PTO Newsletter – September 2019


Hello to the MCS community! We hope the return to school went well for everyone and all had a great first week!

The PTO board has been working to schedule out the first few months of school, so please read on about what we have planned and we hope to see you soon!

Save These Dates!

Confirmed events –
  • September 26th – PTO Meeting 7p – 8p
  • September 29th – Friends of the Poor Walk with MCS Cares | Learn More | MCS Team Page
  • October 19th – Halloween Spooktacular
  • December 15th – MCS Christmas Festival
We are still working to confirm these dates, but please mark them in your calendar and stay tuned for more information!
  • Weekend of October 25th – Family Day at Clark Farms, including a special middle school event
  • November 2nd – Parents Night Out (PNO)
  • November 15th – Father / Son Event

PTO Meeting Rules of Engagement

We know that everyone’s time is precious, so we are committed to running an efficient and effective PTO meeting – they will not be more than an hour!!

Please send us items by September 20th you would like to discuss and we will put together an agenda with time slots for each item and share the agenda prior to the meeting. If we cannot completely cover a topic in the allotted time, we will do one of the following:

  • Agree to table the item until the next PTO meeting
  • Schedule a special meeting if the topic is critical
  • Assign a subcommittee to further investigate the topic and report back to the PTO
We thank you in advance for adhering to these guidelines and look forward to hearing about what you’d like to discuss!

Ways to Help Raise $$ for MCS

schoolstore_support-mcsSchoolStore

Each year, we do just one campaign-type of fundraiser through the SchoolStore. You can purchase gift cards for teachers and shop the bookstore to earn money for the school, but you can also support MCS when you shop at popular retailers!

Please take a look through the packet that will be coming home the week of September 16th to see how you can help… your kids can win some cool prizes, too!
 

stop-and-shop

Stop & Shop Rewards

Help MCS earn CASH! REGISTER your card using our ID #05778 or call 877-366-2668 OPTION #1.
When you shop using your Stop & Shop Card, you earn A+ Points. These points become CASH for MCS! Tell your friends and family!

box-topsBox Tops for Education

Box Tops is going digital!! Install the app and scan your receipt!! No more clipping!! It’s SO EASY to do!!! You can also see how much we are raising for the school in real time!
 
Also, Box Tops is running a promotion where 5 schools will win 25,000 bonus box tops! Please
enter MCS into the contest!


We welcome feedback at any time! Please email us with questions, comments and ideas!

PTO Newsletter – August 2019

MCS PTO

Hello to the MCS community from the PTO! We hope everyone’s summers are finishing strong and you’re looking forward to the start of school!

We’d like to thank Tina Monaco for donating her PTO Survey Raffle prize back to the PTO. Thank you, Tina!!


Fundraising Update

We committed to you to provide more information about how PTO fundraising helps the school. We are happy to provide a list of items we have approved for the beginning of the school year and will continue to provide updates as the year goes along!

  • New water fountain for the cafe
  • Security upgrades – cameras and supporting hardware as well as ProCare / Kids Notes for Little Angels 
  • Playground sand for Little Angels / PreK sandboxes 
  • Support for the installation of air conditioning in the Campus Ministry room 
  • 12 Chromebooks 
  • Athletic banners for the gym to represent additional 7 championship teams since 2006 
  • Bibles for our middle school students

Upcoming PTO Events

Stay tuned for an event schedule for the 1st half of the school year! It will include our 1st PTO meeting, MCS Family Day @ Clark Farms, our annual Halloween event and at least one of our parent / child events!

Halloween

Cassie Barbato has graciously volunteered to be the Halloween event chair once again this year, but would like a co-chair!

Please email the PTO if you are interested!


Easy Ways to Help MCS Raise $$

stop-and-shopStop & Shop Rewards

Help MCS earn CASH! REGISTER your card using our ID #05778 or call 877-366-2668 OPTION #1.
When you shop using your Stop & Shop Card, you earn A+ Points. These points become CASH for MCS! Tell your friends and family!

 

box-topsBox Tops for Education

Box Tops is going digital!! Install the app and scan your receipt!! No more clipping!! It’s SO EASY to do!!!
Also, Box Tops is running a promotion where 5 schools will win 25,000 bonus box tops! Please enter MCS into the contest!

READ MORE HERE!!


We welcome feedback at any time! Please email us with questions, comments and ideas!



Results from the PTO End of Year Survey

MCS Parents,

First of all, on behalf of the PTO board, I want to thank the 35 people who took the time to take our general PTO survey. The winner of our raffle was Tina Monaco. Congratulations! As with any organization, professional or volunteer, we are seeking feedback to improve. While those who responded were very frank and honest with their feedback, I’d like to take this opportunity to summarize the results, as well as share out some information in response to some of the comments. If your comment isn’t specifically mentioned, please know we read them all! I also acknowledge this is on the long side, but please take the time to read it in its entirety. It shouldn’t take more than 4 minutes of your time!

There is clearly a wide range of opinions about the PTO and its involvement with the school, ranging from, “I know all about it” to “I have no idea what the PTO does.” This means that for those of you who know all about us, you will be getting more information this year that you may not need, but for those of you who don’t know about us and what we do, hopefully we will do a better job communicating.

Biggest takeaways / comments:

1. Communications – There should be emails directly from the PTO or a website. Perhaps use text. Engage new parents better.

  • We introduced a PTO website at the beginning of the school year last year, which was included in every weekly update from Dr. Lisi for the first half of the year. The website housed information about the board members, a calendar of all scheduled events, ways to support the school as well as posted meeting minutes and other blog posts with PTO news.
  • This year, we will send monthly emails from the PTO directly. As a reference point, we had stopped doing this, because people complained about too much email from the school and instead had combined our news with Dr. Lisi’s update and directed people to the PTO website.
  • We can talk to the school administration about texting (which we did use on very rare occasions), but this again goes back to how much people want to be communicated with and by what means. Everyone has different opinions.
  • As for new parents, the board can do a better job at reaching out to them specifically, as well as partner with the partner ambassador program. We will work to be better this year.

2. Event scheduling – People would like to have things scheduled for the whole year ahead of time. Have a Back to School night table with events / volunteer opportunities listed.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot promise a complete schedule by the start of school, as we have to wait for athletic event schedules for some of our events. As soon as we scheduled an event, it was promoted in Dr. Lisi’s update as well as added to the PTO website’s calendar. We will work to plan and communicate as early as possible.
  • We did have a table at the Back to School night, as well as at other various times throughout the year, with most of our events listed. We will try to be more obvious this year.

3. Volunteering – Make volunteer hours mandatory for parents each year. Assign an event to a class. Tie events to community service. Personal calls to drive engagement.

  • There were several suggestions along this vein. We will discuss with administration, because this needs to be formalized with the school if we wanted to do it. Assigning an event to one class may be difficult, especially with a small class, but we will look into it.
  • Please look for us at Back to School night – we will have all events listed with as many dates secured as possible. Also, please email the PTO at any time to volunteer (pto@monsignorclarkeschool.org).
  • We can look into opportunities to tie events to community service activities. Please keep in mind that our mission is to bring families together through fun events and do some fundraising for the school.
  • Personal calls is a great suggestion, but we also need help to make that happen!

4. Fundraising – There needs to be better transparency about what the funds are for.

  • We completely agree and pledge to do a better job at communicating what the funds are being used for. Last year, the PTO funds supported parking lot and security improvements, as well as bibles for the middle school. There are some larger items that we are currently investigating, such as A/C for the gym, keyless door locks and safety glass installations. There may also be a need to replace some of the computers used for classroom time.

5. Meetings – There wasn’t a lot of communication about meetings. I don’t have time for meetings.

  • I will take full responsibility for this. In true transparency mode, we had two meetings in the fall, with the 1st being fairly well attended and the 2nd was tied to the State of the School. We had one meeting after the holiday break with 3 people in attendance. I understand that people are busy and have commitments, but it does not seem to be a worthwhile use of time to have a meeting that no one attends, so we instead had Dr. Lisi send out a link to our spring updates posted on the website. We are going to try some things differently this year, so please stay tuned.
  • Some have suggested using the call-in number more. We did have the line open for all of the meetings. Knowing how hard it is to hear and contribute, I think we can continue to use it, but need to explore other options as well.
  • Some suggested meetings after school, before school or on the weekends. We can certainly look at all of these options, but please understand that there is not one option that will work for everyone; it’s difficult enough to find times that work for all board members.
  • I am committed to hour long meetings and staying to the agenda. Anything more than that starts to deteriorate.

6. Events – More child centric events. More social gatherings for parents.

  • We would love to hear more feedback on this comment. We had many events throughout last year that were child focused – back to school ice cream social, Clark Farms day, Halloween trunk or treat, ice skating, URI basketball game and the parent / child events.
  • We can certainly try to schedule more parent-type gatherings this year. The calendar fills up fast, so we are trying to work around a lot of commitments.

7. Feedback – Listen to feedback more.

  • We sincerely apologize if you feel like your feedback was not heard. To be honest, we did not receive many suggestions this year, but if you have some, please email pto@monsignorclarkeschool.org or contact the administration if you would like your feedback to be anonymous. They can pass it along for you.

I’d like to close by saying we’d love you all to consider being more involved this year to help make this the best year ever! Being on the PTO board is an extra commitment and we all have very busy lives, but if everyone could help out with an event or two, it would really distribute the work across the community. Also, we will be looking for new board members for the 20 – 21 school year, so if you are interested or have any nominations, please let us know! 

Best regards,

Kate Smith, PTO President

End of Year PTO Survey

The PTO would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you as we complete another fantastic school year. We had such support in many different ways – from the people who stepped up to chair an event to donations you sent in to simply sharing our SchoolStore site or signing up for Stop & Shop Rewards. We know that everyone is extremely busy and it’s sometimes hard to find time to attend a meeting or volunteer for an event, but please know that even small contributions can help tremendously. 

That being said, we need your help!! Please take 2 minutes to fill out  one more survey  for us! It can be anonymous, but if you choose to include your name, you will be entered into a raffle for a $250 cash prize!! Because everyone is so busy, we need to think creatively about how to get news, events and ideas out to you. Meetings were not well attended and the website had some promising results at times, but also did not seem to reach everyone. We really appreciate your input!

Click here for the survey!! (open until June 30th)

Also, we wanted to thank everyone who took the time to fill out our golf survey. Key takeaways:

  • Keep the tournament
  • Move it either to summer or early fall
  • Move it to a course closer to the school
  • Improve communications
  • Target a specific item(s) we are raising money for
  • Make the tournament more inclusive, not just to golfers – definitely open to ideas here!

We need to start planning in the fall for next year, so please  email the PTO  if you are interested being on the committee and more importantly, if you would like to chair this event! 

Thanks again for everything and best wishes for a terrific summer.

See you in the fall!

– Your MCS PTO Board

Golf Survey! We Need Your Input!

Hello, MCS Families!

I’d like to thank everyone that helped with and contributed to another successful Golf Tournament this year which raised close to $17,000! We’ll be working with the school in the coming weeks to determine where best to utilize this money to support our children’s education and experience at MCS.

To improve upon our golf tournament for next year we’d like get your input via a simple survey that should take less than 5 minutes to complete. We’re going to use the feedback you provide to discuss with the school administration and come up with our plan for next year. The survey will stay open until Friday, May 31st, so please take some time to fill this out for us. Even if you don’t golf or participate in the event, we’d like your feedback.

Take the survey now!

Thank you,

Kate Smith
PTO President

TAW & the End of the Year is Coming Fast!

And just like that, the year is coming to an end! It’s hard to believe that we are nearing June, but alas here we are. We just celebrated our wonderful teachers with a terrific Teachers Appreciation Week (TAW), put together by the boards’ own Melissa Wray and Lauren Maines! The teachers were treated to a week of Hollywood glam, complete with their own “walk of fame” stars! The week consisted of the following:

– Monday: Teacher breakfast with fruit, danish, bagels and cream cheese, coffee, juice and muffins.   
– Tuesday: A “Night at the Movies” swag bag – a tote bag with microwave popcorn, bottle of H2O, movie candy, and a red box promo code.
– Wednesday: Thanks A Lot treat day!  Teachers and staff all got a box of Thanks A Lot girl scout cookies.  Everyone also got a small potted plant with a cute saying in it.
– Thursday: GoPasta dinner and wine day!  Teachers and staff picked a meal from GoPasta and a bottle of wine to take home.
– Friday: Teachers were offered chair massages in the campus ministry room for a little relaxation!

We still have a lot of activities planned for you! Upcoming events:

PTO Update 04-28-19

Happy spring to everyone! Here is a little update on what the PTO is working on!

  • The Mother Daughter Soiree is scheduled! Visit here to register! Only $10 per person!
  • Stay tuned for information on the Mother Son event!
  • We still need help with the golf tournament!!
  • Spring Book Fair – scheduled for April 30th – May 3rd!
  • Teacher Appreciation Week (week of May 6th) – We have a great week planned:
    • Monday: special breakfast
    • Tuesday: “Night at the Movies”
    • Wednesday: Thanks a Lot treat day
    • Thursday: GoPasta and wine dinner
    • Friday: Chair massages

We may not have another formal meeting before the end of the school year, so please email the PTO @ pto@monsignorclarkeschool.org with any questions or comments!

March PTO Update

Hi to everyone! I hope you are all surviving the winter and looking forward to spring!

We had two successful PTO events in March – the father / daughter event and family ice skating at Boss Arena! We had about 100 people join in the fun at the “O” club and Lauren Maines and Melissa Wray did a fantastic job coordinating the event! We had about 20 families join in on the skating fun at Boss, so great community engagement in March!

We have three big events left for the year – the mother / son event, the mother / daughter event and the golf tournament! Please stay tuned for more info on all of these!  The PTO will also be working on Teacher Appreciation Week for the beginning of May!

Please email us @ pto@monsignorclarkeschool.org with any questions or comments!

PTO Meeting Minutes 02-27-19

  • Welcome & Opening Prayer
  • PTO Sponsored Social Events –
    • Completed events:
      • URI Basketball – recap from Diana McLaughlin:
        • Successful event held early Feb, will look to do again next year – feedback: determine meeting point prior to event next year
    • Upcoming events:
      • Father Daughter Dance – update from Lauren Maines:
        • Fri March 8th @ 6-9PM Quonset O Club N Kingstown, price is $30 adults, $25 children incl. buffet, DJ, photo booth, formal photographer (pkgs additional)
        • Registration is live, being sent out in parent newsletter, room parents to push event
        • Paper registration available on request in office
      • Family Ice Skating – update from Diana McLaughlin:
        • Sat March 16th @ 1-2:50 URI Boss Arena
        • Registration open online, tickets are $13pp for skating and skate rental or $8pp for just skating
        • Update front office on where to meet/how to get physical tickets once registered online
        • Suggested to arrive early
      • Middle School Rock Spot – update from Diana McLaughlin:
        • Discussion held to change date or take off schedule for this year – agreed to wait until next year
        • Suggested time to do during Fall or hold middle school event at Clark Farms to coincide with the fall family event
      • Mother Daughter – update from Susan Stuart:
        • Looking to hold event at school with simple fare like a high tea theme
        • Date not set yet, needs to check on track schedule
        • Event will focus on girls’ accomplishments
        • Few alumni may be invited to attend
      • Mother Son – update from Anna Selwyn:
        • Looking to hold event end of April
        • Open to ideas, discussion included Ninja Warrior course, kickball and pizza, bowling
      • New event idea – Ice cream social at Mel’s Downtown Creamery in Pawcatuck, looking to schedule end of April
  • PTO Sponsored Fundraising Events –
    • Upcoming events:
      • Golf Tournament – update from Jared Goodwin
        • Registration is open! Postcards were mailed to all families with the registration link and all information will be available on the school website and weekly updates from Dr. Lisi. We’d like to get over 100 golfers this year. The last few years we’ve been below that number so please register! Anyone can register as a single, pair, etc. It does not need to be a foursome. Also, you don’t have to be an experienced golfer to play!
        • Tuition Raffle – we’re going to try a new raffle this year. Sell 100 tickets for $100 each with one winner. If we sell all 100 tickets, the winner would get a year’s tuition for one child. The raffle money would cover the tuition and still make a profit of approximately $3000. If we sell less than 100 tickets, it’s a straight 50/50 raffle. If we sell more than 100 tickets the first 100 would be the tuition raffle and the remaining would be a 50/50. For instances, if we sold 150 tickets numbers 101 through 150 would have a chance to win $2500.
        • Donations – We need donations for the auctions and raffles (e.g. booze, gift certificates, vacation homes, etc.). But the biggest thing we need is families/businesses to buy tee signs. This money goes straight to the bottom line.
        • Teacher and Staff “Donations” – in addition to the Principal for the Day, we need to ask Dr. Lisi to ask if staff want to donate “something”? For example, a night of
          babysitting, come to read them a bedtime story, etc. New suggestion of “outing with teachers” – could be lunch / limo with a couple of families (Julio suggestion).
        • Volunteers – If you’d like volunteer for anything or ask questions about what’s needed just email Jared at jaredxgoodwin@gmail.com
        • Dinner – the post tournament dinner is going to be sort of a Parents Night Out event. Please consider coming to mingle with other MCS families.
        • Next committee meeting is Mon March 4th @ 8:00 Tavern on the Main, all welcome.
      • Spring Book Fair: Chair in Training Needed!
        • Martha Whittier volunteered to be new chair
        • Discussion on changing Spring fair from Scholastic to Wakefield Books – WB can get summer reading lists from teachers and have books available for purchase, MCS gets percentage of sale, supporting local business
  • Other PTO Sponsored Events –
    • Field Day –
      • Possible date set as Fri May 31st, need to confirm
      • It is believed that the Chairs from last year will do it again (Brenda Mottola and Jaye Simmons), need to confirm
    • Teacher Appreciation Week –
      • Date set as May 6-10, ideas suggested and discussed
      • Lauren Maines and Melissa Wray offered to help organize activities and Martha Whittier, Julio Andrade and Renee Ebere all offered to assist as well.
  • Update from Administration –
    • Announcements from Buff Wessman:
      • Families still needed to host NET Ministry Retreat members Tues March 19th – Sat March 23rd
      • Looking to see about interest in Parent Sleep Out on April 12th with concepts following lines of student Sleep Out
    • Update from Sara Marshall:
      • Enrollment going well with re enrollment at 169 students and 16 new students signed up, LA program thriving and more student interest steadily coming in
      • Mary working on prizes for the Spring School Raffle, Donna can pull report to see who has paid for tickets through FACTS
      • Annual Fund doing well, focusing on nonfiction book purchases for library, campaign details to be rolled out soon
      • Calendar for 2019-2020 school year being discussed and working with other schools, February vacation discussion to cut back or eliminate, survey to be sent out at later date
      • Uniforms – working with Lands End to set up preliminary website, in school fittings and size runs being discussed
  • Next meeting date: TBD

Where Did January Go?!

If you blink, you might just miss a whole month! It’s hard to believe the kiddos have been back in school after the Christmas break for an entire month and we’re getting ready for February vacation! The PTO has been quiet in January, but there are a lot of things on the horizon! We have a group heading to URI this Saturday to cheer on the Rams and the kids get a special “tunnel” experience!  The next PTO meeting will be right after Feb break – the 27th @ 7pm. Planning is also underway for the remaining parent / child events (or bring someone special) and the golf tournament, so let us know if you want to help out!! We are also planning to have a MCS skate at Boss Arena and the middle school event has been rescheduled for the end of March. Lots of fun things coming up, so we hope to see you out and about!!