PTO Meeting Minutes – Sept. 13, 2017

Principal: 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

Carolyn Schneyer, Sara Wilkinson, Emily Gauthier, Fiona Ehring, Sonia Yalada, Anna Panszczyk, Laura Urquijo, Daria Marrocchilli, Tim Macinta, Christy Murphy-Macinta, Lee Lichtenstein, Gavrielle Price, Amy Yeager, Tonja Bishop, Maja Fiket, Yuri Karuian, Jean Faucher, Ashley Lorenz, Elena Mendez-Escobar, Meridale Baggett, Lani Obermayer, Tricia Gallen, Emilia Tsolia, Tiffany Steinwert, Melissa Crowly, Dana Ozik, Crystal Woller, Ema Rodrigues, Shauna Pellauer, Kate Murphy, Judy Hu


Mrs. Donato’s update

  • 540 people in the building
  • Construction update
    • still no final date of completion
    • closed back stairwell for safety reasons
  • When construction is done the arrangement of school will be K -1 first floor, 2-3 middle floor, 4-5 top floor, classes may shift, even if classes not in modular
  • Pineapples all over building, universal symbol of welcome
  • Curriculum night is next Tuesday, flier went home this week. If you cannot attend, reach out to classroom teacher.

PTO co-president Diana Trundle – PTO Overview presentation

  • PTO’s mission
    • To support the education of students at Thompson.
    • To promote the welfare of Thompson School students at school, at home, and in the community.
    • To strengthen the relationship between the families and the school, so that parents and teachers cooperate successfully in the education of the students.
    • To develop among students and their families, the highest advantages in academic, intellectual, physical, and social education.
  • All Thompson parents and staff are automatically members, No fee to join, 100% volunteer run. This means YOU!
  • PTO is in charge of enrichment, community events and fundraising.
  • Each grade goes on 2 field trips.
  • Each grade has 1-3 author visits.
  • Each grade participates in 1-2 school-wide programs.
  • Each grade is different.
  • Past enrichment programs (may change from year to year)
    • K – Pumpkin Patch Field Trip, Wingaersheek Beach Tidepool exploration Field Trip, Kidstock Drama Workshop- Diversity Stories, New England Aquarium Tide Pools Alive!
    • 1st grade – Acton Science Discovery Museum Field Trip, Franklin Park Zoo Field Trip, Discovery Museum Visiting Light and Lasers program
    • 2nd grade – Children’s Museum: Japan House and Suminagashi Field Trip, Wheelock Family Theatre’s production of Charlotte’s Web Field Trip
    • 3rd grade – Plimoth Plantation Field Trip, Jason Russell House Museum Field Trip, Royall House Museum “Belinda’s Footsteps: Sugar, Slavery and Survival”
    • 4th grade – Lowell Mills Field Trip, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Field Trip, Yoga and Stress Management
    • 5th grade – “Tea is Brewing” program at Old South Meeting-house Field Trip, Georges Island Field Trip, Museum of Science: States of Matter visiting program, Wingmasters Animal Adaptations program, Yoga and Stress Management
    • School wide – Circus Smirkus weeklong residency, Odds Bodkin- “Golden Rule Tales”
    • Author visits – Irene Smalls (K-2), Bridget Hodder (3), Mark Tyler Nobleman (3-5), Melissa Stewart (grades 3-5), with non-fiction writing workshops
  • Community Events
    • For parents – Welcome Back Breakfast (September), Winter Parent’s Party
    • Movie Night (October)
    • Literacy Night (December)
    • Game Night (February)
    • Science Explo/International Day – swap years on and off (March)
    • Ice Skating Party (April)
    • Picnic in the Park (June)
  • Others
    • Town Day (Fundraising)
    • Picture Day, Spring Concert and Field Day
    • Walk/ Bike to School Day
    • Teacher Appreciation Week
    • Support the teachers with annual stipends

Sarah Wilkinson co-treasurer – PTO budget overview

  • PTO budget is $50,000 annually, Spend approx. $102 per child per year
  • Where we spend the funds
    • 53% Enrichment, Field trips are 100% funded by the PTO
    • 26% Events
    • 11% Hospitality/Appreciation
    • 10% Administration – insurance, office supplies, fees for tax filing
  • How we raise the PTO funds
    • 53% Direct donation
    • 26% Community Cards
    • 11% Events
    • 10% Fundraisers
      • Amazon, Stop and Shop, Target
      • Helena’s shopping night
      • Not your Average Joe’s night
      • Juliet Moir has all the information for setting up new companies for donations

Ashley Lorenz – Community Card

  • $10 card that gives you discounts on local businesses, runs September to September every year
  • You can buy the card at Town Day, from fellow parents, farmer’s market, the Book Rack and on the Thompson PTO website
    • We make the most money at Town Day, goal this year is 900 cards
  • All funds go directly to us. Cambridge Savings bank sponsors the printing.
  • Ashely has a lot of little tasks she can use help with, reaching out to a realtor, chamber of commerce welcome to Arlington baskets
  • Any ideas on selling more cards please send to Ashely
  • We need people to sell cards at Town day – man the booth or walk around with cards, booth is usually around Camilla’s bridal, we have card readers for iPhones
  • Every week the bottom of our newsletter included the fundraising partners and information

Immediate needs

  1. Volunteer at Town Day
  2. Room Parents – coordinate class gifts, chaperones, help get parents involved, communicates PTO info, level of involvement depends on teacher
  3. Help sell community cards after Town Day
  4. Lead Picture Day – 10/12
  5. Co-chair Movie Night – 10/13
  6. Chair Literacy Night – December, book fair week of December 11 –The Book Rack will run it and added online ordering
  7. Lead the Shop local program – December
  8. Chair Winter Parent’s Party – January/February
  9. Sign up to be a part of the Science Explo, our largest event of the year – March

Danielle Gottesman – Communications

  • Interested on feedback on newsletter, social media etc.
  • Any community events, local related things, send to Danielle to include in newsletter.
  • Facebook, Twitter,
  • Happy to have more volunteers for newsletter help.
  • Redoing PTO website


  • PTO meetings occasionally include guest speakers – Sean Garballey, members of the school committee, Nitwits
  • We need an update on the Library endowment- Bill Shay’s family gifted funds for the library.
  • We have a new logo from parent competition last year. Kindergarten bags were given with the new logo. WE are trying to figure out new sprit wear with new logo. Car magnets, decals with logo. Order form with an option to sponsor a T-shirt for someone. The PTO may have funds to purchase t-shirts. Karen mentioned reaching out to community sponsors to cover cost of some t-shirts for those in need.
  • Three physical fitness enrichment activities
    • Boys in Motion –4th -5th grade boys running with Ms. Brayfield 2 days a week , run 5K Turkey Trot
    • Fit Girls – 4th -5th grade girls running with Ms. Brayfield, Run for a Cause in the Spring
    • Boks – before school fitness run by Ms. Brayfield, other schools parent run. May or may not run this year depending on volunteers. If interested please let Ms. Brayfield know.