January P.T.A. Meeting Minutes

The P.T.A. held its regular meeting on Jan. 9th in the cafeteria.

Welcome – Jessica & Merideth – PTA Co-Presidents

Review/Recent Events – Jessica & Merideth

  • Nets Game in December was a fun school outing.
    • Thanks to Joe Peng for all his help
    • Also thanks to Ian and Liza for coordinating all the details for the P.T.A.

Principal’s Update – Ms. Rosa A.

  • Report on the Soil Testing
    • Based on samples taken in June when trench was dug across the Big Yard for the PA system project.
    • All soil has since been recovered with asphalt, as planned.
    • No soil is exposed, so there is no current danger.
    • Report will be taken into account whenever new construction is planned to handle the high metal levels appropriately.
  • New counselor has been hired – Jennifer – returning us to full staffing levels
    • Banana Splits and Social Groups will be restarting soon
  • Evacuation
    • We have been looking into ways that we can contact parents in case of an emergency, like the evacuation.
    • We are not permitted by the city to contact parents as the situation is developing, must wait for official communication from city coordinator
      • Because early information without detail or incorrect detail isn’t helpful
    • Looking into additional system that could send text messages to parents who are not on email.
  • Filling General Education seats in upper grades
    • We are so well known for Special Education students, that we can be overlooked for General Education students. Working with District on this.

Parent Coordinator Announcements – Yvette

  • PreK transitioning to Kindergarten – Parents need to sign up on D.O.E. site by Mon. 1/14
  • If there are siblings of current students who will be starting in PreK or K next Fall, please make sure you let us know by completing the Sibling Application, check our office.
  • Lost and Found – last call before the large pile of clothing, boots and lunch gear gets donated to a local charity. Please come check for any items your family may be missing.

Technology Program – Mr. Doug

  • Money for Tech – three sources help fund the technology we use in school
    • School Budget – very variable
    • Reso A – Capital Grants from City Council/Borough President
    • P.T.A. sets aside money each year that gets saved up for major purchase every three to four years.
    • P.T.A. funds needed for ChromeBooks and iPads, can’t use city money for them.
  • Each Classroom has basic setup
    • Two desktops
    • One laptop
    • Smartboard – multimedia increases engagement
    • Two to four iPads
      • Classroom camera/video
      • Intervention programs: Lexia, Fast Math, etc.
  • Problems With Tech
    • Engagement vs. Distractions
    • Another layer of Cognitive Effort
    • More screens means less tactile, hands-on
    • Burden of Typing
  • Intro to internet/email
      • Filters
      • Supervision in Class
      • Supervision of Writing/Email
      • Idea is to make mistakes in a controlled, protected environment with email/internet before getting exposed to entire internet.
    • Lower Grade – Focus on Engagement and Intervention
      • Photos & videos
      • Presentations
    • Upper Grades
      • 3rd Grade – cart of Chromebooks shared by all three classes
      • 4th & 5th Grades – each kid has own ChromeBook
      • Technology pushes into Social Studies
      • Not focus on coding, but on aiding curriculum
  • If you primarily use iPads at home, best to download Google apps: Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. rather than using web version.
  • No homework assigned, but can continue work on project at home

Street Safety – Transportation Alternatives – Families for Safe Streets

  • Worked hard to get city speed limit lowered – successful 2 year fight
  • Statistics about motor vehicle crash dangers to pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Driver error is cause of 90 percent of crashes
    • Speeding
    • Failure to Yield
  • Vision Zero – data driven approach to eliminate all traffic deaths by 2024
  • 3 ways to make streets safer – 3 E’s
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Enforcement
  • Speed Safety Cameras in School Zones
    • Program reimplemented recently
    • $50 ticket, but no points on Driver’s License

Foley Firs – Mr. Foley

  • Favorite part of the program – presenting the check = $720!
  • Based on the number of families buying a tree through them this year + bonus

Treasurer’s Report – Shashin

  • Revenue Sources
    • $24K donated to Annual Appeal so far
    • $35K from Pizza Friday
      • Session 1 ends Feb 1st, second session starts soon, watch for forms
      • Some people have already signed up for full year

Arts & Science Day – Peter Kerlin & Liza Gouger

  • Scheduled for January 26th from noon – 4pm — free admission
  • Soliciting ideas for table projects – some returning, but room for new ideas!
    • Currently ideas include: Slime, Paper Airplanes, Brush Calligraphy, Printmaking, Open Mic Performers
  • We need volunteers to assist at tables, as well as setup and cleanup
  • Great way to get to know other kids and families
  • Older teens/alums make great volunteers (some High Schools require volunteer hours)
  • Food sales by Undoing Racism Committee

Book Swap/Movie Night – Kathleen Connor & Katy Crile

  • Friday night 1/11/19, Swap starts at 6:15pm, Movie starts at 7pm
  • Admission is free. PTA will be selling pizza, popcorn and lemonade

Valentine’s Day Dance – Michelle Dobson & Scotte Hardin

  • February 9th from 5-8pm in the Gym
  • Halloween in February – everyone encouraged to wear a costume!
  • Whole school is invited, kids love the dance and the balloon drop
  • DJ music, photo booth, face painting, teacher raffle, lots of fun
  • Food sales by 5th Grade Families to raise funds for Graduation activities.

Attendees: 26 signed in