PTA Feb 2016 Minutes

Helman Elementary PTA

February 2016 General Meeting Minutes

Date, Time, Location: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.

Attendance: Michelle Cuddeback, Anne Robison, John Williams, Mia Driscoll, Matt Damon, Avril Betoushana, Mary Snowden, Jessica Bendaw, Sean Smith and Becky Sniffen. There is one guest, Jennifer Hall, parent volunteer coordinator of OBOB.

There are 10 in attendance and a quorum was reached.

Minutes: Meeting minutes from 1/5/16 were read and approved with no changes.

Open Items:

OBOB Update- given by Jennifer Hall

  • 22 teams, 100 children participating, 24 coaches
  • Information and permission slip sign up went out to parents late Sept./ early Oct.
  • The teachers created the 3rd grade teams, and this went well; 4th and 5th grade teams were created by the students and didn’t run smoothly, this element could use streamlining.
  • Weatherly, the librarian suggests ordering and purchasing the OBOB books at the end of the school year when the list is released in May so they are available for students to begin reading ASAP.
  • Very important: Register the school on OBOB website by the early deadline for the cost of $50.
  • The team creation process is a bit time consuming and challenging, this process could use some streamlining.
  • Teachers and parents are on board with the purpose of OBOB, which is to have fun, reading comprehension, learning and the love of reading. It is NOT about competition or who wins.
  • There was a “coaches agreement” to not buy study guides so there was a level, non-competitive playing field amongst teams.
  • It’s best to have same grade teams battle each other whenever possible.
  • “Battle” organization is time consuming. Also took a lot of time reviewing and choosing best and appropriate questions.
  • Battles will take place on the whole day of school, due to the high number of teams this year.
  • Suggestions for next year:
  1. Order the books in May, when the list comes out.
  2. Introduce the OBOB program to the 2nd grade this year (incoming 3rd graders) so that they enter 3rd grade with an understanding of the event.
  3. Send an informational letter and book list to 2nd grade (incoming 3rd grader) families so they can think about and even incorporate the books into their summer reading if desired.
  4. Potentially order extra books so there is no shortage.
  5. Idea: Coaches register their team?
  6. May need to change location and times of group practice to better work around teacher and class time. As it is currently it can be a bit chaotic.
  7. Streamline team creation process for ease on students and the success as a whole. Teachers will brainstorm team formation ideas at their staff meeting.
  8. Possibly create a “student agreement” for students to sign so they understand a “code of conduct” during team practice during school time. This can help empower team coaches to best work with their group.
  9. Possibly create an agreement for parents of participating students around the idea that if their child is participating then they agree to actively participate as well? Teachers can discuss this during their staff meeting.
  • So many thanks to Jenny Hall for organizing and orchestrating this giant event this year!!
  • She has agreed to run the event next year and to create information pages for this event to go into the PTA Event Binder.
  • Pizza party with the principal for all students who have read all the books. Mia moves to give authority to Michelle to purchase the pizzas needed no matter the cost above and beyond the OBOB budget. And Michelle will send a receipt to the PTA. Anne seconds the motion.
  • Certificates of Participation will be purchased.

Talent Show- given by Avril via Stacy Poole

  • 60 acts, rehearsals organized by grade and auditions will be held at lunch- time on Feb. 9th, 10th and 11th (Tues., Wed., Thurs.) Kids will be given their rehearsal time slips by this coming Friday.
  • Parent volunteers are needed to help the audition process run smoothly.
  • There will not be pizza for the final dress rehearsal night.
  • Tee shirts will be sold when doors open until the start of the show.
  • We will not be holding a bake sale because we don’t need to offset the cost of pizza
  • This is Stacy Poole’s last year running the event. She is grooming Darcy Fitch for next year and also a woman named Denise. Who is Denise? Other possible parent volunteers? Avril will find out whom and contact Denise about her participation.
  • Need to follow up with Sheila Jarvis to obtain her template for running this event for our PTA Event Binder.

Mayfair- update given by Becky Sniffen

  • Prize committee meeting weekly, cleaning and sorting prizes.
  • We need more toy donations, especially big-ticket items.
  • Auction Committee- Will begin meeting
  • Need class parent representative list. Teachers will gather this info at their staff meeting.

Yearbook- given by Sean Smith

  • This would be the time of year to begin creating the yearbook.
  • Brainstorming how to run a Yearbook Club with 4th and 5th grade students after school.
  • Activities would include giving students as much control over the process as possible. Graphic design, photo taking, captions and content writing, acquiring art, layout, etc. All of this can be done on the website.
  • He’s not sure how that would work in a group setting at school.
  • Other important tasks are making sure each photo has the correct children’s names and that no children are in the book that aren’t allowed to be.
  • Deadline for book completion? Ideally the end of April but parents can purchase books at any time after it is completed.
  • Usually available and sold at the last day of school picnic. We should make sure to purchase books in bulk to have available at school.
  • Sean will get a background check necessary to work with the kids. Needs to decide on how many weeks and what day and time to offer the class. Potentially March 2nd until the first 2 weeks in April.
  • It would be good to have an assistant for the group. Yoko Hendrix??

Education Assistant Appreciation Event-

  • There is $150 allocated for this event.

Bike Repair Request Fund-given by Avril via an email from Mark Sherbow

  • An itemized list of repair items for the bike fleet has been submitted for $200.
  • Mia moves to approve Mark’s $200 request for bike repairs. Sean seconds the motion.
  • Mia moves to set up to $200 yearly allowance for “Helman Bike Fleet” repairs and maintenance. Sean seconds the motion. “Laminator” line in the budget will be changed to “Helman Bike Fleet” maintenance.

Library Stipend Discussion-

  • There was some discussion about offering more money towards the librarian’s budget. Further discussion needs happen with Weatherly and assistant, Caroline Hald. A library budget review will happen soon. For next year’s budget.

Old Business:

Sound Boards-

  • They have no sold at the date of this meeting. If they have not sold by 2/5, Michelle will call the school district maintenance department to pick them up as a donation.

Stories alive-

  • Sheri has not yet contacted Jeanne about adopting this program. Mia moves we forgo this program this year and revisit adopting the program next year. John seconds the motion. Jeanne will be contacted and ask her to check in with us again next year.

Science Works Assembly-

  • Will take place Friday, March 18th 2-2:30 p.m. This time may be changed and will be discussed by teachers at their staff meeting.
  • The Herrings are in contact with Science Works and will pay them the day of the assembly.

50th Anniversary Committee-

  • First meeting taking place Thursday Feb. 2nd at 11:30 a.m.
  • Word is going out to retired teachers about the event and enthusiasm is building.
  • Michelle is looking into reinstalling the metal “Henry the Dragon”. She has put it onto the maintenance departments list to be done by next coming January. Currently considering possible installation locations.

Valentine’s Day Assembly-

  • The Taiko Drumming Group will be performing.

Committee Reports:

School Board- given by John Williams

  • State mandated financial audit went smoothly. The auditor put us in the top 25% of school districts in terms of fiscal management. That is the best we have done in some time!
  • Looking at the 2016/2017 calendar, committee is brainstorming the start of school start again before Labor Day. Statistically, starting before Labor Day greatly increases attendance. Board continues to express interest in shortening summer. There are competing interests that affect that outcome but the board is still working for this.
  • Second Budget Committee meeting, no public attendance again. John encourages people to attend. Preliminary look at how this year’s budget is going, things look positive with a possible overage.
  • District’s healthcare costs have gone up 7% this year. Rates for employees will go up 3.5% next year.
  • Superintendent Jay Hummel’s priorities for next year are: expanding tiered instruction ideas, improving math scores, increasing reserves in anticipation of the “PURRS Cliff”, continuing work on relationships with SOU and expanding college credits in high school classes, trying to bring back the 8th period of classes added time for more electives.
  • Facilities Planning Committee looking at all properties and facilities and looking at what maintenance needs to happen. Looking for members, especially parents who are contractors. Also a Helman Elementary parent representative.
  • Artificial Turf Fundraising- we now have enough funds for a 65-yard field but only enough for cheapest rubber fill. Fundraising committee expanding their efforts to raise the rest of the money needed for the organic fill, which is most desired. We would be the 1st district in Oregon to have the organic fill field.
  • ASF Fundraiser in April- Looking for volunteers for calling nights.

Treasury Report-

  • Other income from Box Tops- $318.00! There are more Box Tops to be processed.
  • More classroom grant money spent
  • $3.50 over on Garden Project
  • OBOB paid in full and under budget.
  • Science Fair boards and ribbons paid for-$133
  • Paid another year’s fees on corporate status


Next Meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday March 3rd 2016 in the school library

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m. by Avril Betoushana

Minutes compiled by Jessica Bendaw, Recording Secretary