Hillside PTA Meeting Minutes
January 13, 2021
- Brian welcomed everyone
- Approved Hillside PTA November and December 2020 meeting minutes
- Happy to just see all parents, we are really missing the community
- We have received a lot of feedback from parents. The pandemic response team (parents, teachers, nurse, custodian, principals) is developing the best way to bring any person into our building in a healthy and safe way. The plan we shared yesterday was the best piece of information we could provide. There is also a staff version. I am able to answer every question, as long as I have the answer. We still have outstanding questions, but I continue to be as transparent as possible to be so there is trust between everyone. We included an informational video so all parents can view it multiple times if they chose. This Friday we will have a Q&A to make sure everyone is updated at the same time. It is important to ensure all families receive the same information, with the same verbiage, at the same time. We are trying to be proactive with consistent messaging.
- Our hybrid plan is a living document and it will change as we get new guidelines. We have had a lot of questions about ventilation. Every single classroom that kids will be in is a “green” classroom.
- We do have a few spaces that aren’t green b/c they don’t possess a system in that space (example: nurse’s ante room). In these cases, a new air purification system was added. There is no single area that doesn’t have the appropriate air purification system through the ventilation or purification machine that we have added. Ventilation is coupled with mitigating measures (windows, doors). We are at zero rooms we would consider unoccupable.
- We created a calculation for the safe number of humans per room, boxed out every classroom, and created clear signage. Signs are in every room on how many humans can occupy that space.
- Regarding quarantining questions, we’ve asked for a district-wide protocol and flowchart, since these are not building based decisions. There should be a clear document.
- We are working on an in-person orientation for kids. Our nurse created a presentation for teachers and we are asking teachers to show a video to kids too, prior to Jan 25.
- Q: Can we switch remote to hybrid? Not until 3rd cycle. Email Dr. Anglin and office staff for any switch requests.
- Brian has set up a place for parents to ask questions on the PTA website. Dr. Anglin is putting out a Google form for questions.
- Your questions and concerns that go to PTA do get to principals and shape and inform what we put out.
- Hybrid schedule begins Jan. 18 – not seen in writing yet but will “practice” that previous week.
- Walked through the current financial report.
- We are still in the red, but a big amount of that is the tent from Edgemont.
- As we get closer to 5th grade celebrations, we will ask for money as we need it.
- We collected meals and gifts for teachers, staff, administration. In a tough year, the community really came together and honored staff and teachers with very generous offerings.
- Trivia night on the 23rd, go to Facebook to give feedback. Great feedback on last trivia night, participants asked for more.
- Virtual Talent Showcase on Feb. 5. We just finished meeting with 30+ families, making a movie edition, and have an editor to help us, looking for an additional editor (background in graphics and music). Kids will be able to use green screen, animation, etc. Great time to raise money. We are looking for a chair. Looking for local businesses to make videos for a fee and parents can send boosters.
- We are continuing to raise money for 5th grade.
- Considering Adult Only trivia night
- Trying to do something for International Night
- Virtual MLK assembly: we are working on it and trying to get kids to put on performance
- Explorers: will close enrollment soon. We are offering 8 classes, numbers were low so we may need to make changes. We’ll work out the numbers and adjust. Getting kids to do another zoom after a day of zoom is tough.
- Not doing coding night, but looking at replacement
- Social Justice Meeting – Kwanzaa event was beautiful and well received (co sponsored with Nishuane)
- Feb. 5 – BLM week of action – thinking of ways for age appropriate activities, meeting with Dr. Anglin to talk about it. Will model after week of respect with 1 activity each day. Focusing on local activism in Montclair and the greater community.
- Working on Racial Literacy for Adults, Student Voices & Support, and Cultural Infusion. Working on a year long calendar to make sure we are being more organized and acknowledging events every year.
- Had great meeting with Ms. Graham and Scott. They will help with student voice and support (racial literacy, multi cultural awareness, support on discrimination issues). We are very excited to work with them.
- Looking at doing a book club and hosting convos.
- Racial Literacy for adults – looking at speaker / educator, vetting best options and availability. There is a MFEE grant to which we are applying for costs.
- Buzz Aldrin also working on pilot program race issues.
- Feb. 10, 5pm next meeting
- There are 2 bins outside of the cafeteria for Blessing Bags. We are asking people to make their bags and put a note / last year there were 250 bags/400 notes. Flyer gives information on what to include. Bins are available 2:30 – 5pm this week and Monday 10-3 for collection. Samira Harris, the mother of this project, brought this practice from the classroom to the whole school.
- Anyone who wants to help, reach out to Jen DiLullo
- January meeting – Dr. Ponds and Board leaned into reality of Jan. 25 opening. People felt there was a change of tone that this is happening this time. Stronger recognition that families are suffering and really needing live instruction opportunities.
- Lots of family members are now talking about how this has impacted families.
- District does have 5 year long term facility plans which will be shared with the public soon so we can have more clear conversations about immediate facilities work to prepare for hybrid, but there are longer term projects and fixes too.
- There is some lean towards youngest kids about special needs issues and concerns
- We want to hear from families, what’s working, what are the obstacles – that is the most important thing our PTA families can do.
Danielle Venokur Greenberg
Diane Noerpel Tehranian
Jennifer Di Lullo