Minutes from PA meeting of 7/26/10

In attendance:

30-40 parents who are chairing or volunteering to work on various committees; Dr. Maldonado, Monica Marin (Parent Coordinator), Aaron Schwartz (assistant principal applicant), Milagros Garcia (school volunteer), Olivia Ellis (representative from the Chancellor’s office, in attendance to help us brainstorm and to direct us with regard to legality of various initiatives).

1. Welcome and introduction.

Parents introduced themselves and stated which committees they would like to work on.

2. Principals’ Report

Assistant Principal position(s): Dr. Maldonado reported that he is still interviewing for Assistant Principal(s). Aaron Schwartz is one of the applicants, but has not been offered a position yet.

Parent Coordinator position: Monica Marin is currently our Parent Coordinator. While high schools are not required to have a PC, the position at CSS may be consolidated so that the PC will handle both the middle school and the high school. This is TBD.

Bridge2school: Because of the unusual school calendar this September, Bridge2School week for incoming 6th graders will have to be truncated. Most likely, it will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Monday (September 7th, 8th, and 13th). There will be a separate Bridge2School for high school students (tbd). Also, there will be a Town Hall meeting for incoming 6th grade families, which will be held some time during the first full week of classes, and a Town Hall meeting/pot luck for the rest of the school on a date as yet undetermined. There are space constraints, so we may need to break up the group. The meeting must take place at the school, as opposed to a location that could accommodate the entire group.

Incoming 7th graders: There are approximately 12 children coming in to 7th grade. Interviews with those applicants will be held next week.

New teachers: Several new teachers will be coming in – there will be new teachers for Spanish, math, engineering, science, biology, and ELA. We are fully staffed, but may be getting an additional philosophy teacher.

3. PA Report

Nicole Suriel Memorial: Susan Grayburn reported on her research for a memorial for Nicole Suriel. Some of the possible memorials include:

a) Planting a tree (with NYC Parks Dept). Cost would be $1,800. It would be maintained by the Parks Department, and would be guaranteed for 2 years. Thereafter, it would be up to CSS to water and take care of the tree. There would be no plaque or identifying marker on the tree, but there would be a permanent entry in the New York Tree Trust’s Commemorative Tree Book in the arsenal at 68th Street and 5th Avenue.

b) A plaque on a bench in Morningside Park. The cost is $2,500, and the Parks Department would maintain it/replace it, in case it becomes damaged or ruined, for 10 years. It needs to be decided who will pay for the plaque (PA, school, DOE).

Options will be presented to the Suriel family for approval.

Committees: Committee chairs presented their goals for the new year. Some of the committees include:

Communications – develop class phone lists, identify parents who may be interested in volunteering to be class parent representatives, produce newsletter, ask parents if they may be available to chaperone field trips, develop school calendar so that we have timely information regarding school events. Chair, Kim Trueblood. Additional volunteers include Laura Thorpe, Gia Machlin, Julie McGarvey.

Hospitality – Will reach out to incoming students and will oversee events. May develop handbook for current families and for families of prospective students. Such a handbook would probably list the mission of the school, discipline code, information on lunch, FAQ’s, etc. and could be sold to current families in a CSS binder (as a fundraiser). Jeanette Rausch will chair the Hospitality Committee. Barbara Jones noted that there needs to be additional outreach to incoming families.

Safety Committee – There is a Safety Committee in every NYC public school (per DOE mandate). It is initiated by a school staff member, not by the PA. There will be a PA representative (Jacqueline Allen). Members include faculty, staff, administration, and PA. There is a template on the DOE website which must be completed each year by mid-October by a staff member. Jacqueline Allen will chair the PA segment of the Safety Committee.

Fund raising – Will consist of two parts: grant writing, and sales, events, concessions, etc.

Dawn Hershman has experience with school grant writing, and will chair that portion of the Fund Raising Committee. She will partner with the Administration to identify projects to be funded and potential resources.

There will be a subcommittee of the Fund Raising Committee that will work on the sales, events, walk-a-thons, etc. part of fund raising. A goal is to add one “big” annual fund raising event (possibly an auction). So far, Sarah Workman and Gia Machlin have offered to help, but we need a chair for the committee.

Other committees include:

*Audit Committee, which will audit the treasury
*Tutoring Services, which is investigating getting tutors from the NY Academy of Sciences
*Work/Study Program, which will find graduate students to assist teachers and to help with administrative tasks
*Community Service Committee, which will help students find projects that will count toward their community service requirement. Susan Grayburn is meeting with someone from the Jewish Community Center, who helps schools with community service requirements. However, Susan will not be able to chair this committee. If this committee is to continue to function, we will need a new chair. Jose will post the community service form on the CSS website.

Sean Stanton, PA Treasurer, reported that the PA budget will be completed in time for the first PA meeting, so that it can be voted upon. Sean also inquired about the possibility of having parent contacts for high school information and for high school curriculum development.

Olivia suggested the possibility of having a PA Meeting/Volunteer Night, where PA members can choose committees on which to serve. At the end of the regular PA meeting, committees could meet separately to discuss projects.

Committees will begin their work as soon as possible (some will begin before the start of the school year). If you are interested in participating, please contact either the chair of that committee, or Maria or Boyana. There are plenty of vacancies for both chairs and additional help, so please do what you can to help.

School Leadership Team: There was some question about whether we have representation for each grade on the School Leadership Team. I am currently the 6th grade SLT rep (voted on in June), but we need an alternate. A question was raised about whether that position was for the outgoing 6th grade class or incoming 6th grade class. It is my understanding that the position is for incoming 6th grade rep. This needs to be clarified.

Meeting adjourned.

Kim Trueblood, Communications Committee Chair, SLT rep