Fall 2021 Little Scholars Program

Attention parents! Below is a link to the Fall 2021 flyer for Little Scholars programs. Registration is now open. Scholarships are available and more information on classes being offered and dates are located in the flyer.

Takoma Park Fall 2021 Flyer

TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: October 2021

Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 from 7-8pm on Zoom

Please mark your calendar for our next PTA meeting on Tues, Nov 2 7-8pm when we’ll hear from Ms East and Ms Faulk, our TPES and PBES math specialists about our math curriculum and resources available to students and families

7:00    Welcome & Introduction of Interpreters

(Chris Campbell, TPES PTA VP Communications)

Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

         Emma Cheuse, PBES PTA VP Communications

— PTA is looking for volunteers who speak Spanish or Amharic to assist with   translating and and interpreting PTA notices and events.  Please contact Shellyhill711@gmail.com

— Starting in October, TPES and PBES are allowing volunteers in school. Please see Dr Gadsden and Ms Oberdorff’s notices re requirements for volunteers, which include COVID-19 vaccination documentation, a background check and completion of a 1-1.5 hour training around identifying child abuse and neglect. Forms can be found here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/student-leadership/volunteer.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3LcxGTkVE_zgiTrKqzhuFJAXdDsKY5vLdIefhL7Mb5TaP6hnhP0Axjrmg (will include link in meeting chat)

–Oct 5: 8-9pm, Orientation meeting for outdoor lunch volunteers at TPES directly after PTA meeting. Please contact Joyce McDonough if you’re interested in volunteering to support outdoor lunch and recess as colder months commence: JoyceKimMcDonough@gmail.com

— Oct 6: walk to school day

— Oct 14-22: Registration for Little Scholars after school enrichment program at TPES. First session starts the week of Nov 9. Registration for LearnNowMusic.org/com is ongoing with registration deadline of 10/13 and classes starting 10/20. 

— Oct 18: Sharing our Stories: Hispanic Heritage Month. Mid-September to mid-October, we are celebrating the unique culture and traditions of students, teachers, staff, and community members who trace their roots to Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries in North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. SOS will be held every Monday from 7:30-8pm on Zoom.  Anyone interested in participating or volunteering to assist with the program, contact Shana Sabbath at Sabbathshana@gmail.com or  fill out google form to participate: Sharing Our Stories sign-up form.

— October is LGBTQ History Month – this is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.  It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. LGBTQ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ community. In the United States, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11 and to commemorate the first and second marches on Washington in 1979 and 1987 for LGBTQ rights.  The PBES and TPES PTA’s  celebrate this month and encourage families interested in a newly forming Rainbow Club to reach out to Emma Cheuse at echeuse@gmail.com or Britt Peterson, brittpeterson@gmail.com

— The MCCPTA encourages every school to identify volunteers to represent their school community on these MCCPTA committees. If you’re interested in being the rep for any of these, you can sign up using the e-mail below. Jaime Koppel (jaimekoppel@gmail.com), one of our MCCPTA delegates can offer more context regarding these committees:
special education committee Stephanie Frumkin —

gifted child committee, Audra Dove — gifted@mccpta.org

DEI committee – diversityandinclusion@mccpta.org

— Nov 2 7=8pm: PTA meeting focused on math instruction where we will hear from Ms East and Ms Faulk, our TPES and PBES math specialists about the math curriculum and resources available to students and families to help to address learning loss and for enrichment

— Nov 8-12: PBES book fair- more to come!

— Nov: TPES’ Dolphin Drive- fundraising effort to support recovery efforts for students’ academic development, socio-emotional learning and physical and mental well-being overall

— Dec 7: PTA meeting focused on reading- will be joined by TPES and PBES reading specialists 

7:15     Presentations from TPES and PBES Counselors about Socio-Emotional Learning and time for Q&A/ Dialogue

Mr Max Althofer, School Counselor, TPES

Ms Karen Johnson and Mrs. Erin M. Coco-Content, School Counselors, PBES


Services school counselors provide for all students:

  1. Whole class guidance lessons on various SEL topics, TPES SecondStep- weekly for K, monthly 1st and 2nd
    1. PBES- teachers use SecondStep and counselors provide other lessons- monthly for PBES
  2. Small group counseling on topics as needed (anger management, making friends, changes in family structure, etc)
    1. Referred by teachers and parents 3-8
  3. Individual counseling as needed – 2-minute check or longer
  4. Crisis response- both minor and major (CPS)
  5. Consultation with teachers on classroom management, behavior challenges for individual students or groups, supplementary lessons on specific topics as needed
  6. Case management of 504 plans for students with identified disabilities
  7. Liason for families needing various social supports – food, housing, homeless,


Services school counselors can provide to parents who may need more support


Tier 2- more support for a targeted group; not been successful with Tier 1 supports and need additional supports that is more specific and direct

Referrals to outside agencies: grief, anger management, anxiety, establishing and making friends

Groups for 6-8 sessions based on social skills anger management, study skills


Sometimes some schools run groups from outside agencies within the school ex. Good grief Group

Check in/check out- students check in and out with counselor each day to report progress

Weekly check-ins with the same student- teacher referral or parent request to address behaviors

Behavioral intervention plans: team develops a plan for the student- implement strategies to improve behavior in classroom/overall


Mentors/mentoring groups for student- assigned to staff member


Tier 3: functional behavior assessment- tried Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions, but needs not met

Team- parent, teacher, counselor, administrator and school psychologist or behavioral specialist


6 week intervention- collaborative team


Some steps parents can take to support SEL at home

Take care of yourself

Care for the whole you… mind body spirit before you can start talking about child

Small acts of self-care are entry point to broader wellness- one baby step at a time

Modeling how to handle stress

Know and demonstrate that it’s ok to not be ok all of the time

Problem-solving in real time

Do you have tap-out options- another person to hand off a situation if you need a break? Or at least “pause then proceed” protocols?


Wellness resources:
Yoga with Adriene- free online yoga videos tailored to support various physical or mental needs


Zenhabits.net minimalist blog focused on simplicity and mindfulness in daily life (use search bar and archives!)

Greatist.com light-hearted health and fitness content


Partner with your child in strategies

Taking walks together

Sitting and coloring a mindfulness coloring sheet together

Mindful breathing practice together

Yoga together

Reading books together that also teach skills


https://inspired-motherhood.com/social-emotional-books -for kids/


Have a toolbox of strategies that with trial/error are reliably effective for your child and family

The simple act of listening: dedicate time where your only job is to hear what your child is feeling/thinking, witholding judgement/solutions, etc.

Have safe zones in the house- spots that can be used as calm-down corners- a- do not disturb area

Asking about what worked: -ask your child how they were able to get a good grade, still make it to school when tired/not in the mood/ be brave, etc.

Goal-setting, intention setting- what are we hoping to accomplish most today? (Goal) what is our hope/plan for how we want to feel (intention)

Check-in Check-out- to provide framing and debrief before and after day (can be short)

Note-passing: when things get hectic, leave sticky-note messages in places your child will see with affirmations, compliments, things to look forward to, silly drawing, etc

Feelings thermometer or similar visual: google and find many options- helpful if identifying/verbalizing feelings at home can be hard

Emphasizing internal locus of control


List for 2020-2021 is in the document



Seeing anxiety more in 1st and 2nd graders, not as many in kindergarten

So far seemed like a typical year in what they have disagreements about/overall needs


Thunderstorms have been a trigger for so many students

Students are very anxious about it.

Also hard to being back with others, relating with others, sharing; a little regression.


Stamina is tough- used to having ability to break when they need it at home.


Incorporating student voice in everything is a work in process


Homework: most of homework is not graded, it is practice.


How to get students to talk about their day- open ended specific questions

What is something that went well?
what was a challenge and how did you overcome it?


Parent suggestions:

What was good, what was hard, what are you proud of?

Two truths and a lie about the day?

What did you do in special?

What book did you read during reading?


What was a yay, an oops, and a blah!

Ask them to teach us something they learned



7:50     Treasurer’s Reports and Membership Vote to Approve Budgets

Stephen Tippett, TPES Treasurer & Kate Bauer, PBES Treasurer

Stephen Tippett: Treasures report:

Total PTA Income- 33,550 (Tommy’s pantry- 60,000)

Tommy’s pantry will separate out in the next couple of months financially


Total cash balance July 1, 2021: 35,278

Fundraising expenses, outreach and social events, PTA admin expenses, school programs expenses, staff support expenses

Total PTA expenses 48,581


Budget approved with >10 for, none against


Kate Bauer PBES:
Carryover 27.373

Membership and booster: 4,000

Fundraising $12,115 about the same like last year- no in person fundraising events (pool-a-palooza)- Panther appeal, readathon, gear sales, TKPK5K box tops

Earmarked grants- $12,000

Other income $1- interest-

Total income 55,489


Expenses: Events and fundraising 4,000

Programming and committees 18,789- including swim instruction- PTA funds through

Staff support 8,000

PTA operating 3,470- paypal, communications translation

Membership dues and insurance

Earmarked grant spending 12,000

Budeted carryover 7,500

Expenses: 55,489


Budget approved with >10 votes for, none against



Become a PTA member: Takoma Park Elementary https://www.tpespta.net
Piney Branch Elementary https://pineybranchpta.membershiptoolkit.com


Zadia Gadsden is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: TPES/PBES PTA Meeting

Time: Oct 5, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


Join Zoom Meeting



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Passcode: PTA2021

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