PTA News for Week of August 24, 2020

We know, we know: you’re already *so* over Zoom. But please make a quick note of two more important meetings coming up soon:

Virtual Back to School Night will be Wednesday, September 9th at 6:30PM.

-The first PTA meeting of the year will be Tuesday, September 15th from 7:00-8:00PM.

Typically, the PTA approves a budget and a calendar of events in the spring for the following school year. Unfortunately, due to COVID circumstances, we were unable to consider a budget or craft a calendar last spring. It’s critical that we get a budget approved quickly so that the PTA can begin to support our teachers’ needs for making lesson planning and live daily broadcasts from home effective and sustainable. We cannot spend a single dollar from our PTA account until we have an approved budget. We need a quorum of members present to conduct a vote on our budget, which means we need YOU to participate! An agenda for the first PTA meeting, the Board’s proposed budget, and a Zoom link will be circulated in the PTA News on Friday, September 11th.

Wishing you and all your kids a happy and hopefully one-of-a-kind first day of school,
Kara & Terri

Contact: Kara Myers & Terri Payne

Ask Me Anything PTA Series

Have you been carrying around a little question about Bannockburn life that doesn’t seem worthy of a whole email? Or maybe you have a big question, but you have no idea where to look for the right person to ask?

In a normal year, you’d bump into another parent outside the school at pick-up, or at the bus stop, or at one of our kick-off social events and you’d just ask. It’d be so simple, you know? We need more simple in our lives right now.

Introducing the PTA’s Ask Me Anything series. Next week, PTA President-Elect Terri Payne (and maybe some friends!) will turn on Google Meet for an hour while surfing the internet for a new sofa, organizing family photos, and working the family lunch counter. Pop in for a minute, and ask that question that’s been on your mind. Or just introduce yourself and see what’s for lunch. No pressure, no time commitment, no question too small or too silly (but expect a blank stare and maybe a growl from the family dog if you ask for tech support). We may not have the answer to your question, but we’ll probably know who does and be able to put you in contact.

Don’t be shy! Your PTA is here to support YOU!

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9/1-9/4: 11:45AM-12:45PM
Click here to join Google Meet

Contact: Kara Myers & Terri Payne

Musical Instrument Drive

Our first Community Service event of the new school year is fast approaching!

WhatKind Works musical instrument donation event: Donate your no longer used musical instrument to a Montgomery County kid who otherwise would not discover the joy of making music.

Where and When: Saturday, September 12th from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM at the Bannockburn Clubhouse Parking lot (6314 Bannockburn Drive).

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Responsibilities will include receiving the instruments and distributing in-kind donation receipts.
  • Each volunteer slot is 2 hours (2 volunteers per slot).
  • Students and adults may volunteer at this event. Students can earn SSL hours.
  • BES students must volunteer with their parent and an adult must be present at all times.
  • Sign up here : https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040F44A4A628A64-kind

Safety:

  • Everyone must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Contact: Mia Morrison, VP for Community Service

Important Update on 2019 Auction Events

Dear Returning Parents:

At our first meeting of the 2020/2021 school year, the PTA Board of Directors discussed how to handle parent parties and teacher-led events offered at the 2019 PTA Auction that have not yet occurred. The PTA Board has decided to cancel all outstanding in-person parties and teacher-led events from the 2019 PTA Auction because the need to restrict social gatherings is likely to persist for the foreseeable future, and because individual financial positions continue to be uncertain in these difficult times which makes indefinite financial obligations more stressful to sustain. Families and teachers who generously offered last fall to host events could not have imagined the dramatic changes they would soon be required to make in their work and home lives. Families who signed up for those experiences would never have expected to attend them in Spring 2021…or beyond.

We know that BES families attended the PTA Auction in a fundraiser mindset. You were prepared to give generously, knowing that the funds you donated to the PTA directly supported your child’s art experiences, assemblies, classroom materials, and cultural and social events at BES, as well as assemblies at our less economically advantaged sister school. We also know that people have graciously accepted the disappointment of canceled events that has dogged responsible communities throughout this extraordinary pandemic period. We have confidence that when you closed out your tab at the Auction, you understood that you were making a donation to a community non-profit, and if a party or teacher-led event couldn’t happen due to circumstances beyond the PTA’s control — like a global pandemic — you’d chalk it up to bad luck and look forward to another year when cocktails might once again flow like a mighty stream through the streets of Brookmont. All of the parties and experiences presented by our amazing 2019 Auction chairs Cyntia Navarro and Melissa Tone were offered in good faith and at the full expense of the community members who graciously volunteered to host them. We sincerely hope that you’ll recognize the extraordinary circumstances that have led to this decision to cancel events, and that you won’t hesitate to sign up for future Crab Feasts or Kentucky Derby parties, which strengthen the fabric of our BES community every year.

What about the funds we raised from the 2019 Auction that we couldn’t spend last spring? Due to our successful Auction, our membership drive, and other fundraisers last year, we are carrying a surplus of approximately $44,000 into the 2020/2021 school year. That amount reflects about a quarter of our normal annual operating budget. We are in the process of developing a budget for the coming year that takes that carryover balance into account, and that recognizes in a number of important ways the financial hardships some families in our community may be facing. If your family is feeling economic distress, please know that the PTA Board is researching how we may be able to help support your children’s needs on a confidential basis through our scholarship and emergency fund authorities. We’ll provide more details on what that support may consist of, and a confidential process for applying to receive it, as soon as we’ve worked out the details in the context of our full budget.

Sincerely,
The BES PTA Board of Directors

Contact: Kara Myers & Terri Payne

Slides from Parent Information Meeting

Almost two thirds of our families logged in for Wednesday’s BES Parent Information Meeting. WOW! If you weren’t able to tune in, or if you wanted to refer back to one of the slides that our principals shared, here’s a link to the presentation from the event:

Parent Information Night Slides

Verify Your Family Info in AtoZ

This weekend would be a great time to update and verify your family contact information for the year in AtoZ Connect. Make sure the other parents in your class have the right information to email and text you, and pick your child’s teacher from the dropdown list so Room Parents and the PTA can help you organize extracurricular bonding time for your kids. Click the link below and the Verification Wizard will lead you through the 2-minute process.

Contact: Amanda Sutaria, VP for Communications

Useful Information

PTA Community Announcements will resume on Wednesday, September 2nd. To submit an item for the Wednesday Community Announcements email distributed to BES parents, please email 150 words or less (no PDFs) to Molly Kress at molly.bannockburn@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday.

The next PTA meeting will be held via Zoom at 7PM on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

More information can be found on our website.