Although some may have a negative view of Parent-Teacher Organizations, to be critical or file complaints is not the purpose of the PTO approved Monday evening by Velma-Alma School Board of Education.
Cassie Berthold, who has been a teacher and is a parent of children attending Velma-Alma, represented all parents interested in starting up the PTO for the elementary school with a short presentation stating the reasons for wanting the organization. Not only will it help the children, but the teachers and parents as well.
“It has been proven that children whose parents are involved in their education are more likely to succeed,” said Berthold. “Our PTO would not be a place where complaints will be brought to be fixed, that won’t be our purpose. Our purpose would be to promote more parental involvement.”
In addition to bringing parents into a more active role in their children’s education, hosting fundraisers to help teachers with the costs of materials, field trips and whatever else they may need will be a part of the PTO’s roles. With the constant budget tightening in school funds, this help is greatly needed, especially in a smaller school district such as Velma-Alma, said Berthold. Current enrollment at V-A is 438.
Board members voted in approval of the PTO and parents held their first meeting Tuesday night.
Reorganization of the board took place at the meeting and with the resignation of former member Jason Ille, who moved from the district, it leaves an opening on the board.
Velma-Alma school board members are on a rotating basis and the new positions are as follows: James Layn, president; Jimmy Nichols, vice president; Wade Williams, deputy clerk; and Bobby Southerland, member. The position for clerk is open.
“I have had three inquiries about becoming part of the board,” said Jerry Garrett, superintendent. “I told them it was my duty to pass those along to you (board members).”
Other agenda items included:
Board members voted in approval the reemployment of all certified elementary/middle school teachers, certified secondary teachers and support staff for the 2013-14 school year.
A presentation of the annual Student College Remediation Report for the 2010-11 school year, showed that 33.3 percent of Velma-Alma graduates took a remedial course as college freshmen, which is less than the state average of 39.2 percent.
During the superintendent report, Garrett showed the board a citation the school received for achieving excellence for the 2011-12 school year, which means 100 percent of Velma-Alma’s seniors met all graduation requirements. This is a rare citation that few schools receive, he said.