PTA February General Meeting Minutes – 2/14/18

Welcome – Jessica Miksis, PTA Co-President

  • Big thanks to the Arts & Science Day Committee (Sarah Collins, Nina Crews, Rafael Gomez Luna, Liza Gouger, Peter Kerlin, Brian Miksis). Activities included medical testing, slime, roller coasters, paper airplane engineering, stomp rockets, sound design, architecture, fidget spinners. Thank you also to Marquis Studio, Madeleine Solomon for her Family Band workshop, Tiny Scientist.
  • Big thanks to Valentine’s Dance Committee (Michelle Dobson, Scotte Hardin, Heather Millen and Tom Gaito) and to everybody who volunteered at the event.
  • PTA Executive board is looking for a co-treasurer. Desiree needs someone to help with the treasurer duties for the rest of the year.
  • Readathon + Tally Day – Tally Day is today!! Head on over after this meeting if you have a few minutes to spare. Last year this event raised over $20,000 dollars and much of that money went to new library books both in classrooms and 10% went to the Multimedia teachers to use in the libraries at both sites. We are hoping that we’ll raise similar numbers this year. Buttons will be distributed for minutes read.
  • NY Int’l Film Festival showcases new films for ages 3-18. The Festival is packed full of fantastic film programs for your family and our school earns $3 back for every ticket you purchase! Look for our listing, PS 372 The Children’s School, in the drop down menu when you are purchasing tickets.
  • One School, One Book titles for January are Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat for ICT and ASD grades 1st through 5th grade and Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace by Shelley Moore Thomas for ICT and ASD Pre-K and Kindergarten. One title has been chosen for February, I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Bryan Collier, for all grades at both ICT and ASD sites, a truly one school, one book month!

Updates from Principal and Parent Coordinator – Ms. Rosa was unable to attend the PTA meeting this month and Ms. Yvette spoke on her behalf.

  • A new PA system, new phones and new fire alarm system are being installed in the building. The project is estimated to take six months. Work begins after the school day ends. An extra security guard has been hired and the contractors working in the building are instructed to wear ID badges at all times.
  • Thank you to the PTA for the shades for the gym. New permanent shades will be installed to replace existing temporary shades. The shades will be used during performances on the stage.
  • Ms. Sandy helped the school get an arts grant and on Saturday, March 10th, there will be a Parent Academy with a focus on the arts. Ms. Sandy, Mr. Michael, Ann Bay and Ms. Marina are planning activities. Marquis Studio will do a workshop. Mr. Doug will do a one hour cyber safety program for parents. The  PTA is sponsoring childcare for children aged 0-3 and light refreshments. Exact times TBD
  • The school also received a wellness grant through the efforts of parent, Paula Szuchman, and Ms. Bridget. A second Parent Academy, a Health, Wellness and Happiness Fair, will be held on Saturday, May 19th from 2-5pm. There will be activities with a focus on mind, body and nutrition including zumba, yoga, pilates, dental health and cooking. Volunteers are needed. Please contact the wellness committee if you would like to get involved. This grant is also being used to fund four weeks of meditation workshops for the third through fifth graders before the state tests begin.
  • Midwinter break begins Friday 2/16 – 2/26
  • Thank you to parents for promptly picking up your children from after school.

Comments from TCS parent, Jane Bliss

  • Wellness Council and KIMOCHI. There are tools that parents can use to promote mental wellness. These tools are important to help children build self awareness, articulate their feelings, build relationships and experience empathy. Responsive classroom is the school side of this. She recommends KIMOCHIS – seven simple tools to help your child manage their feelings for the parent side of this. There will be a workshop on Friday, March 29th form 7-8:30pm at PS 154 on how to use KIMOCHIS. Tickets are $10. Open to all. Tools are suggested for children 3-12, but she uses them with her adult clients.

One Time Grant Proposals – Jessica Miksis

  • One Time Grants. 2/26 is the deadline for proposals. Last year’s One Time Grants went toward funding library shelving, gym and audio equipment, Alert Me Bands and a teacher’s lounge refrigerator at the ASD site. At the ICT site, grants included The Creative Curriculum for PreK & K, audio equipment in the cafeteria, sensory equipment for the occupational therapists, and Border Crossers Trainings for both teachers and parents.
  • We are looking for ideas that don’t just benefit one classroom or one grade but the whole school.
  • Please include your idea, purpose (educational use, functional use, grade(s) that it would benefit), as well as an actual or estimated cost. Return your proposal via the PTA mailbox in the cafeteria area or by email to (questions may be sent here as well). A selection of proposals will be presented for a vote at the April PTA meeting. Please be aware that some proposals require DOE approved vendors. We created a One Time Grant Proposal Template to make the process easier. Click here to see the Template for guidance.
  • One Time Grant Proposal Timeline:
    • January 30th: Email blast went out asking for proposals
    • Feb 26th deadline for proposals
    • March 1: EB Meeting with admin to review the spreadsheet with all proposals.
    • Use month of March to ask questions, express concerns, etc to people who wrote proposals
    • April 5: We choose final list at EB meeting
    • April 11: PTA evening meeting, we vote on mini-grants

Updates From Auction Committee – Laura Mantell and Rai Ariz

  • Auction/Gala date is Friday April 27th. Save the Date going home this week.
  • Parent only event. Open bar for the first hour. Light food provided.
  • This year’s theme is 80’s prom.
  • Assistance needed soliciting donations – gift cards, restaurant nights, theater tickets. It is simple and fun to do. Please consider helping out by sending a few emails to businesses you think might provide donations. Hard copies of donation forms will be available soon. For the online donation link click here.
  • Parent donations are also welcome. In past years there have been donations of art, second homes and tickets to sporting events from season pass holders.
  • Gala ticket price TBD
  • Jessica – This is one of our biggest fundraisers. Please help if you have any connections for donations.

Treasurer’s Report Given by Jessica Miksis.

  • Arts and Science – $2319
  • Gear – $4224
  • Valentines Day Dance – $4222
  • $118,000 (not including VDAY #’s) so far and our target is $182,750. Still to come are gala and Readathon
  • Two additional funding requests were approved by the Executive Board.
    • Additional funds to Michael Lanza for costs associated with the outdoor lighting installation.
    • Additional $500 to the multimedia teachers for more author visits for this year. They have not used their full grant in past years. May increase their budget next year from $1000 to $1500.

Comments from Rafael Gomez Luna

  • Still hopes to introduce a co-op style initiative for volunteers at the school
  • It has been a great year for volunteering and involvement by our community.
  • The diversity committee event in Gowanus was a big success. Lots of community participation.
  • Keep up the good work.

Updates from Ms. Bridget, Assistant Principal

  • Parents will be asked to complete School Surveys this year at the Parent Teacher Conferences on March 15th. Laptops will be in the cafeteria. Last year we had 22% participation. It is important that everyone’s opinion be represented. The results of the school survey appear on the DOE website. It is something that people look at to learn about the school.
  • March will be Spirit Month. The Student Council has decided that Wednesdays will be Spirit days.  Wacky Wednesday, Crazy Hat Day, Twin Day and Crazy Sock Day (World Down’s Syndrome Awareness Day.)

Upcoming Events

  • Readathon month of February (Merideth & Jessica) There’s a need for Tally Day volunteers
  • Parent Academy March 10 (Art program & Cybersafety – PTA to provide refreshments)
  • PTA meeting March 14
  • PTA EVENING meeting April 11
  • Auction/Gala April 27
  • Final Lice Check day April 27  – We need new co-chairs for this next year.
  • Health, Wellness & Happiness May 19


Thank you all for coming!