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                                PTO Meeting Minutes
                                    October 4, 2010

 Co-President Nancy Neuman called the meeting to order at 5:49 p.m. on Monday, October 4,
   2010, at Gower Middle School.

   In attendance were:
   Board Members: Nancy Neuman, Litsa Tsarouhis, Kathy Ables and Mona Song
   Principals: Rebecca Laratta
   Teachers: Cheryl Haack, and Margie Kielty
   Guests: Farah Fakouri, Kevin Benes, Young Ra-Hurka

 Committee Reports & Guest

     Co-President’s report:
   Nancy Neuman Kotecki
         o Game Show Results – Everybody that attended had fun. Attendance was a little
            disappointing. Lost about $700 from the event. Marketing was probably the issue
            in lack of attendance. Misunderstanding as to what Game Show Night was about.
         o Music Student Funding – request from GW for “child-in-need” for beginner band.
            Gave $100 general in-need fund to the district to use. In honor of
            Superintendent’s Birthday, the District office is making a small donation to the
            PTO towards “in-need” School supplies, field trips and band fees, etc. Not
            intended for one particular student, but an amount for general spending as needed.
         o Entertainment books – delivered to GM Oct 4th. If families would like to keep the
            book, or would like to sell them, they need to send the payment to school. If they
            don’t want the Entertainment book, they can just return it back to school.
         o Calendar Survey
         o Fun Fair – 8th graders will not be able to go.
         o 7th grade Springfield trip – is popular this year 2010/11. 2 buses will be going.
            Last year only 1 bus went. 3 more people to hit the 70 person mark.
         o West/Middle party money – Gower West party committee will be meeting by
            classroom, by holiday. Middle – team leaders get in touch with co-chairs. Middle
            co-chairs do not receive cash up front, they get reimbursed.
         o National Geography Bee – Intended for the Gower Middle School students.
            Would like PTO to fund their $90 entrance fee. Have to look into figuring out if
            the Geography Bee entrance fee was already figured into the $3500 that was
            given by the PTO to sports clubs this year. There were no break downs as to how
            much went to which club.
         o FYI to teachers that each year the $ amount of the wish list may change.
         o Feb 1st – there IS school! The Electronic calendar has been updated – Movie night
            date has been changed to Friday 11/5 – Wine Tasting date has been changed to
         o Wine tasting – Farah Fakouri - looked into many places. “Topaz” seems
            reasonable at $6/person for wine tasting, $10/person for food. Few Raffle items –
            i.e. wine gift baskets donated by Binny’s. 50 people max. may attend. There will
            possibly be live music. Trying to keep price point relatively low.
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                               PTO Meeting Minutes
                                   October 4, 2010

         o Taffy Apple – Cindy Garino has taken over the Taffy Apple sales. Sales start
           week of 10/25. Taffy apples can be pre-sold. Will be for sale at GW and GM
           during lunch.
         o Donation Bins – making about $1000 every month.
           – email from David Vandenbach who provides the recycle bins in the GW and
           GM school parking lots - PTO can generate more income if they host a bin at
           someone’s place of business, i.e. families that have local businesses in the area.

         Litsa Tsarouhis

         o Pumpkin Fest – sent letters to Tammy Lange, Greg Hey and the GM student
           council. Need 3 teachers to judge costume contest.
         o Holiday Assembly at Gower West.

     Vice-President’s report: Zandra Lewis

         o CPR class is cancelled. Volunteer is not available and the cost per person is too
           high: $68 +, as oppose to last year’s cost being $5/person.

 Treasurer’s report: Kathy Ables
        o Our current cash on deposit is $58,507.11 (We’re waiting on PTO dues and party
          money collected at registration and school supply profit to be received from the
          online sales). $10,076.00 from gift wrap sales. Received payment from district for
          PTO dues from registration. $2000 from Target.
        o Outflows – Holiday Bazaar, pay Innisbrook half of gift wrap sales, Springfield trip.
        o Financial policies – sent out draft via email. 2 people with the cash box at every
          PTO event. Tighten down and have more formal policy. Board has reviewed.
          Nancy has tabled the financial policy draft, Litsa seconds the motion. All are in
          favor of adopting the draft policies. Everyone in favor – Nancy Neuman-Kotecki,
          Litsa Tsarouhis, Mona Song, and Kathy Ables.
        o Nancy hands the tax folder over to Kathy Ables from Pam Stella.

 Secretary’s report: Mona Song
         o Cub Scouts – Buona Beef fundraising, giving % back to PTO.
         o Boy Scouts – Spaghetti Dinner at Gower Middle on Friday, October 22nd.
         o District Blurb – sending a note to Steve Griesbach

 Teacher Representative reports:
   Gower West- Lornetta Hooks
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                                 PTO Meeting Minutes
                                     October 4, 2010

        Teacher report at end of minutes.

     Gower Middle- Marge Kielty
       Teacher report at end of minutes.

 Principals’ report:
   Gower West- TomThering

     Gower Middle- Rebecca Laratta
       o   8th grade Washington Trip parent meeting - Great turn out Thursday.
       o   Lots of sporting events going on.
       o   Getting ready for Explore tests for 8th graders.
       o   Parent/Teacher Conferences on Nov. 5th, report cards come out Nov. 4th.

      Young Ra-Hurka: Multicultural Fair
       Report at end of minutes.

 School Board report: Fred Natale
       o The next Board meeting is on Tuesday, October 19 at 7:00pm at Gower West.

 Adjournment:
    The meeting was adjourned at 7:00 pm.

                                 Gower West Teachers’ Reports

   ECE - Jamie Bley:

   Kindergarten:

   First grade:
     First Grade will be going to Robert Crown this month to participate in the "Healthland"
       program. They will be learning about proper nutrition and germs. Thank you for
       sponsoring this wonderful program for us to participate in.

   Second grade:
     Second graders are eagerly helping to collect boxtops for education. Thanks for making
       this project available to students. They are proud to help their school.
     Our new Second grade Science Curriculum “ROCKS!” It provides excellent enrichment
       for pebbles, sand and silt (“rocks”). We are looking forward to learning lots!

   Third grade:
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                                  PTO Meeting Minutes
                                      October 4, 2010

       We continue to practice being STARRS by being responsible, respectful, and safe in
        school. In science, the third graders are working as geologists to discover the difference
        between rocks and minerals. We are also creating book projects using Kidpix and
        Keynote. The students are excited to sign their first reading contracts which will allow
        them to choose their own types of responses to the books they read each week. In PE all
        of the students survived their first mile run of the year. Many of our families had a great
        time at the Family Game Show Night. Thank you PTO!

   Fourth Grade:
     September has been an exciting month of "firsts" for 4th graders. Students went on their
       first field trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. They learned so much
       on the Dia de los muertos art tour. After the tour, 4th graders decorated sugar skulls and
       ate a delicious Mexican lunch at the Cervantes family restaurant. The 4th grade team and
       Senora Haack would like to thank the PTO for financially supporting this cultural field
       trip. It was truly unforgettable!
     This month, students completed their study of geometric figures in their first 4th grade
       math unit. In reading, students are continuing to learn how to summarize a text by
       identifying the main idea and details. In Science, 4th graders are discovering new things
       about Water. In Social Studies, students are learning how the first Americans used
       natural resources to survive in their various environments.
     We are having a wonderful start to the school year and your support is a huge part of that.
        Thank you!


   SPANISH- Mrs. Haack:
     1st Grade: We have been playing the “Name Game” and singing Yo me llamo … to
      practice how to say “My name is …in Spanish. We are learning the color words and
      numbers up to 20. I hope your child brought home their number booklet so they can
      practice saying the numbers in Spanish.
     2nd Grade: We learned about Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16th and
      compared it to the 4th of July. We made a flag of Mexico using tissue paper and discussed
      the meaning of their emblem. We are practicing numbers from 1 to 30, reviewing how to
      say our name, days of the week, the weather, and basic greeting words in Spanish.
     3rd Grade: We also learned about Mexico’s Independence Day and made a mobile of their
      flag. We have been reviewing numbers from one to thirty, greeting words, family
      members, how to say the date, weather and our age in Spanish.
     4th Grade: We went to the Mexican Art Museum in September and ate a wonderful taco
      lunch at the Cervantes family restaurant called “La Internacional”. Muchas Gracias to our
      generous PTO for once again paying for a large portion of our field trip. We learned so
      much about the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and enjoyed making colorful sugar

   ART-Mrs. Wachowiak:
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                                PTO Meeting Minutes
                                    October 4, 2010

   MUSIC CLASSES-Mrs. Hooks:
          Kindergarten classes continue to learn about “Stop & Go”, “Fast & Slow” and
           “High & Low” and steady beat. These are important music concepts. The Music
           lessons are designed to teach music concepts using songs that also incorporate the
           themes & ideas being taught in the regular classroom. We have been singing
           songs that focus on Families & colors and are ready to start a unit on Barnyards
           which will be followed with transportation. We REALLY enjoyed the Woody
           Gutherie version of the “Car Song”!
          1st Grade classes are learning to read solfedge hand signals and to sing “in tune”
           with good singing voices. Ask a 1st grader to teach you the hand signals for do,
           re, mi, fa and sol. We are using the songs “Gilly, Gilly Good Morning” and “Hey
           Children, Who’s in Town?” and “Miss Mary Mack” to teach music concepts as
           well as important messages about friendship and Character. We are beginning to
           learn how to recognize and read basic rhythms. We will soon start to focus on the
           connection between music reading and reading in the classroom.
          2nd Grade classes continue to build on what they learned in 1st grade. They are
           reviewing the use of good singing voices and simple rhythms as they learn more
           about the concepts of pitch, rhythm and steady beat. We are also using songs
           (“Make New Friends”, “I Like 2nd Grade” and “Do-Re-Mi”) to teach important
           musical concepts of pitch, style, steady beat and counting time. We can now sing
           the song “Make New Friends” in an 8-part round! We’re also enjoying working
           on our rhythms with Boomwhackers!!!
          Beginner Band demonstrations are now history. The Beginner Band Night on
           Monday, Sept. 21st was a wonderful success. We have great instrumentation
           and an excited band! Lessons began last week on Sept. 27th. We continue to need
           used instruments for students who can’t afford to purchase and rent an instrument.
              We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to the PTO for funding
              the cost of an instrument rental for a needy student!
            Would you like to donate an instrument to the program? The district will
             send you a donation letter that can be used as a tax write-off.
              Call if you have any questions or send your info. to Mrs. Hooks at Gower
                 Ph.# 630-323-6446 ext. 2911
            Do You Want to Sell an Instrument:
              We will post your "used band instrument for Sale" if you send a note to
                Mrs. Hooks % Gower West School with the following Info.
                 Type of Instrument: (i.e. Flute, clarinet, etc.)
                 Make:
                 Model:
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                                 PTO Meeting Minutes
                                     October 4, 2010

                     Age/Condition:
                     Price:
                     Day Phone:
                     Evening Phone:

   MUSIC CLASSES-Miss Brinkley:

   PHYSICAL EDUCATION- Mrs. Blum & Ms. Spaulding:

                                Gower Middle Teachers’ Reports

Spirit Club- Show your school spirit every Friday by wearing your Gower gear or green and
white. Let’s Go Gower!

The Boy’s and Girl’s cross country teams had a GREAT meet yesterday. 88% of the Gower
runners in yesterday’s meet ran personal best times for a two mile run.
The top five girl finishers were Claire Cvengros, Emma Makowski, Allison Scheafer, Neha
Chinwala, and Cassidy Sattler.
The top five boys were Roman Drabchuk, Frank Saltiel, Ben Vandenbosch, Nick Burke and Jack

 The Gower Concert band will be performing at the Gower Vs. Eisenhower football game on
Monday, Oct. 4th. All are encouraged to show their school spirit, and come support the football
team and the band! Eisenhower will be bringing their band, too, and we will have a giant half
time band extravaganza! Come out and wear your green and white! It promises to be a great

Cadet Band rehearsals all nicely underway and we are beginning to sound MUCH better!
Thank you to everyone who has practiced!!! In Cadet rehearsals we continue work on sight
reading skills, developing better tone and musical balance while working on the selections for
the winter concert.

Our winter concert is this Thursday, December 9th at 7:00 p.m.

Gower’s dance theme is: “Freaky Friday Masquerade”
Thanks to all who voted! And please don’t forget to come to the Student Council Dance -
October 15th from 7-8:30 p.m.

Thank you to the PTO for the $15 to supplement a portion the cost for the White Pines trip.
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                                 PTO Meeting Minutes
                                     October 4, 2010

Young Ra-Hurka – Multicultural Fair

         Met with Barb Carkhuff on Jan 21st to talk about the Multicultural Fair. Lots of
          enthusiasm from teachers.
         Clarify the objective of the Fair – What kind of diversity are we celebrating? How
          much are we going to invest: time, money, effort, etc.
         The last Cultural Fair was held nine years ago. Lasted 4 years. Lots of work involved
          with murals and decorating the stage, but didn’t follow up with it after the 4th year.
          Don’t want people to get burnt out from all the work.
         Objectives – to create an exposure and experience of variety of cultures and
          nationalities. Marketing of this should take on that specific path.
         Picked GW to hold event. Food in cafeteria, Dancing in the cafeteria on stage. Try
          and get dancers to participate in the cultural fair. Get the kids involved in creating the
          Multicultural Fair by having them make poster boards/signs for example.
         What individual roles will be – Put together different committees (food, dancing,
          exhibits) and get sub-chairs and get them to recruit helpers. Food will be donated,
          exhibits will be donated, dancers will be volunteers. PTO will take care of
          advertisements, pre-press release/post-press release, and some supplies.
         Allow the children to dress in their native outfits.
         Activity ideas – “Country Ambassador” – student hands out passports to get stamped.
          Promote a writing assignment that can be done at school, have them come up with
          ideas in celebrating different cultures to get the kids excited about it. Band and chorus
          will particpate in the fair. Mrs. Brinkley is going to get something together.

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