Celebrate Reading this Week at O’Hara!

This week America commemorates the birthday of one of our most beloved children’s authors, Dr. Seuss! Like countless schools across the nation, O’Hara Elementary will honor Dr. Seuss’ legacy by celebrating Read Across America–a nationwide reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading!

There are a couple of ways that O’Hara PTO is celebrating this week!

Scholastic Book Fair

1. Our annual Scholastic Book Fair will be held from Monday, February 25th through Friday March 1st in the O’Hara School Library. Students will have an allotted time during the school day to visit the Book Fair and buy books and other items. You are definitely welcome to join your child to shop in the Library during this time!

Items can be paid for with cash, credit card, check (made out to OEPTO), or a NEW e-wallet option, where you can electronically set aside funds for your child to use. Visit for more information about this option. You can even purchase books online here!  All proceeds will benefit the O’Hara Elementary library!

Can’t make it to school during your child’s book fair slot? No worries!  You can send your child to school with cash or a signed check made out to “OEPTO” in an envelope, or use the e-wallet option mentioned above. Please include a note indicating any limit on purchases or a list of acceptable purchases. Please note: the average book cost is between $5 to $10 with 7% sales tax.

Want to support your child’s teacher? Great! You can donate books from a classroom book collection “wishlist” for each teacher.

All students will also receive one raffle ticket good for a chance to win an age-appropriate basket of books.

2. The O’Hara PTO will also be holding a Read Across America celebration during special EVENING Book Fair hours on Tuesday, February 26th from 6-8 pm. And this event will be so much MORE than just an opportunity to shop! We have also planned several Read Across America activities including a tattoo artist, a Dr. Seuss-related craft, collaborative story-writing and two mystery readers! No RSVP is necessary, you DO NOT need clearances to attend this free family event. Students who come to the evening book fair and Read Across America celebration get 2 additional raffle tickets!

We hope to see you there!



Last Evening Meeting of the School Year: 2/21 at 6pm

This Thursday we will host our last evening PTO meeting of the year at 6pm in the Auditorium. Throughout the years, we have received many requests for evening hours to accommodate the varying schedules of our families, and we look forward to seeing some new faces at the meeting!  Here’s what’s on the agenda:

  • Principal Update – Mrs. Batis will share a security update as well as information on the instructional decision making process.
  • Special Guest – The O’Hara Elementary Girls on the Run team leader will share information on the upcoming Spring session.
  • District Update – Sari Brecosky, Director of Literacy, will join us.
  • Reports from our District Forum, Teacher and PALS reps.
  • PTO Board and Committee Updates – your chance to hear about upcoming projects, volunteer opportunities and more!



O’Hara Family Movie Night


The O’Hara PTO invites O’Hara families to join us for a free Family Movie Night on Friday, February 22nd. We will be showing Incredibles 2 (PG) in the Auditorium.  Admission to Family Movie Night is free, and all guests will also receive a free popcorn!

Additional refreshments will also be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the O’Hara PTO fundraiser for the Sharpsburg Community Library. The Sharpsburg Community Library has recently been forced to cut its hours and reduce its budget due to a $64K deficit and we want to do everything we can to help protect this valuable community resource!

This is our first Family Movie Night, so we ask that you please RSVP if you will attend so that we have enough popcorn on hand for everyone.  You may also make a donation to the Sharpsburg Community Library when you RSVP.  Walk-ins will be welcome!

  • When:  Friday, February 22, 6:30PM Showtime (Doors open 6pm)
  • Where: O’Hara Elementary
  • Who:  O’Hara Elementary families (students must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Cost:  FREE!
  • What: Free Movie & Popcorn. Additional refreshments available for purchase.
  • RSVP Requested:  Help us plan: Let us know if you will attend!

Volunteer to Help

Volunteers are needed to help with set up, hand out free popcorn, sell refreshments, and to clean up after the event. Clearances are not required.  Sign up here.


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January Meeting Recap

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend are January 17th PTO meeting.  We look forward to seeing the “night owls” on Thursday, February 21st at 6pm for the last evening meeting of the school year.  Please help us spread the word to families who would appreciate the evening option!

Below is a recap of the meeting. Full minutes here.


At January’s meeting, we shared some exciting news about the O’Hara Foxes Club.  The OFC now has a chair (thank you, Meghann O’Mara Jones) , and has already added a new Spanish after school option that kicks off in February (sorry, all spots full!). If you are interested in leading an after school program, please email Meghann.

The PTO Board would like to thank long-time Chess Club Chair Alice Paviglianiti for dedicating countless hours over the years to inspire and encourage a love of chess in O’Hara students. After many years of championing the Chess Club, Alice is ready to pass the program on to someone else. The chair helps organize the afterschool program. Position responsibilities include overseeing attendance, dismissal, parent communication, and helping set the schedule for future chess sessions.  In the past, chess club has offered three sessions throughout the school year.  Each session is 6 weeks, and meets from 3:30-5:00 pm in the school library.  We would like this to keep this schedule, however we maybe open to other options based on volunteer response.  You do NOT need any chess knowledge to fill this roll.  However, school clearances are required.  Chess master, Bob Willson, will continue as the club’s instructional teacher. Please contact Meghann if you are interested or have any questions about this opportunity. Thank you!

Teacher Stipends and Spending Survey Result

The PTO provided a status of Teacher Stipend funds. $6,000 was approved this year to support our teachers through stipends, and to date we have dispersed almost $1,000. Purchases include lamps for the SMALL Lab, Boogie Board tablets for reading support, a classroom rug for the art department, and a math book for the gifted program.  Teachers have a deadline of April  30 to submit requests for funds.  The PTO also surveyed teachers to determine what they are spending out of pocket and what their most needed items are. You can view the teacher spending survey results here.  The PTO Board is considering ways we can use the results to better guide our support and find ways to keep our teachers stocked with their most needed items.

New Events Coming Soon

Several new events are coming soon – stay tuned for volunteer opportunities and more details:

February 22 – Family Movie Night at O’Hara – more details coming soon for an evening at O’Hara with family and friends!

February 26 – Read Across America Celebration during the Scholastic Book Fair: Many families may remember the Dr. Seuss event at Barnes & Noble led by O’Hara librarian Mrs. Fornari. The Read Across America Celebration will bring that event to O’Hara during the Scholastic Book Fair. Dr. Seuss themed activities will include a tattoo artist, mystery readers, crafts, and other literacy activities. The free event will be held from 6-8 p.m., during which time you can also shop the Scholastic Book Fair!   

May 11 – Garden Sale Pick Up: Plants will be available for sale from a local nursery.  Families will be able to advance order plants for pick up on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  The PTO intends to use the funds raised for the Courtyard Improvement project.  Plans for developing the courtyard may include raised garden beds and outdoor classroom space, but the District needs to address a drainage issue before the project can move forward. Weather has delayed further attempts until the Spring. 


PALS Report

At the next meeting of PALS (Parent Advocates for Learning Support), Kerr School Resource Officer Scott Bailey will join part of the meeting to discuss the training FCASD SROs complete to prepare them to work with all students, specifically those with challenges that may cause a barrier in communication. He will also share information about trainings he offers to parents and children with special needs on how to identify and engage with emergency responders  The meeting is scheduled for January 30th at  9:15am at the Eat ‘n Park at Waterworks. Visit for details. 

New RAPTOR System

Mrs. Batis provided a brief overview of the changes to volunteer clearances now that the District has adopted the RAPTOR system.  Existing clearances are loaded in the RAPTOR system, but the system checks to see if any offenses or issues have occurred since obtaining clearances that might be a cause for concern. The first time entering the building with the new system takes the longest, so plan to add a few extra minutes on your next visit.

OLWEUS Bullying Prevention Program

Mrs. Batis also provided an update on the OLWEUS bullying prevention program. O’Hara received a Safe Schools grant from Highmark, and our new teachers have now received Olweus training, and teachers will continue to receive training throughout the year.

New Student Advisory Committee

Mrs. Batis announced that a New Student Advisory Committee will begin rolling out soon.  The program is inline with the PTO’s efforts to getting our students more involved, with the ultimate goal of launching a Student Council next year.  The Student Advisory Committee will have two representatives from each homeroom, who will selected randomly from interested kids.  The committee will meet with the principals two times a month during the lunch period to provide input on a variety of topics.

Thank you!!

Mrs. Batis and the PTO Board thanks everyone for their support of the Make a Wish fundraiser and for the generous collection of funds for our staff for the holidays. Your generosity always amazes!

January PTO Meeting Agenda

The O’Hara PTO invites you to join us for our monthly meeting this Thursday, January 17th at 9:15am in the O’Hara Auditorium. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.  This month’s agenda is as follows:

  • PTO Board Report
    • Treasurer’s Report (Kristina Adams)
    • Teacher Stipend Status (Sarah Shaffer)
      • Teacher Survey – most wanted items
    • Vice President’s Report
      • Read Across America Celebration – February 26
      • O’Hara Foxes Club Registrations (Math Pentathlon, Spanish Globetrotters, Lab Ratz)
  • Committee Updates and Volunteer Opportunities
    • Family Movie Night – February 22
    • Garden Sale – April kick off (May 11 Pick Up)
    • Scholastic Book Fair – February 25 to March 1
  • PALS Report (Stacy London)
  • Principal’s Update (Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards)
    • Changes to Volunteer Clearances – RAPTOR
    • OLWEUS Update
    • New Student Advisory Committee Roll out
  • District Update (Dr. Constantine)
    • New Pre-K Program

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Drop and Go Movie Night to Benefit Make-A-Wish

O’Hara Elementary and the O’Hara PTO are excited to announce a surprise addition to our December calendar:  A Drop and Go Movie Night to Benefit Make-A-Wish! Caregivers can enjoy a night out to themselves while their FCASD students  in grades K-5 have a pizza dinner and watch the holiday favorite – the Polar Express. Kids are encouraged to wear their PJs (no slippers) for this magic-filled evening at O’Hara.  Event proceeds will be donated to the FCASD fundraiser for Make-A-Wish.

  • When:  Friday, December 14, 6:00 – 8:30pm  (2.5 hours of child care)
  • Where: O’Hara Elementary
  • What:  Pizza dinner followed by a showing of Polar Express (G). Popcorn too!
  • Who:  FCASD Students in Grades K – 5
  • Cost:  $25/family (up to 3 siblings). Includes dinner & popcorn.
  • Advance Registration Required:  Register by 12/12!

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Nominate a Caregiver for Free Admission

Do you know a caregiver who could use a break? Nominate him or her for a complimentary family registration to the PTO’s Drop and Go Movie Night to Benefit Make-A-Wish!  One lucky winner will be selected at random and the $25 fee will be waived! Enter your nomination here by 12/10.

(Note: nominees must have students in grades K-5 enrolled in FCASD, but anyone can make a nomination!).

Volunteer to Chaperone

Volunteers are needed to help set up and chaperone the event. Volunteers must have clearances with a Volunteer Badge on file at O’Hara.  (All spots filled; email if interested in helping out and attending with your children)

Dollar Days for Make-A-Wish: December 10 – 14

O’Hara will also support the Make-A-Wish fundraiser through a week of “Dollar Days.”  Students are encouraged to bring a $1 donation and dress to show their support for Make-A-Wish. Here’s the schedule for the week of December 10th:

  • Monday, December 10:  School Spirit Day
  • Tuesday, December 11: Crazy Sock Day 
  • Wednesday, December 12:  Hat Day
  • Thursday, December 13:  Wacky Hair Day 
  • Friday, December 14:  Festive Sweater/Shirt Day