PTA Minutes for Oct. 16, 2008

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PTA General Membership Meeting, October 16, 2008


Marta Agosti called the meeting to order at 7:15pm.

Bonnie Song asked members to peruse minutes from the last 3
general membership meetings for approval.

 

Independent motions to approve the minutes for May 2008 and
June 2008 meetings were passed. Motions seconded and passed. Minutes for the
September 2008 meeting were amended to “It would cost $92,000 to fund a full-
time counselor.” Motion seconded and passed.

 

Bonnie introduced the new PTA e-mail address which will be a
new way to communicate with the PTA board. 
An additional way to access the e-mail will be through the PTA website
via the “Contact” link.  Bonnie sent out
a print out of the e-mail screen to explain the information a person will be
required to provide before the e-mail can be delivered.  Bonnie and Marta mentioned that most e-mails
will be answered within 24 hours.  The
e-mail is meant purely for PTA business. 
If an e-mail requires further clarification it will be forwarded to the
parent coordinator.  The website includes
the dates for PTA meetings, PTA Executive Board meetings and SLT meetings.  Parents are welcome to attend any or all of
these meetings.

 

Bonnie thanked Ralph Iskaros for his work on the website.

 

Marta asked members who volunteered at our September general
meeting for various events to provide their e-mail addresses for easier
contact.

Marta explained the various responsibilities for events such
as Career Day, Fundraising Committee, Sunshine Committee, Book Fair,
Hospitality and the Newsletter.

 

Bonnie spoke about the formation of an Ad Hoc committee to
create a handbook for our parents.  The
handbook is meant to be a way for the PTA to help our members with many of the
questions they might have such as school policies, or persons to contact for
information.  Bonnie asked for volunteers
to formulate the handbook or to assist in typing it.

 

Bonnie mentioned that the PTA by-laws dictate that there
will only be 2 parents per Exec. board position.  Presently a parent is interested in being the
third Co-VP of Fundraising.  Bonnie asked
for an amendment to the by-laws to open the Co-VP of Fundraising positions from
2 to 3 persons.  She will send a revision
proposal to the membership on the by-laws. 
This amendment will then be adopted at the next general meeting.

 

Bonnie asked for a change of roll of call to let Mrs.
McGrath speak at this time since the elections can’t take place until the time
stated on the meeting notice.

 

Principal’s
Report:

 

Mrs. McGrath spoke about the After school Programs.  There are two types of programs:  Self-Sustaining and DOE-based.  The former is a tuition-based program with
classes costing anywhere from $85-$120/6-8 week sessions.  Current programs include chocolate-making,
volleyball, chemistry, pre-algebra, writing, integrated math, jazz dance, math
remediation, NYS Math test prep, Hunter
High School
test prep.

The DOE program is free for the students.  Programs include soccer, flag football, boys
& girls basketball, volleyball, Math Counts, chess, art portfolio.

 

Sixth graders were sent invitations to sit for the Hunter High
School
test. 
To qualify a student had to earn a 701 on their 5th grade NYS
ELA test and a 744 on their 5th grade NYS math test.  52 children in our school qualified for the
exam.  Taking the exam and applying to
the school are optional.

 

8th graders have received their high school
applications.  The sooner they submit the
applications the sooner the applications can be entered into the computer.  Students and parents will receive confirmation
of the choices they made.

 

The Specialized High School Test will take place on
10/25.  Admission tickets to the exam
will be distributed on 10/17.

The results for this exam will be available on 2/5/09.  Results will be mailed to ensure receipt.

 

A parent asked Mrs. McGrath if notices get sent home for the
CHAMPS sports program (the DOE-based after school program.)  Mrs. McGrath informed the members that notices are not sent home.  Signs are posted around the school and
announcements are made during homeroom. 
Students need to be proactive and aware of the various dates for each
sport.

The drama program is not a club – children have to audition.

 

A parent suggested that an information sheet get sent home
with a list of dates for each of the sports.

Another parent asked when test prep classes would be offered
in advance of the Hunter College HS test. 
Prep classes will be held sometime
in December.

 

Another parent questioned the bathroom use policy.  Mrs.
McGrath explained that what was instituted this year is a policy where the
hallways and bathrooms are patrolled by staff and teachers during periods 2-7
each day.  Students may use the bathrooms
on the 2nd floor or basement at that time.  Because there is no one to patrol the hallways/bathrooms
during periods 1 and 8 students are not permitted to use the bathrooms at those
times (unless it is an emergency that can be explained by the student.)  Mrs. McGrath explained that this has been
done for safety reasons.  Bathrooms on
the first and third floors are locked throughout the day because there aren’t
enough people to man them.

 

Parents were concerned about the amount of time it takes
during the 6th grade lunch period. 
Ms. Dolan explained that the lines move rather efficiently.  For those students who don’t want to wait on
the lunch line just for a drink they can buy a can of Snapple from the machine
in the lunchroom.

 

Another parent mentioned that there have been times that her
son was unable to get a hot lunch.  Mrs. McGrath mentioned that her administration
has little say on how the cafeteria is run. 
If is up to the Foods Division of the DOE.

 

Another parent mentioned how her daughter was yelled at for
only choosing a drink during breakfast. 
Mrs. Bogaty reiterated how the Food Division insists on food being
served in a particular way, with no exceptions, therefore, because the cafeteria
staff has to serve the full complement of food each day.

 

 

PTA Elections

 

The membership voted for a Co-Recording Secretary as well as
parent members to the SLT.  Marta asked
if there were any nominations from the floor and explained what each of the
positions’ responsibilities were.

 

Sue Berkowitz, a parent of a 6th grader as well
as a former PTA president from PS 94 and former middle school teacher, was
nominated and approved to be the Co-Recording Secretary since there was no one
else running for that position.

 

Darlene Ritchie nominated herself from the floor.  The other nominees included Greg Mitchell,
Rosanna Maslinski, and Bonnie Song.  The
candidates introduced themselves to the members. 

 

Darlene’s name was added to the pre-printed ballots.  Bonnie asked Mrs. Bogaty to collect and
tabulate the results.  Mr. Surrett agreed
to certify the ballots.

 

Yearbook

 

Ms. Dolan talked to the members about the 8th
grade yearbook.  She showed the parents
copies of last year’s book to give them an idea of what the final product could
look like.  She explained that the theme
of this year’s book is “American Idol.” 
The yearbook will hope to incorporate all of the talents of graduates.  Students in the Art and Journalism programs
will be contributing to the book.

Ms. Dolan explained that students who agree to volunteer to
work on the book must be committed to the work involved.  Any students with 3 or more absences up to
this point will not be permitted to participate on the yearbook committee.  The publisher of the book is Irving
Simon.  Parents are welcome to submit
photos to the committee.

 

Assistant
Principals’ Reports

 

Mrs. Choit mentioned that the 6th grade has
booked two trips:

11/14 – Cirque de
Soleil @ Madison Sq.
Garden

4/29 – Medieval Times.

 

She mentioned that students have adjusted well.

 

The NYS ELA will take place on January 20, 21 & 22.

Beginning on 10/17 students will be taking the Predictive
Exam.  Scores will be available to
parents online sometime in early November through the Acuity program.

 

A parent raised a question regarding the appropriate amount
of time should be spent doing homework. 
Mrs. Choit responded by saying that 20 minutes per class is appropriate.

 

Mr. Chambers mentioned that the 7th grade trip to
Philadelphia
will take place sometime in mid-March. 
The second trip has not been booked as yet.  He said that October 31st is the
last day in the marking period.

 

A parent asked if the self-sustaining programming will be
offered in the Spring.  Mr. Chambers
responded “yes.”

 

Mr. Surrett reported that the 8th grade HS
applications were sent out and the SHST tickets will go home on 10/17.  The deadline to return the HS applications is
12/2.  He asks that students return the
applications sooner in order for parent to review the receipt that is issued.
This is to ensure that no mistake is made for the choices placed on the
application.

 

On 3/25 results for the Main Round for non-specialized
HS-accepted students will be known.

 

SLT 

 

Arlene Jankowitsch reported on the first SLT meeting held on
9/23.  The discussions focused on meeting
dates for the coming year.  The decision
is that SLT meetings will be held on Thursdays at 3:30pm.  Dates will be published on the website.

 

During the meeting Mrs. McGrath spoke about the Quality
Review and school report card.  The SLT
by-laws need to be reviewed also.

An Inquiry Team was established to discuss remediation at
our school.  Mrs. Choit is overseeing
this.  The CHAMPS program was also
discussed – Mr. Viruet is running this program.

The SLT also talked about the size of our student body and
class size.

 

Following Arlene’s recap, Karen announced the results of the
election for SLT parent members – Bonnie Song and Gregory Mitchel were elected
to the positions.

 

Treasurer’s Report

Maria stated that we made our first deposit for this school
year in the amount of $6,235.00.  This
amount represents membership dues and nearly meets the amount budgeted for.

 

Three checks were issued:

         
one for $4,000.00 towards the school gift,

         
one for $2,296.00 for the school planners,

         
another for the cost of the website domain.

The current balance if $8,888.94.

 

The Safety Committee meets 1x/month.  A plan is written each year on how to evacuate
the building in case of a fire or other emergency.  The plan is devised and then approved by the
DOE.  The Safety Committee also decided
to train 7 or 8 people on the staff in CPR. 
Based on the Safety Committee recommendations the school will conduct a workshop
on bullying for students and parents. 
There was also a discussion about monitoring the bathrooms.

 

Membership:

Jenny Cho reiterated that so far $6,235.00 has been raised
from membership dues.  Thus far 29% of 6th
grade families responded; 19% of 7th grade families and 19% of 8th
grade families.

 

Fundraising:

A fundraising letter will be sent out in November to our
parents.

 

The Sunshine volunteer will be contacted by our presidents
to begin the job.

 

On a final note Bonnie reminded the members that the CDEC
will be holding a Forum on 10/29, 7pm at MS 67 on school governance and mayoral
control.  She encouraged the members to attend
this very important forum

 

The meeting was adjourned just after 9pm.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Doris Iskaros

Recording Secretary