In years past, PEP has supported students through events such as post prom, Purple Feather Day, and senior recognition. PEP has supported the staff at Central with a holiday tea, appreciation week events, and more. Many of these activities will not be feasible this school year or they will look different than they have previously. Due to these changes, we are striving to provide you with the following: communication, transparency, and volunteer opportunities.
How will we keep in touch?
Approximately once a month, we will distribute a letter, much like this one, to all PEP members, teachers, and staff via email. These communications are in lieu of in-person meetings. We will use this letter to share with you any announcements, our fiscal status, volunteer opportunities, and in general all of our current plans for supporting CHS. These letters might include links to Sign Up Genius or to on-line surveys that we hope you will participate in. Additionally, you may contact us, Kim Shaneyfelt (firstname.lastname@example.org; 402-660-6899) and Laura Ritchie (email@example.com; 402-740-3559). We are your co-presidents and encourage you to reach out to us for any reason.
We will do our best to communicate with you through on-line forums. Our monthly letters will be available on the PEP website (located via the CHS website) and Facebook. Joe Craig (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Gema Simmons (email@example.com) are our social media coordinators. You can find all things PEP on Twitter at @CentralHighPTSA, and Facebook at Central High School PTSA.
What does PEP have planned for students?
How we support our students is especially challenging right now. Rest assured, if opportunity allows, we will jump right in with many of the end-of-year events we have always done. Even if this is not a possibility, we will still plan for a virtual Purple Feather Day. Beth Nodes and Jill Moeller are coordinating this event this year.
One of the mainstays of PEP is fun CHS gear. Although we currently have no opportunities for in-person sales, we now have a web store available where you can purchase T-shirts, sweatshirts, and more. Items purchased on line will be available for pick up at Central. Ken Harris (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Meegan Griggs (email@example.com) are coordinating the site as well as all of our merchandizing. Our merchandise website is omaha-central-hs-pep-ptsa.square.site.
What does PEP have planned for teachers and staff?
PEP started the year by providing a mask with the CHS logo to every staff member at Central.
Earlier this summer, we sent a survey to teachers and staff asking how we can best support them this year. Based on their feedback, we are planning to create a donation cart for them. This cart will be located in the school store and is reserved for teachers and staff only—not students. We hope to stock this cart with free school supplies (pencils, paper, calculators), sanitation/health items (tissue, hand soap), and treats (small candy bars, granola bars, nuts). This cart will be stocked exclusively with donations from our PEP family.
During the year, we will be giving a one-time gift bag to each staff member and teacher who chooses to participate in this event. Each month, a different themed bag will be available. At the beginning of the school year, CHS staff and teachers will request which theme bag they would like to receive. Themes we are considering include coffee, gardening, chocolate, and movies. We will be seeking volunteers to coordinate each month’s gift (look for an email and a Sign Up Genius regarding this coming soon!)
How is PEP spending money this year?
Michelle Lukowski has once again taken on the role of PEP treasurer (firstname.lastname@example.org). She will provide monthly reports in our emails regarding PEP’s finances. Our goal this year is to spend a similar amount of money on teachers as we have in year’s past. Our purchases will be for masks and gift bags and no longer include, for example, the holiday tea. We will soon send PEP members a follow-up email detailing our budget.
Will I be able to volunteer even with distance learning?
We will have several opportunities for amazing volunteers. We are looking for two people to co-chair the donation cart, one or two people to organize each themed gift bag, and someone to create a database of parents and guardians who are interested in sharing their professional expertise with students. Even if organizing isn’t your thing, there will be many requests for donations for the gift bags and donation cart throughout the year. We will be sending a letter to PEP members soon with more details regarding these coordinator positions.
How to I become a member of PEP?
It’s easy! Membership is $15 per person (and is tax deductible). You can mail or drop off a check to PEP, c/o CHS, 124 North 20th St., Omaha, NE 68102. Please include your name, phone number, and an email address. Alternatively, you can pay by credit card via our merchandising site: omaha-central-hs-pep-ptsa.square.site.
Thank you for your support and commitment to Central. We look forward to working with all of you during the upcoming school year. Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us either of us by email or phone.
Laura Ritchie and Kim Shaneyfelt
Executive Board 2020-2021