PTA Meeting Replay, October 2017

Here’s what you missed at Franklin’s October PTA meeting!

Online fundraising tools
If you’re not already signed up, iGive and Amazon Smile are two easy ways to get money for the Franklin PTA while you do your regular online shopping. Both programs donate a small percentage of your purchase to our PTA. It’s free for you, and it raised around $800 for the PTA last year.

For Amazon Smile in particular, make sure you’re giving to the right Franklin Elementary—the one here in Alameda, California. Then go to Amazon Smile whenever you’re shopping Amazon.

VP of Membership Tara Etayo reported that we’re up to 217 members in the Franklin PTA this year.

If you’re reading this, and you are NOT yet a PTA member, join now. In addition to making your voice heard, both at Franklin and as part of the country’s largest children’s advocacy group, PTA membership gets you discounts! You can save money on everything from the California Academy of Sciences to Enterprise rental cars.

Treasurer’s report
Franklin PTA Treasurer Steven Song reported that after fixing a small issue involving numbers entered into the wrong categories, all is well with the PTA finances.

VP of Fundraising Melanie Anderson is very busy this year!

As of Thursday, October 20, the Franklin Walk-a-Thon had earned more than $30,000 for our school!

Special thank yous to DJ Patrick Bell and warm-up coach Sergio Silva, who got the kids pumped for their run in the rain.

It’s not too late to donate! You can register your student and donate online here, or you can put cash or checks in an envelope with your child’s name and room number, and drop it by the front office.

PTA Co-president Nancy Walker briefed us on the history of the Walk-a-Thon, now in its second year here at Franklin: In previous years, the PTA held a donation drive to meet fall fundraising goals, with mixed success. The Walk-a-Thon was a way to involve students, get them moving, and provide a way for extended family like grandparents, aunts, and uncles to support their running/walking kids. And it works!

Franklin Auction
It’s never too soon to start talking about the auction, Franklin’s single biggest fundraiser of the year.

This year’s auction will be April 22 at the Albert H. DeWitt Officer’s Club in Alameda. The theme will be Superheroes and Villains.

We want this to be a community event, so tickets will be cheaper this year (the price has not yet been set), and sponsorships will be available to those who need them.

Co-chairs are needed for the online auction to help track down donations and enter them into the online auction format (no need to build a website)! If you’re interested, please contact Melanie Anderson at or send a note to

Teacher and Principal Report
Fourth grade teacher Susan Isola and Jo Fetterly shared what’s going on from their side of the fence.

Ms. Isola said the kids loved the Walk-a-Thon, although the fourth and fifth graders’ time was cut short by intensifying rain that caused several sprinting students to slip.

Blended Learning
On the last Blended Learning professional development day, the third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers worked together to plot out which skills students need for each grade.

“We appreciate the time,” said Ms Isola. “We really do. We so rarely get a chance to work together like this.”

Right now kids are working on Google Classroom. One of the most important messages they’re learning is that what you post online often stays there. Several students who posted and deleted messages they hoped Ms. Isola wouldn’t see were surprised to learn that even messages that are later deleted still show up for the teachers.

“They’ll be smarter and more tech savvy once they’re in middle school and high school,” Ms. Isola said. “They’ll know that once you write something, it doesn’t go away!”

Extended Instructional Days
Principal Jo Fetterly is discontinuing the free Extended Instructional Days offered on Franklin’s Blended Learning minimum days.

Many of those signed up for the program failed to appear, forcing Ms. Fetterly and Kristen Sagen to contact each parent to ensure that each student had arrived home (as they were supposed to be in the care of the school).

However, Ms. Fetterly urged parents who need childcare during that time to speak to her directly, and she’ll work something out with them.

There is currently one class-sized Chromebook cart for each grade level.

Ms. Isola reported that teachers are dividing up usage time for the Chromebooks so each class has time with them. In addition to academic work, students are practicing for CAASPP testing for grades 3, 4, and 5 in the spring.

Ms. Fetterly is working on getting a full cart of Chromebooks for each class, so teachers can use them as needed, without shuffling the computers back and forth between classrooms.

Franklin Sign
As you may know, last year the Franklin PTA purchased a beautiful sign for the front lawn of the school, with a changeable message board. Cearly, the sign has not yet arrived.

Ms. Fetterly reported that the school is waiting for a permit from the city, followed by final approval by AUSD’s Maintenance, Operations, and Facilities department. It may be here by the end of the month.

The Last Oak Tree
Although a few green leaves are visible on what’s left of the last remaining oak tree on the Franklin yard, the dying tree is still set to be removed. Scheduled removal dates have come and gone, but the removal plan remains. Say goodbye while you still can!

The Infamous Candy Cannon

Spooktacular chairperson Marcie Neff talked a bit about Spooktacular, set for Friday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s Halloween event will feature the usual candy cannon and games, with the addition of a photo booth!

However, there will be no popcorn. The popcorn machine died last year, after loose wires shocked parent volunteers.

Upcoming Events
The Snowflake Shoppe is coming Monday, December 5. It’s a chance for kids to do some low-cost holiday shopping (every item is 50 cents). The shop is entirely populated by crafts by Franklin parents, so if you have a craft idea, get on it!

Also, this year the PTA plans to resurrect Multicultural Night with a new name: Heritage Night. It will be a chance to showcase the diverse cultural backgrounds of Franklin’s families. Dates are still to be determined. If you’re interested in chairing this community event, please contact our PTA presidents at or

Posted in PTA meeting review.

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