October 19, 2018 Meeting Minutes

October 19, 2018

Horsemen PTA meeting

  • Angel Rafter, President
  • Karen Kuhn, Secretary
  • Alison Madrigal, WI 3rd Grade VP
  • Amber Dasilva, WI 3rd Grade VP
  • Brianna Staudt, Paulding Kindergarten VP, web site
  • Kevin Miller, WI 4th Grade VP
  • Phyllis Arduino, Membership and SHMS 8th Grade VP
  • Kelly Usher, Paulding Pre-K VP
  • Allie Scherich, Morse 1st Grade VP
  • Lauren McBride, Morse 2nd Grade VP and Paulding Kindergarten VP
  • Dancy Balestrieri, WI 4th Grade VP
  • Leah McVey, SHMS 6th Grade VP
  • Jen Povman, Rivertown Parents

New membership sign up presentation

  • NYSPTA Membership Hub is where we enter in our members for membership tracking. There is a new store mechanism where we can sell memberships, spirit wear, etc. NYSPTA will take out their fees and will pay us our portion, removing the work on our Treasurer’s side.
  • Payment can be made via credit card. There is a fee.
  • Looking to roll this out after 10/31/18 which is the end of the enrollment period/peak season.
  • Brianna to add a “Support the PTA” link on the web site to this store.

Membership update

  • Right now have 130 members. Goal is 300.
  • We are running a contest for the staff. The school with the most memberships by 10/31/18 will win a breakfast Angel is hosting at the school. Date/Time TBD. Running this by percentage since schools are different sizes.

Halloween Costume Drive

  • Running through 10/23/18. Boxes in each school collecting costumes. Flyers out to families (except for WI which will get flyers out with a 10/25/18 deadline).
  • Running by school this year. VPs need to get volunteers to sort the costumes and set up date to organize, sort and then to distribute. Christina has sent out the link to the volunteer lists.
  • Social workers may help as they know what the needs are. Also look to pass between schools if sizes make more sense elsewhere.

Rivertown Parents

  • Tuesday 10/23/18 – Who Is Raising Our Children Anyway? Abusing media technology. Dr. Maxwell. 7 PM. Main Street School auditorium in Irvington. Really don’t want children attending the event due to nature of the discussion. Planning for this anyway. Set up a contract with your child on how to have a healthy relationship online.
  • Figuring out next meetings/events.
  • Discussion about phones/technology in schools.
    • Hastings has chromebooks and a unified front that phones not allowed in schools so it’s turned things around. Ardsley schools felt there were reasons for kids to have phones.
    • Irvington has issues with kids on phones and parents are working to push more controls.
    • Chromebooks are coming in Tarrytowns but it could be a year from now (government grant) and it’s not one per child. Angel will find out how many are coming so that we can figure out next steps as one per child is important.
    • Gray for a Day is an initiative running in Rivertowns community (web site etc) and want each town involved to have their own web site. Will find out more about this.

Mr Walley Morse presentation

  • Rescheduling for a later meeting.
  • Each school is doing a presentation of their schools and goals for the Board. All principals coming together and showing a unified program and support for each other.

Recess policy consistency and temp policy

  • Kids need recess time to be active and get a break. Makes a huge difference in their productivity.
  • Kevin has talked to Mr. Holland and Mr. Walley about this on a couple occasions. They can’t play when there is snow because there are safety and health concerns. Kevin feels we should allow them to solve problems, deal with snow properly. They can bring extra clothes and deal with issues if they come up. Mr. Holland is going to check out what other districts are doing in the area and if we can find a program that works, we can see if this is something we can do in our area.
  • WI has a massive lost and found so there are clothes available but we do have a large population of kids who don’t have winter clothes and lice is a concern.
  • There is no consistency within the schools on who goes out when. We can then have a baseline to determine how to approach this issue as a district and a consistent policy enforced. Are we really committed to outdoor education? To do items:
    • VPs please ask what the recess/outdoor policy is for each school?
    • Is it consistent between teachers (it’s not).
    • Who really makes the call on whether or not they go outside?
    • Need info before November superintendent meeting.
  • Did a Fun Lunch program in the past where parents came in and helped run some fun programs like soft martial arts, etc. Or we can use the gym as a fallback if we can’t get outside. We do have a parent network that we can use. Mr. Holland seemed interested in getting parent help if needed.

Cell Phone Tower

  • Angel has been discussing the cell phone tower that is right next to Morse (has been there for years) with Mimi Godwin. People have been concerned about this and asked the PTA for support. Also concern about the new MTA tower in Tarrytown by a park and Franklin Towers.
  • Does the PTA support writing a letter with the BoE’s letter about the concern of parents along with letters from medical professionals to present to the Village of Sleepy Hollow? Can we do it without taking a stand? Should we take a stand? Angel would write the letter but should not take a stand and is just passing it on.
    • Angel will check with NYSPTA on this as well.
    • Jen Povman will figure out who is in charge of these decisions in Sleepy Hollow.


Meeting on Wednesday 10/24 and has a parent volunteer with experience in this. Talking about content, frequency, length, media and distribution. Being a pre-K – 8th grade PTA makes it complicated because there is a lot of different information to get out. Anyone with opinions send info to Lauren?

President Update

  • Joy, Biz Admin, has the Principal Fund money and will notify the principals. They will submit their expenses to her and she will give us a report.
  • CTown: Angel talked to Sam and he is excited to work with us. He needs people to start using their CTown card to track what people are spending. Anyone with a card can be added to the PTA list and a percentage of the sales will go to us. Looking to test the first two weeks before Thanksgiving but may have to put this off due to family issues. We need to promote once we know what is happening. Maybe brand as well.
  • Discount card: Looking to work with TT/SH Chamber and merchants to give discounts to people who get the Gold PTA membership. Has about 10 merchants signed on. They will pay $25 into the program so that there are no costs to the PTA to make the cards.
  • Holiday pie fundraiser: Donna Gates has stepped down as Fundraising so we are not doing this. But if the Pastry Chef wants to give a portion of sales to people who bring in a flyer, we could do something. Donna will work with them on this to see if this can happen or not.
  • NYSPTA National School of Excellence program: Provide accolades and some funding. It is a lot of work to apply. Picked John Paulding to apply as this is the most stable school with a more established principal. We are in step 2 of the application now.
  • Flyer approval:
    • If a flyer is a reminder for something already approved, we don’t need to do an approval again (just make sure it is translated). If it is a new program/item, you can send directly to Nelly Valentin in the Superintendent’s Office or can do this via Angel. Copies may be made upstairs in the Administration Building.
    • Things can be added to the regular weekly email once approved, but need an additional approval to send a special school blast email.
  • December meeting is currently scheduled for December 21, which is the last day before holiday break. Would like to move it to December 14.
  • In 2019 looking to change the nature of the meetings with a closed door executive session and then a general session as we have the BoE and teachers coming to our meetings.
  • SHMS 8th grade DC Trip funding: 180 kids can go this year and there are 220 kids in the grade. It’s first come first serve. Angel discussed with the Assistant Principal and he is not sure why this is the case. Trying to figure out how much it costs to add a smaller bus to accommodate the 40 kids. Also didn’t get an answer regarding what the kids do who don’t go on the trip. We have a little extra money and with support from the Foundation maybe we can make this happen. Will follow up for the next meeting.

School Updates


  • Kelly is our new Pre-K VP
  • Did really well on the candle fundraiser
  • Maureen hosting a purposeful play night for the Kindergarten students


  • Book Fair going well. Super well organized by Andrea. Line out the door for the entire two hours. Will have a better plan for next year.


  • Discussed Challenge and how students are chosen for the program as it’s not clear. In the future Holland would like to use standardized test scores (state, AIMS web) to select students. Unclear if this will be the only way that students maturity will be assessed for inclusion in the program. What about those who opt out? Also unclear about how program is set up and communication. Ms. Hickey is now at WI full-time. Hopefully with the administration being in place now, they will figure this out. Kevin will follow up.
  • Parking: No policy about what can be/can’t be done for parking. Holland is assessing the situation in his first year. Suggested cones to keep people from pulling into the lots, but not sure who would do this. Concerns about what security can or can’t do. Suggested more communication about options for parking. Police department sent out a letter about using the crosswalk but only in English. Will mention to the school.
  • Sunnyside program selection: School said they did not handle who was selected. Last year it was first come first served. Told to follow up with Sunnyside.
  • Photo Day went really well this year.
  • Remind App: Discussed how teachers are communicating during the day and should be using this app/communication only during the preps and not during teaching time.


  • DC Trip: Did not notify VPs that there is a cap. Monster Ball: Wanted to confirm when this is happening. There was a call out for volunteer donations (not PTA sponsored) last year. In the past the PTA sold t-shirts, etc. for the DC trip but last year and this year they did not need more funding.
  • Back To School night: Parents gather in the lobby for a brief period of time and then go to their teams. Then there was a 15 minute period to wander through classrooms and then go to the auditorium. It ended up not working well and became more conference time.
  • Display of inspirational quotes in the spring being contemplated. Recommended that this would be great as a greeting in the fall, but would need coordination. Andrea Harrison, art teacher, discussed this with Leah as well.
  • Yankee Candle had 8 paper orders. Did not check online yet.
  • No discussion of the book fair – no location and not as profitable with the older kids. Kids have to bring their money on the day to make purchases. Could do a Barnes and Noble event or a summer book reading list getting filled. Could do a one-day event. Angel will meet with Joshua Whitham to discuss.
  • Announcements are not happening as they did in the past – using the TV as they were not as effective.