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Hamagrael PTA meeting minutes – September 20, 2018

Filed in Archive by on October 2, 2018

Location: Hamagrael Library

Time: 7pm


  • President’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Principal’s Report
  • Committee Chair Reports/ News
  • Other News
  • Upcoming PTA Events


  • Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm by President Bill Ketzer

President’s report (Bill Ketzer):

  • Welcome PTA members. 16 members in addition to the board in attendance.
  • Motion to adopt the May 2018 minutes – Helmut Philipp and Gianna Aiezza (1st and 2nd the motion)
  • President’s Council – BCSD District Wide Meeting Report
    1. District is creating their first ever Strategic Plan for release in 2019. Mission statement, core values, community stakeholder input, etc.  Page on the district website with more information for those interested:
    2. As a result of state budget enacted in April 2018, BCSD must take additional steps comply with new statewide sexual harassment training, reporting and standardized forms requirements.
    3. The district is also putting together a survey to inquire what types of family and parent workshops the district should be providing.  Survey tentatively scheduled for Fall 2018 release.
  • THANK YOU to all the fall volunteers. We can’t thank you enough for sharing your time to help make our events a success.
  • Fundraising – The PTA discontinued some large fundraising events over the years and needs to bring at least one back so that it is not tapping into savings for events.  In addition, fundraising for outside interests has begun to consume a lot of bandwidth, causing parent donor fatigue and neither PTA coffer nor the outside causes benefit from this.  Kotun Uruga and Kori Jones will spearhead the research on a new fundraiser, geared toward the holiday season, while the executive committee will consider the establishment of a fundraising committee to review all fundraising interests. 
  • Bylaw revisions are required every 2 years, and while smaller changes were made last year, a larger review is needed.  Bill and Helmut will be working on those revisions for review by the executive board.

Treasurer’s report (Colleen Driggs):

  • Increased PTA membership dues from $5 (single) and $10 (family) to $14 and $17 respectively, to cover the national PTA fees and also the directory cost.  This cost increase is consistent with the membership fees of other BCSD PTAs. New online directory (DirectorySpot) will be a $350 cost. There is an intuitive App for the directory and a print option for those who prefer a hard copy.
  • Line item review of budget, including some structural changes (creating a separate line for Haunted House, for example, and elimination of programs no longer in service).
  • New Spiritwear dealer was discussed.  Current vendor’s product is subpar and cost of offering online is too expensive.  General sentiment is that there are many printshops in the Capital Region and 2019-20 will be the year to make a change.
  • Vote to adopt 2018-2019 budget Helmut Philipp and Marcene Lee (1st and 2nd the motion).

Principal’s report (Dave Ksanznak):

  • 100 Mile Ride for Missing Children – 100 miles, 85 riders, 7 schools. Hamagrael will serve as the breakfast stop. Channel 6 news will cover the event.
  • District goal in place now. RITB Response to Intervention for Behavior.
  • Homecoming Columbus Day weekend – during the week varsity players will visit the school and read to our students.
  • New Hamagrael library is up and running. Check it out!
  • New gym floor installed over the summer.
  • Head custodian Mike Andriano retired over the summer. Rich Berenger succeeds him and is the new contact.
  • Janice Wetherbee brought up the High School graduation events that at least two of the BCSD elementary schools host for the graduation seniors. Consider finding out more and if it would be feasible to bring this event to Hamagrael as well.

Committee chair reports/news:

Fall Family Picnic

  • 149 families signed up, so 560 people to date
  • All set on raffle items

After School Enrichment (Christy Doyle)

  • Sign up genius is ready to go live on the 24th. Looking for new ideas: gardening, cooking ideas were suggested.  
    • Bill Ketzer mentioned that Mark Sweeney, a Hamagrael dad and head of the BCSD Athletic Association, is available to put us in contact with boosters to have high-schoolers offer athletic programs for this.

Haunted House (Gianna & Bill)

  • They are in good shape with volunteers. Event is tracking nicely at this point.

Fall book fair (Gianna)

  • Dates for the book fair have been changed to Nov 6, 7 & 8.  The online calendar reflects this but the hard copy that went home in the mail during late summer does not.  

Ronald McDonald Reading Fundraiser (Kathy O’Meara)

  • October fundraiser, moved from Spring to Fall this year.
  • Request submitted for $100 for Mr. & Mrs. Incredible costume ask – executive committee will discuss for possible action at October meeting.  

Craft Fair (Marcene Lee)

  • 77 vendors (10 more in the works)
  • $6500 intake with another $900 in a few weeks. $1000 on the raffle
  • Still searching for a food vendor- Bill Ketzer assisting in finding vendors willing to operate in the Winter.  
  • 5th grade parents – are they doing a bake sale again? Gianna Aiezza will inquire with classroom parents.

Other News:

  • Less than half of our school are members of the PTA. Please encourage friends to join and also join the Facebook page to keep up to date on real time information, date changes, etc.
  • Ask room parents to email Facebook link out.
  • Ask 5th grade room parents to send out an email of what is required of them this year (bake sales, pit party, thanksgiving feast, etc.). There is a lot asked of them and they need to know sooner than later what is coming down the pipeline.
  • Deb Wooster thanked the PTA on behalf of the teachers for all our hard work supporting them.
  • Welcome Emily Labate as a new teacher co-representative. Thank you for supporting the PTA!

Upcoming Events

  • Picture day – Sept. 24
  • Walk to School day – Oct 10
  • Nature’s Classroom (5th grade only) Oct 15-17
  • PTA Meeting- Oct 18
  • Halloween Party – Oct 26

In attendance:

Bill Ketzer (President), Helmut Philipp (co-president), Erik Smith (Co-Treas), Colleen Driggs, (Co-Treas), Janice Wetherbee (Co-Sec), Lori Bosworth (Co-Sec.), Principal David Ksanzank, Teacher Rep: Emily Labate, Deb Wooster

Please join the Hamagrael PTA Facebook page for updates!

Submitted by: Janice Wetherbee, Co-Secretary