Horsemen PTA Meeting
Friday, May 18, 2018
Action items underlined
Daphne Ulliver presiding over meeting in Amada Reimundez’s absence
Bri Staudt taking minutes in Karen Kuhn’s absence
Approval of last meeting’s minutes
Daphne asked for approval of last meeting’s minutes — approved
School budget vote
Daphne announced budget passed. Discussion about how parents could access budget
summary and details prior to voting. School budget can be hard to understand. Next
year, PTA board member TBD will ask for someone to come into a PTA meeting prior to
the vote to give an explainer so PTA board can best articulate key budget points when
Daphne (relaying from Fatima): Next update will be provided in the fall, when new
president is in place. May or may not be realistic for budget update to be circulated
before each board meeting. Group agreed that the “need to know” budget info is the
fundraising-specific numbers so that the board can track progress against goals
throughout the year. This reporting should be the fundraising chair’s responsibility.
VP funds – audit coming of how these are being used to see if improvements can be
Summary of May 14th ad hoc 2018-19 planning meeting at Christina’s house
Christina presented a summary of the key points in the meeting minutes that were
already circulated to the board via email. Key points included:
Next year’s goals are to recruit more active volunteers and to recruit more dues
paying members. Recruitment for open positions should begin before the end of this
school year (sample recruitment letter drafted by Christina — to be customized for
each school’s needs). Membership and volunteer forms need to be updated. Angel will
send out summer packets to grade VPs so they can be updated – reply only to Angel
please. Membership forms updates will come next from Angel and Phyllis. Horsemen
PTA Facebook information should be added to all flyers. Need to clarify that class
parents are PTA positions. Need to clarify PTA benefits and recruit more teachers.
Volunteer Coordinator position to be expanded and focus on recruiting throughout the
year. New fundraising ideas needed (replace wrapping paper fundraiser). Book Fair
management needs to be decentralized back to the schools.
Nominating committee was Bri, Lauren, Juliana, Christina, Donna, Daphne. Positions
considered by committee were president, VP, treasurer and secretary for next year.
There was only one nominee per position. Bri presented slate of:
• Angel Rafter for President
• Nitasha Kumar for Vice President
• Fatima Gianni for Treasurer
• Karen Kuhn for Secretary
Angel notes that per by laws, vote can be verbal if there is only one nominee per
position (as is the case this year). Vote will take place during the next board meeting
(June 15 at 8:30 a.m.) Board members must be paid-up in order to vote. Phyllis
already looking into paid/not paid status of each board member and will let board
members know before the next meeting. Members may only serve for maximum two
consecutive years in each executive position. Next year would be second year for both
Karen and Fatima in their positions if they receive “yes” votes. Angel: grade VPs do
not need to be nominated. These are volunteer positions. Angel will collect if each
grade VP is returning outside of this meeting.
Jen nominated slate. Lauren seconded. Nominees approved for vote June 15.
Next Year’s Calendar
Book Fair dates:
• Morse: October 15-19, 2018 – Juliana confirms
• WI: November 26-30, 2018 – confirmed prior to meeting
• MS: January 21-25, 2019 – Needs offline action. Daphne will reach out to Dancy to
see if Scholastic can move the MS book fair back one week, per principal’s request.
Listed week is testing and musical. (Can’t make announcements during testing,
• JP: March 11-14, 2019 (only M-Th; Mrs. Barnett wanted to keep Friday for filling
orders and packing up without inviting parents to shop) – confirmed prior to
Movie nights: Auditoriums need to be reserved now.
• MS: usually on a Friday first week of November. Who will set this up?
• WI: usually on a Friday after state tests, in May, but discussion of moving to end of
March (to avoid spring sports). Who will set this up?
Monthly Horsemen PTA meeting dates:
• Amada to send these to HR/Nelly when settled. We will remove “exec” from
calendar listing…should only say “board” meeting. (“Exec” implies only president,
treasurer, secretary, VP, not rest of the board.)
• Discussion about if the board meetings should remain open for next year…not
much attendance outside of board itself currently. Tentative decision is we want to
make it clear these are working meetings (like Board of Ed meetings) and keep
them open for anyone from PTA to observe if they want. Will advertise occasional
meetings in the evening (to allow greater PTA participation, mornings don’t work
for most) throughout the year with speakers, etc.…these don’t need to be on the
calendar…will advertise them to parents/PTA via social media, flyers, etc.
Grade VP/Principal meeting dates:
• Grade VPs want to wait until the beginning of the school year to set these up. Do
no go on the calendar, anyway. Need time to settle who grade VPs are.
Other calendar issues and coordination:
• Each grade VP needs to reach out to principal to confirm calendar dates that
haven’t been confirmed yet. Photo day dates roll over to next year, so comms on
that not needed, with exception of WI – Leah wants two days next year if possible.
Angel clarified that principals send the dates for each school to the
administration. They should have the current working version of the calendar. PTA
only sends PTA board meeting dates.
• JP: Lauren and Bri presented PTA overview at Incoming K info night this week.
Angel there to help with recruitment. Went well – over a dozen names of parents
who want to help out next year. Forms provided to Christina. Looks like we could
have a class parent coordinator and grade VP lined up. Need event chairs! Angel:
We should continue to emphasize/clarify that we are the org that is hands on in
the schools. Key difference from Foundation.
• Morse: Juliana/Lauren: Have not had May principal’s meeting yet
• WI: Leah: Principal (Mrs. Bretti) retired 5/17. Search for an interim principal on
now. Superintendent’s announcement was great but only went to WI parents. We
want this to be district-wide next time.
• MS: Donna: Focused on vaping issues and cell phone use in school in last principal’s
-Vaping: Good seminar occurred in HS. Want to bring it to MS – principal
agreed, but not likely to happen before end of this year. Aiming for the fall.
Vaping HAS been covered in health class for a few months now. Vaping is
also a parent education issue. Need to set up a sub-committee for vaping.
Vaping discipline policy is currently the same as for smoking. Mobil station
across the street sells vaping paraphernalia – Chris may reach out to
corporate Mobil to ask them to remove it due to proximity to school.
– Cell phone use: Requested a school-wide policy be put in place. It is “in
flux” now. Each class has its own policy – for example, art class may allow
students to look up photos on phones. Discussed pros and cons. Widespread
agreement among board that students should be using Chrome books
instead of phones for class work.
Need an overall fundraising chair for next year. Fundraising subcommittee/volunteers
to work with next president to find a chair. To find an alternative to wrapping paper
fundraiser, will call a separate brainstorming meeting (first fundraising subcommittee)
before June 15 where everyone will bring an idea. Laurissa Michael, a third-grade
parent contacted Dancy and Amada with these two ideas, which she is willing to
Dancy should reach out to Laurissa and arrange a meeting with Angel re: fundraising.
Donna raised Yankee candle fundraiser. Recent Thanksgiving pie fundraiser (pick up at
JP) was also fun for the community and benefitted a local business. Widespread
agreement that read-a-thon is a good candidate. Grade VPs to raise read-a-thon in
next principal meetings to gage interest. Each VP should do research at link above
prior to their meeting. 🙂
Jen: Mitch and Jen attended mindfulness discussion (Christopher Willard) May 2 at
Hastings HS. Great speaker, and caters to all age groups. Should consider this speaker
for our schools. Reminder that Tinker Night is tonight in Irvington. Ideas for topics for
Rivertown Parents next year include empowerment/“Me Too” movement; sexual
abuse; sports recruiting; and media use. Jen to add vaping to list of topics for RT
parents next year. Jen will reach out to Nitasha – she may know a psychologist who
would be good to talk about vaping. Jen will also reach out to guidance counselors
and health and wellness committee/SNAC for more ideas.
From Mitch: Need to send more reps (ideally from exec) to RT parents if possible.
• Angel: Anyone needing to reference bylaws should go to NY State PTA website. Still
looking for codes to access our unit-specific bylaws from that site.
Incoming student/info meetings
• Angel: For future meetings, should make sure our contact and Facebook info is on
a PTA slide. (For some schools, principals create all slides and include a PTA shoutout…
other schools, PTA sends a slide)
• Leah: Idea to post grade VPs’ pictures with names in school lobbies so parents can
match faces to names to better know their reps. Are also trying this with Facebook
High school needs to pass through its four-year period before it can become a PTA
again. It was dissolved after 3 years of inactivity. Currently a PAC (parent advisory
committee) now. Board agreed that we would like to be a K-12 PTA again when the
four-year period is over (after next year). There are currently K-12 vertical teams for
each subject — we want to also align ourselves with this “full journey” thinking.
Angel: Individuals can’t search on PTA board and school board simultaneously. Angel
will tell the HS principal we are interested in becoming a K-12 PTA again after next
• Daphne: Is consulting on the writing curriculum w/the district and recommending
teacher training programs. Four possibilities (e.g. Writopia) Going to the ELA
vertical meeting to present a vision statement.
• Daphne also noted that Dancy drafted and shared speech and debate proposal —
inspired by behavior we saw from Marjory Stoneman students after school shooting
there. They have a K-12 speech and debate program. Thank you, Daphne and