Columbia Secondary School ● Parent-Teacher Association
Minutes: January General Membership Meeting
Tuesday, 1/14/14, 6:00 PM; CSS Library, 3rd 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|
II. Principal Nightengale: Four-page Parent Updates handout provided! Highlights:
- News: Endowment fund begun with $1M donation!; continued $100K/yr college office donation; college acceptances
- Testing, Common Core: MS State Tests 4/1-4/3 (ELA), 4/30-5/2 (Math); new MSOL (Measures of Student Learning) tests help evaluate teachers; Common Core continued integration, info at www.engageNY.org.
- Curricular updates: applied to be CTE school; new Columbia courses added; AP exams evolve & we monitor
- Calendar updates: CSS admission tests 2/2-2/3, Spring semester 2/4, electives 2/10, Musical 2/7-2/9 (need parents!), 8th grade Frost Valley 2/10-2/12, MS & HS Dress Down day 2/14, Black History Month Celebration 2/28
- Student Government: MS- Philippines hurricane relief, Valentine’s Day Message-Gram fundraiser; HS- Pride Fridays to wear CSS gear, funding lunches during Black History Month activities, lunch assemblies for student announcements
- Facilities: bathroom renovations by Nov 2014; PA system approved; cafeteria challenges; Lab safety
- Funding: Friends of CSS: funds electives ($100K/semester), textbooks for college courses, 8th grade Frost Valley trip, more; yet, only 15% of parents have contributed to Friends while programs utilized by >80% of students. Give what you can! Donate at http://www.columbiasecondary.org/friends-of-css/ or by check to school office, to “Friends of CSS”
- Mid-Terms: planned out, extended-time schedule, not too much at once, experience for extended AP and state tests
III. Minutes Approval
IV. Co-Presidents Report (E. Mark Lewis, Daisy Farina)
- Acknowledgements: Debbie (trees), Andi (all!), Leslie & Tina (bake sales, other), Alison (jazz)-Thank You!
V. Treasurer’s Report (Sean Stanton)
- $16,250 in bank (about 13K in TD account, $837 in PayPal, $1,500 in Square)
- Paid last month: Jazz assembly support, soccer ref fees
- Fundraising is growing; bake sales 500-700/mo., but PTA dues about $4,000 – that’s less than last year.
- How to get more people giving? Even small donations? For grants, need high % of families giving
- Consider what to support, e.g., PTA bought ID machine, phone machine, supported sports teams. Need sound system work in auditorium, much advanced machinery installed, needs finishing…
- Walk-A-Thon; ensure we have support; need coordination, kids get donations, Earth Day tie-in
- Dollar donation day needs coordination, perhaps have parent sign to confirm family’s participation
- Parent request for locking cabinet in PTA room; find key & use existing black cabinet? Seek a donation, or purchase?
VI. Old Business:
- Report incidents-CSS follows up; rarely are reported stolen items actually stolen, usually show up or shared lockers not properly locked; discussion of re-instituting Student Honor Court, to self-moderate
- Fundraising: Earth Day event needs committee, permit; Goals-Exec Board to meet with Admin, especially regarding J-Term, activities, find local organizations, be proactivre, start Community Bulletin Board for local happenings
- Parent Involvement: a parent has taken lead collecting contact info; enhance communication, we have 600+ families
- Next meeting, everyone bring one other parent!
- Ideas: guest speakers, AM meetings, Friday meeting + social event?, food, PTA cart at events, add’l options like quarterly meetings with Miriam, workshops “sponsored by PTA, please contribute & come to next meeting J”
VII. New Business
- Middle School yearbook, previous efforts led by Professor & MS govt; parent committee now forming, tight timeline
- Admissions exam day, parents to interact, outreach with hopeful families
- Picture retakes to be announced shortly
- Black History Celebration: HS govt sponsors; series of lunchtime lectures, e.g. anthropologist; looking for performers
- Q&A: Issues with address, grades, school e-mail, etc. – please reach out to Andi, Daisy, Miriam; perhaps other parents share concerns, must be reported.
VIII. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned; Next meeting Tuesday, February 11th, 6 PM