PTA Meeting Notes – Nov 9, 2020

PTA Meeting Notes – Nov 9, 2020

2020-21 Horace Mann  PTA Meeting Agenda 

November 9th, 2020

Agenda Item:Who:Notes:
Welcome and IntroductionsKarla
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)
Website: Aaron: Currently 3 volunteers have offered to assist Aaron with the site, will be looking for more help.  The site provides activity information/serves as a communication hub for the HM PTA community.
Membership open through the end of this month-can fill out form online. See below
New BusinessFree Family Fun Night Ideas and FeedbackScholastic Book Fair InformationChat for new ideas.Alex K.
Katie W.
Alex: No in person events at this time.  Considering virtual event (e.g BINGO, or music option with Mr. Dutcher are some ideas).  Contact Allison at information under Free Family Fun Night Chair in HM Directory with feedback, questions, or ideas.
Katie: Book Fair-will be virtual.  Information below.  Nov. 20th-Dec 3rd on the Scholastic site-access using link sent out 11/20 on HM-PTA website and via email.  Scholastic will ship orders to your home. Should arrive before winter holidays. Looking for first grade parents to send an email to the grade level promoting the book fair.Catherine: What will happen to readathon packets and school supply boxes that were unable to be delivered/pick-up. Judy Brown has 75 undelivered school supply boxes/, SPPS has no intention to deliver.  Amy Kortuem will help coordinate volunteers to deliver these supplies.  Contact in advance and ask if text or a knock on the door is preferred.
Weekend deliveries seemed to be more successful
Question about whether providing the materials drop off service (like was done for the readathon) could continue throughout the year to support teachers.  Provided there are volunteers, this could continue.  Katie Walter shared an idea for PTA to have/facilitate grade level groups to share ideas/tips, commiserate, provide a community for families.  Karla will follow up with Katie W.
Amy Kortuem is requesting that the PTA send a plant in memory of head custodian, Mike, who passed away from COVID.  Staff is struggling and would appreciate grace this week as they handle this loss.
Treasurer’s Report (see below)DanUnder-budget for this time of year due to Distance Learning.  Current balance (not reflected below) is around 94,000 and will be fully updated at the January meeting. 
Principal’s ReportHybrid Learning Mr. LitwinUnable to attend-Mr. Litwin will set up a separate meeting at a later date to discuss the Hybrid model.
Old Business:Leadership 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/volunteersMembership (see below)HM Directory and Handbook (see below)Volunteering (see below)JenMany volunteer/leadership opportunities available.  See links below.Reach out to with questions.
PTA Committee Updates (see below)Auction CommitteeMITI CommitteeGive to the Max CommitteeScholastic Book FairCommittee ChairsMake it Take it (MITI)-will be putting together “take it make it” kits for families to pick up. -Looking for thoughts about volume of kits to create.
Give to the Max-see below.  Can donate to readathon/give to the max (same site) and have donation matched.  
Auction committee meeting tomorrow (11/10/20) open to anyone who would like to join.  Contact information below.

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.

Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Report for August 1-October 31:  Dan Dressler, Mike Axtel

YTD Total Revenue: $ 2,213
YTD Total Expenses: $ 3,783
YTD  Revenue subtract Expenses             (-$1,570)

Bank Account Balance as of 10/31/20: $ 99,409.45
Aug/Sept/Oct 2020  Revenue: $2,213
Aug/Sept/Oct  2020 Expenses: $3,783
Aug/Sept/Oct Revenue subtract Expenses   (-$1,570)

*Our YTD is August 2020-July 2021 

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

Membership:  Please JOIN the HM PTA during our Membership month. A paper copy 1-page Membership form was delivered with the read-a-thon materials this week and can be mailed back to HM OR pay with Pay Pal and fill out the membership form right now at our website.

The HM PTA seeks to support all families and students of HM.  We provide everything from vocal music, to enrichment and field trips, community-building events, the directory and direct financial support to staff and teachers. Your Membership matters.  If you have any questions please email Karla Lauerman Cummins and Jen Williams at

HM Directory and Handbook: The HM Directory and Handbook is provided to all families free of charge from the HM PTA.  Each HM family should have received 1 copy of the directory either to their doorstep or with the school supply distribution. If you receive two we apologize and encourage you to drop the extra off at HM in the plastic bin outside the red doors at your convenience. If you have any questions or do not receive a directory by the end of next week please email Karla Lauerman Cummins and Jen Williams at

A HUGE thank you to the Directory Committee volunteers for producing a Directory to encourage community and communication in this year where we all free a bigger need to connect.  Thank you Drew Johnson, Riley Conway, Pete Kleiber, and Carley Odens for all their hard work.

Volunteering : Please consider volunteering this year.  No experience necessary? All are welcome.  Complete the 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 This 2020-2021 Volunteer Form replaces the paper copy that we have distributed in past years.  It will take less than a minute. Questions?  Please contact Volunteer Coordinators Jill Mack and Karen Vander Sanden at

Committee Reports:

Auction Committee Update: Allison Broughton:  This year’s auction will be held online on Friday, March 12, 2021.  Save-the-date messages and business donation requests will be going out during the month of November.  The virtual event will feature a pre-recorded program with staff, student and parent speakers.  It is our goal to foster a sense of connection and community while we raise funds to benefit HMS.  We will be encouraging all active PTA members to help us achieve this goal by serving as advocates and promoters of this fun online event.  Please contact co-chairs Allison Broughton and Amy Colaizy Hannigan with any questions or suggestions by email at 

Make It Take It 2020 Update: Grace Hanson: For this year’s MITI our goal is to create a fun and free activity for our HM families as the weather turns colder. Our safety model will be More of a Take It and Make It. Our committee is working on assembling winter themed craft kits that students can make at home and maybe share with others for the holidays. The kits will be distributed on a first come/first serve basis in early December.  More details about the date and time to come.  If you have any questions or would like to join the committee please email Grace Hanson

Give to the Max Day: Brandon Mason: GiveMN’s Give to the Max Day is coming up on Thursday, November 19, and Horace Mann will be participating.  Since the Read-a-Thon will be in full swing, families and friends who can give can hit two birds with one stone by donating to the Read-a-Thon.  Anonymous donors will be matching 100% of donations made online or offline between now and Give to the Max Day (up to a total of $10,000), so please plan to encourage your friends and family to donate to on GTMD!  There will be shareable posts in the PTA Facebook group on GTMD.  Online donations can be made at Cash & check gifts will count toward the match too, and help save on online credit card processing fees. 

Scholastic Book Fair:  Katie Walter:  We will hold our annual Scholastic Book Fair online this year. Shopping dates are Nov. 20-Dec. 3, which gives orders enough time to arrive before winter break.  Orders will ship directly to people’s homes (Shipping is free on orders over $25).  Based on teacher input, we’re not going to do classroom wishlists. In previous years we’ve used “Scholastic Dollars” (our rewards from the Fair) to give reward coupons ($5 or $10) based on readathon participation. We’re not doing that because the online platform doesn’t support it, and because we have to run the Fair and the readathon concurrently. Book Fair volunteers are working on a digital promotion plan to give families time to shop and keep getting kids excited about books. If you have questions or would like to get involved please email Katie Walter at

Read-a-Thon 2020:  Reading Brings Us Together – Creating a More Inclusive, Equitable, and Just Community

The Horace Mann School Read-a-Thon kicked-off on Monday, November 2.  The purpose of the Read-a-Thon is to encourage students to develop good reading habits and raise money for PTA-supported activities.  The Read-a-Thon, like many things, looks different this year.  Most Read-a-Thon packets and books related to the theme of equity and community were delivered to student’s homes last week and others were handed out with school supplies this week.  If your student did not receive a packet and book, then please reach out to a member of the Read-a-Thon Committee.  

A generous donor is offering a matching gift up to $10,000 now through November 19, Give to the Max Day!  Donations to Read-a-Thon can be made online via a link at or or checks/cash can be mailed to Read-a-Thon Committee c/o Horace Mann School at 2001 Eleanor Ave., St Paul, MN 55116. 

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:

In attendance:

Allison Litzenburg
Aaron LItzenburg

Abigail Mosher

Alex Kotz

Amy Kortuem

Ann D’Amour

Brandon Mason

Catherine Guglielmo

Dan Dressler

Grace Hanson

Heather Clark

Jen Wiliams

Jill Mack

Josh Layfield

Karie Johnson

Karla Lauerman Cummins

Kathy Hedin

Katie Walter

Kelly Axtell

Melanie McMahon

Nora Wesenberg

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