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Community Meeting Minutes: 10/11/22

Whittier PTA Community Meeting

October 11, 2022

  • 7:00pm via ZOOM
  • Meeting ID: 864 5941 6022
  • Passcode: wildcats


  • Leah Lansberry Austin
  • Jared Cortese – Co Secretary
  • Jess Templeton – Co Secretary
  • Kellie Pecoraro – Adviser/Support
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality and Events
  • Courtney Kirk Sievers – Hospitality and Events
  • Kate Scher – Communications Chair
  • Tina Lilley – Adviser/Support/Spirit Gear/Website
  • Mendy Minjarez – Volunteer Coordinator
  • Renee Hartnett – Treasurer
  • Glenda Elley – Fundraiser Co-Chair
  • Megan Wildenradt – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Emily Barbee – Advocacy Co-Chair
  • Cindy Waters – Principal
  • Susan Hernandez, EDI Co-chair
  • Melissa O’Keefe – EDI Co-chair
  • Lauren Carey- EDI Committee Member
  • Ashley Schiavone 
  • Sarah Lukas – Outreach Chair


  • Julie Osborn
  • Anna Hume, PTA member
  • Rachel Wold
  • Kate Scales
  • Sven Hertens
  • Brianna Mercker
  • Geyer Family
  • Ho Joon
  • Joa Pope
  • Laura McLaughlin
  • Angela Navarro
  • Bonnie
  • Jennifer Foreman
  • Laura Wadsack
  • Brian Tracy

Meeting Called to Order / Land Acknowledgment at 7:05 PM



Grateful for the strong launch.  a lot of fun at the move-a-thon and feels like we have a strong connection with families, especially after a wonky start.  

Week 4 of school.  Kids are getting into their routines.  Continuing to have lunch outside for half the scholars.  


Looking forward to the Taproot Theater Company coming to perform a play this week.  

Trying to do many events at school because transportation costs are prohibitive.  $250 for school bus and charter is $350/ hour.  

Other events- 5th avenue theater coming in april.  Talking to the opera for bilingual opera

Reptile guy

Science on Wheels

SPU hosting NCAA division championships- athlete visits

Or walking opportunities

What about inclusivity for these activities?  Two assemblies to limit the number of scholars and make it more accessible for all.  Massive monkeys will provide a smaller interaction for specialist groups.  

PTA support and how that impacts the school 

As a tier 4 school we are funded at a lower rate than a tier 1 school.  Perceived needs of the school is different.  This year our nurse was reduced from 2 full days to 1.5 days and staff decided to use discretionary dollars to fund the other half day of nurse.  

PTA funds a .5 of a specialist so all kids have specialist time every day.  

Our kids need reading support which is the bulk of what Cindy asks the PTA to pay for.  Whittier also has a grant for reading support

Our PTA will fund Amazon classroom wish lists and other school needs.  The PTA is a backup. 

Leah- This is also so our teachers have a full time job which is why we try to get all of our specialists to full time or full days.


Can we make this information viewable for all families?  Glenda Ellen

  • Kellie P. answered that we typically make recordings available for families to view the meeting. 

What is the max enrollment for Whittier?  Lauren Carey

  • Right size enrollment is about 65-75 per grade level which is about 3 classes per grade.

There’s a new social worker, Ms. Lauren, who is at our school 7:30-11 in the morning and then drives to Magnolia for the afternoon.  Next ask would be for a full time social worker.  Cindy has enough work for (2) full time social workers.     

Whittier tries to be super good stewards of all PTA money.  Have recently purchased resources for spelling in 3-5th grade and a book series with full curriculum for diversity.  

Advocacy-  SPS needs to send a minimum a school needs to operate.  For example, this year Whittier doesn’t have an AP and should.  Then secured Special Ed staffing sept 6th and more IAP staffing (56 kids require IAPs).   This should have triggered an AP.  Would be extremely helpful to have a minimum amount of funding to resolve issues such as these.    

Calendar Updates

The revised calendar has come out and is being voted on tomorrow by the Board.  Whittier is not adjusting end of year celebrations, which will occur the week(s) before school gets out.  Such as field day, 5th grade promotion and 5th grade 

Overview of Building Leadership Team (BLT)– governing body for the school.  Meets once a month and talks about school improvement plan, conference schedule, things that need to be voted on contractually, school wide things that are happening, forum for staff input.  Collaborative team.  

Volunteer training–  Everyone please go through it so when something comes up you can do it.   

Board Updates: Vote to appoint Co-Secretaries Jared Cortese and Jess Templeton

New Website:  subscribe to calendar.  Also has the lunch menu and link to Whittier spirit gear. 

Teacher’s lounge Makeover:   Rallied around sourcing from buy nothing/ Amazon wishlist.  Teachers have been so appreciative of it.  They actually meet there and eat lunch there and it’s fostered more camaraderie.  

Wildcat Spirit Fence:  Something that Cindy asked for last summer.  

Reflections Art Contest:  Nationwide contest.  We need someone who can drive this this year.  It is all set up but it needs a champion who can organize, then a couple of people who can review submissions.  

Have many different categories students could choose from.  

Champion would work with Cindy and the office to get the word out.  


Running Volunteer List:  Folks that put their names on it at back to business and curriculum nights

Encourage reaching out to others who may be interested. 

If you need volunteers Mendy can send names to you.  

Mr. Province’s class does not have a room parent.  Help find one!

For special education classes it is different this year.  Previously there have not been room parents in these classrooms but are trying to best represent and include these classrooms.  

Focus and Access are programs and there is a resource classroom.  Really depends on the needs of the students and kids.  Provides more support for kids that have IAPs and 504 plans.  

Cindy has provided a presentation in the past about these programs which may be more helpful.  Access to specialists is a big deal.  

Ask Cindy to present this slide show at the next meeting.  

Room reps allows for representation of these classrooms.  

Current Needs: 

Reflections art program

Programs chair



email volunteer to be put on the list to volunteer or for any other inquiries

Nominating Committee Update:  This is a committee that identifies folks for positions next year.  This is a formal committee and will be voted on at the end of the meeting.  This committee recommends who will be next year’s Executive Board.  The Community will vote in next year’s PTA board in May of this year.  

Proposed Members: Susan Hernandez, Courtney Sievers, Mendy Minjarez, Joa Pope


September Budget Reports: $166k in the bank, and we get our money from the fundraisers.  A big piece of fundraising is employer matching.  Also get passive funding from Amazon Smile, etc.  

To date we have income trickling in from annual give and move- a -thon. 

Expenses year to date:  Insurance processed, quickbooks account, kindergarten pizza party, EDI training for Board members and staff, putting on an assembly later this week.  

Proposed updates for 2022-23 budget

This is to right size our budget that need to be added back into our budget post covid.  

  • Update Whittier Support Grant to cover Q4 2021-22 and Q1-3 of 2022-23= $77,299.67
  • Increase Outreach budget by $710 for incoming Kindergarten pizza event
  • Increase staff appreciation by $1000 for staff lounge updates
  • Increase web hosting $20
  • Increase Konstella budget $350
  • Increase President’s budget for zoom by $200
  • Increase hospitality budget by $200
  • Increase awards budget by $100 to cover plaque/ engraving costs

Total Expenses increase by $4,679.  

Lauren Carey asked a  question about EDI budget training.  It is one of the largest budget items at $4500.  There is still $2000 left to spend. Lauren asking if any of the EDI money is restricted.  

Process for Money to come out-  need invoice to write a check or executed contract.  


Annual give has 44 donations with a total of 14k so far

Move-a-thon $21k

Goal is $90k between the two.  

Support Whittier PTA while you shop

Amazon smile and Fred Meyer


Friday, October 28th from 4:30-7

No tickets necessary, just show up

Games and activities: pumpkin decorating, apple toss, face painting, candy corn toss, pumpkin run, cake walk and photo booth.  

Move inside after dark for the Monster Mash DJ’d by Ms. Steph

Costumes are welcome but not required

Inclusive because it is more relaxed.  

Will have some food available for sale: Corn dog combo, Popcorn & Cotton Candy machine

Not meant to be a fundraiser, meant to be a net zero event.  Going to make money back by food purchase and a raffle.  


Executive Committee: 

Leah moved to approve the following: 

We, the Whittier General Membership, approve Secretaries, Jared Cortese & Jess Templeton to serve on the PTA Executive Committee for 2022-23.

Renee Seconded the motion. 


2022-23 Budget:

Courtney Sievers, moved to approve the revisions to the 22-23 Whittier PTA budget revisions

Jared seconded the motion. 


Nominating Committee: 

Kate moved to approve the individuals listed for the Nom  Comm

Anna seconded the motion


Approval of Standing Rules to include 

Leah Motioned to approve. 

Courtney Seconded 

4.4 Addition of member at large position to the Board

6.2 Updates to fiscal year budgets.  



Melissa O’Keefe & Emily Barbee

Focus this year:  community education, engagement, communication and advocacy

Will have an EDI section in the Wildchat every issue.  

Currently reviewing an equity assessment that was done a few years ago for the PTA and we will be implementing this year.  


Communications: Join Konstella & grade-level FB group

Advocacy: Megan Going to the legislative assembly this weekend and will meet up with nearby elementary and middle schools

Working on getting legislators and school board members to visit the PTA throughout the year

Supporting the work of the EDI committee

Outreach (Sarah Lukas):  Going to host a kindergarten coffee date soon

Events (Emily Grosse): First fridays.  Behind the scenes is third Thursday staff appreciation. Thank you to 5th grade parents for contributing to this month.  

Membership:  We are at a total of 109 PTA members, 4 staff for a total of 113.  

To have afterschool programming we need a chair. If interested, reach out to Kate or Mendy.  

Meeting Adjourned 9:03 pm