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Fam ly Matters

April/May 2018


INSIDE THIS ISSUE Volunteer Appreciation Grants and Games National Advocacy


15th District PTA Contact List 2017-18

President Autumn Neagle


April Showers–Bring May Flowers If this is the case, we should be overloaded with flowers this May! I hope that the huge amounts of rain has not damped your spirits but instead have lifted them up to do great things. As the end of the year approaches, we find ourselves so busy. To help make things easier, here is a checklist! • If you haven’t R.S.V.P.’d or mailed in your Awards Banquet Reservation and payment, please do so now. For more information or to register, go to our website at /events/awards-banquet. • All 2018-19 fundraiser requests are due to your principal by May 1. The form is located in this newsletter and on our website. • Teacher Appreciation Week is officially May 7–May 11. However, many Jefferson County Public School’s (JCPS) school celebrate it the week of Derby, which is April 30–May 3. Check with your principal to see what works best. Think of ways to show your teachers and all the staff in the building how much you appreciate them. Check out the National Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA’s) Teacher Appreciation Week’s theme—” V.I.T.”— or check out our ideas on 15th District PTA’s Pinterest site. A simple thank-you can go a long way! • Plan and carry out your School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council parent representative election or your PTA Election if called for this spring. If unsure when your elections are, check your bylaws or call the office at 485-3535 to get a copy. • The Kentucky PTA is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year at the Kentucky PTA Conference. It will be held at Seneca High School. To register, visit It will be a great year to attend. • As you come to the end of the year, make sure all your bills are paid and your treasurer and procedure books are in order for the next school year. Remember, your financial review form will be due on July 15. This will be on our website as soon as it’s available. I hope to see everyone at the Awards Banquet on May 10 and, as always, we thank you for all the work you are doing in your schools and are here to help if you need assistance.

Autumn Neagle

Autumn Neagle, President (502) 718-2590 |

2 (502) 413-1639

First Vice President—Program Sienna G. Newman (502) 410-9117

Second Vice President—Membership R. Shawn Summerville (502) 386-1455

Third Vice President—Ways and Means Eddie Squires (502) 930-3516

Fourth Vice President—Communication Liz Cannon (502) 905-1233

Legislative Chair Taylor Everett (502) 640-8323

Nutrition Initiatives Coordinator Andrea Wright (502) 485-3199

FRYSC Director Adrian Oldham (502) 485-3703

Male Engagement Cliff Irons (502) 807-5695

Teacher Representative Jennifer Freeman (502) 485-8323

Treasurer Brittney Bolyard

Secretary Anna Elder (502) 432-3023



2–6 �������������� Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) Spring Break 13 ����������������� Title I Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Meeting 14 ���������������� College and Career Expo 14 ����������������� ACT 15 ����������������� Kentucky/National Membership Dues Payment 15–21 ���������� National Volunteer Week 17 ����������������� Middle and High School Report Card Distribution 24 ����������������� Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBE) Meeting 27 ���������������� Kentucky Parent Teacher Association’s (PTA’s) Centennial

4 ������������������ JCPS Professional-Development (PD) Day (No School for Students) 5 ������������������ SAT 5 ������������������ Kentucky Derby 8 ������������������ JCBE Meeting 10 ����������������� 15th District PTA Awards Banquet 12 �������������������� Women’s Unsale at CAP, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 13 ���������������� Mother’s Day 15 ����������������� Grant Application Deadline for Kentucky PTA Convention 15 ����������������� Kentucky/National Membership Dues Payment 22 ���������������� Election Day (No School for Students) 28 ���������������� Memorial Day (No School for Students) 29 ���������������� JCBE Meeting 31 ����������������� JCPS Last Day of School

On the Cover: Barbara Fischer has moved CAP forward for three decades. See the article on page four.

President-Elect Adam Kesler

Student Representative Alexis Reece


Calendar of Events

(502) 718-2590

Past President Heather Wampler (502) 671-9451

Parliamentarian Sharon Whitworth (502) 592-4185

JCPS Parent Relations Justin Willis (502) 439-8782

Title I Representative Zina Harris (502) 807-1878

Recycling Chair Sharon Kesler (502) 413-1652

High School and Scholarship Chair Robin Weiss (502) 314-2401

Everyone Wins! at Family Game Night

Students and families enjoyed a family game night at Alex R. Kennedy Elementary in March, courtesy of a national grant and a PTA officer’s initiative. Carrie Christensen, PTA treasurer at Alex R. Kennedy Elementary, learned in December that her school would receive a National PTA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) + Families Grant. The National PTA awards 50 such grants each year, and Alex R. Kennedy was the only Kentucky school to be awarded. Christensen first learned about the grant application in a National PTA newsletter. The grant was a good fit for Kennedy, a small school with a thriving Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) Program and dedicated advocate Erin Bloomer, who serves as Kennedy’s computer, STEAM, and robotics teacher, Christensen said. The school received about 50 total games, enough to have several tables operating for students and families and additional items to give as door prizes for the evening. “Really, the goal is to make education fun and extend education beyond the classroom in ways that children will enjoy and help them learn in the long run,” Christensen said. Students and families gathered on Friday, March 16, to enjoy food and play games with math or science themes. The opportunity also allowed for families to learn more about the concepts and approaches that students experience daily, especially newer math concepts that may seem foreign for many adults. The goal of this inaugural event is to create an annual tradition. The school will keep the games and add on to them. Fliers were made in three languages, and the games, in addition to the food, helped draw a good crowd. In her role as a college professor and administrator, Christensen is no stranger to grant writing, but she added that the grant application was largely self-explanatory and in a question-and-answer format. This winning grant was perhaps the third application she had submitted at the time. Some grants require basic demographic information or other collaboration that the school is able to provide. Most National PTA grant opportunities are posted in August or September at “More PTAs should be applying for those,” Christensen said. “It’s not a very rigorous process.”

Carrie Christensen, left, Alex R. Kennedy PTA treasurer who wrote the grant, stands with Kennedy PTA President Heather Mattingly and the STEM school’s mascot Alex ARKimedes, named after the Greek mathematician and physicist Archimedes.

An Alex R. Kenned y student enjoys a game with her mother.

Jeremy Head, left, husband of PTA treasurer Carrie Christensen, works with a student and his father at the school’s game night. 3

l Volunteer Mo a n o i t nth a N

In every school where the culture is rich and nurturing, you’ll find people who faithfully show up on time prepared to make a difference. They are volunteers, and we’re proud to highlight two exceptional volunteers in this month’s issue of Family Matters.

Volunteering in the Genes When Barbara Fischer’s daughter started elementary school in the early 1990s, she immediately became involved with the school’s PTA. Throughout her daughter’s JCPS education, Fischer served as PTA officer and president at Price Elementary and a Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) president at Newburg Middle and duPont Manual High. “I just knew that’s what I was supposed to do,” Fischer says. “As soon as I could, I got involved on the PTA board. I wanted to be an involved parent.” The decision came naturally for Fischer, who grew up with a mother and father who volunteered their first aid skills with the American Red Cross and King’s Daughter’s Home for the Incurables, a children’s residential facility in the Highlands. Fischer and her sister regularly accompanied their parents, and, later as a teen, Fischer attended Red Cross Camp and visited King’s Daughter’s Home on her own. Fischer worked a 30-year career as an insurance underwriter and independent agent, which permitted some schedulBarbara Fischer’s volunteer involvement ing flexibility to juggle the many roles and includes 25 years as a school, district, and state PTA officer as well as serving generations demands of a PTA/PTSA president. After of students at CAP. her daughter graduated from Manual in 2003, Fischer became more involved with the 15th District PTA, starting out as hospitality chair and holding almost every position with the group except president. Fischer is also active with Kentucky PTA. She first learned of and participated with the 15th District PTA Clothing Assistance Program (CAP) while serving as a school PTA leader. All schools are expected to send volunteers to CAP and support the mission of providing clothing and accessories for JCPS students in need. After joining the 15th District PTA, Fischer began volunteering three days each week at CAP. At the time, it was based in the Jacob Annex and then moved to McFerran Preparatory Academy for two years. It has been at its present location, 319 S. 15th Street, for 12 years. Fischer has been a central presence for each of those years with the exception of an eight-month hiatus for a medical issue. Fischer served as CAP director for four years, overseeing volunteers, ordering, taking inventory, and maintaining operations. Since the 2016-17 school year, Fischer has served as the Tuesday volunteer who greets JCPS families during their scheduled 4

Schools thrive with them. PTAs exist because of them. And the 15th District PTA CAP successfully serves students and families because of them. April is National Volunteer Month, and National Volunteer Week is observed from April 15–21. For clever ideas about how you can recognize the contributions of volunteers in your school, visit Pinterest and search for “volunteer appreciation.” Gifts don’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Sometimes a simple, heartfelt note may do the trick.

appointments. She fills orders of new uniforms for the students. Fischer graciously continues to offer her expertise and guidance with all CAP operations: clothing inventory, ordering, logistics, and planning. During CAP’s presence at McFerran, it occupied two classrooms. Now, CAP occupies a warehouse space and has served more than 5,500 students during the 2017-18 school year with new uniforms and gently used clothing for their family members. Recently, new athletic shoes were added to the list of available items. “You see what it does, how it helps,” Fischer says. “I just enjoy it.” Fischer’s experience spans the program’s evolution and the changing needs of families. The 2008 downturn of the housing market and the changing economy sent lots of families to CAP who otherwise would not have visited. Fischer has assisted JCPS families after a house fire or flood or other emergency situation, and once a month, she serves JCPS families who visit through Kentucky Refugee Ministries.

Volunteering Is Front and Central Having three granddaughters to share her status as Central High School Magnet Career Academy (MCA) alumni is an impressive legacy. But, for Carol Smith, that is just where the story begins. She joined Central’s PTSA in 2005 when her first granddaughter started there. Smith served 12 years as a PTSA officer, including 4 years as PTSA president, by the time her second and third granddaughter graduated in 2017. Her granddaughters were among hundreds of Central High students who enjoyed Smith’s familiar face and presence at school days, sports, and special events. Smith is no longer a PTSA officer at Central, but remains involved and an active supporter. “I felt like I had to join the PTA,” Smith says of 2005, when the school’s PTSA had fallen inactive. “We had to get it started. I’ll be at Central forever.” One of her highlights at Central was beginning an annual suicide awareness conference for families and students. Smith launched the program with help from Stephen Ulrich after a Central student’s suicide left the school family searching for answers and solace. The conference has continued and grown, reaching students and families and encouraging conversations. “People are appreciative,” Fischer says. “They thank me like it’s coming out of my pocket, and it’s not. I guess we all need help at some point in our lives. You can’t judge a book by its cover.” One JCPS teenager who visited CAP several years ago found a bin of shoes that was considered ruined and prepared to be transported to WaterStep, which recycles unusable shoes. The boy pulled out a pair and suggested to Fischer that he could glue them back together, she says. Those extreme cases help illustrate the necessity of CAP and why volunteers are needed to do the important work, she says. Fischer says that she hopes families will continue to visit and consider CAP a reliable place to find help, especially for the students, who just want the basic items to fit in and be accepted by their peers. “There isn’t any judgment here,” Fischer says. “I want the families to feel like they’re

This school year, Smith became the PTA president at Wheatley Elementary, where her two great-granddaughters attend. Starting again from scratch has been a learning experience, she says. Highlights this year have included a fall festival and a mother/son and father/daughter dance. Challenges greet the Wheatley PTA’s requests for volunteers and family involvement, and Smith hopes to rouse a positive change in the school’s culture. Change seems to be happening. A fall festival attracted participants but no family volunteers. Smith filled the volunteer gaps with Central students and some of her granddaughter’s classmates from Indiana who needed service hours. Last year, the PTA had 26 members and Smith—through trademark assertiveness—recently signed the PTA’s 100th member. A February school dance included a disc jockey, food, and a strong turnout. “We had a ball,” Smith says. “I’m hoping by being there and seeing what we can do, the families will start doing something.” Her great-granddaughters call her GG and frequently greet her in the school hallway with that moniker and a hug to her leg. Other students have started doing the same.

treated like real people and know that nobody is judging them. I hope it gives them some confidence and one less thing they have to worry about.” Poverty has always been an issue, but the level of some families’ needs seem greater than it once did, Fischer says. Some visitors may apologize to Fischer for needing help, feeling ashamed. Some families are so appreciative of—and surprised about— receiving new and gently used clothing that it elicits tears. All JCPS families are welcome at CAP, and Fischer makes sure they get what they need. “Most people join PTA for their child,” Fischer says. “You learn right away, those who stay in it, it’s for all children. There’s CAP, arts programs, things they don’t get otherwise. There’s a sense of helping all students. They learn pretty quick that’s what it’s all about.”

Carol Smith served as PTSA president for her granddaughters’ high school and now as PTA president at Wheatley Elementary, where two of her great-grandchildren attend.

“They know I got their back,” Smith says. “Just to know that I’m right there.” Plans are already under way to improve next year’s fall festival and other events. Smith has been working hard to gather special items and incentives for the upcoming Teacher Appreciation Week in May. Almost all of the Wheatley employees have joined the PTA, and before Winter Break, Smith was pleased to arrange for Wheatley teachers to receive bottled water, healthy snacks, and a ten-minute massage from an area chiropractor. It was a small gesture, but one that meant the world to educators whose work and workload never stop. “You would have thought I gave them gold,” Smith says. Smith has a determination to get business accomplished, a trait that she and all six of her siblings acquired from an involved mother and father—both of whom were in the military—who valued homework, chores, education, and family time. Smith benefitted from the influence of a strong woman who pushed for hard work and focus. Her example left a lasting impression on Smith, and those who have worked with Smith have found a worthy example and role model too. “I wish the parents today were parents like my mother,” Smith says. “She worked. We ate together. We did homework. We didn’t play until our work was done. Now, all seven of us are the same way. Education is everything.”


PTA Goes to D.C. The 15th District PTA attended the National PTA Legislative Conference (LegCon) from Tuesday, March 13, through Thursday, March 15, and to say we were inspired would be an understatement. The goal of day one of this conference was for National PTA to educate the state and local PTA units on what types of legislation they are trying to get passed in congress. Day two was a full day of lobbying on Capitol Hill with our Kentucky congressmen. Finally, day three was all about recapping and learning the best ways to follow up with our congressmen. Kentucky sent five delegates to LegCon, three state PTA members, and two 15th District PTA members. On the first day, we learned about the legislation we would be lobbying for, which had to do with gun violence prevention as well as adequately funding schools across the country in order to provide a well-rounded experience. The importance of these bills cannot be understated with the recent school shootings in Kentucky and Florida and the proposed education budget cuts by the current administration. On day two, we were able to meet with all eight Kentucky delegates, six House members and two senators! The greatest part about the meetings was that all delegates and staff took the time to listen to us, and the majority agreed with our stances on the above issues. While these bills can take a while to be approved and actually go into law, one bill

we asked for was approved in the House the day we were there! The STOP School Violence Act of 2018 will provide grant funds to schools and local emergency personnel for training on the use of early intervention techniques in order to prevent school shootings. Next steps will be for the act to be approved by the Senate and then signed by the president. All the congressmen we spoke with felt very confident it would make it all the way through. While there is still a lot of work to do, this a great first step in the fight to stop school shootings. Finally, on day three, we sat down as a group and discussed how we can keep the people we met with accountable to push through the laws we spoke to them about. Our plan is simple: constant follow-up with our representatives and their staffs and constant communication with all PTAs so they can help keep the pressure on Congress. We all need to work together to make our schools safe and properly funded so they can provide the experience students deserve! — Taylor Everett, Legislative Chair of the 15th District PTA

United States Senator Rand Paul meets with the Kentucky PTA contingent in Washington, D.C. The Kentucky contingent visited the offices and staff of all Kentucky’s delegates and met with Sen. Paul and Representative Brett Guthrie.

Planning a School Fundraiser for 2018-19? All schoolwide fundraisers for the 2018-19 school year must be submitted for approval by Friday, June 1. This includes schoolwide fundraisers operated by a school’s PTA/PTSA. A list of all schoolwide fundraisers will be reviewed and approved by the JCBE before schools may move forward with them. The fundraiser approval form can be found at All schools must submit this form to the area superintendent by June 1 so that a comprehensive list can be prepared for JCBE review before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. The form is located on the 15th District PTA website and on page seven of this publication. 6




Activity Account

External Support/Booster Organization Name of Fundraiser Sponsor

Date Submitted Purpose of fundraising activity: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Items to be sold: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Beneficiary of fundraising activity: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Date(s) scheduled: __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Names of adult supervisors of activity (chaperones, custodians, etc.): __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Athletic Fundraiser



If yes, sport involved: Corresponding sport participating in fundraiser?



Coach’s signature (corresponding sport) Circle One:




Date: _________________________________________



SBDM Council (If council policy)


Superintendent as directed by Board (If School-Wide fundraiser)



March 2013


15th District PTA 319 South 15th Street Louisville, KY 40203

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Louisville, KY Permit No. 1049

Dated Material Deliver Immediately Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Offering Equal Educational Opportunities

#ThankATeacher This May

Join schools and PTAs across the nation to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week from Monday, May 7, through Friday, May 11. National Teacher Day is Tuesday, May 8. This year’s focus encourages supporters to recognize educators by treating them like the Very Important Teachers (VITs) they are. Teachers deliver so much to our students: inspiration, motivation, and—ultimately—their futures. Schools and PTAs will host special events this week to celebrate teachers and deliver thanks and gratitude to them. Teachers change the lives of millions of students every day, and their work extends far beyond the boundaries of the classroom. During this week, families and students are encouraged to share photos and stories about influential teachers using the hashtag: #ThankATeacher.

Join the Awards Banquet The 15th District PTA Annual Awards Banquet will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the Ramada Plaza Louisville Hotel and Conference Center. Tickets may be purchased now through May 5, and a reduced price is available for tickets ordered by May 1. This event is an opportunity to celebrate PTA successes. For more information, visit Jefferson County Public Schools

8 485-3535

Kentucky PTA 226-6607

National PTA (703) 518-1200 or 800-307-4PTA (4782)

Twitter 15th District PTA @15thDistrictPTA /ky15thdistpta

Clothing Assistance Program @PTA_CAP

Support JCPS Students Through CAP This April and May, there are two options to support JCPS students through projects listed on the Mayor’s Give A Day Week of Service website. CAP is hosting the And They’re Off campaign to collect new or gently used shoes. Posters and boxes are available for any organization or company that wants to participate. Also, funds may be donated to support From the Ground Up!, a special 15th District PTA fund that uses all donations to purchase new shoes for students. Thanks to a special arrangement, every $12 donated will be used to purchase one pair of new shoes for a student. For more information on these campaigns, call CAP at 485-7062 or send an email to Justin Willis at justin.willis@jefferson

15th District PTA

Facebook Get Connected!

15th District PTA

Kentucky PTA

Help make sure they’re all in the race. Donate new or gently used athletic shoes for students now through Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5. We’ll get these shoes where they belong—onto the feet of Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) students.

The shoes you donate can help keep all JCPS students on track.

All shoes will be distributed free to students in need through the 15th District Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Clothing Assistance Program (CAP) in cooperation with our community partners. Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Offering Equal Educational Opportunities

52643 They’reOffShoeCampaignPoster 3/18 sa

National PTA /parentteacherassociation

15th District PTA Channel

For information or to donate shoes, see your building coordinator,

Pinterest and distributed through CAP.

Clothing Assistance Program 319 S. 15th Street Louisville, Kentucky 40203

For more information, call

Twitter: @PTA_CAP

All shoes will be delivered to TM

(502) 485-7062.

Facebook: @PTACAP

15th District PTA /15thdistrictpta/

Family Matters—April/May 2018  

Family Matters is a publication of the 15th District Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in Louisville, Kentucky, in partnership with the Jeffe...

Family Matters—April/May 2018  

Family Matters is a publication of the 15th District Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in Louisville, Kentucky, in partnership with the Jeffe...