Q. How do I become a member of the PTO?

A. In the past, we asked all families of children in the district to become a member of the PTO by making a donation of $10 per family. As a thank you for the donation, we provided members with a copy of the Dial, our student directory. Beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the purchase of the Dial will no longer be tied to membership. All families, staff and teachers of District 73 will automatically become members of the PTO.

Q. Why does the PTO participate in fundraisers that sell seemingly over priced items?

A. The PTO’s goal is always to provide a broad selection of fundraisers. We do not expect everyone to participate in each fundraiser but hope that with the variety we offer, there is something that appeals to everyone. In addition, while we do not expect you to sell to family and friends, we appreciate the extra funding if you wish to spread the word. When we choose a fundraiser where goods are sold, please keep in mind that not only does the PTO need to make a profit, but so does the company selling the product. This, in turn, can lead to an increase in the price for the goods sold.

Q. Why did the PTO decide to switch to an online form of the Dial?

A. The PTO tries its best to be “green” in terms of cutting down on paper usage. Making the Dial available online helps us to do this. Additionally, we can offer more contact information, such as email addresses, in an online version of the Dial.

Q. Can we also have a paper copy of the Dial?

A. The PTO is looking into this possibility beyond the 2016-2017 school year. We will be looking into finding an on-demand publishing service that would allow you to print/order a paper Dial version in addition to the online version.

Q. What communication channels does the PTO provide so that I can remain up to date and aware of upcoming events and programs?

A. The PTO has its own website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, online newsletter (the Pipeline) and includes updates in the Hawthorn Highlights. We also occasionally send paper reminders home with your child regarding selected events. The district calendar that is provided to each family in their class assignments also includes PTO events for the school year and our Pipeline and PTO home page has a section for “upcoming events/dates. If you wish to receive the Pipeline and our email blasts, please click here to register.

Q. How can I financially support the PTO if I don’t want to purchase any products or goods?

A. Beginning this spring, you will have the ability to visit our PTO Online Store and donate any amount that you wish.

Q. What am I expected to donate toward the PTO Teacher Appreciation events?

A. The PTO asks that you simply give what you can toward the district teacher appreciation events, whether it’s a food or monetary donation.

Q. I have shared some of my frustrations and opinions with the PTO and I feel that they have not been dealt with well.

A. Please be aware that we have a very large and diverse school community in our district. We are volunteers who try our hardest to raise money for the district, support our teachers and give our kids all that they need. We try our best to weigh decisions based on how they will best help our staff, schools and kids. . If you feel you have suggestions or ideas on how to better help us accomplish these goals, we invite and welcome you to join the PTO. You may also feel free to contact the PTO President for any reason at pto.president@hawthorn73.org.

Q. What is the difference between the PTO and the Family Alliances at each school?

A. The Family Alliances were put in place to provide social events within each school and to encourage a sense of community. Some of the events that take place are Back to School Bashes, Family Fun Nights and ice cream Fridays. The PTO is primarily the fundraising arm of the district. It was decided long ago to create a district-wide PTO in order to pool our resources and allow equity among our programs. By keeping our fundraising centrally located, we avoid “nickel and diming” our parents with multiple fundraisers on multiple levels. Please visit the PTO website to learn more about our fundraisers and programming.

Q. I’d love to volunteer, but I don’t know how to get involved.

A. In a continuing effort to go “green” the PTO began soliciting volunteers using the SignUpGenius web site. Prior to each event, an email blast is sent out requesting people visit the SignUpGenius page to volunteer. We also post requests for volunteers in our Pipeline and on the webpage for each committee. In addition, if you are interested in a leadership position or in chairing a committee, please contact the PTO President at pto.president@hawthorn73.org.

Q. How do I know what the PTO funds are being used for?

A. At the end of each school year, the PTO distributes money raised to each school on a per capita basis. Those funds are used at the discretion of the principal for educational extras within the school. The PTO does not decide how the funds are used. For a summary of how those funds are being used, please see the attached page.

Q. How do you plan to make up the loss of the money raised in the Target Take Charge of Education Program?

A. The loss of the Target Program was a significant blow to our fundraising dollars. As a result, we have been looking into adding more fundraisers and will be rolling out a 5K run/walk in October 2016. We are also asking families to donate to the $7.30 for District 73 fund which will help to offset the loss of the approximately $25,000 we raised through the Target Program.