February 2016 PTO Meeting Minutes

Woodbrook Elementary School

PTO Meeting Minutes-February 2016

*In Attendance:  Heather Santiago, Kim McQuown, Sara Henry, Kate Scales, Helen Dempsey-Henofer, Lisa Molinaro, Nina Getchell, Jen Smith, Pam Atkinson, Jorie DeBoer.

*Some time ago, Dr Moran sent information to area principals to review “musical playground equipment”.  The company manufactured equipment is quite costly (~ $15,000)!  A group of MESA students (Accelerated Math Science Engineering Academy at Albemarle High School) came up with project ideas on how to build large xylophones as playground equipment.

*Tony Wayne (MESA director) and a senior MESA student presented the following information during the PTO meeting:


-Build xylophones to encourage students to experiment with sound and make music during outdoor playtime

-build one or many, large or small, multiple heights to include different age groups, several designs to choose from

-pine, or higher quality wood to have longer lifespan; metal chain for durability (no rope chording), anchored with cement

-paint various colors or stain it, and protect the finish with polyurethane

-want design so multiple kids can play with same instrument together

-encourage some Woodbrook students to come help with part of the build or paint

-students could leave their mark with a thumbprint on the wet paint or laser their names onto the wood


-will vary; pine is cheaper but the knots may interfere with the sound quality; rose wood is more ideal but also expensive (one of the octagonal            designs using pine would cost about $250, same design with rose wood costs about $600).

-estimate of $3000 to build 3 large xylophones

-MESA students hope to have business donations, and financial help from PTO to accomplish this project


-about 3 weeks of build time; High schoolers have too much testing from April-May so would have to build soon (March!)

Questions/comments from PTO attendees (answers from MESA representatives):

-Prototypes were wonderful to see and play!  Sound quality great!

-Worry about safety for kids, worry about random vandalism of our playground equipment as we have seen with a science garden in recent years

-Can some be built vertically instead of horizontally, so kids would be less likely to climb on top of it (will look into it)

-What is the potential lifespan of the structures (unsure, wood outdoors with polyurethane could be 5 years)

*PTO summary of MESA presentation:  Great presentation and awesome prototypes!   This warrants more discussion from the PTO and Lisa.  Will check PTO budget to see if we could offer a partial pay, so that it would not cut into our field trips, assemblies, and other needed things for our school.  This project has a quick timeline.  Hope to have lengthy discussion at next meeting, or board vote if needed sooner to keep timeline. Possibility of Maker Room students to  help with project, during spring clubs 2:30-4:00 and be bussed over to AHS?

*Upcoming Events:

-Movie Night, Friday March 11 (k/1st/2nd graders to pick a G rated movie)

-Fun Fair-Saturday April 23!  Next PTO meeting will have much longer discussion about Fun Fair needs (organizing is already underway!).

*Fundraising Outlook:

-Box tops classroom competition-no official count yet

-Al Carbon night- profit $100, went very well, food was great! (next restaurant night TBA)

-Sweetheart Dance- profit about $175 and was a great turnout;  discussed ways to improve lighting in 2017, encourage a few songs for father/daughter or mother/son dances, ? flower stand)

-Bingo Night- profit about $90, good participation and lots of food! Extra prizes will be used at Fun Fair.

*World Language Program Update:  Sara Henry encouraged parents to send letters of the Board of Supervisors about importance of this program to be at our school.

*Treasurers Report:  Pam Atkinson reviewed deposits and checks, current balance.  We have multiple things coming up that have not been included in budget yet such as: field day, multicultural event, teacher appreciation luncheon, teacher grants, 5th grade graduation!  Goal of keeping about $17,000 (which is equal to about one whole year of operating expenses) in account in order to pay for expenses at start of school and other needed purchases.

Next PTO meeting:  Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 in Library!  Sitters have already committed to us, and will watch kids in the gym or cafeteria!