pto communications

As a member of the Mark Twain community you will receive regular information updates in a variety of ways. In addition to direct e-mails from teachers and class room parents, classroom blogs and school-wide e-mail blasts we have the following:

  • Twain Times – The Twain Times is a weekly e-newsletter that is sent on Tuesdays to email addresses provided through direct sign-up. Click on this link (case sensitive) to register to receive the Twain Times.

    • Link to Twain Times Archives

  • Weekly Communication Folders – Every Tuesday, students will be sent home with a Red folder of information that could not be included in the Twain Times or requires your special attention. Each student is required to return this folder to his/her teacher on Wednesday.

  • Livingtree – Mark Twain uses Livingtree, an internet tool that promotes and simplifies school-to-parent and parent-to-school communication. If you have not received an invitation to Livingtree yet, please give your email address to your child’s teacher. If you have more than one student, it does not matter which homeroom you are invited from. Once you are on the Livingtree you can be connected to any class. If you are not signed up, you may miss out, so please watch for your teacher’s invitation.

    • Livingtree allows teachers, school leaders, parents, and the PTO to send quick, private, and secure messages to relevant users.

    • It is very convenient–available as a high-quality iPhone or Android app or a webpage.

    • It allows teachers to easily inform parents what their children will be learning in the week ahead and link to relevant resources. Later in the year, it will even allow our teachers to do voice recordings.

    • It allows teachers and Room Parents to create classroom events and volunteer sign-ups that are easily accessible to parents.

    • Livingtree was designed to help parents manage the flow of information and communication that comes with raising children today.

    • By using Livingtree, we are reducing our consumption of paper and thereby saving money for instructional use.

  • PTO Meetings -All parents and guardians are invited to attend the monthly PTO meetings. Please check the Calendar for dates and times. If you are unable to attend a PTO meeting you can access an archived copy of the meeting notes using the links above.

Communication Procedures:

Twain Times - Deadline is Thursday by 5:00 p.m. for inclusion in the following week’s Twain Times

How to submit a request:

  • Parents – email information to Keri Valdes, PTO president, for approval at and copy

  • Staff – email information to Melissa Patin, principal, for approval at and copy and

  • If approved, forward the approved email to Mary Atherton at along with any special instructions for your submission.

What to submit:

  1. Provide text for your article in the body of your email or in a Word document.

  2. Include a picture and/or logo in .jpg, .gif or .png format. Include a website address if you want to link the picture or logo.  Include text for a photo caption if necessary. Use to shorten web addresses.

  3. If you need a document attached, please provide the document in .pdf format.

  4. To include full student names, you must obtain and submit parent permission.

Weekly Communication Red Folders – Deadline is the Friday prior to the Tuesday you want it to go out.

How to submit a request:

  1. Take 1 copy of your flyer to Ms. Rodriguez (front office) for approval from Ms. Patin.

  2. Leave your contact info and Ms. Patin will contact you if it is not approved.

  3. Ms. Patin initials the flyer Friday if approved.

  4. Email Maggie Dundon at and Joy Krohn at (Weekly Red Folder Reps) to find out the number of copies that you will need to print and collate.

  5. Flyers may be picked up and copies made Monday and left in the Red Folder communication shelf by the mailboxes. This flyer with Ms. Patin’s initials must be the one copied so that the Weekly Red Folders PTO Reps know it is approved.

What can go in the Red Folders: Handouts from our corporate sponsors (number of times per year based on giving level) or neighborhood schools. Items from community organizations or companies who are not corporate sponsors may be approved by Ms. Patin to go on the community board outside the office.

LivingtreeTo send out information through LivingTree, login, select the audience on the left side of the screen, then click on “Create a Post”, type your message, identify group you want to share the message with, click on the “!” icon to notify recipients immediately via email and mobile.  After you completed your message, click “Post”.

For information not found in the Twain Times or the Weekly Folder, check out: