Dixon PTO Meeting Minutes -- September 2018

PTO meeting

9-13-2018 (6:30 p.m.)




Vicky Shokatz, Kristen Riegert, Megan Repsa, Daniel Bartlett, Wendy Bray, Melissa Holland, Paul Vepraskas, Mrie Lawrence, Ana Kovacic, Terry Little, Jeanne Siegenthaler, Nicole Fitzgerald, Carey Drees, Anusha Gopalakrishnan, Shawn Saynes, Mary Schubert, Shana Meidam, Sara Ames, Maria Kotsonis, Jaclyn Durham, Sara Monty, Thekla Bastl, Susan Cohen, Jeremy Monty, Franklin Onwubuariri


Jeremy Monty (PTO president) introduction


Group introductions


Principal Report (Dr. Siegenthaler)

562 students enrolled, welcomed 21 new staff to Dixon this year, half are from within Elmbrook, at least 35 different home languages spoken in school, new 1st grade and 5th grade sections added, you can write a thank you note to staff, computer devices are going home – chromebooks, technology agreement forms will be coming home for signature. You have the option of leaving the computer at school if you don’t want to take it home. Parents get a weekly report of technology use. Teachers are going through FOR training – Foundations of Reading training. Dixon has 4 overall goals – literacy, math, social/emotional, and formations. Lunch is now before recess and behaviors are already improved. We’ve added social/emotional curriculum for basic social skills. KG-1st grade did purposeful play, and Dixon has a grant for this. PIN will be via email this year rather than in-person. Some staff are taking violent risk training, and more training for staff on mental health. New safety coordinator has been hired for Elmbrook – Dixon will get additional security cameras and will look at protocols. Individual student presentations will be last week of the month. Model is Run, Hide, Fight. 5th graders are going to Camp Minikani for 2 days. Dr. S will be on district calendar committee, looking at getting rid of early release Thursday, and consistent area-wide spring break. Dr. S is available for questions, emails, calls anytime.


Minutes approval (Vicky Shokatz)

Sara M. motioned and Maria seconded the minutes


Welcome Back Picnic (Franklin Onwubuariri)

Great feedback for event, is there a way to set up more of the tables outside rather than inside, so people don’t miss what’s going on outside. Consider signs in the gym directing people to the picnic. A question was raised around the possibility of getting some things to run later, like pictures, for parents who are working and can’t get here earlier. Consider extending this piece to 5:30/6:00 next year. People like having the event the week before so they can bring in supplies early, rather than the day before.



New event this year for parents on first day of school. Get more people to know each other and build community without asking them for something. Had a good turnout. A chance for people to make connections.


Budget (Anusha Gopalakrishnan)

Primary goal is to project amount of money brought in and determine how to spend it.

Income from: Dining Out Rewards, Dixon Carnival, Box Tops, Amazon Smile, Fall Fundraiser, Tervis, Spirit Wear. (Income is generally under-projected; have generally earned more)

Expenses this year so far: assignment notebooks, folders, PTO insurance.

New things added: Composer project $1,500 – a dedication to Mrs. Filkins and a partnership with Tonawanda, working with a composer to make a musical piece to honor her, is in the budget for discussion today. It was brought up to invite some older kids who had Mrs. Filkins so they can come back and participate. Dixon is a leader in the District in kids composing music. Will be learner centered and student created. Elmbrook has been named a topic district in the state for music education.

Art Boards – $2,000, to help display all of the kids’ artwork for Gallery Night.

Biggest expenditure is grade level donations, which helps pay for kids’ field trips.

Swing set purchased last year has gotten great feedback.

Have budgeted for One Book One Community again, also Empty Bowls as an annual fundraiser for Milwaukee Rescue Mission.


Budget approval

Sara A. motioned to approve; Paul seconded


If any committees needs funds (cash box) for an event, you need to get your request into the Treasurer (Anusha) two weeks in advance.


Review of PTO Bylaws

A committee will be formed to review the current PTO Bylaws and make a recommendation in the spring for approval by the PTO. Who wants to be involved: Sara Monty, Nick Sayner, Ana, Franklin, Sara Ames, Dan, and Dr. S. Sara Monty will schedule the meeting.


Committee Reports

Room Parents (Sara Monty) – close to being covered, meeting Thursday. Most teachers have 3, some only have 2.


Fall Fundraiser (Shana) – put together packets yesterday that will go out next week to students, Sept. 17 will kick-off to kids, Color Run event is Oct. 19, we are still looking for sponsors (logo goes on website, posters), still need volunteers to come to school to energize kids. If we hit $45,000 top 5 students get to color Dr. S hair. Jeneeya is looking for a co-chair to share the load for this major initiative. A sign-up genius link is out for volunteers to sign up.


Directory (Sara Ames) – the new data will upload Sept. 17 and parents will get an email then to register and check your information. If you want an email blast you need to follow specific criteria (Sara will provide via email). There is a form on the website. Generally one email per event.


Costume Dance – 4 people signed up at the picnic to help with this. Sara Ames will connect with them on the next steps and schedule a meeting. Jack Langford could be the DJ, a former Dixon student. Will need to decide on date soon.


Spirit Wear (Megan Repsa) – brought back green and tie dye shirts and sweatshirts, the sale closes on Sunday. First and third Fridays kids are encouraged to wear their Dixon gear. Did mark up some key items as a fundraiser for the school. Thinking of a new spring sing T-shirt every year, might need some money in the budget to do things like this. Will do another sale in November for holiday gifts. Consider a table at events to put out the old t-shirts and cups. Online store is doing well.


Dixon Garden and TYPTL (Vicky) – the committee is looking at a TYPTL event on Oct. 24. This would be for kids and parents in KG-2nd grade. The committee will reach out to KG teachers to see if there is interest in having those students harvest the carrots again this year, and then eat them in the classrooms for snack the following day. There are a lot of pumpkins, it was discussed whether or not these could be used for 1st grade pumpkin math. Mrs. Durham is interested in a project with the garden for 2nd grade, in conjunction with their plant unit.


Fall Book Fair – Nov. 7—Nov. 16, Brynn M. chairing and will be looking for volunteers.


Bake Sale (Becky) – is looking for a co-chair.


An idea from Stars Hockey to do a restaurant type fundraiser event to benefit the PTO.


Orange Leaf from the Corners would like to partner with the PTO for an event.


Volunteer Opportunities

Empty Bowls – needs volunteers and co-chairs

Keeper of the Fish – needs volunteers

Library Helpers – needs volunteers

Parent’s Night Out (is part of Social Committee – Thekla and Susan are interested in joining current group) – meet Tuesday the 25th at 6:30.

Gallery Night chair – Marlena Ulrich and one other


Sara M. motioned to adjourn; Paul seconded (8:01 p.m.)


Next meeting is October 11 at 6:30 p.m.