Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes
January 14, 2022
Principal’s Report (Dr. Samanthaa Anglin)
- Dr. Anglin discussed how she and other building leaders have been advocating for written protocols for all stakeholders from Central Office on matters such as the post-winter-break virtual option and circumstances under which students qualify for virtual instruction.
- Given limited capacity in the Social Justice Committee this year, which Jennifer DiLullo has been leading singlehandedly, Dr. Anglin had raised the question of whether the BLM Week of Action should shift to being called a “Week of Action” in which students learn how to advocate in areas including BLM; it was not Jenn’s suggestion. Feedback was received and heard, and the week will remain the “Black Lives Matter Week of Action,” supported by lesson plans.
- Dr. Anglin offered overview of work being done by herself and Mr. Adamo in Curriculum and Instruction.
- Mr. Adamo does a lot of work on RTI and I&RS.
- Weekly curriculum and planning meetings with teachers cover scope and sequence.
- There are monthly meetings on children’s individual needs(e.g., enrichment, acceleration, interventions). At the beginning of the year, many children were below grade-level proficiency. Now that pocket is splitting into children who are recovering from the impact of virtual learning, and children who are still struggling with real academic challenges and grade-level deficits.
- Did Start Strong assessments in the fall.
- Will do NJSLA in the spring, starting May 9th. Now that we are a 1:1 school, students do not have to share devices and can complete most testing in a week.
- Two units of ELA testing, three units of Math. Fifth graders have to take NJSLA Science with 4 units, so will run into second week.
- Ms. Scott has been holding monthly meetings with different classes, working on social-emotional needs. She has lunch bunch groups.
- On the whole, Hillside is laser-focused on curriculum, instruction, and SEL, even if it isn’t necessarily the “hot topic” at BOE meetings.
- Q: Can remote students return to school on Tue and Wed next week instead of Thu?
A: They can return on Tuesday with an email sent to the school in advance so that it can be entered in student information system. Please do not just drop them off.
- Q: Have results of Start Strong tests as school and district been published? Has this data been analyzed at school and district level?
A: Individual score reports have been distributed. District-level analysis has not yet been published. It was a 10-question assessment to inform instruction. We have more reliable data points to use than Start Strong data. Dr. Anglin looks at data on monthly basis with her teachers (for example, math mid-chapter and end-of-chapter tests). We also use Renaissance Learning benchmark assessments administered 4 times a year.
- Parent Comment: A Week of Action without BLM is not appropriate at any time. Thank you for responding to my concerns.
Approval of December Meeting Minutes
- Recording Secretary Amber Reed presented minutes of the Dec. 16th meeting. The minutes were approved unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report (Co-Treasurer Jacqueline Ahern)
- Finished Fall Explorers with net of $2,000. Winter Explorers registration started recently.
- We pre-sold over 75 hoodies.
- Make A Wish – many gifts were donated and $1,500 in donations was used to help purchase gift requests.
- We were able to increase amounts for staff gifts given this year. A parent donated a holiday luncheon for teachers (bagged lunches from Mercado due to COVID).
President’s Remarks and Calendar Review (Co-Presidents Yvette Frazier and Betty Shvetz)
- Yvette expressed pride in the PTA’s work during gift-giving season.
- People can still order hoodies. Please contact Yvette or Betty.
- Winter break bingo – please turn in card if your child completed it.
- Explorers email going out today – still some spots available.
- Commemorative T-shirts: asking students to create design on 8.5 x 11” paper. Mrs. Y is working to help with design. Will select 25 and send to kids for vote. Deadline extended to 1/24.
- Need Committee members for:
- Explorers – this team is leaving next year! Looking for at least two people.
- Fireball (major spring fundraiser) – trying to find venue.
- January Trivia Night 1/22 – movie and animal theme
- Talent Show 1/28 (virtual) – email videos under 2 minutes to email@example.com
- Booster ads link: https://my.cheddarup.com/c/2022-hillside-talent-show-booster-ads-fundraiser
- January Membership raffle – $25 gift card
- Lunar New Year – Feb 1 – Mandarin teacher is planning in-school activities.
Teacher Guest Speaker – Ms. Susan Bartol
- Ms. Bartol teaches science at Hillside, supported by great administrators who have given her freedom to design new science courses relevant to what’s happening in the real world. Uses personal experience and love of different sciences in classroom.
- Some courses are CI, some are regular science courses. They will also get instruction from regular switch teacher but are welcome to sign up for Ms. Bartol’s classes for deeper dives, e.g., rocks and minerals.
- Qualifier for CI science classes is mainly Renaissance Learning Math assessment, but she is in process of redesigning CI Science assessment/criteria. She would like to design an assessment that’s more equitable and identifies children with love of science.
- Interest in science typically decreases going into MS/HS – she wants children to maintain that spark.
- Science Fair – rethought model and switched to Science Day.
- There is a career panel (usually parents and friends) for anyone who may be able to speak on it. Please send along career panelist recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We have worked with Rutgers Science & Policy Advocacy group to do activities such as an assembly followed by maker challenge. Rube Goldberg-type challenges where each grade level has to use a certain component.
- Q: Will students be prepared for NJSLA Science assessment?
A: Yes, we think so.
- Q: Can you recommend resources for science enrichment at home?
A: There are good online resources, such as Mark Rober videos and Pinterest.
SATp updates (Dee Thompson)
- Thank you for contributing to Holiday Meals Helper program, a new initiative created by Dee and Stacie Hawes, which raised over $1,400. Program provided 17 families with desserts and $65 Shoprite gift card. Made for a great holiday for families combined with the Make A Wish program.
- Hillside Cares Week of Service, January 10-14 – contact Christina Joseph Robinson at email@example.com or Mrs. Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Collecting items and you can write peace notes as well.
- Skate date on March 11, 2022 from 6:30-8:30pm at Clary Anderson. Have sign-up links ready and will release once virtual families return in-person. Fundraiser to support SATp initiatives.
- Jenn DiLullo on Hillside Social Justice: Last year there were 25 volunteers, this year almost none. Events have happened because Jenn has contacted specific individuals and asked them to volunteer (e.g., Hispanic Heritage celebrations). Tinu Joseph sponsored, supported, and planned Kwanzaa event all by herself. Please reach out if you would like this work to keep happening.
- Upcoming programming:
- BLM Week of Action
- June: Caribbean American Heritage Month and Juneteenth
- Will be looking for people to volunteer for AAPI Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month in May
- Need outreach to other people in the community, especially 3rd and 4th grade families. There are 400 people in this school. Current volunteers are largely 5th grade families.
- Upcoming programming:
BOE updates (Betty Shvetz)
- Vacancy created by Dr. Alfred Davis passing will be filled by Monk Inyang through end of year.
- No pooled testing right now.
- Proposal for air filters in schools ($20k). There is district-wide effort to collect private donations.
- Virtual learning ends on 1/19; kids return 1/20.
- Need clarity on policies on teacher quarantine – can they work from home or not? Inconsistency across buildings.
- Colleen Dougherty started successful GiveButter campaign for helping to purchase high-quality masks for school employees in Montclair.
Meeting adjourned at 10:37am.
Kelly Foster Shapiro