Meeting Notes – October 2019

Meeting Notes – October 2019

Horace Mann PTA meeting

October 10, 2019


Libby Stanton, Karla Lauerman Cummins, Jackie Hippen, Ms. Bosch, Mary Blake, Ariel Dressler, Kelly Axtell, Ann D’Amour, Celeste Kopacek, Jill Mack, Marian Saksena Hatch

Welcome and Introductions


  • PTA membership forms (handout)
    • You’re welcome to come to meetings, volunteer, etc. whether you join PTA or not. We’re members of the national PTA, which provides assistance with our organization, advocacy, etc. 
  • We encourage and invite youth participation in all PTA meetings, committee’s, and events to provide greater student voice and leadership opportunities.
  • We seek ways for the HM PTA to support the co-curricular activities (GOTR, Scouts, Anti-Bullying Club, etc.) that directly benefit the HM community.
  • HM PTA website
  • HM PTA FB page
  • HM PTA Employer match and Amazon Smile 
  • Question:  In the past the PTA has paid for TA’s and HM lacks nursing time.  Have we looked at funding more nursing time? Answer from Ms. Bosch:  It is a contract year for SPPS and the union is looking into the whole child experience and how to pay for it.  Answer from Karla: I will forward to Principal Litwin to see how much control he has over this from his building budget.
  • Comment:  Continue to have Principal Litwin ask all families to do 1-thing each year volunteering for the school.  Ask multiple times so people feel invited to help out the school and PTA. Also, continue to have the PTA ask for specific things (sign-up genius, FB requests, etc.) to make it easy and not overwhelming.

Treasurer’s Report (Handout)

Teacher/Staff Representatives

  • Ms. Bosch, Science specialist spoke of STEAM at home initiative 2019-20.  The idea is to have more science to go home. Over MEA grades 3-5 will have an opportunity.  Then K-2 around Thanksgiving. The whole science kit will go home. Accessible to all-nothing to buy-not homework but an option to complete and put a video on Flipgrid available just to our school.
  • 2-3 volunteers requested.
  • Questions please email Ms. Bosch directly.

Principal’s Report (Handout). 

PTA Purposes and Goals

  • We’d love to hear from everyone on what they’d like to see from the PTA – how can we create an environment you’d love to come back to, what would interest you enough to get involved, etc. Notecards are provided for people to give feedback

New Business

  • By-laws and Standing Rules Approved (handouts)
  • 5th Grade PTA exit survey results (handouts)
  • Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities and Updates

Old Business

  • Address ideas generated and direct requests from prior PTA meetings in progress.
  • Actions taken and completed regarding direct requests from prior PTA meetings.
  • Question:  How to offer interpreters in at PTA meetings in an accessible and efficient way?  Answer: Ask Mr. Litwin to provide a 1-sentence (ask for interpreters) in multiple languages from the conference sign-up information and to find out how much advance time we need from district.

Dates of importance

  • Landscape Committee Fall Clean-Up October 12 9 am-noon
  • No School October 17
  • No School October 18
  • Boo Bash October 24 5-8 pm
  • No School October 25
  • Halloween Candy/Card Collection November 1-11
  • Business Partnership Night-Chipotle November 4 4-8pm
  • Election Day November 5
  • Picture retakes November 6
  • Read-a-thon Closing November 7 9-10 am
  • Conferences/Scholastic Book Fair November 13 3-8 pm
  • No School/Conferences/Scholastic Book Fair November 14 3-8 pm
  • No School/Conferences/Scholastic Book Fair November 15 8:00 am-1:00 pm 
  • Silent Auction Meeting November 18 6:30-8 pm
  • PTA Meeting November 20 6:30-7:30 pm

Committee Reports

  • Conference Meals
    • Tracy Riekenberg – During the two evening sessions of conferences in the fall, families provide a meal for the teachers, potluck style. Meal themes include Taco Night, Sandwiches, and so on. Signing up to bring food is coordinated through Sign Up Genius and is a  first-come basis. To be included in the sign up email – or to help coordinate the meals – email Tracy Riekenberg,  The Sign Up Genius email with details will go out in November.
  • Halloween Candy/Card Collection for Active Duty Military Service Members/Family Volunteer Service
    • Karla Lauerman Cummins – The Family Volunteer Service committee organizes a Halloween Candy/Card Collection for Active Duty Military Service Members in partnership with The Clark Extended Family.  Bring in any Halloween candy and/or messages or drawing donations to the HM Main Office between November 1st-11th. Veterans Day is November 11th and this is a great way to have a conversation about citizenship and service.  Requests/Input from attendee’s:  If you would like to help or have any questions please email Karla Lauerman Cummins at  Questions?
  • Business Partnerships
    • Karla Lauerman Cummins – The HM Business Partnership Committee provides access, opportunities, and recognition to our current and potential Business Partnerships.  We had our first BP with Punch Pizza on Monday and Tuesday, September 30th and October 1st with $1,044.00 raised. Next BP is at Chipotle on Monday, November 4th from 4-8:00 p.m. at the Highland Park location only. Offer good on in-store orders only.   Flyer is required – hard copy or phone or tell the cashier they are with HM.  33% of each order goes back to HM.  Last year we raised over $1,000 in 4 hours.  Please support HM and go to Chipotle.  Requests/Input from attendee’s:  Anyone that wishes to join our committee  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?
  • Sock Hop (FVSC)
    • Terri Shefelbiene – A big THANK YOU to Horace Mann families for a great sock hop.  The first graders organized and counted 700 pairs of socks donated to Project REACH, which serves St. Paul Public school families in housing transitions.  A big thanks to Sally and Andy Zimney and David McKoskey for the music, atmosphere and energy. Thanks to Emily Hansen and Laura Wilson for decorating and clean up, and to Nikki Mechelke for organizing the snacks. Look for more ways to connect with our bigger community coming up in the candy for soldiers drive and family volunteer service night.
  • Landscape Committee
    • Fall Clean Up Saturday, October 12 9am-Noon
      • Come join the Landscape Committee and spend a few hours weeding, raking and enjoying this gorgeous fall weather! We need help to keep our beautiful school grounds in good shape and ready for the winter months. If you have gardening supplies, please bring them – gloves, rakes, wheelbarrows and those cool dandelion diggers are always welcome!
      • We will have coffee ☕ and donuts?
      • Hope to see you there! ???  If you have questions please email Maya at or Eric at
  • Silent Auction
    • Allison Broughton – The Silent & Live Auction Committee wants YOU! Come see what we’re all about and how you can get involved with this fun annual event.  From decorations to donations, Great Gatherings to technical support, there is truly something for everyone.  Help a little or help a lot, we have opportunities for any level of involvement. Our next planning meeting is Monday, November 18th  from 6:30-8:00 pm in the Horace Mann Library and all are welcome.  The auction committee is also actively scouting for a new venue this year.  If you have suggestions or a personal connection to a local event space, please get in touch with Allison Broughton or Amy Colaizy Hannigan or bring your ideas to the November meeting. 
  • Box Tops
    • Heather Clark – Box Tops both traditional and the new app program are an important fundraiser for HM. Both cutting out the box tops and the app based program will continue until the traditional box tops are all expired. If you download the Box Tops Bonus app, register, and select a school (we are registered as Horace Mann School), and scan an eligible receipt containing Box Tops products. The app will automatically add Box Top earnings to our school’s earnings online, giving visibility to see how you are supporting our school in real-time. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Heather Clark at
  • Readathon 2019
    • Megan Czarniecki – The purpose of the Readathon is to encourage students to develop good reading habits early in the school year and raise money for PTA-supported activities that benefit the entire Horace Mann School community.  During the Readathon, Sept 30 – Oct 27, students track minutes read outside school and may seek pledge donations on behalf of the Horace Mann School PTA. Students should return their weekly minutes record to school each Monday. They will receive a fun prize from their teacher.  Pledges will be returned to school the week of Oct 28.
    • If your family needs a Readathon packet, extra copies are available in the school office or you can click on the Readathon introduction letter, calendar, weekly minutes record, pledge sheet, and matching gift information.  If you’re interested in Read-a-Thon volunteer opportunities contact
  • Scholastic Book Fair
    • Katie Walter – The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Horace Mann the week of November 11th! We need volunteers to make this year’s Book Fair a success! Slots are available on Tuesday afternoon (set up and Teacher Preview), Wednesday (during the Fair) Thursday (during the Fair),  and Friday morning (Fair and takedown) to fill. Kids are welcome to help out as well if you want to plan around conference times. Even if you can’t volunteer, be sure to visit the Book Fair, and don’t forget to bring your Read-a-Thon coupon if your child earned one! Hours are as follows: Tuesday, November 12 (12:00-2:00 pm set-up) Teacher Preview 2:15-3:00 pm, November 13 (3-8 pm) November 14 (3-8 pm), November 15 (8 am-1 pm). If you are interested in volunteering, please email Katie Walter or Lisa Destabramlet
Co-President-Nikki Mechlke
Co-President-Karla Lauerman Cummins
Treasurer-Jackie Hippen
Teacher Representative-Amy Kortuem
Communications Co-Chair-Marian Saksena Hatch
Communications Co-Chair-Laura Willson
Recording Secretary-Melanie McMahon
  • Prev Post
  • Next Post