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PTA Meeting Minutes: 3/12/24

PTA Meeting Minutes: 3/12/24


  • Renee Hartnett – Co-President
  • Courtney Sievers – Co-President
  • Jess Templeton – Vice President
  • Michelle Nemeth – Treasurer
  • Melissa Ivancevich – Co-Secretary
  • Emily Robertson – Co-Secretary (attended via Zoom)
  • Kate Scher – Communications (Website/Wildchat)
  • Kiana Swearingen – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Chair
  • Ashley Schiavone – Fundraising Co-Chair
  • Anjean Vanden Bosch – Volunteer Chair & Membership Chair
  • Meg Pietz – Family and Community Engagement – Events Chair
  • Emily Schweiger – Family and Community Engagement – Outreach Chair
  • Jen Foreman – Programs Co-Chair
  • Laura Zingg – Programs Co-Chair; Student Directory (zoom)
  • Jon Overman – Legislative Representative (primary) (zoom)
  • Molly Firth – Legislative Representative (secondary)
  • Kathleen Donahoe – Hospitality Co-Chair
  • Emily Grosse – Hospitality Co-Chair
  • Nicole Kaczmarek – Director at Large
  • John Shaw – Tech Support
  • David Peabody – Move-a-thon
  • Jess Twardzik – Fall Festival Chair (shared with Melissa Ivancevich and Laura Zingg)
  • Sara Lukas – Room Parent Coordinator


● Gift Wango (zoom)
● Kellie Pecoraro (PTA member)
● Brian W
● JP Emery
● Rachel Wold (PTA member)
● Lana Sturmer
● Therese Miranda-Blackney (PTA member)

Meeting Called to Order at 7:04 PM

● Review Core Values
● Ice Breaker
● Approval of January & February PTA Meeting minutes
○ Sara Lukas motions, Jen Foreman seconds
■ Passed, no objections or abstentions

● Meg Pietz & Michelle Nemeth – Game night
● EDI Committee – Coordination of event this Thursday
● Kate Scher – gaga ball

● VP – Jess Templeton – Nom Com & Reflections Updates
○ Reflections Updates
■ No one from Whittier made it to the State level, coming to a close
○ Nom Com
■ Still in need of a Treasurer – anyone know someone with a financial background?
● If we can’t find one we’ll have to pay for this
■ Also need an EDI co-chair – will put it in the Wild Chat
● Hopefully someone from the BIPOC or LGBTQIA+ community

● EDI Committee (Kiana Swearingen)
○ Supporting & Raising Mixed-Race Children – Thursday, March 14th, 6-8pm
■ Sent out to other schools to join as well
■ Planning on doing some additional events this school year to include children as
● Move-a-thon (David Peabody)
○ A little less than 6 weeks away – Friday, April 26th, 9am-1pm
○ Will be on 13th instead of the blacktop this year
○ Need volunteers to guide classrooms out to 13th – room reps can at least send out that
○ Will need volunteers the week before (fill swag bags, pick up items, etc.)

○ Will need volunteers day of
○ 99 pledges pages in the next 2-3 weeks
● Spring Fling
○ Communications going out tomorrow requesting donations
○ Sara meeting with staff about staff experiences
○ Tickets go on sale on March 18th
○ 2 classes that still need buckets and 2 that need art
● Hospitality – Staff Appreciation
○ Staff Appreciation Week May 6-10
■ #1 priority is low family involvement
● Flowers for teachers on Monday – room rep to collect but otherwise not
collecting funds/gifts/cards
○ Next week granola/breakfast bar
○ School supply drive in April
○ Graduation – PTA will keep organizing/paying, $500 for cookies and water

● PTA Roles & Descriptions
○ Everyone make sure you update your roll/responsibility by end of week
● Survey Update
○ Small sample (50) – maybe 20% of households
○ Programs – in order of importance (1&2 had a big lead over 3-5, 3-5 all very close)
■ 1st – Enrichment (massive monkeys)
■ 2nd – Academic enhancement projects (maker’s space / lego wall in library),
science fairs, student leadership
■ 3rd – Community events (ice skating, fall carnival) (5th in a weighted rankings
■ 4th – field trips for all kids (4th in a weighted rankings analysis??)
■ 5th – EDI events (3rd in a weighted rankings analysis??)
■ Maybe the ranking is skewed – should these be weighted rankings? Some
question about how to interpret results

○ Staffing grant – do people continue to support? Literacy, Specialists, nurse. Currently
spending about 60% of our budget.
■ 88% of people do support
■ 12% of people who did not select yes or no wonder why SPS isn’t funding these

○ Fundraising events – remain the same? One more substantial ask? Multiple small
■ 66% of people would like fundraising events to remain as they are
■ 20% interest in bigger annual give
■ Others – different comments and ideas
■ Not a lot of interest in multiple smaller fundraisers

○ Open ended questions
○ What do we do with the survey feedback? For example last year there was a push to
bring the 5th grade outdoor camp back. Will honor the next class (4th graders) in terms
of asking them about this. Cindy’s priority would be that if they do it, it has to be in the
fall to maximize bonding. No one was denied the opportunity because of cost. Cindy was
able to obtain an outdoor ed grant, so families will have a choice about what to do with
the funds they (over)paid. Costs included stipend/teachers

● Staffing grant request – VOTE
○ Current State of Budget
■ In bank as of 2/29/24: $259,839.19
■ Remaining expenses for 2023-24 school year: $110,457.07
■ Remaining projected income for this school year: $75,000 ($15k from annual
give, $60k from spring fling)
■ Likely going into next school year with ~$230k
○ Staffing Grant Request
■ Request from Cindy is $117,000
● Keep 3 full time (PCP) specialists & Ms. Trilby at 0.8FTE (current level)
● Keeps Nurse Marissa at 2 full days/week (current level)

○ Received an extra 0.1 LAP (Learning Assistance Program) fund which funds Ms. Trilby –
may be getting additional LAP funding in the future.
○ Discussion/Questions for Cindy
■ Q: Is the staffing request comprehensive? A: Yes, for this year (though in a
perfect world the social worker would be full time and there would be more
nurse services). When we use money to pay for staffing with a grant we pay the
actual cost, vs. the average cost.
■ Q: How are we calculating staffing costs ? A: The more experience you have the
more money you make… For example Ms. Trilby is expensive due to her level of
experience. We’re not displacing or losing anyone, and no one has taken a
position elsewhere, so far.
■ Q: There are feelings about PTAs not funding staff positions at all, there is a
tension and a push for revenue at a state level next year, but the question is why
would they do anything when PTA is funding. A: State has reduced budget from
61% to 43% of the state budget (might be more dollars, but equate to fewer
resources). State pays 1⁄4? of teacher salaries, rest is from property taxes. 4th
most regressive tax system in the country. If PTAs don’t fund staff, schools will
■ Cindy: Needs are greater due to covid
○ Kathleen moves to approve the Staffing Grant Request, Jess Templeton seconds
■ Approved, no objections or abstentions


● February 2024 Financial Report
○ Income: $1,100 (annual give)
○ Expenses: $541 (outreach – helping hand gift cards)
■ Helping Hands – about 120 gift cards, received all the gift cards that were asked

○ Overall balance: $259,839.19 (as of 2/29/24)

● Math Agency
○ A few coaches in the room & on zoom
○ This year it was a pilot program / test to see how it went. It has gone “extremely well”
○ In order to keep the Math Agency next year, there would need to be a funding request
○ Looking ahead at (potentially) how to fund the Math Agency Next year
○ Likely there will be a survey put put out
○ Cindy
■ $80K – 150K range
■ Social entrepreneurship – Mike believes in closing math gaps faster and better
than schools typically have
■ Model
● Site coordinator Kate Frost
● Recruit and train volunteers/coaches
● Coaches work with 2-4 students at a time, working with Khan and IXL,
and the align work with curriculum in classrooms
● Encourages at-home practice, use stickers for motivation and other
items like socks for prizes
● See 1-3 years growth in 1 year time
● Incorporate into the school day, no after school tutoring
● 3 days/week of intervention (started with 4, but doing really well, so
decreased to 3)
○ During time that is already set aside for intervention
○ About 45 minutes of intervention 3x week
● School only has to provide the space and supplies
● The extra day is now dedicated to enrichment for about 15 third graders
with high-math skills – same model
● Cindy does meet with the site coordinator regularly and gets consistent
● Bellevue has made significant investments into the Math Agency
● Able to serve about 3x as many kids than reading interventionist

○ Question: any students in K-2 who need math assistance?
■ Answer: we don’t have the data
■ Literacy tends to be more of a K-2 intervention, this allows for intervention in
3-5 when you start seeing the need for math intervention

○ Most of the volunteers are not parents at Whittier
○ Demographically we don’t meet the standards for most grants available
○ If anyone knows a company who would like to donate/fund
○ Suggestion that if we fund the Math Agency to make it clear to parents at the beginning
of the 2024-25 school year on how much it costs
○ Would like to know how much we could increase the fundraising goal for Spring Fling in
order to help secure funding for Math Agency

● Gaga Ball – 5th graders working on “house rules” and will go to each classroom to share out
● Yearbook
● Spring Fling

Meeting Adjourned 8:50 pm