Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering
Parent Teachers Association Meeting
January 12, 2010 – 6:00pm

Meeting was called to order by Boyana Konforti Co- President at 6:06pm

Professor Marisol Weiner spoke about CSS hosting Hispanic Week from April 4th to April 8th 2011
A) Luncheons with academics’- each day different Hispanic Professionals will be speaking to our children.
B) Assemble April 6th –Guest Speaker Ray Negron (Yankees)
C) Artistic cultural evening April 7, for the CSS community
6:00-6:30pm Buffet Hispanic (food cooked by the parents)
6:30-8:30pm Artists, dancers, singers, poet etc
We need volunteers and donations to make this event a reality. Please contact Professor Marisol Manriquez-Weiner: 646-512-2413 or email at

• Principal Report – interviewing 9th grade students – May not be able to attend tonight’s meeting

Brief SLT Report from Boyana
• Discussed the relationship between CSS and Columbia University
• Building and expansion
• Search for a Principal
• Vice Provost from Columbia University Roxy and the other heads was very excited and is very interested in our school
• Provost relationship is strong, much stronger than it was. They are excited about joining the SLT meetings
• Will be more involved with the High School
• Student from Columbia University to participate within CSS
• As for the space on 125th it is rented out to Mc Donald’s , Avery said to the Provost since the space is suppose to be for CSS why don’t Columbia donate the money to CSS

As parents discuss Student from Columbia University should have some training and they should not be thrown into a classroom. We need someone to co-ordinate this. Both Boyana and Andrew would spend time pushing to make this a reality.

Parents asked if there was any head of dept at the meeting: Math and Chemistry dept was present
Avery and a group of parents who is in the foundation spoke to the Provost today January 12th at 4pm-largely to push for monetary commitment

Sean also mentioned some positives from the SLT meeting
• Columbia University wants to pay for the advertising of a Principal
• Having our kids go to Columbia –Bringing in the Columbia people.
Parent asked: Where are we going to advertised and must we look in the pool from the DOE?
We are Advertising-NY Times, Educational Magazine, nationwide search and looking in the pool but we are not limited

Parent commented that Emily seem genuinely interested in the success of CSS.

Dan Novak- spoke to Columbia representatives

• Agreement made nothing written down
• Roxy would make some clarity on agreement

Treasurers Report by Sean

• 4,900 in the Bank
• Funded good project
• Spent money on curriculum night
• Purchase water bottle –break even
• We need a new project

Maria for Dr Biester

Because of the interviewing process today for incoming 9th grade Dr Biester may or may not attend tonight’s PTA meeting. He wanted to let you all know that he is aware of the 8th Grade Math in question and is aware of the parent’s worries. Dr Biester is an experience Math teacher and has been sitting in the class room observing. He has ideas and plans to deal with it.

Update on school safety

A second security is hired however he or she has been out sick for the past three days
Recent Incidents
• 3rd grade children from PS 125 was throwing ice at CSS children, some got hit on the head while another of our student quick thinking called the police.
There were a lot of concerns about safety. Parents discuss the idea of forming a SECURITY COMMITTEE. They talked about setting up a meeting with the person who is in charge of school safety in our district. Parents expressed concerns about very scary things such as weapon possession in the area, gangs in the area.
We talked about having more police present after dismissal.

Maria will look into having a safety meeting at assembly and speak to the 26th precinct
Boyana suggested we use the PA money to fund an outside safety consultant to speak with our children

A parent suggested we speak to the Housing project management to step up security. Maria asked if she would take that job on and she said yes.

Okay Dr. Biester did make the meeting.

• He was doing the second round of interviewing. The number that night was 32 who had to take a writing and Math test. The incoming 9th graders were interviewed in groups of 6 to 8.
• Also the next day 1/13/11 CSS is continuing the interviewing process. We only have 20 to 30 seats available.
• Dr Biester said that he has been hearing directly from parents and also through the grapevine about concerns in Math. At this moment there is not many well qualified teachers available for hire. He talked about if a teacher wanted to come to CSS they would have to get a release form signed by their principal.
• He had a candidate come in to do a class, unfortunately it was not great, he is continuing his search.
• Some high school is closing in June and he is looking at teachers from those schools.
• At today’s assemble he had five of his former students talk to CSS students about high end colleges and what it entails.
• Former student from Columbia would volunteer and she would also recruit.
• CSS have hired a parent co-coordinator name Maria-Eder Miller who is suppose to start in February.
• Ms E. Acosta- Community Associate and she is starting in February.
• We should be hiring an Assistant Principal very soon.
• Dr Biester reached out to the Principal at PS 125 asking her to share some of her space.
• Security guards have a set routine.

Meeting adjourned at 7:27pm.