October 16, 2015 PTA Minutes

October 16, 2015 PTA Meeting at Administration Building


Jacki Geoghegan

Angel Rafter

Paul Pirozzi

Jennifer Bayliss

Mitch Sylves-Berry

David Neilsen

Jennifer Povman

Donna Gates

Kelley Anniccherico

Katie Scully

Pamela Louis

Amada Reimundez

Leah McVey

Fiona Galloway

Paula Thaler

Maribel Palacios-Perez

Senia Sakarya

Welcome, Introductions, Unit and Membership Update:

Our meeting was started at 8:40 A.M. by Jacki and Angel. The board went around the table, and took turns introducing themselves individually. Jacki began with a unit update.  Jacki and Angel are working with the regional PTA (WEPR) on the merging of the middle school and elementary PTA’s.  The M.S. and H.S. PTA’s have been officially dissolved in the eyes of NYS, and we are waiting for final bills such as insurance to be reconciled.  A vote to combine the M.S. and elementary PTA’s will be put before the board.  According to the regional office, for voters to be eligible, they must all be members in good standing with their membership dues paid.  David informed the board that renewals can be done directly with him, or electronically online.  David will send an email to the VP’s with membership application information.

Volunteer Coordinator

Although Tara could not attend the meeting, she asked Jacki to inform the board that all volunteer forms have been collected, the W.I. forms are new and being distributed. Tara also asked Jacki to remind all VP’s to follow up with their volunteers and send out thank you notes after each event.  Lastly, Tami Soshan has reached out and asked for help next Tuesday with photo day at Morse.

Fundraising Updates

  • Donna Gates advised the board that the wrapping paper fundraiser with Charleston Wrap ended today. A lot of orders came in and there is technically a 1 week extension to accommodate late orders.
  • Donna said she had many volunteers to help her organize the Coupon Book campaign at the middle school. 680 bags were put together in an hour’s time.  An email blast from Jean will include the coupon book information for the district, and thank you notes will go out as well.  The bags are expected to be distributed on Monday.
  • Donna mentioned that our Thanksgiving Pie fundraiser will take place this year and will confirm the dates with the Pastry Chef. Donna asked the board which day would be best for pie pick up and everyone agreed that the evening of Tuesday November 24th would work best.  Lastly, Pam Louis mentioned that Evelyn McCormack offered her services to help the PTA with any public information dissemination that may be needed in the future and suggested that she might be of help in this fundraiser.

School Updates

JP- Jen Bayliss advised the board that photo day was a success and they are receiving many costumes for the drive.

Morse- Jacki mentioned the book fair celebration is being held tonight from 6-8 PM. The All for Books campaign brought in over $500 in donations for books for students in need.  Jacki said there were many MS & HS student volunteers, and the earlier calendar date seemed to work out much better.  We receive 25% of the proceeds from the book fair to support our programs, events and grants.

W.I. –

  • Donna noted that Photo Day will be this Wednesday.
  • Traffic patterns are still being ironed out and a crossing guard notice has gone out through backpack mail.
  • Volunteers may be needed to help monitor kids at W.I. prior to morning start up. This will be discussed at the next VP meeting.
  • Maribel talked about the chess program that she is running. Each class costs $1,200 to run and there needs to be a minimum of 15 students to cover the costs.  There are currently 60 students and 20 scholarships at Morse and 2 classes for 3rd grade at W.I.  Maribel raised the possibility of holding a fund raiser to help the club.  One idea mentioned was bake sales at the November 16th W.I. play, as well as the concerts in December.


  • Mitch informed the board that families have requested an additional day of parent-teacher conferences and an additional day is being discussed.
  • A monster ball dance is being held at the end of the month to help fund the Washington D.C. field trip. The start time for the dance is being pushed back to a later time that will be announced.
  • The yearbook process is being tweaked at the middle school, to help improve the experience.
  • Jacki added that she and Amy White are working on getting guest speakers for Career Day on November 19th.
  • Mitch mentioned that some things are still being done to improve on the recess redesign campaign. The feedback from the recess redesign has been overwhelmingly positive, and many more kids are choosing to go outside as a result.

Other Updates

Cyber Safety- Jacki, Jean O’Brien, and Angel are working on setting up a cyber safety/cyber security session for both children (4th, 5th, middle schoolers) and adults.  It will likely be hosted by police officers and other ex-law enforcement personnel.  They will likely be attending an event somewhere in Westchester to see some of the proposed speaker’s existing programs.  The event will likely be held some time next spring.

Angel attended the Superintendent search meetings and presentations. She suggested members of the board attend future board meetings if possible, to show the board that the community is engaged in this search process.  Angel also mentioned that we are free to come up with questions for the candidates and hear the candidate’s responses without violating the confidentiality process.  Angel will advise the board of a date and time to meet to discuss some of these candidate questions.

Halloween Costume Drive – So far we are receiving many costumes for the drive, although there is still a need for girl costumes. AMSCAN has donated many new items again this year, Briarcliff PTA, and Twisted Oak are also helping with costume drives of their own to support our efforts.  Pam agreed to work with Mr. Holland at Morse to get the kids to write thank you notes.

The board concluded with a discussion of the unfortunate incident that happened early last Saturday morning at Barnhart Park. Someone on the board suggested an anonymous tip-line/hot line to local law enforcement might be helpful in the future.  The board also agreed that parents need communication from local law enforcement on preventive measures.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:40; our next meeting will be Friday, November 20th.