PTO

Welcome! Whether you are a new Bugbee family, or returning for your final year, we hope you had a happy, healthy and relaxing summer and are – like us -- looking forward to an exciting school year!

The PTO is an integral part of our children’s lives at Bugbee. In addition to providing materials and activities to enrich the educational experience of our children, the PTO has two other important goals. The first is to facilitate productive communication within our school community, and the second is to see that all students, parents and teachers catch the Bugbee spirit! We hope all families at Bugbee to feel a meaningful part of this wonderful community. Below are some ways you can connect!

Konstella-Bugbee PTO will again be using Konstella as our online communication tool. Please refer to this document for more information on how to register. Konstella is your one-stop resource to keep current on all things Bugbee, including:

  • classroom communication
  • online directory
  • volunteer sign-ups
  • event organization
  • calendar of school activities
  • event reminders
  • online donations and payments
  • social groups (ex.: new families)

Volunteer - Bugbee is fortunate to have incredible dedicated parent volunteers. Click here to review opportunities to support the Bugbee community through PTO activities -- including room parents, morning announcement volunteers and chairing events for the coming year. Please consider signing up to volunteer.

Contribute – You can download the PTO Membership Drive letter form that explains how your PTO membership contributions are used to support many of the amazing activities at Bugbee. The suggested donation is $15 per family, please contribute what you can. This year, for your convenience, we are accepting online payments for your PTO Membership contributions. If you prefer, paper forms can be returned with payment to the office.

Attend Events – At Bugbee, we sponsor many fun-filled events throughout the year that build community and raise money to support programs at Bugbee. (All details for these events can be found on Konstella.) Please join us!  

We look forward to working with you and welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. We thank you in advance for your generosity and hope you will also offer your time and talents during the school year!

Sincerely,

Debbie Dylan and Allison Saulsbury, PTO Co-Presidents

 

Things to Know About Bugbee School

Parking, Drop Off, and Pick UP

To help ensure a safe and smooth arrival and dismissal at Bugbee, a large designated drop-off zone for our students exists in the upper parking lot. Students being dropped off should exit vehicles from the passenger side and follow the marked area /sidewalk along the perimeter of the parking lot to line up by the “Intermediate Door” entrance. Please have your child ready to “go” when you pull up to the drop off area - if you need to assist your child out of your vehicle, you must park in the upper level parking lot.

Students may also be dropped off on the south side of Asylum Avenue and walk up the sidewalk path to the school.

For safety reasons, U-turns, K-turns, and double-parking are not permitted in any Bugbee driveway, parking lot, or drop-off zone.

School Visitation and Volunteers

Parents are encouraged and welcomed to visit Bugbee for various events and to volunteer around our building! For the safety and well being of all our children, all visitors must enter through the front door only, sign in at the office with each visit, and wear a visitor badge. In order to minimize classroom disruptions and be respectful of instructional time, families who wish to meet with a teacher should kindly call or e-mail the office or teacher to schedule an appointment.

Volunteers can help around our building in a variety of ways, including assisting students without evaluating them; monitoring students’ activities, drill, practice, or research; reading stories to students; assisting in the library/media center; recording tapes for a listening center; providing clerical assistance for the classroom or office; or providing enrichment opportunities via special interests, talents, or connections to others.

Volunteers serve as wonderful and positive role models for our students. Our expectation is that all volunteers keep classroom work, activities, and conversations appropriately confidential, and never compare one child to another or one teacher to another. Volunteers should be prompt and dependable, arriving on time and in a fashion scheduled in advance with the teacher. In so doing, volunteers are critical team members in our students’ and school’s success!

Home-School Communication

Creating positive connections between home and school is an important part of any school year! There are many avenues to promote these connections, and parents should never hesitate to use them. For everyday communication, we can be reached throughout the school day through phone and e-mail (addresses are included in the Directory). Classroom newsletters go home on a regular basis, and The Bugbee Buzz is published twice a month, alternating between a “full size” edition and a Mini-Buzz.  Additionally, the PTO Blast is the weekly e-mail newsletter from the Bugbee PTO.

If you have a question or concern regarding individual children - your child’s teachers should always be the first point of contact. Contact the teacher through note, voicemail, or e-mail. The teacher will contact you to discuss the concern either on the phone, in e-mail, or in person at a conference. Kindly remember that teachers cannot respond immediately via phone or e-mail during the school day; as such, items of a more immediate nature should be addressed to the office.

If you have more general questions and concerns regarding the school or district - the first person to contact is our school secretary, Mrs. Maggie Sullivan. If the secretary cannot answer your questions, she will direct your call to the person most likely able to assist you, or will leave a message for that person to contact you.  

Lunch at Bugbee/ Food Allergies

All children in grades K-5 eat lunch at school. A hot lunch is available, with a menu going home each month to help families plan ahead. We welcome you to join us for lunch! Please be aware that for safety reasons (see below), if you bring in a lunch or treats, you may do so for your child only. Please join your child’s table at the lunchroom so that students continue to eat with their friends.

As you may know, West Hartford Public School has instituted a practice of peanut/nut free classrooms. This means that all classrooms are peanut/nut free. During grade level lunch times, a peanut-free/nut-free table is provided in the cafeteria for those children with nut allergies. Other children are encouraged to sit at this table as well provided they have only peanut-free/nut-free items in their lunches.

Birthday and Classroom Snacks

At Bugbee we emphasize healthy eating and reinforce this throughout the school day during snack times, lunch, and in our classrooms. Please help your child select nutritious snacks such as fruits, vegetables, juice, cheese, etc., when packing lunches and providing snacks for school. Soda and candy should not be sent in to school.

School Birthday Recognition/Curricular Connections:

A few minutes of class time is often taken to recognize each student’s birthday; we even share student birthdays as part of our daily Morning Announcements!  As we continue to increase our awareness of food allergies and promoting healthy and positive eating habits, please know that we celebrate and recognize student birthdays at Bugbee School without food. Your classroom teacher will share with you how the various grade levels/classrooms celebrate birthdays.

Food remains a wonderful component in various parts of our elementary curriculum; we require that families contact their classroom teacher and the school nurse prior to bringing in food for curricular connections to ensure that no students will be impacted or left out because of a food allergy/sensitivity – Room Parents can be a great resource here as well. As with any issue related to the safety of our children, the Principal reserves final rights of approval or denial as they relate to bringing in of foods in the classroom.

Konstella FAQ

How can I receive/stop receiving phone notifications/emails?

Your notifications by email and to your mobile phone can be adjusted in the SETTINGS menu. These settings can only be adjusted by the user. A Konstella Administrator cannot make this adjustment for you.

Why is my address/phone/email not showing up in the directory?

 

There are four possible reasons why your information may not be displayed in the online and printable Directory:

1)   You may not be registered for Konstella

2)   You may be registered for Konstella but not connected to your child and child’s classroom(s).

3)   You may be registered correctly but not have included your contact information in your User Profile.

4)   You may be registered and included your contact information, but you have selected privacy settings that keep this contact information from being displayed to others. These can ONLY be updated by the user.  A Konstella administrator cannot make this change for you.

Do I have to use Konstella?

No. Konstella is a Bugbee PTO tool – NOT a School or District tool. As such, Konstella remains voluntary for both families and staff. The Bugbee PTO is using Konstella to:

1)   manage PTO volunteers, committees, and projects

2)   maintain a current, accessible directory of families and classrooms that allows member-to-member communication while still offering custom privacy options for all users

3)   offer online payment options

4)   provide event information parents can “pull” as often as convenient

5)   provide parents with customizable notification system for PTO information

6)   maintain a public, customizable calendar with sync capabilities

7)   decentralizing PTO communications to allow volunteers direct responsibility for and access to any tools they need for their project

8)   maintain the above features year-over-year, creating a place for organizational memory and requiring less recreating of the wheel.

Can we just use one source of communication for school and PTO?

Classroom teachers, the Bugbee office, and the West Hartford Public Schools all have their own communication tools. Since PTO is an independent organization, we don’t have access to WHPS tools. The PTO makes every effort to keep any overlapping information we might share accurate to what these other sources are providing and to refer back to the “expert” source wherever possible. Any information pertaining to your student that the school needs to communicate comes from the school or district directly. If you “opt out” on PTO communications through Konstella, you may miss information about activities directed by the PTO (and there are many great ones!), but you will not miss out on district, school or teacher-generated communications.

Can I set up a classroom for an activity: for instance, KidsLink (or ski club/carpool/playgroup/choir/band)?

Konstella limits the participation of students to one Classroom per every student. However, there is no limitation for parent participation in Social Groups or Committees. You can create a group for your student’s activity either as a Committee or as a Social Group depending on your objectives for the group. See below.

What is the difference between a Social Group and a Committee?

Social Groups have no lead/administrator position. A Social Group can be created by any registered Konstella member at Bugbee – staff or parent. All members are equally able to post updates, files, photos, calendar items, announcements etc. to the rest of the group. In a Social Group, each member is responsible for joining or leaving the group independently.

Committees must be created by a Konstella administrator, and like a classroom, can have a “Committee Lead” position filled by one or more members, though it is not necessary that these positions be filled. Konstella members can join any open Committee position, but Committee Leads also have the additional privileges of being able to add or remove other committee members, roles, and privileges for the roles. All other activities – posting updates, files, photos, calendar items, announcements etc. to the rest of the group – can be done by all committee members, just as within a Social Group.

How can I purchase GoCards or Bugbee Spirit Wear online?

Items that are for sale by the PTO can be purchased during the order window on Konstella using a credit card. In many cases, a cash or check payment can also be accepted with an online order placed through Konstella.  All current Sales are found using the MORE tab in the top menu and selecting SALES. Confirmation of orders and receipts for past purchases can be found under the left-hand USER drop down menu (YOUR NAME) under PURCHASES.

How can I make a donation online?

For most cash-based PTO fundraising projects donations can be made online using a credit card. All current donations pages are found using the MORE tab in the top menu and selecting DONATIONS. Confirmation of your donation and receipts for tax-deductible donations can be found under the left-hand USER drop down menu (YOUR NAME) under DONATIONS.

It’s tax time! How can I check if my donation or purchase is tax deductible?

Tax-deductible donations as described above are recorded in Konstella and receipts are emailed at the time of donation. You may also lookup your past donations and download the receipt for your records.

How can I use Konstella to contact other members?

 

Any member registered in Konstella has done so with an email address. Most members have selected to make their phone, address and/or email public to other Bugbee Konstella members. Any member who has elected to keep their email private still can be contacted via Konstella without an email address through the Messages feature.

If you prefer email, you may search for a member’s email and use Konstella to email them or just copy into your own email server. Here are three ways to locate a member’s contact information:

1)   You may use the online classroom directory to locate the parent.

2)   You may use the directory search function to search for either a parent or a student by first or last name, then select their parent to view their contact information

3)   You may begin an email to a parent and use the auto-fill feature to include additional emails.

Can I get a printed Directory?

Yes! And it will be current when you print it. Under the left menu, select DIRECTORY. When your classroom directory appears, select PRINT DIRECTORY on the top right, choose which classroom(s) you would like to download, and select PRINT. The PDF of your selected classrooms will download automatically. You may then print the PDF file. Note: the Konstella online directory has the advantage of being user-maintained, meaning members can correct or update their information as needed, keeping the directory always current. This is especially advantageous to new families and staff joining Bugbee mid-year. Please keep this in mind if you choose to print and use a paper copy of the online Directory, which may not include later updates made in Konstella.

Can I sync my calendar to the Konstella Calendar?

Yes. Sync your Konstella calendar to your personal Google/Apple/Live/Yahoo calendars on the Calendar > Sync. Once Sync Calendar is set up, updates in your schools, classrooms, and groups will be automatically to your personal calendars.

How do I clear out items from my Feed?

The Feed is the listing of all school-wide notices. How you respond to a notice in your feed determines what happens to it. Any items from your feed that you have not yet replied to will remain in full color with the response options shown (“acknowledge,” “sign up,” “donate,” etc.)  Once you have taken one of these actions, the item will remain in color with the action noted: “you’ve signed up” or “you’ve acknowledged.” If you choose “ignore,” the item will show your action as “ignored” and turn grey. (You still have the option to change your response until the deadline for the event.) Once an event or signup deadline has passed, the item will become gray. The gray items in your feed can be removed only by the organizer of the event or publisher of the notice.

What if my question isn’t answered above?

Konstella Help Features: Bugbee PTO has full service from Konstella, meaning you can use the help question mark to ask your questions of Konstella directly anytime.  The response time from their team (on the West Coast) is usually within 24 hours.