Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hunt PTO Update 9/20/15

Hey There Hunt families - It is Open House season and this Thursday we hope to see you at HUNT from 6:30-8pm.  Upon arrival, there is usually a brief reception in the auditorium to introduce Hunt staff and set the tone for the night.  After that, families head down to check into their team classrooms.  While there is not time to conference about individual issues, this is a great time to meet all your child's teachers and get a look at the spaces they are spending the majority of their day.  Open House is a great way to show your child how important school is to your family - Hope to see you there!

I would also like to SHAMELESSLY promote the PTO table that will be set up in the school lobby.  What can you expect?
  • Blog sign-up -Obviously you are getting the blog, but can you point some other families (new and old!) in our direction?
  • Innsbrook Fundraiser info
  • PTO Flyer
  • Friendly Hunt parents just dying to encourage your participation at Hunt

New this year is a Funding display.  Hunt classroom teachers and United Arts staff were asked to submit projects/trips/supplies that they need funded.  There will be info about each project with the funding request.  We will have collection jars set up to capture your cash and check donations to help fund these projects - think of it as a school Go Fund Me.   We also encourage you to tap into employers for matching funds or perhaps grandparents.  Teachers often spend thousands of dollars of their own money each year to purchase items for their classrooms that are not included in the District budget and/or make up for shortfalls in collecting money for trips and activities.  

We encourage you to be as generous as you can!


Minutes from the September PTO meeting can be found at the end of this blog post. Thank you Paula for both running the meeting and taking notes - you're a superstar! The October meeting is scheduled for thursday, October 15th at 6:30pm.  While we cannot offer childcare, our meetings are held in the library, containing books, magazines, comfy chairs and a bank of computers.  One or more of those items might keep your munchkin busy during the meeting! Give it a try!


Current Fundraiser:  Innsbrook     Requested and did not receive an Innsbrook Catalog?  Contact Jen L'Ecuyer at, and she will send home a fundraising packet. The information should include: student's name, team & home room teacher, parent/guardian email & phone information.  

With this fundraiser, we hope to prime the fundraising pump - let's aim to return to our PTO glory of recent years past when we were able to fundraise and give back to Hunt teachers and programs more than $10,000/year...


Sports CalendarSubject to last minute changes!!!  Call the office or check the Hunt sports website the day of the event just to be sure!!!



Things to talk about...Consent  We grew up learning that "No means no" but the the language we use with our kids in 2015 is very different.  Have you had this discussion with your son or daughter?  Waiting until high school or the first boyfriend/girlfriend is waiting too long.  Now is the time to be planting these seeds...

Consent means saying YES wholeheartedly. “No means no” is officially dead. “Yes means yes” is the new and improved model for consent. Your girl needs to know it’s very important she is clear about her desires when she’s getting busy. “Yes” is clear consent and she and her partner should openly discuss this. If alcohol or drugs are involved, consent cannot be given. See rule number one. This excellent little video (below) does a great job of explaining consent. BOTH girls and boys need to have a clear understanding of consent.

GREAT Cartoon video that really makes consent understandable....

Upcoming Events

9/17-10/9 - Wrapping Paper Fundraiser
9/23/15 Yom Kippor - No School!
9/24/15 Hunt Open House - 6:30-8pm
10/2/15 1st Hunt Dance of the year!  7-9pm
10/8/15 Early release for P/T Conferences - noon
10/9/15 No School- P/T Conferences
10/12/15 No School - Columbus Day
10/15/15  October PTO Meeting - 6:30pm
10/22/15 Hunt Harvest Dinner

September 2015 PTO Meeting Minutes

Principal’s Report by Len Phelan

Welcome –
  • HMS welcomed 393 students back to school this Fall.  This is down just a bit from last year, but we expect this number to rise through the Fall.
  • HMS welcomed 2 new staff members:  our librarian Mr. Charles Dabritz and school psychologist Ms. Lindsay Dunn who is now full-time.

New Schedule
  • Moved from 8 mods down to 7 @ 53 min. each (except on early Weds.)  This will provide more flexibility in the schedule.
  • Lunches start appropriately later, with one fewer lunch session.
  • 7/8 grade students will now have unified arts class every/every other? day, with a complete rotation each year. 

iPad program-
  • HMS has been recognized by Digital Promise as one of 20 schools nationwide, designated as an innovation school and has received a federal grant for iPads for each student. 
  • iPads will replace the chromebooks and netbooks. 
  • Teachers have spent time over the summer in professional development, learning how to develop and utilize personal learning plans for each student. 
  • There will be parent/family workshops prior to the rollout. 
  • The systems will be provided by Verizon.
  • As a result of Digital Promise, HMS will be getting a fulltime Integration Specialist and a part-time Digital Storyteller.

  • All students now start their day in Homeroom, which allows them time to check in with their HR teacher, have breakfast and get settled  before diving into their first academic class.
  • 6th graders will remain in their team classroom, while 7/8 graders will move to a designated classroom, which they will keep through both years.
  • Homeroom will be a quick 13 minutes, except for Wed, homeroom will be 30 minutes.
  • Wed. extended homeroom will be used to present material from the Second Step program, which is a social/emotional learning process (can be found at which would normally be taught during guidance.  A letter will be coming home about this program.

6th gr changes-
  • A focus was made to enhance the transition from the elementary school model (staying in one classroom for all subjects)  to the 7/8 grade model of moving to a different classroom for each class. 
  • Students will now have 1 team teacher for 2 core subjects, and the other team teacher for the other 2 subjects, moving classrooms within the team.
  • There are now 3 teams with 2 teachers each (up from 2 teams last year).  This results in more balanced teams.

Enrichment changes-
  • “World language Extension” - world languages will be enriched.  8th graders can apply for additional language, to be offered on alternate band/chorus days.  (students in both band/chorus will have to choose what to participate in).
  • “Student Catamount Crew”  will help with rollout of new technology, more on this later!
  • “World Culture” – 6th graders will have 5 weeks each of Spanish and French.

  • Canvas was piloted last year by the Phoenix team to replace Jupiter Grades.
  • Canvas will be the platform used school-wide for grades and assignments, which parents will have access to.
  • The goal is to roll out Canvas school-wide by the end of Term 1.
  • Information will be coming out later, for parents.

Afterschool program-
  • Rebecca Reese is the new program coordinator, replacing Kathy Olwell who retired.
  • New groups which are in the works – Environmental club and Idle Monitoring.
  • Rebecca has lots of new ideas and has hit the ground running.  She can be reached at

President’s Report by Paula Henry
  • There are lots of opportunities this year on the Board.  We are looking for new:  Treasurer, Secretary, and Fundraising event team Chairs.
  •  If someone is good at blogging and is willing to take this over, see Kate Belluche at
  • We now have a new PTO brochure which highlights our mission, and all of the volunteer opportunities for parents.  Len will make them available in the office.

Treasurer’s Report by Dasha Zentrichova
  • 2014-2015 was a difficult year financially with very little fundraising, less than $2,500 compared to an annual budget of $8,000 and up to $14,000 in past years.
  • We were unable to support classroom teachers last year and school-wide events as we have done in the past because of a lack of funds through fundraising.
  • Our checking account balance as of August 31 was $6,982, but only $2,651 is available due to funding commitments.
  • Dasha is moving on to BHS and we are in need of a new Treasurer.

Fundraising Report by Paula Henry
  • We did not have a Fundraising Chairperson last year so we did not do our big fundraising events, as mentioned in the Treasurer’s Report.
  • This year, we are taking a “job share” approach, and looking for 2-person teams to take on heading up individual fundraising events.  They are:  (October) Wreath Sale,  Pancake Breakfast (March), Silent Auction (March) , Plant and Yard sale (May).
  • Upcoming fundraiser for September – Innisbrook wrapping paper, run by Jen L-Equyer. Flyers will go home 9/11 for permission to participate.  Even starts 9/17, and runs through October 9.

New Business
  • Fall Open House is Sept 24. PTO will have tables in the foyer, with Items to display:  new brochures, poster,  fundraiser “how-to” handouts, and Innisbrook fundraiser information.  We will also have available a new form for parents to fill out with a checklist  to show what they like/want to do to get involved.  We are looking for PTO members to help staff the table(s)!
  •  Len will poll faculty on what they need for their classroom, creating a “wish list’.  We will post it at the Open House, to encourage parents to get involved and donate to a specific cause they choose.
·         New 6th gr parent, John, presented the idea of a Giving Board, and will write-up a description.  We will consider implementing this in the future as a means of raising funds online.  This could replace or supplement  the pay-it-forward campaign.
·         Opportunities exist within the community for volunteers to help with service projects, such as BHS students and City Market voluneers.
·         Len will look into making the TV in the lobby accessible to PTO for an informational video created by Kate Belluche.
·         New 6th grade parent, Dawn, will head up a communication link network for parents.  It would be similar to an online directory, and would facilitate communication between parents.  Many cannot come to PTO meetings, and parents can’t always meet other parents.

Our next meeting is October 15.

                                                                                                                                                Submitted by Paula Henry

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