Below is information that new Beeks community members may find useful.
How do monthly PTO meetings work?
Meetings are typically conducted by the PTO president or other PTO board member. There are various reports from the president, treasurer, principal and teacher representatives. Voting on minutes from previous meetings occurs. New and old business are discussed. The meetings are typically held in the school library but sometimes it is moved to a meeting room or classroom. As of right now, childcare is not available. However, some attendees do bring their children and have them read books or play their personal gaming systems.
What is Books For Breakfast (B4B)?
Books for Breakfast is a monthly event in which students may select a free book to take home from tables set up in the cafeteria (multi-purpose room) before school. Siblings are also encouraged to participate in the Books for Breakfast program. Breakfast purchase is not required. Books are typically separated by reading level. Books are purchased using PTO funds or donated by Beeks community members. Adult volunteers who assist children with selecting books are typically parent volunteers or Beeks reading specialty teachers. If you would like to donate elementary-appropriate books, there is a donation drop off box in the main office (near the check-in station).
What are Fall and Spring Festivals?
Fall Festival commonly happens in October or November. Spring Festival commonly happens in May. Both festivals typically involve a variety of family friendly activities that may include crafts, sports, demonstrations, movies, food, etc. The festivals are typically run by PTO volunteers and teacher/staff volunteers.
What are Book Fairs?
The school works in conjunction with Scholastic Books to offer popular books for sale. In some instances, other items such as posters, pencils, erasers, kits, etc. are also offered for sale. In general, sales results in books or cash that can be used by the school library. In the past, proceeds have been used to purchase new books, videos and/or updates to the library infrastructure. Sometimes a Buy-One-Get-One promotion is offered; during such a promotion, the school receives no profits from the Book Fair.
What Teacher and Staff Appreciation activities exist?
The PTO has a Teacher Appreciation committee that does an excellent job of coordinating fun events to express appreciation for staff and teachers. In the past, this has included a variety of luncheon events and small gifts throughout the school year. Additionally, some room parents will coordinate a classroom gift for the national Teacher Appreciation Day; if this happens, parents may receive a request for a small donation to purchase the classroom gift.
What is Guest Author Day?
Guest Author Day is usually sponsored through a generous grant from NBB (National Bank of Blacksburg). A children's book author is invited to interact with kids and to autograph books for the kids. This day typically happens in the spring. Previous guest authors have included Cece Bell, Kim Norman, and Tom Angleberger.
How do I get involved with the PTO?
Community members wishing to get involved with the PTO should consider speaking to one of the PTO executive board members (see the Volunteers page) and/or attend the monthly PTO meetings. There is a wide variety of volunteer activities, some of which are one-time events while others may require repeating commitment. Some volunteer positions require on-site work while others may be conducted off-site. There is a volunteer sign-up sheet typically included with First Day information packets (which your child usually receives this packet at the Back-to-School (Meet-the-Teacher) night); however, there will be multiple requests for volunteers throughout the school year. Volunteering with the PTO and the school is a great way to get to know teachers, staff, your child's classmates as well as other parents!
How does PTO raise funds and what does it do with the funds?
The PTO raises funds through a variety of mechanisms. The largest fundraiser is the Kroger Cares program (see the Fundraising tab for more information). PTO also receives cash donations from Beeks community members. NBB (National Bank of Blacksburg) has generously supported the annual Guest Author Day. The PTO is also involved in the Box Tops for Education program and sometimes receives funds from the sale of spring school portraits. VT parking also brings in significant income. PTO funds may be used for supporting school initiatives, paying for supplies/equipment, teacher mini-grants, social activities (Fall and Spring Festival, etc.), buying planners for students, etc.
Why does the PTO want Box Tops?
Box Tops for Education is a program that gives 10 cents for each valid Box Top. The Box Top coordinator of our PTO is responsible for collecting, counting and submitting Box Tops. Money from the Box Tops program is deposited as PTO income. If you use products with Box Tops, you can clip the Box Tops and submit them to your child's teacher.
What is the Fifth Grade Legacy program?
Started in 2010, the Fifth Grade Legacy program was developed to allow fifth graders an opportunity to give back to the Beeks community. Fifth graders and their families raise money to support a project of their grade's choosing. The class of 2010 donated 20 books to the school library. Your child may find special bookplates in some of the books they check out. The class of 2011 donated art equipment. The class of 2012 donated books to complete some of their favorite book series. The class of 2016 donated the Little Free Library that is at Beeks, near the school marquee, and the class of 2017 donated a buddy bench.
Do fifth graders have a special promotion ceremony?
Typically there is a parent-coordinated ceremony in the spring in which fifth graders are "promoted". This is a family oriented event, typically with food. Requests for volunteers usually goes out a few weeks prior to the ceremony. Funds for the ceremony are usually raised through the Fifth Grade Social.
What is the Fifth Grade Social?
The fifth grade social is typically open to 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. For a modest fee, students participate in a party that involves food and music (complimentary music is typically provided by the awesome Mr. Brown). Proceeds form the Fifth Grade Social is used to host the promotion ceremony for fifth graders toward the end of the school year.
Yearbooks are typically for sale annually. In general, yearbooks must be ordered and paid for in advance. Most years, the yearbook has been a softcover version.
Sometimes I get requests for my student to participate in non-PTO fundraisers. How does that work?
Teachers and staff may work with the principal to lead fundraisers for organizations such as the American Heart Association. Also, the school sometimes participates in local food drives.
What is Micah's Backpack?
Micah's backpack is a program run by St. Michael Lutheran Church. With many community partners, Micah's Backpack's mission is to work with local schools to provide weekend food to children who qualify for the free lunch program. Learn more at: http://micahsbackpack.org/about-us/
What are restaurant nights?
The PTO partners with various local restaurants to host fundraising nights through-out the school year. During specific business hours on that night, part of the sales go to the PTO. It's a great way to support a local business, see other Beeks families and support our organization.
What about after-school clubs?
In general, the PTO does not financially sponsor after-school organizations. However, there are many after school clubs and events that are sponsored by the county, school, or other external organizations.
What is Cub Connections?
Cub Connections is an enrichment program for students before school and after school, held at Margaret Beeks Elementary School. Check out the Cub Connections link on the MBES home page to learn more.
I want to know more about my child's curriculum.
While you can always contact your child's teacher for more information, there are typically by-grade-level curriculum nights that offer parents a chance to learn more about curriculum in a group setting. These are sponsored by the grade-level teachers and typically happen in early fall.
I am clearing out my house and want to donate items to the school. How do I go about this?
Books in good condition can be donated to Books For Breakfast (there is a box for donations in the main office near the check-in station) or the library (contact the media specialist). Sports equipment can be donated directly to your child's teacher; these will likely be used as shared recess equipment. Office supplies can be donated to the main office.
My child checked out a book with a nameplate indicating that the book had been donated in honor of a Beeks student. If I want to do this in honor of my own child, how do I do this?
Contact the Beeks media specialist (librarian), Mrs. Burch, for more details. Donating a book is an inexpensive way to honor your child's birthday or favorite teacher, and helps the school continue to offer diverse book choices.
What and when is the International Dinner?
International dinner is sponsored primarily by Beeks teachers and staff, using some funds from the PTO. Families are encouraged to bring food to share with others. Sometimes, entertainment in the form of dance and music is provided. Guests are invited to dress in clothing to reflect the customs of other countries. International dinner usually occurs in the spring.
I want to better understand the issues of the school system for the entire county. What should I do?
News about Montgomery County Public Schools c an be found on the website: http://www.mcps.org/ There you will find information about school board meetings, the budget, redistricting, etc.
I'm in a university or community organization that wants to help Beeks in some way.
University and community members are encouraged to help our school. Contact Principal Mefford to discuss ways your organization can help.