Thank you, PTO Supporters!

Friday the 18th marked our last PTO meeting of the school year and the last fundraiser of the year with the conclusion of Spring Basket raffle ticket sales.  Thank you all for the making the basket sales (and the entire year!) a success.  The Spring Basket Fundraiser brought in a total of $8,100. Here’s your handy recap from the 5/18 meeting:

  • Mrs. Batis shared rankings from the Pittsburgh Business Times showing Fox Chapel as 4th overall (1st in 3rd grade!).  ohara.PNG
  • The PTO officers for the 2018-2019 School year were confirmed as follows. Thank you to Dana Rofey for a great two-year term!
    • Sarah Shaffer – President
    • Nadine Carl – Vice President
    • Kristina Adams – Treasurer
    • Lauren Mohn – Secretary
    • Faith Moser – Fundraising Officer
    • Dana Rofey – Advisor
    • Carrie Work – Advisor
  • Committee Chairs for 2018-2019 are still being confirmed. Recent planning meetings and survey results identified several new committee opportunities – stay tuned for another open call for nominations.
  • The PTO currently has a budget of just over $13,000 set aside for courtyard renovations. The courtyard committee held a preliminary meeting with several teachers and Mrs. Batis to discuss potential uses. Next steps include meeting with
    Dan Breitkreutz, Director of Ancillary Services, to explore options. Parent and teacher input will be sought throughout the planning phase (additional information to follow).
  • Outdoor recess was also a hot topic at the meeting. There is consensus among parents, lunch and recess monitors, teachers and administration that outdoor recess is preferable to indoor recess, but poor weather and some limitations due to construction frequently kept students inside this year. The PTO will continue to work with administration to explore options to provide physical activity during the school day when outdoor recess is not possible. Potential policy changes will also be investigated.
  • An interim budget for projected spending between June 30 (the end of the PTO year) and September 20 (the next PTO meeting) was presented and approved by members present.

Thank you again for your support this year!  The Board will be working over the summer, so expect to hear more from us throughout the coming months.

Join the PTO for breakfast at our last meeting of the year!

Calling all PTO supporters and volunteers!  Please join us for our last meeting of the year on Friday, May 18th at 9:15am in the O’Hara Courtyard*. We’ll have breakfast and coffee as a small token of appreciation for all of your support this year. Breakfast will be followed by a brief meeting, including an administrative update from Principal Batis and the election of our 2018-2019 PTO officers.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Full Agenda available here. 

*Rain location: Auditorium



March Meeting Recap

Thank you to everyone who could join us at the March 16th meeting. There were several great discussions at the meeting. Here’s a recap for those who could not make it:

School Safety

We know school safety is top of mind of late and appreciate Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards providing an overview of some of the security measures in place to keep our students safe. Keep on the lookout for future events addressing this topic.  (Note: for the safety our students, security measures will not be posted here. We hope you understand!). 

Courtyard Improvement Project

A new committee is being formed to tackle additional improvements to the courtyard.  Earlier this year the PTO purchased tables with umbrellas for the courtyard.  A district match doubled the number of tables to 12, providing ample room for teachers and students to take advantage of outside space.  Future improvements will focus on incorporating flower beds or raised gardens, with input from teachers on how the space can be best used. PTO members wishing to serve on the planning committee should contact Kristina Adams.

Teacher Stipends

Earlier in the year the PTO approved $7,000 allocated to teacher stipends.  These stipends have now been communicated to all teachers, who have until the end of the school year to use the funds.  Stipends were allotted by teaching units (e.g., 5th grade) and can be used collectively or individually as decided upon by the group.  We’re excited to see how the teachers put their funds to use and thank you all for your support of the PTO – this wouldn’t be possible without your donations!

Parent Concerns

This month’s meeting included time set aside to address parent concerns.

  • Beth Ruff presented information on the proposed changes to the DMS schedule.  Nearly 800 people have signed a petition requesting administration delay the implementation of these changes and seek additional input from teachers and parents. Update:  Per a March 19th email from District Superintendent Gene Freeman, the DMS schedule will remain the same for the next school year: “The district and the DMS administration will continue studying the schedule. As a first step, we are re-engaging in conversations with the Fox Chapel Educators Association (teachers). Next school year, while the FCEA and administration study the possibilities of a new DMS schedule, we will involve a small representative group of parents/guardians which will include the site-based representatives and an equitable representation from the community. Details and opportunities for involvement will be shared at a future time.”
  • Dana Rofey also shared concerns about the lunch “extra” policy.  Efforts are underway to restrict K-2 purchases of extras to one time/week. Already new restrictions have been placed to encourage students to finish their lunch before being able to purchase extras, as well as to limit purchases to one item.
  • Bonnie DeMotte raised concerns over student engagement and questioned whether there might be more opportunities for students to participate in activities during school that get them excited to attend.  Several parents echoed their support, and Carrie Work referenced Student Council programs in place at other district elementary schools.  An ad hoc committee is in the works to further explore options and work with the school administration.  If interested in participating, contact Bonnie DeMotte.

Notice of May 18 Election

The newly formed Nominating Committee includes Carly Warren, Kate Davison and Jessica Simms.  The Nominating Committee announced candidates for the May 18, 2018 election as follows:

  • President – Sarah Shaffer
  • Vice President – Nadine Carl
  • Secretary – Open at time of announcement.

Nominations will also be taken from the floor at the election, to be held May 18 at 9:15am.  Officers will be elected by a majority vote from members present.


Stay tuned for a survey asking for your input on PTO activities and communications.  We look forward to your feedback!

Save the Dates – Only 2 More PTO Meetings!

Thursday, April 19 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm –  Join the PTO for an open discussion.  Grab a beverage or food and join us in the Market District Café (Atrium).

Friday, May 18 from 9:15am – 10:15am – Calling all volunteers and PTO members! Join us for a special breakfast spread before our final meeting of the school year. Members present will vote on open Board positions and an interim budget. Committee chairs will also be announced.


Next PTO Meeting: March 16th at 9:15am

Please join us for our next PTO meeting on Friday, March 16th from 9:15am – 10:15am.  Topics on the agenda include:

  • School Safety (Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards)
  • Overview of Courtyard Improvement Project 
    • Volunteers Needed
  • PTO Board Update
    • Parent Survey
    • Nominating Committee / Notice of May 18 Election
    • Treasurer’s Report
      • Teacher Stipends
  • District Forum Report 
  • Parent Concerns
    • Proposed Changes to DMS Schedule
    • Lunch “Extras” Policy

Upcoming Events

  • March 21             PALS Meeting, Open Forum, Market District Café (Atrium),  9:15am
  • March 22             Multicultural Night, 5:30- 8:00pm
  • March 23            Early Dismissal
  • March 26 – 30    No School (Spring Break)
  • April 13               Early Dismissal
  • May 14 -18          Spring Basket Fundraiser

Mark your calendars for the 2 remaining PTO meetings of the year! 

April 19 – Open Forum, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Join the PTO for an open discussion.  Grab a beer, coffee or even dinner and join us in the Market District Café Atrium.

May 18 – Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast; 2018-2019 Planning and Elections, 9:15am – 10:15am

Calling all volunteers and PTO members! Join us for a special breakfast spread before our final meeting of the school year. Members present will vote on open Board positions and an interim budget.

Join us - March 16 PTO Meeting!

Next PTO Meeting: Feb. 6 (Evening)

The next PTO meeting will be held on February 6th from 7:00pm – 7:30pm, immediately following the New Kindergarten Parent Orientation Meeting (6pm – 7pm).

The PTO board invites new O’Hara parents to learn more about the PTO, what we do, and how to become more involved.  “Veteran” PTO members and volunteers are also encouraged to attend –  Please come share your support of the PTO and meet the families of the incoming Kindergarten class!

Missed the January meeting? Read the meeting minutes here.


Agenda for Friday’s PTO Meeting

We hope you can join us for our first meeting of the calendar year!

O’Hara Administration Update (Mrs. Batis and Mr. Edwards)

PTO Board Update

  • Open Leadership Positions for 2018-2019 School Year
  • Evening Meeting Dates
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • By Laws Vote – just 11 more needed; Members: email if you did not receive the electronic ballot.

Committee Updates

Upcoming Events

  • January 15 – NO SCHOOL
  • January 17 – Panera Dine and Donate (Waterworks – online ordering available!)
  • January 19 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 6 – O’Hara New Kindergarten Parent Orientation Mtg, 6pm – 7pm
  • February 15 – Early Dismissal (noon)
  • February 16 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 19 – NO SCHOOL
  • February 20 – O’Hara Pre-Kindergarten Story Time (Last Names A-L) – 2:15 – 3:15pm
  • February 21 – O’Hara Pre-Kindergarten Story Time (Last Names M-Z)