PMA Minutes 6/20/2023

Norwood PMA Meeting 6/20/2023 at Coakley Middle School; Attendees:  Jeff Kerr, Kelly Farewell, Kim Smith, Wendy Keats, Karen Guarin,  Jane Yu, Dany Abdallah, Dan Caparrotta, Steve and Linda Lee, Jane Doherty, Kristen Faller, Bill Maguire, Claire Deeley, Sherri Munro, Gigi Michalic, Siuyien Mathews, Lexa Sullivan.

Shared thank you notes the PMA received from Niko, Ben, and Joe (scholarship recipients).

Director of Fine Arts Jeff Kerr: Thanks to all parents who volunteered. Cathy Connor-Moen passed along her thanks for the renaming of the choral scholarship after her.  Discussion of multiple scheduling conflicts for high school students as well as 5th to 6th grade students, something Jeff plans to investigate although conflicts are not just with fine arts, but also with academics.  Music camp this year will be 8/13-8/18 with a trip to Six Flags. Discussion of notifying parents in high school and middle school much earlier in the year about summer camp to allow them time to schedule and plan financially, perhaps notifying in January or February even if payments aren’t due until March through August timeframe.  Jeff wants to have more musical trips like the ones they offered this year to high school and middle school students to Providence Performing Arts Center, and maybe even trips to farther destinations. May consider starting a combined parent organization to support all the arts with volunteers for events. Discussed that there’s no one large music recruitment event for students, but that there are several smaller ones. May consider a parents night in January to tell 8th grade parents all the different options available, and have high school students speak about their experiences.

President Kim Smith: Noted that Norwood Day is coming up and we will want to have a table for a Norwood PMA presence there. Wendy Keats will follow up. Discussed that moving forward, finding best and more effective ways to communicate will be critical.  Communicating to parents about events, volunteering, fundraisers, trips, etc. The addition of social media and frequent website updates will help.

Vice President Karen Guarin: A missed opportunity to get more parent involvement would be the large instrument distribution night at the elementary schools.  Reaching out to PTOs to have PMA representative speak at their meetings was not met with many positive reactions. Next board, perhaps with Jeff’s help, will get a clearer idea of what the process is for getting fundraisers and any flyers approved and shared through superintendent’s office (this year, that did not work since none of our flyers were ever posted anywhere).  Spring concerts at elementary level went well.  Middle school concerts had many disciplinary issues, raising the question of what the role of the PMA is. Needed more school staff involvement for chaperoning, and potentially a police presence. The current board will help the incoming new board members with transition over the summer. Post office box keys were transitioned to new board members with a reminder that it will come up for renewal in November, but will work with Jeff to get a (free) mailbox in the high school fine arts department for the PMA to save the group money on a P.O. box.

Secretary Kelly Farewell:  Discussed and approved minutes from the previous meeting.  Also discussed the senior scholarship process and improvements needed, including making sure that the comments given to Dr. Galligan to read at class day are updated to no longer indicate award recipients are going on to a 4-year college.  Also need to streamline the process.  It was complicated, time-consuming, and delayed this year, with no input from the PMA on the scholarship decisions, leaving less transparency than the PMA should have  moving forward. Perhaps change bylaws to allow for monetary amounts that start at $100 increments.  The current bylaws don’t have a specific total dollar amount spelled out, leaving the PMA in an awkward position for funding this. There is agreement that the teachers clearly should have input, but these are not department awards, yet the department made all the decisions.  Other similar organizations like PTOs have significant input into the scholarship decisions. The process also needs to start earlier at least to preliminarily discuss funding to ensure the PMA and the department recommendations are aligned.

Treasurer Jane Yu: Discussed financial report which was approved.  There were many more expenses this year than planned, including paying scholarships twice (2022, and the decision to pay 2023 without needing a college transcript), and bus fees from a previous year. Recommended moving some money from the investment account into our account to start the next academic year in a better place.  This recommendation was approved.

Ways and Means Steve and Linda Lee: Chipotle fundraiser didn’t bring in as much as we hoped, but some had trouble with entering the code.  Not completely sure we were credited for all that was purchased that night.  Consider having more dine out nights and start them much earlier in the year.

New business:  Jeff Kerr discussed festivals, and that we will once again be hosting MAJE.  METG and MICAA have not yet been decided.

Meeting adjourned 8:38.


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