PTO Meeting Minutes – MAR

Squantum Elementary School PTO Meeting Minutes

March 21, 2017


Present: Principal Sylvia, Dr. Bloom, Kenda Coulter, Torrey Smith, Mrs. Kiley, and assembled parents.

Upcoming Events:

3/24        Spring Fling Dance, 6-8 pm in the gym

3/27        Report cards go home

4/3          MCAS 2.0 state test window opens

4/3          Red Sox Opening Day/Spirit Day/ Wear your favorite hat or jersey

4/4          Parent-teacher conferences (day & evening)

4/11        Parent-teacher conferences (afternoon)

4/27        Math & Science Night

4/27        PTO Meeting, 7 pm

5/1          Book Fair begins in media center


Presentation/Request for Funds by Student Council

  • Matthew Hollatz and Kyle Tolini did an excellent job of presenting the student council’s plan to get kids moving during recess. Dick’s Sporting Goods has already donated kick balls, and the council plans to host a fundraiser on April 3rd: kids can wear a hat or jersey from their favorite team ($1 donation suggested). The money will go toward purchase of new equipment for recess, including balls, jump ropes, hula hoops, sidewalk chalk, etc.
  • The PTO also approved $300 to go toward new sports equipment for recess.
  • Matthew and Kyle reminded us to please donate any gently used sports equipment to the school. Donations accepted through April vacation.

Principal Sylvia’s Report

  • Principal Sylvia noted how much he enjoyed his recent talks with student council members about their ideas for SQU School, including fundraising for recess equipment, posting art work during the talent show, and freshening up our school sign out front.
  • MCAS update: 4th graders took a practice test on computers this week. All the mobile devices used for the MCAS will be hard-wired during testing to sidestep any connection problems.
  • All of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes now are equipped with smart boards and projectors. Both teachers and parents who’ve volunteered as art docent commented what a difference the projectors make. The classes received these thanks to the city’s capital improvement program.
  • Sylvia congratulated the Squantum School Players on a great job. Thanks to Ms. Salas and all the parents who helped out with costumes and set. You can still catch the show on Channel 22 this week.
  • Quincy Officer Don Sautter met with 5th graders for the DARE program. There will be a DARE night for parents as well. Stay tuned.
  • Spring BOKS is up and running. Nearly 80 kids are participating!
  • Patrick’s Day assembly featured Irish step dancing, with dancers from various dance schools in Quincy. The whole school got to try their feet at step dancing!
  • Congratulations to Mrs. Kelley’s class, who won the free pizza party for raising the most money for Pennies for Patients. Thanks to all the students and families who donated change and/or helped with lugging change boxes to Coinstar. Squantum School raised a total of $651 for this organization that funds research for leukemia and lymphoma.
  • Author Melanie Gillespie (author of Darlene The Drama Queen Raises The Curtain on Confidence!) will be visiting K and 1st grade classes on Thursday, 3/23.
  • Our buddy reading program, where older students read to the younger grades, happens each Friday in honor of Read-Across-America month. This week’s reading is poetry.
  • Helpful links to information about MCAS and resource guides are available on the SQU School PTO Website at
  • Learning-to-Read Parent Academy, Part 2, will be held at Central Middle School on Thursday night, 3/23.

Dave Blaton’s Citywide Report

  • Dave reported that the focus of this month’s meeting was on how to decrease stress among students, especially when it comes to testing.
  • There was discussion of “calm classes,” where students do stretching and meditation, a program which will be introduced at Beechwood Knoll. Principal Sylvia noted the program will be rolling into Quincy schools probably over the next year or so.
  • There was discussion at PTO meeting about what else we can be doing to help our kids with stress. Dave suggested the website org for helpful suggestions. Also, there was discussion re: What does it say about our nation’s testing system/curriculum expectations if even our grade school kids are stressed??

Update from Kenda:

  • PTO approved $400 toward providing dinner for teachers on April 4th during parent/teacher conference day. Mrs. Kiley to survey teachers for favorite restaurant pick.
  • In June, we’ll be hosting our annual Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. Volunteers needed for set-up, etc. Stay tuned for a date. PTO approved $650.
  • Fourth grade parents are busy helping plan a graduation event for fifth graders. Volunteers, food donations welcome.
  • Election for next year’s officers will be at the next meeting. A ballot with candidates will be circulating. We’re especially looking for a new treasurer, as our indefatigable SQU School supporter, Torrey Smith, will be stepping down from this position. She will be missed!
  • For discussion at next meeting: Spring Fun Fundraiser, Spring Movie Night, Family Fun Night (Zumba?, make sure date doesn’t conflict with afterschool art show in the gym.)
  • We’re always looking for donations of games, etc. for raffle baskets for Math & Science Night. Please let Kenda know if you have items you’d like to donate.
  • We need a few more volunteers to help with set-up/the Spring Fling dance on 3/24. Please let Kim Dailey know if you’re available to help.
  • Reading Counts and Art Docent programs are looking for a few more volunteers. There was discussion about kids not having enough time during the school day to take advantage of Reading Counts. Some discussion of opening Media Center for Reading Counts after school on Tuesdays, if we can get enough volunteers to help.


Torrey’s financial report.  


  • Total income (Papa John’s; Baystate Textiles; Panera Bread; Red Sox):$3,407
  • Total expenses (various): $7,911
  • Allocated funds:$2,851
  • Available PTO balance: $16,223 (after allocations)
  • Upcoming expenses: $6,960