PTO Minutes 2020-09-21

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Welcome: Gwen Rinaldi and Crissy Field welcomed attendees to the meeting.

Principal’s Remarks: Dr. Etlen thanked the PTO and the Highland community for being very supportive of the teachers and administration in a very difficult time. He reminded everyone to complete the Superintendent’s survey, and to submit any outstanding forms on Skyward. Mrs. Howe added that the teachers are very emotional right now and working harder than they’ve ever worked- all the messages they are getting are so helpful. Parent support is what is keeping them going thru the tough days!

Treasurer’s Report: Received an Amazon Smile check, membership dues are coming in by Paypal. Sending out teacher gifts via Amazon email gift cards. We are not in terrible shape financially, despite the lack of fundraising from last Spring, because our expenses are lower. However any creative fundraising ideas are welcome.

Agenda Items

All kids received their planners as a gift from the PTO this year, instead of parents being asked to purchase.

Mask Fundraiser: PTO is currently working with the Runaround to create Husky masks for students and parents to purchase. There will be an email next week about how to purchase online.

Elevation Burger: Take-out fundraiser on Wednesday, they are the only restaurant we are aware of who are currently offering fundraisers, we are looking for more.

Apparel Sale: Online sale coming soon.

Family Fun Night: The new Chairperson is exploring options for a virtual FFN. Perhaps breakout rooms with different activities, like scavenger hunts/minute to win it/drawing class/Tik Tok dances/Kahoot

Barnes and Noble Night: A virtual option is on the table, which would actually run 6 days. We would get 5% of proceeds rather than 15%. Will likely run the week before Thanksgiving. Need to find out how to purchase books for the library, and whether in person shopping is allowed. Also wondering about shipping. Another consideration is moving back the Book Fair to the Spring, so that 2 online book sales aren’t too close together.

Membership: Information was just emailed out, we are hoping for some dues payments via paypal but allowing for hardship exceptions.

PTO Website: Jen Evangelist is communicating with Commissioner Spiegelman, who covers the cost of hosting the site, about possibly changing to a different host, in order to update the site. Jane Hyers offered to assist  Jen with updating/redesigning.

Newsletter: Jane requested a list of chairpersons in order to request input. Howler will be sent via email this year, and again will have content from the school psychologist. Some suggestions for content were given, like teacher profiles, anonymous shoutouts, student highlights. Send suggestions or shoutouts to

Jamie Schenk has requested input on a possible fall fundraiser. She is willing to work with any catalog organization, if people have suggestions. Last year we used Yankee Candle.

A parent asked if we could have a movie night fundraiser at the field, but Dr. Etlen stated that the district is not issuing permits for school locations during this time.

Some parents would like to help with a school supply drive for our families in need, Dr. Etlen would like to consult with the district social worker about this. Natalie Black is willing to run a drive.

Mariella Hoffman inquired as to whether there are virtual volunteer opportunities for parents. Dr. Etlen appreciates the thought, but is not aware of any current possibilities. He will keep it in mind once things have settled in a bit more.

Virtual craft workshop/Winter shop? Beth Iula, Natalie Black both are willing to work on virtual options similar to what we did in the past. The Winter Shop company used previously is offering an online store. Natalie is brainstorming craft kits/youtube tutorials. Logistics are tough either way. Someone suggested talking to Mrs. Forrest about using Square Art. Email with any ideas or offers to assist.

**Please join us for our next meeting on October 19th at 630pm.