We are now Bowman PTO this year! We hope you all had a wonderful beginning of school. Please make note of our new website address (https://bowmanpto.org) and all email addresses should be sent to the domain “@bowmanpto.org“. Visit https://bowmanpto.membershiptoolkit.com to update your directory information for the year with your students’ teacher(s) so you can continue to connect with families and receive our weekly email updates. See our “Letter from the Bowman PTO Co-Presidents” at the bottom to learn about our goals for the year.
Join or Renew your PTO Membership Today!
Please JOIN or renew your PTO membership for the 2020-2021 school year!
We know how busy everyone is with a million things to do as you get your students ready for the start of school this year! Here’s one more thing that will only take a moment, will directly benefit your student(s), and will earn you new Bowman swag as a thank you! Proceeds directly benefit student enrichment activities (talent show, science fair, math night, playground equipment, etc.) teacher/classroom needs (technology and curricular enhancements), and more! That’s it! Becoming a member of the Bowman PTO is your way of supporting these efforts, and we are aiming to have as close to 100% families participate. Bonus: join before Back to School Night, and receive an extra early bird secret swag item!
On average, we spend $100 per student through classroom supplies (teacher reimbursements), field trips, playground and sports equipment, staff appreciation, community events, diversity materials, and more. We really appreciate your membership support.
Bowman Directory Information
The Bowman Directory is a great way to connect with families for play dates and birthday parties. Please register for the Bowman Directory and/or update your student(s)’s teacher information at bowmanpto.membershiptoolkit.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We would appreciate your updates by September 30!
CORI Checks and COVID-19 “cleared”
Please remember that it is district policy that anyone who volunteers (lunch, Big Backyard, library, Room Helpers, PTO events, etc) in our school must have a CORI check completed by Lexington Public Schools AND be COVID-19 “cleared” COVID-19: Clearing LPS Volunteers for 2021-22. Any questions regarding the CORI check, please contact Mrs. Ashness (email@example.com) or Mrs. Barnes (firstname.lastname@example.org) in our Main Office. Please do not wait; it can take several days for a “check” to come back which may prevent you from joining in the fun. Any questions regarding the COVID-19 clearing process, please contact Mrs. Claffey (email@example.com). Please note, in addition to requiring an LPS CORI, all volunteers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Lunch Volunteers Needed
Please sign up to be a Lunch Volunteer. For the 2021-2022 school year, students will eat outside as much as possible, but because students will be socially distanced and spread across multiple lunch locations, we are in need of Lunch Volunteers. Volunteers can sign up for a lunch shift (two consecutive lunch blocks) so they could expect to be at Bowman for approximately an hour. Times when volunteers are needed would be: 10:50 – 11:45 and 11:55 – 12:50.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Donate to the Bowman Mentorship Program
Please sign up to donate games and supplies for the Bowman mentorship program. Bowman is reviving a mentoring program we piloted two years ago. Bowman staff will mentor students who benefit from having additional time engaging in preferred activities with a caring adult. Please drop off your donations in the Bowman lobby. THANK YOU for your support!
Bowman Room Helpers
Being a Room Helper is a great way to connect with your child’s classmates, teachers, and other classroom adults! Each year, a few people per classroom volunteer as Room Helpers (formerly known as Room Parents–we have changed the name to be more inclusive). Room Helpers divide tasks, which typically include communicating with classroom families, collecting and allocating classroom funds, and coordinating activities such as an adults-only coffee or potluck. Room Helpers can choose tasks that fit their schedules. In order to make sure we have everyone’s information correct, please sign up (complete a new form for each classroom): https://forms.gle/bFJkgVFKv39YYZPEA
Want to Learn More? Come to an info session (optional, but recommended for new RHs). Choose ONE:
- Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 7:30pm on Zoom (RSVP to email@example.com for Zoom link.)
- Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 9am in person at the playground shade structure
We especially need room helpers for the following classes: K: ELLEN DAY, SEUNGHEE LEE; 1st: ALICIA D’ABREU, ROSALIND DREYER & BIANCA GONSALVES; 2nd: JOSHUA CURHAN, CATIE SAWKA; 3rd: KATIE HOUSE, SEAN AVERY; 4th: SEAN CURRAN, SUZANNE UDELL; 5th: ANN MATTHEWS, MATT STUDLEY/KATHY ABOU-RJAILY, MAUREEN JOHNSON
Bowman Site Council
Are you interested in playing a leadership role at Bowman? Are you available for one meeting a month? We are looking for two parents to serve on the School Based Site Council for a two-year term! Meetings will be held once a month on a Friday morning at Bowman, most likely before the start of the school day.
This is a great opportunity to learn about Bowman, contribute to the Bowman community, and work with the school administration. If you are interested, please send us a short bio (maximum of 150 words) by Tuesday, September 21 at 10pm. For contested elections, an online election will take place from Wednesday, September 22 until Wednesday, September 29 to select the two parent representatives.
As part of the Education Reform Act of 1993, Site-Based Councils were mandated as part of the Act’s decentralization of decision-making. The Site Council is composed of equal numbers of elected teachers and parents, together with the Principal and a community representative. The role of the Site Council is to advise the Principal. At Bowman, Site Council members meet once a month with Bowman teachers to plan ways to meet the diverse learning needs of students; establish a school climate of tolerance and respect for every individual; involve parents in the life of the school; impact safety and discipline; enhance extracurricular activities; and more.
If you have any questions about the Site Council or if you are interested in running for the open seat, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big Backyard Training
The BBY Program gets children out of the classroom and into nature! Participants need only bring curiosity, an appreciation for the natural world, and a desire to help children learn outdoors. If you’ve never been to the training before, please consider attending.
When: Monday, September 20, 2021, 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. or Tuesday September 21, 201, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Lexington Public Schools, Central Office Building, Lower level Classroom
Please note: Volunteers attend only one training. Please be prepared to go outside.
Support Bowman through our Fundraisers
Bowman Spirit Wear
It’s Spirit Wear time! Show your school spirit with colorful shirts, sweatshirts, pants, scarves, and hats. Sale ends on Sunday October 17th. Bowman PTO is offering your favorites: Plaid Flannel Pants, Long and Short Sleeve T-shirts, Hooded and Zip Up Sweatshirts, Tie Dye T-shirts, Knit pom-pom hats, baseball hats, scarves and Dri-fit T-shirts! Children and adult sizes available.
Due to the custom nature of these items, there are NO exchanges or returns so PLEASE be sure of sizes when ordering.
STORE NOW OPEN! Visit the following link to make purchases. Deadline to order Sunday October 17th.
*Orders are processed when this store closes NOT after individual orders are placed. Orders will be directly shipped to the purchaser.*
Questions? Email email@example.com
**New Fundraiser** – Shop with Scrip Program
Raise money for Bowman without spending anything extra! You can support our school while you dine out, travel, buy gas or shop at your regular retail stores. All you need to do is pay using gift cards from these stores. Several e-gift cards can be redeemed and added to any apps you already use such as Grubhub, Instacart, Starbucks, Amazon, etc.
You shop and pay with gift cards. Same products, same prices, same service. Shopwithscrip donates. Donations may be as high as 15% of what you pay!
It’s as easy as:
- Buy gift cards
- Choose your gift card – select an e-gift card so you don’t have to wait for the physical card to be shipped to you
- Dine out, travel, buy gas, shop
- Shopwithscrip works with 750 popular brands. See link (https://shop.shopwithscrip.com/Shop/Product/Browse) to browse brands and amount of donation they would make.
Spread the word to family, neighbors, and friends! Anyone can register with the enrollment code to support Bowman! If you have any questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazon Smile Shopping
You shop. Amazon donates. Shop at smile.amazon.com/ and Amazon will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases to the Bowman Elementary School PTO!
AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
To set up your account:
- If you have already set up your account in the past to support “Bowman PTA” go to https://smile.amazon.com/. Click on the “Supporting” drop down in the top left corner. Click on the “Change Charity” link on the top right. In the search box under “Or pick your own charitable organization: search for and select “Bowman Elementary School PTO Inc“. These instructions also apply if you are already supporting another charity on amazon smile and you would like to switch to support the Bowman PTO.
- If you are not already supporting another charity, Go to https://smile.amazon.com/ch/86-1783422, Log-in to your Amazon account (if prompted), Search for and select “Bowman Elementary School PTO Inc” as your charity.
Bookmark “smile.amazon.com” for future reference. Purchases made through the regular Amazon site (Amazon.com) are NOT eligible for the program. Make sure to use smile.amazon.com to participate. Spread the word to family, neighbors, and friends! Anyone can go to the link https://smile.amazon.com/ch/86-1783422 and support Bowman!
If you have any questions, contact email@example.com.
Please see a full listing Fundraising Affiliates: Click, Shop, and Support Bowman that includes Amazon Smile, Black Earth Compost, and Box Tops.
Update Corporate Matching
If you have used Benevity (donation matching) or corporate matching, please ensure that you are using the new Bowman Elementary School PTO, Inc. organization with Federal Tax ID number 86-1783422.
Thank you to all those who worked tirelessly over the summer to transition us to Bowman PTO. We made many changes to our financial accounting, website, communications, and processes! Thank you to Winnie Pong, Elaine Read, Rebecca Fagan Gorospe, Kessie Avseikova, Lisa Premerlani, Valerie Machinist, and Brandy Hartford. Christine Newman has driven our new membership levels and Lakshmi Ramanath has organized new fundraising programs for this year including new corporate sponsorships.
Thank you to the Staff Appreciation (Stephanie Roberts, Rita Dulgarian, and Janice Patel) team for organizing the back to school breakfast for our teachers and staff. The staff breakfast took place on Monday, 8/30 and was a great success! Many thanks to the people who donated breakfast treats and snacks and/or helped with set-up: Melinda Nasardinov, Meghan Wilson, Janelle Yildizyan, Suman Murali, Megan Haggerty, Jaclyn Anderson, Valerie Machinist, Lakshmi Ramanath, Suzanne Matus, Tania Kouprach-Rolandi, Tracey Dawson, Smitha Prasad, Rita Dulgarian, Stephanie Roberts and Brandy Hartford.
Thank you to Jackie Anderson for organizing our Back to School Coffee. We enjoyed seeing you there!
Thanks to all of the committee members who have started organizing around our clubs, volunteer activities, events, and fundraisers!
Letter from the Bowman PTO Co-Presidents
Welcome to the new school year! We want to take a moment to introduce you to the PTO and to ourselves.
Like the last two years, this year has been unlike any other. Having re-invented the Bowman PTO events to be all virtual last year, we have to shift gears to go back to supporting the Bowman school community in person, but also learn from success where virtual meetings enabled more participation. As caregivers, we all have various responsibilities and would like to thank our community of volunteers who continue to support Bowman. Our volunteers all have different commitments (work, caretaking of other family members, etc.) and we are all imperfect humans, so we ask for patience and flexibility as we “restart” our programming and processes.
Diversity and inclusion is an integral part to the Bowman Elementary School and community. As we drafted new bylaws for the Bowman PTO, we made sure we included a new policy, “The organization shall be committed to advancing, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging for the purpose of our community building mission.” We strive to make our activities available and accessible to all who participate, and continue to support Bowman’s diversity curriculum, Dismantling Racism.
Sustainability in terms of both fundraising and volunteers is a top priority for the Co-Presidents this year:
- Typically, we run approximately a $10,000 deficit every year that we have to make up with a huge fundraiser every 2-3 years. One of the large efforts last year was to transition to a PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) from a PTA (Parent Teacher Association) so we could save up to $2,000 of National PTA membership dues every year that would be directly available to Bowman. We were not utilizing any of the National PTA’s resources to justify this expense.
- Going forward, it is our goal to balance the budget and hold smaller regular fundraisers every year such as the Bowman Experiences Auction, Class Basket Raffle, Book Fair, Read-A-Thon, Fun Run, and more; and tie these events to our Bowman community and curriculum. We also would like to see PTO membership take a larger role and offset our necessary fundraising efforts, so we ask for every family to consider purchasing a Bowman PTO membership!
- We are also making changes to volunteering in areas that make this more sustainable for caregivers to balance work schedules and other commitments. Specifically in Big Back Yard, we are moving to one training per grade per season to alleviate our volunteer burden. We will aim to publish our schedules and needs as far in advance as possible in all areas. We hope that some more caregivers will have the flexibility to schedule ahead of time to volunteer at Bowman when needed for an hour here and there.
Of course, all of this is underpinned by our desire to support Bowman directly with funds used for teacher reimbursements for classroom supplies, ACT concerts and programming, field trips, grade level grants, playground equipment, and more. And, to build community through our curriculum enrichment and diversity events like Passport to the World, Stories under the Stars, Family Math Nights, etc. As a Co-President team, we have found that every bit of help makes a difference, either through your time or donations, and it is a lot more fun when we all do this together!
Brandy Hartford, Val Machinist, and Anne Norman
Brandy Hartford has a daughter in third grade and a son in Kindergarten this year. “I’ve been passionate about being involved in Bowman from day one – as a Kindergarten room helper, volunteering for Big Back Yard, and leading the staff appreciation team. This is my first year as a Bowman PTO Co-President after 2 years serving as a Co-VP of Communications. I’ve been fortunate to build wonderful relationships with the Bowman staff, classroom teachers, students, and other volunteers and have gained a sense of community and many great friendships. Outside of Bowman, I work full time at IBM leading Analyst Relation, discussing latest technology trends and innovations. Besides work and supporting Bowman, our family loves to go to Disney World (hopefully 2022?) and I enjoy cooking, shopping, playing video games with my kids, and more shopping.”
Val Machinist has a son in second grade and also a seventh grader at Clarke. “Since we started at Bowman, I have always wanted to be involved however I could. As a room helper, volunteering for PTO events, and serving on the PTO board, both as Treasurer and Secretary. This is my first year as a Bowman PTO Co-President with Brandy and Anne, and I couldn’t be more excited about it, even though I have a ton to learn. I’ve been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over 20 years, and right now when I’m not volunteering with the PTO, I work full time for a non-profit in Boston called Community Servings, where I am the Manager of Nutrition Services.”
Anne Norman has 3 girls at Bowman in 4th grade, 2nd grade and Kindergarten and baby born this past April. “This is our families 5th year at Bowman. One of the best parts about volunteering with the PTO has been making connections with Bowman families and staff. I’ve volunteered as a room helper, library volunteer, and on the disco bingo committee. This is my second year as a Bowman PTO Co-President. I am so thrilled to have Brandy and Val joining me this year. I’m currently transitioning off of maternity leave and working as an engineer for a local government contractor.”
Broadside submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for the October issue is September 24.