Meeting Agenda – March 2019

Meeting Agenda – March 2019

2018-19 Horace Mann  PTA Meeting Agenda

March 5, 2019

Agenda Item:Purpose:Who:Time:
Welcome and IntroductionsInformationKarla
AnnouncementsLeadership and Volunteer Opportunities (PTA Board, Committee Co-chair or Membership, Shadowing)Lego Robotics Update-(See back of sheet.)FYI-Budgeting discussions have started.InformationIdeasKarla
Teacher RepresentativesELL Teacher and 3rd Grade TeamInformationQuestionsMr. LindskoogMs. HarmonMs. Traxler 10 min
New BusinessStanding Rules Adoption (handout)Bylaw Adoption (handout)Education Advocacy Postcards (handout)NAAPID support, recap, and feedbackParenting Speaker- (See back of sheet.)SPPS PTA/PTO requestNotecards for New Ideas or OpinionsInformationQuestionsIdeasActionDecisionNikkiKarlaMelanieMs. Traxler10 min
Treasurer’s Report(see back of sheet)InformationQuestionsJackie 5 min
Principal’s ReportLevy/Budgeting/Staffing updates on the April PTA meeting agenda.Parent/teacher conferences advice and suggestions. Also seeking input on two new conference formats.InformationQuestionsIdeasPrincipal Litwin
10  min
Landscape Committee SpeakerHolly Johnson, Master Gardener Information Questions Ideas
Holly Johnson
30 min
PTA/HM  Committee Updates: (see back of sheet)Silent/Live Auction CommitteeSpring Plant Sale CommitteeLandscape CommitteeBusiness Partnership CommitteeBox Tops CommitteeArt Adventure CommitteeConference Meals CommitteeFree Family Fun Nights CommitteeFamily Volunteer  Service CommitteeSpring Carnival CommitteeSpirit Wear CommitteeInformationQuestionsIdeasCommittee Chairs

Dates of importance:

  • Silent and Live Auction March 8th 6:30-10 pm
  • Parent Seminar March 14th 5:30-8 pm
  • Teacher Conferences March 20th 4-7 pm
  • Landscape Committee Meeting March 21st 3:15-4:15 pm
  • Teacher Conferences/No School March 21st 4-7 pm
  • Teacher Conferences/No School March 22nd 8:30 am-3 pm
  • Grade 2 and 3 Music Concert (Tentative) March 27th 1:30 and 6:30 pm
  • Spring Break/No School April 1st-5th
  • PTA Meeting April 10th 6:30-7:30 pm

Lego Robotics:  Laura Vander Wegen: The Horace Mann FLL/Lego Robotics team Outer Space Otters advanced to the State tournament which was held at Washington Technical Magnet School on February 23rd.  64 Minnesota teams stretching from Warroad to Blackduck, Duluth to Grand Rapids and Rochester to Mankato with members in grades 4-8 competed in the event. The teams were each judged on 4 major categories:

-Robot Design and Programming- Core Values/Team Building-Research Project and Presentation-Robot Missions Accomplishment.

The event was attended by over 1,500 team members and spectators who put on an amazing display of sportsmanship and high quality performances in their robot runs and research presentations.  The top 3 finishers advanced to World Championship in Detroit in April. The HM team did not win any individual awards in this event, but the lessons and experiences gained will go a long way towards making them better team players and FLL robot designers.  The FLL teams would like to thank the PTA for their support of materials and equipment over the years!! It is truly an advantage to be on a single robot platform! Ezra, Sophia, Aislyn, Cooper, Elliot, Mary and Naomi

Standing Rules:  Nikki Mechelke: Standing rules are new to most local PTA units.  They provide process and details that are not contained in the bylaws, such as when you meet, committees, terms, etc.  Standing rules must not conflict with the bylaws. Unlike bylaws, standing rules may be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting.  The proposal to adopt universal bylaws and standing rules was approved at the Minnesota PTA convention on May 19, 2018.

Universal Bylaws:  Karla Lauerman Cummins:  Universal Bylaws are new to local PTA units.  They provide a framework of organization and purpose for local PTA units.  Bylaws may not be changed from administration to administration or from meeting to meeting and will only be altered at the Minnesota PTA convention.  The proposal to adopt universal bylaws and standing rules were approved at the Minnesota PTA convention on May 19, 2018.

Horace Mann PTA Purpose:  The purpose of the Horace Mann School Parent Teacher Association in common with those of the National PTA and the Minnesota PTSA, are:

  • To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, places of worship, and throughout the community;
  • To raise the standards of home life;
  • To advocate for laws that further the education, physical and mental health, welfare, and safety of children and youth;
  • To engage the public in united efforts to secure the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of all children and youth;
  • To advocate for fiscal responsibility regarding public tax dollars in public education funding.

Horace Mann School Mission:  To provide a safe, respectful school community that builds upon our tradition of high expectations for all students; nurtures the uniqueness of each child; and ensures that families are connected, informed, and involved.

Horace Mann Vision:  Imagine every student making a year’s growth or more academically, socially, and emotionally.  Imagine every student prepared for the next academic year, middle school, and beyond–learning how to learn and how to create achievement through effort. Imagine a supportive school community united, learning with and from each other, to achieve this vision.

Parenting Speaker-David Bredehoft scheduled for April 15th 6:30 pm “Raising likeable, responsible, respectful children.”  Author of How much is too much? and How much is enough?  Resources on how to avoid the pitfalls of raising overindulged children and why overindulging children causes them harm into adulthood. 5th Grade Ambassadors will be providing school-age childcare on-site.

Treasurer’s Report:  Jackie Hippen: Treasurer’s Report:  Jackie Hippen:  

YTD Total Revenue: $54,895                                                                                                 YTD Total Expenses: $75,334                                                                                                 YTD Deficit ($20,439)                                                                                                                                        Total Account Balance as of 2/28/19:  $56,311                                                                                          February 2019 Revenue: $   2,282                                                                                                         February 2019 Expenses: $   6,847                                                                                                                     Our YTD is July 2018-June 2019

Also see handout for complete budget report. If you are interested in more details of the PTA budget please contact Jackie Hippen directly at

Landscape Speaker: Holly Johnson: HOLLY JOHNSON, a Master Gardener from the University of Minnesota Extension program  first heard about the Master Gardener Program through newsletters from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and took the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Core Course in 2002 and the Tree Care Advisor Course in 2004.  She is an active member and a past board member of the Washington County Master Gardeners. Holly lives in a townhome community in Mahtomedi where she has learned to enjoy the creative challenge of gardening in small spaces. She has assisted her self-managed 68 home community with their landscaping for over 20 years.  Still working full time, Holly is the founder and President of Lanterna Consulting Inc. (  She brings to her clients the benefits gained from more than 25 years of experience. In addition to extensive facilitation experience, her areas of expertise include strategic assessment and planning, organizational design and development, leadership team and/or committee formation and development, project design and management, and merger/acquisition integration. She has been engaged by clients in public, private and non-profit sector organizations for a wide range of challenges and growth opportunities.  She has a deep interest in building stronger teams, organizations, and communities.

Committee Reports:

Silent Auction:  Anne Pavlis:  The 2019 Horace Mann PTA Silent & Live Auction:  ‘One Small Night for Mann, One Giant Leap for Mann Kids’ This year’s Silent Auction is THIS FRIDAY March 8th at Harriet Island!  If you have not yet done so, turn in your RSVP asap.  

  1. We are collecting donations of adult beverages to be raffled for our WALL OF ADULT BEVERAGES.  Donations can be dropped in the school office.
  2. We are selling raffle tickets for some “Out of this World” prizes.  $10 per ticket.
  3. Questions?  Please contact Anne Pavlis (

Spring Plant Sale:  Anne Pavlis: 2019 Plant Sale is Coming!

The Plant Sale is a fantastic opportunity for school families, neighbors and friends to contribute to the many wonderful PTA programs that support our school and teachers.  Plus your order is delivered directly to school!

  • Order information will come home with kids on March 22nd – be on the lookout!
  • 2019 Plant delivery date is Thursday, May 16th.
    • Please contact Anne Pavlis ( with any questions…thank you!

Landscape Committee:  Maya Missaghi: The Landscape Committee has had a great year so far. We had a very successful Fall Clean-up and are hopeful to figure out Spring weather enough to plan a Spring Clean-Up at some point before June. Other accomplishments are submission of a Silent Auction item for our school fundraiser: MannPower yard Clean-up Crew powered by our own 5th grade volunteers (and adults)!

Questions/comments: and

Business Partnerships:  Karla Lauerman Cummins: Information:We had our 3 of 4 Business Partnership Events at Noodles & Company in February. We raised $332.35. Thank you to everyone that came out to support HM. Business Partnerships this year have generated $1,269.35 thru 3/1/19.  Employee Giving/Company Match/Give to the Max donations have totaled $12,593 thru 3/1/19.  Two local restaurants have donated dinner for the teachers at Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Thank you to Shish and Jimmy John’s Requests/Input from Attendee’s: Anyone that wishes to join our committee of 3  is very welcome and/or if you have any new ideas of BP opportunities or ways to thank our partners please let us know. and/or   Questions?

Box Tops:  Heather Clark: Spring Box Tops submission deadline was March 1st and to date for the 2018-2019 school year Horace Mann has earned $797.70 ($546.40 from the fall submission and $251.30 for the spring).  We will collect box top collections again prior to the end of the school year.  We also will distribute bags to incoming Kindergarten families at Kindergarten Round Up in May and every student (K-4) will also get another collection bag prior to the end of the school year to remind families to continue to trim box tops.

Many thanks to the volunteers who have assisted in the sorting, trimming, and grouping of the box tops to prepare them for submission this school year – many hands make light work – and when you think about each box top being worth 10 cents and the total amount the school has earned – that’s a lot of box tops that have been touched by these volunteers.  Look for another reminder in mid-May to bring your box top collections to school! Heather Clark

Art Adventure:  Amy Holter: The Art Adventure Program has been up and running throughout the month of February and will continue into March as all classrooms will visit the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (aka Mia) this month on a field trip. In February, all 17 classrooms viewed 6 poster replications of art pieces from Mia, passed around touch and feel props relating to the art, and were led in discussion by Art Adventure volunteers. This program is designed to foster critical thinking skills, creativity, curiosity, and an appreciation for art. This year’s art theme was called Sources of Strength and can be viewed by following Art Adventure links on Mia’s website. The generous funding for the Art Adventure program from PTA pays for all volunteers to receive training at the museum, rental of the art kit that we use for instruction in the classrooms, and also bussing to and from the museum for Art Adventure themed field trips for every classroom. We are so happy to have had another successful adventure bringing this wonderful program to the students at Horace Mann this year!  Amy Holter

Conference Meals: Amy Holter: Putting on a meal for teachers and staff during conferences is one of the staples at Horace Mann of showing our appreciation for all the work of our teachers. We will provide meals again during spring conferences this March with a mix of donations from families and local restaurants Shish and Jimmy John’s.. Anyone wishing to contribute can contact Amy Holter to be put on the sign up list.

Free Family Fun Nights: Alex Kotze:   The second annual Free Family Bingo Night was held Thursday, February 28th.  It was well attended with over 160 family, friends, students, teachers, parents, neighbors and grandparents sharing a night of popcorn, lemonade and B-I-N-G-O!!  Small prizes or gift cards donated by Menchies were awarded to game winners. We were able to secure our celebrity letter caller for the second year in a row and she performed stupendously. Laura Vander Wegen organized it all with popcorn and lemonade. 1 hour and 15 minutes was a great length of time for this event.  No meltdowns, very few spills!!  Look for another Fun Family Game Night in April.  If you would like to join in the fun everyone is welcome and if you would like to join in the fun and volunteer on the committee you are always welcome.Alex Kotze

Volunteer Family Service Committee:  Terri Shefelbine:  Over 130 people attended Friday’s Family Volunteer Service Night.  We made 50 dinner kits for LINK, 40 blankets for new immigrants, 30 cleaning kits for Project Reach, 60 care kits for CLUES, and 50 grocery bags for Keystone food shelf. The therapy dogs and Louie McGee’s low-vision simulation were popular with kids too and allowed time for us to connect with our larger community.  If you would like to join or co-chair the committee next year please contact Terri at

Carnival: Laura Vander Wegen:  The Carnival committee has set the date for the HM Spring Carnival for the last Friday before the end of the school year, May 31st.  The carnival  is a family oriented event to promote a sense of community.  Please mark your calendars and look for donation and signup requests in the coming weeks. Laura Vander Wegen

Spirit Wear Committee: Becky Clifford:  We are  excited to share that the new Horace Mann Spiritwear website has been updated, and is ready to take orders! Once again, Lands End will be our vendor. Following are the steps to order you or your child some new gear.

1. Go to

2. Select “school” from the choices along the top of the page

3. Select “Find your school” from the drop down box (top left choice)

4. HM’s school number is 900183542, after pressing enter, it will pop up on the right side of the screen.

5. Select a gender, and “Spiritwear”, then “shop now”

Spiritwear choices include full-zip hoodies, non-zip hoodies, fleece jackets, T-shirts, girls leggings, boys athletic shorts and hats.

Co-President-Nikki Mechelke,  

Co-President -Karla Lauerman Cummins,

Treasurer-Jackie Hippen,

Teacher Representative-Amy Kortuem,

Co-Communications Secretary-Allison Litzenberg,

Co-Communications Secretary-Libby Stanton,

Recording Secretary-Melanie McMahon,

Co-Volunteer Coordinator-Katie Sexe,

Co-Volunteer Coordinator-Tracy Riekenberg,

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