Hillside PTA Board of Directors Meeting
November 19, 2021
In attendance: Yvette Frazier, Betty Shvetz, Amber Reed, Dana Rizzo, Shaviece Osborne, Jacqueline Ahern
Yvette Frazier moved to appoint Nakeisha Haley to fill the vacancy for Vice President of Events. Betty Shvetz seconded the motion. The motion was unanimously approved.
Hillside PTA General Membership Meeting
November 19, 2021
- Welcome from Yvette Frazier
- Yvette was thrilled to announce the election of Nakeisha Haley as VP of Events.
- Approval of minutes from October 21, 2021 meeting
- Amber Reed presented the minutes from the 10/21/21 meeting. Yvette Frazier moved to approve the minutes. Motion was seconded by Betty Schrem Shvetz. Motion carried unanimously.
- Recent Accomplishments
- Car Wash on 10/23: Thank you to everyone who came and supported the car wash. Fun event for all.
- Trunk or Treat on 10/29: Instead of Boogie Bash this year, the PTA organized this fun trunk-or-treat following the Cast of Characters parade.
- Election Day bake sale on 11/2: Thank you to Nakeisha Haley for organizing, and to our donors and volunteers.
- Beautification/Playground Committee update
- Fall bulb planting on 11/7 – planted in front by Hillside sign and by door on Hillside Ave. (tulips and daffodils). More bulbs will be planted on 11/20.
- Garden clean up 11/14
- Beautification Committee has started meeting with Dr. Anglin and Mr. Adamo about their priorities for the Hillside grounds, including playground.
- Book Fair – 11/8-11/12: Thank you to Diane Tehranian, Jen Herman, and Josie Williams for organizing this successful book fair, which raised ~$4,000 for the PTA as well as donations to teachers’ eWallets, free books for students, and media center.
- Jason Didner Live Stream Concert on 11/13: Thank you to Jason Didner and Ms. Massuzo for this wonderful concert!
- PTA Treasurer’s Report (Dana Rizzo)
- Netted $560 from car wash, while movie night raised about $1700. Combined with car wash, these two events raised roughly what we would have made from Boogie Bash.
- About 146 PTA members so far this year, with further recruitment efforts ongoing.
- Election Day bake sale raised $735.
- Fall Explorers wrapping up soon and is in fiscally good shape. We continue to fund teacher stipends, etc.
- Principal’s Report (Dr. Samanthaa Anglin)
- Hillside’s administration continues to advocate to Business Administrator and Buildings & Grounds regarding the condition of our school building. Aware of sidewalk that needs to be repaired. Dr. Anglin has asked B&G for a date when various areas, such as sidewalk, will be fixed.
- Wrapping up MFEE teacher grants for materials, equipment, furniture. Have been working closely with MFEE liaisons. Some grants were earmarked for furniture replacement in RR and self-contained classrooms. Have been trying to get funds from Pupil Services to support that.
- A team is working on $10,000 MFEE grant for multicultural curriculum from the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools initiative.
- Cultural responsiveness initiatives: One staff meeting per month will be dedicated to PD work around cultural responsiveness. Reading “Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School” as book study with teachers. Have also contracted time with cultural responsiveness trainer named Principal Kafele for three PD sessions, in collaboration with Nishuane and Glenfield colleagues, using Title II funding earmarked for cultural responsiveness.
- PD time is also being used for a new intervention and RTI framework and new diagnostic reading tool, Acadience.
- Hillside is making sure families in need have Thanksgiving meals. All requests confidential; please reach out to Ms. Scott.
- Q: Ventilation concerns.
A: Multiple assessments have been done of air quality. Students are moved from any rooms where air quality is questionable.
- Q: Termite issue at entrance?
A: B&G says that space was assessed and it was water damage rather than termites. There’s a work order in, but the district only has one plumber.
- Q: Concern about 3rd graders not getting enough lunch.
A: Dr. Anglin raised this issue with Pomptonian even before receiving parent emails. Issue was that they didn’t estimate well enough; they had the food but it took time to heat up. They will work to correct this going forward.
- Q: Will cultural responsiveness training reflect full range of Hillside’s diversity?
A: That’s the intention, but we’ll see how first session goes and adjust as necessary.
- Presentation by Ms. Renee Graham, Reading Interventionist/Media Specialist, Hillside Literacy Center
- The Hillside Literacy Center is an active repository for approximately 8,000 to 11,000 books of various genres.
- Every Hillside staff member, student, and Hillside family is a Patron and is uploaded into a database with a personal account.
- All grades are scheduled at least once to twice a month. Literacy lessons are included in each visit with an Essential Question and multicultural theme or genre study.
- Lessons are thematic in nature based upon the National Library Association calendar year, such as Hispanic Heritage Month, Native American Heritage Month, National Picture Book Month, Women’s History Month, National Poetry month, etc.
- The Hillside Literacy Center is home to a robust multicultural selection of books included in an Amistad Collection to support the New Jersey Amistad Mandate.
- Readers are guided to make careful book selections and understand the Dewey Decimal System.
- The Hillside Literacy Center works in partnership with the Hillside Social Justice Committee Book Club to support after school book clubs for grades 3-5. Jennifer DiLullo and Ms. Graham collaborate to engage careful readers in enriching reading experiences that support social justice, historical, and multicultural literacy.
- Parent volunteers have helped with the circulation system and the process of organizing the Literacy Center.
- Going forward, Ms. Graham would love to embellish the Literacy Center with digital E-Books accessible through the Bels Destiny Follett circulation system used throughout Essex County and the Montclair Public School District. She would like to engage in school wide themes such as door decorations of your favorite picture book and solicit authors for public speaking.
- She is also currently working with Channel 13/PBS and will be looking for ways to infuse and integrate multicultural and multimedia teacher resources in lessons for grades 3-5.
- Ms. Graham is grateful for the generosity of the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence and the continued book donations made by the Hillside PTA to the Literacy Center for all readers from the Scholastic Book Fair as well as Hillside family book donations.
- Dr. Anglin noted that Ms. Graham is a curriculum support teacher, not librarian. Her primary responsibility is to deliver Tier 3 instruction for the most struggling learners who do not have IEPs but need support at two grade levels below proficiency level.
- PTA Calendar Review/Event Planning
- Nishuane-Hillside-Glenfield Trivia Night – 12/4
- Other fundraising initiatives:
- Commemorative T-Shirts – special edition for early next year
- Hoodie pre-order – ends on Nov. 30.
- Committee members needed:
- 5th Grade Committee – no longer needed, but will need day-of volunteers.
- Nominating Committee needed by Dec 2021 – need 3+ people.
- Hospitality (to plan upcoming Staff Holiday Luncheon and other events)
- Explorers – shadow current leaders (all 5th grade parents) and plan to take over next year.
- STEM + Families Grant: Patty Bachorz working on this.
- 9. SATp Updates from Stacie Hawes
- Hillside Cares Coat Drive in final days. Will pick up last batch of coats on Monday for delivery to the fire house.
- Make a Wish with Stacy Best – getting holiday meals ordered for Hillside families who have requested them. Providing a CheddarUp link for donations for additional grocery gift cards to go with holidays meals.
- Jen DiLullo for Social Justice Committee on two Cultural Infusion events:
- Dec. 1st after-school Hanukkah party (location TBA) – for all families who celebrate or would like to join friends in celebrating Hanukkah.
- Kwanzaa event on Zoom over winter break. More info to come.
- Working with Ms. Graham on Student Voices Book Club in January
- Looking for 3rd and 4th grade families to participate in Social Justice Committee. Currently have primarily 5th grade families.
- BOE/PTAC Updates from Brian Fleischer
- On transition from Type I district with mayor-appointed school BOE and BOSE to Type II district with voter-elected BOE:
- BOE is responsible for setting up special election “in due course” to increase BOE from 7 to 9 members. There will be a special election for two BOE positions. Existing BOE members would serve out their terms plus months to next November election.
- BOSE dissolved; district needs to prepare bond referendum request for voters. Might be able to hold capital funding request in special election in early 2022; alternatively would go on ballot in Nov. 2022.
- BOE now has agenda spots for MEA, PTAC, SEPAC, and MFEE to present updates/comments separate from public comment period.
- BOE open to creating hybrid public comment model, but looking into technology behind it so people are visible.
- MEA is pushing for cold-weather plan for COVID mitigation.
- Recent ECI and Technology department presentations – please go look on website under “Board Reports.”
- SEPAC/Dr. Ponds presented on work to implement SpEd audit. New handbook, compensatory services.
- Labor Management Collaborative: Rutgers-designed program for BOEs and unions to establish healthier communications strategies seems off to a positive start.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30am. The next PTA Meeting will be on December 16 at 7pm.
Christina Joseph Robinson
Kelly Foster Shapiro
Maisie Chou Chaffin
Dr. Samanthaa Anglin