Columbia Secondary School ● Parent-Teacher Association

Minutes: November General Membership Meeting

Tuesday, 11/12/13, 6:00 PM; CSS 6th floor

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


        I.            PTA Business

A.     Welcome and Minutes Review (E. Mark Lewis)

1.     Note: date change for planned family Engineering night, to Dec 12(?)

2.     Minutes approved from last meeting

B.     Principal Nightengale

1.     Check from Council Member Robert Jackson; Development campaign begun with Columbia’s help

2.     New ID machine, have begun creating student IDs

3.     Lunchroom, extra server, fix warmer; get line moving more quickly; transition time increased from 2 to 3 min.; students shouldn’t need extra hallway time but go straight to lunch

4.     New York Cares work done; major upgrades & construction plans pending:

    1. New bathrooms; existing bathrooms renovated on all floors
    2. Library + adjacent rooms to 3 full-size classrooms
    3. More lockers and PA system in the works

5.     Questions/Concerns:

    1. Items disappeared, possibly stolen, from a locker, Principal Nightengale is addressing
    2. Parent/Teacher conferences; hard to manage, improving each time; individual families may arrange with teacher or administration separate time to meet if needed
    3. Support for students in college courses; Columbia Help Center available, Columbia student tutors being sought; funding always issue but did submit for another math teacher
    4. Science teachers; challenges with turnover, DOE regulation changes; Miriam is watching
    5. Full handout not received at 11th grade college meeting; copy to be uploaded to website
    6. Pupil Path not updated regularly, some profs better than others

C.     Co-Presidents Report (E. Mark Lewis, Daisy Farina)

1.     Parent involvement has been tremendous; e.g. 21 volunteers on cultural night

2.     Please sign up in “Volunteers” database; we can contact you for events in which you have specific interest ; link circulated; will get up on website too; need volunteer coordinator

3.     Always looking to improve communication; listserve, phone system, handouts, other outreach?

D.     Treasurer’s Report (Sean Stanton)

1.     Bank balance: $13,000 + Square account $1,500; about $15,000 available to us

2.     Dues ~ $5,400 in 48 contributions; barely exceeds last year, need more, low participation overall

3.     About $4,000 in for school photos, we’ll keep about ½ that; about 22% of students bought

4.     More funding asks expected for soccer, athletics programs

5.     Hispanic Cultural Night funded itself; Middle School dance also self-funded; not pulling PTA funds

      II.            Tech Workshop (Demetria Gallegos, David Ocampo)

A.     Introduction and Discussion, highlights: handout provided on Parent Tech Resources:

1. logon to CSS website & e-mail; may forward to personal e-mail

2. finalizing new site; feedback to

3. parents-only voluntary e-mail listserve; join!; may forward to personal e-mail; Filters for add’l recipient, fewer messages…

4. PupilPath; portal to student info for both staff/admin and parents

5. ARIS; most data can be seen from PupilPath

B.     Website Demo/Suggestions: Calendar navigation, Volunteer link, PTA page updates, dynamic homepage

    III.            AdjournmentMeeting adjourned; Next meeting Tuesday, December 12th, 6 PM