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Who attends PTO meetings?
PTO meetings are open to the entire WHE community. The Board and Principal come prepared with an agenda and are interested in sharing our thoughts and ideas with as many parents/guardians who can attend. We stagger the times of our meetings and welcome your participation (see schedule). You are welcome to attend PTO meetings with your children if needed. If you do so, please bring quiet toys or crafts for your child’s enjoyment. If you have material that you wish the PTO to address, please submit your requests to woodlandheightsPTO@gmail.com
What is the difference between a PTA and a PTO?
The National PTA is a formal membership organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. School-based groups that choose to belong to the PTA must pay dues to the state and national organizations and abide by state and national group rules. In return, they get member benefits, and they get a voice in the operations of the larger organization. The National PTA maintains a Washington, D.C. office where it pursues a public policy agenda, and most state PTA units advocate at their respective state capitals, as well. The PTA carefully protects its name so that only dues-paying members of the group can call themselves a PTA.
PTO, on the other hand, is a generic term. It usually represents groups that choose to remain independent. These are most often single-school or district-level groups that operate under their own bylaws and by and large concern themselves with the goings-on at their building or in their town only. WHE PTO is actively involved in supporting our parents/guardians and teachers at our school and within the district. Because of the low funding to schools in the state of North Carolina we don’t want to have to pay dues and fees to be a PTA but rather keep our money within our school, for the use of our school. We want to focus exclusively on improving and creating community at our school.
How are schools funded in North Carolina by our taxes?
Low taxes in North Carolina is one of the driving forces as to why people relocate here. Unfortunately, the lower tax rates mean less money is allocated to our schools. In fact, as of June 2018, Iredell-Statesville School District is the 2nd lowest funded school district in NC (114 out of 115 districts) with a per pupil funding rate of $5,417.79. Despite the low state funding, WHE has earned an A+ rating. This is due to our excellent teachers, committed administration, engaged parents/guardians, and the support and fundraising of our PTO. Historically, our parents/guardians have been very generous in participating in our fundraising events so that we can have the financial resources we need to keep WHE in the top schools in NC.
How will I received communication from WHE and the PTO?
From the Principal: Mrs. Spenner, our Principal, uses ConnectEd. This form of communication is required by the district. You will receive a weekly telephone call that includes school wide information for the week. This is followed up with an email that has the same information as well needed links and attachments. Important PTO information is often added into this communication as well.
From Teachers: Each classroom and teacher is unique, so WHE encourages the teachers to communicate specific classroom information and needed reminders directly to parents through email.
Website/Social: Many of the PTO upcoming events and information is published on the PTO’s Facebook page and this website.
What do new families need to know?
Please start your transition to WHE with a formal tour of the school. The most recent information and questions specific to your children are best answered by school administration. They can be reached at 704-663-1370. Also, please refer to the Welcome New Families Guide for additional information.
What volunteer opportunities are available – in and out of the classroom?
People choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons. Often it is to see your children/grandchildren in the school atmosphere. Maybe you volunteer to get to know the teacher and school better. Here at WHE we hope your volunteering will provide you with a stronger understanding of our school, our culture and help you make new and lasting friendships. Without volunteers, we cannot succeed in providing all the events and fundraising needed to provide resources to our school.
In the classroom:
Each teacher, at his or her discretion, will decide where volunteering fits into their curriculum and classroom. At WHE, we honor the uniqueness of each teacher and recognize that depending on teaching style and the dynamic of the class, they may or may not solicit parent/guardian help in the classroom. Teachers will communicate their plan to parents/guardians either through their weekly update emails or through class parents/guardians. Enrichment teachers, too, may wish to have support in the classrooms.
The PTO offers fundraising events each year to help bridge the financial gap between state funding and school needs. Additionally, social events are held to enhance the “family friendly” environment and any associated profits from those events go directly to the school. Because of these events we NEED volunteers regularly. We like to say, “Many hands make light work.” We welcome support on an event by event basis for parents/guardians who may have limited time. Please contact the PTO president at firstname.lastname@example.org if any of these roles appeal to you. Additionally, contact us if you would like to be on a list for support work as it is needed.
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