February 26, 2016 PTA Meeting

February 26, 2016 Meeting


Jacki Geoghegan

Angel Rafter

Paul Pirozzi

Tara Schatzel

Donna Gates

Andrea Gottschall

Mitch Sylves-Berry

Leah Mc Vey

Jen Povman

Amada Reimundez

Elia Londono

Senia Sakarya

Dancy Balestrieri

Maribel Palacios-Perez

Karina Arreola

Paula Thaler

-Welcome and Budget:

Our meeting was called to order at 8:37 A.M. by Jacki and Angel. Kelley advised the board that there were no changes in the budget.  Dancy asked if Kelley could change the Morse Class Parent tea line item to the Box Top celebration, Jacki explained that we could do it this year, but if we wanted to add Box Top Celebration to the budget permanently, we would have to vote on adding it as a budgeted item.  Subsequently, Dancy mentioned that Friday February 26th was the last day to submit box tops receipts.  Kelley and Jacki asked the middle school VP’s to draft a budget with specific event line items, similar to the other schools.  Kelley, Jacki and Angel agreed to help the VP’s create their budget items.  Lastly, Jacki and Kelley reminded everyone that receipts must be submitted for reimbursement before the last day of June for tax reasons.


Donna Gates advised that square one artwork was mailed out for the 3 schools yesterday. The work is expected back in 2 to 3 weeks at which point order forms will be sent home.  The wrapping paper event brought in over $11,000 this year, including money that was raised at the middle school.  Donna suggested switching to Yankee Candle next year, since this event hasn’t been used since the 2010-2011 school year.  The board discussed the possibility of doing two events next year, keeping the wrapping paper fundraiser and perhaps adding another event for February.  Amada, Dancy, Angel, Andrea Gottschall and Jacki agreed to come up with other fundraising ideas for February 2017 and to discuss them with the board at our next meeting in March.  Donna also agreed to break down the previous year’s wrapping paper sales between the kitchen items that were sold and the wrapping paper goods so we could get an idea of what was the bigger seller.  Jen Povman said that she would ask other river towns for some new ideas regarding fundraising events.

-Mini grant recap:

Jacki advised the board that there was $5,500 in mini grant funds to distribute. There was more than $12,000 in mini grant requests this year in our district.  The program did its best to try and give something to everyone.  There was a lot of positive feedback and appreciation from the beneficiaries of this year’s mini grants.  Jacki distributed email samples from various teachers and administrators in the district with specific examples of the many good things to come from the grants.  The board agreed to allocate more money to the mini-grant program to accommodate the addition of the middle school, with that portion coming from the MS budget.

-Cyber Safety/Security Presentations for Middle School students and adults:

Tuesday March 8th from 7 to 8:30 a presentation will be given by Thomas Grimes, a 20 year veteran detective with the New York City Police Department.  The presentation will provide parents with an explicit understanding of what children and teens are doing every day online, and how to help keep them safe.  The event is open to the public, for adults only and Spanish translation will be available.  Jacki has requested each board member to tell 5 of their friends about this event. It is expected that all PTA Board Members will attend this event.  A child-friendly version of the event is being given to middle school students during the day in early March.  A flyer will go out in backpack mail with the ability for your child to opt-out upon parental request.

-School Updates:

MS-The middle school advised that an anonymous incident reporting form was created and posted on the school website. This report was created to help improve communications and feedback between the students and school administration.  Principal Lopez and Assistant Principal Engelhardt have been set up as administrators and will be monitoring activity.  A second school dance event is being considered for the middle school this year, possibly April 1st.  Approval was given for a movie night at the middle school this spring.  Students will be voting for a movie soon.  The board agreed that the middle school should consider making their movie night the same as W.I. (April 29th), and including a bake sale/fundraiser.

WI-Donna advised the board that WI is busy with their play, March Math Madness, Circus night, and concert preparation. Donna will be meeting with Principal Bretti to discuss the March 12th Math Madness event.  Tara agreed to send Donna an email of the volunteers for this event.

Morse-Trip around the community planning will begin in early March. VP’s had their meeting with Mr. Holland recently and there was a lot of talk about drop off and pick up safety.  The village board has been very cooperative in trying to improve conditions.  March 8th the board will be holding a hearing at 7PM.  The PTA board suggested asking the town to move this hearing due to it conflicting with the middle school cyber safety night.  The new crossing guard has been in place for 1 week and unfortunately there are still violators, many believe there should be a police officer in place to enforce the traffic laws.  The board suggested trying to get photos of the violations as they happen to bring to the village board’s attention.  Tara asked if we could create a welcome packet for new families that move in to our district.  Jacki agreed that this should be discussed with the new superintendent. Something had been started with our previous superintendent; the PTA provided documentation for a program, but with the change in administration it was dropped.

JP- The book fair kicks off the week of March 7th.  Monday night will be bedtime stories with milk and cookies from 6-8PM.  JP still needs some high school volunteers to help out with this event. Andrea Gottschall is trying to round up some HS volunteers.

-Other Updates:

Andrea advised that there is still a lot of spirit wear inventory, especially t-shirts.

Jacki explained that calendar option “B” was being sent to the BOE for the next school year.

Jacki distributed a flyer from the Dobbs Ferry school district and PTSA. They will be presenting a screening and panel discussion titled “Most Likely to Succeed” on March 9th at 7 P.M. at the Dobbs Ferry High School at 505 Broadway.  This presentation is free and open to the public.

Jen Povman announced that Rivertown Parents will be hosting a seminar on organization and time management strategies April 19th from 7:30-9 P.M. at the Dobbs Ferry Middle School  called “Do you Know Where Your Homework is?”

Our meeting was adjourned at 10:12 AM; our next meeting is scheduled for March 18th.