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
- 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