In attendance: Ursula Jones, Kristen Shamis, David Jenneman, Lisa Brighenti, Warren Cornwal, Clare Wool, Stephanie Mueller, Lara Gentchos, George Gentchos, Leslie Halperin, Victoria St. John, Paul Schreiber, Ann Kiley, Sandy Flemer, Kyle Dodson, Janet Kiewan, Bryan Mikok, Keith Pillsbury
1. Welcome and Introductions. Sandy called the meeting to order at 6:45 pm.
2. School budget update. Keith Pillsbury from the School Board presented the budget that has been recommended by the Finance Committee. The Board decided not to meet the targeted budget cuts that the State had requested through the Challenges for Change legislation. The proposed budget is a 2.8% increase from last year, which will represent a one-cent tax increase. Almost no cuts are being made. EES is slated to receive an additional full-time 5th grade teacher.
3. PTO financial update. Clare Wool presented a financial update to the group. She said our revenues to date are over $6,300, with a profit of just over $3,000, which is in line with last year. The school merchandise sales were about $1200 so far, which is down from last year’s sales.
4. Principal’s update.
b. Math update. The school has been approved to hire a quarter-time math instructor to help in the 4th grade classrooms. He has three good candidates and hopes to fill the position for the beginning of the year. Paul reiterated how critical it is to have an additional 5th grade teacher next year. Ideally, the school would be getting two new teachers, but hopefully that will happen in the next couple years. The group then had a lengthy discussion about whether Bridges is an effective program and what the school can do to address parents’ concerns about the program. Some parents expressed concern that their children are not sufficiently challenged. Other parents expressed the difficulty they are having in assisting their children with homework. Paul suggested that we invite Penny Stearns, the district math coach to attend the next PTO meeting (January 12th) to continue the discussion about the Bridges Math curriculum. Sandy suggested that the Fall Open House night would be a good opportunity to have a Curriculum Night as well.
c. Bus monitors. Paul mentioned that three bus monitors have been hired, although one has quit. He is still working on getting another bus for the students who need transportation, but it looks like it won’t happen soon. Some of the students are being picked up by the King Street Center staff, and the others are being supervised in the building until 3 pm.
d. PE teacher update. Paul said the substitute PE teacher, Mark Chamberlain, started this week and has gotten great reviews. Mr. L will be back as soon as he resolves his licensing issues.
5. Parent involvement grant. Paul was asked what was happening with the Parent Involvement grant. He said he’s already indicated that the school will participate. The training for team members will be held in early February. Anyone interested in serving as a parent rep should contact him right away. Representatives are asked to serve on the team for a minimum of 18 months.
6. Mayfair. Sandy suggested Friday, May 20th for Mayfair. The group agreed.
Submitted by Ursula Jones