PTA Meeting Minutes September


ALISON BOWERS, President of the PTA welcomed everyone and introduced Mr. Artie, Principal


* Welcomed everyone back and welcomed new parents.

* Asked staff and teachers attending the meeting to introduce themselves.

* Explained that the school has 2 sites – Carroll Street and the ASD site on Carlton and Dekalb. He goes back and forth between the two sites.

* Noted that we had a good opening of school

* Explained that the teachers would be sending information about curriculum meetings home and that questions will be answered at these meetings.

* He asked that if individuals have questions for their teachers, they should make an appointment to talk with the teachers. It’s important that school starts at 8:20 and children should be here then.

o He noted that parents shouldn’t be insulted if teachers can’t talk in the morning – this directive is coming from Mr. Artie himself.

* He also asks that when parents have a question or issue about their classes/teachers that the teachers first before coming to Mr. Artie, Assistant Principal Cathy Sarno or Assistant Principal Rosa Amato (he noted that Ms. Rosa is out for a couple of month because she just had a baby).

o If they are not satisfied with their meetings or conversations with the teachers, then they should come to him. His door is always open.

* Playground – the school has funding to put in a new playground but this can’t happen until the DOE and the Archdiocese who owns the building have signed a new contract. The money for the playground is currently in escrow. Once the contract is approved then they can go ahead with putting in the new playground. It is a bureaucratic matter. Both the DOE and the Archdiocese want the contract.

* Budget – we are doing okay even with the budget cuts because the school gets funding from 2 sources: District 75 – special needs and District 15 – general ed.

o There were hits on both but we were able to maintain all positions and also to expand to another classroom in the ASD site.

o He is grateful that we continue to have all of our programs and has his fingers crossed for next year that there aren’t severe cuts and we can maintain all of our programs.

* Expansion to Middle School – The Department of Portfolio (TWEED) came last Wednesday to see our school as part of our application for an expansion. Over the summer we put in this application for an expansion to 8th grade. It’s very competitive to get a Middle School seat.

o Tweed was happy with what they saw at our school. There were parents and staff at the meeting. The TWEED reps were happy with our classrooms and saw that we already had a structure in place – they seemed genuinely impressed.

o Now our fingers are crossed. Will probably hear in 2 or 3 weeks (1st of October). They send our application to a panel for education policy for approval. If they say yes then we could look to do 6th grade next year. The problem will be where. We are looking at a building on 4th Avenue and 9th Street that will be available in 2013. Portfolio is charged with finding us a spot.

o In response to a question, Artie indicated that there are numerous schools looking to expand and applications to form charter schools pending.

* Other announcements:

o chess starting for 2 and 3rd grades in October

o you will be hearing about our other programs including opera and architecture

o Thank you to the PTA and to Alison and the Executive Board – vital to the school

o Also to the staff and teachers and to the children

o Noted that it is important to support the PTA especially with all of the budget cuts. School can use money from PTA money to fill in the gaps so we are sure we have enough money to fund things that PTA money can’t be used for.


* Explained that the UFT is the sole bargaining agent for all teachers, paraprofessionals, nurses, etc. The UFT is the largest teaching local in the country with 200,000 members

* It ha been a horrible decade for teachers – the chattering class loves to bash teachers – talk to teachers about their stories.

* Love working with the PTA – they are a supportive parent body and have a common purpose with the UFT

* Times are hard but encourage people with steady incomes to pay their PTA dues. It’s really important because they help fund arts projects, chess and architecture

* Will be discussing political issues of Millionaires Tax at upcoming meetings. The state has cut education support for 3 years. Artie is a master but if there is a 4th year of cuts we will feel it. We need to pass a millionaires tax in the state in 2011. It’s an opportunity for those who are more fortunate to give back. * Plug for He is a regular contributor to it.

HANK LINHART- runs afterschool Enrichment Program

* Enrichment will begin after Columbus Day. Will get brochures by Thursday

or Friday.

* Offering 24 courses. Should be something each day for Pre-K to 5th.

* Janine Di Lorenzo is the new after school registrar.


* She does a lot of “traffic” work – goes to all the meetings, etc.

* Putting together Directory/Handbook – everyone will get one. Will have all the teachers, paras, etc, DOE policies, school policies, school calendar, etc.

* Save the Date – Tuesday October 4th – workshop for parent going through middle school application process

o there will be a meeting for parents with CTT students the same week which will include guidance counselors.

* Mr. Artie noted that Roxanna does a lot more than traffic – coordinates important workshops, answers questions, etc. Does a lot. Artie depends on her.


* This is her third year as president of the PTA

* Welcome to new parents and those returning

* The Executive Board is in charge with raising money

* Aviva Shapiro is the treasurer

o we have year-end financial statements for those interested

* There are opportunities for everyone to get involved:

o K-1 lunch leaders are needed to help the children – from 10:40 to 11:40

o Be a Class Parent – a lot of work is funneled through the class parents

o Pizza Friday begins October 2nd

o huge fundraiser for the school

o pizza served for K-5

* there are pizza scholarships

* October 5th – first lice check – it’s important to do it early because kids come home from camp with lice

* Inclusions (the PTA website) needs submissions

o child’s artwork

o writing

o send to Alison, Tim Gilman and Kelly Anderson

* Book Fair – Friday, October 21st – opening party

o books will be in room beside gym

o basketball and other games in the gym

* In need of 2 volunteers

o Best in Class – a website in which retailers agree to pay a portion of their profits to the school – it needs a site administrator

o Valentines Day Chair – the event is on a Saturday night in February close to Valentine’s Day. The former chair, Sara Schmidt has left. There is an amazing binder to help

* Announcement: The ladies who watch the children at lunch have asked that parents do not put glass containers in lunch boxes. They fall and break.

MARIANNE ITAK – class parent liaison with Rachel Aylward

* They are coordinating all class parents – keeping them informed with what’s going on

* Please consider being a class parent

* The big job is the Winter Festival baskets that will be raffled off

* also help collect money for teachers’ gifts at holidays and the end of the year

* It’s a good way to get to know the teachers and other parents

* There will be a meeting next Tuesday that will explain the duties of class parents.


* Wanted to mention the School Leadership Team (SLT) in which he is a member

o he is co-chair of the Diversity Committee – attempting to affect admission process to get more racial and economic diversity in the school. Trying to bring more families from Red Hook to the school.

o The first meeting is September 22nd. Everyone is welcome.


1) Encourage everyone to pick up an end of year financial statement

2) Make a commitment – there are a huge range of volunteer opportunities

3) Buy Children’s School merchandise