April 2016 General Meeting Minutes

Helman Elementary PTA

April 2016 General Meeting Minutes

Date, Time, Location: Tuesday April 5, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. in the library

Meeting called to order by Sheri Cellini at 6:04 p.m.

Attendance: Sheri Cellini, Michelle Cuddeback, Avril Betoushana, Jessica Bendaw, John Williams, Anne Robison, Mia Driscoll, Becky Sniffen, Yoko Hendricks, Arianna Van Heusen. We have one guest, Jenny Segal from the Children’s Advocacy Center.

There are 10 in attendance and a quorum was reached.

Minutes: Meeting minutes from 3/1/2016 were read and approved with no changes.

Open Items:

Children’s Advocacy Center (CAG) presentation- given by guest Jenny Segal

  • CAG offers a safe place for children up to 18 years old to talk about their sexual abuse, free of charge.
  • CAG, partnered with The Ford Family Foundation is offering a sexual abuse-training program to the community, free of charge. It’s a national program that has been in existence for many years.
  • The training is a 2.5-hour long video of real sexual abuse survivors telling their stories. It is very “tastefully’ done with the theme “Darkness to Light”. Participants receive a booklet to keep and a certificate of completion.
  • Parents are trained to become aware for signs and symptoms of sexual abuse, with an emphasis on Internet activity.
  • CAG has a goal of training 3% of Jackson County. Trained facilitators are reaching out to schools, parents, grandparents and other areas of the community.  Many schools in the area are already getting involved. January was the “kick off” of this initiative. As of this date there are 596 people trained.
  • 5 to 30 people per training
  • We only need to sign up for the program and CAG accommodates our group at the place and time of our choice.
  • The training runs as follows: Intro to the training, given an evaluation sheet, watch some of the video followed by discussion, continue watching followed by further discussion, ends with filling out the evaluation. Discussion and discussion content varies depending on the group and individual comfortability.

PTA will discuss the possibility of bringing this to our school and Sheri will contact Jenny with our decision.

“Henry the Dragon Costume”-

  • When inspecting the costume to be used during a Science Fair class presentation, it came to Avril’s awareness that the costume was very dirty and smelling of rodents. Because it appears to be beyond cleaning, we are looking into purchasing a new replacement costume.
  • During the meeting we looked at different options sold on various costume websites with an average of $150-$300.
  • This discussion is tabled for now, and a decision will be made and a costume purchased in time for the 50th Anniversary celebrations.
  • Michelle will share costume options with teachers for their input at an upcoming staff meeting.

Earl’s Computer Class-

  • A basic coding class, by teacher invitation for 4th-5th graders with a limit of 8 kids. Michelle has asked for a balance of girls and boys who participate.
  • The only cost of the class to the student is to purchase a kit of about $23, which they get to keep.
  • This class is being offered to teacher- selected students who are highly interested in, and engaged with coding and math, motivated self -learners.
  • The group meets on Wednesday afternoon in the conference room, the months of April and May.
  • Mia moves to add Earl’s Spring Computer Class as a line in the budget for $200, for as long as he is willing to run his class. Arianna seconds the motion. All are in favor and it passes with no opposition.
  • Michelle will ask Earl if he would also like to offer a fall class as well as the spring class.

Science Fair Update- given by Dave Herring

  • Takes place April 14th at 5:30 p.m.
  • Daisy did receive the classroom entry list.
  • Malinda has boards for handing out and permission slips have gone out to the students.
  • He has 13 judges and could use a few more volunteers. Interested teachers or parents can email Dave.
  • In addition to or in replacement of the full-info Science Fair flyer, Michelle had a suggestion of sending out a “half-sheet reminder” to students for them to pick up their permission slips.

Spring Book Swap-

  • A parent volunteer is needed to step in for Bridget Bloch to run this event.
  • Becky will email Bridget for her suggestions on who to approach for her replacement.

Mayfairegiven by Becky Sniffen

  • Takes place Sunday, May 22nd.
  • Brenda Cornett is helping Becky with posters and placing local newspaper ads.
  • The Auction prize committee is meeting soon. There have been many great auction prize donations coming in. New things, different things.
  • Roxy will be back to sell her empanadas. There will be a hot dog stand run with the help of a 1st grade parent.  Becky is waiting to hear from the school’s insurance company, if we are insured to cover a coffee vendor. Sheri has also made many attempts, without success to contact the insurance company regarding this matter.
  • Classroom reps have chosen their game booths and have made initial contact with classroom families.
  • Table parties are signing up.
  • Prize committee- they have many great prize donations and have nearly run out of space to store them. We are utilizing every space in the coat closet, PTA closet, and one rolling bin under the stage. For next year, they’d like the board to considered purchasing some sort of on-premises storage solution, possibly temporary such a “Pod”. We will return to this conversation next month, brainstorming where, with what and how we can better store prize donations.

50th Anniversary Committee- given by Michelle Cuddeback

  • Brenda made a few requested changes to the “Henry the Dragon” logo that we asked to see. She is willing to make any changes we need for our decision making process. There were a few more changes that were considered.
  • On the shirt, take the word “academic” out of “academic excellence”, in the Helman Motto.

OBOB next year -book ordering- given by Sheri Cellini

  • Should the PTA purchase 2016-17 OBOB books 1? Order them now and receive the best discount, and apply to next year’s budgeter 2. The new PTA orders the books in July or August to have them available at the start of school.
  • Some teachers have been concerns about how the program runs. It is on the staff meeting agenda to decide if there is teacher support for OBOB next year.
  • The Helman Library holds 7 copies of the set.
  • This topic is tabled until teachers meet and more information is available.

New PTA Officers for 2016-17- given by Sheri Cellini

  • Jessica is considering returning next year as the secretary. Avril has general interest in holding a position as well.
  • We need a Treasurer, Vice Pres. and President.  We have the greatest need for a Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Sheri suggests holding a mixer with snacks and drinks at the next PTA meeting, and invite interested people to come and get info about the positions and how PTA works.  We’ll hold the mixer first and then invite folks to stay for the meeting. Personal invites from current officers works the best for a good turn out.
  • Michelle suggests that a PTA newsletter be put out offering info on up and coming events and our yearly call for officers.
  • Frequent update emails reminding of this important meeting will be sent out by Malinda.
  • Mia will talk to teachers at the staff meeting about considering and approaching potential candidates from their class parent pool.
  • The suggestion was offered that for next year we have some sort of regular correspondence with the school community, such as a PTA Newsletter.
  • There was also a suggestion of holding a PTA socializing event in the beginning of the year. This would make a great opportunity to gather PTA members and volunteers.

Teacher Appreciation Week- given by Sheri Cellini

  • Takes place the 1st week of May.
  • There is a gift activity for the teachers everyday.
  • Ideas are: EA’s will give a breakfast. PTA will coordinate a lunch. Students give a flower garden bouquet and cards. One morning can have coffee and pastries, maybe Gus Janeway and Coleen Gibbs can serve espresso with Gus’ maker? Sheri will email Gus to ask him. Stacy Poole and Lisa Carter will provide a massage station.  Avril can offer a small class for core strengthening with gyrotonics.
  • We need volunteers during the week and an event coordinator. And email will be sent soliciting for this.

Old Business:

Talent Show Wrap Up- given by Sheri

  • Very successful event this year!
  • One suggestion for next year was to have a short intermission when pizza and snack is offered for purchase. A question raised is logistically how well that would work. This suggestion will be brought to next year’s Talent show parent volunteer leader.

Yearbook Club: given by Sheri Cellini via conversation with parent volunteers Marcella and Jana.

  • It’s going well, two parent volunteers are helping, Marcella and Jana.
  • The students have chosen a theme, a layout and are beginning on their individual jobs.
  • Students have commented that there aren’t enough photos to choose from.  Looking at the drop box, it appears to have many photos.  Some investigation needs to be made as to how to get or display more photos for the students to use.
  • Yoko has been downloading photos. But she’s getting a message that the box is full and needs to be upgraded.
  • Michelle will download the photos currently in the drop box to a thumb -drive, in order for Yoko to upload more photos to the drop box.
  • Sheri suggests for a review of the book by staff members, to ensure a great final product with a well-rounded photo selection that showcases the entire Helman student body and staff during school related events.
  • If more photos are needed, Michelle suggests that Sean composes an email for Malinda to send via email to parents, a last call for yearbook photos. Sheri will check in with Sean for an update and ask him to draft the email if necessary.

Sound Boards- given by Sheri Cellini

  • Old boards have been picked up by Habitat for Humanity.
  • Next year we will discuss purchasing the appropriate acoustic boards needed for soundproofing the cafeteria.

Committee Reports:

School Board- given by John Williams

  • School District has decided to hire an interim superintendent and there are currently 3 great finalists in consideration. All are professional interim superintendents.
  • Ashland Schools Foundation (ASF) Fund Drive is happening in the next few weeks. 95% of funds raised are raised in April, through mailers and 4 calling nights on Sunday, April 16tha and Tuesday, April 18th at 6-8:30 p.m.
  • Calling nights happen at the Windsor Inn with free drinks and dinner.
  • Each caller makes about 10 calls to past donors.
  • We need more Helman volunteers to participate! John would like a tally of our volunteers; he will collect the sign up sheets.

Treasurer’s Report- given by Anne Robison

  • Currently we only need $6,800 to meet our budget for the year.
  • Teachers are spending their classroom grant money. The 5th grade classes recently purchased 30 digital cameras for a digital media story telling project.
  • There was a suggestion that teachers update the PTA on the projects and activities they are spending or planning to spend their grant money on. This would help our volunteers who solicit donations for events, so they can inform donors on how their donations help the school.  Michelle will ask teachers to compose an email highlighting what they’re spending their grant money on this year.

Next meeting is at 6pm May 3rd 2016 in the school library, with an opening PTA Officer informational mixer beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m. by Sheri Cellini

Minutes compiled by Jessica Bendaw, Recording Secretary