PTA Meeting Agenda – Mar 1, 2021

PTA Meeting Agenda – Mar 1, 2021

2020-21 Horace Mann  PTA Meeting Agenda 

March 1st, 2021

Agenda Item:Purpose:Who:Time:
Welcome and IntroductionsInformationLaura5 min
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)
HM PTA FB page guideline reminder (see below)
HM PTA Directory guideline reminder (see below)
Karla5 min
New Business
HM PTA board update and in-person events (see below)
FYI-Spelling bee, Treats for all HM staff weekly vs. a lunch in May, 4th/5th Grade Band Director search, etc.
Asking for budget input for 2020-21. Send any ideas/comments/questions to the president or treasurer emails listed at the close of the agenda.
Chat for new ideas.
5 min
Treasurer’s Report (see below)Information
Dan10  min
Old Business
2020-21 Questions/Answers (see below)
Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities (see below)
Volunteering (see below)
5 min
Principal Report
In-person and VLS update and introduction of the student support coach and her role.
InformationMr. Litwin10 min
PTA Committee Updates (see below)
Family Volunteer Service Committee
Auction Committee
Art Adventure Committee
Carnival Committee
Spring Plant Sale Committee
10  min

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.

Facebook HM PTA Guidelines:

This “Horace Mann School & PTA” group exists to build community among current Horace Mann families. This group forum is to share information about Horace Mann School PTA and community events, to help facilitate dialogue among the HMS community, and to showcase the achievements of students, teachers, parents, and other HMS community members.

Community Rules

  • We encourage you to ask questions and share information. We request that you keep discussions focused directly concerning our school community.
  • We encourage posts that highlight our community’s accomplishments and constructively raise issues for discussion.
  • When posting, please use appropriate language.
  • If you choose, you can post photos of your children at school events. Do not post photos of other children. If you have any questions about posting a particular photo, please check with the Facebook page (group) administrator.
  • Do not post about concerns, problems, or conflicts with individual teachers, administrators, students, or parents. We will immediately delete posts that in any way put down or discriminate against individuals.
  • Online threats will be taken seriously, and proper authorities will be immediately notified.
  • Do not post information commonly understood as confidential, such as student grades.
  • Any inflammatory statements that make allegations against individuals or organizations will be deleted.
  • Keep in mind what you post is public to all members of the group.
  • Any advertising for businesses is not allowed.
  • Do not publish content as your own that has been created by others
  • The PTA board and PTA Facebook administrators reserve the right to delete comments and block users who are not following the rules stated above.
  • Postings on this page are the sole responsibility of the person posting and do not reflect the views of Horace Mann School, Horace Mann School PTA, or St. Paul Public Schools. 

HM PTA Directory Guidelines:  The HM PTA directory is produced by a committee of volunteers as a service for school families to be able to contact students’ friends, classmates, and teachers. The directory is not to be used for outside interests such as political or business mailing or any other purposes which are not approved by the Horace Mann School Administration and HM PTA.  Please contact the HM PTA President at for more information regarding appropriate use if you are interested.

New Business:
PTA Board Updates

The PTA Board met on Monday, February 8th. Regarding activities for the rest of the year, at the advice of the National PTA Council, we will continue to give our teachers the funds they need to serve our students on all learning platforms in the most equitable way we can. The PTA treasurers have sent out budget updates to all teachers/specialists letting them know about allocated discretionary funds still available and also about the additional special request fund. The PTA has also requested input from all the HM teachers/specialists regarding support they might need for the 2021-22 school year so we can include it in our preliminary budget. The HM PTA will amend any proposed budget over the summer taking into account teacher/specialist input as we approach next fall and know more about any SPPS decisions about staffing.  

Also, the HM PTA will not be hosting/sponsoring any in-person activities for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. This decision was based on advice from the National PTA Council to ensure the health and safety of our school community and equity between the differing learning models.  This spring the PTA is hoping to host the Virtual Silent Auction, a Drop-Off Family Volunteer Service Night, a Virtual Family Fun Night, a Remote Make It, Take It , and Outside Spring Plant Sale Pick-Up. You can find details about any general PTA meeting on the Horace Mann PTA website. or contact via email

Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Report forJanuary/February 2021:  Dan Dressler, Mike Axtel

YTD Total Revenue: $46,274
YTD Total Expenses: $25,013
YTD  Revenue subtract Expenses: $21,261
Bank Account Balance as of 2/26/2021: $119,632.66
Jan/Feb 2021  Revenue: $7,640
Jan/Feb  2021 Expenses: $12,624
Jan/Feb  Revenue subtract Expenses: (- $4,984 )
*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

Old Business: 

2020-21 Questions/Requests at prior PTA Meetings In Process:

  • Q:Will we have vocal music concerts this year?  A: At this point SPPS will not be allowing any musical performances at this time.  Perhaps a virtual concert or outdoors, maybe a virtual family sing along with Mr. Dutcher. Will wait to hear from Mr. Litwin about music and the in-person school plan.  At this point we are not anticipating in-person music or music concerts this school year.
  • Q: Could we have a Business Partnership  (BP) with Storied Owl to support them? A: BP have decided to only host BP if approached by the business this year to ensure it is to the business benefit.  We can maybe connect in the spring. 
  • Q: Could the PTA organize drivers for delivery again for SPPS?  A: Yes if SPPS/HM would like us to do it.  Email sent to Principal Litwin November 2020.  Mr. Litwin let us know that the next school supply delivery is scheduled for January 21 and 22 2021 so we would like to deliver all things not picked up the week of January 25th-30th. Prior we could investigate the best dates and times and also coordinate addresses for efficiency.  Abby M. offered to help with spreadsheets.  Allison L. reminded us to text/call first or connect with SPPS student support to use expertise/ideas of what would work best for families. Will wait to hear from Mr. Litwin about any delivery needs and the in-person school plan and VLS.
  • Q: Could SPPS/HM help families with DL, technology, etc.?  A: Forwarded to Mr. Litwin November 2020. Will wait to hear from Mr. Litwin about this and the in-person school plan.

2020-21 Questions/Requests at prior PTA Meetings Resolved:

Q: What was the auction revenue last year?
A: $40,375.00 revenue. $2,899.00 expenses. $37,476 net income.

Q: Free Family Fun Night Ideas?
A: Email: Alex Kotze. 

Q: Can the Scholastic Book Fair information be on the HM PTA website.
A: Yes and done. 

Q: Can the PTA assist with the school supplies delivery for those families that did not pick up?
A: Yes, we emailed all families that did not pick up and offered to deliver.  

Q: Can siblings get a MITI bag?
A: We are just trying to figure out how many to make.  Will try to give all projects in the bag so the siblings can all have something. 

Q: Can PTA send flowers to Mr. Mike’s funeral?
A: Yes and sent.

Q: Will Mr. Dutcher continue to provide music for the VLS?
A: Mr. Dutcher is under contract to provide music to all HM students for the remainder of the year.  At this time, Mr. Dutcher will continue to provide music with video presentations per grade level.  If HM students in VLS are transferred to a different school/teacher we will investigate how to provide the lessons directly to those students via email.

Questions to Principal Litwin:

Q: Will DC be allowed to be in the building during hybrid learning during the school day?
A: It is not decided but I do not think so.  Plus, Tier 1 care will increase when teachers return.  Will wait to hear from Mr. Litwin about DC and the in-person school plan.  DC will return to HM with in-person learning as of 1/5/2021.

Q: Hybrid question and answer meeting with Mr. Litwin please?
A: postponed but Mr. Litwin will schedule his own meeting to answer hybrid questions.  Mr. Litwin will use the PTA meeting link in January.

Q: Could the HM PTA pay for air purifiers for the staff at HM like they are doing in the western suburbs?  Also, to purchase them for other SPPS elementary schools that cannot afford them to ensure equity?
A: With our school’s recent remodeling, a new mechanical system was installed for the entire building, which results in air purifiers being largely unnecessary.  A HEPA air purifier would have limited impact in our well-ventilated classrooms, because the air handlers on our new HVAC system exchange the air at such a frequency that an individual air purifier in a classroom makes little to no impact on particle counts.

If there are buildings in the district where the air handlers are not doing their job, or there are other factors at play that cause a room to lack sufficient ventilation, then an air purifier may provide some benefit. For those spaces, the District is providing air purifiers to provide additional filtration.

The District is using their most recent Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) surveys to determine which spaces would need air purifiers. The most recent IAQ at Horace Mann was in 2019, after the renovation, and indicated that all classrooms are well ventilated. Therefore, the District is not providing air purifiers for classrooms in our building. However, the District has identified a need for an air purifier in the isolation room (formerly Mr. Litwin’s office) since the ventilation is turned off in that room to limit any potential viral spread if a student needs to wait in there for a parent to pick them up. The District will be providing Horace Mann with an air purifier for this room.

Additionally, the District has taken extra measures to improve the air quality in our facilities. The filtration in all air handling systems was increased to a baseline Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of at least 11 and facilities is in the process of installing higher-level filtration (MERV 13) filters where possible. Additionally, the programming for the air handlers was adjusted to run extended hours to pre-flush the buildings before occupancy and post-flush the buildings at the end of each weekday, and the air handlers have been programmed to bring in extra outside air when outdoor conditions allow.

With the information we have learned about the quality of our recently installed new HVAC system, the IAQ testing of our site, and the District providing an air purifier for the space identified as potentially needing it, we have determined that the PTA will not be purchasing air purifiers for individual classrooms in our buildings this year.

Please feel free to reach out to the PTA President with any questions you may have:

  • Questions to Principal Litwin:  Do you think morning announcements can return by the Principal? A: No, although I will do announcements for large school events and I have a plan for birthdays. Principal Litwin did not announce birthdays.

Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Board Shadowing 2021-22
  • Board positions 2021-23 
  • MITI  (1 needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Scholastic Book Fair (both needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Free Family Fun Nights (both needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Business Partnerships (both needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Yearbook (1 needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Carnival (1 needed) co-chair 2021-22
  • Family Volunteer Service committee members 2020-21
  • Yearbook committee members 2020-22
  • Read-a-thon committee members 
  • Free Family Fun Nights committee members
  • Carnival committee members 

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, Allison Broughton/Amy Colaizy Hannigan:The 2021 (100% virtual) auction is right around the corner on Friday, March 12, featuring a video program which highlights the PTA’s impact and recognizes the ongoing commitment of teachers, staff, students and their families.  Bidding on auction items will open Wednesday, March 10 at noon, and close at 8:30 p.m on Friday, March 12.   Please help support our efforts by encouraging participation in this important fundraiser.  The event website is here:  and registration is free for the event (donations encouraged at any time leading up to the event).   A huge thank you to all of our donors, sponsors, participants and volunteers who are making it happen this year despite challenging circumstances.  To learn more, please contact Allison Broughton and Amy Colaizy Hannigan at  

Family Volunteer Service Committee: Julie Steiner/Chandra Kilgriff: The Family Volunteer Service Committee is organizing a remote volunteer event with supply pick-up tentatively scheduled for March 30 and 31, and drop-off tentatively scheduled for April 13 and 14 to allow for families to work on their projects over Spring Break. Our theme is “Spring Into Service” and our activities will be focused on supporting Keystone Community Services, an organization serving the Saint Paul community, including young people and families, seniors, and those needing food services or crisis support. We will make bags out of recycled t-shirts to help deliver food packages, make cards to go in the bags, and do a food drive for those who are able to contribute. We are also planning a fun spring activity to help save the pollinators. Please contact Chandra Kilgriff or Julie Clark Steiner with any questions, and watch Perspectives for more details. or

Art Adventure: Dan Dressler/Katie Miller:  We are, unfortunately, unable to offer Art Adventure to the students this year.  The program will be back next school year and we will be excited for our fabulous volunteers to return to the classroom and share new art pieces with the kids!  Contact: or 

Carnival: Laura Vander Wegen/Kathy Hedin: The Spring Carnival will not be held this year.

Although there appears to be a light at the end of this horrible period of time, the carnival committee has decided to forego the annual Spring carnival.  With the focus of the carnival being to have friends and family gather to enjoy games and great food, it does not seem wise at this time to present any additional risk to our community.  The carnival has been one of the favorite events of the year and we have done much to expand the size and variety of the offerings at this event.  That being said, two of the carnival committee members will be “graduating” from HM this Spring and we are looking for some parents of the newer classes to step up and fill the void.  The committee has been a small, empowered group which has put on a fun event each June that the kids really look forward to.  Being on the committee takes only a small amount of time (1 hour) each week starting in February with a few extra hours required the day before and of the June event. Please consider joining this committee to help continue the traditions that past parents have established!  We envision having a HUGE 2022 carnival for students and alumni who missed it in 2020 and 2021!! If you are interested in joining the committee please contact Karen Vander Sanden an/or Jill Mack

Spring Plant Sale: Maya Missaghi: Plant Sale set for May 1!

Use the website below to start planning your Spring and Summer gardens – we promise Winter will end one day! 🙂

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:

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