PTA Minutes for April 17, 2008

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PTA MS67 General Meeting, April 17, 2008

Meeting brought to order at 7:24pm with quorum by Marta Agosti, Co-President.

Motion made to approve the March minutes was seconded and approved unanimously.

AP Reports:

Mrs. Choit: 6th grade is going to Atlantis Marineworld on April 30.  This includes coach bus and lunch.  The permission slips and money are due April 18.

Medieval Times trip is on May 13th.  Info will be sent home after the break.

Mrs. Choit is planning now for the sixth grades’ language and major talent choice for next year.  The children will receive a notice soon, asking for their preferences for Spanish or French and for their choice of talent, 3 in order of preference. Parents must sign it. Mrs. Choit will try to accommodate everyone’s wishes but selections are not guaranteed.  The spring ELA assessment for all grades has just been completed.  The results will be posted after the break on the Acuity system.  There will be one last ELA and math assessment at the end of May or early June.  Acuity is not a classroom grade, just an assessment for the teacher.

Mr. Chambers: The 7th grade trip to Madame Tussaud’s is moved to May 6.  Trip money is due April 30.  In response to a parent’s question, children who don’t go on trips follow a special program in school that day.  The Sixth grade math team finished first in the Bronx Invitational.  The 7th grade math team finished second at the Bronx Invitational and our other 6th grade team finished fourth in the NYS competition.  Trophies are on display in the lobby.

All students also just completed the math acuity assessment.

Mr. Surrett: The main round for HS just came in.  The non regents half of the 8th grade is preparing for the NYS General Science and performance test.  The written portion is on April 30th and the hands on experiment test is May 6th.    There was an open house test prep class last Saturday.  As per a parents’ request, Mr Surrett will consider having an open house for the regents classes, however they are getting plenty of prep in class.  The Wash DC trip for 200 eight graders is May 21-23.  There will be an assembly for those attending after the break.  Senior Dues are due and it was asked by a parent if those who do not attend the prom are required to pay the full amount.  Mrs. McGrath has stated that those students who do not attend the prom will have that portion of the dues refunded.

President’s Report:

Resource room students IEP mandatory distribution:  MS 67 and 9 other schools in District 26, has been cited by NYS for non-compliance of the IEP distribution.  This complaint was brought about due to a survey answered by the UFT Chapter Leaders in the district. IEPs contain a detailed history of medical, psychological, neurological and assessment results of students who receive special services and or resource room.   As per state law initiated in 2002, these records are to be available to every teacher of an IEP student.  Up until now at MS 67, these records were kept in a locked cabinet but were always available to any teacher who wished to review them.  They were also available to be copied and kept by the teacher who needed them.   NYS law states every teacher must have their own individual copy at all times.  Failure to comply will result in a 10 point drop on the school’s “report card” and puts the school at risk to receive a “B” rating.  Some parents of IEP students feel teachers such as, art, gym, etc. do not need this information and believe this is a violation of their right to privacy and want to protest under the HIPA law (Health Information Privacy Act).  Mrs. McGrath will check with Legal to see which law has precedent.  There was considerable discussion regarding how to inform the general parent body.  But the administration will comply with the letter of the law even though it is against this invasion of privacy.

Web Site:  It’s up and running.  Notices and meeting minutes are posted.  Marta stated that several advertisers who have advertised in our newsletter in the past have requested to advertise on the website.  Motion was made by Marta Agosti to sell advertising on the web site at the same rate we charged for the newsletter ads.  Motion seconded and passed all yays, no nays, and no abstentions.

As per some parents, there are two un-approved and erroneous links already on the site.  Marta will speak to the webmaster to get rid of them.

Arista ceremony is May 9th.  PTA hosts a collation after the ceremony.  Parents are needed to set up in the gym after 3:30 on the afternoon of May 8th.  On May 9th we need parents from the 6th and 7th grades early in the morning.  Ingrid Guapisaca volunteered to shop for food.

Marta publicly thanked all the parents who volunteered to speak to the students on career day and thanks to those parents who set up and served the breakfast and lunch reception.  It was a very successful day.

Thanks also went to those parents who shopped and sold refreshments during the Oliver performance on April   11 an12.  The PTA grossed $1011.  Expenses still need to be deducted.  Everyone agreed Oliver was a fantastic show!

SLT Report: Marilyn dos Santos and Marta Agosti reported that SLT discussed the IEP matter and an issue with “You Tube”.  Some children are videotaping with their phones and other devices other children from the classroom and the schoolyard and downloading them on to “You Tube”.  These videos clearly show the faces and audibly give the full names of some of the kids in MS 67.  Mrs. McGrath found out that this is perfectly legal under the first amendment and that no permission is necessary to release these images. Videos posted in you tube can only be removed if there is a verbal threat to a child or staff member.  The SLT is of the consensus that upon the first offense any electronics that are seen should be taken away from that child and returned at the day’s end.  For a second offense, the item will only be returned to the parent.  The Chancellor’s policy on electronics is that they prohibited from school.  The current school policy is that electronics are prohibited from being used in the classroom, but the staff ignores quiet use of them in the lunchroom or the yard.  First offense is that it is taken away and held by the AP until the end of the day. The SLT consensus is that they should be prohibited even during lunch and recess.  This also would help eliminate photos of notes being used for cheating.   Mrs. McGrath will take the suggestion under consideration but stands by the cell phone policy already in effect as outlined in the letter distributed at the beginning of the year.  Regarding the “You Tube” videos that already exist: some parents suggested that the parents of the students on the web site can contact “You Tube” directly to have them removed.   Parents should also discuss this individually with their own children

Nominating Committee: Virginia Du reported that elections will be next month.  Nomination letters are already distributed.  All positions are open and some nominations have been submitted.

Fundraising Committee: Cindy Yoon reported that pledge contributions are still coming in and still being accepted.

Sunshine Committee: Sallianne Weber reported that a sympathy card was send to a long time PTA member, Claudia Haug upon the death of her husband.

Treasurer’s Report: Maria Mo reported that there is $11,208.73 in the account presently.  See copy of her report on the web site.  Ingrid Guapisaca gave her 8 or 9 BJ’s membership checks to be deposited.  Because there will be no talent show this year, that line will be removed from the budget.  Career Day cost the PTA $525 or $75 under budget.  The miscellaneous expenses of $100 were used for an ad in the Oliver Playbill.  $1011 was deposited in the account from Oliver candy sale.  $5000 was just contributed to the school for the sports program.

Parent Coordinator Report: Rhonda Bogaty thanked Sallianne and Bonnie for raffle contributions at Oliver used to raise money for Relay for Life to be held May 31 at Queens Farm.  On May 17th there will be a car wash sponsored by the community service club to raise money for Relay for Life.  The SO is helping raise funds by selling t-shirts, pens, name cards, bookmarks and pins.  Please register an adult with your child to participate in this event.

No Old Business.

No New Business.

Motion to adjourn meeting seconded and passed at 9:20 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Karen Dinegar and Doris Iskaros

Recording Secretaries