Greetings from the PTO!
As we wrap up another successful year, the PTO would like to thank everyone who coordinated, assisted with and attended the many events throughout the past several months. You are, of course, too numerous to name individually, but without you it wouldn’t have been possible.
“What exactly is the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)?” you may ask. It is an organization, intended to include ALL Our Lady’s Academy parents and guardians, in support of the teachers’ efforts at educating our children. While our teachers and other OLA staff members are charged with meeting and exceeding their students’ educational needs, we, the PTO, work to further enhance that education through enrichment efforts that also help to foster community spirit – such as Catholic Schools Week assemblies, end of year field trips, and receptions for Kindergarten graduation and Grandparents’/Special Persons’ Day. Yes, it includes ALL OLA families. And without the help of all families, the PTO will not be able to continue providing these wonderful resources to our students and families.
Here is a sampling of the events and programs put on and supported by the PTO this academic year:
Back-to-school Coffee – we welcomed new and returning families on the first day of school
Room Parent Coordination – we lined up room parents for each class, and supported them
throughout the year
Monthly Newsletter – keeping everyone “on the same page” for upcoming events on the
calendar and recaps of the ones that have taken place
Halloween Party – a social event for all students and their families
Middle School Dances – two per year, social event for middle school students from the school
and surrounding parishes
Breakfast with Santa – out largest fundraiser – contributed over $11,000 to our PTO budget in
Catholic Schools Week (Family Bingo, Crazy Hat Day, Real Life Board Game Assembly, Ice Cream
Social, Movie Day, Door Decorating Contest) – a week filled with fun events celebrating the
special nature of our school
Passive Fundraising – more commonly recognized as “Boxtops for Education” and other similar
means of raising money for playground equipment and the like
Receptions for Grandparents’ and Special Persons’ Day, First Communion and Kindergarten
Graduation – we provided the coordination and funding for these special events
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon – an annual event that serves as a small token of our gratitude
for the teachers and staff that do so much for our children (have you noticed the great picnic
tables we were able to purchase for them this year?)
Restaurant Fundraising – in recent months, we’ve lined up area restaurants (or entertainment
venues) that are willing to donate a portion of their proceeds on a given day in exchange for us
providing a flyer and advertising to the school and parish community
Field Day Cookout – we provided the food and labor to feed over 400 hungry people on this fun-
Eighth Grade Dinner – we fund this annual tradition for our graduates to reflect on their time at
Our Lady’s with their parents and teachers
• Field Trips – the biggest expense item of our budget and probably the most eagerly anticipated – we provide the funding to get our students transported to some great off-campus locations at the end of the school year – or bring in special programs for our littlest students
As you can imagine, each of these takes a lot of effort – some more than others – to happen every year. And every year someone suggests some great new things to do (though sunsetting some of the older events is never popular!). Many parents have been working hard all year to put these programs together, but we need to be able to transition to newly involved parents as some “graduate” or simply decide that after three years running an event, it’s time for new ideas. Fortunately, we have a great support system with parents who have done things before. The best way to ensure that support, is to have someone “shadow” an event coordinator for a year so that the torch can be successfully passed.
Think you’re not qualified to coordinate an event? Not true! No qualifications necessary, beyond an interest in helping out your child(ren) and his/her/their school mates. Think you’re too busy? Trust me, we ALL are. Stay-at-home parent with little kids in tow? Many of our “during the day” events are sibling friendly and the littles are welcome to tag along. Busy full-time working parent? There are plenty of things to be done outside of school hours. And the more people who get involved – the less work there is for everyone!
So please, think about joining us. Some of the “needs” we have now include:
Someone to coordinate the receptions (this doesn’t necessarily mean staffing them, just putting together the sign up geniuses and coordinating the shopping)
PTO Secretary – taking notes and writing them up for the monthly PTO meetings (attendance at most, if not all, of the meetings – currently held at 7p on the first Wednesday of the month during the school year)
Halloween Party “Shadow” – help the current coordinator of for the 2016 party in order to “learn from the best” who will be “retiring” from this position in 2017
Field Day Cookout Coordinator – organize the volunteers who shop for the food, prepare and serve it.
Restaurant Fundraising Coordinator – call or email local eating establishments to secure a monthly location for an “OLA Day”.
Our final meeting of the year is Wednesday, June 1st and we invite all to attend. Even if you’re unable to attend, please let us know if you’re interested in any of the above roles, or in helping out in some other way. Without coordinators for some of these events, we may not put them on the calendar for next year. We are considering plans to dramatically change Breakfast With Santa, but will need to replace the funds raised if we want to continue supporting the various events – so stay tuned for a survey about possible new event ideas.