Larchmont ES PTA Meeting Minutes, respectfully submitted by Elizabeth Janik
Attendance: Elizabeth Janik, Amy Gilmore, Amy Gortz, Jennifer Mann, Vicky Greco, Jen Greeley, Pat Melise, Tanaia Hines, Stuart White, Kristen Lassalle, Chris Voter, Sarah Hulcher, Julie Malcolm, Angela Domingos, Naoko Inada, Mark Todd, Barb Frith, Stephanie Leftwich-Needham, John Garrett, Audra Hansen, Jen Barkan, Ellen Chamberlain, Liz Philpott, Amanda Hill, Ginger White, Eric Peterson
Welcome and introductions – Amanda Hill called the meeting to order at 6:30, and all present introduced themselves.
Treasurer’s Report – Jen Barkan reported that $3800 in RAT Race sponsorships has been received so far. She and Amanda completed last year’s audit, which will be presented to the general membership at the Open House on 9/13, and then sent on to the national PTA.
President’s Report – Amanda reported that the Meet & Greet on 8/30 went well and thanked everyone who participated. Committee descriptions are still needed for the PTA website – please send these to Patrick McCarty. A chair is still needed for the publishing house – please contact Amanda if you are interested. Luna Magpili may be available this year to write grants.
Amanda relayed Mrs. Clark’s request for 15 more ladybugs (electronic document readers and projectors), so that all classroom teachers would have one. Vicky Greco moved to purchase these through the PTA’s instructional equipment funds, and all present voted in favor.
Principal’s Report – Dr. Melise thanked the PTA for the ladybugs, and she said that there would be a meeting at 9:00 on 9/12 for all 1st-grade parents. The school website is now being updated.
Open House – will be held at 6 pm on 9/13. It will begin with a short video presentation from Dr. Melise, Amanda Hill, and Eric Peterson, followed by a 20-minute classroom session. A second classroom session will follow for families with more than one student.
Contact Liz Philpott if you would like to volunteer to help direct parents. Amanda confirmed which groups will need tables at the event, and she asked those with tables to arrive for set-up by 5:15.
RAT Race – Eric Peterson reported that everything is going well. He has received $4600 in cash commitments so far, and $2000 in in-kind donations. T-shirts with a logo designed by Mark Todd will be printed on Friday. Eric needs someone to help with the course on the afternoon of the race; the position involves riding in a golf cart and can be easily learned.
Ginger White reported that there will be new medals, as well as new glow glasses for purchase at the party. Ynot and Kona Ice will provide refreshments, and all racers will get free pizza and a drink.
Liz Philpott asked everyone to check out the race website for volunteer opportunities. High school groups in particular are needed as volunteers.
Marcus Jones will be the race’s honorary starter. Superintendent King has been invited, and Vicky will remind him in person at the upcoming community forum.
There was discussion about when best to send the race forms home with the kids, since the cost of registration will go up after Friday (9/14). It was agreed to send the forms home on Tuesday, and not to wait for the Thursday folders.
Amy Gortz suggested that all race participants receive a ribbon or some other kind of recognition.
Legislative Advocacy – Sarah Hulcher announced there are three Virginia PTA legislative action items to be voted on this fall – involving the participation of homeschoolers in extracurricular activities, discipline policies, and school calendars. More information is available on the Virginia PTA website. Ballots are due by 10/23 and can be given to Sarah or turned in to the PTA box in the office.
Amanda reminded everyone that all school volunteers must complete an official background check form, which can be turned in to Ms. Artis. Barb Frith is checking whether voter registration numbers can be submitted on the forms, instead of social security numbers.
ODU Homecoming Parade – will take place on the morning of 10/13. Dr. Melise has the registration form, but a volunteer is still needed to take the lead for the school to participate.
Membership/Directory – The classroom contest to encourage PTA membership will run until 10/3, with the popsicle party winners announced on 10/5. Amy Gortz will create an Olympic-themed banner for the cafeteria to encourage participation. Jenn Mann announced that there is 100% teacher participation this year.
Education Garden – Stephanie Leftwich-Needham reported that classes will be coming to the garden on Friday and next week to plant fall vegetables.
Reporter/Constant Contact – Please send information to Bug Gallagher by Sundays for it to be included in the following week’s Constant Contact. The Reporter will come home with the kids on Thursday.
Fall Harvest – will be held on 10/25 from 5:30-7:30. Amy Gortz said that, like last year, there will be food from Mojo Bones, several activity booths, and representation from the Master Gardeners and Oberweis dairy. This year’s main entrance to the festivities will be at the back of the school near the parking lot, in order to be closer to the cafeteria. This year there will be more white lights and more pumpkins for decorating, and there will be two different times for serving dinner. Ticket prices are $10 for adults, and $6 for kids.
Afterschool clubs – Amy Gilmore announced this year’s clubs include field hockey, tennis, science/technology, baton twirling, theater, and the sticky fingers duct tape club. Vicky Greco and others expressed interest in leading the Lego club. The sign-up deadline is 9/24. The cost per club is $20, with the PTA covering the cost of any scholarships.
Other business – Vicky said that the second NPS community forum will take place on 10/12 at Ruffner Academy. The due date for Reflections is 10/19.
Dr. Melise announced that the community meeting about the school building that was scheduled for 9/17 has been postponed.
Ms. Hines announced that Superintendent King would like to boost the Norfolk schools’ United Way participation. There will be a 3-week campaign from 10/1 – 10/19 and a rainbow banner in the cafeteria to encourage students to get involved. Amanda and Dr. Melise raised concerns about adding another cause for the kids to donate to (in addition to Relay for Life, etc.), as well as ensuring that kids don’t give away their lunch money. Ms. Hines will get in touch with Liz Philpott about coordinating volunteers.
The meeting adjourned at 7:45