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?