How does the PTA work with the principal? What’s the overall involvement with the school?
Historically, the PTA has collaborated with the principal to identify needs that we, as a parent-led group, can address and to provide support for events and other activities. We coordinate our calendars to ensure that we can use the field and facilities. We coordinate with the principal for in-school events and programming.
We typically have meetings with the principal every 1-2 weeks, and are in constant contact with the principal and his/her assistant, Mrs. Pugliese, on a regular basis. Mrs. Pugliese is an anchor member of our team, as she fields all kinds of questions from parents on a daily basis, some about the school, while others are about ASE or Spiritwear. We work very closely with Mrs. Pugliese so that she can support the parents.
How does the PTA work with the teachers?
The PTA’s goal is to build community and be welcoming. We are not responsible for nor do we get involved with curriculum or classes. We do support teachers requesting grants from MFEE for their professional development.
The PTA stands for “Parent Teacher Association”, so teachers are invited to participate. Teachers can become members at the MemberHub store just like caregivers and parents, though teachers are offered a reduced rate ($5). Teachers are welcomed at all events, including the Gala, Film on the Field — you name it, they’re welcomed to it! Teachers can volunteer for committees and even chair committees. They are welcomed and included.
The most direct way teachers work with the PTA is through class parents. Class parents coordinate in-class activities (when we are able to do that), and can work as closely with the teacher as the relationship allows. This is a wonderful way to build relationships and community in your child’s classroom.
What does the PTA fund? How does money flow into and out of the PTA?
The PTA has fundraising events and activities throughout the year including the Gala, Spiritwear sales, Soccerthon, and After School Enrichment (ASE). There is also a 5th grade committee that dedicates efforts to fundraising for each year’s “graduating” class, in order to provide field trips and end-of-year celebrations and ceremonies. The largest part of the PTA’s spending is in-school events and assemblies. The PTA board chooses how to raise and spend money. Early in the school year there is an open PTA board meeting to discuss and vote on the annual budget, and all PTA Members are welcome to come.
What is the Fifth Grade Committee?
The fifth grade committee is a group that fundraises specifically for fifth grade graduation events, trips and celebrations. Their events include the annual mum sale, 5th grade carwash, and they often run a concessions stand at events.
What is MFEE?
Per their web site, the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence (MFEE) “has raised over $13 million private dollars to empower students, teachers, and the Montclair community, with the overall goal of helping the district provide a high-quality education for all students.”
They support and fund initiatives within the community and provide funding through grants to individual staff members and schools. The PTA has an MFEE liaison team that helps teachers write grants and make requests to MFEE for funding for projects
supporting educational excellence and social/emotional development, as well as staff professional development. Fundraising for the MFEE is done through donations, Teacher Toasts at the end of each school year, and other events including the annual Amazing FundRACER, which many students, staff and families take part in.
What are Teacher Toasts?
Teacher toasts are an MFEE fundraiser where the class parents or other parents in the classroom host a paid-event to celebrate the classroom teacher. These can be held at private homes or other event spaces. Typically, a group hosts the venue, while another supplies food and beverages. All class parents and caregivers are invited to attend. It’s a fun night out to celebrate and thank the classroom teacher.
What is SEPAC?
Per their website: The Montclair Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a group of parents, professionals and concerned community members with a shared interest in and concern for special education issues.
● SEPAC groups are mandated by State statute to exist in each NJ school District.
● SEPAC strives to improve the educational process and experience for children in need of special education and related services and promotes the inclusion of
children with special needs, with the necessary supports, within their schools and the community at large.
The PTA has 1-2 representatives who attend SEPAC meetings and strives to ensure that our school is sensitive to the needs of parents, families and children who have special education needs.
What is PTAC?
The PTA Council (PTAC) is a collective of all Montclair PTA presidents. Their mission is “to support school PTAs in their work advocating for the success and wellbeing of their students. The PTAC functions as a representative body of the PTAs, so that the voicesof parents and caregivers are more effective in influencing decisions made at the individual school and district level.” They meet regularly with Dr. Ponds and the administration to bubble up issues from the schools and act collectively. The Northeast PTA President meets monthly with PTAC.
What is a School Action Team for Partnerships (SATP)?
Each school in the Montclair School District is mandated to have a SATP. This group supports each school’s mission and consists of families, teachers, community partners, and students who will review and inform the School Improvement Plan. Starting in Fall 2020, our focus was anti-racism and equity. We revamped the school mission statement, cohosted book donation and giveaway, created a presentation on talking about race with children, a history of hip hop cultural presentation and other activities with PTA. At Northeast, our group is broken up into committees including: Curriculum, Achievement, Family Engagement, Professional Development, and Demographics/Procedures).