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

Thompson School News : December 11, 2017

In This Issue

  • Save the Date | School Calendar
  • PTO Update
  • Thompson News and Events
  • Community
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Connect with Us

Save The Date

* New *

  • December 12 – Early Release at 11:15 (No lunch)
  • December 11-15 –Book Fair
  • December 12 – Literacy Night, 6 -7.30pm
  • December 13 – Helena’s Hang with Friends & Light Refreshments, 7-9pm
  • December 13 – Spirit Day, Favorite Book Character Day
  • December 13 5-7 PM – Flu Vaccination Clinic @ Arlington Senior Center
  • December 14 – Arlington EATS Community Dinner
  • December 15 – Treble Chorus Concert @ Town Hall
  • December 15, 8:15 – 10:00 AM – PTO Meeting in the Cafeteria
  • December 22 – Spirit Day, Wear Pajamas to School

School Calendar

Click for Thompson’s Google Calendar to get school holidays, early release days, and PTO events on your own calendar. Click for a printable version of this month’s calendar.

PTO Update

Presents 00

The Holiday Season is here! Shop through these partners AND help the Thompson PTO.

Helena's 00Helena’s – Wednesday, December 13th. All day 10% of sales go to Thompson PTO, when you present our Holiday flier. Look for it in backpacks soon. Light refreshments and a fun chance to get together with friends between 7 and 9 pm.

Maxima 00Maxima’s – Are you aware that anytime you make a purchase and mention Thompson School, a percentage of your purchase goes to us? More on the My School program here.More on the My School program here.

Community Card 2017 2018Looking for stocking stuffers? Teachers, coaches or babysitter’s gifts? Buy an Arlington Community Card.

Support PTO

The Amazon Associate Program brought in $1,160 between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day last year. That is money that we earn when YOU go about your regular Amazon shopping after clicking the Amazon banner on the Thompson PTO website.


Stop & Shop A+ School Rewards is a fundraising program that earns us hundreds of dollars a year, and cost you nothing! To participate, just add Thompson’s school ID number (#07331) to your Stop & Shop rewards card through their website.

Once Thompson is added to your card, all you have to do is scan your Stop & Shop card when you are checking out. Tell your family and friends to follow these directions too! Thanks for your support!



Thompson News & Events

Thompson Drama Project

Theater 00

Hello Third, Fourth, and Fifth grade parents, It’s time to sign up for the Thompson Drama Project. Our three wonderful directors, Maf, Gaggi, and Ziza, will be back for another year! Our 3 plays will begin rehearsals the week of January 8. Auditions will be on Thursday Jan 4th and Friday Jan 5th after school in the Music Room. All actors who audition will receive a part – the auditions are for casting purposes. To sign your child up for an audition slot – click here. Prior to the audition, you must fill out a registration form for your child – click here. Please be sure to read the Ground Rules – click here. Mark your calendars – performances will be April 5th and 6th! Please let us know if you have any questions at

Lise White and Karen Roth LoRusso

📖 December 11 – 15 is Literacy Week at Thompson! 📖

The Book Fair

The Book Rack 00We are excited to work with the Book Rack again for this year’s Book Fair. During the school day, students will be able to browse and fill out wish lists. Sale hours will be held after school on the following days:

  • Monday: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday: 11:30 – 3:30 pm (due to parent-teacher conferences)
    5:30 – 8:00 pm (also Literacy Night)
  • Wednesday: 2:30- 3:30 pm
  • Thursday: 2:30 – 3:30 pm
    5:30 – 8:00 pm (due to parent-teacher conferences)
  • Friday: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

Community Card Update

Community Card 2017 2018Family Sales concluded on Friday December 8th. Please remember to turn in all of your earnings + any unsold cards THIS WEEK to: Ashley Lorenz, Gaggi DeStefanis, Shannon LeMay Finn, or Vicki Rose. Not to worry if you weren’t able to sell all (or any) cards. We will continue to market the card via social media and posters around town, while supplies last.

On that note, we still only have a few hundred cards left for sale. As always, tell folks to get them while they last! Cards can be purchased anytime at The Book Rack, Menotomy Beer and Wine, or


Follow us at @ArlCommCard on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like/comment on any posts that inspire you. Follow us at @ArlCommCard on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and like/comment on any posts that inspire you.

Any questions? Contact

Literacy Night – December 12th

Literacy Night 2017 11 a

Literacy Night will showcase graphic novels created by Thompson students. This project is open to all grades and abilities. Your child can partner up with a friend, or be author and illustrator of a story they’re longing to tell. The drawings can be monochromatic or in color, the comics can be in the form of booklets or pamphlets. The only rule is to run with it and have fun! The deadline for submissions is December 8th at the latest. Please drop off at the front office. Each child will receive 1 raffle ticket for their submission.

For activity details, learn more here.

Arlington EATS

Arlington EATSJoin us at the table for our next Community Dinner on December 14!

When we say please join us at the table, we mean just that. No matter your circumstances, you are part of our community and we TRULY want to share a meal with you. If you are hesitant to join us because you are not currently experiencing financial hardship, consider offsetting the cost of your meal with a small donation to Arlington EATS. But whether you choose to donate or not, you ARE welcome and we would love to have you with us.

Join us at the table:

To get food assistance:
To learn more:
To donate:
To volunteer:
To follow along:
To contact:

Spirit Wear Update

Thank you for making Thompson’s 2nd Spirit Wear sale such a big success! We received 195 orders, which is more than we expected. More notably, we received $1088 in Sponsorship! With these generous donations, the PTO was able to meet the needs of every single student who requested financial assistance, which still left us with a surplus of $346. This money will be earmarked for other school events, such as the upcoming Book Fair, and used specifically to provide financial assistance for those families in need.

Watch out for your Spirit Wear orders in the next week or two. Again, thank you all for your participation!

If you have any questions please reach out to Judy Hu ( or Melissa Crowley (, your Spirit Co-Chairs.


Thompson students got a taste of Arabic music on Friday when Karim Nagi came to present his Arabiqa program. Karim demonstrated several instruments, including the duff (Arabic round drum), riqq (Arabic tambourine), buzuk (Arabic guitar), segat (Arabic brass castanets), and the darbuka (Arabic goblet drum). Students in grades 3-5 also got to see (and try to dance) some Arabic dances! A number of students at Thompson have families that hail from the Arabic world, and we are glad everyone had a chance to learn more about their culture.Arabiqa 2017 11 00Arabiqa 2017 11 01Arabiqa 2017 11 02Arabiqa 2017 11 03

Additional Media



Flu Vaccination Clinic

Flu ShotArlington Board of Health will be holding a flu clinic for Arlington residents on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Arlington Senior Center located at 27 Maple Street. Both children and adults will have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Participants must being their insurance cards with them. Residents that do not have insurance will still be able to be vaccinated. If you have any questions please contact Jessica Kerr, Public Health Nurse, at 781-316-3140.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Thompson PTO has many volunteer needs both small and big. If you’re looking for a way to give back to Thompson, here’s a list of ways you can help.

Book Fair & Literacy Night (Dec. 11th-15th)

Have just a short amount of time to give? Sign-Up for a shift at the Book Fair or help out on Literacy Night (Dec. 12th)

Amazon Coordinator

The PTO needs someone to help promote the PTO/Amazon fundraising link. Thompson School earns 4-10% back on purchases made through the Thompson/Amazon page but shoppers must use the link on the PTO website.

Interested in helping get the word out?

Contact: Kate Murphy at

Winter Parent’s Party – Jan 27th

Interested in helping with planning the Winter Parent’s Party?

The party is moving venues this year, and as always there are many tasks (both large and small) that the planning committee needs help with, from running errands for supplies in the weeks approaching to helping set up on the day of the event.

Contact: Kate Murphy at

Calling All Science Enthusiasts: Science Explo March 17th

Are you a professional in a scientific field or just a lover of all things science related? We need volunteers to set up and run interactive tables at the Explo in March! Let us know if you’re interested. Contact: Yael Beals at

Help Throughout the Year

To check all current volunteer opportunities:

Connect with Us


Nandana Mewada, Co-President (Mom to Eshaan, 3rd)
Diana Trudell, Co-President (Mom to Matilda, 4rd and Joaquin, 1st)
Yael Beals, Vice-President (Mom to Annabella, 2nd)
Carolyn Schneyer, Co-Treasurer (Mom to Leah, 4th)
Sara Wilkinson, Co-Treasurer (Mom to Ezra, 4th, and Amelia, 1st)
Emily Gauthier, Co-Secretary (Mom to Sophia, 5th)
Fiona Ehring, Co-Secretary (Mom to Emma, 4th and Elise, K)
Danielle Gottesman, Communications Chair (Mom to Oliver, 3rd, and Penny, 1st)
Melissa Crowley, Spirit and Appreciation Co-Chair (Mom to Joseph, 1st)
Judy Hu, Spirit & Appreciation Co-Chair (Mom to Sofia, 1st)
Sarah Gupta, Room-Parent Chair (Mom to Norah, 3rd, and Meena, 1st)
Juliet Moir, Fundraising Chair (Mom to Jack, 5th, and Eva, 2nd)
Maf Terry, Enrichment Co-Chair (Mom to John, 5th)
Tonja Bishop, Enrichment Co-Chair (Mom to Ellen, 2nd and Neil, K)
Ashley Lorenz, Community Card Chair (Mom to Oliver, 5th, Melanie, 3rd, and Peter, K)
Gaggi DeStefanis, Community Card Chair (Mom to Sofia, 3rd)

If you have news to share with the community, please email by Thursday at 12 noon to be included in the next newsletter.

Please note that we will only include news from the Thompson School and Town of Arlington. Announcements of interest to the Thompson community from other non-profit organizations may be included at our discretion.