F.A. Day PTO Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021

 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

 

Opening: Jackie Mann, Principal

Agenda:

  • Introduction to Day Middle PTO Board

  • Introduction to PTO Committees and Leads

  • Initiatives and Priorities – Looking Back and Forward

  • Budget Overview

  • Volunteer Opportunities

 

Introductions to PTO Board

Cedar Pruitt, Co-president

Tramy Lao, Co-president

Amy Horsman, Treasurer

Julie McLaughlin, Secretary

 

PTO Committees and Chairs

  • SEPAC Liaison, Heather Gipson-Cosier – excited to help advocate for the special education dept and see if they can partner with all of the programs

  • Creative Arts & Sciences, Jacqueline Badeau – seeking a co-chair hopefully with a current 5th/6th grader so will have continuity when she transitions out

  • Families Organizing for Racial Justice (FORJ), Elana November (chair), Ayse Ayanoglu, Jackie Savage-Borne (liaisons) – invite everyone to join Oct. 7th meeting; plan to roll out activities and start a discussion group to look at the issues and educate ourselves; anyone is welcome to join FORJ committee in whatever capacity you’re available; will receive FORJ e-mail monthly; everyone is welcome to come to the monthly meetings; investigating possibility of having Urban Improv come to the school; discussing Black History Month programming. Email forj@faday@gmail.com for more info.

  • Safe Routes to School, Mike Halle/Kathryn Teissier du Cros – Safe Routes to School next Wednesday, Oct. 6

  • Social Media Management, Allison Kessler – moderates unofficial PTO Facebook page, manages some of the posts and makes sure questions are answered; ensures posts are relevant to the school

  • Parent Outreach, Connie Yarian/Camai Mazulla – described new program of trying to have a room parent for the different teams in the middle school; have gotten a lot of volunteers; waiting for further information; believe they have teacher buy-in  - waiting to get buy-in before sending room parent volunteers to seek info from the teachers; will be in touch shortly

  • Teacher Appreciation – looking for someone to lead an experienced team of enthusiastic volunteers

  • METCO Liaison – If you know anyone who might be interested or be a good fit, please ask them to be in contact and we can help them feel out the role and answer any questions

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Priorities for the Year

  • Teacher Appreciation

    • historically a lack of teacher appreciation at middle school level – parents often  check out after participating in elementary school and come back for high school

    • hoping to increase involvement, especially since Covid required separation

    • want to be creative in what can do for teachers without necessarily having access to the building

    • teacher coffees, snacks in the breakroom, events for teachers that are nicer and not “thrown together”

    • Heather Cosier: at last SEPAC meeting it was pointed out that at times (not at Day) special education dept teachers and paras haven’t always been included in these events; will make sure events appeal to all staff/full faculty, ex: luncheon prior to school starting included everyone including custodians and extra sandwiches were ordered to ensure support staff were included; Jackie Mann stated they have always included everyone in the building from teachers assistants to office staff over the years

  • Mini-Grant Program

    • Allot money for any teacher to be able to access funds for programs or mini projects they hope to do with the kids ex: atrium in the school – one teacher asked for a small grant to work with a group of students to plant flowers and clean up the space

    • Will promote more this year to ensure teachers know they shouldn’t avoid these activities due to a lack of funds

  • Activities for Students

    • Hope to provide opportunities for kids to socialize

    • Working on doing middle school dances again

      • Looking at doing 2 outdoor dances in October - one for 6th graders and one for 7th graders; more to come on this

  • Team Parent Program

    • 2 parents per team will be leads and communicate with the team teachers; will act as liaison to help send communication out to the team to connect with parents

  • Communication, Support, and Cushions

    • Communication: hope to support communication by sending a newsletter twice/month to keep everyone in the loop and reiterate dates of upcoming events

    • Support – supporting not just faculty, but students and parents as well

    • Cushions – kids are eating lunch outdoors this year – PTO has purchased cushions for each student to give an option when eating lunch and avoid sitting on the grass/dirt – cushions need to last for the entire year

  • Activities for Parents – Progressive dinner (mystery dinner), Parents Night Out, International Night

    • Will try to bring all of these events back to ensure not only students are having connection, but also the parents have the opportunity to support each other

 

PTO Initiatives to Date

  1. Switched banks and cancelled unnecessary systems

  2. Recruited volunteers

  3. Created all new registry from the ground up

  4. Held a “Families Connect” event in August

  5. Held a "Welcome Back Lunch" for Teachers and Staff in August

  6. Collected dues, sold spiritwear

  7. Organized the supply closet


PTO Budget

  • 314 families paid dues for the Fall Drive

  • Goal was $14,000 and already collected $17,700

  • Created a line item for FORJ this year – giving $3000 and FORJ also received a $2000 grant

  • Biggest spend is Creative Arts and Sciences - $6000 budget

  • Other large budget items: Mini-grants and Teacher Treats

  • Amy would be happy to provide more detail if anyone has questions


Volunteer Opportunities

  • Still need a Teacher Appreciation lead and Parent Events lead (Moms/Dads Night Out, etc.)

  • Volunteers to help out with potential dances on 10/15 and 10/29 on the Albermarle softball field

  • Safe Routes to School – Oct. 6 is Walk/Bike/Roll to School Day – need help publicizing

  • Team parents – esp Mint, Fire Cardinal

 

Questions?

  • Could we think about allocating money in the budget for SEPAC; Jackie said she supports 100%; opportunities for speakers; would also like to have a corner of the newsletter if possible; Jackie will loop in Mike Thurm to talk about programming for the school; please reach out if you have any other thoughts

  • Reference to UOD in elementary school and wondering if it continues to middle school; Jackie said while there isn’t a middle school UOD program, could potentially plan something during Advisory

  • Are there any plans for food truck fundraisers similar to elementary schools; challenging due to FA Day being close to 1000 kids; could possibly be done for teacher appreciation (maybe around the holidays); also a great way to support a small local business; could also be a parent night out event.

  • Other ideas: Parent Prom dance as a fundraiser; Weekend coffee or waffle trucks

  • Are there any options to shorten wait times for kids who were participating in the Test and Stay program due to Covid exposure?   One parent’s son waits 15 minutes every morning; Jackie explained that the CIC state agency contracted to do testing came a little later than planned, but hoping things start to run smoother; substitute teacher is supervising, but kids can also try to bring an independent reading book

  • Jackie mentioned that students were recently surveyed during their advisory period.  She also loves when students email her questions/recommendations and she usually follows up with the students individually.

Please email Fadaydragons@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like to volunteer; moderated by co-presidents; can ask anything – may not know the answers, but will try to figure it out together.