Category Archives: PCO Business

PCO Steering Committee is Seeking New Members

Did you know that the PCO is organized and operated by a Steering Committee? The Steering Committee is a group of parent volunteers who work together to plan and organize meetings, brainstorm ideas, spear-head fundraising efforts, plan fun events, and much more. The Steering Committee currently has the following openings available and we’d love to welcome some new faces to join group. We’re in search of a few folks who will join us as:

  • Members at Large – participate in activities of the Steering Committee including meetings, participate in PCO events, vote on important PCO decisions, and share thoughts and ideas.
  • Lower School Vice Chair – assist the Chair in planning meetings and events, serve as parent representative for the Lower School, and check PCO mailbox once a week.
  • Upper School Vice Chair – assist the Chair in planning meetings and events, serve as parent representative for the Upper School, and check PCO mailbox once a week.
  • Treasurer – oversee the financial operations of the PCO including record keeping, reporting on budgets, and other financial activities.

This is an open, friendly, and welcoming team and we hope you will consider joining us as we continue our work in making ECS a great place for our kids, staff, and families.

More information about Steering Committee responsibilities


March 9: PCO Meeting

Nurse Judy is working with the American Healthcare Group and the ACHD to provide the ECS community with information about the HPV vaccine. ​A representative from ​each will be present at the ​​March 9th PCO ​M​eeting at 7pm for a short presentation and to answer questions. ​This vaccine is especially pertinent for ​kids age 11 and 12. Even if your kids aren’t of age yet, it is a good idea to get information about this vaccine ahead of time because the timing of it contributes to its effectiveness. Click here for more information.

NEW: Jon McCann will be there to share information about the expansion and answer questions.

We’ll also hear from Julie Paris with an update from Grade Level Reps as well as more info about the best way to utilize this resource. As always, there will be free childcare for school-aged children and free pizza… see you at the Upper School Cafe on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7-8:30pm!

January 12 – PCO Meeting

Come to the next Parent Community Organization Meeting to hear about the work that Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) is doing with ECS’s 4th-8th grades. Gail Brown, PAAR’s Manager of Prevention and Outreach Services, will present to parents.

We will also learn more about how ECS is faring academically relative to other public schools in the city. James Fogarty, Executive Director of A+ Schools, will present on ECS’s data collected for the A+ Schools Report to the Community.

Join us on Thursday, January 12 at 7-8:30pm in the Upper School Cafe. Free childcare will be provided for school-aged children, and we’ll also have pizza available to accommodate families’ busy after-school schedules. Questions? Email

December PCO Meeting

PCO Meeting Topic: Choosing a High School/Are ECS students prepared for high school? We will invite some ECS graduates to share their experiences transitioning from ECS to high school. Join us for a discussion among parents, staff and students.

We will also have a preview of the Fair Trade Marketplace which opens to the public on Dec. 10. Be the first to shop at this preview event starting at 6:30pm before the meeting.

Join us on Thursday, December 8 at 6:30-8:30pm (meeting and childcare start at 7) in the Upper School Cafe. Free childcare will be provided for school-aged children, and we’ll also have pizza available to accommodate families’ busy after-school schedules.

Questions? Have an ECS grad who would like to share their experience? Email

November PCO Meeting

PCO Meeting Topic: Charter Schools. What does it mean to have a child in a charter school? How does our school fit in the public school system alongside other charters, magnets, and traditional schools? Are there ways that we should be advocating for our school and for charters as a whole? Rachel Amankulor from PennCan will lead us in a discussion about how our school fits in the public system and what we can do to support our school and charters in general.

Join us on Thursday, November 10 at 7-8:30pm in the Upper School Cafe. Free childcare will be provided for school-aged children, and we’ll also have pizza available to accommodate families’ busy after-school schedules. Questions? Email

PCO Meeting – 2016-2017 SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR

Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions or comment about the 2016-2017 school year calendar at the next PCO Meeting on April 14. The ECS Home Office will also have an update on the Lower School Beautification Project/Playground. Free childcare will be available for school aged children until 8:00.

To ensure all questions are answered, we are asking parents to submit questions in advance at the following link: or written on a piece of paper and placed in the PCO mailbox in either school building.

What: A discussion about the addition of half days to the 2016-2017 calendar
When: Thursday April 14th, 2016 at 6:30 – 8:00
Where: Upper School Cafe
Who: Jon McCann, Ashley Bergman, Mandy Cribbs, and YOU!

Mini Grants Awarded

playground_toysMini-grants from early fall have been awarded. You may have noticed the effects of some of these in the classroom or around the school. Fifth grade classrooms will be using Go Pro Hero video cameras during hikes and outdoor activities to document memorable experiences in nature. Both schools (and various classes in each) will be working with a new DJ Controller to learn the ins an out of music mixing; the controller will be making appearances at upcoming dances and events as well. Our Cross Country and Ultimate teams will be sheltered at future sporting events under a tent that proudly declares our ECS spirit. Finally, in the lower school, outdoor recess experience has received a boost of fun (and some exercise as well) with the addition of new toys, games and playground equipment.

November PCO Business Meeting

The next PCO meeting will be held on Thursday, November 12 at 6:30pm in the Lower School cafeteria. Note the new location. Please enter the back door by the parking lot.

ECS PCO Bake Sale Policy

The PCO has made a commitment to nut-free bake sales for the safety and health of our school community. Every three minutes, someone enters a U.S. emergency room due to a food allergy reaction. Children are most likely to have their first reaction at school, and a quarter of those who require epinephrine for treatment of symptoms have not had a diagnosis and are not aware they have a food allergy.

Food allergy reactions can vary widely, and may be fatal. Some children may experience the symptoms from direct contact, and others may react to allergens in the air. Peanuts and tree nuts are the leading cause of fatal or near fatal food allergy reactions. Symptoms can occur as a response to very small amounts of the allergen.

Hand sanitizer cannot remove nut proteins; soap and water are necessary to clean them. Keeping our bake sales nut-free supports the school’s nut-free classroom policy and helps to ensure that our students’ safety while attending school events.

Learn more about food allergies.

We welcome your nut-free donations to our bake sales.

Our next bake sale will be held at the Fall Festival on Oct. 24, 2015. Sign up to bake here.

PCO Board Representative Position Open

The PCO is seeking applicants for a PCO representative to the ECS Board of Trustees. The PCO representative will act as the voice of the PCO at Board of Trustees meetings and will report to the PCO regarding the decisions and outcomes of those meetings. If you are interested in this position, please write a brief letter detailing how you would best serve the PCO as the board representative. Submit your letter to the PCO Chair at by October 1, 2015. The PCO Executive Committee will vote to fill this position from the pool of interested applicants.

The PCO Representative on the Board of Trustees is expected to:

  • attend two meetings each month (PCO and Board of Trustees meetings);
  • submit a PCO report to the Board of Trustees monthly;
  • provide the PCO with agenda, minutes and other public documents from the Board of Trustees meetings;
  • commit to this role for two years;
  • fulfill the Board of Trustees’ membership requirements.