Columbia Secondary School for Science Math & Engineering Parents Association Meeting
Monday, June 28, 2010 6:00 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m.
The goal for tonight’s meeting is to keep the school functioning and the future of our childrens education. Please keep comments to one minute in order to move through the Agenda.
I. Nicole’s Family and Ongoing Support
• Monica Marin, Victor Acosta and Maria Herrera are currently the school’s line of
communication to the Suriel Family through the aunt. They want CSS’ help and
• Small groups of three parents (at least one Spanish speaker) should alternate and visit
the Family with a student
• Sara Workman, Treasurer, stated approximately $4,000.00 in cash, $1,000.00 checks
(made out to the Suriel Family) and $1,400.00 (made out to the CSS PA)
• Checks made out to the CSS PA have been deposited into the PA account
a) The legality of the checks from the PA needs to be explored. Professor Hubbard will look into the situation before the PA moves forward.
Motion # 1: The PA will seek counsel from an accountant/ attorney on the proper way of handling the money given to them for the Suriel Family.
Motion was seconded. All voted affirmatively.
Motion #2: All cash donations and checks made out to the Suriel Family should be transferred to the family immediately.
Motion was seconded. All voted affirmatively.
II. Teachers share their thoughts about the direction of the school and important steps moving forward
• The teachers present are representing themselves and not the school.
a) Professor Swan – She was Nicole’s advisor and teaches 6th grade social studies and study skills. There is a great deal of work ahead if the administration changes. There needs to be strong communication. The student body is phenomenal. Teachers cannot be part of brainstorming. The Summer Reading List is on the way. Professor is available to speak with parents if they feel like they need someone to speak to regarding the tragedy.
b) Professor Martin – She is the 6th grade math teacher. Faculty is always there when needed. They are incredible educators. She came to CSS because of the school mission. She chose to be a teacher. They are committed to continuing on being a strong and stronger school. Professor Martin stated that Chance Nalley feels the focus should be planning, organization and where do we go from here.
c) Professor Teranova – She wants the community to feel that CSS will continue. She has never questioned the school. Her only concern right now is for the human beings involved. Strength of the academics will go forward. CSS closing never entered her mind.
d) Professor Sadjadi – She resigned today from CSS. It is not related to the tragedy. The kids are gold and the CSS faculty is amazing. Her reasons for leaving were that there was too much additional work (electives and creative arts), pressure to do much more and she was unable to teach the way she felt that the students had a better understanding of the topics covered in math. CSS will not close.
e) Professor Hubbard – He speaks as a parent and a teacher at CSS. He firmly believes when parents and teachers work together for the students only good things can come from it. He is thrilled to be a part of the meeting.
III. Einstein Families
• Do you want to get together as a group for support? • Make sure their needs are being met.
• Some children do not want to discuss the incident. They need time to process this tragedy.
• Parents feel lost
• One mother stated her daughter did not want to return to school the day after the tragedy. She did not want to wear the uniform in fear of the media. Talking to counselors and her friends helped her a great deal. She has created her own memorial at home for Nicole.
• Start a small group for Einstein families. (Sign up sheet was circulated)
• Investigators have begun calling the families. Parents want clarity/procedures and how to
proceed with the issue.
• Unclear if the students will have to sign sworn statements and testify in court, cross
examine, trial or grand jury.
• Does DOE have a responsibility to provide counsel for the children? Boyana will follow-
• Parents should contact the Teachers’ Union and DOE. • Some parents do not want their child to relive the events of that day. Children are still
• We need to protect the children.
• Boyana will e-mail information regarding counseling for students and parents.
IV. Discuss the distinction between CSS and the administration. Can the vision and the mission of the school go on with out Maldonado and/or Stillman?
• The vision and the school will continue. Maldonado has instilled this in the students, teachers and parents.
• We need to support our teachers.
• Klein will let the parents know when a decision has been made.
• The school will not shut down
• Would the parents have the opportunity to help electing a new principal if there is a
need to do so.
• Boyana stated that no official information has been given to us. There is an ongoing investigation. Parents want to hear it from Klein before the media runs with the story.
• A safety committee needs to be formed.
Motion #3: CSS PA will create a Safety Committee in the Fall. Motion was seconded. All voted affirmatively.
• New policies on field trips must be addressed
• Co-presidents are the conduits
• Create a mechanism for the shared voice
• Change is needed but we must preserve the vision. • The CSS community needs to have more of a voice • Students are the #1 priority
• Parent body must remain unity going forward
• Do we want to make a statement to the press?
• Some parents were for and against this because the media could misconstrue the facts and
• We do not want to offend other parents.
• Media’s motivation is to sell the story.
• Suggested a cohesive statement
Agenda Items 6 & 7 will be addressed in the Fall.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:50 p.m.