TPES COVID Protocols: Sept. 23, 2001

I am very pleased to share this resource with you. We know that the protocol for quarantine and testing has been confusing; we’ve all received so much information and updates that it’s hard to keep track. Our hope is that this document clarifies some of this. It won’t answer every question, but it’s a start! The testing resources were gleaned from existing sources and put in one document.

Click here for a Spanish version of the document.

Click here for an Amharic version of the document.

Also linked here is information and Q&A from the county.

A special thanks to our PTA Exec. Secretary, Dianne Kirsch, who worked her graphic design magic, and to our Delegate, Rebecca Shaeffer, for the inspiration and info.

In community,

Joyce McDonough (Clara / 2nd – Clark)


TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: September 2021


Monday, September 13, 2021


Zoom copy:


–       Chris Campbell welcomed everyone and shared instructions for Spanish room interpretation and reviewed agenda

–       Welcome and Introductions by TPES and PBES PTA Presidents Margaret McDonnell and Jaslynn Laurence (5 minutes)

o   Margaret – has 3 kids, runs a malaria prevention campaign; loves this community and acknowledges the various issues facing our community; PTA sees these challenges and many working tirelessly around the clock and doing so in an equitable way as possible; Many have stepped up to help: Shout out to last year’s PTA – amazing role the PTA played by providing food access; major shout out to Dr. Gadsden for all her hard work; Introduced the Executive Committee

o   Jaslynn – has a 3rd grader; excited for the school year – worked as a school teacher and now at the Dept of Ed; excited to give back to the community and encourages people to volunteer and join the PTA; Introduced the Exec Committee

– Quick overview of PTA and how to “Build an Effective Family and School Partnership”- Jaslynn Laurence and Joyce McDonough (10 minutes)

–       Purpose of the PTA: Connect students and teachers and advocate on behalf of children and educators

–       Why do we need PTA – to engage families in student success and improvement, partner with other orgs and fundraising efforts

–       Support PTA – join and volunteer; invest in your child’s education; donations to support the school.

–       Contact the school: first line is the teacher when needed

o   Reach out to room parent

o   Guidance counselor

o   Principal

o   Can always write your email in your preferred language and it will be translated for you

o   In case of absence, email your teacher

o   If Covid, then email Principal (If showing any symptoms, please keep your child at home)


– Presentation and Q&A with Dr Kawsar Talaat, a Takoma Park parent, PBES PTA Executive Committee member and Infectious Disease and International Health specialist about the latest science on COVID-19, the delta variant, and the approval process/timeline for vaccine approval for kids under 12 (20-25 minutes)


–       Working on Pfizer vaccine at Johns Hopkins

–       Covid virus has the spike protein and that’s what attacks our cells

–       How the virus is changing – it changes over time due to mutations; antibodies to bind to it and can sometimes more transmissible like Delta but there are other variants

–       Viruses constantly mutate and evolve

–       Need to vaccinate as many people as possible to slow mutations

–       Delta is more transmissible than previous; one person can infect 5-8 others; It’s potential more severe than previous strains

–       A lot more hospitalizations

–       Pfizer: Full licensure for 16+; under EUA 12-15; Moderna MRNA 18+; applied for 12-17 but not authorized; J&J 18+

–       Vaccinating adults protects children; lucky to live in MoCo – high vaccination rate

–       Why we don’t have vaccine for kids: the fact that we have vaccines is miraculous!

–       Do things differently for kids; first make sure its safe then move down in age;

–       Covid didn’t target kids initially;

–       Hopefully Pfizer data will go to the FDA soon

–       First, it will be an Emergency Use Authorization – it’s not full licensure; FDA has certain criteria – benefits/costs, at least 2 month of follow up data; FDA to authorize and CDC recommend

–       Pfizer may submit data 5-11 sometime in September; FDA will put all hands on deck; will review expeditiously as possible;

–       Might have vaccine for kindergarteners by Halloween!

–       Pfizer will get 1/3 of the dose

–       Multilayer swiss cheese strategies work

–       Vaccines for under 5 will take a little longer


– Principals Dr Gadsden and Ms Oberdorf to share and answer questions re COVID-19 protocols and otherwise (20 minutes)


–       Dr Gadsden – TP has not had a Covid case since opened; Received rapid test

–       Eat outside whenever possible; more distance in cafeteria

–       Not combining classes; making sure students wear the masks

–       Seeing regular childhood illnesses/allergies


–       Ms. Oberdorf – PBES has had 1 case so far; ready to administer rapid Covid tests; Eating outside; masks available