PTA Meeting Minutes of 10/18/12

Co-Presidents’ Welcome, Lucia Burns and Denise Gottwald

Principal, Mr. Artie reports:

  • 11/14/12 will be a ½ day of school (12:10 dismissal) for Parent-Teacher Conferences.
  • Progress Reports were distributed to students last week. Feel free to ask your child’s teacher questions about their reports.
  • Lunch: Effective immediately school lunch will be provided free of charge to all students. According to nutrition guidelines, however, the school will no longer be able to serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or cheese sandwiches as a second choice option for satellite schools. Mr. Artie is looking for a waiver for our school. In the meantime, PB and J and cheese sandwiches must be provided from home. Nurse Ruth reports the lunch menus are not always accurate. There is no juice served, only plain milk and chocolate milk. Please contact the office of school nutrition for questions.
  • Mr. Artie welcomes Mara Boden, the new guidance counselor, who will be working on Mon, Wed and Fri.
  • Mr. Artie announced there will be a new program called Tough Text Tuesdays; a new initiative relating to the Common Core Learning Standards wherein the entire school stops what they’re doing on Tuesdays at 8:30 am to read.
  • Lice Check: First check turned up multiple cases; please be vigilant by checking your children at home.
  • School Progress Reports: District 75 received an ‘A’ on its progress report. District 15 received a ‘B’ on its progress report. Mr. Artie explained this is because the grade depends on year-to-year improvement, which makes it difficult for high-performing schools to keep improving.
  • Expansion – Possible new middle school site to be co-located with MS 447 and Brooklyn High School of the Arts.
  • Responsive Classroom: Responsive classroom is the concept of emphasizing social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe classroom community. Ms. Ina is currently undergoing training to become a workshop leader for other teachers/staff.
  • Related services: Mr. Artie is currently interviewing therapy providers that were hired through agencies.
  • Parent commented there should be more science classes per week for each grade. Mr. Artie responded by saying the administration is currently exploring the science curriculum and guidelines.

Parent Coordinator, Roxanna Velandria reports:

  • Middle school parent meeting on 11/2/12
  • Students are not in attendance on 11/6/12 (Election Day)
  • Students are not in attendance on 11/12/12 (Veteran’s Day)
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences on 11/14/12
  • Picture day on 11/15/12

UFT Chapter Leader, Michael O’Neil reports:

  • Teachers have been working without contracts for 3 years.
  • Special Ed reform re: related services, IEP’s and new rules.
  • Arts department- Mr. Michael was awarded a grant from the PTA to have the Lincoln Center quartet visit and perform for the 4th and 5th grade. The quartet is coming 4x in total this school year.

Co-Presidents Lucia Burns and Denise Gottwald report:

  • SMARTboard request for upper grade science was submitted to the PTA. The Executive Board has approved the grant. A vote took place-all present were in agreement.
  • Lisa Lewis and Erhmei Yuan are leading the organizing committee for Science Day. There will be a meeting Friday afternoon Oct 19 at 2:30.
  • Diversity committee will be chaired by Lisa Lewis.
  • Expansion Committee- Janine DiLorenzo spoke about the prospect of expansion.
  • Fund Raising Update: There are many different fund-raising events happening this fall. Volunteering for the various fundraisers is a wonderful way to get involved in the school and meet new families.
  • 16 Handles Frozen Yogurt: Thursday, October 25 from 4:00-8:00 pm. Shop is located at 349 Court Street. 16% of all proceeds during these hours will be donated to the PTA. Event organized by the K-3 Teachers, Ms Dina and Ms Gina.
  • Equal Exchange fundraiser will be happening in November. Forms will be sent out to families November 6 and gifts would be delivered in time for Chanukah. Julie Veto and Abbie Gomez are chairing.
  • Book Fair: November 7-8 and morning of November 9. Next PTA meeting is 8:30 am on Friday, November 9th and will feature guest speaker Rachel Malinowitzer, M.Ed, on the topic of anxiety and anger. After the meeting, parents can visit the Book Fair to purchase or pick up books on hold. Lucia Burns (chair) will circulate sign-up for volunteers to help. Set-up is 11/5 and break-down is 11/9.
  • Barnes & Noble Book Fair: Saturday, December 8 at the Park Slope Barnes and Noble on 7th Avenue. The event would take place for 2 hours. A portion of all proceeds will be donated back to the school. Hilary Bromberg (chair) is looking for parents and children to get involved perhaps with some sort of performance and also volunteers for handing out flyers in front of the store. A flyer will be forthcoming to the families of the school as soon as all of the information is available. The same committee organizing this event stated that they are in the process of also trying to set up a gift wrapping event in the Spring at Barnes and Noble, or aim for holiday time next fall.
  • Annual Appeal: Letter will be sent out to all families in the coming weeks. The PTA is looking to increase participation from the school community. In the past several years, less than 40% of families made donations to the school. It doesn’t matter how much each family gives, but rather that they make a donation of any amount. Other ways to donate include corporate matching gifts, targeted sponsorship and installment payments.
  • Pizza Friday is under way. Volunteers are still needed, especially for the second shift. Contact Peter Itak or sign up online at

Treasurer, Nicole Krieger reports:

  • There are different links available on to donate free money to the school.
  • The amount ranges from one percent to 20 percent; depending on the item/items purchased.
  • There are links available for Good Search, Good Shopping, and Good Dining, plus Amazon and Target Red Card.
  • An email or notice will be sent out to families reminding them of these special links.

Lice Report:

Alison Bowers, Vice President, gave the Lice report. She stated that there were 29 cases in the school, spread out over all of the grades. She stressed how important it was for all families to be vigilant in checking their children for lice.

Meeting adjourned at 9:25 am