Columbia Secondary School ● Parent Teacher Association


Daisy Farina, President Maria Herrera, Fundraising VP
Sean Stanton, Treasurer Virginie Glaenzer, Secretary

Meeting held Wed., JAN 9, 2012 from 6 – 7:30 PM in Rm 404

I. Opening Business

Daisy introduces the proposed December 2012 minutes, which were approved, and review today’s agenda. Daisy discusses ideas to engage parents in a more successful way: can we use the phone system to communicate ongoing events. Options would be send by mail a reminder of their CSS email account, organized informal fun event, use the grades’ mail to send out information about PTA. Discussions explore reason why parents are not engaged as much as PTA would like. Perhaps parents of high school students are less engaged in school activities. Activities where the kids are engaged are usually good success and using raffles, bake sales. Another option is to reach parents on their personal emails with agreement with parents but it would means sending outside the school email system that allow school to control content sent and receive.

II. Discussion

– New elective season is starting in February: two-robotics classes with competition in March for high school. Glee Club. End of current electives January 18th.
– Mid term coming up end of January.
– Columbia XXX courses has 23 students with 18 with A grade. Selection process based on grade and teacher’s recommendations.
– Couple of breakfasts with Parents.
– Local politicians were invited to Fame and responses were very positive. Project is to create a group in charge of relationship with Politicians. Superintendent visited our school.
– Working with Bloomberg video that can be used for fundraiser. Public funding is still at zero therefore school is relying on Friends of CSS and PTA. Friends of CSS has received a number of contributions from its end-of-year appeal. They plan to put out a notice about the cost of electives to encourage families to donate toward that expense. Parents may be more likely to contribute if they know what the money is supporting, amounts are not high, and their children are benefitting. It was also suggested that we do a “Friends and Family” appeal that parents could share with grandparents, relatives and others who may be willing to support CSS.
– It was suggested that we have a raffle at the FAME performances. 50/50 raffles where the winner gets half and the school gets half have been successful in the past, and don’t require having a specific gift to offer for the raffle. Friends of CSS will be present at the FAME shows and hope to get more contributions. It was also suggested that the students in the show circulate through the audience in costume during intermission and ask for donations to cover the cost of putting on the show.


The PTA Treasurer reported that we have $8,000 in the PTA budget from dues contributions and various fundraising events. They plan to set up a table at the FAME performances to collect more dues.


There are a number of events coming up that will need parent involvement:

• Class Pictures: Retakes and high school pictures will be taken on January 30th.

• Black History Month Celebration: Flyers will be coming out soon about a potluck on February 22nd. The committee will be looking for parents to bring and serve food. Last year the event included African dancers, poetry reading and music.

• Earth Day: There is interest in holding an event for Earth Day. The past three years there was a walkathon that was held as a fundraiser, where students got pledges for their participation and walked around Morningside Park. The teachers have been talking about linking an Earth Day event more closely with curriculum. This event will need a committee to support the planning.

• 8th Grade Moving Up Day: Planning needs to begin in February/March.

• All School Career Day will be June 24th. There will be a guest speaker and a fair.

• There will be a year-end school community-wide event.

• PS 125 would like to do something collaborative with CSS. Principal Nightengale has been talking with the PS 125 principal about a possible mentoring or book reading program with CSS students as mentors.

III. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM
Next meeting on Wednesday February, 13th 2013 @ 6:00 pm

Dated: January 9, 2013
Virginie Glaenzer,
CSS PTA Secretary