PTO General Meeting Minutes
General Board Meeting
October 8th 2019
Call to order: A meeting of the WMS PTO General Board was help on October 8th 2019. WMS Britta Lerner standing for Tammy Roberts.
Minutes from General Meetings on May 7th and September 10th 2019:
Submitted and accepted.
No school Wed 10/9/19
No school Mon 10/15/19
Weston Founder’s Day 10/11/19
6th Grade Halloween Social Fri 10/25/19.
- BOE: Gina Albert.
- Workshop to discuss new school starting time. Decision by January. Stay informed and involved.
- In November there will be an information seminar about vaping.
- Second week of November meetings about security.
- Philanthropy: Monica Stromwall.
- 4 Digital cameras for 7th and 8th grade digital photography unit in Art curriculum.
Motion to approve up to $2000 (and ensure prices are competitive).
Motion to approve: Britta Lerner; Second: Sharon Ferraro.
- Newsela yearly subscription for all grades Social Studies and English curriculum.
Motion to approve $5,200 for one year.
Motion to approve: Jen Morse; Second: Sharon Ferraro.
- Steel cart on casters specially designed for the Art department printing press. Art curriculum includes printmaking units for 7th and 8th grades.
Motion to approve up to $800.
Motion to approve: Britta Lerner; Second: Gemma May
- Principal’s report: Dan Doak
- 6th grade Ice Cream Social was a success.
- Wing Man program to promote inclusivity kick off is October 17th. Founder will speak and might include his experience from Sandy Hook.
- DBT update: This is the next gen of emotional intelligence training in the district, focusing on 6-12th grades. WMS Students get it in health class focused on mindfulness and stress tolerance.
- As part of the Healthy Learning Environment goal, WMS is exploring the best use of PowerSchool to avoid unintended negative side effects.
- Veterans Day at the school is celebrated on November 11th before the town hall ceremony. We have food for veterans to come, teachers usually provide it. On average there are 12-15 veterans. PTO will support. Principal to provide details of what’s needed. Tammy to get volunteers with a signup genius.
- Re the Academic Excellence goal, WMS will liaise with WIS to ensure kids come up prepared in Math from 5th grade because last year’s 6th grade scores were lower than desired.
- 8th grade Builders Beyond Borders informational session was a success.
- WMS will do One School One Book.
- Climate survey district-wide coming up: all parents are encouraged to take it.
- Treasurers report:
Monthly Operating Report and Monthly Philanthropy Report September 30th 2019.
Motion to approve financials for September: Therese Zuch; Second: Sharon Ferraro.
- Fundraising: Sharon Ferraro and Carrie Shaffer.
- To build community we will move annual fundraiser offline and this year will move from Fall to Spring.
- Plea to parents to volunteer: Specifically looking for a Chair for the Flower Fundaiser.
- Thinking of additional fundraiser that will roll throughout a few months.
- Guest Speaker: SRO Officer Jason Kim
- Apps that are popular with kids: snapchat, tik tok,…
- Anything electronically leaves a footprint. They all use geofencing so you give up info that you don’t even know.
- UBER and Lyft need to be 18 to use it.
- License can’t be replicated very easily
- Card skimmers at the pump.
Meeting dismissed at 11:05am.
PTO General Meeting Minutes
Geneal Board Meeting
Call to order: A meeting of the General Membership to the Weston Middle School PTO was held on September 10th 2019. WMS PTO President Tammy Roberts presided and Gemma May served as secretary.
- Welcome from WMS PTO President: Tammy Roberts.
- Principal’s report: Dan Doak.
- Staff introductions:
- Two new nurses for the Middle School, librarian, new French teacher and new technician.
- 6th grade counselor couldn’t attend, but the other counselors introduced themselves: Jennifer Doyle (7th grade counselor) and Ande Ogden (8th grade counselor)
- Lisa Amore, Social Worker: kicking off the Wing Man event during assembly on September 17th.
- New social worker will cover when current goes on leave.
- Jason Kim, School Resource Officer (WMS SRO) introduced himself.
- Lead security officer for the district, Mr Hudak, introduced himself and discussed pick up/drop off safety.
- Assistant Principal, Dru Walters, introduced himself.
- Career day planned for May (date TBC)-plea for parents to spread the word about this event once date has been announced.
- Chrome Book distribution tomorrow.
- Explained the PTO-sponsored SOAR cards. One for each grade level get a gift certificate funded by the PTO.
- Responding to an enrollment question: 34 new students. WMS netted a gain, and above the projection for the WMS.
- Back to school night is on September 12th.
- Curriculum changes:
- Art department for 7th and 8th grade has added an additional trimester of art so new art teachers have been added. Science discovery and passion projects have moved to optionals to make room for more art.
- More enrichment is offered during the ELT 40 minutes.
- To welcome 6th graders and make them feel a community there will be an ice cream social on Saturday September 21st. Sign up through Weston Youth Services.
- Wing Man program kick off in October to support positive school climate and inclusivity. Current leaders are 7th and 8th graders. They will come up with monthly activities for all students. PTO funded this program.
- DBT Program (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) funded by the WEF (Weston Education Foundation) for training. Builds on Emotional Intelligence program.
- Update on activities is on the WMS website (eg robotics, hydrophonics garden, SGA…) and the teachers will make the announcements in class.
- Approval of minutes
Minutes from General Meeting on May 7th 2019 will be approved at the next Board meeting in October.
- Treasurer’s report: Jen Morse
Approval of End of Year Financials. Monthly operating report for the year ending July 31, 2019-July 31, 2019:
Motion to approve: Tammy Roberts
Seconded: Sharon Ferraro.
Approval of moving of $460 from Operating to Philanthropy account.
Motion to approve: Sam Leuzzi
Second: Gina Albert
Approval of proposed budget for the 2019-2020 Fiscal year:
Motion to approve: Monica Stromwall
Second: Sharon Ferraro.
- Philantrophy report: Monica Stromwall
$500 to Weston Education Foundation
Motion to approve: Gina Albert
Second: Sharon Ferraro
$3,000 to Principal’s Discretionary Fund
Motion to approve: Gemma May
Second: Jen Morse
- Fundraising report: Sharon Ferraro
- Fall fundraiser will move from online to a face to face event to build community.
- Balloon fundraiser. Rethinking approach given environmental push-back. Open to suggestions and ideas.
- Encourage everyone to register our Stop & Shop cards through the PTO site, and use the Amazon link in the PTO website.
- Vice President report: Christine Harris. Absent.
- Communications report: Kristen Rinaldi. Nothing to report.
- Grade Chair reports.
- Jennifer Bernheim: 6th grade chair.
- 6th grade Halloween social coming up (date tbc)
- Also would like to do something in the spring: open to ideas.
- Past President report: Britta Lerner
Will work on PTO nominations for next year.
Housekeeping reminders on upcoming dates from PTO President Tammy Roberts:
- Encouraged parents to get engaged with budget process. All BOEd meetings are publicized in their website and meetings can be live streamed.
- Reminded Deadline to join PTO September 25th to be mentioned in the directory.
- PTO Board members were introduced.
- Announced that the EMS department will come to present at the November PTO general meeting (“Stop the bleed”).
- 6th grade ice cream social is on September 21st.
Dr McKersie, Superintendent:
- Introduced himself.
- Highlighted the importance of the PTO and the Weston Education Foundation.
- Reminder of “What To Expect” where he reviews the vision and goals for the district.
- Highlighted the importance of also taking care of the emotional wellbeing of our students, as well as the academic excellence. The work with Yale on Emotional Intelligence support this.
- Discussed the challenges of changing the school time. It is still being considered carefully.
- Weston needs to be the beacon for kindness: Weston Kindness.
- Phase 2 feasibility study of the facilities. WMS is the one according to the study that needs most work. 65 million to get the whole campus up to speed or even more to reduce to 3 sites. Renovation is cheaper than new construction and going to 3 buildings would require new construction. The BOE will continue the process to evaluate this and are now being very explicit about listing the needs of the WMS building to get it up to what it should be.
- Question from attendee: When does a decision need to be made? Dr McKersie said that the decision point is in 4-5 years’ time.
- BOEd rep added: They are ready to bring this issue to the other boards and the town to get a sense of commitment.
- Question from attendee: What type of construction?. Dr McKersie responded that they are not there yet.
- Enrollment: We are declining only 1% a year. 31 fewer students less than last year net. Projections were of 5-6% decline.This is typical of most communities around us. Diversity is also increasing.
Dr. Craw, Asst. Superintendent:
- We will also be looking at our homework practices.