March 20, 2015 PTA Meeting Minutes

March 20, 2015 PTA Meeting at Administration Building

Attendees:

Jacki Geoghegan

Angel Rafter

Paul Pirozzi

Pamela Louis

Andrea Gottschall

Tara Schatzel

Jennifer Bayliss

Leah McVey

Fiona Galloway

Greg Galloway

Mitch Sylves-Berry

Katie Scully

Julia Reimer

David Neilsen

Jennifer Povman

Donna Gates

Welcome, Introductions and Budget Items:

Our meeting was started at 8:02 A.M. by Jacki and Angel.  The budget copies will be sent via email to the board members.  Jacki reminded everyone that receipts cannot be accepted after the last day of June.

Direct Donation Campaign

The Direct Donation letter was sent and received via backpack mail the week of March 9th.  All schools were combined and the letter mentioned the benchmark amount of $32,000.00 that needs to be raised annually to operate all of our activities at the elementary schools.  Email follow ups will go out after Spring break.  The board members agreed that these letters should be going to high profile alumni as well.  The overall goal for this campaign is $10,000.00.

Movie Night

Andrea announced that movie night is being moved from March 13th to April 24th and that flyers will go out.  The movie of choice will either be; The Lego Movie, Big Hero Six or Alexander and the no good very bad day.  There will be a bake sale and a Spirit Wear table at the event.  Doors will open at 6:30 and the movie will begin at 7PM.

Square 1 Art

Due to the unusual amount of snow days, some of the art work has yet to be completed.  The final product is expected to be ready before Father’s Day.  The board agreed to forego sending a notice to the families regarding the delay.

Spirit Wear Update

Andrea advised that Spirit Wear supply invoices were paid, with a slight profit and will reopen after the break.  Merchandise will be sold at the aforementioned Movie Night.

Cyber Safety

Donna Gates attended the Cyber Safety Presentation at the J.C.C. in February, hosted by an F.B.I. agent.  When Jacki and Angel met with Dr. Clouet, they expressed the interest of the PTA to host a presentation for students and one for parents in June for M.S. and W.I. students.  They are considering hosting one in May for the parents.  Dr. Clouet has given us his support and agreed that hosting one for the students in a town hall type of setting would be beneficial to the WI & MS students. Ideas and suggestions regarding this should be forwarded to Donna Gates.

MS Playground Initiative

A survey is in progress with the MS children to determine interest in an outdoor grassy seating and designated recess area.  Feedback has been positive and preliminary results are showing that the children definitely have interest in a small field/area behind the school.  An email communication was sent by Jean O’Brien on March 17th informing the community and asking for ideas and volunteers.  A community meeting will be held Wednesday April 8th from 7-8:30 PM in Room 101 South in the MS, with some time spent out in the open space.  A committee has already been set up to help with this initiative, but more volunteers are needed. While this great initiative is being spearheaded by Julia Reimer, Katie Scully and Mitch Sylves-Berry, who are PTA representatives, this is not a PTA effort. The PTA commends them on taking this project on.

School Updates

J.P. – Jen Bayliss advised the board that the ziti dinner was canceled due to snow.  Monday and Tuesday March 23rd and March 24th, a breakfast is in place and there are volunteers that will be coming to help facilitate.

Morse- The book fair has ended.  There were more than 40 volunteers and the event was a big success.  In spite of all of the snow days, they sold over $10,700 in books.  An additional $500 is going to the Mr. Holland book fund because they surpassed last year by 5%.  The parent feedback on book variety and quality was very positive.  Next year the event will probably be moved to a more “weather friendly” April or October.

Meg and Rosemary suggested that we start a book drive for children in need at Morse. Jacki has met with Mr. Holland regarding this, and we will start a  book drive in first two weeks of June to help get books to kids in need. The third week of June, we will need volunteers to help sort the books. The books will be stored at Morse so the teachers can distribute them throughout the year to children in need. Jacki gave a special thanks to Tara, Fiona, Greg, Meg and Jen B. for all of their hard work.

W.I. – The principal chat took place on March 5th and focused on “The Habits of Mind” and the transition from W.I. to the Middle School.  The booklet is being written at the MS and a video presentation with a map and virtual map will be included.  The P.T.A. will be providing locks for the incoming students and peer planning is being discussed, where 7th and 8th graders would help the incoming 6th graders.  One possibility would be to designate 1 mentor per class.  The yearbook committee needs more pictures, specifically of Halloween, and any classroom pictures.  Please send to Andrea.  Pam will work with Andrea about chairing the yearbook committee next year.

M.S. – Friday March 13th was the school dance.  The dance went very smoothly and there was very positive feedback on moving the end time from 6PM last year, to 7:30 PM this year.  Thanks to Mitch for helping make this a great experience for all of the kids.

State Testing

An advocacy email blast went out on Thursday March 19th with links explaining that the governor needs to release state aid A.S.A.P., and education reform should not be tied to the budget.  The HS social studies department chair, Ms. Jessica Hunsberger visited the meeting and spoke to the board about parent’s options regarding taking or refusing to take the state tests.  Jessica mentioned the website NYSAPE.org as a great resource for parents looking for information.  There are forums for parent’s statewide rights for kids testing, and that as of now, no school has lost funding as a result of refusal to take the tests.  Generally speaking, she said that the testers are looking for growth and improvement from 1 test to the next.    Dr. Clouet agreed that we can release a statement to all parents as to what their rights are.   The position of the PTA is that parents have the right to know what all of their options are, but will not make any specific recommendations regarding testing and links will be posted on our horsemen website with backpack letters to be distributed after the break.

 

Our meeting adjourned at 9:54 AM.

Next Meeting scheduled for Friday April 24th at 8 A.M.

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