Monday, October 15th, 2018
Members Present –
See sign in! Thank you for coming!
Meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm.
Superintendent’s Report: Long Range Facilities Plan
Brian came to update us on the upcoming referendum, and the Long Range Facilities Plan we will vote on. Previously, in 2015, a comprehensive plan had been put together with regard to what needed to be “fixed” in our district. A lot has changed during that time, so updated quotes were gathered over the summer, and we find ourselves in need of about $9 million worth of maintenance on site to all three buildings and our grounds.
Highlights: Elementary school needs general building repairs, carpet for auditorium, gym floor, classroom partitions, air handling unit in the Media Center, brick and mortar work on exterior of building, restroom compliance issues, oil tank replacement, partial roof replacement. MBA requires about $87,000 worth of repair – hardware on doors, restroom compliance issues, tech ventilation system (safety issue). Kitchen appliances need to be updated in all three buildings, new storage building for maintenance. SHS needs about $350,000 worth of work - lighting system in auditorium, replacement of boilers, outfield and fencing of baseball fields, high school track. The track is in very bad shape, cracks, sagging, repairing is no longer an option…it is not a regulation size track, and we are unable to host any meets here in Somers. This will be used for many other things as well….under the lights games, other sports teams, graduation….3/4 students will utilize this new “facility” if it goes through. There was a change in the cost from the initial estimate that was given. The initial estimate was to remove and replace a ¼ mile track, but that is not what we currently have. A company that specializes in building athletic facilities came and gave an estimate of about $3 million. (Larger regulations size track, relocation or reorientation, interior field, drainage, pitching, irrigation, lighting, bleachers, etc.) NO LOCATION OR CONFIGURATION HAS BEEN FINALIZED. That will be decided upon when it is put out to bid after the bond has been approved. Two step process – request for qualifications, and then obtaining proposals from the most responsible and qualified companies. There would not be any tax increase to the residents of Somers to approve this bond.
October 25th – Town Meeting at 7 pm – Brian will explain this proposal at this meeting and then it will go to referendum.
PLEASE VOTE – Referendum is on November 6th.
Mark congratulated Mike Szafir and the track team that he has developed at our high school. He thinks a new track would be something great to support, and definitely worth the investment.
Mark came to our meeting to represent the LA teachers at MBA. In the past, the PTO has supported authors for the middle school. These students are at a critical age… they love to read, and the benefits are numerous when they see an author in person. Someone they are looking into is Gary Schmidt, from Michigan. His books are taught in both 7th and 8th grade at the middle school. Clay seconded the idea saying that this is good for kids….this is a valuable experience for all students. The PTO support in the past has been very much appreciated. Mark will be in touch with Marissa with costs, so that PTO can see what we are able to contribute. Perhaps the middle school can also do some fundraising to offset any additional costs.
Dina Senecal - A link was sent home to all parents with an anonymous quia survey. 105 people completed the survey. 2 new questions this year, and the outcome of those are that parents want more of an SES social media presence. Also, parents want more opportunities to be invited into the building for events. School wide assemblies occur each month, character traits are focused on, and students are recognized who exemplify those traits. In the future, we are hoping to invite parents to the assembly if their child is receiving a reward. The new and improved SES Newsletter will continue to highlight all of the wonderful things that are happening in our building and also point to the PTO and all of the supports we provide.
Other suggestions that were mentioned in the survey comments were Book Bingo, Movie Night, PTO Carnival, Halloween Happenings.
Reminder – contact the Bus Barn for transportation issues.
Clay Krevolin – Student government elections are being held to coincide with the state/national elections. Campaigning for student body government is happening now.
6th grade is going to A Christmas Carol at Hartford Stage.
7th grade is going to the Storrs Adventure Park.
8th grade is going to Boston for a full day adventure.
Our wonderful resource officers have been working out so well, sharing areas of expertise with staff and students. Clay is hoping to have them do a presentation for staff, students and parents about vaping. This is becoming a bigger issue – in school, on the bus, etc – not just in Somers, but everywhere. Repercussions are strong, with police being involved in investigations and discipline. Education is key, kids and adults. (Can this be started in fifth grade, too, please????)
High School and Middle School have established a partnership with ShopRite, to recognize a student each month who exemplifies kindness and respect. A donation will be made to a charity of the student’s choice, and their picture is posted at ShopRite. ShopRite will come to the schools to present the recipients with the awards.
All three schools are sending out a newsletter the first Friday of every month, highlighting different aspects of each building.
Motion to approve September’s meeting minutes by Jay, seconded by Lauren.
See budget handout from Kate. Motion to approve needs to be pushed to the next meeting because there are only two Board members present at this time. Direct any questions to Kate. (Where are all of the donated 5th grade t-shirts from last year? Was that taken out of the actual amount made that is listed? Also, why is the new amount for t-shirts $500? Gift cards need to be removed since it was replaced with Yankee Candle. Halloween Happenings needs to be changed as well – we will make less with only one school and making less per ticket.)
No time for new business this evening!!
Dorothy is looking for a new company, because the minimum order of 12 from our current company is hard to fill once the bulk order happens at the beginning of the year. New items are big sellers, things that don’t require sizes (blankets, water bottles, etc). Dorothy will set up a table during conferences to sell Spirit Wear. Is there any money in our budget for Dorothy to have a “stock” of “stuff” that people can purchase on the spot?
Author Update – new addition….Marty Kelley, author and illustrator will present to K-5 (and can read to preschool in their classrooms) in the Spring. The PTO has also generously agreed to purchase some of Marty’s books for our Media Center so that Becky can prepare all students for his arrival in the Spring. Thank you very much!
Jessie Chris – October 30th, Anti-bullying assembly…singer and author.
Square 1 Art – Marissa is sending them out tomorrow. On November 7th the stickers will come in for orders, which will then come back before Christmas.
Halloween Happenings – October 25th from 5-7. Tickets are $15, $3 comes back to PTO per ticket. Refer to handout and emailed flier for all of the details! SES event only, but MBA students are welcome to sign up to volunteer (passing out candy on Trick or Treat Street, face painting, tattoos, etc.)
XL Center – WWE Smackdown is this weekend, Marvel Live is coming up next on Sunday, November 4th at 4:00 pm. We make $5 per ticket on those sales.
Yankee Candle – Magazines and order forms already came home. Orders can be taken now and are due November 5th. Orders can be placed online and then you do not need to come to a pick up date/location for items.
Box Tops – Mandy is going to head that up for now, but is looking for volunteers. Dorothy and Lauren have offered to help! Thanks!
Congratulations to Hannah Manzi for winning a free Halloween Happenings ticket from tonight’s meeting raffle!!
Next Meeting Date – November 5th, 5:30 pm at SES
Meeting was adjourned at 7:00 pm.
Respectfully submitted by Becky Leiphart.