Welcome to Birchwood Elementary PTO!

School Principal:    
Debra Berndt

PTO Co-Presidents: 
JoMarie Ethier 
Deb Foley
The role of the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) is to organize educational and social programs that bring the Birchwood community together. These activities and programs are supported by fundraising activities throughout the year. All parents,caregivers and staff are welcome to be part of the PTO!
BirchwooBulletin: Birchwood events and programs are announced in the weekly Birchwood Bulletin, which is sent by email on Thursdays. If you are not getting the email bulletin, or need to change your email address, please email birchwood@niskypto.org.
Calendars: you can also check out Birchwood-specific events and meetings on the Birchwood PTO Events Calendar.  The Niskayuna School District is no longer printing the full district calendar for budget reasons, but it can be viewed or printed here.

Birchwood PAALS
Providing Assistance and Advocacy through Learning and Service (PAALS) programs provide Birchwood families the opportunity to be engaged in community activities, service learning projects, student leadership development, and much more! PAALS programming provides valuable opportunities not only for Birchwood students, but parents and the entire family as well. 
Return this form by December 18.

Superintendent Search Survey Deadline on December 10th
As the Board of Education begins the superintendent search process, it is seeking broad staff and community feedback about the qualities and personal attributes that the community would like the next superintendent to have. 
The district has posted an online survey that will be available through December 10. You can take the brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NCSD-search
Community input at this stage will strengthen the overall process. Your time and perspective are greatly appreciated.
For the timeline of the superintendent search process and informational updates as they are available, please visit http://www.niskayunaschools.org/SuptSearch/index.cfm

In need of donations...
To help with organizing after the loss of several PTO belongings in a flood, we are asking for donations of clean, gently used plastic storage containers with lids that are in good condition (clear containers preferred, but will accept any type). Please contact JoMarie Ethier or Deb Foley.
The Nurse's Office is in need of gently used games and coloring books for the students to use when they have to sit out of gym class and recess.  If you have any you would like to get rid of, please send them in!

Birchwood's Chorus Makes Their Public Debut at the RPI Hockey Game!
Birchwood's 4th & 5th grade chorus shared their patriotism at the November 14th Rensselaer Engineers Hockey game vs. Quinnipiac by singing the National Anthem.
Birchwood Parent and Head Coach for the Rensselaer Engineers Seth Appert worked with RPI and Birchwood music teacher Holly Johnston to make it all happen. Birchwood parents and faculty turned out in droves for this proud moment!
"Seeing the students next to the players on the ice was a magical moment," said Debra Berndt, Birchwood Principal. "This was a proud moment and these students will remember this forever."

he Birchwood School Pledge

I pledge today to do my best,
In reading, math and all the rest.

I come prepared with all I need,
And make good choices to succeed. 

Try the Website's Search Feature!
In a hurry, and only need to know one little thing--like, how to pay for school lunch? When Monster Mash is? How to get your directory? Use the "Search this site" box (above right) to find info FAST!

The Gift Card Fundraiser  through Great Lakes Scrip was a great success. We thank all who participated. The cards from the first round of orders were distributed at the Open House on December 5th.  If you were unable to pick up your cards, please contact  Millie GnatekFollowup orders for additional cards were due December 5th.  Check back here or watch the bulletin for an update on pickup! 

Contact Millie Gnatek if you have any questions about this program.

(click the pic to see this month's school lunch menu!)

Thanks to all who came and made the Open House and Wellness Fair a huge success!

Your Fundraising Dollars at Work

Thanks to the fundraising efforts of Birchwood parents and friends, in 2014 the school was able to install new sound system for the stage/cafetorium to replace unreliable or broken equipment, including wired microphones (for hanging above the stage and handheld use), wireless microphones (both handheld and clip-on), speakers/amps, soundboard, and MP3 plug-in. Other new items include wipe boards for kindergarten students, bean bags for the kindergarten reading ares, and a new world map for the hallway. 
Thanks again to all those who have supported our fundraising efforts throughout the year, making these purchases and other enrichment and academic opportunities throughout the school year possible!

    Niskayuna Schools are on Facebook!
More than 1,000 community members have connected with the district's official Facebook page, used for news and announcements, and to feature photos, information, and accomplishments of students and our schools.  Please join us at http://www.facebook.com/NiskayunaCSD.

We welcome your comments and suggestions!  
Please let us know what you think of the Birchwood PTO Webpage:

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