Thank you, Board members and Dr. Ponds.
I’m Gretchen Devinsky, President of PTAC, an organization that represents all of Montclair Public School District’s local school PTAs.
PTAC’s function is to support the 11 local school PTAs of Montclair in their work of advocating for the success and wellbeing of their school’s students, and to make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families to advocate for all children.
There are many ways that we uphold these goals – we facilitate information sharing, resource pooling, and act as a single point of contact for our community partners and community organizations to reach PTAs.
The fact that all of this relies on the participation of volunteers – both at the local PTA level, and for PTAC’s own work – and what all of this volunteer power accomplishes, is incredible.
Parents in Montclair are passionate about issues affecting schools and their children, and we at PTAC are passionate about helping to foster a community where all parents feel like there is a place for them at the table – a place where their perspectives are heard and valued. Much of our work is done by committees, which we encourage everyone here and listening tonight to consider serving on. There’s room for your ideas and passion to find expression in one of our 9 committees: Communications, Culture & Climate, Curriculum, DEI, Facilities & Finance, Reflections, Standing Rules, Special Education, and Technology.
Additionally, a new special committee: PILOTs to Schools, a grassroots initiative that focuses on getting the town to share with the district some of the revenue it receives from property developers in place of property tax.
If you are intrigued and want to know more, please email me at email@example.com.
Some of the things that PTAC will be working on this year are:
– Co-sponsoring a BOE Candidate Forum, with the League of Women Voters of the Montclair Area, Montclair NAACP, AAPI Montclair, and Aging in Montclair.
– Reflections Art Contest. Last year was only our second year of offering this contest. The artwork of 38 Montclair kids was sent on to the state level. Of those, 13 proceeded to the National level, and 2 won at the National level. What can our creative and artistic kids do this year? The theme is ‘I am hopeful because…’ and the deadline for entries is December 8. Look for more information on our website soon.
– Producing a new ‘School Budget 101’ like the one we offered in 2020, but updated to reflect the fact that we are now a Type 1 district.
Let me share with you a few of the things that our PTAs have been doing:
Edgemont celebrated Hispanic/Latine Heritage Day with an evening of food, performances, crafts, and an outdoor showing of the movie Vivo.
Nishuane was able to attract over 250 new members to its PTA by offering PTA members the chance to register for ASE classes the day before registration was opened to the public.
Glenfield PTA won a $25,000 grant from the Kool Kids foundation – which is run by Robert ‘Kool’ Bell of Kool and the Gang – to buy drums and other music equipment for Glenfield’s Drumline program.
MHS provided a Welcome Breakfast for teachers and staff, got the 12th graders up early for the Senior Sunrise breakfast in the amphitheater, and will host a 9th grade movie night next week.
All over Montclair, committed parents are working together to manifest the potential of every child in this town. We work with the incredible teachers and staff at our schools. We work with committed and dedicated members of the Board of Education and the Central Office. We work with community partners who recognize that they have a stake in the future of the kids in Montclair Public School District. Thank you, and I am looking forward to working with all of you this year.