Columbia Secondary School ● Parent-Teacher Association

Minutes: September General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, 9/17/13, 6:00-7:30 PM; CSS Auditorium

Daisy Farina, Co-President Sean Stanton, Treasurer
E. Mark Lewis, Co-President Richard Rubin, Communications Co-VP
Vickie Harcum, Fundraising Co-VP Kristin Penegor, Recording Secretary
Melissa Welsh, Fundraising Co-VP


I. Opening Business

A. Welcome: Welcome to all CSS families, new and continuing

B. Introductions:

1. PTA Executive Board members, as listed above

2. Mark Kerman, President, Friends of CSS, our supporting charitable organization

3. Andi Velasquez, new CSS Parent Coordinator

4. Warren Orange, new SLT member

5. Thanks to all who are involved, hope more will join; special thanks Spanish translators, need more

II. Discussion

A. Friends of CSS

1. Non-profit 501(c)(3); raises money to support academics/enrichments, college counseling program

2. Flyers backpacked next week with details on making your tax-deductible donation, matching funds

B. PTA Committees: one great way to get involved

1. Fundraising, Co-VPs, Fundraising

a. First note: take advantage of “free money”, like Box Tops,, Target Visa 10%

b. Many fun PTA events on tap this year, more details to come, will need volunteers: bake sales, school photo day, parents night out events, wreath/tree sale, and more

2. Grant Writing, new parent co-chair, Dena Muller, need helpers, no experience necessary

a. Work closely with Friends of CSS for most efficient approach

3. Communications/Membership, VP Communications, help inform and mobilize community

C. Principal Miriam Nightengale’s Remarks, highlights:

1. We’re a full 7-year, NYC public school with limited funding. Friends of CSS & PTA help support:

a. College counselor, Kristin Harris, services on par with private school; not DOE position

b. Field trips and extracurriculars; e.g, electives cost $300K/yr.

2. Exciting things happening! We’re growing; may soon be one of NYC’s most sought-after schools

a. Test scores: we did pretty well, probably in top 26/27th percent of schools

b. First students attending classes at Columbia University last year, more this year

c. Cultural events and exposure for our students

3. SLT addressing space issues w/ DOE; classrooms, restrooms, electrical; got chemistry lab, lockers.

D. Upcoming School-based Events

1. Professor Weiner: Hispano-American& Black History events; food/buffet, entertainment; see handout

2. Professor Hill: Musical Theater Program & Community Garden; both need parent support

III. New Business

A. Treasurer’s Report

1. Proposed budget 2013-2014, for approval; Voted – approved.

2. Increase income from ~ $20K to > $30K; need more than last year’s 15% of families contributing

3. PTA dues: Give what you can, suggested $100, give more, or less, great! Many ways to give; checks to “CSS PTA”; Paypal on website, credit card swipe at PTA events

IV. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned ~ 7:30 PM; Next meeting Tuesday, October 8th, 6 PM, “Town Hall”