PTA meeting notes 10/12/20

PTA meeting notes 10/12/20

2020-21 Horace Mann  PTA Meeting Agenda/Notes

October 12, 2020

Agenda Item:Who:Notes:
Welcome and IntroductionsJen
Announcements Guiding goals for 2020-21: Transparent, Supportive, Responsible.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 (Girls on the Run, Scouts, Anti-Bullying Club, etc.) that directly benefit the HM community.HM PTA website (see below)HM PTA FB page (see below)HM PTA  Employer match and Amazon Smile (see below)Karla
Supportive-families, students, staff.Responsible-set ourselves up fiscally to continue to provide services/activities PTA has historically supported.Transparency-information on website and facebook.

New BusinessThank you and Welcome:Thank you to our outgoing PTA board members: Nikki Mechelke, Jackie Hippen and Marian Saksena Hatch.Thank you to our returning PTA board members: Laura Willson, Amy Kortuem, Melanie McMahon, and Karen Vander SandenWelcome to our new board members Jen Williams, Mike Axtell, Dan Dressler, Jill Mack, Catherine GuglieimoBoard ApprovalLeadership and Volunteer Opportunities and UpdatesBoard Opening co-recorder 2020-21Board Shadowing 2020-21MITI co-chair 2020-21Scholastic Book Fair co-chair 2020-21Family Volunteer Service committee members 2020-21Yearbook co-chair and committee members 2020-21Committee chair/co-chair/members/volunteersChat for new ideas.Karla

Board shadow is a chance to see what PTA board entails without the commitment.
Many committee positions are open and volunteers are welcomed!
Treasurer’s Report and Budget Approval (see below) and presentation.
-Positive balance at the end of the 2019-20 school year.  -Budget information available by e-mailing PTA treasurer. budget is simplified to improve transparency.  Budget is based on the current model of distance learning.  -Will be adjusted with a shift to in person model.-PTA is in a comfortable position thanks to work of previous years.-Many events such as make-it, take-it/carnival will be no cost this year.-Bookfair is online.-Read-a-thon is delayed to November.-Plant sale will continue.-Auction will continue-remote format.-Classroom teacher and specialist materials-in DL and Hybrid PTA will provide $100 to start and will provide more as a special request as they find a need.  Teachers may need to replenish “lost” items from the spring emergency DL.  -Art aventure will continue in some format-TBD-Accelerated reader for 3-5 (RAZ-Kids for K-2).-Family volunteer service night-continue in some remote format
Teacher’s ReportVocal Music program update and curriculum review (see below)Mr. Dutcher
Principal’s ReportNo information providedMr. Litwin-This year is new to everyone and requires quite a bit of new learning and flexibility as we may shift to hybrid learning.  -Recognizes the difficulty of making the choice of hybrid vs distance without a lot of information.  It was necessary in order to set up the virtual academy and hybrid models.-Wednesday 10/14 announcement will be made regarding Stage 2 moving to Hybrid with a start date of 11/16 provided that the indicators don’t change in the interim.-Stage 3 determinations are not known to principals/public at this time.-Mr. Litwin’s announcement videos will resume with upcoming school-wide events.
Action Items: Please submit your family directory form submit your volunteer form: 2020-2021 Volunteer Form.  You can find more information about the PTA Committees and other volunteer opportunities at 20-21 PTA Volunteer Programs and Event Descriptions.Jen-Family Directory being printed at the end of this month-fill out the form to have your information included!
-Please consider volunteering this year.
PTA Committee Updates (see below)Give to the Max DayScholastic Book FairRead-a-thonAuctionBox TopsCommittee Chairs
Brandon M
Katie W
Becky M
Allison B
Amy H
See information below for updates.Read-a-Thon-Theme “Reading Brings us Together” Goal to raise $20,000 and encourage good reading habits.  Information will include a book this year.  Packets will be dropped off at parents’ homes.  Help is needed and appreciated to distribute packets.  Estimated 2 hour commitment if 12 volunteers participate in drop off.

HM PTA website:  If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please email 

Facebook HM Family “private” group

Employer match and Amazon Smile: We also encourage families to check with their employers as many offer a company match to the cash donations made by their employees and if you are an Amazon user, go to and search for “PTA Minnesota Congress 008740 Horace Mann PTA” and designate HM PTA as your charitable organization.

Mr. Dutcher Curriculum Overview:

Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Report for 2019-20 School Year:  Dan Dressler, Mike Axtel

Total Revenue: $115,401
Total Expenses: $ 82,080
Revenue subtract Expenses:$ 33,321
Bank Account Balance as of: $98,372
*Our YTD is August 2019-July 2020 

If you are interested in more details of the PTA budget please contact Dan or Mike directly at

Committee Reports:

Give to the Max Day: Brandon Mason: GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day is coming up on Thursday, November 19, 2020 (with “early giving” options starting November 1).  With COVID-19 disrupting some other revenue-generating activities, this may be a more important fundraising vehicle than it has been in the past. Please consider donating to HMS PTA for Give to the Max Day on 11/19 and/or spreading the word to your family and friends and on social media. In addition, if you are interested in offering a matching or incentive gift to encourage participation (anonymously or not), please let Brandon Mason know. Brandon is coordinating and can be reached at or 651-216-6171.

Box Tops:  Heather Clark:  Changes to Box Tops Program Continues in 2020 

Changes continue into 2020 for the Box Tops program.  You’ll begin to see a new way to earn cash for our school. You’ll start to see a new Box Tops icon on participating products – when you purchase a product with this icon you will then have the ability to scan your receipt to earn dollars for Horace Mann via the Box Tops Bonus App on your phone.

What does this mean? 

Eventually the paper Box Tops will no longer be accepted. During this interim time (for the next two years) we can still accept and submit paper box tops up until their expiration date.

How does the new program work? 

Please download the Box Tops Bonus app, register, and select a school (we are registered as Horace Mann School, St. Paul), 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.

What do we do now?

Please note that many eligible products have not yet transitioned to the new program. Please continue to clip and save the paper Box Tops as they can still be submitted and earn money for the school.  We will coordinate a paper Box Tops submission again once school is back in person or hybrid learning. 

Support our Box Tops collection efforts by downloading the Box Tops Bonus app. As packaging continues to transition over to the new program in 2020 on eligible products you’ll be prepared to scan your receipts and earn dollars for Horace Mann!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Heather Clark at

Silent & Live Auction Committee: Allison Broughton/Amy Hannigan:  Members of the 2019-20 committee met in late September and came to the consensus that the most practical and safest course of action will be to plan for an online/virtual event in the Spring of 2021.  We are hoping to include a silent auction similar to our event last year as well as a live program and live auction.  We will be exploring options for virtual event platforms/software to create a polished event that is easy for parents to participate in.  The committee will also be exploring creative ways to bring the fun of a live event into Horace Mann homes.  The ongoing pandemic and its subsequent economic toll have been taken into account as we adjust our projections for funds raised at this event.  While our dollars raised may be smaller this year, we will be focusing on fostering a spirit of community and connection.   

The committee will be meeting online monthly for planning meetings.  If you know of any parents willing to volunteer who have experience with online events, fundraising, communications, marketing or AV/video production, please send them our way!  Co-chairs Allison Broughton and Amy Hannigan  Or

President: Karla Lauerman Cummins

Vice President: Jen Williams

Treasurers: Dan Dressler and Mike Axtel

Teacher Representative: Amy Kortuem

Communications: Laura Willson and Melanie McMahon

Catherine Guglieimo: Recording Secretary:

Karen Vander Sanden and Jill Mack: Volunteer Coordinator:

Attendance: Karla Lauerman Cummins, Jen Williams, Dan Dressler, Mike Axtel, Amy Kortuem, Laura WIllson, Melanie McMahon, Catherine Guglieimo, Karen Vander Sanden, Jill Mack, Justin Smith, Kevin Dutcher, Sarah Deming, Jim Litwin, Becky Mayer, Brandon Mason, Kathy Hedin, Ann D’Amour, Sebastian Ferrari, Delina Ferfon, Joy Collman

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