Sept. 19 PTA General Meeting Minutes

Location: Douglas Media Center
Date: September 19, 2019
Time: 6:30 p.m.

I. Call to Order
Meeting called to order by Morgan Blue, VP Membership, at 6:35 p.m.

II. Open Issues
2019-20 budget was distributed for review by membership

III. President’s Overview
a) PTA Membership. Your $12 allows you to have a voice on a national level with advocacy for schools, and at Douglas, we want to give every child a voice. Membership dollars, on a local level, go toward cultural arts programming, STEAM supplies, teacher grants, hospitality for our teachers, technology, etc. The News & Observer highlighted water issues and elevated levels of lead in many Wake County schools recently. The PTA was ahead of the curve and made budget arrangements to have seven of our water fountains retrofitted with water bottle fillers and filters this year. We’ve received our approval form from the county.

Beginning of the year special education training was fully funded by the PTA for the staff. We are also paying for the Positivity Project this year. Parents may be hearing about the Positivity Project from their students and teachers.

b) Dragonfire is happening this week! 100% of proceeds go to the PTA and we’ve made donating as convenient as possible with cash, checks and online options. Students are also participating in a coin war this week. The winning classroom will be awarded a day with Mr. Burns as their teacher.

Dragonfire is the only Douglas campaign where all of your donation stays at school. Every other fundraiser splits donations with another organization; book fair, Boosterthon, spirit nights etc… Giving to Dragonfire ensures that your dollars stay here. Please stop by the amphitheater on your way out and take a look at our fundraising focus for this year. Vision boards are hanging in the hall and you can see the essentially blank slate we have to work with.

Another financial focus for the year is a new Angel Fund for the cafeteria. The PTA will make sure that all baby dragons leave the cafeteria with full bellies, regardless of their MySchoolBucks account balance.

c) We do have some volunteer openings that we’ll be highlighting in the next Dragoneer. Most of our committee chairs are full, with just a few exceptions. If you did not receive a copy of the Dragoneer, please let a board member know or email

d) We have set all of the general meetings for this school year. All of our meetings will coincide with evening school events, and we’ll alternate before and after times. Since this meeting in particular is so well attended, we’ll monitor the future success of attendance and times. Please mark your calendars for the following. Our next meetings will coordinate with Family Nights and will be committee-update focused.
i) November 13, 7 p.m.
ii) March 26, 5 p.m.
iii) May 6, 7 p.m.

IV. Principal’s Update
Mr. Burns thanked parents for making the choice to attend our school. Wake County families have so many choices with regards educational experiences, he appreciates that Douglas is still the preferred school for so many. He thanked the PTA for the support in a great start to the year. Class sizes are good considering that we have added so many additional classes this year. The staff benefitted greatly from the special education training in August. The school is grateful for the collaboration and ideas the PTA brings to the table each year. He encouraged participation.

V. Foundation Update
Jason Cunningham introduced himself as President of the Douglas Foundation. The Foundation was created two years ago to fund staff position and bridge the gap between government funding and student needs. The Foundation fully funded the STEAM position last year and will again this year. This position aligns well with our magnet theme.

The Foundation is in a position this year to extend additional positions, so be on the lookout for an announcement soon regarding a new staff member or members.

VI. Membership Vote
The proposed 2019-20 PTS budget was passed.

VII. Adjournment at 6:55 p.m.

Mark Your Calendars!

From Spirit Nights to Dragonfire, there are a lot of events happening this fall at Douglas! We’ll update our Events page as more activities are added. You can also keep an eye on the calendar in the sidebar (to the right) and check out the school website calendar for these and other school events.

  • 9/16-20: Dragonfire annual passive fundraiser
  • 9/19: General PTA meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the gym
  • 9/19: School-wide Open House, 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • 9/20: Kona Ice for sale on campus to celebrate Dragonfire!
  • 10/10: Spirit Night at United Skates of America, 6-8:30 p.m.
  • 10/28: Spirit Night at Tijuana Flats, 5-8 p.m.
  • 11/1: Kickball tournament after school (details TBD)
  • 11/18: Spirit Night at Milton’s, 5-10 p.m.

Why Join the PTA?

Wondering why it’s important to join the Douglas PTA? Not sure why your single membership matters? Here are a few reasons:

We make a difference.

The National PTA aims to “make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.” We are dedicated to creating the kind of school community where children can thrive and teachers and administrators can do their best work.

We pledge to honor your time constraints.

People are often reluctant to participate because they’re afraid they’ll get pulled into a black hole of never-ending time commitment. That won’t happen here.

You’ll meet nice people who share your concerns.

We all have a common bond. We care about creating the best possible educational experiences for our children.

There’s a lot to be done.

These days, schools are asked to do more with less. Our help is needed more than ever to fill the gaps.

We can match jobs to your interests and abilities.

The work we do covers a broad spectrum. We encourage creative ideas, and we’re thrilled to have people take on tasks that meet their skills and interests.

This work is rewarding.

It’s seeing the bright light of learning sparkle in a child’s eye. It’s seeing the smile that shows a child feels a little more comfortable in a learning environment. There are lots of rewards, both big and small, for those who get involved.

You can help even if you don’t have time.

Just by paying your $12 membership fee, you can make a difference. Both your dues and any donations you choose to make are 100% tax deductible. We appreciate any support you are able to give.

Join today!

Sign up online or download our membership form and return it with your check made out to “Douglas PTA” in your child’s folder.

Supporting Student Success

teacher and two elementary school students

As part of the PTA’s plan to increase family engagement this year, we are participating in the National PTA School of Excellence program.  After receiving parent survey responses this fall, we have been provided with a “roadmap to excellence” to help us improve in areas where we are potentially falling short. With that in mind, we will be sharing a short item with you throughout the next few months that we hope you will find useful.  

This month’s topic is Supporting Student Success.

Empowering families to support their own and other children’s success in school is powerful. It is important for parents to be prepared to monitor their children’s progress and guide them as they advance through elementary, middle and high school graduation; postsecondary education; and into a career.

The National PTA has published grade-specific guides that parents can review to see what their students will be learning at each grade level. These provide “clear, consistent expectations for what students should be learning at each grade in order to be prepared for college and career.”

They are all available in English and Spanish at this link:

We hope you’ll be able to check them out and learn a little more about what your children are learning at Douglas!

Tips for Effective Parent-Teacher Communication

Image source:

As part of the PTA’s plan to increase family engagement this year, we are participating in the National PTA School of Excellence program.  After receiving parent survey responses this fall, we have been provided with a “roadmap to excellence” to help us improve in areas where we are potentially falling short.

With that in mind, we will be sharing a short item with you throughout the next few months that we hope you will find useful.  This month’s topic is “Communicating Effectively.”  

Here are just a few tips for effective communication between parents and teachers:

  • Be collaborative with the teacher. Begin your communication with a positive attitude and a willingness to be a partner with your child’s teacher. You both want the best for your child, and working together is the easiest way to achieve that.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Don’t wait until there is a problem to email the teacher. Send emails, notes or even visit in person.
  • Get comfortable within the school and with the teacher. The more comfortable you are, the easier it will be to have those serious conversations when they come up. Stop in for lunch with your child or to lend a hand photocopying or helping with something in the classroom. Join the PTA and get to know other parents through different school events or through a PTA committee. Come to an after-school event and get to know other parents and teachers in a casual “after hours” atmosphere.
  • Feel free to make first contact with the teacher! Good communication runs both ways. If you don’t know how to get in contact with the teacher, call the school, look at the directory on the school website or send a note with your child. They want to hear from you!
  • Follow through with what you say you will do. If you cannot do what you said you would do, communicate that too! 

For more ideas, visit these links: