Southeast Elementary PTO Meeting

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Co-President Lisa Little.

Members present: Lisa Little, Amanda Luna, Qwanna Mosley, Lisa Thomas, Jessica Duffy, Laura Hutzell, Lindsey Haley, Nicole Beck, Josh Beck, Kelly Hochstetler, Lauren DeVries, Sarah Barthole, Katie Schroeder, Christine Engelbrecht, Nichole Conner, Annie Antelman, Kelly Heuton, Janet Irlmeier, Kellie Keenan.

Reviewed September minutes. Kelly Heuton made a motion to approve the September minutes. Motion seconded by Laura Hutzell.

There was no Principal Time as Mr. Muller was out of town for a family funeral and Mrs. Ryan was absent.

Teacher Time: Mrs. Lisa Thomas is the new Digital Learning Teacher at Southeast. Her goal is to inspire the students of Southeast Elementary to be lifelong learners and lovers of literature. She shared her plans for the library, which included making sure we maintain and continue to build our book collection. The district will install new carpet and new paint in summer 2018. PTO fundraising efforts continue to support the conversation of our library into a space where students want to come and spend their time. A Maker’s Space will be created and a LEGO wall will be installed. Mrs. Thomas discussed the four coding robots that we currently have, including Code and Go Mouse, Otobots, and Spheroballs. There will be significant STEM inclusion into the maker’s space. Mrs. Thomas shared that the goal is to get kids interested in STEM when they’re young; problem solving and logical thinking are good skills that they can use no matter what career path they choose in the future. Mrs. Thomas said that there is a need to purchase more LEGOs. It was recommended that she create an Amazon wish list that we can share with Southeast families.

Mrs. Thomas needs Book Fair volunteers during conference time. An email will be sent to parents through the classroom teachers.

Treasurers Report was given by Treasurer Kelly Heuton. She reported that $11,119.05 was raised from the Color Walk fundraiser. 350 students participated – 53% of the student body.

The September Wendy’s Night was very successful; a $746.45 check was received.

Amanda Luna made a motion to approve the Treasurers Report and Janet Irlmeier seconded the motion.

Old Business included a debriefing on the Color Walk. Parent feedback included the feeling that students need longer to raise funds; that students should have something to give their donors in appreciation of their donation, for example a bookmark. There was a consensus that everyone likes having an event for the kids to participate in.

New Business Discussion on future events included conversation on setting a date for Mathnasium event, potentially organize a Science event in March. Possibility to combine the two will be discussed. A Papas and Pajamas event will be held again in April. Sarah Barthole and Lauren DeVries volunteered to organize a Mom and Me event in the spring.

Movie Night – Oct. 27. ‘Hocus Pocus’ will be the movie. Popcorn and water will be provided.

Fall Carnival – Nov. 10. Discussion on the pricing of activity wristbands and meal tickets. Event organizers Kellie Keenan and Nicole Beck suggested the activity wristbands be sold for $10 at the door and $8 in advance; meal tickets will be $5 at the door and $3 in advance.

Kellie share that four businesses she approached for Carnival donations offer Spirit Nights – Five Guys, Chick Fil A, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panda Express. We may explore doing more of these in the future, but for now we will stick with a once a month Wendy’s Night.

Fall Spirit Wear will be ordered through QB Studios. Two designs will be offered. Orders will be due at end of October.

Lauren DeVries and Laura Hutzell are arranging the Conference Meals for teachers. Tacos and pulled pork sandwiches will be served. Signup Genius links will go out soon asking parents to contribute.

Other business: Lisa Little shared that the school needs 2 volunteers for Picture Day on Thursday, Oct. 5. Nichole Conner volunteered to help.

Sarah Barthole made a motion to adjourn at 8:20 p.m. The motion was seconded by Kelly Heuton.

Southeast Elementary PTO Meeting

September 5, 2017

Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by Co-President Amanda Luna.

Members present: Amanda Luna, Lacy Hepp, Abby Hubbard, Jessica Van Winkle, Janet Irlmeier, Annie Antelman, Sara Palmer, Cristine Engelbrecht, Kelly Hochstetler, Ben Muller, Kelly Heuton, Nicole Beck, Josh Beck, Sarah Barthole, Lauren DeVries, Laura Hutzell, Paula Reyhons, Brianne Moore, Laurel Quinn, Laura Ryan, Joy DeJong, Nichole Conner, Annie Lecaque, Lindsey Haley.


Amanda welcomed the group and commented on the outstanding attendance. Possibly the largest group we’ve had in several years.

Amanda shared a thank you note from Kona Ice for inviting them to Meet The Teacher Night, as well as thank you notes from teachers and staff for lunch provided during their August professional development day and the $100 Amazon gift cards.

Old Business

Review of May minutes. Motion to approve May minutes by Lacy Hepp. Motion seconded by Janet Irlmeier.
Review of June Executive Board meeting minutes. Motion to approve June minutes by Sara Palmer. Seconded by Amanda Luna.

Principal Time: Ben Muller

Mr. Muller thanked PTO for giving each teacher and staff member a $100 Amazon gift card at the beginning of the year to purchase specific items for their classrooms and/or students. Mr. Muller commented that he has noticed that several gift cards are being used to purchase books for classrooms.

Mr. Muller introduced English Language Learner teacher Laurel Quinn.

Southeast currently has 660 students. This is an increase, compared to 595 students last year. This resulted in 27 sections.

Mr. Muller informed the group of the February bond referendum for elementary school #11. This ‘Prairie Trail 2’ building will be located north of DMACC, south of Ankeny High School near the Kum & Go at Ankeny Blvd and Magazine Rd. This building will be larger than the other elementary buildings, intended to hold 750 students rather 650. He mentioned that four current elementary buildings are being added onto. This will add six additional classrooms to those schools.

Mr. Muller announced that Southeast has eight new staff members this year including a new librarian, coaches, teachers.

He pointed out the new mounted projectors that have been installed in all classrooms. This allows for better use of classroom space as the projector cart no longer needs to be out in the middle of the room. In addition, new Bluetooth microphones have been installed in each classroom. In other school districts this has proven to increase the attentiveness of kids. Muller shared that he expected the same results at Southeast.

Mr. Muller said that professional development this year will be focused on literacy. In previous years, teachers created their own instructional pieces. This year the district has adopted a new resource that will make literacy efforts uniform across all classrooms. There is also a new math screener being introduced in Ankeny School District. This is intended to give educators an early view of where our kids are at with their math abilities.

Teacher Presentation: ELL introduction by Laurel Quinn

Southeast now has 45 English speakers of other countries (including 5 kids don’t speak English)

These are the languages spoken at SE this year:
Chinese Mandarin
Liberian English

There is an average of 6-7 students per grade.

A question was raised about the availability of books focused on diversity for Southeast students. Mr. Muller said that the district is going to provide books that are bilingual. Ms. Quinn shared that there are a couple websites available to purchase these types of books. They are:

Parents expressed a concern and desire to include ELL families in PTO events. Ms. Quinn offered to encourage participation and would take RSVPs and provide translators. There was lengthy discussion on ways to get ELL families involved in SE activities. Suggestions included putting a diversity spin on the spring Papas & Pajamas literacy event; doing a World Day; reintroducing a carnival but putting a diversity spin on it.

Treasurers Report was reported by Treasurer Kelly Heuton. A motion to approve the treasurers report came from Laura Ryan, with the second from Amanda Luna.

Heuton presented the 2017-18 PTO Budget. Sarah Barthole made a motion to approve the budget, with a second from Sara Palmer.

New Business

Color Walk

Same as last year
Route around school, specials teachers spray students who want to be sprayed
Decision to skip the prize this year (no water bottle)
Packets will go home soon
A chart will be updated showing fundraising progress
Parent volunteers (signup genius link in newsletter to go out next week)

 Spirit Wear

Beginning of October
Looking for suggestions of designs
Consider adding Staff item
Can we get sample shirts for size reference?
Dri fit was recommended
Lindsey Haley made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Motion was seconded by Kelly Heuton.

Meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

Meeting Minutes