Frequently Asked Questions
Ben Franklin families may have questions regarding the Ben Franklin PTO generally or specific questions directed toward the PTO Board Members. To help clarify an issue, or alleviate any concerns or confusion, below is a list of commonly asked questions. If your question has not been answered below, please feel free to email any of the PTO Board Members in Contact Us.
Why are there so many PTO events throughout the year?
The Ben Franklin PTO recognizes that families have work, family, or personal obligations that may prevent them from otherwise attending PTO events. The PTO strives to give all families an opportunity to come enjoy events and therefore work very hard to organize and execute a variety of events throughout the year, both larger paid events, as well as smaller free events, in hopes that every family has a chance to take part and feel connected to the school. While it may seem overwhelming for families at times to be offered so many choices and chances to attend events, the PTO’s desire for all families and students to have an opportunity to attend events and enjoy the school is on the forefront and remains a high priority for the Ben Franklin PTO.
I am confused about the school directory. How do I view it? How can I pay to gain access?
The school directory is available through a program called Membership Toolkit. You can access it on their website or download the Membership Toolkit app on your phone or tablet. You will need to create an account to log in. Please click here and follow the instructions. To be able to view the names in the school directory, a payment of $15 to the Ben Franklin PTO is needed either by cash, check or by paying directly on Membership Toolkit using Paypal. For any additional questions, please contact the Ben Franklin PTO Recording Secretary, Megan Coopersmith.
Why do I receive so many PTO flyers in my child’s take-home folder?
The Ben Franklin PTO throws many fundraisers and events throughout the school year. It is important for the success of the events, as well as for the PTO itself, that all of the BF families are aware of these events and activities so that everyone has an opportunity to attend, get involved, or donate to the cause. Even though the PTO also conveys the information through its emails and posts on social media, it also recognizes that some BF families simply prefer paper copies of information instead. Some families may not have access to or may not prefer using a computer, or may not have social media accounts. The PTO tries to be mindful of these situations by conveying PTO related information through various sources to ensure that all families feel connected and aware of the PTO happenings at the school.
I want to help out, but I don’t have a lot of free time. What can I do?
The Ben Franklin PTO understands families are busy and cannot always volunteer for events, but rest assured there is plenty of other help that is needed and always appreciated. Helping the PTO can come in many forms. It can be by committing to a large undertaking such as chairing a fundraiser at the school, to something as small as scanning your receipt using the Box Tops app. Volunteering on the day of the event is another great way to help without worrying about a large commitment as most “day of” volunteering is only one-hour shifts. Also, simply attending PTO events with your family is another opportunity to help. Whatever you choose to do to help out the Ben Franklin PTO, please know the PTO is so grateful to you.
Why do we need to pay cash now when signing up for events?
The PTO Board has been trying to navigate how best to have families make payments to attend functions. Various online payment sites take a portion of every sale, which would greatly reduce the PTO’s profit margin for events if done for every event during the entire school year. Accepting checks for events involves a lot of manual overhead that the PTO Board is trying to avoid. The PTO Board has been investigating the use of a free online payment service such as Venmo and Google Pay, however it has proven difficult to organize how the record of payments received can easily be conveyed to the various chairs of PTO events. All online payment transactions need to be linked to the PTO bank account which is not accessible by others other than the PTO Treasurer, Stacy Donohue. The PTO Board is continuing to explore this as an option, but in the meantime is requesting much of the transactions to be handled in cash.
How can I learn about how much money is raised by the PTO and how it is spent?
Each PTO meeting, the Ben Franklin PTO Treasurer, Stacy Donohue, has a Treasurer Report in which she announces the incoming and outgoing funds from the PTO bank account since the previous PTO meeting. Following the PTO meeting, the Ben Franklin PTO Recording Secretary, Megan Coopersmith, posts the Treasurer’s Report within the Meeting Minutes and posts it on the website. The PTO Board also publishes at the end of the school year a breakdown as to where all the funds went and the total money that came in for the year. To see the end of the year report for the 2018-2019 school year, please click here.
Do the PTO Board members get paid?
No. Becoming an elected PTO Board member is a volunteer position. PTO Board Members choose to take on their roles because of an interest in enhancing the school, providing special activities and field trips for the students, and connecting the Ben Franklin families together to strengthen the school overall. Just like other Ben Franklin families, the PTO Board Members also pay the same price to attend PTO events or purchase PTO goods or services.