Columbia Secondary School ● Parent Teacher Association

MEETING MINUTES

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

Meeting held Wednesday, February 13, 2013 from 6 – 7:30 PM in Room 404.

I. Opening Business
Minutes from the January 2013 meeting were approved.

II. President’s Report

Daisy reported that parental involvement was strong for the recent Fame musical.

Both Daisy and Maria H participated in the recent Eighth-grade overnight trip to Frost Valley which was very successful. Funding for the trip came 1/3 from parents, 1/2 from a grant, with the balance from the Friends foundation.

III. Principal’s Report

English Prof. Rubin requested PTA support of 11th grade attendance at the Broadway performance of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” which the class is also presently studying. At a reduced price of $30 per ticket at approximately 100 tickets needed, the total cost would be some $3000. After discussion, by voice vote the PTA agreed to fund up to $1000 provided Prof. Rubin obtained the maximum support from the parents.

Miriam shared the following news:
A.- Maria H’s daughter 8th grader Jade Greenfield was among only eight finalists selected from 8000 submissions in the “Dear Mr. President” essay contest and would be traveling to Washington DC for the finals.
B.- New electives are now underway at CSS, including the exciting new robotics program among many others, which are funded primarily from the Friends foundation.
C.- Prof. John Russell was a runner-up in his nomination for the Earth Science Teacher of the Year.
D.- Prof. Sephali Ray was certified by the DOE as an Expert Science Teacher.
E.- Plans are underway for the eighth-grade moving up/graduation ceremony to be held at a Columbia University hall
F.- CSS Guidance Counselor Prof. Kristin Harris was recently featured on WNYC and hopefully the g rant obtained by the Friends foundation will be renewed support her salary into the future.
G.- CSS is working on an upgrade of our shared library with PS 125. Unfortunately, as the DOE allots additional space in the building to our school as it continues to grow, it does not likewise outfit the classrooms with the necessary support materials such as furniture, projectors, computers, smart boards etc. which is an inequity that must be addressed.
H.- Other upcoming events include Parent-Teacher Conferences in March, the SLT is performing grade studies, and a parent philosophy roundtable on February 28.

IV. Treasurers’s Report
Sean reported the available funds are approximately $8,000.
By voice vote, PTA approved a $500 contribution in support of the Student Government’s forthcoming Black History Month celebration on February 22.

V. Old Business

A. Communications Update – CSS Website. Miriam reported that the recent disruption of CSS website was because we share a server with another school, and because this year the other school was paying the rental charge, the server provider did not communicate to our school that they were moving our sites to a new server with a different operating system that (as we learned the hard way) was incompatible with the programming of our existing site. Steps have been taken to correct these miscommunications and programming deficiencies, and the site is now again up and running.

VI. New Business

A.-Faculty Mini Grants. Given the past success of this program, the PTA encourages faculty to submit proposals to Miriam, and discussed developing a policy as to equitably allotting money between the grades.

B. – Student Photo IDs. After discussion by the group concerning the importance of these, Miriam will advise as to the feasibility and cost of providing this.

C. – Early Recruitment of Future PTA Officers. Recognizing the need for further development of the organization as school continues to grow, PTA officers Daisy and Sean discussed the need to develop future leadership for the group.

V. Upcoming Events.

A. – PTA Valentine Bake Sale – February 14. Maria H led the discussion concerning volunteers for this.
B. – High School Dance – February 15. Call for chaperones was made.
C. – Black History Month Potluck Celebration – February 22. Diane Hunte outlined plans for this event, with cultural entertainment (including African dancers, rap poetry, drummers, and musical performance by CSS parent Trevor Bridgewater being held in the auditorium from 6:54 PM followed by food in the West Gym from 7 to 9.
D.– School Photo Make-up Day – February 27.
E. – April Earth Day Walk-A-Thon. Sean reported that plans are developing and will be discussed it the March meeting.

VI. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned at 7:30 PM

Next meeting on Wednesday March 6, 2013 @ 6:00 pm

Dated: March 2, 2013
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Sean E. Stanton,
CSS PTA Treasurer / Secretary Pro Temp