PTA June meeting notes

PTA Meeting Held on Friday, June 22, 2012 at PS 372, The Children’s School
Meeting started at 8:30 AM.
1.  Steve Quester, 2nd grade teacher and UFT rep, spoke and thanked the PTA for their support over the past 3 years.
He announced that this was his last meeting representing the UFT.  He introduced PS 372’s new representative, Mr. Michael O’Neill (our Music/Drama teacher).  Mr. Michael’s term starts 7/1/12 and will be for 3 years.  Mr. Michael said he was looking forward to his new responsibilities as union rep.
2.  Mr. Artie, our Principal then spoke.
He stated that the lease was finally signed, the term being 20 years.  He said that work on the playground would start on Thursday, June 28, and be finished in time for the start of the new school year in September.
He stated that preliminary test scores were good.  All of the school’s general ed students met promotion criteria and 85-90% of the school’s special needs students met promotion criteria.  Final results would be received in September.
He stated that summer school will begin on July 5 and run through August 14, hours of each day would be 8:10 AM to 2:40 PM.  Typical schedule of each school day would involve academics for the children in the morning.  Afternoons would be more for socialization and play time in the sprinklers!
He stated that Rose Amato, Roxanna Velandria, and he would be working at the school through the summer school session in case anyone had questions.
He stated that graduation ceremonies went well — the 5th grade ceremony was over very quickly, only one hour and 10 minutes — perhaps because of the extreme heat!
He stated that the expansion process was the same, no update in finding space.  He stated that he was “going over the heads” of the portfolio team that was working with us and he was going public.  He was going to ask for the assistance of our local politicians in our efforts to expand and find space.  He told the portfolio team that he was very disappointed in their lack of effort and that they weren’t supporting our school’s mission.  Mr. Artie also stated that Janine Dilorenzo was heading up a parents committee to help our efforts.  (Janine spoke later in the meeting.)
In closing, he thanked the PTA for their support during the year.  He also thanked Alison Bowers and her executive board for their hard work and support.  He was extremely thankful to Alison for her support and hard work over the past 3 years as President of the PTA.  He said he was looking forward to working with the new co-presidents (Lucia Burns and Denise Gottwald) and that they had big shoes to fill!
3.  Alison Bowers, outgoing President, then spoke.  Alison thanked her Executive Board for their work and assistance and made special mention about the outstanding work done by Aviva Shapiro, Treasurer.  She thanked the PTA for their support and assistance over the past 3 years.
Alison introduced Lucia Burns and Denise Gottwald to those in attendance.
In closing, Alison stated that she wanted to know if there was anything that the Executive Board could do to improve the PTA.  Suggestions were made by parents that included:  could the PTA make the budget available for everyone to see so that parents can better understand the true function of the funds allocation by the PTA, continue announcing PTA meetings via email and by hanging up posters around the perimeter of the school/at school entrances, could the PTA circulate minutes from each meeting.  Alison announced that, in general, minutes were available on-line at but fallen behind in posting them.  This would be improved upon next year!
4.  Molly Castelloe spoke about Banana Splits.  Molly and Samantha Cassidy are involved in trying to raise attention to this group and getting funding for it.  Molly explained that this support group was for general ed kids who were in families going through divorces or separations.  The group helped the children with their anxiety over the situation.  The support group was headed up by a guidance counselor (Stephanie) who was now on maternity leave.
Mr. Artie explained that there might not be funding available to continue this group next year.  He said that he was going to look at his budget and see if funds could be appropriated from other areas but couldn’t guarantee it.  Update would be given by the time school starts.
A question was raised from a parent wondering if the PTA could fund this or perhaps we could have a fund raiser.  Alison stated that the PTA could not fund the salary of a school staff member.
5.  Roxanna Velandria, Parent Coordinator, spoke.  Roxanna thanked Alison Bowers for all of her work and assistance over the past 3 years and thanked the PTA as well.
Roxanna stated that Alison and Ira Yankawitt were recently honored at a District 15 function for their outstanding work.
6.  Janine Dilorenzo spoke about the newly formed parent group, The Expansion Group!  Janine handed out a letter and petition to be circulated.  Janine and her group are asking for parents to participate in signing the petition and to ask family and friends to sign it as well.  The petition was going to be presented to our local politicians to hopefully help our efforts in expanding.
Janine stated that an email would be sent with and email link for people to sign up on line as well.
Meeting adjourned 9:15AM.