January 2010 PTG Minutes


Lapham-Marquette PTG

Monthly Meeting

January 12, 2010



I. Principal Reports

a. Affiliated Alternatives – Sally reported that all has gone well this semester, and an Emergency Day Care fund has officially been started for students.

b. Lapham Elementary – Mike Hertting reported that teachers are working on report cards currently. The school has also recently participated in a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank and a book drive for a school in Africa. Dr. Hertting is working on a video on friendship for the next all-school assembly. February “math night” is coming up. Dr. Hertting recently wrote a grant to receive six net-book computers, but unfortunately for now, use of those computers is on hold due to limits on IT assistance and set-up in the District system.

c. Marquette Elementary – Andrea Kreft reported that the teachers at Marquette are working on report cards. Math and SIPP goals are a major focus. There have been various professional development activities happening at school, including development and training on the Lucy Caulkins writing program. In each professional development context, the staff is reviewing and documenting resources needed and used to make a plea to MMSD for technology funds. Dream Camp started, and lots of kids are involved.

II. PTG and School Communication Matters

The group in attendance discussed the need to get the word out to parents about PTG and other school-related matters. Using the listserver and backpack mail have been the traditional methods for communication. Principals also provide the newsletter through backpack mail, and offer electronic distribution of the newsletter. The group discussed whether a school-wide electronic distribution of information from the principals, or “robocalls” would be an option for better dissemination of information to all parents. This may be a good initiative to explore in the future; for now -- although reducing paper and eliminating the inconvenience of backpack mail for administration, teachers, and parents are desirable objectives – it’s not an effort that the principals can immediately take up.

III. Lack of Involvement in PTG this year, Officers Crisis

The group in attendance discussed the lack of officer replacements for this year (still need a President and Secretary) and the perceived lack of
interest in volunteering this year. These issues are leading to disorganization and low attendance at meetings. Dr. Hertting suggested that the best time to catch parents who might be willing to get involved is at Kindergarten spring orientation, and at the fall meet-and-greet for Kindergarten parents. Better advertisement and substantive topics for discussion at meetings will also help. The group decided that under the current circumstances, the following strategies were necessary:

a. Call and invite each room representative to the February Meeting.

b. Have the principals include information on the PTG in the next newsletter, including a plea for involvement and new leadership.

c. “Blast” announcements through list server and backpack mail, posters at school, etc., to garner renewed interest in attending PTG Meetings.

Fundraising, Treasurer Reports


(Abridged set of notes from fundraising meeting of 1/7 , presented at PTG)

-Just Coffee: After much discussion with Daithi Wolfe, we decided not to have
the Just Coffee fundraiser.

-SCRIP:
The SCRIP program has folded according to Anita Krasno. There is a
city-Scrip still operating, but the benefit is very minimal.

-Major
donor letter on technology: The letter was mailed first class to all
households at both Lapham and Marquette before the holiday.

-Checkbook:
We discussed an interesting proposal raised by Sue Arneson. She knows
about a “checkbook” campaign the Virginia Davis School of Dance participated in
that has been successful. (PTG attendees declined pursuit of this)


-Family Fun Night: Diane Scherschel is coordinating the event. Several
folks on the fundraising committee are in charge of subcommittees to help in
the effort. If you hear from parents who are interested in helping,
please contact me or Diane (255-8438).

-Live Auction: we discussed having a separate event for parents on a date in
May to have a live auction.

-Snack event: we are also exploring venues for an event to support the snack
program in the schools. Probably a dinner for the whole family that
consists of local foods. We’ll do more research and discuss at our next
meeting.

Committee Reports

Healthy snack report - Chris Reitz .

- The program will end January 20th as funds run out.
- A questionnaire to parents and kids will be out shortly.
- A fund-raising dinner in March is being considered.

- Sharon Lezberg will have a letter out soon summarizing the very successful first year and plans for the next.

Garden program - Jim Hansen
- Is submitting a proposal to the Madison Foundation for Schools to expand the
garden program for next year, to make the gardens more accessible to teachers.
The plan would include two trips per semester per class to each school's
garden.

-Associated
Affiliates program at Lapham is being contacted to increase their participation
in the garden as well.

After School
clubs - Peggy Garties

An excellent lineup for Marquette, but only four volunteers so far
for Lapham.

Clubs Proposed (by those who volunteered)

Marquette
Wednesday
Tap - Ms. McB,Book Club - Virginia Harrison ,Red Cross Babysitting
Training ,Chess Club (3rd grade) - Wendy Plutchak,Basic Book Making- Andrea
Noeske,3rd grade Theater Club - Heather Felker,Origami: 1000 Cranes -- Matt
Willard (not confirmed)

Tuesday
Chinese – Paul Faust,Drawing – Anna Rochon,Sewing - Kerry
Motovileff

Thursday
Chinese – Paul Faust,Games - Patricia Keely,Mosaics and More –
Sarah Stork

Friday
Programming with Scratch – Peggy Garties (maybe)

Lapham
Organic Gardening/Urban Agriculture - Joe Mingle,Cooking, science
experiments, knitting, crochet or book club - Kerrie Lentz,

Spanish - Rosio Romero, Games - (not confirmed)

-Due to limited volunteers at Lapham, club offerings will be limited to second graders.

-The Red Cross babysitting course is taught by a Red Cross instructor. Cost is $54 / student, but that price can be subsidized within clubs budget to allow charging $38 per.

-Snacks : are considering supplying snacks to all clubs.

Fundraising :
(Abridged set of notes from fundraising meeting of 1/7 , presented at PTG )

-Just Coffee: After much discussion with Daithi Wolfe, we decided not to have the Just Coffee fundraiser.

-SCRIP:
The SCRIP program has folded according to Anita Krasno. There is a city-Scrip still operating, but the benefit is very minimal.

-Major donor letter on technology: The letter was mailed first class to all households at both Lapham and Marquette before the holiday.


-Checkbook:
We discussed an interesting proposal raised by Sue Arneson. She knows
about a “checkbook” campaign the Virginia Davis School of Dance participated in
that has been successful. (PTG attendees declined pursuit of this)


-Family Fun
Night: Diane Scherschel is coordinating the event. Several folks on
the fundraising committee are in charge of subcommittees to help in the
effort. If you hear from parents who are interested in helping, please
contact me or Diane (255-8438).

-Live Auction: we discussed having a separate event for parents on a date in May to have a live auction.

-Snack event: we are also exploring venues for an event to support the snack program in the
schools. Probably a dinner for the whole family that consists of local
foods. We’ll do more research and discuss at our next meeting.

Next PTG
Fundraising meeting: Thursday, Feb. 4, 6 pm at Ground Zero coffee shop.

Treasurer - We are now
~$4000 behind last year's fundraisng , and will likely end up $5000 behind, so
next year's budget will be ~$18000. Substantial cuts in support or
elimination of programs will happen.


Of even more concern is the lack of parental support in both schools. Declining parent
interest in PTG and their personal support for Lapham and Marquette is a
serious problem for the children and the schools. While PTG officers have
the responsibility to recruit members and leaders as part of their tasks, many
more parents in our two schools must recognize their responsibilities and
increase their contributions to this community.