TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: March 2020

7:00 Upcoming Events & Announcements

Feb 28 – March 26: TPES Readathon

  • Your children should have gotten a Readathon calendar and are hopefully recording their minutes. We strongly encourage children to keep their calendars in their Dolphin folders as minutes are counted on Fridays.  If you lose your calendar, there is a link on the PTA website.
  • Still in need of volunteers for Friday mornings and afternoon or over the weekend. Please Sign up here
  • We do Spirit Days every Friday to celebrate Reading. This Friday is book character day.  There will be reminder emails and flyers.


March 6: PBES ESOL Book Club 6:30-7:30pm (pizza provided)

  • 10 students and their parents will come and discuss with Ms. Karen and the librarian. There will be one more book club this school year and hope to have another over the summer.  This is supported by the TP Library and Takoma Foundation, PBES PTA and Friends of the TP Library, who provide the book and the pizza after.
  • We could use help with funding and also spreading the word about the next book club.
  • We are looking for ideas for other services or events that we could support with PBES ESOL staff. Contact Gina Lambright:


March 12: PBES Spring Photos

March 15: PBES rebuild meeting with Mayor Stewart @Community Ctr, 4pm-5pm

  • More information in a section below


March 16-17: PBES GeoBowl

March 24: TKPK5K Fundraiser at Mark’s Kitchen (15% of sales)


March 26: PBES International Night at the TP Middle School

  • Would love to have donated supplies (e.g., free samples or trays of food) for the event. Contact Sarah Goupell: to volunteer.


March 27: Early Release for all Students

1:30 – 3:30; Garden Pop-Up Art Event at PBES

  • PB hoping to have an outdoor garden once the weather is better. Until then, will be putting decorations in the lobby.  Would love to have families from both schools involved in setting this up.  The first activity is right after the early dismissal, will make tissue paper flowers and seedlings.  People will be able to take home a succulent or seedling.  There will be a flyer and permission slip going out for PBES in a couple of weeks.
  • Looking for a group of parents to help make this committee more robust and inclusive.
  • School gardens are great for kids, staff in many ways and are really fun.
  • Selling a sustainability item – the uni-tensil (a reusable fork/knife/spoon that is durable) – for $5 to help raise funds for the garden.
  • Email Rachel at or call 617-821-3855 to get involved.


April 1: PBES Talent Show & Early Bird Registration Deadline for TKPK5K

April 6-13: Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

April 14: TPES / PBES PTA Meeting at PBES, 6:45 – 8:00pm


TPES / PBES Basketball Game will be looking for volunteers.  Information coming soon on both school emails.  The date will be early May.  Email to volunteer.



7:10 Welcome – WHAT does the PTA do & WHO are we?

Multicultural Arts Assemblies Committees at PBES & TPES

Malawi Welles

  • This committee is a great way to get involved and impact what your children see in school. It starts in October going to the Arts Fair in Rockville to see the performances of MCPS approved vendors. It’s a lot of fun.
  • We had Patagonia Winds in December at TPES and we will have Rhythms and Rhymes for Wise Young Minds on March 26. For PBES, will have the Power of Positivity and Rhythms and Rhymes.
  • Please reach out to to get involved. It’s a great opportunity and we have money left for other performances before the end of the year.



7:15 PBES Rebuild Advocacy Update

PTA Presidents Sarah Goupell (PBES) & Meg McDonald (TPES)

  • Sunday, March 15 from 4-5pm at the TP Community Center with Mayor Stewart and others
  • Hoping for a strong contingent of parents from TPES, PBES and parents with even younger children.
  • Purpose of the meeting is to get up to speed on the options for a new building for PBES.Specifically we will be talking about the land where the Adventist Community Hospital was located.  T-shirts will be provided.


7:20 Treasurers’ Reports & Fundraising Updates

Kelley Skelton, Treasurer & Shivani Sutton TPES Book Fair co-coordinator

  • We are doing great. We have about 15% of our funds still to come in this year – through the Readathon.  We have a $16k budget for the Readathon. Looking to ramp up spending on equity initiatives and to support our teachers over the next month.
  • All of the funds we raise at the book fairs go to the school. Raised $14k in Scholastic dollars which will be shared by the Media Center, the classrooms and the specialists in the school.  The PTA provides $12 vouchers to FARMS students (partnering with classroom teachers to identify those kids) to enable them to purchase books at the book fair.  Woods (Reading specialist) also uses her funds to send books home to this population of students over the summer.  This year we had a large number of books under $5.
  • Shivani is looking for a book fair partner for next year.


Amy Gibson Grant, Treasurer (PBES) & Angela Reimer, VP Fundraising (PBES)

  • PBES has done all income generation for the year. Poolapolooza was great for community building but not a great fundraiser so will reevaluate for next year.
  • Extra $2000 we weren’t anticipating came in December. We are in a great financial position for the spring.


7:25 After-School Clubs Updates

Virginia Davis (TPES Clubs) & Annelies Echols (PBES Clubs)

  • Last session of after-school clubs runs March 24 – May 21. Today is the last day to register.
  • We had 2 previous sessions with 100-250 students participating throughout the year, with several dozen students receiving scholarships from PTA to participate.
  • Looking for new volunteers to take over this next year as Virginia and Annelies will be moving on. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Shana at


7:30 SafeRoutes to School Program and the Takoma 5K

Susan Campbell & William Ince, PBES Takoma 5K organizers

Sarah Van Wye & Sasha Johnson, TPES Takoma 5K organizers

Lucy Neher, Safe Routes to School Coordinator for City of Takoma Park

  • Race is Sunday, May 3. It’s the 12th annual race.  Had 1500 people last year.  City does planning with individuals from each of the 5 schools involved.
  • Registration is open: There is a discount if you sign up before April 1.
  • Scholarships are being offered this year, will see information about that coming out soon
  • This is a great opportunity to support wellness and fitness programs at all of the schools. All of the proceeds go to the schools, with at least 50% used for health, wellness and fitness activities.
  • Safe Routes to School is federally funded with measures set out at the beginning of each grant cycle. We have gotten the grant since 2007 and will be applying again this year.  All of the money is programmatic, not for infrastructure.  For example, we looked at building sidewalks in areas near the schools that don’t have them, but that isn’t covered by the grant right now.
  • We work with the kids during the year about safety.
  • Trying to make TP more pedestrian and bike friendly.
  • Looking for feedback on what is wanted for future programming through the online survey that is sent out.
  • Looking to get bikes for each school that can be used during PE to help all kids learn to ride.
  • Do iCan Shine bike camp over the summer for kids with disabilities aged 8-14. It is amazing and wonderful program.  It is open to anyone in the state to attend.  They come for 75 minutes a day for 5 days, and learn how to ride a bike independently.
  • If there is interest in doing a bike helmet sale here (currently done at TPMS), can get very good $6.95 helmets.
  • A lot more students walked and biked to school in 2008 compared to 2016.
  • New equity themed sensory fitness route being built around the schools and park with fitness-based activities and a prompt for kindness and equity-based actions. Working to go through the park too.  Will be stencils on the ground.  Should take 15-30 minutes to do the route.  Would be happy to talk about any ideas you have.
  • Fundraiser at Mark’s Kitchen on April 24. 15% of all proceeds are donated.  Willow Street Yoga also doing 4 donation classes leading up to the race.
  • There are lots of opportunities to volunteer, as well. You can sign up on the website:
  • There will be a Run Club Thursday mornings at TPES through the month of April to help kids prepare for the ¼ mile, 1 mile or 5K race.


Next PTA Meeting: Tuesday, April 14 at PBES.  (The first Tuesday of the month is Spring Break.)

TPES response to COVID-19: How you can help

Dear TPES families-
We hope you are hanging in there as we find ourselves in unprecedented times!

We want to let you know that school administrators, PTA presidents, the city of Takoma Park, and a few local organizations have been working on how to better support vulnerable families in Takoma Park. At this time, we feel that the best way for you to help is to donate money to either  of the local organizations below as they work to significantly expand the number of families they are able to serve in our community. These organizations have the infrastructure to be able to purchase the most needed food supplies at the lowest costs (in some cases for lower-than-wholesale-cost!), which lets them serve more families that would be possible through direct donation and distribution of non-perishable goods.  
1.  Adventist Services of Greater Washington food pantry at 501 Sligo Ave.

Donate here: Https://

The DONATE button is very obvious on the site: please put “Takoma”’in the notes line.

2. Manna Food Center
More information can be found at Manna supports the food pantry at Takoma Park Middle School which serves families of Takoma Park Elementary and Piney Branch Elementary as well.
If you do have extra food supplies you wish to donate, you may drop them off at the following locations in Takoma Park:

7216 Garland Ave. (Minter Place side of the house near the grill)

19 Sherman Ave. (at the top of the driveway)

6 Cresent Place (on the porch)

7214 Holly Ave. (on the porch)

1210 Elson Place – Northwest corner of Elson and 13th Ave. (on the porch)

Supplies dropped off at these locations will be collected and distributed through volunteers of the Takoma Park Middle School food pantry.

Finally, if you and your family are in need of food and groceries during this time, please email, with subject line: grocery, to get more information about how to receive support and food delivery for your family.

Thank you for your support and please spread the word!

Takoma Park Elementary Parent and Teacher Association

COVID-19: Information and Resources

TPES Families:

On Thursday, March 11, the Governor and State Superintendent announced that Maryland schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27.

The state, the county, and individual schools are all working hard to facilitate this change, and more information will be shared as it becomes available.


Here’s some of what we know:

  • All children who attend school today will come home with a letter with instructions on how to get on Google Classroom to access resource materials, as well as the password to the Parent/Student Portal
  • If your child will not be in school today, please contact your child’s teacher
  • In addition to materials sent home with your child today, you can access the online curriculum from MCPS at this website:  (Click on your child’s grade level)
  • These assignments through the county will not be graded but are intended to support and sustain student learning while children are at home


Here are some resources that may answer some of your questions and help you get through the next few weeks:

  • The MCPS website ( will continue to be updated over the coming weeks with more information, in particular the page on the coronavirus response:
  • Looking for a guide on how to talk to your children about COVID-19? National Public Radio collaborating with experts in social work and mental health have developed a cartoon that explores what kids might want to know about the new coronavirus (
  • The TPES website lists a number of additional online resources to support learning here:
  • In addition to that list, TPES Art Teacher Kristen Hayes suggests checking out the following (not just related to art!): , BrainPop Jr. (username “takomaes” , password “brainpop”),  (K or 1st graders may work on course A, 1st/2nd grade may work on course B, and 2nd grade may also work on course C, which they have started in STEM at TPES), and the following learn-to-code sites: CS First (coding curriculum through Google),  Scratch, Jr. App (coding for pre-readers), and Scratch (coding for readers).

Resources for families needing support at this time:

  • About 34% of the 170,000 kids in Montgomery County Schools are in the Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS) program. MCPS has set up some grab and go meals for students (children up through age 18) that might need them during the impending school closure, including Rolling Terrace Elementary and Montgomery Blair High School. If any of your friends or neighbors will suffer from food insecurity in this period and have school age children, please let them know about this option, available M-F 11-1pm. The full list of locations is here:
  • More great resources to share far and wide for students and families in our community:
  • Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington
    501 Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, 20910
    Mon-Thu 10AM-3PM
    Type:Pre-Packed Pantry Items
    Accessibility:Appointment Required, Documentation Required
    Languages:French, Spanish
    Features:Special Diet Accommodations, Fresh Produce, Other Services Offered
  • Difference Makers Kokua Foods
    7611 Piney Branch Rd., Takoma Park, 20912
    Type:Choice Pantry, Pre-Packed Pantry Items
    Accessibility:Documentation Required, Service to a Specific Population
    Features:Fresh Produce, Other Services Offered
  • Crossroads Community Food Network
    Crossroads Farmers Market, Anne St at University Blvd E, Takoma Park, 20912
    Wed Farmers Market, April 17th-November 27th , 11AM-3PM
    Type:Discount Grocery
    Features:Benefits Counseling, Fresh Produce, Other Services Offered
  • Meals on Wheels of Takoma Park/Silver Spring
    7410 New Hampshire Avenue, Takoma Park, 20912
    Mon-Fri 9AM-1PM
    Type:Meal Service
    Accessibility:Fee for Service, Service to a Specific Population
    Features:Delivery, Benefits Counseling, Special Diet Accommodations, Fresh Produce
  • EduCare Support Services, Inc.
    Mon, Wed and Fri10AM-2PM-every 1st Sat 10AM-2PM Deliveries every 3rd Sat
    Type:Choice Pantry, Pre-Packed Pantry Items
    Accessibility:Appointment Required, Documentation Required, Walk-in
    Languages:Spanish, French
    Features:Delivery, Benefits Counseling, Fresh Produce, Other Services Offered
  • God Glorified Church of God in Christ
    111 Geneva Ave, Silver Spring, 20910
    Second Thurs of the month (April-Dec.)
    Type:Choice Pantry
    Accessibility:Appointment Required, Documentation Required
    Features:Benefits Counseling

    Shepherd’s Table

  • 8106 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, 20910
    Mon-Fri: 7:30-8:25AM, 12-12:55PM, 6-7:25PM Sat & Sun 10:30AM-11:25AM, 6-7:25PM
    Type:Meal Service
    Features:Other Services Offered
  • CASA (CASA de Maryland)

    734 University Blvd East., Silver Spring, 20903
    Sat 10AM-12PM
    Type:Pre-Packed Pantry Items
    Features:Other Services Offered

  • Small Things Matter Kokua Foods
    The Co-op from 10-11am
    Fresh Produce/pantry items
  • General Crossroads info:Toll-Free Hotline number for SNAP applications 866-821-5552.
  • Capital Area Food Bank: Call: (202) 644-9807 (they may not be able to serve folks outside DC, but they can offer resources in PG and MoCo)
  • Manna: Must be a moco resident; fall under a certain income level.  Call : (301) 424-1130