Council Newsletter – May 2021

President’s Message

Happy May Everyone!

Even with all we have had to handle, this year seems to have flown by. Thank you for hanging in there and continuing to move the PTA mission forward for all of our children and school communities.

Setting our PTAs up for success is crucial for the continued success of our association. A key component to this is planning and smooth transitions. After your elections, schedule a turn over meeting so each incoming officer has time to meet with the outgoing. This allows them to discuss the role, share successes, challenges, ideas for the future, and have time to turn over all materials to the incoming leader. If you need any assistance with this, we at Springfield Council of PTAs stand ready to assist you. You are never alone, we have all faced great challenges and together will move forward!

As always please reach out to me at president@scptamo.com with any concerns or questions you may have.

Please remember to submit your officers to Missouri PTA
https://mopta.org/home-2/missouri-pta-2021-2022-officers-form/. This is vital to our communication to you from us on Council and also to Missouri PTA as well. If you only have one officer, that is okay, please submit and then add as you gain new officers.

Thank you so much for all that you give: your time and talents. Your support this year has been wonderful! You are appreciated. Enjoy these last few weeks of school and give yourself a pat on the back!

Best Wishes, Mandy

*2020-2021 SCPTA President’s notes:

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and concerns, this school year was incredibly different. The district began the year with hybrid learning, then returned to 4 days and eventually 5 seated days. The district allowed no visitors to enter any school buildings during the 2020-2021 school year.

A slow PTA year but we are looking forward to renewing our efforts in the 2021-2022 school year. For many, COVID-19 has meant the needs of our school community have changed and had PTA refocusing and responding to—and supporting—those needs. Everyone has learned so much about how to communicate in a virtual world.

Every in-person meeting and event was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic and occupancy restrictions. I was able to create a master calendar and hold monthly general and executive board meetings via Zoom.

The Clothing Bank re-opened late fall and went on a modified schedule and I (Mandy Mitchell) was able to volunteer at every open day.

Attendance to SPS Board of Education meetings was limited; however, I was able to watch live via YouTube. Missouri PTA hosted monthly phone meetings and I was able to attend and share with other leaders across the state to strategize and strengthen our efforts to serve our schools. I was honored to be in contact with and guide many local PTA leaders through challenging times as we reinvented the way we PTA.

Treasurer’s Report and Tips for Treasurers

The detailed Treasurer’s Report can be found at Moneyminder.com
Username: council@scptamo.com Password: SCPTA.658

*2020-2021 Treasurer’s Notes: As treasurer, I (Becky Volz) managed and balanced the four SCPTA bank accounts with monthly reconciliations, uploading to MoneyMinder and transferring all PayPal transactions as well as writing checks for budgeted items and reimbursements. I have maintained our status and reports to the IRS, MO-SOS, and MOPTA. I have communicated with and assisted units on their “units-in-good-standing” status and updated all SPS principals contact info. I have assisted several treasurers with their reports and processes. I have maintained communication with our bank manager and accounts representative. I have provided monthly treasurer reports. 

Please remember to plan for an audit/review of your PTA/PTSA financial records at the end of your fiscal year (usually mid-July is a good time to plan for this).

Excess Funds

There is no ruling from the IRS or National PTA that limits the amount of money that a PTA may carry over to the next budget year. No PTA board has the authority to write checks to the school or the principal for un-budgeted items to “clean out” the accounts. Expenditures must be approved by the general membership at a meeting. Every PTA should try to leave sufficient funds for leadership training for new board members (i.e., Council/Regional training, State PTA Convention or National PTA Convention), startup expenses for the new school year, etc. Funds not spent in one budget year should be included in the new budget.

Emergency Reserve

The emergency reserve fund is considered an integral part of each PTA’s planning and budget process. This fund is intended to serve as a means to retain financial stability in the event of an unforeseen circumstance such as unplanned expenses arising from a project or an unexpected increase in inflation. As a rule, a healthy reserve is between one-half to one full year’s average expenditures.

Using Your Budget

Throughout the year, the Finance Committee is responsible for tracking the actual results and comparing them to the budget. Whenever a new opportunity arises to further the mission of the PTA (e.g., running an un-budgeted activity or obtaining sponsor funding), the Finance Committee should carefully weigh whether it should be undertaken. Ideally, an un-budgeted activity should have a positive or neutral impact on the PTA’s overall budget.

Amending Your Budget

The budget is only an estimate of the planned expenditures for the year. When there are additional expenses or a change in an allocated expenditure, the budget may need to be amended by a vote of the association at any regular meeting, or at a special meeting called for that purpose. Check your bylaws for specific guidance.

https://www.pta.org/local-leader-kit/finance/budgeting-special-funds

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way

The first season of 10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way is dedicated to topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion! Tune in to learn from PTA leaders and experts in the field of ways you can make your PTA efforts more equitable.

New videos come out every Monday, so make sure to subscribe and turn on notifications. 

After watching each week’s video of 10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way, be sure to check out the reflection questions and related resources attached to each episode.

*2020-2021 Diversity and Inclusion Advisor notes:

I (Toi Allen) attended Diversity and Inclusion meetings for The Equity and Diversity Advisory Community Council committee. This committee provided the SPS Equity Diversity and Inclusion Department with suggestions to help provide the necessary feedback to complete the work towards the newly added focus 5 for the strategic plan of the school district. This part of the plan are goals for accomplishments connected to the cultural awareness and relevant education experiences for our schools with an intentional focus on historically underrepresented and under resourced groups (HUGs)

This work was driven by Dr. Yvania A.Garcia-Pusateri and her team in the SPS – Department of Equity & Diversity with support by administration and the Board of Education. Focus V is made up of 5 strategies and is focused on the following initiatives:

  • Facilitating district-wide professional learning for staff and leaders focused on equity and diversity 
  • Developing and deploying improved recruitment, collaboration and communication structures to diversify the workforce
  • Improving and expanding programming for underrepresented and under-resourced students
  • Reviewing and expanding the curriculum to reflect student identities, lived experiences and cultural contributions
  • Deploying engagement and advocacy policy, practices and programs that support students, staff and the broader community.

The last strategy speaks to engaging with the community and one of the ways that was completed was to establish a Community Equity & Diversity Advisory Council.

The advisory council meet 4 times during the year (October, December, February, and April) and due to Covid-19, the meetings were conducted via zoom.

These meetings were led by Dr. Yvania and Mr. Jimi Sode who serves as the Coordinator III – Equity & Diversity, Workforce Development in the Department of Equity & Diversity.

These meetings provided updates on district equity and diversity progress and initiatives as well as sought feedback from the advisory committee for the district regarding current initiatives for underrepresented and under-resourced students.

This work cannot be done or be successful in isolation, and it is important to  work collaboratively with PTAs, Champions within our schools and community to enhance the learning environment of our students as well as the climate and culture of our district.

SCPTA’S Diversity and Inclusion Committee put together a movie to show Diversity and Inclusion efforts by encouraging all to Listen, Educate, and Advocate for ALL our students. The goal is to invoke necessary conversations to help advocate where ever there is a need within our district.  

The PTA Clothing Bank

Because of our unique year, we are carrying our shopping through May. We will be open May 6th and May 20th, 10am- 4:30pm. A summer shopping date is TBD.

If you have any questions, please contact us via Facebook and watch our page for updates.

Thank you for your support of The PTA Clothing Bank and students of SPS!

*2020-2021 PTA Clothing Bank notes:

What a unique but great year we’ve had at The Clothing Bank! We got a late start this year as we waited for our COVID-19 guidelines, but we still logged around 1,200 student visits and approximately 700 winter coats went out the door! Our partners at the Kiwanis shoe bank provided around 600 pairs of shoes. Thank you to all the volunteers, SPS employees, and shoppers who adjusted and adapted with us along the way and kept things rolling! (Taryn Raidel, VP of Health and Public Services)

*2021-2021 Program, Promotion, and other Organizational notes:

*Reading is FUNdamental (RIF): RIF books were organized for one distribution of the 2020-21 school year. Extra care was implemented by sorting books by school and classroom teacher. Once sorted, the books were placed in plastic bags, boxed, and delivered to school for a holding period, then given directly to the classroom for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students to pick out a book. Virtual students were able to pick up their book in their drive-thru lunch line. (3rd graders received books as a makeup from last spring as 2nd Graders when schools closed early due to Covid) (facebook.com/RIFSpringfield)

*4th Grade Play (cancelled in 2020-2021 due to Covid restrictions for theaters)

*Reflections: This year’s theme was “I Matter Because…”. We had 41 entries from 5 schools. 14 entries placed in the state competition. One entry was honored with a National PTA Award of Excellence: Photography – Intermediate – Ilyann Khan, Greenwood Laboratory School PTA; “Don’t Forget Your Roots”.

“Don’t Forget Your Roots”

Next year’s theme will be “I will change the world by….”

*Founder’s Day: Our annual Founder’s Day event was cancelled due to Covid meeting restrictions.

*Scholarships and Special Funds: SCPTA donated $500 to each High School for Project Graduation. $100 in CARE Funds were given to Units in good standing who applied (Bingham, Delaware, Disney, Field, Fremont, Harrison, Hickory Hills Elem, Jeffries Elem, Pittman Elem, Pleasant View Elem, Wilder). $200 in McBride Funds were given to units in good standing who applied (Central HS, Glendale HS, Hillcrest HS, Kickapoo HS, Parkview HS, Cherokee MS, Hickory Hills MS, Pershing MS, Pipkin MS, Pleasant View MS, Reed Academy).

*Legislation and Advocacy: In March, we were able to host a school board candidate’s forum via Zoom for the 7 candidates running for 3 open seats in April 2021. All 7 candidates were in attendance as well as 40 attendees from units and council. We shared our recorded Zoom candidates forum on our Facebook social media platform and it was subsequently shared by the candidates and our units and had over 6,500 “people reached”. (Scott Crise, Danielle Kincaid, and Dr. Maryam Mohammadkhani were elected to the SPS Board of Education in April 2021). We also kept the units informed of important legislative activity in our state. Our Legislative Chair, Donna Petiford, was able to attend both National PTA’s Annual Conference in July 2020, and National PTA’s Legislative conference (LegCon) in March 2021 via a virtual platform. As part of LegCon, Donna participated in Capital Hill visits with Missouri PTA representatives, advocating for additional funding for school infrastructure, Covid relief funds for schools, and support for mental health resources for schools.

*Parliamentarian: Following suggestions from Missouri PTA, Springfield Council of PTAs adopted bylaws amendments for government imposed actions (such as meeting restrictions due to Covid) and adopted standing rules for Zoom meetings. Other Parliamentary tips and resources were included in the newsletters and updated on Council’s website.

*Denotes 2020-2021 Historical Notes

District News

Projects for the 2019 Proposition S bond issue are ahead of schedule and under budget. On April 2, 2019, 61.22% of Springfield Public Schools’ voters approved an 18-cent increase to the debt-service levy to fund 39 high-priority projects. The projects include renovations, expansion, and/or new construction for six schools and the creation of safer entrances at 31 schools. Space to add early childhood classrooms will be created at three locations. The $167.73 million bond addresses safety, accessibility, and quality issues. (sps.org/Page/4890)

All building entrance safety issues have been addressed.

A newly constructed Delaware Elementary School opened for students. The 68,000 square foot school has 27 classrooms and multiple spaces for groups of all sizes. As Delaware continues to be a hub for students of all learning abilities, there are no steps throughout the entire building.

The newly constructed Adah Fullbright Early Childhood Education Center was opened for students.

New and renovated space was opened for students at Sunshine Elementary. A phase 2 of renovations for Sunshine Elementary are in progress.

New construction is underway for the students at Williams Elementary, Boyd Elementary, Hillcrest High School, and Jarrett Middle School. Due to cost savings, 2 additional projects were approved: new construction at York Elementary, and new construction for Pipkin Middle School. (facebook.com/FriendsOFSPSMO)

Dr. Grenita Lathan was hired as the new superintendent to replace Dr. John Jungmann who retires this year. Read more about Dr. Lathan here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_DZtqvnbn6GFf6A4cyhUBOMgcGAudglI/view

The last day of this school year is set for May 27th with a 2 hours early release.

May 6 – PTA Clothing Bank open for shoppers and donations

May 20 – Springfield Council of PTAs Exec Board meeting – 9:15 am via Zoom

May 20 – PTA Clothing Bank open for shoppers and donations

May 27 – Last day of school (2 hour early release)

June 7 – 30 Explore! Session 1 (https://www.sps.org/explore)

July 7 – 30 Explore! Session 2

A summer shopping date for the PTA Clothing Bank will be added soon – follow us on Facebook for updates.

National PTA Annual Convention

Missouri PTA Convention will be October 1st-3rd, 2021, and will be held in person in Colombia, MO. Make plans now to attend ($125 per individual).

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