September 2020 PTA General Meeting Minutes

Thursday, September 24, 2020

This meeting was held remotely on Google Meet.

There were 65 attendees.

  • Welcome – Michelle Dobson & Liza Gouger, PTA Co-Presidents 
    • Welcome to the first PTA meeting for the 2020-21 school year. We’ve missed seeing everyone. It’s not the year we expected, but we are going to have a great year, and find a way for our community to be together and support each other.
  • Updates from Bridget Nash, Assistant Principal, Special Education
    • Ms. Bridget welcomed everyone, and noted that Ms. Rosa Amato (Principal) and Rosa Perez-Leonetti (Assistant Principal, General Education) would not be able to come tonight. 
    • It’s been a challenging time for all of us and we look forward to seeing everyone’s faces at school next week when hybrid learning will begin on 9/29. 
    • Arrivals and Dismissals
      • Ms. Rosa sent a letter earlier today outlining instructions for entering the building. Teachers will follow up with more information about the arrival and dismissal structures which will allow for social distancing. Parents/guardians, please read the letter from Ms. Rosa and look out for the email from teachers. There will be no congregating during arrival and dismissal, and all parents and caregivers must wear masks. 
      • For PreK, one parent is allowed to escort children to the classroom.
  • Greetings from Frank Ammirata
    • Thank you to the PTA for all the incredible work they are constantly putting into the program. Thank you to the PTA Presidents and Executive Board. We have the best PTA in all of Brooklyn! In the last few days as I’ve seen many of our families when they picked up materials, and I’ve been grateful for all of the kind emails and words of encouragement you’ve given to our school’s administration team. It means so much during a time like this. We are so excited to have everyone back in person next week for hybrid learning.
  • Parent Updates from Ms. Yvette
    • Thank you to families for all of your support and encouragement. 
    • Health Screenings
      • During morning arrival at our ICT site next week, please remember to complete the health screening form for your child before you arrive at school. When you arrive, you will be permitted to show the completed form on your phone. 
      • If you are unable to complete the health screening form before you arrive, there is a QR code for the health form. Make sure to download a QR scanner app on your phone. When you arrive at the school, you can scan the code which will be available at the gate. Check in as a guest, and then choose your student, and answer the questions on the health form. Once you get the all-clear, the child will get a temperature check. 
      • Please reach out to Yvette with questions. There will be staff outside to assist with this next week.
    • Electronic Blue Cards*

*Editor’s Note: Please note that updated information (as of 9/28/20) indicates that ALL families should make sure to complete the online electronic blue card. This is a change from what was said at the meeting.

  • School Materials Pickup
    • If your child is in Group D (full remote) at ICT site, and you haven’t picked up your child’s school materials, please send Yvette an email to let her know when you can pick it up.
    • All students’ belongings from last school year have been bagged and are in the cafeteria for pickup. If you want any of those items back, please let Yvette know. Any unspoken for items will be donated.
  • Technology 
    • If your child needs a device, The Children’s School is not able to distribute devices at this time. You must request one from the DOE via this  link:
    • If you have a DOE device that you no longer need, please return it
  • PTA News
    • All parents and guardians of students at The Children’s School are automatic members of the PTA. Please join! We are having elections at our next meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15. We would especially love new parents to join, and encourage PreK parents to come onboard!  We are asking for nominations or volunteers for three positions:
      • New Parent Representative (PreK-K)
      • Corresponding Secretary
      • Vice President
    • Stay & Play will not offer after school in person at this time, but Ms. Janine will speak at the next PTA meeting in October to talk about virtual programming that the S&P program will be offering.
  • Fundraising 
    • No Pizza Friday this fall, TBD for Spring
    • Shopping links help us every day, every time you order
      • AmazonSmile, shutterfly, mabelslabels, etc. – check
      • Other vendors and programs on our website
    • Annual Appeal starting early – link is live on 
    • We are not able to raise as much money this year with all of our typical annual events, but we are creatively brainstorming ways to fundraise this year. Please remember to choose The Children’s School as your charity on Amazon Smile. The annual appeal will happen this year and all donations will go directly back into the school for its needs. 
  • Budget Update
    • Though last year was difficult, the PTA managed to raise more money than we spent! We raised 65% of planned funds, but saved approximately 50% of typical expenses, since expenses were lower than usual due to end-of-year activities being cancelled.
    • We will be closing out this year’s budget soon; please submit any reimbursement requests by the end of September. Email is the best way to send them in.
  • Where do PTA funds go? To support the school and community through:
    • Mini-grants to each classroom, specialist teacher, and therapist working in the school
    • Funding for curriculum extensions and arts programs for each student
    • Funding for technology and special projects (like A/C for cafeteria)
    • Community events like Movie Nights, Roots & Community, Picture Day, etc.
  • PTA is trying to reorganize our budget to cover basic needs of school due to budget cuts and new expenses. Please support our fundraisers: annual appeal, auction, and read-a-thon. We will be supporting fewer arts programs this year since many cannot be done remotely, but we will still be supporting technology in the school and funding all teachers, specialists, and therapists with classroom grants.
  • Fundraising expected to be lower this year since many families are facing financial stress
  • PTA Calendar of Events
    • Many regular events can’t be held during COVID precautions
      • Welcome Picnic, Roots & Community, Author Visits, etc.
    • Planning underway for new events; One each in October and November
    • Spring events TBD
  • Learning Bridges Program
    • Ms. Rosa has offered one or two rooms for LB but has not heard back. 
    • If you need Learning Bridges services, please let us know so we can connect you with the survey from the DOE. 
    • Our suggestion is to email the contact on the survey, as the school has not received any more information about it on our end. Please email Yvette for the link to the survey, and with any questions about Learning Bridges.
  • Thanks To:
    • Tania Ahmed and La Toya Jemmoth, our Treasurers, for continuing to handle our accounts and payments under difficult conditions.
    • Brad Eichmann for fabulous work on updating our website, and to Juliette Borda for the beautiful painting of our school, which is now featured on the homepage of the website!
    • All of our families for all of your support. We know there will be a lot of change, but as a community we will rebuild together, and make this year as fun as possible for our children. Thank you for your patience and we will persevere together.

PTA Website:

PTA Presidents:

Submitted by Mimi Stauber-Levy, PTA Recording Secretary

September 24, 2020