November 2018 PTC meeting minutes

WestWood PTC November Meeting Minutes – 11/05/18, 6:30pm


Attendees: Jessica Olstad, Karen Zwolenski, Amy Zwart, Nichole Meyer, Yola Hartman, Stacey Sorenson, Brooke Lizarraga, Katrina Jaeger, Alyssa Farrell,Sarah Zieman, Dana Nieman.

Approval of October Minutes:

Amy Z. motioned to approve, Stacey seconded. Motion passed.

Principal Update (Karen):  

  • 4th grade teachers:  PTC helped fund the Bakken Field trip. The teachers were very thankful for this, as they feel it is more beneficial than the Kindness Retreat and aligns well with the standards/curriculum.  They brought us a thank you card w/all the kids signatures, and created video of the kids enjoying their field trip. Thank you for the card and the video! It was wonderful to see all the smiles and know that the kids had a worthwhile field trip.  
  • Kindness in Chalk:  Mrs. Zwolenski expressed her thanks for all that wrote the messages at the school for Kindness in Chalk.  She loves reading the notes and feels that it has an emotional impact on each of the children.
  • November wrap up:  The last day of the quarter is on Thursday. November is packed full of items, and the Read-A-Thon is this Wednesday, w/ Read A Shirt day.  Teachers are doing an amazing job with the kids signing up for the different classes. Parent/teacher conferences are coming in the next 2 weeks.  There will also be an all school meeting next Friday to celebrate the Read-A-Thon. New this year is also the Westwood Pride Squad for 4th and 5th graders (support person around building and outside), and they will have a part in the all school meeting.   The 4th grade will do a second step activity as well. Coming up at the end of the month is the 5th grade ELC trip to Wolf Ridge 11/26-11/30.
  • Construction update:  The walls are going up!! The cafeteria and kitchen will open next fall.  There have been a few issues w/sounds and a minor spill but overall things are going very well.  
  • Strategic plan meeting:  There were 130 people in attendance at this meeting at PLHS including parents, staff, and community members. There was an overview, “state of the union”, etc.  and attendees collaborated to provide feedback. Mrs. Zwolenski felt that there was very good discussion. At the end of the meeting, all the ideas were presented. Overall she felt that it was very well done.
  • Teacher baby update: Heather LaRue is due 11/15/18.  Robin Ste. Marie had twins, a boy and a girl on 08/27/18.  She is doing very well and will be returning. Congratulations!
  • Next all school meeting:  The December all school meeting will be on Friday, December 14, at 2:45.  
  • Principal update for next PTC meeting:  The next PTC meeting will include an update from Mrs. Zwolenski on the changes that are being implemented for the lockdown drill.  

Treasurer Report/Budget Update (Amy):

  • Current balance – see attachment.  
  • Review/approve budget – Amy reviewed the budget in detail.  Some of the details from the Read-A-Thon are not reflected due to online donations.   Incentives were discussed, and it was noted that last year, Ms.  Zieman brought in her dog to incentivize the kids and will plan to do it again. Jess stated that we had to order more squishies because so many of the kids are meeting the $250 goal.  Amy had a request for $53 additional dollars from the .
  • T-shirts: Amy is working w/Beverley as they need to figure out t-shirt billing; (can Beverley cover from Feepay grade team asked for 53.60 total (plus) the original 400 for substitutes  during assessments at the end of Q1 and Q2. The board approved.

Read A Thon: Overall the Read-A-Thon is going very well, currently we are at $25, 581.79.  We are taking online donations for the next two days, however no one is turning envelopes away either.   Overall it is felt that things are improved because they started earlier this year, there was less of a scramble to plan and Jess thanked the teachers for their assistance.   At the next all school meeting in December they will do the earned pie in the face, tape to the wall, and if we can reach $30,000 there will be the human sundae. So many classes have also earned the popcorn party, and it is great to see all the excitement.  Overall this year has been very successful!

Discussion topics (Jessica) :

Box tops:  Update indicates that we currently have $722.50 in box tops

Family fun night: Brooke would like to get the letter out sooner than later for the donations this year as she plans to be more assertive in generating donations.  She noted that Eileen’s was not as generous last year, Also she will approach Small Cakes and Target. Brooke brought up requesting donations from many local businesses including but not limited to Cub Foods, Target, and Lunds, as they donated last year.  She is very motivated to get more donations. Lakeside Eats and Treats will also provide donations along with Outback Steakhouse. A new local business, Code Ninjas, and the owner John would also like to work w/PTC to do something at family fun night. Brooke will check the Oriental Trading Company catalog and asked can we also get the big games from the storage unit.  The smoothies were not successful and we had a lot of leftover pizza as well, looking back at last year.

Conference dinners:  We are looking for new meal ideas for conferences:  The teachers in attendance stated that they are happy with whatever we provide however some simply like different beverage options.  Hy-Vee chicken was a hit last year, there were options for everyone, they noted that they don’t remember anything being “bad.” Overall there are a wide range of preferences so it works for everyone.   Brooke brought up additional ideas including Cosetta’s, Subway, or Jimmy John’s.

T-shirts :  Jess said that she and Amy will be sorting the second order of t-shirts tonight after the meeting.  Orders were cut off on 10/31 and she will put in the third and final order. If there are kiddos who don’t get a t-shirt this time, they will get it with the next delivery. We now have a Josten’s school spirit link.  Joel Smith has all of it ready and Yola’s logo is also on there. We will begin promoting that and there will be at least one flyer for the kids. The orders will be ready for Christmas and will go directly to your home.  You can customize at many different levels. The more we use it, the more money we will earn. Joel also gave us a special code for $10 off the first purchase. Jess will also be posting this on Facebook.

Art Adventure/Bravo Updates: Amy continues to be the “fake coordinator”.  She went to Art ADventure training, the theme this year is “Egypt Sunken Cities.”  It has been very challenging to obtain volunteers this year. Parents aren’t sure what they need to know in order to volunteer, and we are also in need of a coordinator. Amy is looking for some ideas on being more creative for advertising the positions.  A past parent is willing to come in and help train as well. Randie Berg is doing the Art Adventure and you will see his name.

SUG coordinator:  Rachel is willing to do it pending the SAGE position next year.   This is a relatively easy role. Gina will be providing direction to her per the email thread.  


  • Brooke also brought up the Scrip program as a possible fundraiser for the school.  Jess will look into this a bit further



  • Amy is trying to set up Restaurant nights.  Ruby Tuesdays used to have a program however we are not sure on their status.  We could also check into Whiskey Inferno when they open. There was further discussion on this topic as Charlie’s on Prior did not want to that as the large crowds can be difficult to accommodate.



  • DOGS is going well, Brian is pleased with the participation.



  • Teachers are appreciating the emails regarding what to post on SeeSaw.  They don’t have to craft their own messages, etc.


Wrap up:

  • There was a question regarding box tops vs dollars if they don’t have a lot of things w/Box Tops purchased at their house.    We decided that parents can donate to other items throughout the year with monetary donations if they don’t accumulate a lot of box tops with the groceries they purchase.
  • Next meeting is Tuesday, 12/04/18 @ 6:30 pm, WestWood Media Center
  • WANT TO HELP?  We are in need of volunteers for the following activities: Restaurant Night scheduling, Bravo and Art Adventure coordinators.

Brooke motioned to adjourn, Rachel seconded.  Motion passed.

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