Meeting Notes – September 2018

Meeting Notes – September 2018

Horace Mann School PTA

September 7, 2018

Announcements and Good News

Directory forms went home previously, volunteer forms and PTA membership forms are going home this week. Directories are a great way to get in touch with other families, and volunteer forms are a great way to find ways to get involved and help out at the school in whatever ability you can.  Volunteer forms would be helpful to have back by Fri., Sept. 28th.

Teacher Representatives

  • Phy-Ed specialist (Mr. Castillo)
    • The students have been outside as much as possible, using the parking lot and running around the field until the gym is finished. The PTA helps buy equipment, and supports the roller skating program and training for school patrols. Once in the gym, kids will have a lot of chances to move around and improve as an individual. Make sure your student wears tennis shoes on his/her gym days. This year Mr. Castillo will do the Jump Rope for Heart again – to date Horace Mann has raised nearly $50,000 for the American Heart Association.
  • Art specialist (Ms. Kolosso)
    • This is Ms. Kolosso’s second year at Horace Mann and having a full art classroom is great. Ms. Kolosso is building a lego wall and the kids are excited for that to be completed. The art standards are changing, beginning this year, and the updates are good at making the elements of art meaningful for all students. The hallways have huge boards on them that can be filled with the student’s art and will make the whole school have the children’s personalities throughout it.

PTA Purpose and Goals

The Horace Mann PTA is committed to educating all children at Horace Mann academically, socially, and emotionally. Each table had a small group discussion about the mission of the Horace Mann PTA – talking about what people would like the PTA to do, what they don’t want the PTA to do, and ways the PTA can help parents get involved.

Treasurer’s Report/Budget Approval

The PTA Treasurer went through an overview of the budget – the overall budget for 2018-19 is $76,750. Last year’s budget authorized funding a TA for this year, and established a minimum operating balance. The two largest school fundraisers are the Read-a-thon and the Silent Auction. Other revenue comes from Box Tops, business partnerships (i.e. Davanni’s, Chipolte), etc. Main expenses are to support the school-wide events, teacher and staff support, student programs (i.e. vocal music, band), enrichment activities (i.e. art enrichment, Biz Town, etc.) and hospitality and recognition.

Anne Pavlis submitted a special request for a Buddy Bench for the playground. This is a bench where a student can sit when they’re out on the playground and feeling lonely or is looking for a friend. Students will learn that if they see a classmate sitting on the bench they should reach out and be a friend. SPPS already donated the concrete pad for a bench when they were doing the construction this week. Kevin Franklin, a neighbor on Kenneth St. across from the school, passed away last year. Kevin would walk through the playground before leaving for work to pick up trash, would notify Principal Litwin if he ever saw issues, etc. and was a great friend to the school. Half of the money has already been raised.

Principal’s Report

The staff has been really flexible dealing with the construction for the past year. There are some remaining things to be done (let the grass grow a bit, rebalance the heating/cooling, let the gym floor set, clean and unpack the library, etc.). There will be a grand opening on the evening of Thursday, October 4th for the entire community. Make sure to spread the word and invite your neighbors and past parents.

The staff will focus professionally this year at small group instruction and how to help the entire class be engaged and working, and also be able to help small groups of students who need support whether they’re below, above, or at grade level. The goal is for every student to make a year’s growth or more.

There are monthly all school meetings and there will be a character trait or social skill to focus on each month this school year. This month Principal Litwin will focus on kindness. Every time a student does an act of kindness Principal Litwin will give them a pom pom to put in a container in the office so the kids can visually see it fill.

Principal Litwin handed out bookmarks with information on the referendum on November 6th. SPPS has reached a very serious time in public education where additional funding is needed. This bookmark is background information on what SPPS is seeking and why they’re seeking it. On November both a no vote AND leaving it blank counts as a no. There will be future outreach efforts – SPPS employees are not allowed to advocate, and can only provide information. You can learn

You can find more information about our school goals at

PTA Committee Updates

Read-a-Thon: this is one of the biggest fundraisers for the school. Students keep track of how many minutes they read and raise money for the school based on their reading. There are prizes for amount of minutes raised, and for amount of money raised. The opening ceremony is a blast and the kids love it.

Landscape Committee: first meeting is this Thursday at 3:15 in Ms. Boos room. The fall clean up is October 13th from 9:00 a.m.-noon.

Business Partnership Committee: Last year there were four events. You can help by giving ideas and suggestions about small businesses you know or opportunities you may have a connection with. You can also help by joining the committee and helping with communication of the events.

Sock Hop: All students are invited, and there’s a DJ parent who will provide music and make it fun and excited for the kids. The PTA also takes donations of socks and gently used shoes.

Attendance: Karla Cummins, Beth Judeh, Mark Castillo, Christina Roble, Brandon Mason, Emily Serig, Anne Pavlis, Celeste Kopacek, Waseem Darawsha, Carrie Wolf, Jackie Hippen, Laura Willson, Laura Baerthel, Stephanie Taggart, Sarah Schultz, Jill Mack, Heather Clark, Catherine Guglielmo, Delina Ferfon, Paul Ferfon, Megan Garniedei, Aaron Litzenberg, Britt Moore, Erin Ekstrand, Joy Collman, Megan Press, Melanie McMahon, Becky Clifford, Carolyn Warren, Allen Broderius, Allison Litzenberg, Amy Hannigan, Karie Johnson, Marian Saksena Hatch, Nicole Brush, Guillermo Hernandez, Mariah Tollgaard, Alex Kotze, Katie Sexe, Libby Stanton

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