In attendance: Deborah Villareal-Hadley, Tessie Thomas, Brian Fleischer, Courtney Redfern, Kristin Wood-Werner, Diane Terhanian, Meredith Pressler, Larry Livietsky, Marco Pedersen, Martha Bonta, Anna Kondic, Julie Clemens, Simone Robinson, Daniel Garcia, Norrina Hayat, Natalie Sullivan, Veronica Harris, Patty Gramcsik, Colleen Dougherty, Kathryn Fogliano, June Raegner, Jada Roman, Christine Banks, Laura Farrell, Mary Ann Vanco, Dory Hack, Karina Linch, Brad Haggety, Mary Sue Youn, Marci Clark, Erin Herlihy, Jaime Bedrin, Irene Ronsenthal, Patti Marn, Sarah Spagnola Young, Christine Calderon, Eileen Birmingham, Selma Avdicevic, Allison Silverstein, Yvette Frazier, Anne Kilkullen, Phoebe Williams, Najla Wazeem, Reggie Valentine, Meslissa Shrager, Chanel Gilmer, Christy Crawford, Colleen Dougherty, Ana Christina Tininha, Amy Uhlfelder, Holly Lehr, Dasve Schottland, Maelle Fontaneau, Meg Cavanaugh, Norrinda Hayat, Obie Miranda, Linda Kow, Betty Shvetz, Patty Gamcsik, Yoko Tekebayashi Guests: Masiel Rodriquez-Vars; Faye Lederman.
- Call to Order
- Proposed Minutes from 8/10/2020 meeting
- Treasurer’s Report
Submitted budget for 2020-21 fiscal year.
- President’s Report
A big part of our PTAC focus for 2020-21 is on anti-racism and inclusion. We should all be cognizant of these issues as we work on increasing PTA membership and participation, and as we do our committee work.
Congratulations to Bradford for having received a National PTA Grant. PTAC’s grant application was not successful, but was similar to what MFEE is now proposing. PTAC looking into collaboration with MFEE. There are volunteer and financial support opportunities.
PTAC is still working with the administration to create a parents group at MHS that will be fully inclusive. We cannot do that without the high school’s support as they have the contact information for all families.
PTAC is meeting regularly with the district administration. Dr. Ponds and Sergio Gonzales of the BOE will be invited to the October PTAC meeting.
Guest: Masiel Rodriquez-Vars. MFEE has been working with the NDC and Al Pelham of the NAACP to create a network of learning centers where lower income kids can do their remote learning. One obstacle is that if they have over six kids in a space, they need to be licensed as child care providers. They are working with the State of NJ to see if this requirement can be waived. They will need volunteers to help run and fund the program. Q: how are the students being identified? Answer: consulting with principals and SACs, working with Succeed Together and Imani.
- School PTAs
– VP of Schools Report: PTA presidents have been meeting regularly and they have been working together, focused on three themes: (1) pivoting to an online learning environment (2) making connections between students and parents though we cannot meet in person (3) inn the spirit of one district and one community, working together as a team to share best practices. An example of this is how well the webmasters have been working together to produce the websites.
“MPS 101” the event for incoming kindergarten parents on August 12 was a great success, with 193 participants attending for 106 minutes. Attendees were sent to breakout rooms by school.
There have been multiple zoom events at the elementary and middle school level organized by the PTAs in collaboration with their principles. Some PTS have sent home welcome folders and boxes of supplies.
The PTA calendars are all ready for uploading by the district.
VP of Committees: All committees are forming. SEPAC is represented on every committee.
“The primary function of the PTAC Communications Committee is to ensure effective communications between and among stakeholders – parents and caregivers of children in the district, district leaders and staff, the Board of Education, other organizations in town and, yes, YOU. In short, your work is our work.
Here are a few immediate ways we can be a resource for all PTAC Committees:
- To help stakeholders understand what you/we do….we can help you write your committee’s description for the PTAC website.
- To streamline information-gathering…we are planning to organize a parent survey that will compile questions from various PTAC committees. Soliciting family/caregiver feedback is a step toward seeing trends in parent perspective and making our committee goals more inclusive. Consolidating into one survey will streamline our request of parents and caregivers and, hopefully, increase participation.
- To keep communications consistent and on a regular cadence…we can review communications you plan to send and, whenever possible, coordinate with other committees to prevent overload. This may take the form of a regular PTAC newsletter but logistics are TBD.”
Community Building Committee
There are new members. Things under consideration:
A PTAC speaker series in collaboration with the community. Perhaps every month. School financing in November. Others: Special ed. HIB policy. Fundations Program. Restorative justice groups.
Exploring an online reading program called “Book It”– students keep track of minutes, win prices.
Gardening committees in each school– may start collaboration
EAROG Committee. They have been meeting and there are 6 subcommittees. Currently identifying chairs for each subcommittee and tasks lists for each. They have met with Dr. Morgan once and scheduled to meet with her again on September 21
Finance and Facilities Committee
Want to be active in the budget process. Educate people in the process budget– maybe run “Budget 101” with Marci. Develop relationships with new key decision-makers.
Focus on accountability and transparency. Give feedback to Dr. Ponds. Look how other districts operate.
Technology Committee. See written report (attached). Committee has 4 new people. G suite and Internet hosting has been the focus.
Curriculum and Special Ed. Focus on developing the mission vision and purpose. How does curriculum and instruction work in the district? Plan: (1) meet with Dr. Morgan. (2) conduct a survey of PTA presidents.
Health and Wellness Committee No chair. Committee members – brainstorm and just pick a chair. Possibly connect with MFEE regarding the learning centers
- New Business
– Norrinda (Edgemont PTA president) and Guest Faye Lederman shared information about outdoor classroom proposal and petition to ask the Superintendent to allow/support outdoor learning ASAP. Outdoor learning wss something already being explored at Edgemont pre-COVID and they have bought tents. A discussion was held concerning the petition and the concept of outdoor learning, including the process by which that could happen (at the district level or at edgemont). Issues discussed include logistics, financing, insurance, scheduling, and whether the MEA would be in support.