TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: May 2022

Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) 

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 from 7-8pm on Zoom 

Please mark your calendar for our next PTA meeting on June 7, 7-8pm

Agenda will include: (1) Voting on Executive Committee and bylaws; (2) break-out panels for rising TMPS and PBES families to discuss the process of transitioning to a new school; and (3) importantly, please join to share kudos and appreciation from this year, hopes and ideas for the next.

7:00    Welcome from Emma Cheuse, PBES PTA VP of Communications

Upcoming Dates and Announcements – Chris Campbell, TPES VP of Communications. Refer to Updated MCPS School Calendar 2021-2022 

— TPES Outdoor Lunch Option: The outdoor lunch option is once again open for sign up. Please remember children will be given the option of eating outside only if parents have signed them up using the link below. You must sign your child up again even if you signed up in the past. When children eat outside, they must follow the directions of the adults supervising them. By signing your child up for the option to eat outside you recognize the increased hazards that are associated with rain or low temperatures. We will work diligently to make sure eating outside is safe, comfortable and accessible but during the spring months there may be mud and puddles. Children cannot run around, play in or throw things during outdoor lunch. This sign up will remain open until May 15, 2022, and the new roster of kids eating outside will go into effect on May 3, 2022. Once the sign up closes, there will not be another opportunity to opt into outdoor lunch. Sign Up for Cold Weather Outdoor Lunch

— May 2-6: Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week; TPES PTA is sponsoring a breakfast and ice cream social for teachers and staff. PBES PTA is sponsoring garden gifts, a snack break, lunch, and coffee hour– and asks that families please send art, cards, notes, emails, photos and thank you messages to your student’s teacher and to the school’s main office for all staff by this Thursday May 5, for delivery by Friday.  Let’s help all staff feel appreciated for their hard work this year! Classroom parents, please remind your rooms to participate and please take this as a reminder to thank teachers on behalf of your whole classroom.   

— May 4: Bike to School Day 

– May 4-5: 3rd Grade State Testing (MCAP) at PBES  (schedule link)

— May 12: NAACP Parent Council meeting for Takoma Park ES at 6:30 via Zoom. We will be joined by Dr. Gadsden and will have the opportunity to talk about end of year transitions and how to best support our students over the summer.

— May 18: early release day 

— Sat May 21 4pm: MCPS Night out with DC United 

— May 15-31: Reminder about PTAs and the Takoma Park Safe Routes to School program have organized the 2022 Virtual 5K and Fun Run! Register TODAY to get a free t-shirt and be eligible to win one of four raffled gift cards. Prizes will be raffled every few weeks in the lead-up to the race, so the earlier the registration, the more chances to win! Will include the registration link in the chat:

  • PTA Executive Committee Openings- there will be a vote for the TPES and PBES PTA Executive Committee positions for the 2022-2023 school year at the June 7th PTA meeting. The positions are open to all. 

  • TPES: the current President, Executive VP, Treasurer, Executive Secretary, MCCPTA  Delegate, and NAACP Representative are willing to serve a second year and the following positions are available/open: VP of Communications, VP of Membership, VP of Fundraising and VP of Equity. Please contact members of our nominating committee: Joyce, Chris and Kelly.

President Margaret McDonnell
Executive Vice President Joyce McDonough
Treasurer Stephen Tippett
Executive Secretary Diane Kirsch
Membership Secretary vacant
Vice President Communications vacant/TBD
Vice President Membership vacant
Vice President Fundraising vacant
Vice President Equity vacant
MCCPTA Delegate Rebecca Shaeffer
NAACP Representative Sharon Gaskins

  • PBES PTA positions:

PBES 2022-2023
President vacant
Executive Vice President vacant
Treasurer Kate Bauer
Secretary vacant
Vice President Communications Emma Cheuse [may shift to a different spot]
Vice President Membership vacant
Vice President Fundraising vacant
Vice President Equity vacant
MCCPTA Delegate
Appointed, not elected:
Gifted and Talented Liaison

  • TPMS: Greg Swaluk joining from TPMS PTA to highlight the need for PTA volunteers at the Middle school next year: 1 min.

7:10-30:  Principals Presentations & Q&A re learning disruption and recovery 

Ms. Oberdorf-

School Improvement plan

Literacy and mathematics instructional focus

Assessment OF and FOR learning

Acceleration of learning

Tutoring and intervention support

Professional learning

 Example of MAP data 3rd grade- Fall 2021- Wnter 2022- increasing the percent of students on grade level

Comparing cohorts of grade level students to see how they are doing

Do data analysis at each level to get big picture

Math Recovery:
Focus on Major Content

3 year plan focused on Eureka math

Continue with curriculum

Focus on foundational principals- catching up building foundational content

Tutoring and summer program

Equip- preassessment tool to allow teachers to preassess before module

Started Jan

Allows for targeted instruction of foundational skills within grade level instruction

Planning for engagement

Hands on opportunities

School wide focus on supporting student discourse

Reading- intentional big picture then focus on smaller picture- seeing where kids are 3rd graders

Left out year of virtual testing

Reading recovery:
consistent instruction at grade level

Move forward into grade level content with supports

Increased direct instruction of foundational skills and word study skills in small reading groups

Tutoring/summer programs

Prioritizing level skills and content


Ongoing progress monitoring to drive planning and instruction

Outside: Doing a lot to increase student wellbeing

Counselor allocation increased to 2.0

School wide kindness initiative- highlight acts of kindness as reported to PB Jelly

To report each other for kindness

Student wellbeing committee

Review student attendance and references from teachers

To give students/ families help that they need

Dr. Gadsden:

Same thing that Mrs. Oberdorf

Data: March 2022

Current KG- toddlers when pandemic start; 1st graders most affected- because virtual pandemic year; 2nd graders- ¾ of KG was in person, so reading less affected.

Reading at target in March 22-

KG: 80%

First: 62%

2nd: 81%

What this data does not show is what the growth that kids made- many kids, although still behind, have grown tremendously this year.

KG: 91%

1st: 86%

2nd: 77%

Second graders not doing as well in math due to change in curriculum. 2nd graders least amount of exposure to Eureka

Working with teachers to help them adapt to new curriculum and formats.

Data by Categories: 1st grade- reading- reading level, Math- Formative assessment March

Only 4 Asian students- all 4 are meeting benchmarks-

African American 62% Reading 89% math

White: 71 reading/85% math
Hispanics- 25% reading 55 Math

English Language Learners 31/ 63;

FARMS 39/70%

Special Ed/IEP 44/78%

Didn’t take MAP in January

1st grade most impacted and largest group

2nd: challenge- kids came in at Kindergarten reading level, grew 1 year in ¾ of a year, but still not at grade level


AA 84/63

Asian 100/75

W: 82/93

H 33/40

M 76/92

ELL 32/55

Special ED


Kindergarten- doing Fantastic!
Generally representative of how students do


AA 80/98

Asian 80/100

W 100/100

H 44/86

ELL 55/ 90

FARMS 64/93

Sp ed 100/100

Summer school

Create ARTS- target kids 2nd language learners


Other programs for recovery

Student wellbeing team working biweekly on attendance

Biggest challenge Attendance- lots of children kept home kids because they were scared would miss school. Can’t teach if kids don’t come to school

After school tutoring in person and bus transportation- for PBES

After school tutoring at TPES 5 days a week

Summer school at middle school for TPES and PBES with KA giving before and aftercare

PBES: Summer school invitations went out for students not on grade level

For TP- tutoring- reached out to specific kids who are behind

MCPS says no one will be turned away even if they were not invited

8 teachers teaching- 200 invitations sent out

Looking to see what response- to see if can open up to more students at a later point

If interested don’t hesitate to reach out to teacher or school

If worried about students losing knowledge/skills over summer, sign them up for summer school even if meeting targets

Summer school will have reading, math and specials

7:30: Emma Cheuse (PBES PTA and volunteer with the Joint PTA Panthers & Dolphins Rainbow Club) will introduce Mark Eckstein to talk about inclusion, support, and affirmation for LGBTQ kids and allies in our schools. Mark is Chair of the MCCPTA LGBTQ Subcommittee and Member of the MCPS PrideAlliance and he will speak to and address questions on resources available for our local schools such as policies and guidelines for LGBTQ+ and gender identity inclusion, anti-bullying, curriculum and family support across the rainbow spectrum.  Please get your questions and comments ready in the chat. 


Mark Eckstein MCCPTA

MetroDC has Pride Alliance



MCPS will begin an initiative this fall will be doing LGBTQ inclusive curriculum K-12-

Imbedding it into Benchmark curriculum

Has been working on this for 5 years

1 LGBTQ inclusive lesson per grade offering content 2-3 days

Data: if represented in curriculum and seen, bias incidences/bullying will go down

Bias and Bullying-important to use MCPS forms- has spent a lot of time in making them LGBTQ inclusive in terms of language

With reporting get data and funding- so very important for form to be used

Federal Title IX mandates now includes gender identity/expression and sexual orientation

By and large the MCPS LGBTQ doing well and thriving

Lots of affirming initiatives:

MoCo Pride Students

LGBTQ studies class

Restrooms- trying to revamp- refocus bathrooms to improve experience for all students including trans/gender nonconforming

Minimum; at least 1 all gender single stall restroom in each school

Authentic identification- lot of data about virtual learning through the pandemic and hardships for our students because of naming/pronouns

Really try to support students with names and pronouns

In elementary schools big things students using gender neutral pronouns-

Don’t want to out people- can be traumatic

List of LGBTQ resources for elementary schools

Annual PRIDE townhall Sat May 21 8:30-12:30 WJ high school

MCPS has new LGBTQ webpage

Netflix series: heartstopper

 Closing comments by Jon Frederick (TPES Parent) and volunteer with the Joint PTA Panthers and Dolphins Rainbow Club. Jon will also highlight the Rainbow Club’s next event – Drag Queen Story Hourcohosted by the Takoma Park MD Library on Sunday June 5, 1pm in the Takoma Community Center auditorium, with a meet-and-greet outside afterward. 

7:55    Treasurer’s Reports 

Stephen Tippett, TPES Treasurer and Kate Bauer, PBES Treasurer 

Kate Bauer:
17,000 earmarked grants

Spent 11,000

Need executive committee members next year- will have significant carryover, will need to have more activities next year to do the programing and support the school

Stephen Tippet:

Raised 35,000 (thought it would be less)

Tommy’s pantry separating this month

Spending less than raised. Continuing to spend some money on events through rest of year and into the summer.

Notes from the Principals’ presentation:

Please contact your student’s teacher if you would like to sign up for after-school tutoring and bus transportation.

More info on summer school — Last week some of our students received an invitation to attend summer school.  The goal of this year’s program is to support students who need additional or repeated instruction of the previous grade level and/or are currently achieving below grade level in reading and/or math.  If you received an email about summer school, please use the directions at the link in the message to register in ParentVUE by May 3rd.  If you have any questions please contact Robert Bledsoe, our Reading Specialist at

Summer school will have reading, math, and specials.  If you think your child would benefit from summer school and did not receive an invitation by email, please contact your child’s teacher or the principal for information on how to join.

Links from tonight’s meeting with resources.  

Mark Eckstein’s presentation on LGBTQ+ Resources at MCPS

For county-wide information and resources, please feel free to contact Mark Eckstein at or reach out to the Rainbow Club at PBES/TPES at:

Slides link:

Here is the Bullying Form to use to report LGBTQ+ or any other bullying incidents, please include specifics to help ensure all incidents are tracked and coded –

MCCPTA Leaders


Free State Justice

Student Leadership at MCPS – Pride:

LGBTQ Resources for Elementary Schools —

New MCPS LGBTQ Webpage for staff, students and families —

Here is a resource for any attendees who have middle school or older students – GSA Network – Devising Freedom:  They are hosting a youth movement assembly on June 21st

Become a PTA member:

Takoma Park Elementary

Piney Branch Elementary