10/18 Evening Meeting Agenda

Last month we welcomed over 50 members of the O’Hara Elementary community to our first morning meeting of the year.  Our next meeting will be the first evening meeting of the year, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone who can attend. We will meet in the O’Hara auditorium from 6pm – 7pm this Thursday, October 18th.  Children are welcome to attend if needed.

10/18 PTO Meeting Agenda

  • PTO Committee and Activity Updates  – learn about upcoming projects and opportunities to help out.  We’ll also provide a status on some ongoing and completed projects.
  • Discussion on Elementary Curriculum with Dr. Ashley Nestor
  • Principal Update – School Safety and Parent Teacher Conferences


  • Box Tops are due to homeroom classes by 10/19.  Each Box Top earn $.10 for O’Hara. Those dimes add up quickly – last year we raised $1,400!  If every student at O’Hara turned in just 25 Box Tops, we’d quickly surpass that goal.  At 50 Box Tops/student we’d more than double our earnings from last year, providing an opportunity to invest even more in our school. There will be another collection in Spring, so we encourage you to keep on clipping (and get your neighbors and family to clip with you!)
  • We need volunteers!  There are several open and ongoing volunteer opportunities, including:

evening meeting

Dates to Note

  • 10/19 Last day to turn in Box Tops for Fall Collection
  • 10/24 PALS Meeting Roots of Faith 800 Main St. Sharpsburg 9:15 am
  • 10/26 Early Dismissal
  • 10/31 Halloween Parade (2:10) and Classroom Parties (2:45)
  • 11/5 Early Dismissal – Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 11/6 No School – Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • 11/13 District Forum Meeting, High School LGI Room, 7pm – 8pm
  • 11/15 Next PTO Meeting 9:15 am O’Hara Auditorium

September Meeting Recap and Open Committee Spots

Thank you to the over 50 people who came out for our first meeting of the year! We are incredibly excited by your eagerness to participate and become involved in the PTO, and we know this is going to be a fantastic year.

The PTO meeting kicked off with an introduction of our fantastic Executive Board. We’ve got a strong team working behind the scenes to make sure our communications, programs, fundraisers and events are all well-executed.  Each member of the Board is available to answer your questions, so please don’t hesitate to reach out any time.

Open Committee Spots

Just as our Board functions as a team, we need your to help support (and in some cases lead!) a committee.  At the 9/20 meeting we highlighted several open committee spots, which are listed below.  The sign up is now open to join or lead a committee.

  • The O’Hara Foxes Club – (Chair and Members Needed) – We’ve set the OFC up and now we need someone to take over as Chair! The Chair will oversee the logistics of running the after school program and help identify new activities to include.
  • Family Movie Night – (Chair and Members Needed) Help Plan O’Hara’s first Family Movie Night!
  • Library Volunteer Coordinator  (Assistant Chair) Chair Stacy London will be moving on to DMS next year. Work with Stacy and Mrs. Fornari this year to coordinate library helpers and be ready when the Chair position opens up next year!
  • Assemblies  (Chair Position)  Work with teachers and principals to identify and coordinate school assemblies (1 – 2/year). This chair role does not require clearances (unless you want to attend the assemblies yourself!), and can be done behind the scenes.
  • Lunch/Recess Volunteers (Co-Chair and Members) Join Chair Melissa Troutman as the PTO works with the school to implement a new outdoor recess volunteer program. The co-chair will also assist with indoor recess bins and promoting lunch time helpers.
  • Communications Committee  (Writers) Tackle a topic of interest to be shared on our blog! You can generate your own or pick from topics identified by the Chair. Work behind the scenes on your own time schedule, or take a more interactive role by interviewing teachers/staff.
  • Yearbook  (Photographers) Calling all photographers! Help the Yearbook Committee capture the year at O’Hara! Photographers must have clearances and a camera capable of taking high quality photos for print.

Additional volunteer opportunities are detailed at oharapto.org/volunteer (click the Sign Up Genius button to see all open sign ups!) and will be shared throughout the year.  Lunchroom helpers with clearances are also welcome daily.  If you missed the form to sign up for Classroom Volunteer Opportunities, contact your Homeroom Representative or Sarah Blask.

Traveling Art Gallery (TAG) volunteers are also needed. Read more and sign up here: www.oharapto.org/TAG


Budget Approved

September’s meeting included a review and vote on our 2018-2019 Budget.  Members unanimously approved the budget, which will be used as a guideline for PTO spending and fundraising goals throughout the year.  We are currently projecting over $5,000 in unallocated funds, after setting aside reserve funds for next year. If our fundraisers perform as anticipated, we’ll be making plans for those funds in the Spring.

PTO Representatives

At September’s meeting, we also met several of our representatives from the teacher staff, District Forum and PALS.  We’re looking forward to working with the teachers and these organizations to keep you in the know and create an open dialogue with our teachers and staff so that we know how to best support them throughout the year.

Principal’s Update

Mrs. Batis provided an introduction to classroom Themed Learning Centers, which kick off this week with 4th Grade, 5th Grade and Kindergarten.  The Learning Centers offer an opportunity for family volunteers with clearances to get a special glimpse at what their students are learning while helping to staff interactive centers based on a specific theme. The 4th grade class is learning about place values, Kindergarten is exploring lima beans, and the 5th graders will focus on preparing for Camp Allegheny. Each grade will host two learning centers per year, so look for information from your student’s homeroom teacher and volunteer if you can.

Mrs. Batis also shared that O’Hara will host a Showcase Night in April.  This evening will encompass the Art Show (and offer evening Spring Basket Raffle Ticket sales!), as well as other displays of student work.

District Update

The PTO is excited to share that each meeting will include attendance by a member of District Administration.  At this meeting, Dana Simile joined us.  An overview of information she shared is available here.  Dr. Ashley Nestor will join us in October to discuss Curriculum.

Next Meeting: October 18

We packed that all into one hour! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone at our October 18 meeting, which will be held in the evening from 6 – 7.  Detailed agenda to follow – stay tuned!



Dates to Note – October 2018

Hello O’Hara Families! Be sure to mark your calendars for these October events and dates to note:

  • Wednesday, October 3, 2018 (4 – 8pm) PTO Chipotle Dine and Donate Event, Chipotle at 1027 Freeport Road. Make dinner a selfless act by joining us for a fundraiser to support O’Hara Elementary School PTO. Bring in the flyer, show this post on your smart phone, or simply tell the cashier that you’re supporting the cause for the O’Hara Elementary School PTO to make sure that 33% of the proceeds will be donated to O’Hara Elementary School PTO. More info can be found here.
  • Monday, October 8 – Friday, October 12, 4th Grade CoGAT testing
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018 (9-10am), District Forum Meeting, LGI Room at FCAHS. Join District Forum for a discussion of the FCASD budget and the budgeting process.
  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Noon Dismissal
  • October 16-19, 2018, Fifth Graders at Camp Allegheny 
  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 (6pm) PTO Meeting, O’Hara Auditorium. Join the O’Hara PTO for our first evening meeting of the year. 
  • Friday, October 19, 2018 – Last Day to Turn in Box Tops for the Fall Collection!
  • Wednesday, October 24, 2018 (9:15am), PALS Meeting, Roots of Faith, 800 Main St, Sharpsburg, PA 15215
  • Friday, October 26, 2018, Noon Dismissal
  • Monday, October 29, 2018 (6pm) Elementary Math Parent Night, Kerr Elementary School. The Fox Chapel Area School District invites parents to an informational event about your child’s math curriculum. Parents can also learn ways to help your child with math at home, participate in a Q&A, and find out about homework. Please RSVP at https://goo.gl/9e1KxD.
  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018 (2:45-3:40pm) Annual Halloween Parade and Classroom Parties.  Additional information on the parade to followNote: Volunteers for classroom parties are assigned by the homeroom representative. If you have not already indicated your interest in helping with the Halloween or other class parties, you can do so here.


Your Look at the Week Ahead – Filled with Spirit!

We hope to see you at tomorrow’s PTO meeting from 9:15-am – 10:15am in the Auditorium. Bring your ID and sign in at the front office. Coffee will be provided! 

Next week will be spirit-filled as we celebrate Fox Chapel’s Homecoming. We’ve also got several open volunteer opportunities and a new class added to the O’Hara Foxes Club (details below).


Spirit Week (9/24 – 9/28)

Students are encouraged to dress up and show their #OHaraSpirit! Email photos to communications@oharapto.org to be featured on our Facebook page!


Please note: no spaghetti strap or strapless tank tops.  Students must wear shoes to school (no slippers or slipper socks). 

Reminder: Online Spirit Store Closes 9/23

You can still grab some great O’Hara Spirit Gear in time for the pep rally and Homecoming at https://www.fmgweb.com/ohara/. The store will remain open until 9/23. Items purchased will be distributed by 9/26.

Mobile Fingerprinting (9/26 from 10am – 6pm) – Foxwall EMS – Registration Required

In partnership with the Kerr PTO, a Mobile Fingerprinting event for the Act 114 FBI Criminal Reporting requirement will be held on September 26th at Foxwall EMS. The event will run from 10am – 6pm. To register and reserve a spot to be fingerprinted, please follow these instructions: http://bit.ly/mobilefingerprint2018  (Note: we are aware of some issues registering and are working to resolve). 

Community Homecoming Carnival Friday, September 28, 2018 (4-7pm).

In honor of Homecoming Weekend, the Fox Chapel Area High School invites community members to its annual Homecoming Carnival, with lots of fun activities, games, and rides for kids. Head out to the Front Lawn at Fox Chapel Area High School and look for the O’Hara PTO! We’ll be hosting a game and selling our remaining spirit inventory.  The football game follows at 7pm.


Volunteers are needed in each classroom to help with class parties, field trips, Box Tops, and Spring and Thanksgiving Basket collections. Sign up today and let your homeroom representative know how you’d like to help:  https://goo.gl/forms/l7uaXmfYqBUfQps12

TAG is an art enrichment program in which volunteers become amateur docents–bringing art history, criticism, aesthetics, and art-making experiences to our students.(Don’t worry, no art degree required!). More information and sign up available here: https://oharapto.org/tag/

Volunteers are needed to help represent O’Hara Elementary School at the Fox Chapel Foxes Homecoming Carnival on 9/28. Sign up here:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0d4daba623a1f49-homecoming

Looking for something else? Volunteer opportunities are posted when available at oharapto.org/volunteer. 


The OFC continues with Lab Ratz Science Club. Lab Ratz presents basic science principles in an engaging, hands-on manner- encouraging students to be inventive and creative, to question the world around them, and to make discoveries through firsthand experimentation. The Fall session is open to students in grades 3 – 5. Classes begin on Monday, October 8th and will run for 5 weeks from 4:00-5:00 pm. The cost is $70. For additional details and to register, visit oharapto.org/ofc or view the flyer attached.

Ohara 18 fall-2

Join us 9/20 for Our First Meeting of the Year

Hello O’Hara Families,  We hope to see you this coming Thursday, September 20th at 9:15am in the auditorium for our first meeting of the year!  We will provide an overview of new programs and activities and the many ways you can get involved throughout the year.  We’ll also be reviewing and approving our budget for the year. All are welcome to attend (just sign in at the front office and head to the auditorium – don’t forget your ID!).

Our Principal’s update will introduce you to a new opportunity to volunteer in your student’s classroom (Themed Learning Centers, kicking off in October), and share plans for the O’Hara Elementary Showcase in April (those of you missing Open House are going to love this!).  Additionally, Dan DiDesiderio, Director of Student Achievement and Instructional Verification, and Dana Simile, Coordinator of English Language Arts, will share brief updates from the School District.  View the detailed agenda here. 

Add to Your Calendar

Dates to Note – September 2018

Hello O’Hara Families! With Labor Day weekend upon us, school is in full swing and Fall is on its way. Be sure to mark your calendars for these September events and dates to note:

  • Monday, September 3, 2018 No School (Labor Day)
  • Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (5:30-8:00pm) Back to School Social and School Spirit Sale, O’Hara Playground. This annual O’Hara PTO event is a favorite among students and provides an opportunity for families to connect. Bring the whole family for dinner, dessert and fun (rain or shine).  You can also stock up on O’Hara gear to show your O’Hara Spirit on Fridays.  Interested in helping out?  You can volunteer for a shift and still have time to enjoy the festivities.
  • Thursday, September 6, 2018 (6:00-7:30pm) O’Hara Elementary Camp Allegheny Parent Meeting, O’Hara Auditorium. 5th grade parents are invited to discuss the annual class trip to Camp Allegheny.
  • Monday, September 10, 2018 No School (Fall Break)
  • Wednesday, September 19, 2018 No School (Fall Break)
  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 (9:15-10:15am) First PTO Meeting of the Year, O’Hara Auditorium. Caregivers are welcome to attend the first PTO meeting of the year and learn about ways to get involved at O’Hara. We will be discussing volunteer involvement in committees, the budget, and exciting new events coming to O’Hara this year. Homeroom Representatives are invited to stay for an additional meeting at 10:15am to discuss their role and responsibilities for the year. 
  • Monday, September 24-28, 2018 Spirit Week. It’s Homecoming Week in the Fox Chapel Area School District and O’Hara Elementary students can show their pride by participating in Spirit Week. 
    • Monday: Mismatch Day
    • Tuesday: Tank Top Day (no spaghetti straps or strapless clothing items)
    • Wednesday: Woke Up Like This (no slippers or slipper socks. Children need to be wearing shoes)
    • Thursday: Red Zone-wear your O’Hara T-shirts or Fox Chapel gear for a Homecoming Pep Rally in the afternoon
    • Friday: Disney Day
  • Tuesday, September 25, 2018 (6:30pm) Public Meeting on School Safety, Fox Chapel Area High School LGI. The Fox Chapel Area School District is holding a public meeting to discuss the district’s safety plan. Administrators and local police officials will discuss approaches aimed at enhanced prevention and response protocols throughout the district’s campuses. Parents are encouraged to attend. 
  • Wednesday, September 26, 2018 (9:15am) PALS Meeting, Eat N’ Park in Waterworks. 
  • Friday, September 28, 2018 (4-7pm) Community Homecoming Carnival, Front Lawn at Fox Chapel Area High School. In honor of Homecoming Weekend, the Fox Chapel Area High School invites community members to its annual Homecoming Carnival, with lots of fun activities, games, and rides for kids.  The football game follows at 7pm. 
september PTO