PTO General Meeting Minutes
Weston Middle School PTO
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.