Skip to content Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Board Meeting Minutes: 2/7/23

Whittier PTA Board Meeting

Februrary 7th, 2023

7:00pm in Whittier Library
Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin- President
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Adviser/Support
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Renee Hartnett – Treasurer
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Ashley Schiavone
  • Lauren Carey- EDI Committee Member
  • Sara Lukas
  • Kathleen Donahoe- Hospitality
  • Emily Grosse
  • Emily Barbee
  • Melissa O’Keefe

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:15 PM

Approval of January Board Minutes

Renee Hartnett motioned to approve and Kate Scher seconded 

Nominating Committee

There are still a few positions open.  Family game night, Konstella, and work directly with Cindy to identify parents who are already involved who can become more involved. 

VP or Co-President, events, outreach, volunteer, EDI, legislative rep and membership. 

Non-board roles:  Wildchat editor, Spring Fling Chairs, Move-a-thon, Spirit gear, student directory, yearbook



It’s not going to be great.  Cindy has been advocating on our enrollment projections and trying to keep our budget numbers up.  


  • Put in a funding request for some microphones to get a couple of lapel microphones and 2 new handheld microphones.  $12,000.
    • -Mrs. Steph often rents for the spring play.  
  • We’re in Black Lives Matter week of action.  Trying to meet kids developmentally where they are.  It’s going really well.  Helping kids to be thoughtful citizens and promote civic engagement.  
  • Going to do Prides of March. Partnering with a church up in Broadview to do a food drive and gift cards to stock the pantry.  Cindy will get us information on this next week.  Focus is hyperlocal and tangible.  Curriculum will teach about community investments and service.  
  • The fundraiser for Ms. Jo raised over $5000 for the Ballard Food Bank.
    • There is a wednesday or thursday pickup- about 15 bags for families in the Whittier Community. 
  • Leadership group has selected 4 spirit days in March.  Wacky hat and sock day, twin day, famous person or book character day. 
  • Outreach to Ballard HighSchool and Ingraham that have pantries for students who live independently and are home insecure.  Food and supplies
  • Is there going to be a Massive Monkey’s performance (Kate)?  Yes, in March. 
  • What is happening with the merging of the Special Education Services.
    • They want more schools to serve the kids in their neighborhood.  Have kids spend as much time in the gen ed settings as possible to meet their learning needs.  This is already done at Whittier and Cindy thinks there will be less of a change than other schools.  Though we’re not an SEL school, we still serve those students.  The way we serve kids is the service model the district wants all schools to go to.  
    • It’s unclear if kids will still be bussed to Whittier.  
    • Cindy would love a full time social worker
    • The state only funds for 13% of each school’s kids to be special needs.  Typically the need is greater than this.  
    • Universal design learning can’t be scaled to all 106 schools in the district.  
    • Budget will be released Feb 28th.  
    • How are the teacher’s feeling right now?  They’re tired and stressed but Cindy tries to keep this away from them.  
    • Will there be an adjustment from the current ask?  Potentially.  

Vote on the fundraising proposal

Kelly moves to approve and Sara Seconded 


Treasurer’s Report

$201k in the bank

10 kids who got to go to the sensory friendly night at Wild Lanterns

Update on Fall fundraiser/ annual give $72,000 of a $75,000 goal 

The jog-a-thon is tracking at over budget as well

Budget committee:  if you know anyone who is interested, have them join.  Will get started the week after mid-winter break.  It will be between 3-6 hours of time commitment.  

Be thinking about how this is our money and we can choose what we do with it.  What programs do you hear about that you want to see at Whittier? 

Potentially bring back a comment/ idea form or use room parents to ask for ideas.

Renee will send out a budget survey shortly.    

Chair Reports


  • The Family Game and Dance night is March 3rd.  Michelle and Meg are chairing this event.  Sending out a Sign Up Genius for food.  Looking for an MC or may use Spotify.  Will have a PTA table at the event for Spring Fling and volunteers for next year.   
  • Spring Fling tickets go on sale March 1st.  Meeting this Thursday.  Date is May 20th.  Committee was unanimous about having the event at a different location.  Will be casual.  Renee drafted up the landing page and Courtney will review.
    • Highway to the Wildcat Zone
    • Classroom Buckets, wine wall, silent auction, classroom art
    • Want a strong MC


  • Budget survey- could we share funds with another organization as a teaching moment for our kids?  Maybe a food bank or homeless shelter.  There are some challenges with non-profits giving to other non-profits.  Missing the communication about what we’ve done.  Report out.  
  • Like the idea of us giving back to the community and teaching our kids about that.  
  • Add Impact page on the PTA website- Lauren will take on data collection.  
  • Could we ask folks to volunteer to run these small events
  • EDI is working on affinity groups and building those small communities within the larger community
    • We need folks to lead these groups and the groups can be whatever they want to be
    • Still doing the buddy bench in the Wildchat
    • Trying to get the special ed classes more included in the school
    • On that note, for the first time we’re doing sped room classroom art and classroom buckets
    • Also trying to collaborate on the school’s race and equity team.  Their main focus is the Rebellious Read Allowed program on different topics like Identity, food, culture, etc.  The books come with questions to prompt conversations.  The Race and Equity Team wants to bring the Author Rebellious Read Allowed to the school but it’s really expensive.  May try to split with another school


  • Regular cadence of every other week between Fun Fridays and Teacher Lounge stocking
  • Valentines for the beginning of Feb
  • PTA is funding lunch for all staff from Ban Town (Emily Coordinating)
  • Family Dance and Game Night
  • Cereal Bar for Staff (First Grade Families
  • May is a big staff appreciation week.  There’s a theme, etc.  The next meeting we will need to have time on the agenda to do some planning in this regard.  Will likely do the flower event this year as well. 
  • We have our snacks at in person meetings


  • Wildchat is next week.  Send Content.  
  • As a group we need to talk about we have 27 volunteers we are asking for between next year and Spring Fling and we need to understand our capacity.
    • Family Game Night could have a physical poster and celebrate when folks sign up.  
    • We got 10-12 new folks for Spring Fling
    • Celebrate how we’re being involved. 
  • Classroom rep head position could be really valuable.  Invite them to the next meeting. 
  • Communications position is not sustainable- too much work and skill.  We may want to talk about how we restructure the role.  
  • Back in the day there was only the Wildchat so parents knew where they had to look.  Part of the messaging is lost because of multiple avenues.  We need to reimagine.  
  • What if we had a PTA table at drop off every week?  
  • Everybody needs to submit their stuff.  


  • Auditions for the musical were Monday and Tuesday this week and rehearsals start next week. 
  • Both Gamer group and language are full
  • More choices for spring session
  • need a few more volunteers for winter session


3/14 PTA 

3/21 Community PTA meeting

Meeting Adjourned 9:23 pm

Lauren Motioned to adjourn

 Melissa seconded