In attendance: Tessie Thomas, Courtney Redfern, Obdulia (Obie) Miranda-Woodley, Andrew Gideon, Nina DeRosa, Dr. Kalisha Morgan, Susan Zartman, Allison Silverstein, Brian Fleischer, Linda Kow, Amy Uhlfelder, Irene Rosenthal (Marco Pedersen), Jada Roman, Maelle Fonteneau, Betty Shvetz, Sarah Spagnola Young, Reggie Valentine, June Raegner, Kayla Crawley, Patty Gamcsik, Deborah Villarreal-Hadley, Norrinda Hayat, Kristin Werner, Melissa Schrager, Amira Williams, Marci Clark, Anna Kondic, Natalie Sullivan, Veronica Harris, Najla Nazeemudeen, Selma Avdicevic, Jaime Bedrin, Dr. Jonathan Ponds, Holly Lehr-Hahn, Mary Sue Youn, Diane Tehranian, Yvette Frazier, Meredith Pressler, Larry Linietsky
- Call to Order
- Review and approval of minutes for 5/9/21 meeting. Unanimously approved.
- Remarks by outgoing President Deborah Villarreal-Hadley. PTAC Progress and accomplishments over the last four years 2016-2021:
– Established PTAC as a signatory of the NJ PTA, garnering additional support for our group and visibility for PTAC at the state level
– Created a committee structure. More opportunities for parents outside of the schools’ PTAs to be involved in their student’s lives/schools
– Established strong working relationships with 4 different superintendents and their staff
– Brought attention and consensus among parents that constant changes in the superintendent’s office and staffing is damaging our schools and our children’s experience – such that parent leaders confirm their support, even as they comment about problems with our schools
– Advocated for PTAC and other stakeholders’ involvement in the schools’ budgeting process. The ‘District Budget Meetings’ were held for the last 3 years and will hopefully continue
– Established, as standard practice, the need to for diversity on our PTAC and PTA exec boards, to better represent and get input from families across all races, ethnicities and gender
– Establish a PTA, for the first time, at the high school
– Upgraded our PTAs’ websites to support better communication in all of our schools
– Through our work and community wide events we sponsored, like the Mayor’s forum, virtual tours, and budget talks, we increased the visibility of PTAC in Montclair. PTAC and our PTAS have a firmly established reputation as advocates for all students in our public schools
- VP of Schools Report 2020-21. It was not an easy year, and at the beginning of the pandemic, it was not clear whether traditional PTA activities would even be possible. But thanks to Zoom and a great group of PTA Presidents, much was accomplished. PTAC sponsored Welcome to Kindergarten. Transition to Elementary and Middle School events. An author visit for numerous schools(collaboration). Collaboration across school included webmasters, equity, spirit wear and ASE.
Discussion of PTA Activities and Achievements 2020-21. The PTA Presidents discussed some of the activities and programs at their schools that were run /adapted for COVBID circumstances . Most schools were able to host after school enrichment (ASE) programs, either virtually or outdoors. Schools conducted fundraisers although in most cases (not all), revenues were down. In-person assemblies were replaced with online field trips and programs. PTAs focused on family engagement, hosting online events like family dance parties and trivia nights. Equity teams were active. But many PTA presidents were proudest of their initiative and programs to help students and families who were negatively impacted by COVID and the economic disruption it has caused, through food drives, holiday drives, and supply drives. In particular, the middle school PTAs were supportive of learners at Wally Choice and their families. Two of our PTAs were recognized by the NJPTA for their work in inclusion (Edgemont) and communication (Buzz).
- VP of Committees and Committee Updates
- EAROG. Data from the district has now been received and the committee is beginning to formulate a plan to work alongside the district on equity issues. Statements about AAPI and the whistleblower incident.
- Communications. The MPS Guide was created and disseminated. A survey or surveys will be going out about the Guide and about communication in the district generally.
- Community Building. Events were held this year– Raise a Reader, Dyslexia forum and Finance 101. The previous year middle school fairs were held as well as a Mayoral Forum.
- Curriculum and Special Education (no report)
- Finance. Finance 101 panels were held with the goal of educating parents and other stakeholders about the budget process.
- Policy (no report)
- Technology. The committee has been working to update processes, and to support PTAC and all PTAs. All PTAs got new WordPress websites and Google email addresses.
- Wellness (no report)
- Guest: Superintendent Dr. Jonathan C. Ponds
A discussion was held about the district’s budget and Proposed Staff Cuts. He is focused on collaborating with all stakeholders to make the best decisions. He is looking at breakage. He is not filling open positions with new bodies. He is taking recommendations from building and department leaders about where efficiencies can be found.