PTA Meeting Minutes: 2/2/2016

Buckman Arts Focus Elementary
PTA Community Meeting Minutes
February 2, 2016
6:00- 8:00 PM
Buckman Cafetorium

First 30 minutes was social time with pizza served to anyone interested.

Meeting called to order at 6:35 by Wendy Marich

  1.  Welcome and introductions by PTA Co-President — Wendy Marich
  1.  Review and vote to approve minutes of December 2015 PTA Meeting – Margaret Speth
  • Frances Kappes made a motion to approve minutes,  Krista Hofmeister seconded the motion.  Meeting minutes approved.
  1.  PTA Budget Update — Hilary Woodard
  • We will donate $100 to Decoding Dyslexia, the organization presenting tonight’s meeting
  • PTA purchased a gift certificate to a spa for Ms Dewson as a Thank You for jumping in to take over for Mr Rockness.
  1.  Foundation Update – Frances Kappes
  • Frances explained the role of the Foundation and the different events throughout the year that fund the Foundation.
  • Throughout 2016 the restaurant East Burn will donate 5% of their sales to Buckman if people mention Buckman Elementary when paying their tab.  They cut a check every month. So go eat at East Burn
  • Auction is going great. All committee positions are filled but will be a need for more volunteers as we get closer to the events.
  1.  Art Show & Sell  —  Michelle Cacka
  • Call for volunteers for the day of the event. Check the Sign Up Genius forms to pick a volunteer job.
  • Please like the Buckman ASAS on Facebook and invite your friends to the event.
  • Call for one volunteer to write up blurbs about artists that will be used to promote the show on the ASAS Facebook page.  Please contact Michelle if you are interested  
  • New this years is ASAS on Instagram showing photos of artist’s work – both student and professional artists. Follow Buckman Art Show and Sell on Instagram!
  • Need two more people February 10th stuffing envelopes from 9:30-12. Contact Michelle if you are interested.  
  • On Feb 25th from  6:30-7:30 pm at Teote Restaurant there is final meeting before the ASAS to discuss status across committees and to tease out any work that still needs to be done.
  • There are a couple of ASAS positions opening in coming years. PR person will be leaving so now is an opportunity to Shadow the current PR person for the event. Also next year, we will need someone to organize/arrange for food carts to be present at the event
  1.  Principal Status  –  Elizabeth Lavenue

There will be a community meeting next week at Buckman to discuss hiring of new principal. If you would like Ms. Kosmala to stay, please send letters and email in support and come to the meeting next week to show your support. Please refer to attached information sheet (and upcoming newsletters/emails) to find out more information.

  1.  Opt Out Info – Margaret Speth
  • Margaret handed out this year’s Opt Out forms along with a letter from the President of the PAT, Gwen Sullivan explaining how Oregon would like to be chosen for a Pilot Program to implement alternative assessments in place of Smarter Balanced.  If you would like to Opt Out your 3rd, 4th and 5th grader, please fill out the paperwork and hand in to the main office.
  1. Decoding Dyslexia Presentation
  • Sarah Suby introduced Lisa Lyon from Decoding Dyslexia.
  • Lisa shared her personal experience dealing with her child’s dyslexia and explained the mission of Decoding Dyslexia – to raise awareness, empower families, influence policy and help kids.
  • A brief video was shown explaining what dyslexia is. There was then a slide show presentation about dyslexia. Another parent from Decoding Dyslexia shared her story of navigating PPS with a child with dyslexia.  There was a call to action to encourage teachers to educate themselves around dyslexia so that they can better help identify kids at risk. The 1st Monday of each month at Providence Portland/Medical Center there is a meeting for educators and parents to learn and discuss relevant dyslexia topics.
  • Recently Oregon legislation has been passed to mandate more screening for dyslexia in schools and more training of educators to identify dyslexia.
  • What to do if you think your child has dyslexia? A list of private as well as public services were identified.  For any questions or more information, contact
  1.  Final Announcements, Adjourn

Wendy Marich adjourned the meeting at 8:05.


Dates to Remember:

February  16 Dines Out Ate-Oh-Ate 11am – 9pm

February 20 Firkin Fest at Green Dragon

February 26 Buckman Family Dance

March 7 School Safety Summit

March 12 – 13 Buckman Art Show & Sell

PTA Meeting Minutes: 12/1/2015

Buckman Arts Focus Elementary
PTA Community Meeting Agenda
December 1, 2015
6:00- 8:00 PM
Buckman Cafetorium

First 30 minutes of meeting was social time with pizza served to anyone interested

Meeting called to order by co-president Wendy Marich at 6:30

  1.  Welcome and introductions by PTA Co-President — Wendy Marich
  2. Volunteer Recognition

The following volunteers were acknowledged

  • Angela Kirkman – parent/teacher conference potluck
  • Holly Moore – grandparents and special friends day
  • Cara Althoff and Diane Zipper – Used book sale
  • Melina Carabajal and Doug Chamblin –  New speaker system for cafeteria
  • Jennifer Magowan, Myra Lavenue, Margaret FIve Crows, Nicole Edner – Newsletter and communications
  • Lisa Dean – Book fair
  • Diane Meisenhelter – Season of sharing
  1.  Review and vote to approve minutes of October 2015 PTA Meeting

Minutes were read by Margaret Speth PTA scribe and were approved unanimously

  1. PTA Budget Snapshot — Hilary Woodard, Treasurer
  • PTA has spent 17k so far this year. We have about 56k left.  Majority of the $$ was spent on the library fund (new books for library), extended responsibility fund for arts specialists, donations to the clothing center and the student aid fund.
  • Vote  to add line item to the budget.  

The amount of money alloted to Mr Simmons by the PTA  last year was inadvertently drawn from the school fund instead of the PTA fund. Hilary proposed to add a line item to this year’s budget in the amount of  2,500 to reimburse the school fund for last years expenditure and for some SPED expenditures. It was proposed that the line item is called, ‘Reimbursement of Funds as Budgeted for 2014-2015′. Cara Althoff made a motion to approve. Angela Kirkham seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

  1.  Clothing Center Volunteers Needed Dec 7, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

Meredith Voorhees needs volunteers for clothing center. Please consider volunteering your time. Split shift is ok if you cannot stay the whole time. The clothing center provides clothes to children of families in need at no cost. Families ‘shop’ at the clothing center and volunteers assist families in finding clothes that suit them.  Side note: For families wishing to donate – Any clothes in good condition can be dropped off at Buckman main office where they will be delivered to the clothing center at Marshall High School.  

  1. Season of Sharing

Volunteers are needed to sort gifts. Any new or gently used toys accepted. Also consider giving gift cards so families can purchase exactly what they want for their kids

  1. Art Show & Sell —  Michelle Cacka

Call for artists has closed and art show team is now reviewing/choosing which artists will participate in the show. ASAS is looking for a full service espresso cart to come to the school for the duration of the show.  They are also looking for two more bands/musicians to play. Contact Michelle if you know of anyone.

  1. Foundation Update – Frances Kappes, Foundation Chair
  • Many key volunteer positions will be vacated this year as families graduate out of Buckman. We need volunteers to shadow current committee heads this year so next year those positions are covered.  Most notable positions include, Dines Out and Auction Chair. Contact Frances if you are interested.
  • The Direct Ask Campaign is launching this week and will run for the month of December. A group of 15-20 parents has pledged to donate $8,000 if the Foundation can get 70 additional donors to give any amount of $$.
  1.  Final Announcements – Wendy Marich
  • The upcoming book fair needs volunteers.  Before and after school, in the morning and in the evening.
  • Sada Dewey is hosting a workshop on helping families help children cope with anxiety. Please attend. December 2, 6:15 -8:15.  Presentation given by Allan Cordova, PhD. who also happens to be a Buckman Parent
  1.  BeSmart Presentation

BeSmart is a branch of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense and volunteers presented materials that were informative and non-political. Their goal is to reduce unintentional shootings and gun deaths that can occur when households have guns that are unsecured.  They identified 5 steps that every person (whether you are a gun owner or not) can take to be safe.  S – secure guns in homes and vehicles. M – Model responsible behavior. A – Ask about unsecured guns in other people’s homes before you child goes on a play date. (Consider email or texting the other family in order to help with potential awkwardness). R – Recognize signs of teen suicide. T – Tell peers to be SMART and spread the word.

Meeting was adjourned by Wendy Marich at 7:35

Dates to Remember:

December 7 – PTA Clothing Center Buckman Volunteer Day

December 7 – 11 Scholastic Book Fair, Monday – Friday mornings 7:45 – 8:30 am &                       Thursday 3 – 7 pm  and Friday 3 pm – 5 pm

December 11 – Season of Sharing gifts due to office

March 12 – 13 Buckman Art Show & Sell

PTA Meeting Minutes

Buckman Arts Focus Elementary
PTA General Membership
October 6, 2015
6:00- 8:00 PM
Buckman Cafetorium
First 30 minutes of meeting was social time with pizza served to anyone interested.

Meeting called to Order by Co President, Wendy Marich at 6:30pm

  1. Welcome and introductions by PTA Co-President, Wendy Marich
  1. Volunteer Recognition – Wendy Marich

The following volunteers were acknowledged.

  • Doug Chamblin – grounds maintenance and community care day
  • Diane Zipper – back to school packets, volunteer surveys, Foundation help
  • Kim Dallas – auction chair
  • Claire Bernardo – Scrip and Chinook Book, Organizing back to school picnic
  • Samantha Bruner Cheryl Lapsley – Scrip and Chinook Book
  • Leah Christensen – Run For The Arts
  • Meredith Voorhees –  PTA clothing center, Kinder picnic, Buckman lost and found
  • Cesar Bernardo –  Assessing school tech needs. School website and directory
  • Nicole Edner – room parent coordinator
  1. Review and vote to approve minutes of April 2015 PTA Meeting – Margaret Speth

Minutes were reviewed by Margaret Speth PTA Scribe and were approved unanimously.

  1. Review and vote to approve Standing Rules.  PTA C-o President Sarah Suby.

Sarah explained that standing rules are the same as last year except the following:  Any expenditure or request for expenditure not in the budget needs to be voted on at general membership meeting. Any expenditure over $500 needs to be approved at general membership meeting. Any proposed increase to line items within the budget needs to be be brought to the general meeting and approved by vote.  Doug Chamblin made a motion to approve. Angela Kirkman seconded the motion. Standing rules approved.

  1. Budget snapshot –  Hilary Woodard, Treasurer

Hilary highlighted the following budget line items

  • $1000 for family events
  • $200 for each classroom teacher to purchase needed supplies
  • There is a line item to pay for various performances at the different grade levels for classroom teachers and arts teachers.
  • Discretionary funds line item.  Anyone (teachers and parents) can propose a special project if you have an idea.  Applicants must follow submission guidelines. Must benefit the entire school. Must be approved by vote at a PTA general meeting. Contact PTA officers for more information.
  1. Fundraising Notes
  • Art Show & Sell —  Michelle Chachka:
    There will be a meeting on 19th of October to kickoff planning for the ASAS
  • SCRIP  –   Claire Bernardo:
    Every Tuesday morning SCRIP is for sale in the school lobby. You can order online by contacting Samantha Bruner. 150 different retailers for SCRIP. Chinook Books available for sale through November.
  • Amazon smile and Fred Meyer rewards:
    Easy way to donate when you buy from Fred Meyer or Amazon. Sign up online and 5% will go to Buckman when you make a purchase. Click from the link in the newsletter to sign up.
  • PTA Membership Hilary:
    Buckman currently has 94 members. Any amount of membership dollars above $9.50 goes to Buckman. Tonight is the last night for the $20 family membership special. Otherwise membership is $12 per person
  1.  Call for volunteer needs
  • We need room parents to aid in communication. Please consider volunteering. Please check in with your teacher about being a room parent for your child’s classroom, or email Nicole Edner
  • We need someone to be conference potluck coordinator. Conference Days Potluck for Teachers (10/21, 10/22)  — we need someone to organize a signup genius to coordinate volunteers to bring in food and drinks for the teachers during these conference days. Ask Wendy or Sarah or email  This is an easy gig.

Buckman Elementary recently received iPads from Jackson Food Stores.

  1. “State of the School” Presentation by Principal Susan Kosmala
  • Enrollment – 482 children currently enrolled. We can expect those number to grow but the goal is to keep the school under 500 so as not to max out class sizes. There is a 50/50 mix of neighborhood to lottery/transfer kids.
  • Smarter Balanced assessment numbers are in. It’s only telling us how effective teaching is. Not how smart the kids are. Buckman scored in the 3-4 range.
  • Discussion of district policy, district milestones, and review of the comprehensive achievement plan.
  • Discussion of how to implement the CAP
  • Susan explained her goal of writing a mission statement for the school. We have a draft statement and Susan wants parents to provide feedback on the statement so that the statement can be finalized.
  • Susan wants to prioritize updating and focusing on a website that has current info. Improve communication and presence and to inform parents teachers and community.  The plan is to use Karen to update the website regularly.
  1. Final Announcements

Meeting Adjourned at 8:00pm by Wendy Marich

Next Meeting: Tuesday December 1st, 2015

Dates to Remember:

  • October 13 — Dick’s Kitchen 15% of every check all day from 11AM -9PM
  • October 21 & 22 — Used Book Sale in the cafetorium during teacher conferences
  • October 31 – Bowl-o-ween at Grand Central Bowl from 11am – 1 pm. Wear your costumes!
  • November 6 — Grandparents and Special Friends Day
  • November 10 — Nostrana, 10% of every check for dinner only, 5PM-10PM
  • November 17 — SUN Math Night
  • December 1 – PTA Community Meeting

Getting to know this year’s PTA leadership

Welcome back Buckman families and staff. We are looking forward to working with you this year and hope many of you will choose to become involved in the Buckman PTA. Here is a brief introduction to your officers and their responsibilities.

Co-Presidents: Sarah Suby and Wendy Marich
Responsible for providing leadership in our parent community; planning and facilitating community building events; supporting teachers and staff; helping to ensure that our students have what they need in order to be successful in school.

Sarah SubySarah Suby has been an active volunteer at Buckman for many years. From classroom assistance to chairing the annual auction, she has taken on a variety of roles helping make Buckman the amazing school that it is. We are very excited to have her partnering with Wendy to lead the PTA this year.

WendyWendy Marich is from Clearwater, Florida but has been living in Portland since 1997. She has two children attending Buckman this year: a daughter in 3rd grade and a son in 6th grade. Wendy loves the Buckman community and wants to continue building a strong, inclusive environment in which our children can thrive.

Vice President: Margaret FiveCrows
Responsible for assisting our co-presidents as needed, participating in board meetings, providing input for decisions and being an ambassador for the PTA and school.

Margaret FiveCrows

Margaret FiveCrows grew up in SLC, Utah but has been in Portland since 1997. Margaret has two children in Buckman this year: a son in kindergarten and a daughter in 2nd grade. She is happy to learn more about the PTA this year and get to know more of the incredible parents at Buckman.

Secretary: Margaret Speth
Reponsible for note taking and recording keeping throughout the year.

Originally from Buffalo, New York, Margaret Speth has also lived in Burlington, Vermont and San Francisco, CA. She has two children at Buckman this year: daughters in 5th and 1st grade. After volunteering in a number of school roles, she looks forward to supporting the school community with her new role in the PTA.

Treasurer: Hilary Woodard
Responsible for managing all financial activities and records for our PTA. The treasurer’s duties also include keeping records and preparing reports to comply with local, state and federal laws.

Hilary Woodard

Hilary is a British citizen, raising her family in the United States. She is whip smart (a Ph.D. in Geophysics!) and very fun to work with. We are thrilled to have her in charge of PTA finances this year.

Volunteer Appreciation event: May 29 at 9 am

Have you gone on a field trip, helped in the classroom, worked on a Buckman community event, or behind the scenes? Any amount of volunteerism is appreciated and now is our time to celebrate YOU! Please join other volunteers and the PTA for some refreshments and a raffle Friday, May 29 at 9 am in the Cafeteria. Spread the word, the more the merrier!


2015-2016 PTA Leadership announced

A big thanks to Krista Hofmeister and her team who have done a fantastic job! New PTA Board Members have been elected for next year. Please meet:

  • PTA Co-presidents: Sarah Suby, Wendy Marich 
  • PTA Vice President: Margaret FiveCrows 
  • PTA Treasurer: Hilary Woodard 
  • PTA Secretary: Margaret Speth