Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

pto
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    Thanks to all who attended the PTO meeting on 5/13. This was the last PTO meeting of the 2018-19 school year.

     

    Meeting minutes:
     

    PTO meeting 5/13/19
     
    Dinner from Afro Deli
     
    PTO co-chairs Owen and Leslie kicked off the meeting. 
     
    Principal Bryan talked about before school options, with the new 9.30 a.m. start time in the fall. 200 elementary and 100 MS parents would like care. There is no funding for any pre-care. The district was not responsive to our suggestions. Parks and Rec may have options. Discovery Club will have 80 spots (ends at 5th grade, fee based). 
     
    We can hope that the new principal is more persuasive with the board. One parent said he is concerned about his MS kid being alone at home before school. MLK will likely offer fee-based programming. More details coming soon. Community Ed is not going to run a.m. programming, despite requests. They will run p.m. programming for CH and Ben Mays, starting at 4 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively.
     
    Kristen Cornelius gave a budget update as outgoing treasurer. $75K in the bank. $23k was spent on field trips. Detailed info in the spreadsheet that was shared at the meeting (we are unable to post an Excel spreadsheet to this site, if you are interested in a soft copy please contact the Treasurer by email). Voice Choice and Joy day will get additional funding of $2500 from the PTO since the school is short of funds.
     
    Next year’s budget is similar to this year’s. Silent Auction is successful but Spring Carnival has been declining. Overall middle school budget is the same. We will be paying for professional tax help. Increased funding for DGT as requested by organizers. Robotics will have a separate account and carry over their funds YOY. $4K is allocated for teacher special requests. A lot of expenses are still coming in. The goal is to have $40k in reserve, we will likely be at that at year end.
     
    Fall movie night had a big drop in revenue. We ordered too much food and we had a big drop in MS attendance because of a last minute movie change. Traffic restrictions between rooms also had a negative impact.
     
    GLOW has been added to the budget, We Act has been removed.
     
    Book Fair is primarily for teachers, so PTO has no goal. Budget for 2019-2020 was approved by vote.
     
    Brian Snyder talked about Scout Pack 561. Scouts are now co-ed. The pack generates its own funding and is not financially supported by the PTO. He requested a storage space but none is available. 
     
    Principal Bryan update. Good news, no staff reductions. Changes to the middle school model, writing emphasis for 6th graders, required course. Additional staffing need. MS staff will be teaching 5 1/2 periods per day, one less period. Instead of electives, some topics will be embedded (mythology, astronomy). No change to foreign languages, band and orchestra. A very lean budget, just enough to make ends meet.
     
    Last year we had fewer first graders but that was an anomaly. We have a waiting list at each grade. We are full for enrollment. 1257 projected, 1274 on paper, so there will be a funding discrepancy for 17 kids. We got one additional teacher. Because of not enough $$ we cannot have outside recess for middle school.
     
    Title 1 funding update- we are not at the 40% threshold, a loss of $250k because of a “concentration” calculation. The district decides the threshold. We will not be receiving Title 1 funds again this year.
     
    Why are we so underfunded? CH does not meet any funding “factors” in the district algorithm. Every other school does. The highest funding per student is $12K, for us is under $5K. We have demonstrated great success and still continue to lose funding.
     
    Things may change with different leadership (principal, assistant superintendent assigned to us), no way to tell.
     
    New 2019-20 board was voted in. Leslie Aktan will continue as co-chair. New incoming treasurer, secretary and co-chair positions were approved. 
     
    Principal update, May 20th is the first round of interviews with a 4 person panel, they will recommend candidates to the school district for further interviews. Pool is likely all within SPPS. First week of June announcement.
     
    A highly desired attribute of an incoming principal is an understanding of gifted kids. How are we uniquely challenging these kids? A parent expressed appreciation for the focus on social-emotional development that was brought in by Principal Bryan and maintained during his tenure. 
     
    If you have any questions or comments, please email the PTO chairs. 
     

     

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 GiveMN.org 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!