Thoreau PTO Weekly Update 3-23-22

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Thoreau Elementary PTO exists to foster a greater sense of community by increasing access to the school in an all-inclusive approach for families and specifically the children in our community.


March 28-4/1 – No School (Spring Break)
April 4 – School Resumes
April 5 – Spring Election
April 8 – Early Release (11:45; No 4K)
April 12 – PTO General Meeting (Board Nominations)
April 14 – Early Release (11:45 AM; No 4K)
April 19 – Spring Park Meet-Up @ Marlborough Park (4:30 pm – 6:30 pm)
April 22 – Earth Day
April 23 – Spring Outdoor Work Day @ Thoreau (9:00 am – 12:00 pm)
April 26 – PTO Board Meeting
April 27 – Administrative Professionals Day

Links to MMSD 2021-2022 Calendar (English) (Spanish)

The MMSD 2022-2023 Calendar is also now available online.


  • Quick Notes from the PTO

  • Thoreau Earth Week Celebration

  • Family Advocacy Group

  • Madison Public Schools Foundation – Adopt-a-School Partnerships Update


Have a safe and restful spring break. Looking forward to seeing you all at some of the events this spring. And as always, let us know if there is something you would like to include in a future PTO email or if there is anything you would like to address with the PTO. We are here to listen to our families!

  • PTO Board Meeting Minutes – Check out the Minutes from the PTO Board Meeting last night.

  • Upcoming Events & Volunteer Opportunities – Stay tuned for details on upcoming events in our Thoreau community. Mark your calendars now and we will be in touch as the dates for each event gets closer.

  • Thoreau Earth Week Celebration – April 18th through 23rd (see more details below)

  • Staff Appreciation Week — May 2nd through 6th

  • Spring Rummage Sale — May 21st

  • Ice Cream Social — May 24th (rain date of May 25th)

  • Staff & Teacher Appreciation Week – May 2nd kicks off a week of appreciation for our wonderful Thoreau teachers and staff. Traditionally we have put together a daily schedule of ways to show gratitude for all of our teachers and staff capped off by a luncheon at the end of the week. If you are interested in helping to plan and organize for the week’s activities, please contact Kristin at

  • Volunteering at Thoreau – If you have an interest in helping in the classroom (including the potential classroom volunteer opportunities for Thoreau’s Earth Day Celebration), assisting at recess, chaperoning field trips or working with students, please complete the volunteer application process now via Volunteer Tracker. All volunteers at Thoreau require Level 2 approval (which includes a background check, three district training programs and vaccination verification). Complete the process now so the district approval process doesn’t prevent you from jumping in when you can.

  • Recruiting for the 2022/23 PTO Board – We are still seeking individuals to join the Thoreau PTO Board. In particular, we are looking for someone to shadow the current PTO Treasurer during the 2022/23 school year in hopes that this individual would stay on as Treasurer for the 2023/24 school year. Please reach out to Alexa at if you are interested in learning more.

Consider Becoming a Sustaining Donor — The Thoreau PTO accepts sustaining monthly donations via PayPal (just click the box to select monthly donations). You can change or cancel a recurring donation anytime in your PayPal account settings. The amount you enter will be paid to the PTO from your PayPal account. Don’t have PayPal? Sign up easily while entering your payment information. Sustaining donors provide regular, predictable income for the PTO and allow us to better plan for the future. Consider becoming a transformational donor by making a monthly commitment to the Thoreau PTO.


Earth week is coming up – April 18th – 23rd!

Students will be participating in special Earth Day projects at school Friday, April 22nd. Volunteer opportunities expected. More details to come!

Here are 5 other ways to celebrate:

  1. Go for a nature walk.

  2. Upcycle something at home to give it new life – here are some ideas!

  3. Attend our Thoreau Spring Park Meet-up – Tuesday, April 19th 4:30pm – 6:30pm @ Marlborough Park.

Marlborough Park has a great play structure, a basketball court, and green space! We’ll bring some playground balls and chalk. Join us for outdoor fun and snacks. All grade levels invited to attend!

  1. Pick-up trash in your neighborhood.

  2. Help out for Thoreau Earth Day Work Day – Saturday, April 23rd 10:00am – 12:00pm @ Thoreau.

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than help take care of our lovely school grounds?! We will be moving mulch, pulling weeds and preparing our garden beds for planting. Kids are encouraged to join! Feel free to come the whole time, or just spend an hour. Any help is greatly appreciated and no experience is necessary. Bring work gloves if you have them, and your favorite weeding tool. We will also have plenty to share. If interested, please email Thanks!


As families in the Thoreau community you can have an important role in advocating for the school, teachers, staff, and students in a variety of ways. Some recent school district decisions have caught our eye and we support finding ways to explore how to come together in support of our teachers and families. One concern in particular relates to classroom allocations (the overall number of classrooms/teachers per grade level) for Thoreau as preliminarily communicated to us by Principal Davidson at the last PTO meeting. We want Thoreau to build the program it needs for the teachers, staff and students and to find a way to effectively advocate for it so it becomes a reality. Interested? Curious? Email Thoreau parent Erica (


Our community has a strong history of involvement in our schools as businesses, organizations, and individuals devote themselves to helping our students achieve academically and grow through personal enrichment.

The Madison Public Schools Foundation (MPSF) established its Adopt-a-School program in order to build upon these existing community partnerships and establish new ones, thus expanding educational opportunities for the 27,000 scholars in our 50 public schools. The program creates tailor-made partnerships that vary depending on the needs of the school and the specific interests of the Adopt-a-School partner.

Thoreau Elementary School benefits from robust Adopt-a-School partnerships with

  • American Printing Company

  • Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin

  • Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Our Adopt-a-School partners meet with Principal Davidson, Social Worker Ada Zhang and Laura Glaub and PTO representatives on a bi-monthly basis to ensure that they are aware of current needs and are supporting the school in ways that make the greatest impact.

Our Adopt-a-School partners provide an extensive array of human, material, and financial resources in keeping with the needs and priorities identified by the school. When the school reaches out with a specific need or request, the response is immediate and heartfelt. We are so grateful for their support!

The following is just a small sample of that support:

  • Organization and funding for The Weekend Food Bag Program and, during the pandemic, the Madison West High Area Collaborative

  • Snacks for classrooms and school events

  • Warm winter hats, gloves, boots and outerwear

  • Supplies for our health office

  • Holiday food items and gifts

  • School supplies

  • Space for events – Westminster Church has hosted the talent show and Scratch Club and during the pandemic allowed the Collaborative to support Thoreau families by using the space as a storage and staging site for a massive food and household items delivery program.

  • Health office supplies

  • Endless supplies of paper

  • Expertise in a wide variety of fields

  • Volunteers for school events

If you have any questions about the Adopt-a-School program or are interested in becoming an Adopt-a-School partner with Thoreau, contact Mary Bartzen at the Madison Public Schools Foundation.

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