Updated: Apr 5
Catch up on what the RCP PTO is doing these days!
PARENT TEACHER ORGANIZATION – BOARD MEETING MINUTES Secretary: Maggie Vera Meeting Chair: Tracy Forsyth Meeting Date: November 1st, 2021 Meeting Time: 6:30 – 8:00pm Opening Acknowledgements Maggie Dixon read the opening land acknowledgement and asked the group to consider taking the next step towards committing ourselves to stewardship/action. Welcome Tracy Forsyth welcomed everyone and expressed appreciation for: ● Alyssa Baker, Jamie McWilliams and Kimberly Zacha-Stephens for putting together the wildly successful Trick-or-Treat and Food Drive ● Lydia Kumaran and Erica Weber for pivoting on a dime to plan an appreciation meal for staff this coming Friday ● Liz Giannone for taking on the Fundraising Chair role in the middle of our two biggest fundraisers (sorry Liz!) ● Chrystal Young for creating our incredible new newsletter, the Otter Letter ● Kimberly Zacha-Stephens for tackling the Volunteer Coordinator role ● Dezirė Clarke for jumping in to help with the sandwich boards ● Dave Trost for continuing to push us forward on our digital platforms ● Heather Borgardt- the best treasurer in the biz! (Added post-meeting) Group introductions ● Two visitors joined us: Trask Colby and Courtnie Burch. Open Forum (How is the school year going, what are questions or concerns you’ve been hearing – prioritize voices of new members/visitors here) ● Positive input regarding community meeting/having access to Principal Bacon ● Trask asked about need for more space to lock up bikes (See Principal Bacon's email from a couple weeks ago) and PTO's ability to help - this is something we can look into as part of community garden master plan/discretionary PTO spending ● Maggie D. mentioned upcoming holidays and urged us to avoid centering Thanksgiving and Christmas in our events/communications ● Sara Kerr brought up $2K grant for community garden - need input from admin/staff ● Sara Kerr brought up changes to DLI program (ending co-location in SE) - unclear if this has any bearing on our VDLI program ● Sara Kerr brought up staff morale/wellness- will discuss teacher support later in agenda Budget Discussion ● Between the two Fall fundraisers (apple + pear and pie) we made about the same profit as last year - roughly $2500, which means projections for expenses including $1500 discretionary budget should stand ● Discussion about adding a "Donate Now" button to website and whether we should allow donors to choose an area of support- i.e., teacher support, community garden or direct support of families. Concerns were shared with this idea as it allows "The Have's" to control where money goes - more discussion and a vote is needed here ● The group decided that giving teachers/staff gift cards vs using the formal grant process was preferable and further decided that issuing them in the amount of $100 made sense, reserving approximately $1600 in the staff support budget for other purposes ● We want to solicit community feedback on how we spend discretionary budget - we will come up with some options and ask for community members to vote - may also include an open-ended area for general feedback. Discussion around HOW to conduct this survey. Putting hard copies in backpacks definitely needs to be part of the equation. Should there also be an online component? More discussion needed. Tracy and Annie will present options to the group ○ Discussed using newsletter with QR code here and for other purposes as well Winter Clothing Drive ● PTO Clothing Closet is reopening soon -date TBD- and the greatest need right now is coats/jackets/winter accessories. Discussion of postponing sock and underwear drive until next calendar year and focusing on these needs now. Also discussion of whether we should collect and distribute locally (at school or cluster level) or through clothing closet. Jamie McWilliams to follow up with counselors and Sun on these questions Technology Update ● We discussed the calendar subscription feature on the website and agreed that it will initially include community meetings, board meetings and school-wide events ● Dave gave a tour of the Google shared drive and some of the changes he's made there Representation Committee ● Annie Hopman gave an update on the first committee meeting on 10/28, which focused on how best to work with HPH and better engage the Vietnamese community. Areas of focus were education including delineation of roles and responsibilities and engaging with VDLI teachers Needs for pie distribution on Tuesday 11/2 ● Liz Giannone needs volunteers to help out during all shifts! Needs for teacher meal on Friday, 11/5 ● Lydia Kumaran says the teacher support committee is all set to deliver lunch on Friday from Hong Phat and will also be stocking fridges with kombucha and other beverages/treats Community meetings/close ● Will continue to invite a speaker to each community meeting - considering a wellness focus for Januarywill ask community for input ● Break-out rooms worked well ● Need to create a comms plan for January meeting to make sure everyone knows about it - if we stick with January 13th, communications should begin before winter break Reminders ● Please keep an eye on Slack channels ● AM Safety monitors and lunch helpers needed – please sign up and tell your friends ● Chrystal needs newsletter content by 3 rd Friday of the month ● School photo retakes on Nov 30th and class photos on March 2 nd