Sometimes there are misconceptions about PTSO. Courtney Gualco, the new MES PTSO president, wants everyone to know what PTSO is all about. We’re a support to the parents, teachers and students of our school, Gualco explained. We try and help make school a pleasant experience. Any parent can participate in PTSO and there are many ways to help. Parents can volunteer to help at different events sponsored by the PTSO. It can be as little as making a sign to overseeing a whole event. Gualco has found some parents have felt unsure about getting involved in PTSO because they feel like they will be required to do a lot. Those involved with PTSO understand everyone has different commitments and abilities to get involved. The organization loves to see parents get involved in any way they can. Parents can get involved by attending PTSO meetings. In these meetings, needs are discussed and plans are made. The PTSO board wants to emphasize that everyone is welcome to give their input. I personally believe everyone has the right to present their ideas and be involved in the decision making process, Gualco asserted. The meetings are open to everyone. It is O.K. for parents to attend a meeting here or there, it is not requisite to be to every meeting. Times and days are currently being considered to allow the most parents to be able to attend. For meetings held outside of school hours, child care is being arranged. A newsletter and flyers will be sent out to give information about upcoming meetings. Parents can save Box Tops from many products they already have in their pantry or throughout the house. It may not seem much at 10 cents a top, but the money has added up for the school in the past. Last year the school earned $2,757.80 from box tops. As more people start saving them, the numbers keep going up. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, etc can help save too. Parents can donate money. Some parents simply are not able to volunteer but would like to help the school and their students have a great school experience. For some, donations are the way to help. The PTSO hosts Grandparents Day, Dads and Donuts, Moms and Memories, Red Ribbon Week, Green Ribbon Week, Inspirations contest, and school pride activities. They help teachers and also recognize and reward their hard work. Funding field trips has always been a goal of the organization; however this objective will be emphasized more than ever now that cuts in the budget are so deep. The PTSO is dedicated to identify ways to improve their annual fundraising as well as opening up to additional fundraising efforts. In a meeting prior to the start of the new school year, the board discussed different avenues of fundraising. As each idea was proposed, the members discussed the effect it would have on the students, families, local businesses and the community as a whole. The aim is to provide a great experience for those who become involved and raise money at the same time. One of the field trips thought to be most significant is the 5th grade trip to JA Biz town. The first fundraiser is the annual school carnival. Organizers expect it to be the biggest carnival to date and more information will follow. The MES PTSO board changed leadership this year. Courtney Gualco is the new PTSO president. She is very serious about listening to the ideas of everyone and would like to hear from parents. Her phone number is 801-845-8088. Pam Stephens is the new vice president. She assists Courtney in all things PTSO. The secretary position is being shared this year with Jenny Earl over the newsletter and Verlene Johnson taking care of minutes and agendas. The treasurer is Andrea Brooks, who brings the most experience to the board. She can answer questions about money and how it is used. Leslie Wolff is responsible for Box Tops for Education and Campbell’s Soup labels. Together we can continue to make Morgan elementary a great school!