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: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1K1h95wiiQzQlEW29PJTClD-yLG5oEzFE9R9Jk1CwMFI/edit?usp=sharing
  • Spanish: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1aXdqILSET9SAR_P63AjqicTWEj_eAqiV8zIfPCJyQdM/edit#slide=id.g9ddadbb469_0_52
  • Amharic: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1WDcisoVkDYzOSdGteC48s2cAVr_mExw6jYKp-x44FgE/edit#slide=id.g9bfb622949_0_0

 

  • 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.  https://www.equityhubs.org/  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 https://www.tpespta.net 

Piney Branch Elementary https://pineybranchpta.membershiptoolkit.com

 

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: Groups.io-

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 (shoverter@gmail.com)

 

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

https://mcpsmd.zoom.us/j/92354293478?pwd=M3U4VEhMb3J5eFBVbzNmTjNlV05NUT09

 

Meeting ID: 923 5429 3478

Passcode: 973459

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You can become a PTA member online:

Takoma Park Elementary https://www.tpespta.net

Piney Branch Elementary https://pineybranchpta.membershiptoolkit.com

 

TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: July 2020

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)

PTA Meeting

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

7:00pm-8:00pm

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: https://bit.ly/MCPS_Regustration_Survey
  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: https://bit.ly/MCPS_Regustration_Survey
  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: https://www.educationalproducts.com/ShopPacks

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 (beccaj@gmail.com) 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: amanda.berhaupt@gmail.com

  • 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: malawi.welles@gmail.com

Staff Appreciation – Allison Belemvire: allison.belemvire@gmail.com

Fundraising- Kelly Young: ppuff007aol@yahoo.com

Equity – Chai Shenoy: chai.shenoy@gmail.com

After School Clubs – Virginia Davis: virginiasdavis@gmail.com

 

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

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82755716748

Meeting ID: 827 5571 6748

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Spanish Interpretation: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85452610722

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

 

Key Dates for Fall 2020

IMPORTANT DATES:

– “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 https://groups.io/g/tpespta 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
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k5bBaHyu0

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

https://umd.zoom.us/j/93193383681

Meeting ID: 931 9338 3681

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Meeting ID: 931 9338 3681

Find your local number: https://umd.zoom.us/u/aDo9ICHxF

Topic: Returning families “MyMCPS Classroom” training

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

Join Zoom Meeting

https://umd.zoom.us/j/97032959874

Meeting ID: 970 3295 9874

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Meeting ID: 970 3295 9874

Find your local number: https://umd.zoom.us/u/ac8uYUOuU8

_._,_._,_

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…

Greetings;

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;

Johanna_A_Paz@mcpsmd.org 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!

Joy

Johanna A. Paz,

Administrative Secretary to

Dr. Zadia T. Gadsden,

Principal

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: www.educationalproducts.com/shoppacks
 
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

PTA Reimbursement Request Forms

TPES Parents and Staff-

Thank you for your commitment to our school! If you have expenses to be reimbursed with PTA funds, please use the forms below to submit that information. Please note there are separate forms for parents (or other community members) and for staff.

ATTACH ORIGINAL RECEIPTS FOR ALL ITEMS AND PLACE INTO PTA TREASURER MAILBOX OR EMAIL RECEIPTS WITH SIGNED FORM TO TPESPTATREASURER@GMAIL.COM
Both the signed form and receipt(s) are required for reimbursement.

Parent Expense Reimbursement Request Form May 2020

Staff Expense Reimbursement Request Form May 2020

Online resources to support learning, activity, and mental health

Whether you’re looking for kid-focused yoga videos, a link to watch Mo Willems teach your child to draw a pigeon, or strategies for balancing the whole family’s needs at this time, the internet can help! Here are a number of sites that have pulled together some of the best resources available online:

The Washington Post has put together a pretty exhaustive list of resources in areas ranging from “Reading” to “Mental Wellness” to “Physical Activity” to “Theater and Dance.” Each link has a short description, and there are hundreds of options, generally separated by target age range.

For some additional curated resources, as well as guidance on how to manage family stress and how to talk to children of different ages about the new coronavirus, check out this page from the University of Maryland’s Department of Family Science.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has created this site with basic information on SARS-COV-2, and if you scroll to the end you will see links to articles like “Getting Children Outside While Social Distancing” or “Cloth Face Coverings for Children” that may answer many of your questions about how to best keep your kids both sane and safe at this time.