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
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.
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.
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.
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!