Central PTO Board

Minutes of Meeting

April 11, 9:00 am


Location:                 Skokie School, Winnetka, IL

Members Present:        Nancy Fehrenbach (Chairperson), Melinda Baldwin (Vice Chair-Communications/Technology), Lisa Lux (Treasurer), Heather Bartell (Secretary), Anissa Forman (Co-President Skokie Washburne PTO), Jennifer Pehlke (Co-President Skokie Washburne PTO), Barb Brown (President Crow Island PTO), Karen York (President Greely PTO), Heather Pigott (President Hubbard Woods PTO), Thomas Hagerman (Superintendent Winnetka Public Schools), Kendra Wallace (Liaison from School Board)

Members Absent:        Dr. Cathy Rosen (Principal Washburne School)

Guests:        Trisha Kocanda (Assistant Superintendent Winnetka Public Schools), Cynthia Cata, Karen Hawkins, Janet Beatty


  1. President Report- Welcome.  

        Nancy introduced the proposed members of the 2014/15 slate for vote by the committee.  

        The slate was unanimously approved.  The Central PTO 2014/15 Board is as follows:

        President- Cynthia Cata

        Vice President Communications- Casey Russell

        Treasurer- Karen Hawkins

        Secretary- Janet Beatty

  1. Secretary Report- Minutes were approved.

III.      Superintendent’s Report- Dr. Thomas Hagerman/Trisha Kocanda

Dr Hagerman introduced Trisha Kocanda to the Board as the incoming Superintendent of Winnetka Public Schools.  Trisha has been the Assistant Superintendent for the last four years.  Dr Hagerman and the Board believe we are well positioned for a smooth transition.  Trisha has been holding Meet and Greet sessions throughout the district.  Opportunities to meet Tricia will continue into the Summer and the Fall.

In last month’s meeting, Dr Hagerman gave us an update on several staff in the district.  Dr. Hagerman informed us that Matt Fulller, Tech Director, will be leaving the district for another opportunity.  The search for a new Tech Director is in process.  We are still in the search and hire process for several other positions which include Director of Student Services, Human Resources, and Vice Principal Skokie/Washburne.  

Dr. Hagerman gave us a recap of last month’s School Board Meeting.  The Board has been reviewing the success of the One to One technology program and will make a final decision on whether or not to continue the program and roll it out on a larger scale.  There was a Math Curriculum Update discussing changes that have been implemented in the last couple of years and the progress that has been made.  Several Math teachers in the district are currently attending a Math Leadership conference in New Orleans to better understand the new math standards and how to best implement them in the classroom.  Dream Green was presented to the Board.  The School Board underwent its annual Reorganization Meeting; roles changed, but no members were added or lost.

IV.      School Board Report- Kendra Wallace

        Teacher contract discussions and negotiations are well underway.  

V.       Budget Presentation and Discussion for 2014/15- Lisa Lux

Lisa presented the budget for 2013/14.  Due to a decrease in the PTO dues this past year, revenue was down from the previous year.  After Auditors Fees, Insurance, and Web Support were paid, we were left with the minimum balances to maintain our accounts without incurring fees.  In years past, the Central PTO has donated to four key organizations that provide direct support and services to the children of District 36.  These organizations include FAN, Alliance for Early Childhood, Erika’s Lighthouse and Haven.  These donations are made by the Central PTO on behalf of the four separate school’s PTOs.  While these are not extremely large donations as a percentage of the organizations’ budgets, they represent the collective PTOs financial support and gratitude for the services provided.  

Due to a budget shortfall this year, the Board felt this was the right year to have a thorough discussion and vote on Central PTO’s current and ongoing support of these four organizations.   There was a lengthy and productive discussion which included the role of the Central PTO, the legality of a non profit organizations donating to other non profits organizations, the importance of the transparency these contributions to donating members of the Central PTO, and lastly the services each of these organizations provide to our students.  Several options were presented and debated.

After a vote, a decision was made that the Central PTO will donate at the current levels each year whether or not there are sufficient funds in the budgets.  In the years that the Central PTO has a budget shortfall, it will ask each individual school PTO to contribute money to cover the collective Winnetka Public School PTO donations to these four valuable organizations.  This year there is a budget shortfall.   Central PTO will collect equal contributions from all four PTOs to cover the costs of the donations.  Going forward it is anticipated that the Central PTO Budget will incur three major expenses: Auditor Fees, Insurance and Charitable Donations.   Web Support fees will not longer be covered by the Central PTO, but rather paid by each individual PTO.  

It was agreed that a short explanation of the collection and use of the Central PTO dues should be included in the individual PTOs bulletins or websites to better educate parents on the Central PTO annual contribution request on INFOSNAP.  

VI. VP Communications Report- Melinda Baldwin

Melinda presented the updated version of the Central PTO website content.   The new website will go live at the end of the month.  Language specific to Central PTO financial support was clarified to represent the previous discussion regarding charitable donations.

VI. Crow Island Report- Barb Brown

Crow Island PTO made a significant donation of books to all of the individual classroom libraries.  These donations were made possible from the February Parent Teacher Party which included a fundraiser specifically to update classroom libraries.  The Crow Island family lounge is being updated with newly upholstered furniture.  

VII.  Greely Report- Karen York

Dream Green presented construction documents to the School Board at the last meeting.  They will also be presenting to the Village for approval.

VIII.   Hubbard Woods- Heather Pigott

Hubbard Woods will be voting on its PTO slate at the next meeting.  Committees are be finalized for the upcoming year.  Mayfest, Hubbard Woods largest fundraiser, is set for May 18 and looks to be a big success once again.  Lunch vendors for next year have been finalized.

IX.   Skokie-Washburne Report- Anissa Forman and Jennifer Pehlke

Skokie Washburne PTO provided parents with an option to do online volunteer sign up this year.   Several stand up desks were purchased for Skokie school using PTO funds.  The new website is almost complete.  The slate for 2014/15 SW PTO is in process and will be announced next month.  A new committee, New Families,  will be added to the SW PTO to provide a full year program for new children/families to the SW community.

X.     Other Central PTO Business

Next Meeting: Friday, May 9 at 9:00 am at Skokie School.  All new officers and incoming Presidents will be invited to the year end, May transitional meeting.  A tasting from the new and improved Washburne lunch menu will be served.  

Meeting concluded at 10:15 am

Minutes submitted by: Heather Bartell, Secretary