PTO Supports & Enriches Lawrence
Early Dismissal Days (12:40 Dismissal – Lunch will be served)
- Wednesday, December 3 (K-12)
- Tuesday, December 9 (K-8)
PTO Supports & Enriches Lawrence
As our PTO prepares for its annual Phonathon on December 8, I would like to highlight some of the many ways that the PTO promotes family involvement and contributes to supporting our students and faculty.
Our PTO sponsors many events throughout the year that help build and strengthen a strong sense of community among students and families at Lawrence. These events become important traditions in the life of the school, such as the Fall and Spring Picnics, the Japanese Food Fair and Fun Fair, Family Fun Night, and the PTO Play. Recently, parents have initiated new events such as Food Day in October and the Fun Run in June. While some of these events also raise money, the primary purpose is community building.
Matters of Interest to Parents
PTO meetings focus on topics of interest to parents, such as a recent presentation about the work Brookline’s Wellness Committee to address an increase in stress and anxiety among children and to promote healthy eating. Last year’s topics included: Literacy Learning, Cyberworld from the Teen Perspective, and Habits of Mind.
Our PTO supports effective communication between home and school, including a weekly “PTO Monday Update” email and our website. The PTO Co-Presidents Pamela Iguchi, Florrie Ives, and Nagmeh Ansari Varasteh meet regularly with Laura Horst and me to discuss school issues and matters of concern to parents.
Annual Financial Support
Our PTO annually provides generous funding to support teachers and programming at Lawrence, including:
- Performing Arts programs, such as last year’s “Epic Brass” and “Opera to Go.”
- Visual Arts programs and our annual Art Show
- Mini-grants for teachers for materials and innovation. This fall’s grants include:
– Sensory Materials for Classrooms (Deb Caruso, OT)
– NODE Sensors for 7/8 Science (Ryan Keser & Max Hunter, Science)
– Spelling & Vocabulary on-line subscription (Sharon Kiernan, Gr. 3)
– Framing Your Thoughts writing program (Vicki LaRiccia, Gr. 6-8 CLC)
- Classroom supply budget for each teacher
- Field Trip bus transportation & scholarships for student participation
- Intramural Sports
- Maintenance of the popular Fish Tank in the lobby
For the past two years, the PTO has pooled unspent funds at the end of the year to make special purchases. In 2013-14, this special purchase was a cart of 20 i-Pads for classroom use. This year’s special purchase involved several areas.
- Music: additional risers in anticipation of a return to the music room next year and additional Orff instruments to be used by our second part-time music teacher.
- Technology: Elmo projectors for 6 additional classrooms
- Auditorium: Upgrade stage lighting.
- School-wide: Water bottle filling stations added to existing water fountains (to be installed by the Town).
- Habits of Mind professional books and resources for our teacher study groups
Lawrence Special Activities (LSA)
This parent-run program offers popular after-school enrichment classes. Registration fees cover instruction and materials. While LSA is a separate non-profit from the PTO, each year LSA proceeds are turned over to the PTO (the second highest source of income after the Phonathon).
Room parents provide informal support to classroom teachers throughout the year. The PTO sponsors two staff appreciation luncheons each year, including one coming up on December 5. We enjoy delicious food and attentive service (and not having to pack a lunch).
We are so fortunate to have the active involvement and support of Lawrence families. And the Lawrence PTO is the primary vehicle for making this happen. We very much appreciate your support.