PTO Co-Presidents: 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!
Birchwood Bulletin: 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, fill out this form.
Calendars: you can also check out events and meetings on the Birchwood PTO Events Calendar, or print the one-page 2012-2013 Calendar of Events. Additional school-based, non-PTO events are posted here and on the Birchwood Elementary School Programs page. The Niskayuna School District is no longer printing its calendar for budget reasons, but it can be viewed or printed here.
Nature Park Event on Tues., May 21st was a Blast!
Nearly 50 students joined 10 adult volunteers on May 21st for a Nature Club Stream & Garden event. Students who attended the first event brought back their salad, peas and parsley pots to plant in the new pallet vegetable gardens on the south lawn. In their rainboots, Crocs and Keenes, the kids also joined in a stream-stomping event led by Dr. Stephanie Vernooy, Birchwood parent and Biology professor at Siena College. They netted samples from the stirred-up stream and with magnifiers, identified tons of insects and other life forms! Scavenger hunters also successfully located three common local plants. And at the art station, kids painted rocks to use as home garden markers.
If your child attended the event, please let us know here how it went! Your input helps us improve!
Click here for more info on the Birchwood School Nature Park and the Nature Club!
'Tis the Season for . . . daily sunscreen and tick checks! We all know that regular use of sunscreen in childhood is important for preventing skin cancer in adulthood, but maybe you haven't heard that Lyme disease is on the increase in the Northeast.
Ticks are especially numerous in the woods, but it's possible to pick up a tick just from regular outdoor play! Quick treatment is crucial, so tick-check your kids daily! Learn more about Lyme Disease prevention here.
Sign Up for 2013-2014 PTO Volunteer Positions Now!
Want to help with a PTO event or committee? Volunteering is a great way to meet other parents and learn more about
Birchwood. Plus, it gives your kids something to brag about ("That's my mom! She's the one making the cotton candy!")
We're currently recruiting volunteer PTO officers, committee chairs, committee members, and "just-once" event helpers for the 2013-14 school year. See what's available and sign up online (print form here). Email us with any questions!
Niskayuna Schools' Librarians need your feedback! Parents, students and staff are asked to complete this short survey to help inform district decisions about library instruction and programming at our schools next year.
"Buy-One-Get-One-Free" Book Fair is coming up June 5th-7th! Students will get great deals on summer reads. If you can help out for an hour or two, please let us know: Book Fair Volunteer Sign-Up
The 2013-14 Birchwood Directory is in the works! The school directory contains contact information for Birchwood families, as well as class lists, important school dates, and more. It also features student artwork!
Updates: Please review your current directory, and if you need to make changes, go here to update your contact information for next year! (or print, complete, and return form to the Main Office).
Artwork Submission: Submit your student's artwork (pencil, colored pencil, or markers) depicting their favorite Birchwood memory to be printed in the directory! You can scan artwork and email to Shereen Tate, or print, complete, and return form to the Main Office.
We've updated our information on local community contests (with upcoming deadlines) open to elementary-school age entrants. Most offer nice cash ($$$) prizes! We've posted info on these contests here.
The May 21st budget, which required a 60% supermajority to pass, unfortunately failed. The next budget, to be presented for a vote on June 18th, will include a minimum of $559,000 in additional cuts. The possibility of closing a school is back on the table. Birchwood and Van Antwerp are the most likely candidates for closure!
Even if Birchwood is not targeted, if any Niskayuna school closes, classroom sizes will increase across the district, and all students will be subject to potential home school redistricting.
Go here for more information and to see how you can make your opinion heard!
Summary and links to more info in District News
Students and Staff Waxed Poetic at Birchwood's 3rd Annual Poetry "Open Mic" Night on Thurs., May 16th! Nearly 60 poems--some original, plus a bunch by Shel Silverstein--were shared in the Birchwood Cafeteria, along with lots of super treats (thank you to the donors!). One of the crowning events of the evening was an original poem about the trials and tribulations of kid supervision by Birchwood's own Mrs. Tuttle. Watch it here!
More information and permission slip here.
The Ice Cream Social is Coming Up!
This annual Birchwood event is on Friday, June 7th from 6:00-8:00 PM. Come have fun on the Bounce House & Giant Slide, buy books at the Buy-One-Get-One free Book Fair, get your face painted, and enjoy bakery goodies and ICE CREAM!
Kindergarten and 3rd grade families are asked to provide baked goods for the Social. Home-made, store-bought, healthy, indulgent . . . whatever you like! Please bring items to school on Friday (or just before the event). Thank you!
Parent volunteers, you don't have to work the whole evening--just help make it happen by signing up for a short shift here! (or turn in this completed form to the office). Contact Pam Ober or JoMarie Ethier with any questions!
on June 14th! Our school team is part of this American Cancer Society walking event to benefit and recognize those with cancer and their loved ones.
To register for the team, donate, fund a memorial luminaria for the trail, or just find out more, view this flyer or visit the team webpage.
In addition to online registration and payment, youth registration forms are required for anyone 18 and under and are due to Deb Foley before May 20th. Questions? Email Team Leader Deb Foley.
We welcome your comments and suggestions! Please let us know what you think of the Birchwood PTO Webpage: