High Plain Elementary

September PTO Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, Sept. 16th 2014




Members Present:


Kim Sousa

Laura Putnam

Sherriden Sweeny

Pam Lathrop

Marika Lyons

Angela McBrien

Sandy Rikkers

Tricia Brown

Jill Sergeant



President Report:



Fall Fundraiser: Packets were out and as of Friday, Sept 12th, we had about $1500 in sales reported. Flyer was to go out again and teachers were to remind at open house. Kim was going to check in again on Thurs.


PTO Back to School: Kim made flyer and was handed out to teachers for open house. Kim communicated with chairs that they should be present, esp if they want to quit so they can replace themselves. Would like to get parents signed into a "training role" for some if these events so transition is smoother.

Offering a sitter was brought up, so parents who can't find coverage can come. Pam was going to check with the Lego person from Learning Leaps. (Pam has since gotten back to me saying we do not have a sitter resource).


Recess/Outdoor Fields:

K-1 ?

2 - NO because 6th grade is down there but they could prob use it when 6th graders come in. 4 squares need to be re-painted.

3rd/4th/5th - Go to field

Kids should be able to ask if they want to go to the field and play. If it becomes a prob, Melissa will touch base.


Harvest Fest:

Everything is underway and I presented a few different budget scenarios that were to be voted on at the meeting on the 19th. We need about 40 volunteers and we only have 12. We were going to ask who Gina Chaves used in the past for hay rides. Do your kids and her friends still want to volunteer, Michelle?


Square One Art:

Looking at schedule and wanted to know if we should go 100% with art through school? It is thought that more parents will purchase if they can choose art, rather than have on general theme. Our vote was to do it the same way we did it last year, but to also give parents a choice to use school art work or submit their own.



BrainPop - had in budget for $1300 but it is actually $1890. HP always had their own so when they joined in with the town, we had a credit. Pam will email Joanne to see but has offered to put in $500 if PTO will put $1300 forward.


Sherriden - Treasurer's Report:

We have directory $$ coming in and $250 in direct donations so far. PTO will support children who cannot afford spirit wear. We will get a list of who/what size from Deb. Sherriden wants to keep track of that and put it under scholarship $$. Pam suggested sponsoring a child...buy a shirt for your own child then pay for another, like we do with yearbooks. I think we said no.


Open PTO/Confirmations:

Positions open. Several ppl want to resign but will stay on if we can't get replacements. Trying to get more volunteers at the PTO Welcome Back. We have a challenge with Adventures in Learning. It really should be done and organized over the summer. Jay has stuff booked but Lee-Ann has been a little overwhelmed. Would be helpful to break position down into roles. Need ppl to take over for teacher appreciation.



Angela doesn't want to do it anymore. Pain is doing photo copies/hand outs. She has suggested Drop Box and parents have said no. Suggested that she put in the office copy box for teacher's helpers or she can send a link to parents with paperwork and they can print themselves.


Craft Fair - Jill:

Thursday before Thanksgiving, Nov 20th from 5:00-7:30 in the Woodhill gym. Fear of janitor costs. Will ask to split with Woodhill.


PTO Meetings:

Schedule is set but need to figure out night meetings.


Kid Stuff:

NO GO. Great idea but process is stressful. Doesn't make any sense to ship everything here them ship unsold books back.


School Toolbox: - Steph Lenzi - Moved to Oct Agenda


Principals Report:



A.L.I.C.E. - new way to deal with threats to the school. Helps understand the situation better so we can react properly (barricade, lockdown, evacuate?). Teachers have already begun training and will receive more training in Oct.


All classes taking part in an online assessment tool. This is a pilot year so results will not be held against us. Only ELA/math. 5th graders will still take science MCAS.


We switched photography studios to Hockmeyer. Picture day is day after holiday so we will be mindful of that in the future.


Still in the process of hiring an evening custodian.


Jai - Scarecrows for school. This year, do it by grade. Each class would participate and one class per grade would win and we would have 5 scarecrows.


Mrs. Fegan has requested more books for the library? Parents can buy library books for a child. Will have a cart of pre-purchased books for kids to look through.


Marika and Pam have been walking through the building and want to bring more "life" to the school. It was built w/o color so they'd like to put color in the classrooms, caf could also use something. Consulted former art teacher who could possibly do murals. About $1000 can be contributed from school, maybe PTO can offer more. PE teachers would like to see sport murals? Another idea was to possibly get it funded by the community?


Hired a new digital learning specialist, Mr. Hawkins.


Need to move the bookfair out of the library. Pam and Sandy will chat about best place. Need to re-think how we are using bookfair funds because right now, it goes to the library.





Next Meeting:  Friday, October 17th  9am