● Current account status: We currently have $18,402 in the bank account; an additional $975 arrived today from the Omaha Schools Foundation.
● Our tax filing is complete for the year. Past versions of our 990 form have indicated that the fiscal year ends on July 31, but the IRS says it ends on June 30. Rebecca has adjusted our budget to reflect this.
● Budget/Expense updates:
○ We have hit our projections for membership dues.
○ We are budgeting for $700 in TAGG revenue. Rebecca asks that members
continue to use their TAGG app
○ PTA picnic: We were over budget by about $20
○ We have currently used about 50% of the teacher reimbursement fund.
● Rebecca would like to organize a budget committee to help make decisions about extra revenue, reallocating funds as needed, looking at shortfalls, etc. The goal is that we keep our budget dynamic rather than stagnant from year to year.
● Mrs. Herzog has organized a Girls’ Night Out. This evening will focus on authentic friendship and is intended to empower girls to help combat the “drama” that is often found in the 5th and 6th grade. Juniors and seniors from South High will also attend to mentor
● Report cards will be distributed at Parent/Teacher Conferences. Conference times will stay the same in the spring as in the fall unless otherwise requested.
● October 31 is Harrison’s annual Trick-or-Trunk parade and Halloween classroom activities. An alternative activity will be provided in the library for students who do not participate. Mr. Morris will do a safety check beforehand for those community members who are handing out treats.
● The winter program will be held on December 13 at 9:30 and 1:30. Band and strings will only perform in the afternoon.
● Harrison is partnering with Championship Martial Arts to provide an after school Martial Arts Club for several weeks. Students pay $25 to participate, and all the money goes directly to the school.
● Dr. Haynes is still looking for coaches for both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams. Any Harrison parent or OPS staff member can coach. The time commitment is typically 1 night/week for practice and 1 night/week for games.
● Dr. Haynes is working with Hillside Solutions to find a way to continue our composting program. There was a problem with maggots on the side of the building where our compost totes were stored.
● PTA will provide a staff dinner of chicken and lasagna from HyVee for Wednesday’s conference night.
● This year, staff will receive Eileen’s Cookies to celebrate birthdays.
● We are currently looking for ideas for our annual staff holiday gifts. The budget is around $5 per staff member.
● The Bash Committee is still looking for donations. One possible idea is to donate a house party. Simply determine your theme and how many spots you are willing to host. Please talk to Molly Carpenter if you are interested in donating a house party.
● Sarah Wynn and Deb Heimes are working on securing the food for the Bash. It will likely be from Raisin’ Canes as it was last year.
● Charlotte Shafer has sent out a sign-up genius regarding themes for classroom baskets.
● Frank Luceri shared a little about the selection process. Teachers fill out a rubric in the event that there are more applicants than available spots.
● Practices will begin in November.
● Harrison will host a tournament on Saturday, February 15th. We welcome volunteers to help with concessions, set-up, etc.
● Please continue to send any pictures to Annie Johnson. She will be collecting pictures through Valentine’s Day.
● Scott shared that we had budgeted $2400 for Star Grants. We received requests totaling roughly $3000. We had $500 budgeted for Dancing Classrooms, but this program will likely need to be funded with other grants if possible. Scott suggested that we reallocate that money to fund the remaining grants. Angela Smith moved to vote on the motion.
The motion was carried.
● A new member has suggested hosting some sort of grandparents’ event at the school. Dr. Haynes suggested scheduling a day when grandparents could come for lunch (maybe in the spring). A read-and-feed is also a possible idea. Please let PTA know if you are interested in helping plan such an event.
● The PTA board is interested in forming a Cultural Diversity Committee. Harrison is such a wonderfully diverse community, and we strive to make our school community more inclusive. Some ideas are: Buddy programs for school events (BASH, Carnival, etc), International Day, a school cookbook, Culture Fest, the Thrive program (this is an afterschool program designed for kids from different cultures), World Fest, etc. Rebecca Firestone is the point person on this committee. Please email the Harrison PTA if you are interested.
Guest Speaker: Melissa Cleaver from Common Sense Media
Melissa Cleaver shared some eye-opening statistics: Did you know that that the average age a child receives his/her first cell phone is ten? That 98% of kids ages 0-8 have access to a mobile device in their home? That a third of all screen time is on a mobile device?
Common Sense Media (commonsensemedia.org) provides guidance on how to navigate the digital age with our children. The website has information on multiple topics, including:
· how to know when to buy a smartphone for your child
· how to handle/avoid digital drama
· popular apps such as Snapchat or TikTok
Parents can look up information by topic or by age. The website als provides the Parents’ Ultimate Guide to websites like Roblox, YouTube, etc.
In addition, parents can receive weekly text message tips on technology balance. Simply text 21555, type in the words “kids,” and fill out the survey to get started.