Minutes October 6, 2009


Joyce Middle School  PTO

Meeting Minutes

October 6, 2009 at 7 p.m.


Officers In attendance:  Penny Nichols Cordero, Carolyn LeBlanc, Vicki Drougas, and Marybeth Dixon

Attendees:  16 parents

 School Principal:  Mr. Qualey

Faculty Members:  Ms. Joanne Young and Ms. Kathy Richardson


Welcome and Introductions:  Penny welcomed all those that attended and each of the officers introduced themselves.

Guest Speaker:  Ms. Joanne Young provided a presentation of the Best Buddies Program which pairs children with intellectual disabilities with those who do not.  The program is run during activity period and there are currently 51 participating students. The program provides social interaction (50 instant friends) , community service (last year they raised money for service dogs) and leadership opportunities.   They spend each activity period together doing fun activities such as crafts and each Thursday the student have lunch with their buddies.  Ms. Young indicated that she receives tremendous support from the teachers and Mr. Qualey.  The program has no formal funding and must fundraise to fund their activities.  Last year funds were raised through a night at Uno’s Pizzaria , with a portion of the evenings sales going to Best Buddies.  This year they plan to do a similar event at Applebee’s.   Ms. Young has done a nice write up about the program and this can be found on our website in the “In School” section.

2008/2009 Recap:  Penny provided an overview of the past year, highlighting the big push in communications through the introduction of the website and email newsletter.  She also talked about some of the events and fundraisers such as the Recycle Day Event, the Halloween Party,  the donation for the School Sign and the end of year parent and teacher survey.  She mentioned that as a result of the survey, the PTO has introduced a Teacher Wish List.

Treasurer’s Report:  Vicki provided an overview of the prior year’s income and expenses and stated that the expectation is that the current year’s budget will be similar to past year.  Last year’s income was $13,643.16, expenses were $13,873.22 and the ending balance was $3,671.27.  A formal budget for the current year will be presented at the next meeting

Communications Report:  Marybeth indicated that the website has been up and running for almost a complete year, having gone “live” on October 8th of last year and provide the following facts about communication:

§  On average the site is visited 9 times per day

§   September has been the busiest month with 512 visits; 9/21 was the best day with 50 visits

§  The email list has grown with 44% of parents receive email newsletters; goal is 50% per class, 6th and 7th grade are at the goal,  8th grade has just under 30%.

§  Added a Facebook Fan page to the communication methods, currently have 71 fans

Fundraising Report:  Carolyn provided an overview of the planned fundraising activities for the PTO.  These include a Holiday Cash Raffle, sales of Gift Cards, Annual donations, and a spring fundraiser which hasn’t been fully scheduled yet, but will likely be a Yankee Candle or pie fundraiser.  She has contacted Paul Mederios to see if the Joyce can do another Recycle Day Event.  She has not yet heard back.  She also added that the PTO now has a PayPal account allowing credit and debit card donations.  It was mentioned that the recent bake sale only raised $136 and a discussion was held as to whether the PTO should host the next election day bake sale in November.  A number of options were discussed and it was determined that a call for volunteers would be made and once the number of volunteers is known, a determination about the bake sale would be made.

Upcoming Events for the year:  Penny provided a quick overview on the upcoming activities for the year:  October – Halloween Party; December – Book Fair and Holiday Raffle; January – Family Wildlife night; February – Night at Lowell Devils (with band or chorus performing); Spring – 50/50 tickets sales at Green and Blue and Spring Concert

Committee/Volunteer Opportunities:  Penny mentioned that as events are coming up they will be publicized via the website and newsletter and we will have online sign up forms.

Funding Requests:  Penny indicated that the PTO had received a request to provide funding for the 7th grade blue team field trip.  She recommended that the PTO fund $500 (one half of the $1,000 allotted per grade).  There were no objections.  Penny also recommended that the PTO provide baked goods and hot cocoa for the upcoming Star Gazing Party.  She estimated the cost to be between $25 and $50.  There were no objections

Principal’s Report:  Mr. Qualey provided an update on the following topics:

School Opening:  Has gone smoothly

Back to School Night:  went well wit about 320 parents attending and thanked the PTO for support

School improvement over the summer:  3 science rooms, 24 new microscopes, 12 new projectors, white boards will be added to most rooms that don’t have them, all staff computers have or will be replaced

MCAS Test:  Scores were sent home in the past week and remain relatively flat with a slight increase in ELA and slight decrease in match.  The Joyce has a performance rating of very high in ELA and moderate in math.  Joyce is still considered in need of improvement, as are 80% of the state’s middle schools.  There are new growth reports available to the schools this year, indicating how groups of students performed in comparison to prior years.  These reports will be available to parents next year.

School Council:  Consists of administration, parents, teachers and community members.  The Joyce needs two more representatives – one 8th grade and one 6th grade parent.

Technology:  A number of teachers were trained this summer on the use of a “Class Pad” to be used in english, science and math.  These new small electronic devices allow the teachers to display data on a projector screen and easily change the information.  For example a paragraph may be displayed and the teacher can remove all the punctuation and have the student determine where it should be.   Several eighth grade teachers were trained on Moodle, a system that allows the teachers to develop on-line components to their class.

Raffle Winners:  Winners were drawn for the annual donation raffle.  The winners were Paula Aston ($20 Gift card to Applebee’s), Candice White ($20 Gift card to Applebee’s) and Nancy Angelo (4 movie passes provided by Showcase Cinemas).

Other Business:  Laurie Bergstrom mentioned three potential opportunities:

·          LLBean sponsors kayak and canoeing  trips, may be a good family event for the spring.  They also will be guest speakers for science classes

·         Museum of Science has a Harry Porter exhibition going on.  If we can get enough interest we could get bulk tickets.  Marybeth will add a survey to next email and to website to see how much interest there is.

·         WREN does Saturday morning clean-ups at Horn Pond.  Great opportunity for community service hours. 

Joyce Middle School  PTO

Treasurer's Report

October 6, 2009 


In preparation for this year’s budget, it is our recommendation that we continue to fundraise through family donations, raffles, and other various fundraisers to support the ongoing programs that include scholarships, two staff appreciation days, social events and enrichment programs for all grades…and that any new programs proposed have a funding source associated to that program. It is our recommendation that we continue to meet or exceed prior years fundraising before allocating additional funds to other programs.

We would like to continue to offer fun social events for the students and will strive to keep it cost affordable and have little or no impact to our budget. We have the Halloween costume party in which we will charge a $5 fee and will offer pizza, drinks, music and prizes. We anticipate that this should be a breakeven event. We will also continue to support programs such as Best Buddies, Builders Club, the National Honor Society and provide support in their needs.

We have provided a tentative budget for this year.