to commissioner, John Spiegelman, to help advertise on his FB page.

Our goal has been 29 pints, but turnout was low last year and we did not reach our goal. Most participants were from the community.  Parent questioned the possibility that parents cannot donate because they have children with them.  A suggestion was to provide babysitting while parents donate blood.  This could be a service learning opportunity for high school students; as they can assist with babysitting services. Babysitting services would have to be for children 4 or older. Parent volunteers during the drive would be helpful and appreciated.

Upcoming Assemblies for 2016-17 School year– they are subject to change due to still being negotiated; but, are listed below:

1.     Tahira’s Freedom Stories in connection with MLK Day.
2.     Dinosaur’s Rock- an interactive assembly including a fossil dig during Science Week
3.     Spanish is Alive! Interactive assembly aligned with Multicultural Week.


Final Questions/Concerns/CommentsParent wanted to provide a positive comment/thank you to Mrs. Daniels and Ms. Park regarding Pennies for Pasta’s October 25th event to dress in orange or yellow for childhood cancer/leukemia awareness.

Please join the PTO for the next meeting on November 14, 2016 @ 7:00pm