TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: December 2020


Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020,


Location: Zoom


Social Emotional Health & Wellness

Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Tuesday, Jan 5, 7-8pm.

All PTA meetings will be via Zoom (details below) until further notice.


7:00    Welcome

  • TPES Dolphin Drive met its fundraising goal!
  • Big thanks to Kelly Young for all of her work on the Dolphin Drive and to Chris Campbell for behind-the-scenes work to get website up and running with all the right information.

7:05     Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

         Gabe Seiden, PBES VP Communications

Dec 24 – Jan 3: Winter Break – NO SCHOOL  (schools & offices CLOSED)

Tues, Jan 5: TPES/PBES PTA meeting via Zoom @ 7pm

Mon, Jan 18: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)

Fri, Jan 29: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)


7:10     Practices to Promote Social-Emotional Health & Wellness  

                  Max Althofer, TPES Counselor

Erin Coco, PBES Counselor

  • MCPS recognized it needs a more centralized effort to provide support to students and families during the Pandemic. Now there is a pool of social-emotional learning (SEL) resources available by the county instead of relying on each counselor to provide curriculum.
  • SEL time is woven into grade level curriculum and classroom practices now
  • Uses CASEL curriculum – focused on self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. Resources and lessons for students are differentiated by grade level.
  • October was personal body safety and cyber civility lessons at PBES. TPES did personal body safety in November.
  • Typically Mr. Althofer would go into each Kindergarten class weekly but that hasn’t been possible during virtual learning. Coco gets to visit PBES classes once a month virtually during homeroom time.
  • In addition to classroom visits, counselors do individual counseling sessions for students, help students and their families get resources they need, help to create Section 504 plans for students with disabilities who don’t qualify for special education services and many other tasks as needed to be responsive to what is going on (e.g., student engagement during virtual learning).
  • TPES and PBES have 1.5 counselors each, which is not sufficient to meet the recommended national ratio of 250 students per counselor.
  • PBES now has an Equity Hub program in the building, run by Kids Adventures, to provide students who need support outside the home during virtual learning. They are accepting more students.
  • Strategies for parents in supporting social-emotional development at home and strengthening coping skills during the pandemic can be found here:–F0Lh_JXG0YSCXVDl7oRJ3E/edit
  • Small group counseling is not allowed by MCPS while virtual, due to privacy concerns.
  • Email is a great way to reach the counselors for each school.
  • At TPES, Mr Seward covers 2nd grade at TPES, Mr Althofer covers K and 1st. They will move with grades, so next year Mr Althofer will have the 1st and 2nd graders. You can reach Mr Althofer at
  • At PBES, Ms Coco does 3rd and 5th graders. You can reach her at
  • Question about how to avoid video game use with kids.. Answer: teachers are watching for kids who aren’t paying attention and will let parents know.  If not during school time, providing projects for kids that match their interests can help pull them away from screens (e.g., lego project).


7:50     Treasurer’s Reports

Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer

  • We did well with the Dolphin Drive and are close to hitting our budget estimate for fundraising income. Can meet the rest with a Readathon or book fair or other activity later in the year.
  • Received $2,500 for a school literacy program.
  • Still managing the budget for the school food cluster support.


Erin  Kelley, PBES Treasurer

  • Account is very healthy with income of over $18,000 and $9,000 spent. Looking at potential adjustments to the budget and will keep membership abreast of any changes needed (some changes could require a vote).



Next meeting will be Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 7:00pm.  The Zoom link will be shared just before the meeting time, as was done today.


You can become a PTA member online:

Takoma Park Elementary

Piney Branch Elementary

TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: November 2020


Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Monday, November 2, 2020,


Location: Zoom


Antiracism & Social Justice in Our Schools

Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Tuesday, Dec 1, 7-8pm.

All PTA meetings will be via Zoom (details below) until further notice.


7:00    Welcome

7:05     Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

         Chris Campbell, TPES VP Communications

Nov 2-30: TPES Dolphin Drive

Tues, Nov 3: Election Day  (schools & offices CLOSED)

Wed, Nov 4: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)

Mon, Nov 9: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)

Nov. 9-22: PBES virtual Scholastic Book Fair & Readathon

Mon, Nov 9: Professional Day for Teachers (NO SCHOOL for students)

Wed, Nov 11: MP2 Schedule Changes go into effect (to be discussed next)

Mon, Nov 23 thru Wed, Nov 25: Early Release Days (dismissal at 11:30am)

Thurs, Nov 26 thru Friday, Nov 27: Thanksgiving Break (NO SCHOOL)


7:07     MP2 Schedule Changes for MCPS Elementary Schools

Christine Oberdorf, PBES Principal

When board approved schedule, one of the conditions was the district would provide feedback about the schedule. Slight change to Elementary schedule voted on last week. Only impacts Wednesday am.


  • New schedule (starting Wednesday, November 11 1st Wednesday second marking period):
    • 9am class meeting;
    • 9:30-10:15am live instruction ending with guidance for independent work; this time will not include new learning – no new modules from Benchmark or Eureka; opportunity to revisit content, provide enrichment, or vary content
    • Pacing guide for Eureka and Benchmark has been revised based on this new schedule.
    • 10:30-11:30am self-guided work for most students; paraeducator & service provider support available Teacher will outline direction for what students due during that time. Teachers are finalizing their plan and will get us information soon.
    • Teachers will communicate specifically with class about what the schedule will look like.
    • Goal is to reduce screen time, provide students with additional support as needed, and additional planning time for teacher.
  • TPES is moving last special of the day to that later morning time- not at 2:30 but moved to 10:30. It was hard to get kids to come back to that special in the late afternoon.
  • TPES teachers will give them choices as to what to do in the afternoon; kids will be able to choose the activity.
  • Not supposed to be done at 11:30, should be working
  • PBES: Concern: they have 2 blocks of specials in the afternoon to move them both in the morning; there is only one slot in the morning, and not enough teachers to cover both sessions in the morning.
    • 11:30am-1pm lunch and wellness break;
    • afternoon Wednesday schedules remain unchanged;
  • Highlights:
    • Wednesday morning blocks will no longer focus on instruction in Benchmark Literacy and Eureka Math, but include opportunities for students to engage in related content support, review, extension, & enrichment.
    • Teachers will communicate with each student & family about the learning activities that students should complete during each block.
    • Goal is to increase opportunities to reduce screen time, have students receive special education or related services, & provide time for independent or small group work
  • Leadership team is finalizing details this week; please look for more information from your child’s classroom teacher next week


7:10     Equity through the Educational Lens  

                  Emma McClary, TPES 2nd Grade Teacher & Equity Committee member

Kristen Dunlap, PBES 3rd Grade Teacher & Equity Committee member

  • Classroom practices and lessons that focus on racial equality & social justice
  • Guided discussion about what parents can do at home

Ms. Dunlap: all classes in MoCO completed Psychoeducational lessons; PBES had unity day and Unity week; they received special election materials from the county

Emma McClary: all received the same curriculum about all of this

Need to bridge and do social awareness at home


Ms. Dunlap

Spend a lot of time in the classrooms talk about what is going on in the world- 1-1/2 weeks in the morning; lots of things happening

Covid 19,

Dual pandemic: social justice responses to combat racism

Lot of time talking about race, racism, anti-racism, social justice

So that they understand the difference between being a Bystander to being an upstander; being a bystander is watching; upstander- stand up and say what you are feeling. Talked a lot about this. Also tied this into lessons about bullying

Their opinions are valued and matter- created a safe space so that they can share what they are thinking


Spent time on the positive things that they can do to feel better if experiencing stress/anxiety/worry, negative thoughts or feelings

Each class made their own list; they have arsenal of things that they can do if they are feeling strong emotions.

PBES: celebrated Unity day- staying united- a class community, a school community, a TP community- together stand against bullying; united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion

Thinking about what we can do to stand together

Hearing all the voices

Kids communicate differently some words, some pictures.

Making sure we see those that feel invisible


County sent out material on Communicating info re: election to kids

Working with Benchmark reading on communities and government units

How is our election materials relevant in our world right now

Connecting it to things that elementary school students in terms of voting


Discussion: open and honest conversations re: election

How are we feeling about things? Socioemotional part of election lessons are crucial.  Mood Meter

Talking about feelings towards the election

Had ground rules going in

Took time to talk about candidates and racial disparities


Ms. McClary:

All of the lessons re; social justice, equity, election are the same across the schools

There is also a reflective piece on the professional level for the teachers, helps them have them open and honest discussions with the teachers

Teachers: all have unique perspectives that they learn and teach from; all will sometimes make mistakes

Parents at home play bigger roles as teachers

Classroom practices help make sure that equity is included:

Representation in literature

Representation in posters and decorations

Equity sticks and random calling strategies

Building relationships with families

Communicating high expectations for all students

Acknowledge and true appreciation of the differences that we have and appreciate the diversity

Recognizing that everyone has differences and that is ok

Teachable moments including factual conversations when things get said in the classroom

Modeling vulnerability, honesty and empathy

When teaching these lessons, created spaces where students feel valued


How to transfer the ideas from the classroom to the home:

Don’t overthink the conversation at home

Be factual, open and honest

Normalize conversation

Minimize otherness

Students understand feelings- can break things down to feelings if necessary


TPES and PBES each do collaborative planning within the school to help share best practices and ideas with each other!



Sharing our stories:

Every Monday Night TPES/PBES 7 pm is doing a Sharing our Stories with the teachers and families in the school community

Bedtime story- guest family, educator, etc sharing a story: book, interview

Educator giving tips on how to become more involved in the school community

If interested in sharing a story: contact Shana

Next week: Ms. Coco – PBES counselor on how to handle remote learning with the


7:40     NAACP Parent Council Updates

         Sharon Gaskins, TPES NAACP Representative

                  Lauren Van Tol, PBES NAACP Representative

  • Upcoming NAACP initiatives


Parent council: way to allow you to advocate for your child and get involved in their kids’ education

Started in 1990’s by the NAACP Youth council

next meeting Thursday November 12 6:30 pm.


Middle School magnet consortium: Argyle- digital design, Parkland- Aerospace, Loederman- creative arts

Due dates soon

If interested in any of the programs:



1st meeting parents council at TPES on Thursday with Dr. Gadsden

Will collaborate with Piney Branch council

Equity Hubs: kids in K-5 can come and do distance learning in school building 8:30-5:30 for $50/mo with additional aid available

For kids who qualify for FARMS

Expanding across MCPS:

No plan for TP schools to host a hub

Lunch provided, and the day will be built around supporting distance learning and providing children with social emotional connections. Rolling Terrace Elementary and Rock Creek Forest Elementary which are less than 3 miles from Piney Branch are opening soon.

Montgomery county parent council : report on how black and brown students are faring in virtual learning; research conducted by UMD–Securing+Educational+Equity+Report+-+Black+and+Brown+Coalition+10-6-20+.pdf


7:50     Treasurer’s Reports

Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer

Meg covering:

TPES continues to be receiver and payor of the food support from the 4 schools

Dolphin appeal in November is fundraiser

Greatest expenses this month- teacher classroom set up funds.


Erin  Kelley, PBES Treasurer

Panther appeal just ended:

Passed our goal

On membership side just over 50% of the goal

Including role over from last year; very robust situation

Expenses: support staff, website, and paypal fees



NEXT PTA MEETING: Tuesday December 1st; new zoom link; will be sent out shortly before the meeting.



TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: October 2020

Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) 

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 7:00-8:00pm

Location: Zoom 


Connecting with your School & Community

Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Monday, Nov 2, 7-8pm

All PTA meetings will be via Zoom (details below) until further notice.  


7:00 Welcome

  • Sign language interpretation as well as Spanish interpretation was introduced

7:05 Social Emotional Support for Virtual Learning
Cinthea Neuheisel, PBES Assistant Principal
Key supports the school is putting in place & tips for how parents & caregivers can help at home

  • Sharing what social-emotional support is being provided to students during this time and how parents can help.  
  • We are holding class meetings daily, making them twice as long as MCPS recommended to ensure it is a meaningful time.  Goal is to promote relationships amongst students and to create a community within their class.  Is a staff handbook with resources for teachers for these meetings.
  • MCPS has rolled out psycho-educational lessons to address students’ emotional responses to the virus and the issues around race in our country right now.
  • Continuing to use Second STEM for social skills and conflict resolution curriculum.
  • Have a continuity of care monitoring system to refer students that aren’t engaged or for whom teachers have concerns so can track needs of most vulnerable students.
  • Working hard to produce weekly videos that help to create routines and structure for students during this time, serving to ground them and create a sense of connection.
  • A few tips for parents to do at home:
    • Students need to be flexible during this time.  Resiliency relies on our ability to be cognitively flexible in challenging circumstances.  To do this, students need a good night’s sleep, and to emphasize the importance of “single-tasking.”  This is supported by having a space at home that is as free of distractions as possible.  Encourage students to take breaks when needed (use the coffee cup feature to let their teachers know they need a break) and to have a separate space for breaks and for working.  Having just one monitor also supports single tasking.
    • Practice acceptance and gratitude.

7:15 Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

Gabe Seiden, PBES VP Communications

Thurs, Oct 1 thru Oct 31: “Panther Appeal” PBES PTA Fundraising Month 

Tues, Nov 3: Election Day  (schools & offices CLOSED)

Nov. 9-22: PBES virtual Scholastic Book Fair & Readathon

Mon, Nov 9: Professional Day for Teachers (NO SCHOOL for students)

Nov 11-12: Early Release Days for Students (Parent/Teacher Conferences)


  • Shout out to Tim Anderegg from PBES for all the hard work he is doing for communications.


7:20 Fundraising Updates & Treasurer’s Reports  

Kelly Young, TPES VP Fundraising

Angela Riemer, PBES VP Fundraising

Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer

Erin  Kelley, PBES Treasurer


  • The TPES Dolphin Drive will be in the month of November with a goal of $9000.  The PTA is still doing a lot, including providing teachers with money to support and enhance online learning, supporting kindergarten with manipulatives for math learning, providing interpreters when the school is unable to, teacher training  and other administrative expenses. So we do need a successful fundraiser.
  • The PBES Panther Appeal kicked off October 1st.  Thanks to all who have already donated.  PBES PTA continues, like TPES, to do many activities during this time, including providing enrichment services .  We are also doing dine-arounds and will have other opportunities to give in person.  The first dine-around is October 16 at Mansa Kunda West African Restaurant.  We still have great merchandise available and will soon have masks.
  • TPES Treasurer update: We have had a little fundraising income this year, but the Dolphin Drive will be really crucial to providing needed income for this year.  Please do join as a member of the PTA.  There is a form on the website if you’d like to have one of the donated memberships that are available.  We are also including the food bank activity as a separate item with restricted-use funds on the TPES treasurer’s reports.  We spend about $5000 each week and the volunteers are committed to continuing as long as we need to and as long as funds are available.
  • PBES Treasurer update: Doing well from a cash flow standpoint but need success in current fundraising experts to maintain that.


7:25 Building the School & Family Partnership 

  • Links to presentation that was shared:
  • English:
  • Spanish:
  • Amharic:


  • Establishing community norms and best practices
  • Teachers are committed to meeting your child and peers where they are and adjusting instruction as needed, supporting differentiated instruction
  • Parents are encouraged to reach out to your child’s teacher first when you have questions, connect with their classroom parent to build community, access information using online portals and reach out to school administration (Principal or Assistant Principal) if concerns or questions are not addressed by the teacher.
    • Guidance counselors are also a resource.  Each school has two: Ms. Coc and Ms. Johnson at PBES and Mr. Althofer and Mr. Seward at TPES.
    • Spanish and Amharic translations are available by phone on the school’s main line.
  • Students are encouraged to develop a trusting relationship with their teachers, practice taking risks, connect with fellow students and reflect on what learning strategies work best for them.
  • Every classroom has a Classroom parent who is able to share information with fellow parents, plan class activities agreed upon by parents, help organize celebrations and more.
  • If children are struggling with schoolwork and homework and you need help, encourage your child to meet with their teacher.  Teachers can meet them during office hours and by appointment.  Saturday School offers tutoring opportunities virtually in Montgomery County at a reduced rate. Please contact the PTA if you need financial assistance.
    • Also consider support services through the Educational and Equity Hubs held throughout Montgomery County for kids who need a safe, supervised place to do Zoom.  It is $50 per month.  They are also looking for donations if you can do that.
  • Can contact each school’s main office for help with ParentVue
  • For technical help, call 240-740-7020 or for spanish: 240-740-7022
  • You can view assignments and grades in ParentVue or MyMCPS Classroom (as your child)


7:55 Takoma Park Equity Walk

Lucy Neher, SafeRoutes to School Coordinator, City of Takoma Park


  • Tomorrow we are launching a new activity: We Belong Here – the Takoma Park Equity Walk.  You may have seen the stencils around town and wondered what they were about.  There are QR codes at most stations with an arrow pointing to them so that when you go, you can scan the code and get a story map that takes you through the activities in a different way and give prompts for discussion.  All of the stations are connected to equity in some way so there is a safe place to go with kids to talk about issues related to equity.  Each station also has a suggested list of books that links to the library site so you can see if the book is available.  Also a list of resources for parents.  This project started about a year ago with the grant proposal.  Spanish and Amharic versions of the website will be available.
    • These are at the Community Center and Anne Street.  You can do the stations in any order.
  • Lucy also got a grant for a feasibility study for a traffic garden – a safe place for people to learn to ride their bikes.  She has been working on this idea since 2007!
  • She also is getting a fleet of bikes (8-10 of various sizes) for each school to use for learning to ride in P.E.


You can become a PTA member online:

Takoma Park Elementary 

Piney Branch Elementary


TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: September 2020


7:00    Welcome- Executive Committee Introductions

TPES intros

PBES intros


7:05    Setting The Stage For Success At Home – Dr. Gadsden

Have a regular space for your child at home

(Table), floor, beds, where ever comfortable. Encourage not to use blanket to cover up especially if covering head

If you have to fuss at your child- mute your child’s computer and turn camera off if possible.

Plan your escape- plan to back away from your child when in virtual environment

Plan to get a little further away if possible each day

Try to limit your conversation while they are in class

Do not talk to the teacher

Pack your patience. We have to go through this journey together.



7:10     Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

Friday, Sept 4: Early Release Day (half day of instruction)

Mon, Sept 7: No School

Friday, Sept 25: 4-6pm PBES Garden Group Open House

Fri, Oct 2: Early Release Day  (half day of instruction)

Tues, Oct 6: PTA Meeting 7-8pm


7:15    Keeping up with PTA news and opportunities

Chris Campbell & Lauren Greenberg, TPES VP Communications

Lauren Greenberg:

First time you post- it has to go through moderation

If you want to reply to a post on the listserv, it will go to whole list


Chris Campbell: go to PTA website; being updated regularly



Gabe Seiden, PBES VP Communications

Gabe Seiden: Join the PTA, and staying connected

PBES PTA newsletter New here- can sign in, join PTA, join Parent listserv

Can contact PTA board members through the website as well


We also need more translation help



7:20    Family & School Engagement – stay connected during the pandemic

Sarah Lewis, TPES Classroom Parent Coordinator

Need room parents; room parents ask as liason between parents, teachers, and school, working to build community in the classroom to make sure every family is as involved as they would like to be.
Room parent in process to send out 2 different google docs; spreadsheet;

Trying to see if people need help with school supplies, translation


Sarah Davidson, PBES Classroom Parent Coordinator

If you want to be a Room parent at PBES, contact Sarah.



Sara Hoverter & Deepa Sundararaman, PBES Newcomers Group Co-Chairs

  • Families who have just moved to Takoma Park and/or are new to Piney Branch Elementary School (by moving up from TPES) are invited to connect; email Sara Hoverter (


7:25    Parent Share: Virtual Learning Hacks

  • Parents, guardians, & caregivers are invited to share tips, resources, & device recommendations for increasing virtual learning focus & flow at home


7:50    Get Involved! Open volunteer opportunities, big and small:

Health & Wellness committee            Readathon committee

Multicultural Arts Assembly coordinators    Social Services committee

Teacher Appreciation committee        Equity committee

Nominating committee                Translation volunteers


Join Zoom Meeting


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Meeting ID: 923 5429 3478


You can become a PTA member online:

Takoma Park Elementary

Piney Branch Elementary


TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: July 2020

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)

PTA Meeting

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Location: Playground

PTA Elections

We wrapped up 2019-2020 with a discussion of the summer budget, and selected our PTA leaders for next year. Please connect with us to lend your time to health & wellness, fundraising, teacher appreciation. While we anticipate an unconventional school year ahead, your involvement and support continues to be important for our childrens’ success!

Future PTA Meetings

All future PTA meetings will be held virtually until further notice. Once the school year begins, we will meet the first Tuesday of each month via Zoom. Please find our Zoom login info below.

7:00    Welcome / Events and Announcements

NOW is the time to enroll your rising Kindergartener for the 2020-2021 school year!

Here are 3 options for registering your child:

  1. ONLINE — Follow this link:
  2. OVER THE PHONE. –  Call 240-740-5999 to register
  3. BY MAIL–  Call 240-740-5999 to request forms to be mailed to your home.


¿Tiene un niño que tiene 5 años y que estará en el jardín de infantes el próximo año? ¿O tiene un amigo o vecino cuyo hijo está en edad escolar y asistirá al jardín de infantes en el otoño?

AHORA es el momento de inscribirse para el año escolar 2020-2021. Aquí hay 3 opciones para registrar a su hijo:

  1. EN LÍNEA: siga este enlace:
  2. SOBRE EL TELEFONO. – Llame al 240-740-5999 para registrarse
  3. POR CORREO: llame al 240-740-5999


7:05    Treasurer’s Report / Summer Budget/ School Year Budget

Kelley Skelton, Treasurer


  • Need to add 2 items to our budget from last year. Also received a $2000 grant from Dollar General (thanks Tracee Matthias) that was used to support kids while at home during this pandemic.  Motion to add 2 items to budget was approved unanimously.
  • The only item from last year that we didn’t do in full was Readathon.
  • Fundraising for food support with the Middle School cluster (TPMS and its 3 feeder elementary schools) has been going really well (raised $103k so far). All funds run through TPES.  Expenses so far are under School Programs Expenses item and have been $89k so far.
  • We had a surplus budget year last year of $18,000.
  • No comments on budget report from last year.
  • Next year taking a very conservative approach to budget given the uncertainty around what will happen. In-person fundraisers may not happen.  We are projecting a much lower income level this year but are not decreasing projected expenditures.  We will utilize the surplus from prior years to make up this difference.
  • Question was asked if the surplus was including food support funds. There are restricted surplus funds for the food support program but we also have surplus funds to draw upon that are not part of the food support effort.
  • Staff support includes classroom setup funds for teachers, as well as equity and inclusion activities, staff appreciation, and playground supplies (in case we come back). We did take out a few items.
  • Motion to adopt the 2020-21 budget was approved unanimously.



7:15     Supply Kits

Sasha Johnson, Becca Albertus

Deadline to order is 8/1. Link:

School Code: TAK008 (3 letters/3 numbers)


  • We work with an outside company that packages school supplies that are needed by grade. This year, since we don’t know if we will be at school, supplies will be delivered directly to homes.
  • PTA does earn a small profit from the kits.
  • Cost for supplies is $26 for K, $29 for 1st and $45 for 2nd. Cost is based on the supplies on the list provided by the school.  There is a shipping fee.
  • Supplies will be delivered to your home by Aug. 22, order by Aug 1.
  • There is an option to buy kits for students in need. Those are typically given to Mr. Althofer to distribute.  If you order one to be delivered to your house, you can contact Becca ( for help getting it to the school.


7:20    Committee Recruitment 

Committee Chairs – please contact chairs if you would like to participate in these committees in any way.

Health & Wellness – Amanda Berhaupt-Glickstein:

  • The H&W Committee is responsible for things like the yoga club, and purchasing of sensory equipment for teachers and hallways. Would like to get more involved with gardening next year.

Cultural Arts – Malawi Welles:

Staff Appreciation – Allison Belemvire:

Fundraising- Kelly Young:

Equity – Chai Shenoy:

After School Clubs – Virginia Davis:


7:25     2020-2021 Elections

Executive Committee Proposed Slate:

President – Meghan McDonald

Executive VP – Caleb Gibson

Treasurer – Kelley Skelton

Co – VP Communications – Lauren Greenberg & Chris Campbell

VP Membership – Samer Sadek

VP Fundraising – Kelly Young

VP Equity – Chai Shenoy

Membership Secretary- Becca Jones-Albertus

Executive Secretary – Allison Belemvire

MCCPTA Delegate – Joyce McDonough


  • No other nominees offered.
  • Motion to adopt the 2020-2021 executive committee slate was unanimously approved.


7:40    Adjourn


PTA  Meetings Dates 2020-2021

August 4 / September 1 / October 6 / November 3 / December 1 /January 5 / February 2 / March 2 / April 6 /May 4 / June 1

Meeting ID: 827 5571 6748

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Spanish Interpretation:

Meeting ID: 854 5261 0722  Dial:301-715-8592 Enter ID: 854 526 10722# US


Key Dates for Fall 2020


– “MyMCPS Classroom” Training 

Wednesday, August 19 at 7pm: new & kindergarten families

Thursday, August 20 at 7pm: all returning families

(please see email from Dr. Gadsden or post on our list for more information)

– Kindergarten Back To School Night 
Thursday, 8/27 at 7pm (Zoom info TBA)
 Virtual Open House for all TPES students
Friday, August 28 from 3pm to 4pm
– 1st & 2nd grade Back To School Night
Wednesday, 9/2 at 7pm (Zoom info TBA)
– Joint PTA Meeting for TPES & PBES
Tuesday, September 1 at 7pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 827 5571 6748
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Meeting ID: 827 5571 6748
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Technological Support for New and Returning Families: Zoom meetings on August 19 and August 20

Technological Support

Whether you are a new or returning family to Takoma Park Elementary and/or Piney Branch Elementary, we hope you’ll join us for a Zoom meeting with parent Stacy Kosko to review the MYMCPS Classroom online platform and some ways it will be used this year. We’re offering two trainings based on level of need.

Wednesday, August 19 at 7pm: new & kindergarten families

Thursday, August 20 at 7pm: all returning families

Topic: New Families “MyMCPS Classroom” Training

Time: Aug 19, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 931 9338 3681

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+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 931 9338 3681

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Topic: Returning families “MyMCPS Classroom” training

Time: Aug 20, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 970 3295 9874

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+13017158592,,97032959874# US (Germantown)

+13126266799,,97032959874# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 970 3295 9874

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Building Family Connections for the 2020-2021 School Year

Family Connection

– The PTA would like to give parents the opportunity to connect with one another for the sake of learning pods, child care, and sharing resources during the pandemic.  To accompany the lists that were shared by the school, the PTA has created temporary Google Sheets for each grade level so that parents can enter basic contact information in order to communicate with other parents in their child’s classroom.

– From now until 9/1, we’re hoping you’ll help us spread the word about these google sheets where parents can share information, if they choose. This will be especially helpful for kindergarten and new families as they begin to build connections within their neighborhood and community.

– If your child has been assigned 1st grade, room 4, click on the 1st Grade link below and along the bottom of the sheet you can find tabs identifying each room. Find your child’s room and enter in the information if you wish to reach out to other parents in the room. We hope this will be a starting point for parents to possibly coordinate learning pods, child care, etc., during the coming school year.


Once students are assigned to a teacher and classroom parents are established, we will close these lists. These sheets will be available until Tuesday, September 1.

Classroom groupings (without teacher) from Dr. Gadsden:

Kindergarten Classes


First Grade Classes


Second Grade Classes


Google sheets for sharing family information with peers

A message from Ms. Paz about login and password information…


Many parents are reaching out to me, trying to get the log in and password for their children.

Log in is the student’s ID number.  Passwords are going to be distribute

at a later time, before school starts.

If you need your child’s ID number, feel free to email me directly at; or text to; 301 910-6145.

Once I know when the passwords are available, I will send a notification.

Thanks…and please be safe.

Stay well!


Johanna A. Paz,

Administrative Secretary to

Dr. Zadia T. Gadsden,


Takoma Park Elementary School

7511 Holly Avenue

Takoma Park, Maryland 20912

240 740-0980

Order school supply kits through the PTA for 2020-2021

TPES Community –
The PTA’s school supply sale is now available through August 1, 2020! For new TPES families, every year the PTA works with a vendor to make grade required school supplies available for sale. It’s a convenient way to get supply shopping done and the sales provide a financial boost for the PTA. While we do not know how the upcoming school year will start, we made the decision to move forward with the traditional sale because it gives parents and guardians the option to purchase next year’s supplies entirely from home – a convenience that is important right now.
To purchase school supplies please visit:
The TPES “code” is TAK008. K kits are selling for $26, First grade kits are selling for $29 and Second grade kits are selling at $45. The costs of the kits are determined based on the school’s grade level supply requirements.
The PTA has made the decision not to distribute supplies in-person this year because of the uncertainty about access to school buildings in August. All school supplies purchased through the sale will be delivered directly to the address of your choice by August 17th. There is a shipping fee. As in the past, you can purchase a donation kit to give to TPES for distribution to students who need supplies.
We know this is an uncertain time for all of us. We hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.


If you have any questions about the sale please reach out to us directly.
Thank you –
Sasha Johnson
(outgoing PTA VP Fundraising)
Becca Jones Albertus
PTA Membership Secretary