CSS SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM MINUTES                  9/17/2015

Meeting called to order 4:45 PM

In Attendance:


Parent Members
Amy Gillman
Karen Kaapcke LePique
Rhonda James
Kyle Pfortmiller
Kevin Daly (PTA delegate)
Faculty/Admin Members
Erin Flaherty
Naeta Rohr
Dimitriy FaybyShenko
Kim Terranova (UFT Rep)
Miriam Nightengale

Janet Miller (Parent)
Sherry French (Parent)


  1. Approval of Previous Minutes: June minutes approved with edit (add Amy Gillman as attendee).

Old Business:

  1. Bylaws Review: Edits proposed in June meetings were incorporated into Draft Bylaws. After discussion, bylaws accepted.
  2. Grading Survey: Students have completed the physical survey. Entry of responses into a searchable/analyzable database is required.
    Polling Parents with the survey is now an objective. An effort will be made to distribute the physical survey at the Curriculum Night, the 1st general PTA meeting, and/or Parent-Teacher Conferences. Kyle Pfortmiller will approach Tina Glover (CSS parent alum and committee chair of grading survey) about making an online form via Google Docs to be used by parents.

New Business:

  1. Election of Officers: Following discussion, the following officers were elected by consensus:
  2. Co-Chairpersons: Kyle Pfortmiller & Miriam Nightengale. The Co-Chairpersons will act as chairpersons for alternating months; Pfortmiller acting as such for September ’15 meeting.
  3. Secretary: Kevin Daly. The Secretary will work with a note-taker (taken from SLT membership) to generate meeting minutes each month. Members were assigned the role of note-taker for the monthly meetings as follows:


10/15                  Erin Flaherty
11/15                  Rhonda James
12/15                  Karen LePique
01/16                  Amy Gillman

02/16                  Dmitriy Faybyschenko
03/16                  Naeta Rohr
04/16                  Kim Terranova
05/16                  Miriam Nightengale
06/16                  Kyle Pfortmiller


  1. Timekeeper: Rhonda James.
  2. Other offices (Facilitator, Financial Liaison) not selected for this year (2015-16).
  3. Facilities:
  4. Miriam reported the Bunche Campus Building school populations: PS125, 190 students (not confirmed whether that includes per-K); KIPP STAR, 340 students; CSS, 680 students. KIPP STAR is likely to begin process to swap Middle School program with their Elementary School program in the next year.
  5. Lunchroom. 3rd floor cafeteria is used by CSS; Annex cafeteria is used by PS125 and KIPP STAR. Lunch periods and cafeteria capacity are still an issue: nominal Cafeteria capacity is 150, but timing and actual space allows lunch groupings of 130 +/- meaning that the first lunch period is currently 8:48 and the last ends approximately 1:50. An effort to concentrate Middle School kids at 5th Period (11:48) with High School periods earlier and later. Lunch is 20 minutes long.
    Methods to improve lunch timing or capacity (an additional lunch payment scanning machine, more time in playground) is a facility and manpower (& thus budget) issue, as each require additional staff. Allowing off-campus lunch creates many potential problems, and is not currently under consideration.
  6. 6th Floor space. Under Superintendent’s control, for community use. CSS uses the space whenever feasible. CSS might attempt to schedule use of the space during the day (a library/media space, a computer lab) but staffing such a space is a manpower issue.
  7. Communications within CSS. Kevin Daly will attempt to meet monthly with the custodian engineer.
    PTA’s website, under construction, includes the ability to post comments or suggestions on facilities issues.
  8. Outreach. Ongoing efforts to improve communications with PS125—Principals as well as SLTs.
    John Delvino is no longer DSF Plant Manager for CSD5; no word yet on his replacement
    An effort to improve CSS presence at Community Education Council was discussed, starting with improved attendance at CEC meetings. Meetings are reportedly contentious. A program would allow a CSS senior (elected to an office at CSS) to run for a seat on the CEC. Miriam and others will attempt to identify potential candidates.
    A previous effort to publish a letter for wider circulation to officials, requesting a thorough plan to address building shortcomings/overcrowding, is reinstated. Janet Miller and Amy Gillman to generate a draft.
  9. School Budget: Janet Miller is researching funding sources for school athletics, including outside sponsorships for appropriate/allowed items like uniforms. Janet to approach Friends of CSS to continue the research.
  10. Political Outreach: Sherry French reported recent fundraising from outside sources:
  11. $300,000 for Auditorium renovations– $150K from Mark Levine’s office (last year) and $150K from Gale Brewer’s office (this year)
  12. Participatory Budgeting: success with proposals last year (adding turf to CSS-adjacent playground); new proposals in works for this year (possibly call boxes on 123rd Street).
  13. Other items in progress: Pursuing a donation of musical instruments for arts program (Latin drums); Toshiba grant program for engineering; short-term NYC grant (via Brewer and Levine’s offices) for $3-5K that can be used for stipends/pay.
  14. Homework:
  15. Strategy and purpose of summer homework was discussed. An effort to engage students without taking too much vacation time and prevent backsliding during break. Several parents reported large time investment during vacation. Alternatives (opt-out, non-graded, etc.) discussed.
  16. A proposal from 2014-15, to coordinate homework-free weekends, was revisited. Proposal to offer such weekends 2 times per year was discussed. Admin and Teachers to review and develop a possible program.

Meeting Adjourned 7:15 PM.
Next Meeting: October 15, 2015 4:45 PM.