PTAs Detail Big Donations on Volunteer Hours, Money

The final PTA Council report for the 2018-19 school year indicates the network contributed nearly $860,000 and more than 157,000 volunteer hours to the San Marino Unified School District throughout the year.
The SMUSD Board of Education accepted the report at its meeting last week, during which outgoing PTA Council President Christina Pink highlighted the work of each school’s organization before yielding the floor for individual presentations by the schools’ outgoing presidents.
“Your tireless dedication to each of your schools is beyond compare, and you have achieved so much at your respective schools this year,” Pink told the outgoing presidents.
The organizations allocated a collective $859,417.89 at the district’s four schools throughout the year — $94,586.88 from the San Marino High School PTSA, $167,400 from the Huntington Middle School PTA, $320,699 from the Carver Elementary School PTA and $276.732.01 from the Valentine Elementary School PTA.
Volunteers with each organization also netted 157,370 volunteer hours for the year, an amount valued at nearly $2 million in minimum-wage dollars, according to Pink.
The PTA Council had 2,118 volunteer hours, with the SMHS PTSA contributing 69,355 hours, the HMS PTA contributing 13,031, the Carver PTA contributing 30,742 and the Valentine PTA contributing 42,124.
In addition to Pink, the outgoing organization presidents are Ann Boutin at SMHS, Krishna Rao at HMS, Jackie Chuang at Carver and Zarana Patel at Valentine.
The school board also heard an update from Facilities Advisory Committee chair Jeanie Caldwell on how the group was working on its analysis of district facilities and preparing recommendations for board consideration.
Caldwell, a former school board member, noted that the committee’s impression of the district’s facilities is that they are in generally good condition, but in some cases need repairs or upgrades, either to replace defunct utilities or to address back maintenance issues. The high-volume use of the facilities contributes to this phenomenon, she said.
“We love that,” Caldwell added. “We want our community to feel welcome at our school sites. We obviously want our children to stay at those school sites. We just have to realize that it takes a toll on what those sites look like.”
Caldwell also opined that the district’s ill-fated attempt to propose a facilities bond last year to address deferred maintenance and the upgrading of facilities fell victim to a lack of information among residents, whose opinions were surveyed before the district had made its case to the community.
This issue was magnified, Caldwell added, by the fact that even some committee members misunderstood the purposes of past bond issues involving the district.
“There is a lot of things people surmise and just don’t know,” she said. “There is a lot of incorrect information out there. I think that the survey occurred before we educated [voters]. That has to happen here. What we have to do is to make sure that people are clear. In my experience, once we do that, the community is
really smart and is willing to work. I think it’s a very winnable process. I’d be shocked if it didn’t work.”

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