PTO Information 
     We hope to see you all at the Washington Gifted School PTO's monthly meetings! Meetings at 6pm on 2nd Tuesday of each month. All parents are welcome and encouraged to come to these meetings.
    2 Hour Family Challenge!
    We truly value your time! We hope you are able to volunteer for two hours per family during the year for opportunities like room parties, dance chaperones, sports event ticket table, Help-a-thon chaperones, and Book Fair volunteers. A complete list of committees and opportunities will be sent home at the beginning of the school year. Thank you in advance for your willingness to help our students!




    WGMS  PTO  Minutes

    February 12, 2019

    Present: Sonya Bolden, Rachel Moser, Michelle Nielsen Ott, Katie Jones, Susan Hudson, Andrea Tortora, Shannon Rule, Lesley Green, Charity Jeffs, Sarah K. Hall, Tailetha McClinton, Brandon Henley, Brenda Willson, Dave Poehls, Alyce Jackson, Becky Herkelman, Shari Holzer

    Meeting called to order at 6:01pm

    Motion to approve minutes: Michelle Nielsen Ott and Shannon Rule

    Principal’s Report: Let everyone know about the incident that happened with a student that resulted in police officers coming to WGMS to investigate. He talked about the actions and conversations he had with the student, parents and police and the protocol steps that were taken. Parents questioned the lack of communication they received about the incident. Mr. Poehls let them know there was no threat and understood that communication would have been beneficial. He reminded everyone to call or email him whenever they have a concern. The Facebook posts were discussed among parents and a suggestion was made to post the rules of the PTO Facebook page once a month. He also let us know about the beginnings of a different student investigation running concurrent with the PTO meeting. That situation was cleared up by the end of the meeting.

    Lorado Taft is March 25-29th. 8th grade teachers will make arrangements to meet with 8th grade parents as students will be on the trip. The Illinois Accelerated Readiness test will be administered to 8th graders before they leave. Mr. Poehls is submitting a grant for Summit Learning. He thinks it’s a very good fit for WGMS, being geared toward gifted education, project based and including 1 to 1 mentoring. Part of the grant would offer improved technology. PSD 150 is committed to it. Teacher Teams would get special training. It would roll out withl new 5th grade class in 2019 and then be evaluated to determine if it should be expanded upon. The grant is due March 1, 2019.

    HVAC system should be on next School Board’s agenda, the whole building is getting new lighting. Improvements will start over Spring Break and continue after the last day of school. The date of students’ last day has not been officially determined as there are still 3 days to make up.

    President’s Report: Updated us on the School Start Time Committee, surveys will be coming out to a mix of staff, teachers and parents. Research shows older students do better starting later in the morning and young students do better starting earlier in the morning. The 3 options are: a flip of the current schedule or primary students attending 8am to 3pm and middle and high schoolers going 9am to 4pm or primary students attending 8:15am to 3:15pm and middle/high schoolers going 9:15am to 4:15pm. We have to have a two tier schedule because there are not enough buses to have a 1 tier schedule. The committee has another meeting next week. Alyce is also on the Athletic Strategic Planning Committee whose goal is to revitalize primary and middle school athletic programs which will lead a revitalization for high school. Once concluded, the committee will report their findings to the School Board.

    Please check Sign Up Genius for Valentine’s Day 5 and 6th grade party and 7 and 8th grade dance needs.

    The 7and 8th grade Winter Dance has been rescheduled for Friday, March 1st.

    Thanks to everyone who helped with the Honors Breakfast.

    Feedback for the Chili Before Art night: remember it’s an evening to talk, get to know and enjoy our school community. Music was great but too loud, next year either, less volume or shorter playing time or a different location. Food wasn’t ready at 5:00 so some people had to leave without eating due to other commitments. Provide sample cups instead of

    bowls so that people can try more and there will be more to go around. Consider a different way to judge the food. Advertise that there are vendors there.

    There will be a sign up for bringing treats and dinner to teachers on conference night.

    Becky or Alyce will post openings for 2019-2020 PTO Board and committees on Facebook.

    Bookmobile will be at WGMS on February 14th during lunch recess. Parent suggested a wider variety of books on board.

    Regarding 8th grade gift to improve lounge area: Becky Herkelman and Missy Ryan are meeting this week. Rob Reneau found possible love seats to use. Any changes made this year need to be movable because of all the work being done this summer so perhaps put off the idea of a counter and stools for a different year. A charging station was also suggested.

    Treasurer’s Report: Cash balance as of today equals $22,937. Grandparents Day cost $277. Honor Roll Breakfast cost $1170 for 93 students and the RHS entertainment; cost was higher than last year. (Note: order less eggs and more bacon.) Received $326 for Boxtops. Donut breakfast coming up should run $200.

    Other Business: The Brown Bag Dinner Theatre is now March 5th from 5:30 to 7:00pm. Student try-outs are February 19 and 20th, there will be a sign up for students who have other commitments on those days. Evening will also need and emcee or two. Three former WGMS students will judge for 3 fun awards. There will be a teacher act as well. Come at 5:30 to eat sandwiches from Cracked Pepper before the show begins at 6. Please bring money for sodas from Student Council and cookies from Destination Imagination. Reservation slips or sign up on website will be coming soon.

    Boxtops – March 31st will be the last day to submit so there will be a school contest March 4-15th. Please bring lots!

    Hawley Wild Drama Club is calling all Peoria area parents and students. It’s a local neighborhood organization started by former WGMS students. The play this year is The Little Mermaid, auditions are in April, practices in June, July and August and performances on August 9 and 10th. Performers range in age from 6 to 17. Pre IB students can volunteer for usable hours. For more information email hawleywilddramaclub@gmail.com

    Motion to adjourn at 7:39pm: Sarah Hall and Shannon Rule


    Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to another great year at Washington!

     Alyce Jackson

    PTO President apmljackson@gmail.com


                               2018-2019 PTO Board






    Dates to remember… stay tuned!

    Box Tops
    Save these labels so the school can earn equipment. Ask your family, friends and neighbors to save them for you, too. Put them in separate baggies or envelopes with your student's name and homeroom on it. 
    Box Tops go in the mailbox. 
     Do you ever wonder how the money raised by the PTO is spent? Here are some ways the PTO helped during the school year:

     In the Classroom: Theory of Knowledge materials ($300), New York Times Classroom subscriptions ($260), used instruments for band ($350), Texas Instruments Math Forward equipment($250)

    For the Washington Gifted Community: back-to-school shirts for all students ($350), prizes for the PBIS Store ($300), offset end-of-year field trip expenses for all families ($6000) 


    The PTO is busy all year sponsoring events not only for the Washington families to get to know each other, but also to provide some fundraising. In a typical year, the PTO sponsors the following activities (timing is approximate):


    Fundraising Restaurant Nights; Box Tops are collected; Spirit Wear is sold; Picture Person volunteers (as available) are teaching about art.


    The Back To School committee welcomes everyone back to school at the Coffee Get Together.


    Books are celebrated at the first of two Book Fairs; Room Parents are throwing Halloween parties; Destination Imagination teams are forming; the Staff Appreciation committee plans a grand buffet to celebrate the teachers & staff.


    The Honor Roll Recognition committee recognizes the honor roll students; the grandparents are welcomed to the school on Grandparents' Day; the 8th-grade girl athletes are recognized at the final home basketball game by the 8th Grade Sports Recognition committee.


    The Room Parents are back to throw a winter party to kick off winter break.


     The 2nd quarter honor students are recognized again with a party by the Honor Roll Recognition committee.


     Washington's student talent is showcased at the Brown Bag It Dinner Theater; the Staff Appreciation committee provides another luncheon for the staff; Room Parents throw their final party on Valentine's Day; the 8th-grade boy athletes are recognized by the 8th Grade Sports Recognition committee at the final home basketball game.


    The Book Fair is back for a second round.


     The 3rd quarter honor roll students get to celebrate a final time at a party by the Honor Roll Recognition committee.


    The graduating 8th-graders enjoy one final dance at Washington, as well as their Honor Ceremony, all sponsored by the 8th Grade Honor Ceremony committee.