December 2018 PTC meeting minutes

WestWood PTC December Meeting Minutes – 12/04/18, 6:30pm


Attendees: Jessica Olstad, Karen Zwolenski, Amy Zwart, Nichole Meyer, Stacey Sorenson, Melissa Campion, Rachel Carlson, Becky Smith, Michelle Swenson.

Approval of November Minutes:

Rachel motioned to approve, Melissa seconded. One change in budget for substitute teachers. Motion passed.

Principal Update (Karen):  

  • December: Conferences had a great turnout. The next few weeks are loaded w/activities. All is going really well overall and the teachers are doing well w/keeping things structured amidst the busy holiday time. Winter parties are planned for before winter break and will include a variety of ESTEM and other activities.  
  • Kindergarten Registration:  Kindergarten registration will begin on 01/17/19.  The registration will be online this year. There will be a district wide information meeting for those who need it, on Monday,01/07/19.  There will also be email communication and other media outlets. There will be sessions at the district for those who do not have email access, where they will have kiosks and individuals to assist for the process.  Estimated numbers for incoming classes are in the 600 range. The current average is 500-600 per class at WestWood. There will be a tour the first week of May, and in August “Great Start to Kindergarten.”
  • New lockdown procedure:  It is mandated to have 5 drills in the state of MN.  Based on research due to increased violence at schools in our country, the lockdowns were not the most effective, much of this based on the tragedy at Sandy Hook. We know now that some of the procedures were inappropriate, depending on the situation.  A video was played which will be shown to the middle and high school students, not the elementary. There has been one “shelter in place” lockdown. The doors get locked and the teachers continue to teach. The goal is to keep the kids in place and out of the hallway.  There will be another drill practiced this month, next week, which is called “lockdown with options.” The protocol will now be called “run, hide, fight.” The teachers have a script for the elementary kids for the fight component of the protocol. The question was raised regarding the parents viewing the instructional video and an email was sent with the link for the secondary level.  There were many questions/concerns raised and Mrs. Zwolenski assured us that the procedures are in place and there is a solid plan to keep all the children safe. All the PTCs in the district had this on their agendas as well. There is cell phone access and phones in every room. There are walkie talkies in the building but not everyone always has access to the PA system. There was a suggestion to tell parents when we have the lockdown drill. Where the children should run was also questioned/discussed.  Jessica will post content to the PTC Facebook page. We discussed what procedures we may need to have in place during the times when we have activities at school during non-school hours. Mrs. Zwolenski pointed out that we have access to the office and directions for if we did have to make an announcement.

The email was sent from Mrs. Zwolenski on 11/08/18 to describe the new lockdown drill.

Treasurer Report/Budget Update (Amy):

  • Current balance – See budget detail.  There were some spent on pie in the face and duct tape for Read A Thon.  
  • Review/approve budget – See budget detail.  The items in blue should be done at this point.  Amy wanted to highlight what is “left in the budget.” Things are currently looking good. The conference dinners provided feedback that it was difficult to stay within budget. We will need to discuss the microscopes and flexible seating.  Kindergarten also used some field trip money for Dakota Village and we also provide funds for Wolf Ridge.
  • RAT: Waiting on get movin crew money, see details/summary below.  
  • Others: Movie ticket check came in and waiting on the restaurant. We have launched the Jostens store, and it is also pinned to the top of the Facebook page.  Jess will message Kirsten to put a message on SeeSaw. T-shirts are done now through Fee Pay. Jess will give Amy the details on the numbers from the T-shirts.

Discussion topics (Jessica) :

Read A Thon:  Thank you to Melissa, Stacey, Erika, and Alexa as well for all the assistance.  Next steps for purchasing the microscopes and flexible seating. We can likely go ahead and purchase the microscopes.  We need to research the flexible seating. We can likely divide what is left from the purchase and divide it by classroom.  Glendale did the same and there was a recommended list of items. Red Tail Ridge also has some seating options. Karen will discuss w/teachers some of the seating option likely at the next staff meeting. We will focus on the classrooms for now.  Next steps we will get the microscopes and see what money we have left over. Amy will work with Ms. Tindal and Beverley.

The Read A Thon pizza party will be in the next two weeks as well.  There will need to be a note sent home to the parents regarding who will be getting pizza due to potential food allergies. Jessica has the list of the kids who made $150 and above.  If kids can’t have that type of pizza they will need to get school pizza.

T-shirt updates:  We are done and there are extra.  If we need to switch out we can or we will perhaps sell them at Family Fun Night.  We can discount the older t-shirts as well.

Family Fun Night :  This will be on 02/22/19. We have Brooke L working on food. She is already soliciting donations.  Jess will do games as she did them last year. Becky will assist as well. Becky suggested D.O.G.S to assist us. We need to double check on other schools activities to be sure we don’t need to get the games back to the school the following day. We will have Brian reach out to other D.O.G.S. to help us get the bigger games as well.

Silent auction – Michelle Swenson joined our meeting tonight, she will be taking over the silent auction.  We need a sign up sheet for those interested in family fun night. She has names of past volunteers and wants to know who she is able to reach out to.  There is an updated list. Plan to get together and decide on needs to send out an email. There will need to be more people to assist w/the check out portion of the evening, also those who will communicate to the winners.  

The question was raised regarding whether or not alcohol based gift certificates allowed? It was determined this is appropriate as they are gift certificates. Michelle will email some of the local businesses for silent auction.  Valleyfair was attempted however we need to see if we have it, as it is only given out once per year.

Wrap up:



  • Amy will plan to connect with Beverley and Ms. Tindal to order microscopes. Mrs. Zwolenski will discuss the flexible seating options at the next staff meeting
  • Jess will coordinate the Family Fun Night Kick off meeting
  • Michelle will reach out to those interested in helping w/the Silent Auction



  • Next meeting is Tuesday, 01/08/19 @ 6:30 pm, WestWood Media Center
  • Jess motioned to adjourn, Rachel seconded.  Motion passed.


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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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