Merrill Middle School

February PTSA Meeting Notes

PTSA Meeting on 2/5/20



Erika Sabatos

Jen Naused

Angie Swanson

Erica Ecklund

Lisa Cervantes-Glynn

Christina Sylvester

Samantha Sturhahn

Jaala Sheldon

Jessica Portillo


Administration Overview:

Student-led conferences on 2/13 from 3:30 – 7:30. PTSA will provide dinner at 3:00 pm. Friday is in-service day and Monday is a holiday.

Feb 13 Thursday at 6:00 pm is the first of two planned community meeting. Rosedale school district received an offer to sell. District wants to explore options during this listening/planning session. Parents are encouraged to attend after student-led conferences.

School of Choice window closes on Feb 17th. Encourage neighbors/friends/family to choice in. Important for current 5th graders who will be 6th graders next year. Non-native English speaking parents are at a loss to what to do. Tomorrow, we are helping non-English speaking parents with the choice system.

New PTSA Programs:

$34,062 is the final number for the Giving Campaign. Missing two donations that would bring us to $37,000. This includes the PayPal fees.

Shadow Tours Update:

Jess said tours went well. Shadows were difficult to get set up. Next year should be smoother and should include training. Lunch & recess were included this year but this garnered mixed feedback. For the most part, a success! PTSA offered to help next year.

Shopping Fundraisers:

Sam Sturhahn talked about Benefit Mobile. This app gives a percentage back at hundreds of retailers. The return varies (up to 20%). Varies by payment. Call retailer in line once you get total, buy card, and use the entire card. One transaction, done. Includes airlines.

Angie – Requests for W9s. Might be pushback regarding the EIN #. This is in fact the correct tax number.

Safe Space:

Bathroom Policy. Kids were worried they would use up their bath passes. Teachers like the policy because it prevents kids from abusing bathroom breaks. Christina proposed increasing the number of passes.

Student-led conferences: Not every parent wants to attend with their kids and that’s fine. Also, not all teachers were present last conference. Parents can reach out at any time.

Sports Coaching: Fun rec program. Parents should reach out to Mr. Franklin. 6th grade basketball team practices here and play on the weekends.

Snack Policy: No snack time. Not all students can bring a snack. Snack policy stays as is.

Sugary Snacks: Lunch accounts can be used for sugary snacks. Isaiah is the contact. Students can have snacks in their pockets.

Enrichment Reviews: Parent reviews of enrichments quarterly.

Teacher Communication: Merrill is committed to communication the first week of the month.

DPS Foundation Grant: Flexible seating to enhance the classroom experience. Jen to work with Christina to submit grant.
Open PTSA Positions: President. Informal March happy hour.

No new members.

Spring Teacher Appreciation: Dinner for conferences. $1500 budgeted but everyone is donating.

Donuts for everyone on February 14. Kim will handle. If she doesn’t, we will send out a Signup Genius.

Spring Dance Committee: For all kids, semi-formal, might be tied into the auction. Austin Powers theme. March 20. $500 to spend.

Need Volunteers: April 17th. Color Run. International Day. Need to put description in JJ. Need ice cream for all students after the color run.

Auction: April 17th was the day we could get the venue for free. Jayla is helping with theme and décor. Bring international into the evening. Inclusive and everyone can come. Auction Powers is the theme. Kim will take on software for auction. Teacher experiences will be paid by PTSA.

End of Year Sports Banquet: Dates will be run by Mr. Franklin. There was a suggestion to let each coach do their own thing and PTSA would pay for it. Late April or mid-May are dates proposed.

8th Grade Continuation: 7th grade families should help with 8th grade families. PTSA attends and thank administration and say thank you to school. PTSA rented out 2 picnic spots and all are welcome as a reception. Potluck. Cake & lemonade outside.

Spring Fling: 5th graders come in and get Merrill swag.  April 17.

Food Stamps: Family whose food stamps run out mid-month. Ideas on how to help. Food pantry? Partnership with South food pantry?

Financial Report: $56,670 in bank. Healthy budget in community engagement events. $3200. $1300 newcomers. $1100 classroom supplies/grants.

Chessboard: Will stick shed on side of building for chess pieces.