PTA Meeting Notes – Sept 20, 2021

PTA Meeting Notes – Sept 20, 2021

Meeting Recording

2021-22 Horace Mann PTA Meeting Agenda 

September 20, 2021

Agenda Item:Who:Notes:
Welcome and Introductions
Call Meeting to Order/Begin Recording. This recording will be posted to FB and on the HM PTA website.
Welcome and Thank You:
Thank you to our outgoing PTA board member:
Laura Willson
Welcome to our new board members:
Joy Collman
Allison Broughton
Thank you to our returning PTA board members:
Karla Lauerman Cummins
Jen Williams
Dan Dressler
Mike Axtel
Teacher Representative:
Amy Kortuem
Karen Vander Sanden
Melanie McMahon
Recording Secretary:
Catherine Guglieimo
Allison Broughton
Volunteer Coordinators:
Jill Mack
Joy Collman

Apologies for overlap with Sukkot; will better vet all religious holidays in the future.

Thanks to parents, teachers and Mr. Litwin; partnership is critical.

Jen encouraged parent volunteers, citing success from last year including readathon, Give to the Max, Take it, Make it; music residency distance learning; silent auction; family service day; teacher appreciation week; plant sale.

Major fundraisers exceeded goal last year.

Special thanks to Laura Willson.
Introduction of new and returning PTA board members.

2021-22 HM PTA Meeting Dates – Virtual for Now
Monday, September 20
Monday, October 18
Wednesday, November 17
Tuesday, January 11
Tuesday, March 15
Wednesday, April 13
Thursday, May 12

Guiding goals for 2021-22:
Revisit Mission, Reset for Sustainability, Increase Participation
Youth Participation:
We encourage and invite youth participation in all PTA meetings, team’s, and events to provide greater student voice and leadership opportunities.
Co-Curricular Activities:
We seek ways for the HM PTA to support the co-curricular activities (Girls on the Run, Scouts, 3rd and 4th Grade Service and Leadership Groups. etc.) that directly benefit the HM community.
HM School Website (see below)HM PTA
Employer match and Amazon Smile (see below)
What we have been up to:
Teachers/Staff – 1st week back Treats
HM Red T-shirts
Kids Back to School Spirit Wear
PTA Facebook Changes
Accelerated Reader (Grade 3-5)
Directory in Process of Being Updated and the team could use some volunteers with data entry. Please contact
Vocal Music Update
Melanie/ Jen
Dates of upcoming meetings; all virtual, but could change at a later point in the year. Days of the week are rotated. Meetings will also be on Facebook and in the Perspectives notices.

Emphasis this year on mission-focus and sustainability. Any level of participation is welcome and encouraged. Students are also welcome to participate.

A reminder that the PTA can also support co-curricular activities like scouts, GOTR, etc.

Facebook changes for this year: the Facebook group was originally set up by parents, was then taken over by the PTA for management. Parent volunteers will be moderating the site this year. It is a parent page/group and NOT an official PTA-managed communication channel.

Introduction to the directory and encouragement to participate and make as comprehensive as possible.

Grades 1-5 Vocal Music contract with Mr. Dutcher is in the works. The PTA is working closely with Mr. Litwin to coordinate.

Nora Wesenberg asked why music is not being offered to all students this year. Mr. Litwin responded that teachers are taking 100 minutes per week and having the students go to the library specialist. Homeroom teachers are struggling to find time in the schedule to accommodate music. Seeking a residency that might be a more diverse perspective; kindergarten teachers seeking an early childhood focus.
New Business
HM PTA Board Election
Joy Collman and Allison Broughton
Board Approval Vote
Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities and Updates
Board Shadowing 2021-22
Legislative Coordination 2021-22
Recognition/Thank You Coordination 2021-22 (currently no one in this role)
Business Partnerships (chairs) 2021-22 (currently no one in this role)
Carnival (chairs)Silent Auction (co-chair and members)
Scholastic Book Fair co-chair 2021-22
Family Volunteer Service committee (co-chair and members) 2021-22
Yearbook (co-chair and members) 2021-22
Chat for new ideas.
Karla/JillDan Dressler nominated Joy and Allison; unanimous vote in.

Jill encouraged return of the volunteer interest form.

Opportunities are available to lead or join committees/teams. Contact Jill or Joy for more information.
Treasurer’s Report and Budget Proposal (see below) and presentation.

Scholastic Book Fair Credit of $700.00
Spelling Bee Credit
Purchasing Quickbooks
Paypal Management – anyone interested?
No In-Person Residencies as of now
(see notes below)
The Treasurers would like to purchase Quickbooks to replace a spreadsheet; volunteer guidance sought to support transition.

Also seeking a “shadow” to learn the role for when Dan transitions off board next year.

A reminder when using PostNet to email order/receipt to Treasurers right away.

PTA credit card should be used for teacher supply purchases.

No one is managing paypal – we need a volunteer to do this.
Principal’s Report
No information provided but will answer questions
Mr. LitwinJoy Collman asked if field trips will be happening this year. Mr. Litwin said they will, but they need to be directly connected to curriculum per current guidelines (example: no bowling).

Jen Williams asked about band and other residencies – will they all be virtual until we know more? Will the vaccine availability for kids make a difference? Mr. Litwin responded that music and band will not be in-person to start the year. There is no band director. It’s 4-5 grade, extended day for learning opportunity during normal circumstances and during the day on Wednesdays. Busing could be a major issue given the driver shortage. No official announcement has been made. Normally it would start in October.

Mr. Litwin remarked on the shortages in all support services.

Karla asked for a list of what is and is not happening (extracurriculars):
Community ed is holding classes, but pared down to only Thursdays, with limited attendance. Scouts and GOTR have submitted permit requests to St. Paul, with the caveat that in-person participation could be rolled back. Karla added that the social-emotional learning opportunities are important to our students.

Mr. Litwin – October 1 will be picture day. Location/set-up is TBD.

Eagle Bluff will not be happening this year due to restriction on overnight field trips.

Boo Bash may be outdoors, conversations are happening.

Vaccination status could be a factor, but that remains to be seen depending on the timeline. Joy asked if Horace Mann would be a vaccination site/event. Jim responded that SPPS Health and Wellness would guide those efforts and decisions. Principals are not involved in those decisions or vaccine mandate questions (all SPPS Health).

Karla asked how the additional 20% funding would be spent, what are we getting? Jim responded that enrollment is the major factor, and ours has dropped from projected 392 to 390. We were able to offset cuts and added Library/Media specialist, TA, reading teacher and 1 new homeroom teacher (new kindergarten, new 4 / 5 teacher). Music residencies moving forward, professional development and supplies.

400+ students on a waitlist for online school. Request from district to draw teachers from in-person. HMS was not called upon to do so, which was good news, as it would have resulted in multiple composite classes and reshuffling of classes.
PTA Team Updates (see below)
Directory Team – Carley Odens
Silent and Live Auction Team
Give to the Max Coordinator
Art Adventure Team – Katie Miller
Team Chairs(see notes/descriptions below)
There was a suggestion to add brief descriptions on roles + estimated time commitment to volunteer opportunity list.
Action Items:
Please return your family directory form
Please return your volunteer form
Please return your membership form
All forms are located in Or you can access from Horace Mann Elementary dotcom site under Families, scroll down to PTA.


Teachers handed out forms, please notify the presidents if you did not receive them. Judy in the office has extra copies too.

AdjournKarla and Jen

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 2021-22 School Year:  Dan Dressler, Mike Axtel

Total Revenue:                       $84,835

Total Expenses:                     $62,216

Revenue subtract Expenses: $22,619                                                                                                                                     

Bank Account Balance as of 8/1/2021:   $120,990.52                                                                              

*Our YTD is August 1, 2020 – July 31, 2021 

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

Team Reports:

Directory Team: Carley Odens: 

The Horace Mann School PTA publishes a Student Directory and distributes copies to all families as a resource for the Horace Mann School community of students, families, and staff. Information is only used by the school and PTA to complete the directory and for Horace Mann School/PTA communication. You should have received one form for each child attending Horace Mann School sent home from the teacher. By filling out the information and signing the form, you indicate your willingness to be included in the directory. If you do not return the form, you cannot be included in the directory. You can, however, request a directory even if you choose not to be included. Please return all the forms no later than SEPTEMBER 17th, 2021 to ensure your information is accurate.  All questions can be addressed to Carley Odens,, 701.370.3200. If you would like your business included in the HM Family Owned Businesses page of the directory, please email Carley directly.

Looking for a minimal time commitment way to make an impact at Horace Mann? The PTA HM Directory team is seeking volunteers for data entry and distribution of physical copies. If you are interested, please email Carley Odens at Many hands make light work!

Silent & Live Auction Team: Allison Broughton: Auction Team Info Session + First Planning Meeting October 6!  Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities for the 2021-22 silent & live auction?  Join us virtually on Wednesday, October 6 at 6:30pm, to learn more – the first 20 minutes will be a brief info session on all things auction and the wide variety of volunteer opportunities available to support this great event (did you know that you don’t have to join the planning team to support the auction?  Prefer to stuff envelopes from the comfort of your couch on your own time?  We’ve got a role for that!).  Following the intro and meet and greet, we will move into the first planning team discussion and will wrap up by 8:00 pm.  Feel free to drop in for as much or as little of the meeting as you’d like.  If you are interested in attending (or just saying hi), please email and we will provide you with the link to join.  

Give to the Max Day, Brandon Mason:  GiveMN’s “Give to the Max Day” will be on Thursday, November 18 this year.  We plan to again take advantage of the buzz around this annual giving event by inviting donations, and would also like to again offer “matching” gifts to encourage greater generosity. If you are interested in sponsoring a matching gift (publicly or anonymously), please contact Brandon at The PTA’s GiveMN page is at

Art Adventure: Katie Miller and Dan Dressler: We are excited to reintroduce the Art Adventure program this school year, albeit in a modified format!  Art Adventure is a school wide enrichment paid for by the PTA that encourages critical thinking and art appreciation. This year our theme is Amazing Animals in Art.

Due to COVID, the program will look different this year with the classroom visits being virtual.  Mia may offer in-person field trips by March, however, that is still being determined. 

We are working to modify the program to make it engaging and fun.  Currently, our thinking is:

  • Show either short pre-recorded sessions about the art OR have volunteers do short “live” Zoom presentations to the students
  • We believe the latter would more closely mimic the pre-COVID style of the program and allow for some Q&A with the students
  • We also plan to make some handouts for the students to have with them during the sessions to allow them to view the pieces more closely

Once teacher interest is determined, we will begin seeking volunteers to do the virtual Mia training and then present to the classrooms.

Current Board Members: 

Co-Presidents: Karla Lauerman Cummins & Jen Williams 

Treasurers: Dan Dressler &  Mike Axtel

Teacher Representative: Amy Kortuem

Communications: Karen Vander Sanden &  Melanie McMahon

Recording Secretary: Catherine Guglieimo & Allison Broughton

Volunteer Coordinator: Jill Mack & Joy Collman:

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