Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)


    Please join us for the final PTO meeting of the 2017-18 school year!

    Monday, May 21st at 5.30 p.m.


    Meeting agenda:

    • Title 1 Presentation by Assistant Principal Doua Vang
    • Fundraising discussion for the 2018-19 school year
    • Election of PTO officers for the 2018-19 school year
    • Discussion  and updates of the 2018-2019 school budget  

    As always, we will provide dinner and childcare. Dinner will be served 5.30 to 6.00 p.m. followed by the meeting agenda. We hope to see you there!


    Action needed! Budget challenges for the 2018-19 school year

    Summary of what we are facing: 

    Saint Paul Public Schools is facing a budget shortfall of $17 million for the 2018-19 school year. Capitol Hill is also impacted by this funding shortage. 

    Our budget shortfall would have been much worse, but your voices about increasing our school’s enrollment were heard and our district responded with additional students for next year, bringing revenue that has lessened our reductions. But we still have significant cuts, there is still work to do!!

    Impact of the budget cuts:

    Capitol Hill is losing three and half positions.  Our school will need to make the following reductions or cuts: 1.5 positions in the middle school and 2 positions in the elementary. 

    Our curriculum coordinator position will be discontinued.

    We will eliminate one of two counselors in the middle school while continuing to maintain the elementary counselor. 

    French will be reduced to half the course offerings for next year. Mme Steffy has decided to leave rather than accept a part time position.

    The elementary reading intervention position will not be replaced as Dawn Peterson retires this year; Ms. Peterson will work as a consultant in the coming year.


    What can I do as a parent?

    Your advocacy has helped with the enrollment. But we need to do more. PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR ADVOCACY. Relentless pressure from parents on the school board and Superintendent Gothard has yielded results and will continue to yield results. Don't stop now. 

    1. Can you speak at the next school board meeting? These meetings are public forums and attended by the press. It is an effective way to make your voice heard. Sign up here:

    Act early. Sign up today. You can read from a sheet of paper. The important thing is to be seen and heard. 

    2. Email and call the Superintendent and School Board. Superintendent Gothard:, all the school board members: 

    These are examples of items you could use in your communications with the Superintendent and the Board of education.  You do not have to use these and are welcome to highlight any concerns you see as a result of the pending cuts.

    • Other magnet/immersion schools within SPPS receive additional funds of up to $150,000 to support their specified programs.  Capitol Hill stopped receiving these extra funds several years ago, while other schools continue to benefit from these dollars.  Why is it that only Capitol Hill has lost this funding? Why can’t it be reinstated to help off-set the severe cuts we are facing?

    • The MN Department of Education (MDE) lists Capitol Hill at 46% free and reduced-price lunch.  However the calculation used by SPPS indicates Capitol Hill is at 38%, which puts our school only slightly below the 40% threshold to qualify for Title 1 funding.  Adjusting these numbers, without supplementing with discretionary funding,  is taking away extra educational funding for the nearly 600 students in our school who have been determined to qualify for additional services.  Is there discretionary funding available to help our school manage the significant Title 1 funding loss, particularly as Capitol Hill has approximately 600 students who qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch? 

    • For the last 3 years, we’ve seen deep cuts to the budget of Capitol Hill as well as schools across the district.  However, during that time, we have not seen the same deep cuts to the district administration budget.  What non-school cuts have been made to the overall budget for 2018-19 to help lessen the burden on the schools themselves?   Shouldn’t cuts to schools be the last place we look to save money instead of the first? 

    • The district continually states that closing the achievement gap is a priority.  Why is the district limiting access, funds and resources to Capitol Hill which was designated as a “Rewards School” by the MN Department of Education (2016-2017) for outstanding growth on the MCA testing and successfully closing the achievement gap?


    Zuki Ellis, Board Chair:; 651-328-1443

    Steven Marchese, Board Vice-Chair:; 651-468-5440

    Jeanelle Foster, Board Clerk:; 763-760-2676

    John Schumacher, Board Treasurer:; 612-719-5250

    John Broderick, Director:; 651-645-7500

    Mary Vanderwert, Director:; 651-431-8626

    Marny Xiong, Director:; 612-749-1804 

    *Contact superintendent Gothard at:

    * Work with other Capitol Hill parents to set-up meetings with school board members. If you are interested in doing this, please contact Melissa Dangaran at All are welcome!

    * Have another idea? Organize your community to make it happen. Remember, YOU are the PTO.

    3. Join the Capitol Hill Facebook community! Even if you are leery of being on Facebook, you can join just to be part of the Facebook group, as some parents have done. It is a great forum to share ideas and strategize. 

    You need approval to join the group, which is usually granted within a few hours.


    Thank you once again for your time and dedication to our community,

    The Capitol Hill PTO







Support the PTO

  • Ways you can support PTO and get a tax deduction.

    Our goal is to make fundraising simple, flexible, and budget friendly for all families. 

    The more we are able to raise funds through direct donations, the fewer fundraiser events we must host; therefore freeing our time and efforts to support the school and students with more educational services and experiences.  

    1. Direct Drive - Our annual drive to gather donations directly! Contributions may be made by check or through using your credit card by clicking here. 100% of the dollars raised go directly to support teachers and students at Capitol Hill. 
    2. Volunteer opportunities - PTO supports various events throughout the year that need volunteers. Please click here to see a list of current volunteer spots that are available.  If you are interested but do not know how to help or if you have an idea of your own, email us!