Page 1 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 11/12. 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. Page 2 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 Page 3 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: Page 4 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! ENGAGED LEARNING - Ms. Boyle: 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 skulls. ART-Mrs. Wachowiak: Page 5 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 West Ph.# 630-323-6446 ext. 2911 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: Page 6 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 Mortell. 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 time! 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. Page 7 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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