Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES) &
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 6:45-8:00pm
Location: All Purpose Room @ TPES
Takoma Park Elementary and Piney Branch Elementary PTA meeting
Welcome – WHAT does the PTA do & WHO are we?
Equity update – We have a combined equity committee to make sure we are serving all of our communities. The committee is working on the following: Little Libraries on each campus to ensure accessible culturally relevant text; both PTA Executive Committees will be doing equity training to make sure all decisions are considered through the lens of equity; we also offer after school club scholarships to ensure opportunity for all at both schools; the Young Scholars Program, started at TPES to ensure academic support for those who may not have access to that support, is expanding to PBES; ESOL night very successful at PBES and will be expanding to TPES. We welcome members and input as equity is a core part of our work as a PTA.
Upcoming dates and announcements
Nov 1-26: PBES Read-a-thon & Book Fair (Nov. 4-8)
Thurs, Nov 7: TPES Fall Book Fair (4pm to 8pm) + Kindergarten Literacy Night, 7pm
Fri, Nov 8: Early Release for all students; dismissal @ 1:20pm
Mon, Nov 11 & Tuesday Nov 12: Early Release & Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wed, Nov 27: Early Release for all students; dismissal @ 1:20pm
Thurs & Fri, Nov 28 & 29: No School
Tues, Dec 3: PTA Meeting – Sweet Treat Exchange – 6:45p-8p
Please join us for the PTA Meeting in December – there will be a Sweet Treat Exchange! Fun, easy, we hope to bring us all together.
TPES: We are doing really well, anything that has happened in November since Dolphin Drive began isn’t in the report, but we are already getting donations. Please write your email address if you send a check so we can acknowledge you for your taxes. We are not even at halfway in the year but already almost at halfway with regard to fundraising. Some of you may have bought Dolphin Gear, that presale allowed us to provide more assets to TPES this year and next. We will have a stand on Nov. 11 for parent teacher conference- you can get gear then!
PBES: We just ended our fall Panther appeal and we met our goal (applause!). That was in part because of the Takoma Prom – we learned a lot and had a lot of fun. We exceeded the fundraising goal for Prom. Doing well on our goals, meeting them, we are in good financial position but we need to be sure to keep it up. We will have lots of programs coming soon so those funds will start going out. We are in good shape and we’ll be putting those funds in action soon!
City County Guests:
Mayor Kate Stewart
Councilmember Peter Kovar (Ward 1)
Councilmember Cindy Dyballa (Ward 2)
Councilmember Kacy Kostiuk (Ward 3)
- They came to introduce themselves and talk about how we can give involved in the city
- Mayor Stewart has had kids come through our school system and knows it well! Every year there is an essay contest for fourth graders- “If I Were Mayor for a Day”. It’s a short essay that is statewide- the Maryland Municipal League gets fourth graders to do this and they pick them- kids get to go to Annapolis with the Governor. They also choose 2 – 3 in Takoma Park to spend time in the city office, police department, etc. We hope your kids will do it this year! It will come out in the Spring.
- Cindy introduced herself, her kids went to Rolling Terrace but knows the school system well.
- Peter mentioned that even though the school system is through the county they will get questions about locations and school support. The councilmembers fought for Piney Branch to expand and can possibly play a role in advocating for the next step there.
- Casey noted there is a sheet with their contact information. Most put out weekly emails so feel free to sign up!
- They meet on Wednesday nights, 7:30 at the community center, feel free to join! Its also covered by TV so you can tune in live and streaming (on the city website).
- They have committees on a whole range of issues – trees, rec, transportation, climate change and environment, landlord and tenant affairs. Feel free to contact them or the city clerk to learn more. They would love to hear from us as they often hear from older residents but would love to hear from families as well.
- They have short term taskforces as well – parking, council compensation, etc. The newsletter we get in the mail has all the committees listed on the inside front.
- Duplicative taxes – how do they affect families? We are municipality so we service our own roads, police department, rec- we don’t get reimbursed as much as we should. Its been frozen at 2012 rates. Mark Elrich needs a friendly push to get it in his budget. He didn’t do it last year and we really need him to this year! Asking residents to write them and ask for them to at least take care of some of it- it would be relatively easy for them to reimburse at 2020 rates and reimburse the roads this year.
- PBES is an issue they are familiar with and we want to see how they can be involved. The Mayor and councilmembers are discussing how to formalize communications between PTA and City Council so we can strategize on issues such as this.
- Thursday there are public hearings in MCPS on the fact they took out the funding for expanding PBES and now say they will build a new building a very long time from now.
- Mayor also encouraged us to look at the new strategic plan on Housing – Takoma Park has reaffirmed housing as a human right. They would love feedback and involvement as they implement the plan.
- TPES – Dolphin drive kicked off – first couple days and they already have $2,000 – goals is $13,000 to support equity, health and wellness, etc. Please consider giving and giving generously. Web is the best but will also take checks. Also go to Chipotle (check emails for date!) for an easy and delicious fundraiser.
- PBES – Our update is a THANK YOU! We wrapped up our Panther Appeal – we met our fundraising goal but its not too late if you want to donate! We have another fundraiser this month – having our readathon as a fundraiser and also the book fair. We are offering a variety of ways to give and get involved, it may seem like are asking a lot but its so you can choose which one appeals most to you. Its very appreciated.
- Thank you to Gabe Seiden!!! All the websites are from him – we can’t thank him enough. He is a small business owner so if you need services such as web development feel free to reach out.
- TPES Communication chair – Yahoo groups is ending. Both PBES and TPES will need to migrate the lists at .io. You can opt out but you will likely be automatically moved over. TPESPTA is the group name for TPES. Right now they are posting for both listservs, but that will likely phase out. TPES also has a facebook page so be sure to join that.
Rachel, a parent with PBES announced the effort to start a garden for both schools, please sign up! There is also a facebook page. The garden will be for kids, for them to do in school but after school and with families as well. No gardening experience required! More info will come on the listserv.
Now is time to tame the power struggles with PEP!