Executive Board Meeting, Colfax Spanish Academy,

School Year 2005-2006

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Where: Coffee Tree, Walnut St., Shadyside

Meeting Commenced:   7pm

Meeting Adjourned:  approx. 9pm

In Attendance:  Cate Axtman, Shannon Ewing, Brian Jacobson, Cathy Kress, Barbara Litt, Carolyn Ludwig, and Donna McCartney


  1. This was the tenth EB meeting for the 2005-2006 school year.


  1. Next EB meeting will be held Thursday, March 23, 2006 (David is hosting).


  1. The next PTO meeting is Thursday, March 2, 2006:


    1. Donna will create and distribute a reminder flier for the Thursday PTO meeting.
    2. We will again request people bring refreshments to the meeting, if possible.
    3. The upcoming PTO meeting will comprise of:  an Addition update (Meryl will conduct) and the City Planning Commission approval will be discussed; an ALA status update (DMS will conduct at the end of the meeting); a Title 1 update (Marcie Ritter will conduct); a PATHS update (Barbara will conduct); and J&R Summer Camp from the Jewish Community Center (will be a short presentation).


  1. The EB meeting continued with the President’s update.  Cate Axtman reported:


    1.  The PTO will move forward with the bylaw amendments we have been discussing over the past few months.  Notice will be given on the following: the Volunteer Coordinator position will be added to the EB Board; changing the budget in a way that would be more general and less specific; and the time that our fiscal year will end.  Notice for these proposed amendments will take place at the March PTO meeting and voted on at the April PTO meeting.
    2. Cate announced that the open slots on the EB Board for the upcoming school year are President, Fundraising VP, Treasurer, and Secretary.  Brian and Cathy are willing to retain their same EB positions for the upcoming school year (2006-2007) as VP of Communications and Special Events, respectfully.  Cate, Cindy, Barbara and Carolyn are planning on stepping down as President, VP of Fundraising, Treasurer, and Secretary, respectfully.  Elections for President will take place at the April PTO meeting.  The remainder of the board elections will take place at the May PTO meeting.
    3. Cate reminded everyone that if someone is considering running for President or Co-President of the PTO, this must be preceded by chairing an event, being a home room representative, or currently sitting on the EB board.
    4. Cate will announce at the PTO meeting that Colfax is a winner in the Sharpie Signature contest.  Shannon Ewing, able to receive approximately $1,700 signatures, was the 7th place winner in this National contest and Colfax is the winner of $25,000 worth of Sharpie supplies!  Wow – this is really unbelievable for all of us!  Thank you Shannon!


5.  The meeting continued with an update on Communications:


a.       Brian Jacobson will be uploading the PTO’s new web site tomorrow.  Content is still needed.  Brian plans on conducting a web site presentation at the April PTO meeting. Our domain name will be www.colfaxPTO.org and Brian is setting up email accounts for anyone on the Board who would like to have an account.  The BOE will link to our new web site and we will link to the BOE.

b.      The March newsletter will be distributed next week.


6. We then moved on to our Fundraising update:


  1. The Plant Sale for the PTO will go on without the inclusion of the “bio-mat”.
  2. It is possible that the Playground Committee will take on the Flea Market fundraiser.  We should have more logistics regarding this event shortly.
  3. We discussed our process for collecting money, etc.  Some issues/concerns have surfaced this year and we are seriously considering installing a lock-box.  One thought is that we would install this lock-box in the office area.  Other logistical info was discussed, such as, who will put the materials into the lock-box.  How does PTO money travel from the classroom to the lock-box?


7. Committee reports continued with Special Events:


  1. Latin Dance Night was a big success!  Thank you Mia!  Expenses are minimal to non-existent.  The cost of the dance instructor - $150, which was previously paid by the PTO, was recapped in donations provided at the event.  The hoagies that were served at the event may be free of charge (this needs to be confirmed).
  2. The Staff/Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, organized by Janey Clark, will be held tomorrow and is progressing along fine and is expected to be a big success.
  3. Regarding the African American Gallery Tea tomorrow, the PTO has received approximately 8 donations of desserts and people have volunteered to man the table.  All appears to be going well for this event.
  4. The next Carnaval meeting is March 21 at 7pm.  
    1. Alicia Alli will Chair the Publicity Committee. 
    2. A  Chair for the Entertainment Committee is still open (though Kate Borger is handling the music end of this).  
    3. We discussed in great length the idea of each classroom sponsoring one game (either by making or buying) and the homeroom reps could coordinate this effort. One question is will the PTO cover any costs here – either costs to make or buy a game (the answer is basically no)?
    4. We all like the idea of pre-selling the tickets for Carnaval and we discussed exactly how we should do this.  It was agreed upon that only checks and money orders will be accepted for payment.


8.  The Treasurer’s report was then given:


  1. Barbara Litt received two suggestions regarding next year’s budget.  One came from the Spanish Committee.  This request was basically a request for some portion of the PTO budget for the Spanish Committee.  The second suggestion came in the way of providing snacks to the students in light of the ALA program being initiated next year and, the longer school day.  We discussed both of these suggestions in length and agreed that some appropriation of PTO funds could be earmarked for these two endeavors.
  2. Barbara will announce the proposed budget changes at the next PTO meeting.
  3. We briefly discussed the budget categories themselves and current allotted amounts for each category.
  4. We discussed fundraising in general and earmarking “certain incoming money” for “certain categories”.  The main reason we would consider doing this is because people like to know where their money is going (ie. boxtop money goes to after school clubs, etc.).
  5. We all definitely want to keep the teacher grants of $50 for next year, we are just going to change the way we conduct this; so the teacher will spend $50, then submit for reimbursement to the PTO.


9.  Ending issues:


  1. Donna McCartney mentioned that the teachers are very pleased with the planned appreciation luncheon tomorrow.



Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn Ludwig