Meany PTSA Board Meeting - 6/17/19
Location: Meany Middle School Library
Present: Anna Faraday (Secretary), Jen Emrich (Co-President), Lara Kreyenhagen (Co-President), Karen Axtell(Co-Treasurer), John Benner (Equity and Outreach Co-Chair), Molly Wyman (Communications Chair), Linda Moy (Community Building/Outreach Chair 2019-2020), Linda Mullen (7th Grade BLT Rep 2019-20), Nancy Jensen (Legislative), Andy Jensen (7th Grade BLT Rep)
Absent: Meghan Dort (Volunteer Coordinator), Michelle Sullivan (Vice President and Fundraising), Annika Howard (Co-Events Coordinator and Special Ed Parent Liaison), Bobby Mayberry (Membership), Amber Oleson (Co-Events Coordinator), Sage McCotter (6th Grade BLT Rep), Jennifer Marquardt (8th Grade BLT Rep), Chanda Oatis (Principal), Jean Hua (Community Building/Parent Liaison Team Co-Chair)
Jen moved that the board approve the minutes from the May General PTSA meeting and the May Board meeting. Anna seconded the motion, vote taken, and the motion passed.
Jen mentioned that anyone who serves on the PTSA Board must also be a paid member of PTSA – incoming Board members will need to join.
Open board positions for next year:
Special-Ed Parent Liaison
8th grade BLT Rep (we do have a possible recruit)
6th grade BLT rep (Vivian Van Gelder said she will do this if no one else is able)
Lara and Jen commented that it would be terrific to have a Vice-President who would shadow them this year and become President or Co-President the following year. Both Jen and Lara will no longer have students at Meany in 2020-21.
Annual Corporation Renewal (due May 31, 2019) – completed by Jen
Charitable Organization Renewal (due May 31, 2019) – completed as well.
Tax Form 990 – Tim Carlson is still working on this, and Jen pointed out that it will be fine if it’s a little late – we have some leeway.
WSPTA Standards of Affiliation Agreement Checklist 2018-2019 – PTSAs are supposed to go through and ensure they have completed the items on the list. The only things left for us are the 990, and a year-end financial review. Jen’s husband Andrew will do the financial review of PTSA books (Andrew Kwatinetz). The list includes Board Member training requirements. One officer is supposed to do PTA and the Law once every two years. Suggested that we ask everyone to do their trainings at the start of the next year.
WSPTA is transferring local PTAs to a new membership database system called Member Planet. It doesn’t have a financial aspect so Karen says she will look and decide which financial accounting program to use. We will move our data from PTA Avenue to Member Planet.
Lara and Jen will send out a Doodle poll to pick a date for a summer board meeting in late July/early August. At the meeting Board will set the Board and General Meeting dates for the next school year, discuss events/community building ideas, and work on editing PTSA materials for first-week packets.
Lara and Jen mentioned that they would really like a Meany staff member to attend each meeting in the future. Staff could sign-up to attend meetings, once we have a schedule set.
Meany will have an ASB (associated student body) next year. There was a discussion about having a student representative attend PTSA meetings, too.
Karen mentioned the WEB program (Where Everybody Belongs). An anti-bullying program for middle schools where each incoming 6th grader is assigned an 8th grader to partner with. Karen has seen this program work and thinks it could benefit Meany. (Here is a link to their website: http://www.boomerangproject.com/middle-school-transition). Karen says she will ask Mr. Manriquez and Mr. Dunning about it. They will be running the ASB. Update: Karen sent an email to the board and Ms. Oatis after the meeting about WEB. From her email: “There is an up-front investment in training of $2,500, then the program can be supported with about $1,000 per year for t-shirts, leader training attend the training.” Ms. Oatis replied saying she’d love to explore financial support to bring WEB to Meany.
Meany staff will be holding a team-building event and the PTSA paid $375 last year for a similar event. Nancy moved to approve $375 for the next staff team-building event. Andy seconded the motion, board voted, and the motion passed.
8th Grade Promotion - Wednesday, June 19, 7:00 pm
Need 3-5 parent volunteers (6th/7th grade parents) to help line up students, etc. Volunteers should arrive to help at 6:00 pm
Field Day - Wednesday, June 26, 12:00-2:30 pm
Need 12-15 parent volunteers to help with set-up and work at the various activity stations from 11:00- 2:30. The Meany staff will move from station to station with their students, but we need at least one parent at each station (ideally two) the whole time. Ms. Baker says if she doesn’t get any enough parent volunteers, she will have to cancel the event. Only 5 signed up so far. (Update: between meeting and compiling of minutes, the slots have been filled, so Field Day will happen.)
Community Building Chair
Linda Moy is the incoming chair. She’d like to put together a calendar of district and Meany dates for the upcoming school year. She brought a sample calendar of major dates and events at Meany. It would go out in the first-week-of-school packet.
She talked about some events she’d like to see at Meany. She’d love to hold a multi-cultural back-to- school potluck event within the first two weeks. Food is always popular.
Angie Jenkins and Linda are working together to schedule Meany community building dance events to attend as a group (Hip Hop Nutcracker, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, both at the Paramount). Also including on the calendar African American Parent Involvement day, Global Reading Challenge (which will be held at Meany next year!), Talent Show, etc.
She’d like to coordinate with the Counseling team, too. She has already connected with Ms. Cruise- Roberson of Therapeutic Health Services.
Andy suggests she get together with BLT reps because they keep a calendar, too. Andy also suggested that we double check for all the religious holidays.
Linda would like to hold a Summer Picnic for incoming 6th grade families. Perhaps to be held at Miller community center. We discussed ways to get the word out: Reaching out to feeder schools, email news lists. Suggest holding picnic at Miller.
Discussion – What worked well this year/what could be improved
Karen said the folks handling the garden project asked if the funds they asked for could be carried over to next year. A discussion about ‘use it or lose it’ and ‘carry-overs’ took place. The consensus is that is quickly becomes very difficult to keep track of funds that are carried over from one fiscal period to the next. Agreed that if the grant is not used before June 30, then Anna Davidson and the other garden project folks can submit claims for reimbursement from the PTSA if they spend out of pocket from July 1 and beyond.
John mentioned that the Family Advisory position is going away, the Casey Family Foundation was funding this, but Mr. Deon won’t be in that role next year. There are a lot of families and kids who are at risk. Ms. Baker has said that Meany has a much higher amount of transfer students than average. This is due to our location. Two of the largest homeless/transitional housing shelters feed into Lowell, Meany and Garfield.
Discussed trying to have a clothing drive, pantry, etc. like other schools have, to help the kids who need it.
Jen hopes that Ms. Oatis will consider letting the PTSA send its weekly newsletter along with her weekly Robocall emails. In other words, instead of asking parents and families to opt-in to get the PTSA newsletter, we automatically include them, and they can ask to be removed. There was a comment that the FERPA forms that go home at the beginning of each school can be used for PTSA communications. Perhaps the concern is with asking someone to go through each form and check/create a database? Anna says she will compile the data from the FERPA forms in the fall if this is what is preventing reaching more families with PTSA information.
John Benner comments that the mess about Math and Spanish, especially the Math, could have been handled differently if the PTSA had approached Ms. Oatis at the beginning and asked how we could work together with her to solve the problem. Perhaps to put pressure on the SPS District folks to get some traction in resolving the matter. The hope is that when new problems and issues arise at Meany, the PTSA can be more proactive in working with Ms. Oatis as a team.
Andy commented that the new venue for the Arts Festival was more accessible than the brewery and had a good turnout. The flow of the artwork was nice and the space in building was used well. The Drum Line and garden and art worked well together, and the event drew a good mix of people.
Thank you everyone!