Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
Who We Are
The Marion Cross PTO was formed in the spring of 1993. This organization brings teachers, parents, and caregivers together to enrich the education of our students. The success and vitality of the PTO depends upon the involvement of as many families and teachers as possible. We consider all MCS parents, caregivers, teachers and staff to be PTO members, and also encourage all to become dues-paying members to help support our programs and grants.
Co-chairs: Emily Bradley, Amy Staggs, and Alexa Manning, firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Megan Anderson, email@example.com
Secretary: Hillary Campfield, firstname.lastname@example.org
What We Do
The PTO organizes programs and events for parents, caregivers, students and teachers and engages in special projects that will support the school mission and community spirit. We work to connect and communicate with the school community by providing the MCS directory, monthly newsletters, and having a PTO representative from each classroom. The PTO organizes over 30 programs and special events including family support programs, community outreach and social activities, educational enrichment programs, and staff support. The PTO is also dedicated to fundraising to support the school staff and enhance the educational experiences of MCS students. Twice a year we offer an opportunity for teachers, staff, and families to apply for grants to help augment the MCS curriculum and programs. The majority of our funding comes from donations from our members. As an added “thank you,” dues-paying members receive an annual directory.
2019-20 Meeting Dates
All MCS parents, caregivers, teachers and staff are welcome and encouraged to come learn more about our events and programs and share your ideas.
September 6th (Friday): PTO Meeting, 8:15am, Tracy Hall
October 3rd (Thursday) Evening PTO meeting 7pm Norwich Inn
November 1st (Friday): PTO Meeting, 8:15am, Tracy Hall
January 10th (Friday): PTO Meeting 8:15 am Tracy Hall
February 6th (Thursday) PTO Meeting, 7pm Norwich Inn,
March 13th (Friday): PTO meeting, 8:15am, Tracy Hall
May 7th (Thursday): PTO Meeting, 7pm Norwich Inn, Volunteer Recognition Night
MCS Directory — Jessica Eakin
The school directory is created by the PTO every fall and contains class and family contact information. It is available in both print and online formats and, as our way of saying “thank you!” is provided to dues-paying members. For membership dues of $25, families can choose to receive either a printed directory or access to the directory online ($15 for staff). For membership dues of $35 or more, families will receive both a print directory and access to the online version ($20 for staff). Additional printed copies are available for $10 each.
PTO News – Liz Gemignani
The PTO News is a monthly newsletter for the school community. It provides valuable information regarding upcoming school and community events, interviews with MCS staff and local businesses, as well as recaps of recent events.
PTO Website — Emma Cottage & Liz Gemignani
Join us to keep up-t0-date with PTO news, events and last minute changes. The PTO is always there to keep you informed. Find us via the MCS website or directly at http://marioncrosspto.weebly.com.
Facebook Page — Emily Bradley, Amy Staggs, and Emma Cottage
Search for “Marion Cross PTO” to find us on Facebook and to check out the latest reminders of upcoming events and other useful MCS information.
PTO Class Reps — Emily Bradley and Amy Staggs
A representative from each class serves as a communication liaison between the teacher and class parents and helps to share information about both PTO and class events.
Family Support Programs
Welcome Back to School Breakfast — Gina Des Cognets& Lauren Adams
Held on the first day of school just after the morning bell rings, parents and caregivers are invited opportunity to socialize and reconnect while enjoying coffee and breakfast treats.
New Parent Night — Molly Gentine and Katherine Navins
In September, all new MCS parents are invited to come learn about the school, meet the principal, staff members, PTO officers and other new families.
Supplemental Food Project — Katie Loughman
Volunteers stock MCS with healthy food for children who have mishaps with their lunches or snacks or are still hungry after eating the food they’ve been provided. This is different from the federally funded program that provides breakfasts/lunches for families that meet certain financial requirements.
MCS Lost & Found — Melanie Michel
Student volunteers perform weekly round-ups of items left on the MCS playground and help organize the bins and racks of the Lost & Found. Unclaimed items are used during the school year by students in need. At the end of the school year, all unclaimed items are donated to Vermont’s Department of Children and Family Services.
Social Activities and School Spirit
Bike-to-School Days — Rebecca Reed
Held in the fall and spring, Main Street is closed off while students bike to school from Huntley Meadows, the Norwich Public Library or from home.
Tea Towels — Caitlin Eastman and Ashley Clapp
Each student draws a self-portrait in art class and all of them are silk-screened onto cotton tea (dish) towels with the MCS logo and school year in the center. They are terrific mementos and make great holiday gifts!
Book Buzz — Lisa Christie, Joy Blongewicz, Becky French, Ania White
Based on the popular Pages in the Pub event for adults, Book Buzz allows kids to be the experts and present their favorite books. Students in grades 4-6 review books they recommend for preschool and elementary aged kids to read or receive for the holidays. Books can be ordered at the end of the event from the Norwich Bookstore with the added benefit that 20% of the proceeds go to the MCS PTO.
Gift-Making Festival —
This community-wide event, held in early December, involves gift making and a lot of holiday spirit! Children, with the supervision of volunteers, craft hand-made gifts for their families and friends.
Family Skating Party — Kristin Fauci
The PTO partners with the Norwich Recreation Department to provide an afternoon of ice-skating, hot chocolate and fun on the Norwich Green’s ice skating rink.
Bingo Night — Katie Crouch
A family-friendly night in the winter or spring for kids and adults to play BINGO and win prizes.
Mud Stomp — Melanie Michel
A rousing contradance for the whole family led by professional caller David Millstone & his band. Held in March.
Big Hoot Variety Show — Katie Kitchel, Jenn Langhus & Katie Bucci
A magical talent night held in the spring, filled with music, entertainment, and joy starring MCS students from all grades.
MCS SpiritWear Store — Nicole Torres & Alexa Manning
A shop for activewear and accessories to show your MCS spirit.
Visiting Author Program — Joy Blongewicz, Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
The Visiting Author Program arranges and funds to have authors come to the school for the day to share their work and meet with students.
Visiting Artists & Musicians — Caitlin Eastman, Travis Ramsey, Susan Simmers & Emma Cottage
The Visiting Artists program provides grants and arranges for local artists and illustrators to come and share their talents with MCS students.
Celebration Books — Lisa Christie, Justine Fahey & Stephanie McCaull
Librarian-approved books are purchased for the MCS Library by parents and caregivers in honor of students and teachers. Since the program’s inception in March 1994, over 1200 books have been added to the collection.
MCS Book Sale — Joy Blongewicz, Nicole Butters & Sasha Cahoon
A biannual event that raises funds for the MCS library by selling donated children’s books from the MCS community.
Staff & School Support
PTO Grants and Finance Committee — Emma Cottage, Megan Anderson, Hillary Campfield, Ashley Clapp, Emily Bradley, Amy Staggs, and Brooke Trottier
Every fall and spring, the PTO accepts grant requests from teachers and staff, parents and caregivers for the purpose of MCS student enrichment. The Finance Committee reviews and allocates funds for these requests. Almost $6800 in grants were awarded during the 2016-17 school year.
The Giving Tree — Erin DeSilva
During the holiday season, teachers and staff submit requests for class materials, games, books, etc. This resource allows families and classes to purchase needed or suggested gifts for the classroom or school.
Sunshine Committee — Emily Bradley and Amy Staggs
Organizes celebrations within the school, such as retirements and concert flowers.
Fall Feast — Emily Bradley and Amy Staggs
A scrumptious lunch is provided by K-3 parent volunteers for the entire staff at MCS in appreciation of all their work and dedication to MCS.
Valentine’s Day Breakfast — Emily Bradley and Amy Staggs
A breakfast feast is provided by parent volunteers from grades 4-6 for the entire staff at MCS as a way to recognize all they do for our students and school.
Pie Day — Corin Benedict & Tamar Schreibman
Held in May to coincide with Teacher Appreciation Day, parent volunteers bake pies for each staff member of MCS.
Food Drives — Melanie Michele
Collections of food and other needed items are held throughout the school year benefitting various non-profit organizations in the Upper Valley.
Community Gardens —
Maintain and manage the flower gardens around the school.
Vegetable Garden — Molly Riordan & Lindsay Putnam
Maintain and manage the school vegetable garden and organize various events to share produce from the garden with students, including Harvest Day in the fall and Salad Day in the spring.
Halloween Candy Collection & Distribution — Molly Gentine and Katherine Navins
Halloween candy is collected from out-of-village Norwich families and distributed to the in-village families to be handed out to the 500+ children who come trick-or-treating on Halloween.
Norwich Public Library Display — Kathryn Kelly
A public relations program that displays MCS students’ work in the front entrance of the Norwich Public Library.
Membership dues provide the majority of the funding in the PTO budget, and allow us to offer all the programs listed here, including the bi-annual grants given to the MCS community. The membership dues drive takes place in the fall, in conjunction with the production of the MCS directory (each dues-paying member receives a directory as our way of saying “thank you!”). For membership dues of $25, families can choose to receive either a printed directory or access to the directory online ($15 for staff). For membership dues of $35 or more, families will receive both a print directory and access to the online version ($20 for staff).
Box Tops for Education — Fiona Palm
Funds are used to purchase items to enrich students’ MCS experience. In the past several challenges were held throughout the year for classrooms to compete to collect the most box tops.
Local Business Partners — Hayley DeLugach
Local businesses make a contribution in support of PTO programs, and in return the PTO educates the MCS community about these businesses via the PTO website, on PTO banners, and PTO news.
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