PTO Meeting Agenda – Dec. 5, 2018

  1. Introductions – All
  2. November Minutes Approval
  3. School Updates (Mrs. Donato)
  4. Financial & Budget Update
    1. Overall Budget Numbers (Carolyn Schneyer & Stacey Ihnat)
    2. Community Cards (Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis)
  5. Enrichment Update (Tonja Bishop & Sophie Delano)
  6. Thompson Book Bags (Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley)
  7. Community Outreach Update (Melissa Crowley)
  8. Volunteering and Give Back Time (Judy Hu)
  9. Thompson Drama Project (Tonja Bishop)
  10. Upcoming Events
    1. Winter Party: January 26th, 2019 confirmed
    2. Game Night (March)
    3. International Festival (March)
    4. PTO-sponsored EATS Community Meal
    5. Morning PTO Eveents – AHS Rebuild Committee: Dec. 7
  11. Events Debrief
    1. Otto Pizza (Christy Murphy-Macinta)
  12. Other Updates & Announcements
    1. 5th Grade Graduation (Ashley Lorenz)

PTO Meeting Agenda – Nov. 14, 2018

  1. Introductions – All
  2. October Minutes Approval
  3. School Updates (Mrs. Donato)
  4. Thompson Diversity and Inclusion Group (Judith Schaechter)
  5. Financial & Budget Update
    1. Overall Numbers & Teacher Reimbursements (Carolyn Schneyer & Stacey Ihnat)
    2. Direct Donation Drive (Juliet Moir & Yael Beals)
    3. Thompson Bags (Judy Hu and Melissa Crowley)
    4. Maxima (Nandana Mewada)
    5. Proposal by Zhen Ren Chuan Martial Arts Center (Nandana Mewada)
  6. Enrichment Update (Tonja Bishop & Sophie Delano)
  7. Community Outreach: Update from conversation with teachers (Melissa Crowley)
  8. Upcoming Events
    1. Book Fair: Dec 10th – 14th (Sarah Gupta & Debbie Richer)
    2. Literacy Night: Dec 11th (Sri Thumati)
  9. Events Debrief
    1. Movie Night (Fiona Ehring)
    2. Picture Day (Christy Murphy-Macinta)
    3. Election Day Bake Sale (Christy Murphy-Macinta, Melissa Crowley, Nandana Mewada)
  10. Other Updates & Announcements
    1. Funding for a classroom rug (Fiona Ehring)
    2. Holiday Drive (Nandana Mewada)
    3. Parent Winter Party (Jan/Feb)
    4. December PTO Meeting date change (Nandana Mewada)
    5. Morning PTO Meeting with AHS Building Committee Members

PTO Meeting Agenda – Oct. 10, 2018

  1. Introductions – All
  2. September Minutes Approval
  3. School Updates (Mrs. Donato)
  4. Budget Review and Approval (Carolyn Schneyer & Stacey Ihnat)
  5. AHS Building Committee (Tobey Jackson)
  6. Thompson Tree Committee (Phil Tedesco)
  7. Give Back Time (Yael Beals)
  8. Fundraising
    1. Direct Donation Drive (Juliet Moir & Yael Beals)
    2. Arlington Community Card (Ashley Lorenz)
  9. Enrichment Update (Tonja Bishop & Sophie Delano)
  10. Room Parent Update (Christy Murphy Macinta)
  11. Events Debrief
    1. Staff Welcome Back Breakfast and Custodial Day (Judy Hu and Melissa Crowley)
    2. Walk/Bike to School Day (Tonja Bishop)
  12. Upcoming Events
    1. Movie Night (Oct 12th)
    2. Election Day Bake Sale (November)
    3. Otto’s Fundraising (November)
    4. Literacy Night & Book Fair (December)
    5. Holiday Drive (December)
    6. Parent Winter Party (Jan/Feb)
  13. Other Updates & Announcements

PTO Meeting Minutes – Sept. 11, 2018

Principal : Karen Donato


PTO Board:    

Co-presidents: Nandana Mewada

Vice-President: Christy Murphy-Macinta

Co-treasurers: Stacey Ihnat & Carolyn Schneyer

Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring

Fundraising: Juliet Moir

Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis

Enrichment:  Tonja Bishop

Communications:  Danielle Gottesman & Lani Obermeyer

Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu

Room Parents:



Thompson Community: Nandana Mewada, Sara Wilkinson, Fiona Ehring, Christy Murphy-Macinta, Ashley Lorenz, Kate Murphy, Judy Hu, Maf Terry, Juliet Moir, Gaggi DeStefanis, Lani Obermayer,  Danielle Gottesman


  1. Introductions – All
  2. Board Election- Approved All
  3. School Updates: Mrs. Donato
  • 25 New students, 510 total
  • Social and emotional work by staff over the Summer. Expectation setting. Monthly focus with learning materials, books. September focus is manners.
  • Reached out to families in need for financial aid (science camp)
  • Lions Club and other Community Partners donated school supplies; headphones, backpacks etc..
  • Calming Corners in each classroom,
  • Pineapple theme for the year.
  1. PTO Presentation: Nandana Mewada, Tonja Bowen Bishop, Carolyn Schneyer, Ashley Lorenz, Juliet Moir
  • Tonja Bowen Bishop Enrichment Chair
  1. Enrichment- over 30 events each year
  2. Fundraising
  3. Community & Other Events
  • Carolyn Schneyer & Stacey Ihnat co-treasurer
  1. Use tax id #46-5690446 to take advantage of tax exempt status.
  2. Contact for reimbursement, forms are avaiilable online
  3. Budget will be presented next month 10/10
  4. Money for the current school year comes from fundraising the year before
  • Ashley Lorenz
  1. Looking for new ideas for sales opportunities, e.g. approaching realtors to sell within their office or have them buy a bunch to give to new clients
  2. Family Sales starts on Curriculum Night, 9/17, e.g. sports events. Sign out card packs that night
  • Juliet Moir
  1. Direct donation accounts for a large percentage of funding.
  2. Companies may match employee donations
  3. Runs in October
  4. 275 Families goal
  • Christy Murphy
  1. Room parents needed for each clcassroom
  2. New this year, “room” parents for specialists.
  • Yael Beals – volunteer chair
  • Danielle Gottesman & Lani Obermeyer co- chairs Communication
  1. Website and Newsletter
  2. Photos from events can be sent to the newsletter email
  3. Thompson website and PTO website still under development but functional.
  4. Feedback is welcome regarding social media and websites
  5. Facebook is main social media hub
  6. Parents can sign up to get the PTO newsletter on the PTO website.


  1. Fall Events
    1. Town Day (Sept 15th): Ashley Lorenz (see fundraising above)
    2. Curriculum Night (Sept 17th): Mrs. Donato
  • Gr. 3-5 early this year
  • Specialist presentation/ meet and greet in-between grade level presentations
    1. Walk-Bike to School (Oct 10th): Need co-chair with Tonja Bishop
    2. Movie Night (Oct 12th):  Need a co-chair
  • Movie will be outdoors
  • Rent a screen
  • Detail?


  1. Winter Events
    1. Literacy Night & Book Fair (December) Need a co-chair
    2. Holiday Drive (December)
    3. Parent Winter Party (Jan/Feb) Need co-chairs
    4. Game Night (Feb)
    5. International Festival (March)
  2. Financial Assistance Communication:  Nandana Mewada
  1. Forms for financial assistance will go out in backpacks next week.
  2. Financial Assistance is available for spirit wear, book fair, science camp, etc.


  1. Morning Meetings:  Nandana Mewada
  1. Great for parents who may not be able to make an evening meeting.
  2. This may be a good opportunity for specialists to speak.


  1. Arlington Education Foundation (AEF):  Danielle Gottesman
  1. Raise money throughout the school year for grants to be given to schools.
  2. Ex. snowshoes & Arlington Eats pottery program (Thompson), Climbing wall (Bracket), Drone coding (Ottoson)
  3. Parents can partner with an educator and apply for a grant.


  1. Other Updates & Announcements
  1. Request for ideas before the budget is finalized so that it can be approved and become a line item.
  2. Jean Faucher reported that the Friends of North Union Park group needs volunteers throughout the year to water and care for trees around the park and school


PTO Meeting Agenda – Sept. 11, 2018

  1. Introductions – All
  2. Board Election
  3. School Updates: Mrs. Donato
  4. PTO Presentation: Nandana Mewada, Tonja Bowen Bishop, Carolyn Schneyer, Ashley Lorenz, Juliet Moir
  5. Fall Events Events
    1. Town Day (Sept 15th): Ashley Lorenz
    2. Curriculum Night (Sept 17th): Mrs. Donato
    3. Walk-Bike to School (Oct 10th): Need co-chairs
    4. Movie Night (Oct 12th):  Need a co-chair
  6. Winter Events
    1. Literacy Night & Book Fair (December)
    2. Holiday Drive (December)
    3. Parent Winter Party (Jan/Feb)
    4. International Festival (March)
  7. Financial Assistance Communication:  Nandana Mewada
  8. Morning Meetings:  Nandana Mewada
  9. Arlington Education Foundation (AEF):  Danielle Gottesman
  10. Other Updates & Announcements

PTO Meeting Minutes – Feb. 14, 2018

Introductions – All

Minutes were approved

Family Folk Chorale: Elizabeth Rocco proposal

Family Folk Chorale has 75 members, their mission is to learn songs and sing with children/community. They have community sings at Kickstand Café and invite the public. Elizabeth wrote a grant in the fall for funds for teaching, singing together, and building community. She had MLK day in mind, was too late. She is interested in ideas from the Thompson community on how the FFC can do a community sing here. The Folk Chorale is trying to develop relationships. Some ideas – director teach everyone same song, have a picnic, everyone sings together. We could do this at end of year picnic. It would be fun idea like Ms. Brayfield used to teach everyone dance – build comradery. Parents could learn songs as well. Another idea was to do it at beginning of field day? Music class doesn’t allow time teach outside the curriculum. Could this be an idea for the international festival for next year? Songs from around the world etc. It was asked if the chorale could come sing at school during the day – yes, but school and work restraints. Another idea is to a dress rehearsal at Thompson or with Arlington Eats? 3rd option, director come in and do a sing-a-long at a community event. 5th grade worked with Ms. Havelin last year and did surprise sing at graduation, “Hey Jude,” parents joined in. Maybe start with 5th grade, more manageable? Please share any ideas you have with Elizabeth.

Financial Updates: Sara Wilkinson

  • We are under budget; revenue this year was exceptional with direct drive, around $30,000. Lots of families work for companies that match donations.
  • Kids wrote really nice thank you notes that got sent to people who paid on paypal and didn’t get a receipt. This would be nice to do for everyone. It would be nice to put one of the notes on social media.
  • Book fair earned $2,100. School pictures $1,500.
  • Helena’s earned $95, there was a conflict with Ottoson concert, women’s shelter fundraiser there a week before. Would it be a good idea to move to near Mother’s Day?
  • Amazon so far is $400, but does not include December yet.
  • We are still looking for someone to take over managing the Amazon marketing.
  • There was an idea to post a kid on social medial explaining Amazon, how to use etc.
  • On Facebook you can pay to boost a post. Shows up on friend’s feeds, gets the word out for events, community cards etc. Community outreach, Danielle and others using the boost, please let the treasurers know, they are trying to figuring out how to budget for this.

Enrichment Updates: Tonya

  • Need to pay for buses for some field trips, town buses were already book. PTO has room in the budget.
  • 3/2 Author visit – Jessica Garret “Oh, Ick” – science theme
    Karen asked for programs on Kindness, empathy, anti-bullying, and also community service
  • Nora Buly – author, appreciating differences, storytelling K-2
  • Improve Boston 3-5 anti-bullying
  • Think, give program – teacher driven, pushed to do something nice, up to you what you do.
  • PTO do a community service day – something to think about for next year. 5th grade did this last year, Gaggi, organized. Kids came up with ideas and they voted on. 5th graders made birthday cards for kids in a shelter. Were encouraged to do more.
  • Encourage Thompson to make a relationship with an organization for community service. Ideas discussed included Birthday Wishes – throws birthday parties for children in shelters. Kids understand/relate. Singing at the nursing homes. Food link has 4th and 5th graders do sorting. Animal shelters look for old blankets, no sew blankets etc.
  • Green team sometimes does Thompson trash pick up – grabbers are in the PTO room.
  • 3rd grade Colonial day – 3 days, each day a different topic, colonialist, slavery, Native American. Royal House will come and do a program. Tiffany to coordinate with teachers and room parents.


Winter Party – Ashley & Gaggi

  • Bigger team next year 4-5 people.
  • What is realistic to budget? Do every other year? It is a lot of work. Little money, no rules at ACC to more money and rules at Town Hall. Planning began in October, driven by Gaggi and Ashely.
  • Turnout was around 130. Crowd felt bigger than last year. We lowered the ticket price to try to get more people to come, charged for drinks.
  • We will have a budgeting conversation at the next board meeting on the party
  • Online survey will be sent to parents with targeted questions.
  • There were 11 sponsored tickets purchased, 2 claimed.
  • Spent $3,200, profit of $1,386
  • Should we consider having an off year or having smaller event in the “underground” at the Regent – only 100 tickets/capacity?
  • Kuddos to Jodie for her help, donated time.
  • It was a success!

Community Card Fall Sales – Ashley & Gaggi

  • Starting to think of contracts for next year. Who will resign? If there is room on the card, closed business, look for new businesses.
  • Looking for someone to shadow Gaggi and Ashely and take over eventually. Put a note in the newsletter calling for someone interested. Someone interested in talking to businesses, building relationships.
    March 8 informational meeting in the morning.
  • Put up a poster before the science explo.
  • Sold around 1,600 cards and ordered 2,000. It has been our best year.

Spirit Wear – Judy

  • 414 items sold – $1,324 profit
  • there are extra t shirts ordered by the pto for those who couldn’t afford it, 12 extra – wait and see if people respond to hand out
  • Should we put in newsletter that are available for sale?
  • Or give t shirt to new families who move to Thompson in the middle of the year? Goes with community card? Or give car magnet?
  • Idea of doing every other year

Sponsored funds

  • We need to think about keeping track of sponsorship funds, have a sponsorship pool
  • Spirit wear, 9 extra tickets from parents’ party etc.
  • Extra money from spirit wear went to sponsoring books at book fair.
  • Message to parents on how PTO spends funds. A blurb in weekly email about March events sponsored by PTO. Do every couple of months? Not being asked to pay for fieldtrips, enrichment. Teachers blog, tweet about events.
  • Idea that we should keep movie night free, don’t charge admission, just popcorn pizza. Idea of having an outdoor movie night.

Sarah Burd Guest Speaker – Nandana

  • Gave a talk on social and emotional learning at the last meeting. She would love to hear from parents.

PTO Sponsoring an Arlington EATS Community Meal – Nandana

  • We raised $150 from the community, PTO matched contributions for a total of $300.
  • 82 meals served
  • Other schools want to do something similar
  • For next year the idea is for a PTO sponsored meal around October and another later in the year. Keep a line item for this going forward.
  • Idea of kids doing a change drive, having older kids help at EATS meal.

Teacher Survey & Teacher Help Program – Nandana

  • Survey was sent to teachers asking how they spend stipend, enrichment feedback, identify 3-5 items needed in the classroom
  • PTO will do a drive for teachers for new supplies, teachers help program, similar to holiday help.
  • Will this be part of spirit and appreciation?

Volunteer Needs – Kate

  • PTO parent handbook coordinator (digital copy), community card, teacher wish list coordinator, game night, science explo. Put out on Facebook and twitter after the break.


Ice Skating Party April (yes or no?)

  • Do we want to do it this year? Budget about $600, Rink charges $400. We sell pizza. Not a big turn out last year, it was Good Friday. Year before, better turn out. They give us one date.

Not Your Average Joe’s (yes or no?)

  • Who wants to lead?
  • We need to advertise to public to mention “Thompson PTO” at night. We raised $300-$400 last year. Tuesdays of a month (June) people mention Thompson, PTO gets 10%, can also use community card 10% discount.
  • Advertise to do a graduation night dinner- meet friends there?
  • Maybe Christy would be interested in running? Ashely will call about availability.

End of the Year Picnic

  • Who wants to lead? Sarah Gupta stepping down, Danielle doesn’t want to have the lead.
  • Proposal to add a program (Knucklebones)
  • Advertise after explo. Try to get one person from each grade. Hard to schedule that many people to meet?

Upcoming Events (BREAKOUT GROUPS)

Game Night: March 2nd, Diana Trudell & Shauna Pellauer

  • We are currently collecting used games – donation bin in lobby.
  • Rooms? We need the cafeteria and gym, do we want to use the multipurpose room?
  • There will be baked goods and hot coco for sale.

Spring concert morning of Friday, March 16

Science EXPLO!: March 17th, Yael Beals & Chris Pacheco

  • There are still a lot of volunteer spots that need to be filled.
  • We have been getting donations from MIT museum, Science museum for baskets.
  • Catered food, but no dessert. Thinking of having a bake sale.
  • Science week, science facts on morning announcements, “Oh Ick” author coming in, talk to teachers about parents coming in to do science experiments?
  • Add “Saturday” to Science explo announcements
  • Huge push for volunteers after break

Upcoming PTO meetings- Wednesday, March 14th from 7 to 9 pm, Thompson Library.

  • Guest: Kirsi Allison Ampe , School Committee Budget Presentation

PTO Meeting Minutes – Jan. 10, 2018


Karen Donato

Teacher’s Rep


PTO Board

Co-presidents: Diana Trudell & Nandana Mewada
Vice-President: Yael Beals
Co-treasurers: Sara Wilkinson & Carolyn Schneyer
Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring
Fundraising: Juliet Moir
Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis
Enrichment: Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop
Communications: Danielle Gottesman
Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley
Room Parents: Sarah Gupta
Volunteers: Kate Murphy

Thompson Community

Diana Trudell, Carolyn Schneyer

Introductions – All

Minutes approval – All

School updates: Principal – Ms. Donato

  • Moved into new space, some things remain to be done
  • Kids and teachers feeling good in their new classrooms
  • Working on pest (mice) issues on main floor
  • Dealing with snow/ice, parking issues
    • A concern was raised that no path was cleared from the Everett St. park entrance to the pineapple entrance.
    • Another concern, should we have indoor arrival in cases of excess snow? Also, how to communicate indoor arrival to parents. What are the criteria for indoor arrival?
  • School budget discussions, presentation to School Committee tomorrow (1/11)
    • Special request for an additional social worker to be in place before need becomes critical. This request will be prioritized over a request for another fourth grade teacher.
    • Adding full-time Kindergarten assistants.
  • Sarah Burd Guest Speaker- NANDANA
    • Sara Burd will speak in the multi-purpose room on 12/31/18 at 7:00pm- topics will include social and emotional direction for the school district.
  • PTO Sponsoring an Arlington EATS Community Meal (2/8)- DIANA
    • PTO presence to better get to know members of our in need population.
    • Recommend sponsoring a meal, $750 donation
      • Volunteers
      • Set-up
      • Serving
      • Eating
      • Clean-up
    • Usually serve 80-100 people
    • 2nd Thursday of each month
    • Half of the attendees are part of the Thompson community
    • Volunteers are encouraged to share in the meal (if desired, a donation may be made to defray the cost of the meal)
    • Send out a flyer/email asking for volunteers to sponsor the event and contributions
    • Decision made to go forward with this
  • Twinkie- SARA W.
    • Mrs. Foley’s 3rd grade class is requesting reimbursement for a vet bill to check out a tumor.
    • Decision made to go forward with this
    • Note: This is not a regular thing, don’t want to set a precedent.
  • School Council election (March- April for 2018-2019)
    • Regular meetings are not occuring because of scheduling issues. Morning meetings are not possible for some members.
    • Usual focus is advocating for building renovation/ improvement. There have not been any big issues to discuss so far this year.
    • Need new elections for new reps. PTO should handle the election process. (Look into how it was done in the past)
    • The council should also have a community rep.
      School council vets school improvement plans

      • School improvement plan is based on a district plan,
      • set goals in different areas and how to accomplish those goals
    • Enrichment
  • Grants- MEGHAN
    • YEAH!!! We got a grant! $595 4th Grade MFA field trip from the MA Cultural Council. Include mention of this in the newsletter.
    • Working on Bruins Foundation Grant to promote physical activity
      • Fit Girls
      • Yoga
    • It would be helpful to meet early in the year to make plans regarding grants
    • S.T.E.M. Grant 2.5K
      • Rolling quarterly applications
    • Need some ideas
  • Photos- If identifiable, need to check with the office before publishing
  • Enrichment 2018- MAF AND TONJA
    • Norah Dooley for K-2 storytelling, with focus on diversity/ tolerance. Including workshops for the 2nd grade
    • Improv Boston Anti-bullying program for grades 3-5
    • Kidstock for Kindergarteners
    • 1st grade weather program
    • Check on 3-D printing in the past
  • Communications: DANIELLE & RICH
    • Newsletter-
      • tweaking format for email version
      • Paper version monthly
      • emails go out via Mailchimp which collects data regarding how often the email is opened, read and or clicked through.
      • Last Winter the numbers were at about ⅓ opened, trended down after a while.
      • After email is sent, the newsletter is posted to the Thompson website, used to be auto fed to Twitter and Facebook. Due to parental protest regarding personal info being too public, it is now only on the website.
      • Revisit in one year, suggestions for changes/ improvements to the newsletter at that time.
        • Is Monday AM the best time to send it out?
        • Deadline for content is Thursday, editing and compiling typically happens over the weekend.
        • Possible to experiment with timing and get feedback via Mailchimp. Effort vs. reward?
        • Should use a consistent style for the newsletter, makes it easier to input content
          • This can be tabled for a smaller group discussion.
        • Link to newsletter should be tweeted/ posted on Facebook
        • PTO Google calendar is great!
    • Website
      • On WordPress platform
      • Goals
        • Keep costs down (now hosted on Amazon, free)
        • Secure: https
        • Simple and clean for easy maintenance
      • How to use it
        • Resource for incoming Kindergarten parents
        • Mirrors info in newsletter *need to update content- please take a look and give feedback on what needs to be done
      • Shopping cart tool- now using paypal (better option?)
      • Work on optimizing for mobile as well as computer. Multiple platforms make this a significant undertaking.
      • Decision that optimizing for mobile is a high priority.
  • Debrief:
    • Community Card Fall Sales- ASHLEY, GAGGI
      • Total sold is approx. 1600 out of 2000 printed (some were given away to new families)
      • 61% Town Day, 13% Family sales, 20% Book Rack, Other +/- 16% (School events, farmers market, etc.)
      • Spirit Wear- JUDY, MELISSA
        • Everything distributed, but still many to give away. (esp.Magnets)
        • For Next Time; possibly make smaller sizes available
        • Next Spirit Wear sale in 2 years, (same time frame as previous sale)
      • Holiday Help- DIANA
        • 2 families with 7 kids
        • Next year, possible request for gift cards for new families
      • Book Fair- DIANA
        • $2200 commission, $100 GF Book Rack, Ms Mak’s & Reading specialists list fulfilled. $1088 Sponsorship collected ($742 Spiritwear, $286 Book fair – covering 40 kids) $60.34 remaining.
      • Helena’s- DIANA – Very low attendance, consider doing it less frequently or at a different time of year. (Ie. just before Winter Party)
  • Winter Parent’s Party 1/27 Gaggi DeStefanis & Ashley Lorenz
    • Need volunteers for set-up/clean-up
    • Invites for teachers this week
    • Flyers next week
      • Paypal
      • cash/check
      • Sponsorship option
    • Room parent email next week
    • Email graphics via Karen
    • Reach out to alumni parents
    • Advertise via Arlington Family Connection and Arlington Parents List, Invite future Thompson parents
  • Game Night 3/2 Diana Trudell & Shauna Pellauer
    • Seeking volunteers
  • Science Explo. 3/17 Yael Beals & Chris Pacheco
    • Send email via room parents
    • Set up meeting for those interested in helping
  • Upcoming PTO meetings- Wednesday, February 14 from 7 to 9 pm, Thompson Library.

PTO Meeting Minutes – Nov. 27, 2017


  • Winter Party Proposal Update
    Price based on choice of caterer and venue. Budget to be clarified by next meeting.
  • Science Explo Date will be 3/17
    Food, donations from families or vendors? Check with Arlington eats regarding current regulations.
  • December Meeting will be 12/15 @ 8:15am
  • Calendar
    Game Night 3/2/18


Spending Guidelines

  • Examples: laminator, Ms. Foley’s proposal
  • As the PTO grows, how are spending guidelines to be created?
  • AEF process as an example, broad approach
  • Create a proposal form,
  • Possible criteria;
  • Ties to curriculum
  • Innovative
  • Not politically motivated
  • Supporting families in need
  • Must apply to at least one grade
  • Promotes learning ( ie. wobble seats)
  • Enrichment guidelines
  • ? how do you think this meets the needs of the Thompson community?
  • Analysis, Working backwards to evaluate. Send feedback forms to Teacher (and Parent volunteers?) for field trips and enrichment activities
  • Other ideas: Create a line item in the annual budget with a set allocation.
  • If the teacher stipend were increased ($250?) would this minmize requests?
  • Create a wishlist for specific classroom items.
  • Verify that the requested item is not covered by the school/ town budget.
  • Teacher feedback, online survey.
  • Fund mini grants in the spring of 2018.
  • Voting protocol

Cyber attacks

  • PSA @ the beginning of each school year to promote awareness.
  • Are there easy protective measures that could be put in place? Check in with Hardy PTO

School Council

  • PTO runs the school council election. There is a conflict of scheduling and the members have not been able to meet, are reelections nesc? Do the members want to continue? Two members have children who will be graduating so changeover will happen next year anyway. Would a council parent like to
    attend the next PTO meeting?

Status of our In need community

  • : Discussion; Mtg with Ms. Donato, guidelines, Spirit Wear. What else can we do to make it more efficient?
  • Extra money for shirts, where is it used? Books? Surplus items to be sold, given away, added to raffle baskets? Book vouchers @ the book fair or from a list?
  • Communicate to event chairs that need in the moment will be answered with a yes.


  • Nandana & Maf: Big Picture framework: How do we decide this program over another? So we do any activity teachers suggest or do we have a say? Continue designing the protocol: feedback form (Jessica), end of the year discussion with teachers, proposal for any new programs.
  • How to make the process streamlined.
  • In the future, teacher surveys after events. What works one year may not work the next.
  • As grades gain or change teachers how can enrichment events be communicated between teachers.
  • Can we have a repository of information, times to schedule, contact numbers etc.
  • How to incorporate 3D printer into an enrichment curriculum? Science Explo?


Following up with thank yous and newsletter posts

Spirit & Appreciations

  • Spirit Wear Wrap up- How to handle the surplus?
    Extra money for shirts, where is it used? Books? Surplus items to be sold, given away, added to raffle baskets?
  • How is approval handled? Easiest way to communicate? CC Karen with a request to respond, place a notice in the teachers room.
  • Spirit days
    Pineapple day? (Wait for spirit wear to be in.)
    Community meeting “Wear a Crown”
    Staff appreciation days each year?
    Each grade could write thank you notes to specific members of staff. Cafeteria workers, nurse etc.

PTO Meeting Minutes – Nov. 8, 2017

Principal : Karen Donato

Teacher’s Rep : Siobhan Foley

PTO Board

Co-presidents: Diana Trudell & Nandana Mewada

Vice-President: Yael Beals

Co-treasurers: Sara Wilkinson & Carolyn Schneyer

Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring

Fundraising: Juliet Moir

Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis

Enrichment: Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop

Communications: Danielle Gottesman

Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley

Room Parents: Sarah Gupta

Volunteers: Kate Murphy

Thompson Community

Diana Trudell, Nandana Mewada, Sara Wilkinson, Fiona Ehring, Christy Murphy-Macinta, Ashley Lorenz, Melissa Crowley, Kate Murphy, Judy Hu, Maf Terry, Juliet Moir, Gaggi DeStefanis, Sonia Valada, Lani Obermayer, Sarah Gupta


Guest Speaker – Lori Pescatore (AYCC) Arlington Youth Counseling Center, representing the Board of Youth Services

  • Helped create Holiday Help and Thanksgiving Basket programs in schools also Last Blast, Town Day
  • They provide child and adolescent health services in Arlington both in schools and at the Whittemore-Robbins House in Arlington Center
  • Yearly Gala is a fundraiser
  • Donations always welcome through the town website


Minutes approval – All

School Updates

  • Construction update – Opening Mon Nov 20, Volunteers needed to monitor kids and also move smaller items. Kate Murphy is creating a sign-up genius. 9-11 Third grade classrooms and one first grade (Caplan)

Ms. Foley speaking about the new Anti Bias and Cultural Competency initiative to be piloted.

  • Visions Co. to do teacher training made possible through an AEF grant to support Safe and Supportive Schools. Teachers and staff will be trained in anti-bias. Ms. Foley was also trained by Ed co.
  • Classroom libraries, reading groups, Bill Shea library, to include more diverse representations of culture and color.
  • How to increase number of books.
  • Possible PTO grant.
    • Wish Lists for Lit Week?
    • Lists, Shri Thumati working with Thompson Librarian; Look at Library and analyze needs.
    • Book rack to include more type books during book fair
    • How else to contribute?
    • Teachers look at enrichment activity to go along with this initiative. Ms Foley to look for Elem. Curriculum with this idea.
    • Preview possible? Volunteers to go to Public lib. and borrow books to preview. List from teachers of books they know they want. Ms. foley to Survey teachers and consolidate list. By end of next week.

Fundraising Update

  • Wrap up of Direct Donation- Juliet Moir
  • goal of 250 met, with 276 families participating for a total of $28,046 not including corporate match or monthly recurring donations.
  • Work to include corporate matching donation information and possibility to request a receipt with TIN # to submit.
  • If a receipt is needed Sara can help with that. Email to parents.
  • Idea sharing with Hardy. Incentives?
  • Guidelines of what the amount would pay for.
  • Add QR code to initial request sheet.
  • Needs; someone to follow up with matching donations
  • Thank you notes for all? Ms. O’Mahoney willing to have students write notes.
  • Fun run fundraising event possible? To be discussed at some point. Possibly for next year.

Holiday Programs

  • Spirit Wear- Judy Hu and Melissa Crowley, as of today 115 items ordered. One third of items purchased. $468 in sponsored. Extension until the end of next week (17th) Email through room parents with PDF order form attached.
  • Community Card- Ashley Lorenz, Gaggi Destefanis- All cards are signed out. 120 of 300 remaining sold. Last hundred will go to book rack. 32 sold at curriculum night. Menotomy 19 sold 20 more given out.
  • Facebook instagram and twitter?
  • Otto Fundraising night Monday Nov 13 5-9pm 8% of pizza sales to go to Thompson. Volunteers needed to stay at Otto sign up genius. Include a plug in room parent email.
  • Helena’s Fundraising Night – Dec 13 7-9pm mention Thompson for percentage.
  • Amazon – Need someone to monitor Amazon Associates. 5-10% FAQ to send out.

Enrichment Update – Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop

  • New Event; Dec. 1 Arabico Traditional Egyptian music and dance all school event, two performances

Volunteer Needs

  • Kate Murphy, where to list? Room parent emails work well. Ideas or feedback to Kate please.


  • Include in Facebook and Twitter or not? Tabled until next month

PTO Debrief

  • Picture Day 10/12- Kate Murphy retake Nov 27th. Possible to change venders due to restrictions on outdoor photos.

Upcoming Events

  • Book Fair 12/11-15 Shri Thumati & Christy Murphy
  • Literacy Night 12/12 illustration theme.
    • Graphic novel station in classrooms leading up to LN. Coordinate with Ms. Campagna.
    • Raffle baskets more discrete prizes for more winners? Comicazi, Blank books Illustration kits, Graphic novels, Younger and older.
    • Food, Pizza and snacks.
    • Multi purpose room to be used as well as music room. How to create flow between book sale and downstairs events
    • How many kids can participate in each 20 minute Comic/Graphic Novel workshop?
  • Winter Parents Party- 1/27/18 Gaggi DeStephanis & Ashley Lorenz
    • Town Hall is chosen venue
    • Look into catering and other costs to determine ticket price.


  • Notes: Abby Matheson a writer from the Arlington Advocate joined the meeting for the first 30 minutes. Her contact info is: (781)674-7734
  • Time constraints prevented continuation. The following to be addressed next month.
  • Teachers Breakfast 11/2-
  • Movie Night 10/13 – Meghan Ostrander, Fiona Ehring
  • Science Explo Date?

PTO Meeting Minutes – Oct. 12, 2017

Principal: Karen Donato
Teacher’s Rep: Alison O’Mahony

PTO Board

Co-presidents: Diana Trudell & Nandana Mewada
Vice-President: Yael Beals
Co-treasurers: Sara Wilkinson & Carolyn Schneyer
Co-secretaries: Emily Gauthier & Fiona Ehring
Fundraising: Juliet Moir
Arlington Community Card: Ashley Lorenz & Gaggi DeStefanis
Enrichment: Maf Terry & Tonja Bishop
Communications: Danielle Gottesman
Spirit & Appreciation: Judy Hu & Melissa Crowley
Room Parents: Sarah Gupta
Volunteers: Kate Murphy

Thompson Community

Diana Trudell, Carolyn Schneyer, Sara Wilkinson, Fiona Ehring, Tim Macinta, Christy Murphy-Macinta, Tonja Bishop, Ashley Lorenz, Melissa Crowley, Kate Murphy, Judy Hu, Yael Beals, Maf Terry, Nicole Flory, Juliet Moir, Gaggi DeStefanis, Nelson Valada?sp



Minutes approved

Mrs. Donato’s update

  • Construction update
  • still no final date of completion, due to status of fire rated glass installment in multi-purpose room.
  • closed back stairwell for safety reasons, checking into using both. Ellen Digby hired to oversee use.
  • Grades are sharing lunch periods, may shift back to single grade lunch.
    5th Grade classes currently in the modulars will move to the 3rd floor in the new addition. Modulars will be used until the end of the year for extra curriculars and storage.
  • Looking into hiring more specialist providers, reading, math

Budget overview and approval 2017-2018 – Sara Wilkinson , Carolyn Schneyer

  • Budget was unanimously approved
  • PTO budget for 2017-2018 is $68,230 fundraising this school year pays for 2018-2019 events
  • 5th grade enrollment is up by 31 students, from 50 to 81. A discussion of graduation expenses is on the list for next month’s meeting.
  • Several new line items were introduced.
    • Classroom teacher gift supplement fund
    • Grade 4 MFA field trip
    • Grade 2 Puppet Showplace field trip
    • Grade 1 Puppet Showplace field trip

PTO Updates

  • Community Card – Ashley Lorenz
    • $10 card that gives you discounts on local businesses, runs September to September every year
    • 1137 cards sold so far
    • New twitter account: @arlcommcard, help out with promotion by taking and posting photos at your favorite Community Card business
    • Current sales markets:
      • Book Rack
      • Menotomy Wine & Spirits (new)
      • Farmer’s Market
      • Parent Sales
      • Movie Night
    • Morning PTO meetings will continue. A convenient way to update those who are not able to make the evening meetings.
    • Room parent roster is almost full. One more room parent needed in first grade
    • Annual Parent Survey
    • Custodial Workers Day was last week, Mr. Brahim was very happy to be appreciated.
    • Walk/ ride to school day was very popular. We need more bike racks!

Direct Donation Drive – Juliet Moir

  • Direct donation campaign is up to almost 80 families and the goal this year is 250. Facebook link to paypal.

Enrichment Update – Maf Terry, Tonja Bishop

Upcoming Events

  1. 1. Picture Day 10/12
  2. Movie Night 10/13
  3. Book Fair 12/11-12/15
  4. Literacy Night 12/12
  5. Winter Parents Party Date TBD

Immediate Needs

  1. Chair Winter Parent’s Party – January/February. Date TBD We are currently searching for a venue. Please let Gaggi DeStephanis or Ashley Lorenz know if you have any ideas or leads.
  2. Chair Literacy Night – December, book fair week of December 11 –The Book Rack will run it and added online ordering.