PTO Minutes 2016-11-14

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Highland Elementary PTO Meeting Agenda

November 14, 2016 @ 7:00pm


President and Co-President welcome all those in attendance.

Principal’s Remarks:

Mr. Etlen started by acknowledging that the “No Place for Hate” week was a successful and eventful week.  Journal entries and words-of-the-day were provided daily in order for students to identify and think about non-violence.  The Peace Assembly was held on Thursday where scholars sung songs; such as, Peacemakers. On Friday, Highland was designated as a “No Place for Hate” location and was awarded a banner.  Highland has been named a “No Place for Hate” designation multiple years in the past.   There is a specific process the school must follow and report all data in order to obtain this honor. A parent thanked Mr. Etlen for the school’s commitment to become a “No Place for Hate” location.

Mr. Etlen reported that this week is American Education Week and that all parents should have received an invitation from teachers inviting them to view a classroom lesson.

Care and Share is currently accepting food donations for the food drive.  Mr. Etlen encourages us to donate if able to and mentioned he is proud to be a part of a school community that helps in-house families in need.

Report card conferences will be December 13th, 14th, and 15th.  Please be advised that there will be early dismissal at 12:20pm on those days.

Lastly, Mr. Etlen discussed that our scholar population is growing and teachers need all rooms in order to assist our scholars. That being said, the PTO room will be needed when pulling title I groups.  Mr. Etlen asks that the PTO plan accordingly and remove items from cabinets/drawers in order to make room for the title I groups. The days and times the PTO room will be utilized are listed on the door.

Treasurer’s Report:

Kid Stuff (coupon books) have made $1800 this year. Last year Kid Stuff brought in about $2200.   Thank you to those who have purchased them!

PTO Financial Report indicates the current amount available for use is $23,155.77.

Review of recent events:

Mix it up Day for No Place for Hate Week- Mix it up day was a schoolwide initiative organized by Ms. Daniels to allow students to sit with other schoolmates that they normally would not be able to sit with i.e. – schoolmates from other classrooms or grades.  It was aligned with the “No Place for Hate” week and the idea was to get to know other schoolmates via organized sentence starters and other projects to initiate conversation.  For example, an adult may have modeled “Hi, my name is ____” and then aided/encouraged the children to do the same.

A parent observed that this event was a success and very organized!  The parent did mention that grades 5th and 6th enjoyed Mix it up Day but maybe did not love the encouragement to utilize the conversational sentence starters. But all in all, the kids had a great time learning about their schoolmates.  Thank you to Ms. Daniels and to all the parent volunteers that made this day a huge success.  A BIG thank you to Mr. Etlen for allowing this day to be possible!

                  Other Business:

Reminder: Barnes and Noble Night on 11/18 @ 4:30-7:30pm-

Please join the Highland family at Barnes and Noble this Friday. Students can wear their PJs to this event.  Proceeds go towards funding books for our library.

Reminder: Picture day retakes 11/18

If you are interested in picture retakes, please bring your child’s complete photo package back to school on Friday (11/18) and to dress accordingly.

Update: Thanksgiving Food Drive/Adopt a Family

Thanksgiving Food drive is going on NOW. We will be filling food boxes for 23 families. These families are Highland families who are identified by our school nurse. Normally we service 33-35 families, but this year other organizations will assist with aiding some families as well. Please continue to send food donations in to school (please see Husky Happenings flyer for the food donation list). Anyone available to volunteer on Monday (11/21) for the food drive; please reach out to Ericka @ Thank you to all those who have already brought in donations!

Adopt a Family- These families are Highland families identified via our school nurse. The Highland community “adopts” these families for the holiday season, by way of, helping them provide holiday gifts for the children in the family.

Donation forms were sent out in the most recent Husky Happenings.  We do not have a family list as of yet, but Erica will be in touch with those who have already sent in forms as soon as the list is obtained. Any questions please contact Ericka @

Update: Blood Drive- Wednesday 12/14/16 from 2-7pm.

Child care will be provided for children ages 4 and up from 3-7pm for those donating blood.  Flyers will be sent out in our next Husky Happens.

Follow up: Computer coding for Highland Students

An after school computer coding program was discussed at the Iast PTO meeting. We are currently looking for parent volunteers to facilitate this after school program.  An announcement went out in the most recent Husky Happenings.  Please view flier if interested in volunteering for the after school program.

Follow up: After school chess club

A question of when we will start an after school chess club was asked during last PTO meeting.  Mr. Etlen reported that Mr. Chou will lead this after school club after the 1st of the year.  It was discussed that 6th grade would be offered first and then it will open up to younger grades so the 6th grade can assist.

Amazon- Smile Program

Amazon Smile is a program offered by Amazon that allows Amazon consumers to choose a charitable organization to receive 1% of money from select sales.  The option to choose Highland Elementary is currently available and moneys go towards the Highland PTO. Thank you to those already utilizing the Amazon Smile Program.

Study Island Questions

A parent wanted clarification on what Study Island is and when it gets utilized.  Ms. Howe informed parents that Study Island is a test prep/academic review computer program offered to scholars in grades 3-6.  Student are able to earn blue ribbons when obtaining 70% or higher when answering questions. Teachers are to encourage their scholars to utilize this program a few times a week either at school or home.

Follow up: Directory

It was discussed to only offer the student directory electronically next year.  This will provide an opportunity for the PTO to update the directory when needed.  We also are considering sending the directory to PTO members only for next year.

Winter Party Date

Mr. Etlen will get back to us on the exact date but is considering Friday, December 23rd for winter classroom parties.

Husky Happenings- December

Due to Thanksgiving next week, we will assemble the Husky Happens on Tuesday, November 29th at 9am.

Please join us for our next PTO meeting on January 9, 2017 @ 9am