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Weston Middle School PTO

General Board Meeting

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


Call to Order: A General meeting of the Weston Middle School PTO was held on April 7, 2020.  President Tammy Roberts presided and served as Secretary.

Approval of Minutes:

  • A motion to approve the February 2020 minutes was made by Britta Lerner and seconded by Therese Zuch. Motion Approved

Principal’s Report: Dan Doak

  • Update on digital learning, grades, feedback.
  • School is digital until further notice.
  • Morning show is back up & running with staff.
  • End of year decisions will be discussed by admin in May.
  • Thanking Community.
  • Continuity in school programs like Wingman, Chorus, SGA, etc.

Reports of the Executive Committee:

President’s Report: Tammy Roberts

  • Start & Stop time discussions are deferred and will be picked back up in the Fall.
  • End of year decisions will be discussed in May.
  • Full swing of budget season, keep apprised by following the meetings and voicing your opinions.
  • Thoughts on Staff Appreciation (electronic) ideas.

Vice President’s Report/BOE Report: Sharon Murphy & Mona Sharma

  • BOE Meeting:  Retirement of Monika Edman, Resignations of Lewis Brey, Director of Human Resources and Dr. Craig Tunks, Director of Digital Learning & Technology.
  • Discussion about implementation of distance learning.  Teachers have done a phenomenal job rolling out distance learning.
  • Spring Break was changed from 4/10-4/17 to 4/9-4/13.
  • School Start Time postponed.
  • Budget discussion:  $328K in additional reductions to BOE budget (healthcare costs, central office admin, switching to open source software, not adding CILs at the elementary level).

Treasurer’s Report: Jennifer Morse

  • A motion to approve the February Operating and Philanthropy reports was made by Jennifer Morse and seconded by Sonya Stack.  Motion Approved
  • Click HERE for Operating report and HERE for philanthropy

Fundraising Report: Sharon Murphy

  • Annual Fundraiser is cancelled, due to circumstances.
  • Flocking is moving forward to begin on 4/20 and run through 5/15.
  • $25 for 10 flamingos, $50 for 40 flamingos, flocking insurance is free this year, due to circumstances.
  • End of the year fundraisers are still being worked on.

Philanthropy Report: Dan Doak & Tammy Roberts (via Monica Stromwall)

  • Nothing to report.

Communications: Kristen Rinaldi

  • Nothing to report.

6th Grade Chair: Jennifer Bernheim

  • Looking at possibilities for an online way for the 6th graders to connect, possibly looking into Tik-Tok

7th Grade Chair: Nicky Cappella (via Tammy Roberts)

  • Nothing to report.

8th Grade Chair: Kristen Rinaldi & Marlo Villepigue

  • Looking at possible 8th grade gifts, budget is $500 and comes out of the Philanthropy account
  • Also looking at gift ideas for the 8th graders, with the remaining balance in the Operating Account

Past President: Britta Lerner

  • 2020-2011 Slate Presented:



  • President:  Sharon Murphy
  • Vice President:  Mona Sharma
  • Secretary:  Jennifer Morse
  • Treasurer:  Tammy Roberts
  • Communications:  Amy Jansen
  • Philanthropy:  Open
  • Fundraising:  Open
  • 6th Grade Chair:  Michele Tivey
  • 7th Grade Chair: Jennifer Bernheim
  • 8th Grade Chair:  Monica Stromwall



  • Lost & Found:  Khayti Patel & Lisa Lewis
  • Directory & Membership:  Tammy Roberts
  • Staff Appreciation:  Tammy Roberts
  • School Supplies:  Tammy Roberts
  • Programs:  Open

Announcements: The next General Board meeting will be held on May 5, 2020.


Respectfully Submitted,

Tammy Roberts, President (for Gemma May, Secretary)

Weston Middle School PTO




General Board meeting Minutes



Approval of January 7th 2020 General Board Meeting minutes:

Motion to approve: Sharon Ferraro; Second: Gina Albert


President’s report: Tammy Roberts

Budget upcoming dates: Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance reviews.

Other upcoming dates:

Next General Board meeting: 3/3/2020

Long Range Planning meeting: 2/17/2020


Principal’s report: Dan Doak

Short Warf play was a success.

Robotics tournament just happened and the community really joined in.

Tomorrow is jazz night concert at the cafeteria at the WMS, the jazz bands play.

Kindness theme for the month continues, and advisory program is about kindness too. The upcoming author visit ties in with this as well.

6th grade will go to the Prospect Theatre at the end of January: film Hidden Figures.

8th grade: As part of the transition program, they went to the WHS on Jan 24th.

National Geographic Bee in January.

Results back in January from school survey. Big picture:

Staff participation was lower than expected.

Staff rated physical surrounding the lowest of their ratings; parents rated that positively.


Treasurer’s report: Jen Morse

Operating Budget Jan 31 2020:

Motion to approve: Therese Zuch; Second: Gina Albert


Fundraising report: Sharon Ferraro

Spring fundraiser is not at Saint Francis anymore, new date is may 9th at either Aspectuck or Emanuel.

Request for volunteers- meeting on Friday.

Request to donate items/services for auction and/or ideas.

Bookfair in May, same weekend as Art Jam.

Flamingo fundraiser also in May.


Philantrophy report: Monica Stromwall

Request for funding of author visit, Jerry Craft. Graphic novel “New Kid”.

Motion to approve: Sharon Ferraro; Second: Gina Albert


Nominating committee report: Britta Lerner

Britta Lerners (Chair), Therese Zuch, Gemma Francino-May and Marlo Villepigue.

Nominating committee approval:

Motion to approve: Sharon Ferraro; Second: Mona Sharma.


Grade Chairs reports:

8th grade Chairs are looking for ideas for 8th grade class gift.


Vice Presidents report: Sharon Murphy & Mona Sharma

BOE update: BOE just approved the budget. 2.89% increase.


Guest Speaker: Mica Desantis.

Talk based on book “You can heal your life”


WMS PTO General Board Meeting





  1. President’s report: Tammy Roberts
  • PTO Nominating Committee is forming: if anyone is interested in serving in the PTO next school year please nominate yourself or someone else.
  • Budget season is starting and ongoing, please engage in the process.
  • All Weston Schools PTO budget night: Jan 15th at the WHS auditorium. There will be a “Summer Camp Fair” as well as a Q&A with the principals. It will be recorded.
  • Next General Board meeting: February 4th 2020.
  1. Principal’s report: Dan Doak
  • Winter concert was a nice way to end the year.
  • In December we had a door decorating activity to improve school climate.
  • Wingman Advisory in December: team building activities
  • Toy Drive for Bridgeport school was a success-always looking for acts for students to give back.
  • Kids have done cards with artwork and donation goes to Australia wildfires.
  • 8th grade from last spring science test results: very pleased.
  • Budget season is now happening and is a public process: highlights
    • Not moving forward for enrichment next year as there’s been very little interest but increasing support in math to address math scores
    • Project challenge might be delivered by other staff members in order to maximise efficient use of teachers who are now part time on it.
    • Incoming 6th grade is significant smaller so budget adapts to it.


  1. Secretary: Gemma May

Approval of 11.19.2019 General Board meeting minutes.

Motion to approve: Sharon Ferraro; Second: Jennifer Bernheim.


  1. Treasurer’s report: Jen Morse

November 30th 2019 Operating Report.

Motion to approve: Therese Zuch; Second: Mona Sharma.

December 30th 2019 Operating Report.

Motion to approve: Sharon Ferraro; Second: Gemma May.


  1. Fundraising: Sharon Ferraro

Spring Fundraiser: April 4th with a Jazz Fest theme.


Other fundraisers coming up:

  • Graduation balloons
  • Another fundraiser is planned around May.


  1. Welcome to new Vice-Presidents: Sharon Murphy & Mona Sharma.


  1. Grade Chairs: 6th – Jennifer Bernheim, 7th – Nicky Capella, 8th – Marlo Villepigue & Kristen Rinaldi.


Planning on another 6th grade social.

8th grade Philadelphia trip coming up on Friday May 8th.


  1. Guest speaker: Michele Albright PhD.

“SEL for ourselves” (SEL=Social-Emotional Learning)


WMS PTO General Board Meeting




Approval of October 8th 2019 meeting minutes:

Motion to approve: Gemma Francino; Second: Therese Zuch.


Upcoming dates:

  • NO school Thanksgiving & Holidays.
  • Next general meeting Jan 7th.



  1. Treasurer’s report:

Operating report: No payment activity from operating account.

Motion to approve: Therese Zuch; Second: Monica Stromwall.


  1. Philanthropy report: Monica Stromwall.
  • Request of under $250 for playground balls and games approved at the Executive Board meeting.


  1. Fundraising report: Sharon Ferraro.
  • Spring fundraiser in the works.


  1. Communications report: Kristen Rinaldi.
  • If you are not getting PTO communications, please let us know.


  1. Grade Chairs:
  • 6th grade had a social in October.
  • 7th grade went to Sky Zone.
  • 8th grade at the end of the year coming up.


  1. Past President report: Britta Lerner.
  • Nominating committee will be up and running by January.


  1. Principal’s report: Dan Doak.


  • 6ht grade Natures’ classroom was a success.
  • 8th graders colonial day. PTO gave the seed money to start a few years ago and have supported it ever since.
  • Veterans day celebration was a success.
  • Thank you Britta Lerner for the front of the school beautification that changes by season.
  • High school principal and I, with Dr Mckersie, discussing Powerschool impact on emotional wellness. Considering pilot to shut it down during the week.
  • Exploring an author visit and will request the PTO funds for One School One Book.


  1. Superintendent’s report: Dr McKersie.

We’ll be sending out notices for the budget workshops and presentations in January.

There will be a number of opportunities for parents to ask questions and comments.

Meetings will be moved to 7pm, from 7:30pm, to give everyone the opportunity to attend.

Budget season will come in January: encourage everyone to come to meetings or watch on TV.


  1. Guest Speakers: EMT Michelle Halpin & 4 members of the Weston Volunteer Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team.



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.


Upcoming dates:

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.




  1. 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.


  1. Philanthropy: Monica Stromwall.
  1. 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.

Motion approved.


  1. 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.

Motion approved.


  1. 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

Motion approved.


  1. 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.


  1. Treasurers report:

Monthly Operating Report and Monthly Philanthropy Report September 30th 2019.

Motion to approve financials for September: Therese Zuch; Second: Sharon Ferraro.

Motion approved.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Welcome from WMS PTO President: Tammy Roberts.
  2. 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.
  1. Approval of minutes

Minutes from General Meeting on May 7th 2019 will be approved at the next Board meeting in October.

  1. 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.

Motion approved.

Approval of moving of $460 from Operating to Philanthropy account.

Motion to approve: Sam Leuzzi

Second: Gina Albert

Motion approved.

Approval of proposed budget for the 2019-2020 Fiscal year:

Motion to approve: Monica Stromwall

Second: Sharon Ferraro.

Motion approved.

  1. Philantrophy report: Monica Stromwall

$500 to Weston Education Foundation

Motion to approve: Gina Albert

Second: Sharon Ferraro

Motion approved

$3,000 to Principal’s Discretionary Fund

Motion to approve: Gemma May

Second: Jen Morse

Motion approved

  1. 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.
  1. Vice President report: Christine Harris.  Absent.
  2. Communications report: Kristen Rinaldi. Nothing to report.
  3. 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.
  1. 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.

Guest Speakers:

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.