Gifted and Talented Magnet
Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes
February 12, 2023 @ 6:30p (Virtual only)
Reviewed & approved by PTA membership vote in 3/10/2023 PTA/SATp Meeting
Q: Did District put any money toward projects Fireball funding was earmarked for? E.g. Capital projects. Would hope we’re pressing upon Dr. A to push district to put money toward things that are important to the parents and school and that PTA shouldn’t necessarily have to fundraise for.
A: Don’t believe District put money toward bulletin boards or DOT room. Only thing that’s happened is the projectors. These questions best addressed with Dr. Anglin.
Q: Another item we’re fundraising for is beautification – landscaping, plants, etc. This is another area where the District is falling short, we have been asked to keep our “gem in the center of town” shining brightly. Similarly, school has asked for new tables. Shouldn’t be an item we pay for, but that’s where we find ourselves.
Q (from Carroll): Were parents presented the self assessment?
A: Justin/Lani provided clarity about the Local article and self assessment that was completed later than it normally would have been. Typically would get reports at end of school year – Mr. Vargas has some personal matter that prevented him from completing it when he normally would have. District has also hired an anti-bullying coordinator – Maggie Dock, who started in September 2022 and was not in place when assessment was done. Report was made public at 1/12/23 BOE meeting and Local put out article on Monday, 2/6
Q: After seeing article, should I be alarmed as a parent? Communication to families should address what the self assessment looked like and what will be done to address the challenges it raised.
A: Scott and Acevedo have taken numerous phone calls, emails about this so we’re not running from it, just need to strategize around how to address it
Q: My child experienced bullying for 3 months on the bus and the matter had to be elevated to Dr. Ponds. I advocated for an anti-bullying coordinator for the district. Asked an attorney who is knowledgeable about HIB laws.There is a recording that I’m happy to share. Do you know how many HIB reports there were last year and how many there are this year so far? Can # of HIB reports be included in presentation to the community, that would be very informative?
A: Don’t have that data in front of me. Great that you advocated for anti-bullying coordinator. Happy to have separate conversation about your child. Once I have an understanding of whether I’m allowed to provide that information I will do so unless i’m not allowed to and if that’s a case, will tell you why.
leaders, Karen Andes and Jillian Reich.
Q: Did we ask parents of families in the gymnastics show, play production, etc to volunteer? Teachers usually ask parents whose kids are involved to volunteer.
A: We will check and follow up on that. Mr. Poff is always looking for parent volunteers. Ms. Lever to my knowledge hasn’t asked, but I don’t recall parents volunteering for gymnastics show, it was other teachers
Q: When soliciting volunteers, could we structure language as: “Are you going to this event, can you offer 30 minutes beforehand or after?” Challenge has been finding people to lead it.
C: Nishuane planning caregivers night out on 2/17. Also held volunteer recruitment event which we called a volunteer party (held at Montclair Women’s Club). SATp led scavenger hunt where people had to identify committee chairs and what their roles were–was a fun way to find out about volunteerism. Sedita spoke to drum up enthusiasm and participation. Spent $1k (provided food) which was well spent because we gained 3 possible board members and committee chairs.
Q: Thinking about what happened at Nair Tamid. I’m Jewish and kids are also. Kids asked me why this happened. Wondered if there’s anything happening for Jewish History Month in May? A: May is AAPI. Let’s partner and do something
Q: Does SATp need help?
A: Yes. Have been putting together promotional videos to drum up interest. Before Dr. A went out she did a video. I also did one as did Christina Wallace and Ms. Morrisroe who is the SATp teacher coordinator. Will be posting them on Facebook.
Q: Went to recent PTAC meeting where Dr. Morgan reviewed standardized test scores. I left that meeting and PTA meeting where Dr. A reviewed results dissatisfied. We need a school wide meeting led by Anglin to address findings and present an action plan. Should be taken up by PTAC and then should have a building-wide committee
A: PTAC will take on this matter as hard as they did the bond referendum. Ponds said it’s his #1 priority to address this issue and close the gap. If you watch most recent meeting, Jennifer Goforth presented another set of data on internal assessment.
A: Let’s brainstorm best way to advocate for transparency. Principal doesn’t need permission to hold a school-wide town hall–happened at Glenfield with a month’s notice. Think the administration should be doing the same thing at Hillside. Don’t expect Ms. Carroll to present, but maybe she can get someone from district to present. There should be a better attempt to bring prominence to NJSLA results. Needs to be translation/context provided for things like HIB, NJSLA. At Glenfield, Dr. Rollins, Mr Pelli along with 6 teachers gave a robust presentation around NJSLA report – virtual meeting, separate from PTA meeting.
A: How NJSLA results were presented at Hillside: Anglin said last minute, I’d like to present NJSLA data. We need to take an active role in helping admin schedule more town hall meetings.
Meeting adjourned at 8:09p. Next PTA Meeting Friday, March 10th @ 9:30am
Anita Fee Willis
March 10, 2023 Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Agenda is here.
February 9, 2023 Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Agenda is here.
Draft January 12, 2023 Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes are here.
The December 20, 2022 PTA/SATp meeting minutes are available here.
*approved in the 1/12/2023 PTA meeting*
Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes
*approved in the 1/12/2023 PTA meeting*
November 18, 2022 – 9:30a
Meeting began at 9:37a (Hybrid – in person @ Hillside + virtual via Google Meet)
Q: Is child study team fully staffed?
A: Still hiring a psychologist. Have a counseling psychologist, but can’t manage testing in house until we have a psychologist. Case loads are larger than typical school. Every child in this building has a case manager, but only divided among 2.
Q: Will Spanish be offered?
A: Status is that we don’t have an applicant. Off the schedule, though still in Genesis. There’s a teacher shortage to fill world language positions.
Q: When will the gym floor be finished?
A: Construction team is pouring cement on Friday, 11/25. Demo is done, takes 2 weeks and then finishing process. Don’t foresee being in double gym until the new year. Following that, auditorium and dance studio will have work done. Feel confident that our director of buildings and grounds is honest, straightforward. Keep in mind, this work impacts Explorers for winter session.
Q: How is Hillside responding to data from district regarding achievement/testing?
A: Students who are proficient or exceeding proficiency aren’t excelling either. We are digging deep with teachers. Waiting for building-based data, will present that to community. Testing information is to inform instruction. Data tells us which standards we are below or on grade level with. First line of attack is to look at other standards where we were outperformed by other schools in the district. Teachers need to consider scope and sequence of instruction – how many days were spent on topic, was there enough homework. We have PLCs with teachers once every 6 days. Teachers meet with admin once/month where we discuss every kid who is demonstrating below grade level proficiency. Each child has an RTI form, teacher is responsible for identifying specific goals and plans to meet those goals and assess whether the strategy is working. If we’re seeing progress, we keep going. If things are stagnant we ask questions to consider what to change, whether additional evaluation is needed. Involving families – if gap is greater than half grade level or year’s worth of proficiency to find out what’s going on at home to get full profile of the student, so that we know we’re working efficiently to support their needs.
Q: Is RTI form shared with families?
A: No, it’s internal data that’s used to inform the conversation with families. Just shared between teacher, administrator.
Q: Are there any plans for field trips this year?
A: We don’t micromanage field trips beyond saying one grade level field trip per year. PTA supports each grade level with $1k. Districtwide 3rd graders have a field trip around the town. 5th graders across district go to planetarium at Glenfield. Should be separate from what teachers are planning. Trips need 90 days notice for approval.
Q: Is there still a requirement that someone has to be on the bus who knows how to administer an epi pen?
A: District requires nurse or designee who can administer epi pen. School nurse works hard to have a designee. “NARCAN” policy K-12 that requires certified person on every field trip has been the challenge. Solution is problematic because it can’t interrupt instruction, adds extra hoops and roadblocks. E.g.: Mr. G and Mrs Bartol have taken it upon themselves to get NARCAN certified because they take students on trips often.
A: Hillside, Glenfield and Nish have Title 1 funds (derived when families complete lunch application form) to support “at risk students.” There’s also ESR 2 funds in district (COVID relief funds) Still waiting to receive Title 1 funds. We have a very small tutoring program. Based upon proficiency demonstrated through class assessment, HW, students were invited Tues – Fri morning for 1 hr. 2 certified teachers for main instruction, 2 paras who lead students through work.Title 1 funds will allow us to triple the program. SATp working to get MHS students in to help with program. Ms. Morrisroe is interviewing HS students this month.
Q: What are we doing to support students who are at/above proficiency?
A: Piloting two other literacy programs in district. Teachers are adamant that writing in CCC curriculum is not rigorous. We’re working on resources we’re giving teachers. Not requiring math workshop model. Sometimes necessary to be cautious to mandate initiative that district won’t back. Rolled out worksop model for math teachers – requires them to work everyday with groups of 4 to be able to differentiate when children know the material. Strategy is to get half teachers on board so that they pressure colleagues to get on board with targeted instruction.
Q: Is there an orientation that instructors have?
A: No, just basic instructions
Q: Are morning classes being offered?
A: Not in winter, maybe in the Spring.
Q: Can we do a Spanish Explorers class – this year or next?
A: Let’s consider it
Q: How can we raise awareness/educate about inclusion, acceptance. Want to work with parents who have neurotypical kids to understand how all students benefit.
A: “The Big Picture” Film screening – 11/30 at Nishuane could be an opportunity to promote SEPAC’s work, build community
Sarah (Last name no captured)
Dawn (Last name no captured)
Meeting adjourned at 11:05a.
Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting
October 20, 2022 – 6:30p
Meeting began at 6:35p (virtual via Google Meet)
Priority to keep communication open, hold pre meetings with PTA leadership to discuss hot topics.
Q: How do teachers and administrators feel about bond referendum? Is there support at Hillside, in the district among teachers and administrators?
A: We’re not going to be out there cheering for it. There’s the per pupil budget, staffing budget, then capital budget. Every year there are things I have always asked for. The walk through with superintendent captured my wishlist for building improvements for Hillside. Exciting to see it happening.
Q: Do we want to push another blast to get kids talking about it?
A: Two more FB posts scheduled as well as e-blasts, volunteer push
Q: Congestion in hallways, air ventilation might be a concern. Since we’re advertising that parents need to attend with kids, there will be more parents.
A: (Anglin) Not having gym is huge amount of sq ft. that’s lost. Ensuring that adults supervise their children is important. We can increase air flow by opening doors but feeling like we shouldn’t advertise anymore given current numbers and having auditorium off limits.
Q: Were tix set aside for families who can’t afford to attend Boogie Bash?
A: Working with Ms. Best in office. She is working on a list of families who want to attend and we will provide tix. List is about 19 families, 13 or 14 said yes
Q: How do we get more people to come to PTA meetings?
A: In person is helpful. Trying to do hybrid at minimum. Carrot is opportunity to hear from, ask questions of Dr. Anglin
Q: What was thought process in going hybrid for Nishuane PTA meetings? Did you see results?
A: Not conflicting with getting kids to bed, etc.
Anita Fee Willis
Meeting adjourned at 8:06p
*meeting minutes approved by PTA Membership in 11/18/2022 Meeting
Hillside PTA/SATp Meeting Minutes
September 23, 2022
Meeting began at 9:34 AM
Q: What is level of confidence that renovations will be completed by end of October for Boogie Bash?
A (Dr. Anglin): We’re going to stay the course and when we have tangible, real evidence that we need to get creative, we will. Shouldn’t hang our hat on the maybes.
PTA Treasurer’s Report
Comment (Dr. Anglin): Fireball funds earmarked for bulletin boards throughout halls to create moments of “feel good” to display student work, mounted projectors for classrooms that need them to ensure that every classroom has capital resources. Always thinking about how funds will impact ALL children and not just a niche.
PTA Calendar Review/Event Planning
Dr. Anglin/Mr. Adamo: MC for the costume contest is a make or break. In past, costume contest has been held in auditorium. Kids gathered in hallway to prepare and paraded on stage, judges were parents.
Mr. Adamo: There will be a custodian on site who is good and attentive. If kids want to go somewhere else they hit the stairwells. Parents standing in front of stairs, blocked of with caution tape is good deterrent.
Tawaina Turner-Dones: Super excited that Boogie Bash is coming back, happy to help.
Music, dancing, food vendors, asked teachers for samples of student work. Booklist from Watchung Booksellers and Read Aloud
Q: Will communications around bond referendum be happening at district level, or what should we do at school level?
A: PTAC sent out a survey to gauge interest and recruit volunteers, get in touch with PTAC.
Q: Can a link to vote on Bond referendum go in the E-blast?
A: If not in todays, it will go in the next one.
Meeting adjourned at 10:48 AM.
Ana Cristina dos Santos
Suresh N Varsha Hathiramani
Anita Fee Willis
Meeting minutes approved at 10/20/2022 PTA/SATp Meeting