Supporting the academic, social, and cultural development of every student at Eberwhite Elementary School
9/16/20 PTO Meeting Minutes
September 16, 2020
Eberwhite PTO Meeting
Katherine Martinelli -president
+ parent attendees
What is EBW PTO-what we do...fundraise, teacher support, and student success
It starts with fundraising, which we do through events (some but not all of our events are fundraisers) as well as spiritwear sales, donations, and shopping rewards (more on that in a minute).
Then we are able to use those funds to directly support teachers, families, and students.
Each year the PTO is able to give every teacher a stipend so that they don’t have to spend their own money on classroom supplies. Teachers (and parents too!) can apply for mini-grants to do special projects with their classes. We also have regular acts of teacher appreciation because they work so darn hard. Our principal, Mr. Harris is an active member and partner of the PTO and First grade teacher Sarah Lindsay is our teacher liaison.
We also raise more than $110 per student each year to provide supplies, wonderful assemblies (like the Toledo Opera), at least one fully funded field trip per year, enrichment programming like Super Science Day, and more (this year students may need support in different ways and we will pivot to provide that).
But really the key ingredient to a successful PTO is us – YOU – parents, guardians, caregivers. You are all automatically members of the PTO and your voices, input, time, donations, and everything else are the driving force of what we do. And the PTO tries to support families as well – through parent appreciation, family workshops (like last year’s Talking with Kids about Race and Racism), Helping Hands, and more.
An unspoken part of the PTO mission—one that is all the more important this year—is community-building. A major way do that is through events. Some of our favorite PTO-sponsored annual events are:
The Fun Run – in which students and families pledge to run a certain number of laps in a fun and non-competitive atmosphere
Woodchip Day – in which students, parents, and teachers act as stewards of the Eberwhite Woods to help resurface the trails with woodchips
Decade Dance – in which each class is assigned a decade and comes dressed up and prepared to perform a dance from that era
Just like everyone, we are adjusting and adapting to news as we receive it—we don’t know anything more than you any faster than you.
Currently we’re doing our best to create fun, virtual community building events and maintaining our traditions as best as we can. Since we don’t have a crystal ball, our planning right now is focused on September and October – beyond that we hope to be able to offer all of our treasured traditions either in-person or adapted to a distanced or virtual setting as is appropriate.
To give you a sense of how we are trying to keep things as normal as we can while also keeping them safe:
We have already proven that we can do a darn good job of shifting to meet current demands and limitations – the 5th grade variety show was held over Zoom in the spring and was a smashing success, we hosting a virtual Scholastic book fair throughout the summer that many families enjoyed, and we managed to kick off the year with a true sense of community with the virtual flag raising ceremony – major props to Bill and the teachers for that.
Obviously we couldn’t have a back to school picnic this year, so instead we have put together a super fun community scavenger hunt.
Social distancing mandates will make it impossible to hold the Fun Run in exactly the same way as previous years, but we are 100% planning on hosting it – either with distancing measures in place and/or virtually. It will certainly look different but will hopefully continue the fun.
Instead of Wood Chip Day, this year we are planning for a wood chip WEEK, in which families will be able to come together during designated time slots throughout the week and weekend to help preserve our favorite natural resource.
And we’ve got other fun things in the works too – Like Dance into the weekend! Eberwhite parent Erika Martin who has taught the coordinated dances at Decade Dance for many years is helping us plan school-wide virtual dance parties on Friday afternoons right after school 3:30 - 4
How can you get involved?
Doesn’t have to be a big commitment - can be one time or ongoing. Think outside the box about the skills and interests you can offer: strategy sessions for PTO board, workshops for parents or teachers, virtual extracurriculars, etc. We value all parent involvement!
Help out at events
Become a class liaison
Join a committee: Committee for Equity, Eberwhite Woods, Eberwhite Garden, Social Media
Be a PTO Council Rep
Join the PTO board next year
Attend PTO meetings (on the third Wednesday of each month)
Share ideas and feedback
$ by check or card
Provide goods or services
Principal Report-Bill Harris
Attendance has been super, lots of kids connecting
Loved that the PTO provided pinwheels
Teachers are being trained on a district, and state level to assist with technology.
Supplies distribution Thursday/Friday next week in the evening
Schoology-many students are dabbling in this week and more to come
Full/half days working through this as a district
Lesson Plans-will not be available a week ahead of time
Schoology login for parents should be coming soon. Possibly later tonight :). Continuing to ramp up and no student will be left behind.
Questions around Helping Hands the best way to communicate with them should email them @ firstname.lastname@example.org . They are currently accepting monetary donations and snacks.
Connection Plus- Peace NeighborHood, they are currently starting small. The hope is to grow it into other spaces. Support and in-person are currently happening and this location is at capacity.
Supply Packets-teachers are expecting that kids have these specific supplies (we will revisit this at a future date)
If interested in helping with a committee please email us at email@example.com
Next PTO Meeting will be 10/21 @ 630
The meeting will be reoccurring on the same zoom link (email us or see EBW news for details)