December 2014 Approved PTA Meeting Minutes

December 12, 2014

Attendees:

Jacki Geoghegan

Angel Rafter

Paul Pirozzi

Andrea Gottschall

Donna Gates

Tara Schatzel

Meg Greenburg

David Neilsen

Jennifer Bayliss

Leah McVey

Fiona Galloway

Greg Galloway

Mitch Sylves-Berry

Welcome and Introductions/Advocacy Letters:

Our meeting was started at 8:10 A.M. by Jacki and Angel.  Advocacy letter samples, opposing mandatory stand alone “field tests” as well as the repealing of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) were distributed to the board and are being put on the horsemanpta.com website.  Information desks are being set up & manned by EPTA members this week at the school concerts to help with distribution of the letters to the community.  David is asking if a box can be set up in the lobby of the Warner library for submission of the signed letters. The board is hoping for a large number of these letters signed by parents and members of the community, so that they can be sent to Albany before year end.

Mini Grant

A grant has helped subsidize the price of the Morse school field trip to Stone Barns.  The Mini grants will also help with the following: ESL Lending library at Morse; books and sensory tools at JP and Morse; Razz kids-for children in need in 3rd grade at WI; a new binding machine at Morse, and supplies for the 5th grade mural project the art teacher at W.I.  Others not listed will be awarded too. Notification to grant applicants will be done the week ok 1/5.

There seemed to be interest in using the remaining funds from the mini grant to help finance the Random Farms Production of “New Kid” Anti-bullying play to W.I.  It is a 45 minute show starring 11-13 year olds and the cast sits with the audience after for a Q & A session.  We would need another $300- $400 to cover the remaining cost of the play. The board voted to use the remaining funds from mini grants and approve funding the remainder of the costs to sponsor this anti-bullying play.

Book Fairs

The Morse book fair is the first week of March.  Tara and Meg reported that the Morse book fair has many volunteers for their March date and they will be ready to go.  WI book fair was a success.  Because more books were sold than the previous year by more than 5%, the children earned a no homework day bonus.  MS book fair reported problems with restocking of inventory by Scholastic. Our Scholastic rep is trying to make improvements for future sales.  Andrea reported that the fair wasn’t very well attended the evening of parent-teacher conferences, and that maybe they should consider moving it from the 3rd floor to the lobby that evening for better sales.  Jackie and Julia are looking for another book supply company for better book content, and better inventory management for the Middle School.

Thanksgiving Pie Sale

Donna reported that 106 pies were sold and they netted $530.  Pie pickup went well and Donna is sending a follow up thank you email asking for feedback from the community on how to improve the process.  One idea already discussed was making the pie pick up earlier in the day.

School Updates

M.S. – Did not have their meeting this month.  However, Mitch advised that they have been receiving a lot of feedback from parents after completion of the 1st marking period, on how the children are graded.  Citing examples of children that have been testing high on weekly exams and still only receiving 3 ratings on their report cards.

W.I. –As previously mentioned, the book fair was a success.  Advocacy letters will be explained and print outs will be available for signatures at the WI winter concerts next week.  The hat and glove drive is going well, and the boxes have been overflowing at the school.

Morse – Leah and Meg advised that the crossing guard is still being ignored by many drivers at Morse, and there is still no police guard helping out at this crossing.  Angel and Tara agreed they will meet with Mr. Holland, emphasizing the safety concerns for the children, regarding the timing of the drop off and making sure that the doors are open prior to 7:55 to avoid backups.  Angel volunteered to be present at the discussion if needed.

J.P.– Jen reported that Stop n Shop rewards was initiated and people are starting to sign up.  Jen will speak with Donna about the box tops program.  Literacy night had a small parent turn out.  The teachers did a great job, the board agreed that maybe moving it to January at a less busy time of year and possibly changing the name from literacy night will help with attendance going forward.  A food chain is being started for the donations to help a child at JP who lost a parent recently.

Our meeting adjourned at 9:45 AM

Next Meeting scheduled for Friday January 23rd at 8 A.M. The change in date is so Dr. Clouet can be present for our meeting. He would like to come and talk with us.

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