Meeting Minutes

April 20, 2018 Meeting Minutes

Friday, April 20, 2018 8:30 AM

Juliana Aloia
Christina Grillo
Phyllis Arduino
Dancy Balestrieri
Karen Kuhn
Angel Rafter
Mitch Sylves-Berry
Nitasha Kumar
Kevin Miller
Amada Reimundez
Fiona Galloway
Jen Povman
Leah McVey
Nama Lamoux-Welch

Mini Grants

Trying to keep amount of money dispersed down as fundraising is down. Also have 9 applications, which is fewer than usual.
JP $300 for Pre-K outdoor toys (requested $500)
WI $300 Special needs field trip, $340 for math curriculum development, $1070 hockey set (request looking for better price)
Morse $1000 for 2nd grade field trip (try and partner with Foundation for additional $1000 needed)
$3000 total

Last-Minute Fundraiser Ideas

Suggestion for spirit night at a restaurant. Don’t need volunteers – just get the word out that if you go during one night you get money back from the restaurant. Chipotle, Applebees, etc. Only work is to get the application done and flyers out. Suggestion to try with a local restaurant to support local business. Phyllis will ask Hollywood Pizza and others, Angel will ask Bridgeview. Capri good option. Nitasha will take the lead on this one. We will pick one place and one night for the entire district.

Coupon books – removing the books and doing apps next year. Has a ton that we can get and sell at a discount so they can unload them. We can sell at existing events. 50 books. Tabled.

Facebook Posts

Christina and Nitasha have been posting on the Horsemen Facebook page. Needs likes and shares. Please send photos and information on any school events, or other programs to promote.

Rivertown Parents
Last event: Angst showing in Ardsley.

Mindfulness with Dr. Christopher Willard from Harvard Medical School Weds 5/2 7:00-8:30 pm at Hastings High School. Will look to get translated and information distributed in schools/an email blast sent out.

Family Tinker Night at Irvington High School May 18th 6:30-8:30 PM. Registration opens May 1 8 PM (sold out last year). Appropriate for K-5. Space is limited.

Partnership with Center for Global Engagement is being discussed. Can bring people in to do the Model UN program, perhaps for 8th grade. Can bring in international kids to schools. Fall 2019 having 20 teachers from around the world coming to the States for 6 weeks and want to show how involved parents are in education as this is not the case in other countries.

Book Fairs

4 book fairs sold over $41,000 in books. Get 25% of pre-tax dollars – made about $9,000 once expenses removed. Can make more in scholastic dollars and apply towards other purchases – worth considering next year. Dancy is stepping down from running book fairs next year and needs a replacement person. This is a great experience because it’s not just our biggest fundraiser, but is a real literacy and community event.

2018-19 proposed dates. VPs need to contact principals to confirm and let Dancy know ASAP so it can get on the calendar.

WI – 11/26-11/30 (emailed Ms. Bretti already)
Morse – 10/15-10/19
Middle school – 1/21-1/25
JP – 3/11-3/15

District Calendar

Please make sure that any school events are added to the calendar – speak to the principals.


Considering going to a different company than Irvin Simon. WI was an organizational nightmare.
They give a lot of scholarships and do a lot of the bookkeeping. We also do our WI yearbook with them. We make money on the photos, but not the yearbooks. Not sure that other companies will be ask giving with the scholarships. Will speak to Ms. Bretti about spreading out the picture day to a day and ½. Will give them another chance. Amada is booking the dates for next year.

Web site and Emails

Set up position-specific email addresses for everyone. Karen to look into options with the ISP.

2018-2019 PTA positions

Need to know who is returning next year. Also looking to set up coordinators to chair school events. Will start now so that we can reach people before they leave for the summer and look to get new people involved. Opportunities include: getting a few minutes in every classroom at Back to School night, Class Parent Teas and JP incoming parent orientation. Dancy will write a script to share with people for use at events.

Farmer’s Market

Contacted again by TASH. Sold Spirit Wear but didn’t get a lot of interaction for PTA. Need a new lead as Christina Grillo is stepping down from this lead role this year.


JP – No rep here. Need to know about Teacher Appreciation lunch coordinator and date and Field Day. Question about re-opening Tappan Hill?

Morse – Melissa Miller handing Teacher Appreciation 5/11. VPs will manage Field Day. Trip Around the Community 5/4 and flyers sent out looking for parent volunteers/backpacks ordered. Book swap at the end of May. Still working on getting the library space running for kids.
Square One complete and needs to be delivered.

WI – Movie Night for all elementary schools 5/4 (doors 6, movie 6:30) at WI. Waiting on approval for Despicable Me 3 before starting promotion. Need volunteers and baked goods. FYI: Boosters in high school set $2/chips or candy and $1/water consistent pricing for events, which works well for management. Elementary schools have different rules and no food in the auditorium.

Incoming 6th graders start with a language. Frequency increasing so that it’s daily in 8th grade.
World Languages is dead.

State testing issues were reviewed with the principal – we will not computerize unless mandated. More opt outs as the kids age. Were scheduled for science testing and now we are no longer doing that.

Teacher appreciation coming up. Food drive very successful. Box tops submitted and very successful with $822 raised for the school – thank you Laura Richardson! 1st and 2nd place class winners will get a pizza party.

Book clubs wrapping up when it’s warm in the next couple of weeks.

5/10 blood drive – 5th graders dress as doctors and distribute snacks. Goal of 34 pints from adults.

Circus Arts happening now. Writing up something on the WIN program for the district newsletter mailing – enrichment program in the school.

SHMS – Meeting is next week. DC trip going on now – checking to make sure everyone who wanted to go, was able to go, regardless of their ability to pay.

Need volunteers for staff appreciation. Mitch will help. Date to be set.

LGBTQ Advisory

Jen would like to start this kind of group for support and working with the community. Suggestion to open to all. Goal – information, support, resources.

Dress Code

Schools met with students and got feedback. Looking to incorporate comments into rewrite. At least meeting discussed training for teachers on how to manage new code. Parent group waiting to hear back from administration on next steps to prepare this for the School Board.