May 2024 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, May 7, 2024 from 7 – 8pm on Zoom 

Agenda will include: 

(1) Upcoming TPES and PBES dates and announcements
(2) Food Forest and Gardening Club at TPES
(3) Treasurer’s Reports
(4) Dr. Gadsden and Ms. Oberdorf to speak about class assignments
(5) Breakout rooms for rising K, 3rd and 6th grade parents

Spanish Translator: Mercedes Castelo

Amharic Translator: There will be no Amharic translation provided. 

7:00 PM: Meeting Kick-off 

Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President Welcome 

  • Intro to topics to be discussed
  • Plea for Executive officers for upcoming school year 
    • Descriptions of open positions will be sent out this week. Please consider joining the executive board!

7:05 PM: Upcoming Dates & Announcements

JOINT TPES/PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: read by Joyce McDonough, TPES VP Communications 

  • May 9 – TPES/PBES Soccer game this Thursday, May 9 between parents and teachers of TPES vs. parents and teachers of PBES! Event will be held at Washington Adventist University. Anyone who is playing, please arrive at 5:45 for warm-up. The game will start at 6:15 PM and will end by 7 PM with a dance party for children on the field. Attendance is FREE! Pizza will be served for $1 a slice! Quantity will be limited! We hope to see as many of you as possible out there for this wonderful community-building event!

TPES ANNOUNCEMENTSRead by Joyce McDonough, TPES VP Communications

    • There will be an Incoming Kindergarten Parent Meeting-May 30, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. The staff of Takoma Park Elementary School will host an incoming kindergarten parent meeting on May 30, 2024. The meeting will be held virtually and will include interpreters for Spanish and Amharic.
    • Please fill out the parent input form sent out by Dr. Gadsden to tell the school about your child’s learning style and needs. The form is an opportunity to provide input into your child’s class placement for the 2024-2025 school year. This spring, the staff at TPES will begin the process of developing classes for next year. This work will continue into the summer. The goal is to make the best student-teacher match possible and to use the information in the form to help guide that work. 
    • Thank you to everyone who volunteered for the TPES Book Fair! 
      • Online Book Fair: Our online book fair will remain open through the school year.  There are books for all ages available at the online fair.  TPES PTA receives 15% of the proceeds for books purchased through the online fair.
      • Please contact Claire Dean and Lesley Perry at  
    • This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and we are still seeking gifts to raffle off to teachers. Some ideas include giving time for pet sitting, a homemade casserole, your favorite cookie recipe, gift cards, gift certificates, etc. Gifts in any amount are appreciated and welcomed! Please reach out to Betsy Garcete to let her know what you can contribute:
    • Kindergarten Enrollment 2024-25 Now Open Kindergarten online registration is now open. For information regarding kindergarten enrollment for the 2024-25 school year, including important documents needed to register, please visit the MCPS website ( If you have any questions or would like more information on how to enroll at Takoma Park Elementary School, please call 240-740-0980 or email Ms. Hottel-Cox at
  • Yearbooks! If you’d like to order a yearbook for your child, please use this link. Yearbooks cost $22 and will be distributed at the end of the school year. 

PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: ready by Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

  • New Art Gallery! Ms. Cantu is putting together a beautiful display of student’s art from classes past and present in a new gallery wall space. The PTA is seeking donations to help fund this exciting project. Donate here! The gallery system will allow us to change out the artwork for years to come.
  • Teacher Appreciation Week: Teacher Appreciation Week is happening this week up and there are ways you and your student can thank our staff for BEE-ing the BEST! Thank you to everyone who donated or helped decorate! 
    • We are still looking for volunteers to help with Clean-Up on Friday. Sign up here! 
    • Friday, May 10: BEE Yourself: Students and staff can dress to express their silly sides!
  • Volunteers Needed for Instrumental Concert Bake Sale on May 22: Your help is needed on May 22! Please consider signing up to either staff the bake sale table or bring a dozen baked goods. This is a fundraiser for the PBES PTA and your support is appreciated! Sign up here!
  • May 16: 4th/5th grade choral concert
  • PBES Yearbooks: Yearbooks are on sale now. The price is $20. They may be ordered online here.

7:15 PM: Sharon Broderick, Co-Chair, Food Forest and Gardening Committee 

  • Presentation on Food Forest and TPES Gardening Club 
  • Vision for forest garden on TPES grounds; incorporates fruit and nut trees, bushes, 
  • Started last year to build garden boxes; planted for the first time last year
  • Working with MCPS to get proper approvals to get more planting in the fall
  • First tree plantings: April 2024; all growing; persimmon, serviceberry, hazelnuts, spicebush, witch hazel on nature walk along TPES playground edge
  • TKPK owns land on other side; working with Arborist to develop the nature walk there
  • 45 students in student garden club! They love to water the plants
    • Posters in the atrium
    • food tasting in atrium this wednesday from what has been grown
    • Plans for 2nd grade group to meet during the week
  • Applying for grant for funds 
  • Planting and clean up event on May 11 1-4pm
    • Planting along the nature walk
    • 45-100 plants coming

7:25 PM: Treasurer’s Reports 

  • Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer
    • Month of April
    • Lots of revenue coming in from Read-a-Thon and Book Fair
    • Book Fair: amount is what we took in cash/checks that goes back to Book Fair venue
    • PayPal admin charges: looking for ways to cut those
    • Exceeded expected income for year; under budget in spending
  • Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President
    • Running about $10,000 behind on donations; over on fundraising; more should be posted
    • Programming costs don’t currently include the pool and other incoming costs

7:35 PM: Dr. Gadsden and Ms. Oberdorf

  • Speaking about class assignments for 2024-2025 school year 
  • Ms. Oberdorf (PBES)
    • Started process for class assignments a few weeks ago
    • Gathering data on students; teacher input in addition to scores
    • Start setting up potential classes; balance in demographics, gender, service groups, interventions, enrichment
    • Form for parent input being sent shortly
    • Staff meeting to present drafts of class rosters
    • Collaborate with TPES for rising third graders
    • Long process (3 months); 200 sets of students at a time
    • Hoping to make the best matches for all students
  • Dr. Gadsden (TPES)
    • Similar process as PBES
    • Forms for current second graders are shared with PBES; no need to fill out two
    • Cannot honor “keep with” requests; can honor “keep apart” requests
    • Do the best we can to have a balanced room and that every child in the room has another child who looks like them.
  • Cap on class sizes at PBES because a Focus school
  • TPES expects to have 9 K, 9 1st, 6 2nd grade classrooms; moving toward co-teaching model in hopes of bringing down the student teacher ratio; will be about 25 kids per class, but smaller for reading and math.
  • PBES going from 9 to 8 third grade classes; district monitors enrollment to adjust the number of classes.
  • 5th grade promotion ceremony: June 12 at 2pm

7:40 PM: Breakout rooms for incoming K parents, 3rd grade parents and 6th grade parents

Kindergarten Breakout Rooms (Dr. Gadsden to present before questions) 

  1. Claire Dean 
  2. Kelley Seay

Third Grade Breakout Rooms: 

  1. Christine Kahler Smith 
  2. Mari Quenemoen 

Sixth Grade Breakout Rooms: 

  1. Becca Jones-Albertus

April 2024 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, April 9, 2024 from 7 – 8pm on Zoom 

7:00 PM: Meeting Kick-off 

Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

  • Intro to topics to be discussed

7:05 PM: Upcoming Dates & Announcements

Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

Joyce McDonough, TPES VP Communications

JOINT TPES/PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: ready by Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

  • April 10 –  No School for Students – Grading and Planning for end of term
  • April 22 – Asynchronous Day for Students – Professional day for teachers There is no school for students on Monday April 22nd. Students will receive asynchronous assignments to bring home on Wednesday, April 17th. Students will return the assignments following the asynchronous learning day
  • May 9 – TPES and PBES Soccer Game – Details to be shared soon

PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: read by Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

  • 5th Grade Panoramic Picture: The 5th grade panoramic picture will be taken on April 17th. Orders are now being accepted.
  • PBES Yearbooks: Yearbooks are on sale now. The price is $20. They may be ordered online here

TPES ANNOUNCEMENTSRead by Claire Dean, TPES PTA Vice President

  • There will be an Incoming Kindergarten Parent Meeting-May 30, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. The staff of Takoma Park Elementary School will host an incoming kindergarten parent meeting on May 30, 2024. The meeting will be held virtually and will include interpreters for Spanish and Amharic.
  • Please Submit Your Read-a-thon Pledges Read-a-thon pledges were due April 8 but we’d never turn away your donations! 🙂 Pledges support all PTA programs, and the Read-a-thon historically has been one of the TPES PTA’s most important fundraisers! You can submit pledges via PayPal here: Or you can make a check payable to TPES PTA and put it in your child’s Dolphin Folder or mail it to TPES PTA at 7511 Holly Avenue, Takoma Park MD 20912.
  • Volunteers Needed for TPES PTA Book Fair with Bookworm Central: April 15-19. The book fair is less than ONE WEEK away and we still have MANY volunteer openings. Please consider signing up here. This will be our first time supporting Northern Virginia-based Bookworm Central rather than Scholastic and want to make it a huge success!
    • Evening Book Fair Hours: The Book Fair will be open for evening shopping hours from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on the following dates:
    • Tuesday, 4/16:  Pajama Night!  Come dressed in your coziest pajamas for some book shopping.
    • Thursday, 4/18:  Dress as Your Favorite Book Character!  Celebrate a love of reading by dressing as a favorite book character while you shop (No masks, weapons, etc.).
    • PTA Donations for Book Purchases: The PTA is committed to ensuring that every child can shop for a book during the book fair.  If you are interested in donating to help the PTA fund books for our TPES community, please donate here and note in the Comments that the donation is toward book fair vouchers.
    • Teacher Wishlists: Teachers will have a chance to prepare lists of books that they would like for their classroom during Preview Day on 4/12.  Parents can purchase those books for classroom and specials teachers during either the on-site book fair or at our online book fair.
    • Online Book Fair: Our online book fair will remain open through the school year.  There are books for all ages available at the online fair.  TPES PTA receives 15% of the proceeds for books purchased through the online fair.
    • Please contact Claire Dean and Lesley Perry at  
  • Teacher Appreciation Committee Seeking Gifts/Donations for Teacher Raffle We are seeking gifts to raffled off to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10. Some ideas include giving time for pet sitting, a homemade casserole, your favorite cookie recipe, gift cards, gift certificates, etc.  Gifts in any amount are appreciated and welcomed! Please reach out to Betsy to let her know what you can contribute:
  • STEM Night Feedback Did you come to STEM Night? If so, we’d love your feedback. Please fill out this form to share your thoughts. 
  • Kindergarten Enrollment 2024-25 Now Open Kindergarten online registration is now open. For information regarding kindergarten enrollment for the 2024-25 school year, including important documents needed to register, please visit the MCPS website ( If you have any questions or would like more information on how to enroll at Takoma Park Elementary School, please call 240-740-0980 or email Ms. Hottel-Cox at
  • Come cheer on D.C. United on MCPS Night as they take on the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30pm. Takoma Park Elementary School will have its own section. A portion of the ticket sales go to support the TPES PTA so we can continue to offer support to the school. Tickets for the TPES section can be purchased here:  
  • Yearbooks! If you’d like to order a yearbook for your child, please use this link. Yearbooks cost $22 and will be distributed at the end of the school year. 

7:10 PM: TPES Career Day (Kaitlin Caruso)

  • Career Day will take place at TPES on May 29, 2024 from 9:30 to 11:20 am
  • No matter what you do – banker, nurse, architect, dentist, police officer, lawyer, military, computer engineer, bus driver, or doctor – the children can learn about the world of work from you! So, if you, a relative, a neighbor, or a friend has a job that you love to talk about and share with others, being a Career Day speaker would be a perfect fit!
  • Volunteering does not guarantee that you will be called on to present. We will do our best to make sure we get a wide variety of careers to showcase to our students. If you are selected, you are committing to stay the entire morning session and present to 3 different classes. Each presentation will last 30 minutes (20 minutes of talking, 10 minutes of Q&A with students).  
  • If you are interested in being a Career Day speaker or know someone who might be, please complete the interest form before April 26, 2024!
  • If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Althofer at or Mrs. Ampofo at  

7:15 PM: Kaysi-Ann Webley,  (Special Projects Coordinator – City of Takoma Park)

  • Presentation on  Earth Day/Free Bike Repairs/Bike Month/Spring Safe Routes Survey 
  • Funds from TKPK 5K to TPES and PBES $661.02 for each school
  • Parent Surveys: 


7:25 PM: Koko Lawrence and Ashley van Norden (PBES Special Educators)

  • Understanding Neurodiversity and how to support at neurodivergent kids at school and at home


7:40 PM: Q & A

Q&A – Koko and Ashley’s presentation

Q: Does the school offer testing?

A: Yes, if we go through child find and determine impact, with consent, can be tested. We have a school psychologist for assessments. Parents can also seek outside specialists.

Q: Can you talk about the 2 E (Twice Exceptional) program options for students with that diagnosis.

A: There are special educations services so students can receive pull out intervention, some receive in class support. No specific programming outside tailoring.

Q: What is the timeframe between when a family enters the child find process and when they ultimately receive supports (if required)

A:  About 90 days.

Q: Is there any education being provided to the students to normalize neurodivergency?

A: Educators and classrooms have been intentional about embracing normalizing differences and providing accommodations such as different seating types, etc.

Q: I know this presentation was specific to PB, I’m wondering if TPES has similar accommodations?

A: All processes are same for MCPS.

7:50 PM: Budget Updates

Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer

Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer

Q: What happens to any money left over at end of year

A: Rolls over and will get applied to next year’s budget.


Ingrid Gardiner,  PBES PTA President

  • Reminder that next meeting will be on May 7 @ 7 PM 

REQUEST: If anyone is able or knows anyone willing to be a translator, please reach out. We would like to provide translation and have not been able to for the last few meetings.

PTA Suggestion Box:

Please share comments and ideas for meeting topics:

March 2024 PTA Meeting Minutes

TPES and PBES PTA Meeting
March 5, 2024
Meeting Minutes


(1) Upcoming TPES and PBES dates and announcements
(2) TPES and PBES Read-a-thon Updates
(3) Geobowl Update
(4) Susan Anderson (TPES Media Specialist): Keeping Students Safe Online
(5) Q & A
(6) Treasurer’s reports
(7) Next PTA Meeting

Meeting Kick-off by Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President 

Upcoming Dates & Announcements

TPES ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Read by Joyce McDonough, TPES VP Communications

    • The 2024 TPES Read-a-thon is here! Please continue to read and record your minutes. Reading logs for week 3 are due this Friday. Find more information on the Readathon (including extra reading logs) here
    • Come join us for TPES STEM Night this Thursday, March 7 from 7-8 pm! There will be fun, hands-on activities for all children.
    • Lost and Found: Please come check out the lost and found! Most coats are now hanging on a coat rack, while there are three (large and overflowing) boxes of sweatshirts, sweaters, fleeces and lunch boxes. There is another separate box of water bottles and finally, a box of hats, gloves and scarves. Everything is located in the atrium. We ask that if your child has lost something this year, to please come look for it, as there are a significant number of items. Please remember your ID when you come to school so that you may get in. EVERYTHING will be donated after STEM Night, so check it out when you’re at school on March 7th! 
  • Come cheer on D.C. United on MCPS Night as they take on the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30pm. Takoma Park Elementary School will have its own section. A portion of the ticket sales go to support the TPES PTA so we can continue to offer support to the school. Tickets for the TPES section can be purchased here:  
  • Volunteers for First Grade Media Class Needed: First graders are making science journals in the library media class. Students will use them in quarter 4 science lessons. We would appreciate help supporting students with handing out supplies, collating the pages and simple sewing. Please check this schedule at and email Ms. Anderson ( if you can help. 
  • Our Prekindergarten classes are in need of cleaning supplies. In particular, classrooms need Clorox wipes, Lysol wipes and Spic and Span spray. Donations can be dropped off in the office. Please let the office staff know that your donation is for PreK. Many thanks in advance!
  • Seeking Volunteers to Join Teacher Appreciation Committee: Our PTA is in need of a co-chair and/or volunteers to help plan and implement Teacher Appreciation Week which will be the first full week of May (May 6 -10). Detailed notes from last year’s committee are available so you don’t need to start from scratch! Thanks to parent, Betsy Garcete, for chairing this committee this year, but she can’t plan Teacher Appreciation Week on her own! Please reach out to Betsy with interest and questions!
  • Yearbooks! If you’d like to order a yearbook for your child, please use this link. Yearbooks cost $22 and will be distributed at the end of the school year. 

PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: ready by Chris Campbell, PBES VP Communications 

  • The 2nd Swim Unit began this week for all students. Please remind your child to being a swim suit and towel on PE Day for the next three weeks. The swim unit will run  March 4 through March 22. Please reach out to Mr. Russell or one of our school counselors if your child is in need of a swimsuit.
    PBES Picture day: Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 6 
  • Family Life Education Unit: On Thursday, March 7, 5th grade caregivers meeting regarding the upcoming Family Life Education Unit
  • PBES Multicultural Night at Takoma Park Middle School on March 20
  • Spring Break: March 25-29
  • PBES School Survey: Help Improve Our School! We want to improve our teaching and make our school a more welcoming place for all students and families. Please fill out this survey to to help us understand what we need to do better. It will take about 10 minutes.

TPES Read-a-thon Update (Amanda Wagner)

  • Week 3 of TPES read-a-thon.  Halfway to school-wide goal of 200,000 minutes
  • If they get to the school-wide goal there will be a popcorn party, and will need volunteers for the party – stay tuned!
  • All students should participate in the read-a-thon regardless if family and friends are pledging money – the fundraising part is optional.  

PBES Read-a-thon Update (Kristin O’Planick)

  • The PBES Read-a-thon kicked off with book give-away
  • After 3 weeks of reading and logging, the 28th marked the end of the 2024 Readathon with class assemblies, where they celebrated the collective achievement.  This included PB-Jelly which the students love.  
  • PBES overall far exceeded its goal of reading 200,000 minutes.  The students read 495,205 minutes in total!
    • 3rd grade read 135,557 minutes
    • 4th grade read 136,235 minutes
    • 5th grade read 225,937 minutes
  • The classes that read the most and won a pizza party are:
    • 3rd grade, with an average of 1,138 minutes per student, Young’s class
    • 4th grade, with an average of 1,548 minutes per student, Plummer’s class
    • 5th grade, with an average of 2,271 minutes per students, Kenney’s class
  • The fundraising goal of $3,000 is close to being met.  
    • Today: $2,570 
    • Please try to complete your pledges/follow-up with sponsors/ contribute this week if you have not already and are able to!
      • There is a specific option for the Readathon on the webpage.
      • Alternatively you can send a check made out to the PBES PTA to the school’s office

PBES Geobowl Update (Justine Lassman)

  • Parent volunteers have made this event possible, as many others.
  • In two weeks, the Geobowl competition will take place (March 18 and March 19).  Find which day your student will be competing below.
  • If you want to help they could still use some volunteers – 
  • For volunteering or any Geobowl questions contact: 
  • Geobowl competition dates and times for each class:
    • Monday, March 18 in Gym
      • 9:35-10:35 a.m. Gr. 4  (Casey, Eskow, Plummer, Serra)
      • 12:00-1:00 p.m. Gr. 5  (Kenney, Madsen, Pinnock, Tolson) 
      • 1:10-2:10 p.m. Gr. 3  (Dunlap, Gazda, Joy, Kandeh)
      • 2:20-3:20 p.m. Gr. 3  (Claxton, Giles, Granados, Hernandez, Young)
    • Tuesday, March 19 in Gym
      • 9:35-10:35 a.m. Gr. 4 (Bolden, Eberly, Li, Porter)
      • 12:00-1:00 p.m. Gr. 5 (Brooking, Kariuki, Luker, Patrick)

Keeping Students Safe Online (Susan Anderson, TPES Media Specialist) 

  • Slides are available here: 
  • In school
    • Online activity is monitored/filtered
    • Students have to log in with an MCPS account 
    • MCPS filters keep students from inappropriate web sites
    • Activity (search history, etc) and Google Drives are monitored
    • All students at TPES and PBES are receiving digital citizenship classes – usually by media specialist (at TPES it’s mostly Sue Anderson. Ms. Edgar teaches them at PBES)
      • Focus: making safe and healthy choices
      • Uses curriculum from Common Sense Education
      • Try to be consistent from school to school
  • At home
    • MCPS is not monitoring or filtering at home
    • You can set up restrictions on your home wifi or router
    • Technology can’t solve all issues, so you should consider:
      • Talk with your child regularly/respectfully about the rules and expectations:
        • They are growing up tech “natives”
        • Remember to emphasize that digital use isn’t all “bad”.  A lot of activities are really useful for learning, being creative, etc.
        • Encourage self-regulation
      • Make a tech plan (common sense guidance)
    • Do it together
      • Model what you are doing for your children
      • Sharing interesting content together helps
      • Create technology together such as a video of them playing piano
      • Talk about what they see and play online
    • Safety tips
      • Children should ask for your permission – they should not be able to grab your device without asking
      • Set rules and limits – say no when needed
      • Keep device use where you can see it
      • Know what sites/games they’re using
      • Open dialog – if they see something uncomfortable they should tell you. Caregivers should be receptive to these conversations.  
    • TPES/MCPS content
      • Educational, fun websites that are free with no ads
      • Most are accessed through Clever afer students logs into MCPS network
      • Find list of resources (and needed passwords here:

Q & A

Budget Updates

TPES (Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer)

  • $202 came in this month
  • Expenses include paypal fees.  When you make donations (cash, check or paypal), keep in mind that paypal incurs fees  
  • Spent additional money on staff support (Valentines day, water delivery, lunch card for paypal group)

PBES (Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer)

  • A few more booster donation and fundraising for the readathon boosted donations this month.
  • Expenses included BTSN childcare, paypal feels, etc.  

Next PTA Meeting

  • The next PTA meeting will take place on April 2 at 7 PM 


(1) Próximas fechas y anuncios de TPES y PBES
(2) Actualizaciones del maratón de lectura de TPES y PBES
(3) Actualización del Geobowl
(4) Susan Anderson (especialista en medios de TPES): Mantener seguros a los estudiantes en línea
(5) Preguntas y respuestas
(6) Informes del tesorero
(7) Próxima reunión de la PTA

Inicio de la reunión por Kaitlin Caruso, presidenta de la PTA de TPES

Próximas fechas y anuncios

ANUNCIOS DE TPES: Leído por Joyce McDonough, vicepresidenta de comunicaciones de TPES

¡El maratón de lectura TPES 2024 ya está aquí! Continúe leyendo y registrando sus actas. Los registros de lectura de la semana 3 vencen este viernes. Encuentre más información sobre el Readathon (incluidos registros de lectura adicionales) aquí.

¡Únase a nosotros para la Noche TPES STEM este jueves 7 de marzo de 7 a 8 p. m.! Habrá actividades divertidas y prácticas para todos los niños.

Objetos perdidos y encontrados: ¡Ven a ver los objetos perdidos y encontrados! La mayoría de los abrigos ahora están colgados en un perchero, mientras que hay tres cajas (grandes y rebosantes) de sudaderas, suéteres, polares y loncheras. Hay otra caja aparte con botellas de agua y, por último, una caja con gorros, guantes y bufandas. Todo está ubicado en el atrio. Le pedimos que si su hijo ha perdido algo este año, venga a buscarlo, ya que hay una cantidad importante de artículos. Recuerde su identificación cuando venga a la escuela para poder ingresar. TODO será donado después de la Noche STEM, ¡así que compruébelo cuando esté en la escuela el 7 de marzo!

Venga a animar a D.C. United en la Noche de MCPS cuando se enfrenten al Seattle Sounders FC el sábado 27 de abril a las 7:30 p.m. La escuela primaria Takoma Park tendrá su propia sección. Una parte de la venta de boletos se destina a apoyar a la PTA de TPES para que podamos continuar ofreciendo apoyo a la escuela. Las entradas para la sección TPES se pueden adquirir aquí:

Se necesitan voluntarios para la clase de medios de primer grado: Los estudiantes de primer grado están haciendo revistas de ciencias en la clase de medios de la biblioteca. Los estudiantes los usarán en las lecciones de ciencias del cuarto trimestre. Agradeceríamos ayuda para ayudar a los estudiantes a repartir útiles, cotejar las páginas y coser de forma sencilla. Consulte este cronograma y envíe un correo electrónico a la Sra. Anderson ( si puede ayudar.

Nuestras clases de Prekindergarten necesitan artículos de limpieza. En particular, las aulas necesitan toallitas Clorox, toallitas Lysol y spray Spic and Span. Las donaciones se pueden dejar en la oficina. Informe al personal de la oficina que su donación es para PreK. ¡Muchas gracias de antemano!

Buscando voluntarios para unirse al Comité de Apreciación de los Maestros: Nuestra PTA necesita un copresidente y/o voluntarios para ayudar a planificar e implementar la Semana de Apreciación de los Maestros, que será la primera semana completa de mayo (del 6 al 10 de mayo). ¡Están disponibles notas detalladas del comité del año pasado para que no tenga que empezar de cero! Gracias a la madre, Betsy Garcete, por presidir este comité este año, ¡pero ella sola no puede planificar la Semana de Agradecimiento a los Maestros! ¡Comuníquese con Betsy si tiene interés y tiene preguntas!

¡Anuarios! Si desea pedir un anuario para su hijo, utilice este enlace. Los anuarios cuestan $22 y se distribuirán al final del año escolar.

ANUNCIOS DE PBES: listos por Chris Campbell, vicepresidente de comunicaciones de PBES

Esta semana comenzó la 2ª Unidad de Natación para todos los alumnos. Recuerde a su hijo que debe usar traje de baño y toalla el día de educación física durante las próximas tres semanas. La unidad de natación funcionará del 4 al 22 de marzo. Comuníquese con el Sr. Russell o con uno de nuestros consejeros escolares si su hijo necesita un traje de baño.

Día de fotos de PBES: mañana miércoles 6 de marzo

Unidad de Educación para la Vida Familiar: El jueves 7 de marzo, reunión de cuidadores de 5to grado sobre la próxima Unidad de Educación para la Vida Familiar

Noche multicultural de PBES en la escuela secundaria Takoma Park el 20 de marzo

Para inscribirse para traer comida, utilice este enlace:

Para inscribirse en presentaciones, utilice este enlace:

Para inscribirse como voluntario en el evento, utilice este enlace:

Vacaciones de primavera: 25 al 29 de marzo

Encuesta escolar de PBES: ¡Ayude a mejorar nuestra escuela! Queremos mejorar nuestra enseñanza y hacer de nuestra escuela un lugar más acogedor para todos los estudiantes y familias. Complete esta encuesta para ayudarnos a comprender qué debemos hacer mejor. 

Tardará unos 10 minutos.

Actualización del maratón de lectura de TPES (Amanda Wagner)

Semana 3 del maratón de lectura de TPES. A mitad de camino hacia la meta de 200.000 minutos para toda la escuela

Si alcanzan la meta para toda la escuela, habrá una fiesta de palomitas de maíz y se necesitarán voluntarios para la fiesta. ¡Estén atentos!

Todos los estudiantes deben participar en el maratón de lectura independientemente de si familiares y amigos están prometiendo dinero; la parte de recaudación de fondos es opcional.

Actualización del maratón de lectura de PBES (Kristin O’Planick)

El maratón de lectura de PBES comenzó con la entrega de libros

Luego de 3 semanas de lectura y registro, el día 28 marcó el final del Readathon 2024 con asambleas de clase, donde celebraron el logro colectivo. Esto incluyó PB-Jelly, que a los estudiantes les encanta.

En general, PBES superó con creces su objetivo de leer 200.000 minutos. ¡Los estudiantes leyeron 495,205 minutos en total!

3er grado leyó 135,557 minutos

4to grado leyó 136,235 minutos

5to grado leyó 225,937 minutos

Las clases que más leyeron y ganaron una fiesta de pizza son:

3er grado, con un promedio de 1,138 minutos por alumno, clase de Young

4to grado, con un promedio de 1,548 minutos por alumno, clase de Plummer

5to grado, con un promedio de 2,271 minutos por alumno, la clase de Kenney

La meta de recaudación de fondos de $3,000 está cerca de alcanzarse.

Hoy: $2,570

¡Intente completar sus promesas/seguimiento con patrocinadores/contribuya esta semana si aún no lo ha hecho y puede hacerlo!

Hay una opción específica para el Readathon en la página web.

Alternativamente, puede enviar un cheque a nombre de PBES PTA a la oficina de la escuela.

Actualización del Geobowl de PBES (Justine Lassman)

Los padres voluntarios han hecho posible este evento, como muchos otros.

Dentro de dos semanas se llevará a cabo la competencia Geobowl (18 y 19 de marzo). Encuentre a continuación qué día competirá su estudiante.

Si quieres ayudar, todavía les vendrían bien algunos voluntarios.

Para voluntariado o cualquier pregunta sobre Geobowl, comuníquese con:

Fechas y horarios de competición de Geobowl para cada clase:

Lunes 18 de marzo en Gimnasio

9:35-10:35 a.m. Gr. 4 (Casey, Eskow, Plummer, Serra)

12:00-13:00 Gramo. 5 (Kenney, Madsen, Pinnock, Tolson)

13:10-14:10 Gramo. 3 (Dunlap, Gazda, Alegría, Kandeh)

14:20-15:20 Gramo. 3 (Claxton, Giles, Granados, Hernández, Young)

Martes 19 de marzo en Gimnasio

9:35-10:35 a.m. Gr. 4 (Bolden, Eberly, Li, Porter)

12:00-13:00 Gramo. 5 (Brooking, Kariuki, Luker, Patricio)

Mantener a los estudiantes seguros en línea (Susan Anderson, especialista en medios de TPES)

Las diapositivas están disponibles aquí:

Que puedes hacer en casa

En el colegio

La actividad en línea es monitoreada/filtrada

Los estudiantes deben iniciar sesión con una cuenta de MCPS

Los filtros de MCPS mantienen a los estudiantes alejados de sitios web inapropiados

Se monitorea la actividad (historial de búsqueda, etc.) y Google Drives.

Todos los estudiantes de TPES y PBES reciben clases de ciudadanía digital, generalmente impartidas por un especialista en medios (en TPES es principalmente Sue Anderson. La Sra. Edgar les enseña en PBES).

Enfoque: tomar decisiones seguras y saludables

Utiliza el plan de estudios de Common Sense Education

Trate de ser consistente de escuela en escuela

En casa

MCPS no está monitoreando ni filtrando en casa

Puede configurar restricciones en el wifi o enrutador de su hogar

La tecnología no puede resolver todos los problemas, por lo que debes considerar:

Hable con su hijo con regularidad y respeto sobre las reglas y expectativas:

Están creciendo como “nativos” tecnológicos

Recuerde enfatizar que el uso digital no es del todo “malo”. Muchas actividades son realmente útiles para aprender, ser creativo, etc.

Fomentar la autorregulación

Haga un plan tecnológico (orientación de sentido común)

Establecer reglas/límites basados en los valores familiares

Para ver ejemplos, visite:

hazlo juntos

Modele lo que está haciendo por sus hijos

Compartir contenido interesante juntos ayuda

Crear tecnología juntos, como un vídeo de ellos tocando el piano.

Hablar sobre lo que ven y juegan en línea.

Consejos de seguridad

Los niños deben pedirle permiso; no deberían poder agarrar su dispositivo sin pedírselo.

Establece reglas y límites: di no cuando sea necesario

Mantenga el uso del dispositivo donde pueda verlo

Sepa qué sitios/juegos están usando

Diálogo abierto: si ven algo incómodo, deberían decírtelo. Los cuidadores deben ser receptivos a estas conversaciones.

Contenido TPES/MCPS

Sitios web educativos y divertidos, gratuitos y sin publicidad.

Se accede a la mayoría a través de Clever después de que los estudiantes inician sesión en la red de MCPS.

Encuentre una lista de recursos (y las contraseñas necesarias aquí: 

Preguntas y respuestas

pregunta sobre videos de minecraft

Los videos de Minecraft pueden ser inapropiados para niños de esta edad y los padres deben considerar estar en la habitación si los niños los están viendo.

Pregunta sobre Chromebooks

Si necesita un Chromebook en casa, envíe un correo electrónico:

Hay un proceso separado para wifi. Si necesita wifi en casa, envíe un correo electrónico y pregúntele al maestro de su hijo. Te darán un formulario para completar para wifi.

¿Cómo se accede a las cuentas de estudiantes?


Pregunta sobre las protecciones de seguridad en Chromebooks

Tenga en cuenta que las protecciones de los Chromebooks de los estudiantes en TPES y PBES NO se transfieren automáticamente cuando los estudiantes usan sus Chromebooks en casa.

Pregunta sobre Class Dojo

Para obtener información sobre cómo iniciar sesión en Class Dojo, pregúntale a tu profesor.

Actualizaciones del presupuesto

TPES (Amy Swift, Tesorera de la PTA de TPES)

$202 ingresaron este mes

Los gastos incluyen honorarios de paypal. Cuando hagas donaciones (efectivo, cheque o paypal), ten en cuenta que paypal genera tarifas.

Gasté dinero adicional en apoyo del personal (día de San Valentín, entrega de agua, tarjeta de almuerzo para el grupo de PayPal)

PBES (Rachael Pierotti, Tesorera de la PTA de PBES)

Algunas donaciones de refuerzo más y la recaudación de fondos para el maratón de lectura impulsaron las donaciones este mes.

Gastos incluidos cuidado de niños BTSN, paypal siente, etc.

Próxima reunión de la PTA

La próxima reunión de la PTA se llevará a cabo el 2 de abril a las 7 p.m.



(1) መጪ TPES እና PBES ቀኖች እና ማስታወቂያዎች

(2) TPES እና PBES ተነባቢ-አ-ቶን ዝመናዎች

(3) የጂኦቦውል ማሻሻያ

(4) ሱዛን አንደርሰን (TPES የሚዲያ ስፔሻሊስት)፡ የተማሪዎችን ደህንነት በመስመር ላይ ማቆየት።

(5) ጥያቄ እና መልስ

(6) የገንዘብ ያዥ ሪፖርቶች

(7) የሚቀጥለው PTA ስብሰባ


TPES ማስታወቂያዎች፡ በጆይስ ማክዶኖው፣ TPES VP ኮሙኒኬሽንስ አንብብ

የ2024 TPES Read-a-thon እዚህ አለ! እባክዎን ማንበብዎን ይቀጥሉ እና ደቂቃዎችዎን ይቅዱ። የሦስተኛው ሳምንት የንባብ ምዝግብ ማስታወሻዎች በዚህ አርብ ሊጠናቀቁ ነው። ስለ Readathon (ተጨማሪ የንባብ ምዝግብ ማስታወሻዎችን ጨምሮ) ተጨማሪ መረጃ እዚህ ያግኙ።

ዛሬ ሐሙስ፣ መጋቢት 7 ከቀኑ 7-8 ፒኤም ለ TPES STEM ምሽት ይቀላቀሉን! ለሁሉም ልጆች አስደሳች እና ተግባራዊ እንቅስቃሴዎች ይኖራሉ።

የጠፋ እና የተገኘ፡ እባኮትን ኑ የጠፋውን እና የተገኘውን ይመልከቱ! አብዛኛው ካፖርት አሁን በኮት መደርደሪያ ላይ የተንጠለጠለ ሲሆን ሶስት (ትልቅ እና የተትረፈረፈ) የሱፍ ሸሚዝ፣ ሹራብ፣ የበግ ፀጉር እና የምሳ ሳጥኖች አሉ። ሌላ የተለየ የውሃ ጠርሙሶች እና በመጨረሻም አንድ ሳጥን ኮፍያ ፣ ጓንቶች እና ሻርፎች አሉ። ሁሉም ነገር በአትሪየም ውስጥ ይገኛል. በዚህ አመት ልጅዎ የሆነ ነገር ከጠፋበት፣ እባክዎን እንዲፈልጉት እንጠይቃለን፣ ምክንያቱም ብዙ እቃዎች አሉ። እባኮትን ወደ ት/ቤት ስትመጡ መታወቂያችሁን አስታውሱ። እንድትገቡ

ቅዳሜ ኤፕሪል 27 ከቀኑ 7፡30 ከሲያትል ሳውደርስርስ FC ሲያደርጉ በMCPS ምሽት በዲሲ ዩናይትድ አይዞህ። ታኮማ ፓርክ አንደኛ ደረጃ ትምህርት ቤት የራሱ ክፍል ይኖረዋል። የትኬት ሽያጩ የተወሰነው ክፍል TPES PTAን ለመደገፍ ይሄዳል ስለዚህም ለት/ቤቱ ድጋፍ መስጠታችንን እንቀጥል። የ TPES ክፍል ትኬቶች እዚህ ሊገዙ ይችላሉ፡

ለአንደኛ ክፍል የሚዲያ ክፍል በጎ ፈቃደኞች ያስፈልጋል፡ የአንደኛ ክፍል ተማሪዎች በላይብረሪ ሚዲያ ክፍል ውስጥ የሳይንስ መጽሔቶችን እየሰሩ ነው። ተማሪዎች በሩብ 4 የሳይንስ ትምህርቶች ይጠቀማሉ። ቁሳቁሶችን በማከፋፈል፣ ገጾቹን በመሰብሰብ እና ቀላል የልብስ ስፌት በማዘጋጀት ተማሪዎችን ለመደገፍ እገዛን እናደንቃለን። እባኮትን መርዳት ከቻላችሁ ይህንን መርሐግብር በ ‹› ላይ ኢሜል ያድርጉ።

የቅድመ መዋዕለ ሕፃናት ክፍሎቻችን የጽዳት ዕቃዎች ያስፈልጋቸዋል። በተለይም የመማሪያ ክፍሎች ክሎሮክስ መጥረጊያዎች፣ ሊሶል ዊዝ እና ስፒክ እና ስፓን የሚረጩ ያስፈልጋቸዋል። መዋጮ በቢሮ ውስጥ መጣል ይቻላል. እባኮትን ለጽህፈት ቤቱ ሰራተኞች ልገሳዎ ለቅድመ መዋጮ መሆኑን ያሳውቁ። በቅድሚያ ብዙ አመሰግናለሁ!

የመምህራን አድናቆት ኮሚቴን ለመቀላቀል በጎ ፈቃደኞችን መፈለግ፡ የኛ PTA ከግንቦት 6-10 የመጀመሪያው ሙሉ ሳምንት የሚሆነውን የመምህራን የምስጋና ሳምንት ለማቀድ እና ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ የሚረዳው ተባባሪ ሊቀመንበር እና/ወይም በጎ ፈቃደኞች ያስፈልገዋል። ከባዶ መጀመር አያስፈልገዎትም ካለፈው ዓመት ኮሚቴ ዝርዝር ማስታወሻዎች ይገኛሉ! ወላጅ ቤቲ ጋርሴቴ ይህን ኮሚቴ በዚህ አመት ስለመሩት እናመሰግናለን፣ ነገር ግን የመምህር አድናቆት ሳምንትን በራሷ ማቀድ አልቻለችም! እባክዎን በፍላጎት እና በጥያቄዎች ቤቲያን ያግኙ!

የዓመት መጽሐፍት! ለልጅዎ የዓመት መጽሐፍ ማዘዝ ከፈለጉ፣ እባክዎ ይህን ሊንክ ይጠቀሙ። የዓመት መጽሐፍት ዋጋው 22 ዶላር ሲሆን በትምህርት አመቱ መጨረሻ ላይ ይሰራጫል።

PBES ማስታወቂያዎች፡ በ Chris Campbell፣ PBES VP Communications የተዘጋጀ

2ኛው የመዋኛ ክፍል በዚህ ሳምንት ለሁሉም ተማሪዎች ተጀምሯል። እባክዎን ልጅዎን በሚቀጥሉት ሶስት ሳምንታት በPE ቀን የመዋኛ ልብስ እና ፎጣ እንዲሆን ያስታውሱ። የመዋኛ ክፍሉ ከማርች 4 እስከ ማርች 22 ይቆያል። ልጅዎ የመዋኛ ልብስ የሚፈልግ ከሆነ እባክዎን ሚስተር ራስል ወይም የት/ቤታችን አማካሪዎችን ያግኙ።

PBES የሥዕል ቀን፡ ነገ፣ ረቡዕ፣ ማርች 6

የቤተሰብ ሕይወት ትምህርት ክፍል፡- ሐሙስ፣ መጋቢት 7፣ 5ኛ ክፍል የተንከባካቢዎች ስብሰባ ስለመጪው የቤተሰብ ሕይወት ትምህርት ክፍል

PBES የመድብለ ባህላዊ ምሽት በታኮማ ፓርክ መካከለኛ ደረጃ ት/ቤት መጋቢት 20

ምግብ ለማምጣት ለመመዝገብ ይህንን ሊንክ ይጠቀሙ፡-

ለአፈጻጸም ለመመዝገብ ይህንን ሊንክ ይጠቀሙ፡

በዝግጅቱ ላይ በጎ ፈቃደኛ ለመሆን ለመመዝገብ ይህንን ሊንክ ይጠቀሙ፡-

የፀደይ ዕረፍት: መጋቢት 25-29

የPBES ትምህርት ቤት ዳሰሳ፡ ትምህርት ቤታችንን ለማሻሻል ይርዱ! የማስተማር ስራችንን ለማሻሻል እና ትምህርት ቤታችንን ለሁሉም ተማሪዎች እና ቤተሰቦች የበለጠ ምቹ ቦታ እንዲሆን እንፈልጋለን። ምን ማድረግ እንዳለብን እንድንረዳ እባክዎን ይህንን የዳሰሳ ጥናት ይሙሉ። 10 ደቂቃ ያህል ይወስዳል.

TPES የንባብ ማሻሻያ (አማንዳ ዋግነር)

የ TPES ንባብ-አ-ቶን 3ኛ ሳምንት። በግማሽ መንገድ ወደ ትምህርት ቤት የ200,000 ደቂቃዎች ግብ

ወደ ትምህርት ቤት ሰፊው ግብ ከደረሱ የፖፕኮርን ድግስ ይኖራል እና ለፓርቲው ፈቃደኛ ሠራተኞችን ይፈልጋሉ – ይከታተሉ!

ቤተሰብ እና ጓደኞች ገንዘብ እየገቡ ቢሆንም ሁሉም ተማሪዎች በንባብ ላይ መሳተፍ አለባቸው – የገንዘብ ማሰባሰብያ ክፍል አማራጭ ነው።

PBES የተነበበ-አ-ቶን ማሻሻያ (ክርስቲን ኦፕላኒክ)

የPBES ንባብ-አ-ቶን በመጽሐፍ ስጦታ ተጀመረ

ከ3 ሳምንታት የንባብ እና የምዝግብ ማስታወሻ በኋላ፣ 28ኛው የ2024 Readathon መገባደጃ ላይ ከክፍል ስብሰባዎች ጋር በመሆን የጋራ ስኬትን አከበሩ። ይህ ተማሪዎቹ የሚወዱትን PB-Jellyን ያካትታል።

PBES በአጠቃላይ 200,000 ደቂቃዎች የማንበብ ግቡን አልፏል። ተማሪዎቹ በአጠቃላይ 495,205 ደቂቃዎችን አንብበዋል!

3ኛ ክፍል ንባብ 135,557 ደቂቃዎች

4ኛ ክፍል የተነበበ 136,235 ደቂቃዎች

5ኛ ክፍል የተነበበ 225,937 ደቂቃዎች

በብዛት ያነበቡት እና የፒዛ ፓርቲን ያሸነፉ ክፍሎች፡-

3ኛ ክፍል፣ በአማካኝ 1,138 ደቂቃ በአንድ ተማሪ፣ ያንግ ክፍል

4ኛ ክፍል፣ በአማካኝ 1,548 ደቂቃዎች በአንድ ተማሪ፣ የፕሉመር ክፍል

5ኛ ክፍል፣በአማካኝ 2,271 ደቂቃዎች በተማሪዎች፣የኬኔይ ክፍል

የ3,000 ዶላር የገቢ ማሰባሰቢያ ግብ ሊጠናቀቅ ተቃርቧል።

ዛሬ: $2,570

እባኮትን ቃል የገቡትን ቃል/ክትትል ከስፖንሰሮች ጋር ለመጨረስ ይሞክሩ/በዚህ ሳምንት ለማዋጣት ካልቻሉ እና ካልቻሉ!

በድረ-ገጹ ላይ ለ Readathon የተለየ አማራጭ አለ.

እንደ አማራጭ ለPBES PTA የተሰራ ቼክ ወደ ትምህርት ቤቱ ቢሮ መላክ ይችላሉ።

PBES የጂኦቦውል ማሻሻያ (Justine Lassman)

የወላጅ በጎ ፈቃደኞች ይህንን ክስተት እንዲቻል አድርገውታል፣ እንደሌሎች ብዙ።

በሁለት ሳምንታት ውስጥ የጂኦቦውል ውድድር (መጋቢት 18 እና መጋቢት 19) ይካሄዳል. ተማሪዎ የትኛውን ቀን እንደሚወዳደር ከዚህ በታች ያግኙ።

መርዳት ከፈለጉ አሁንም አንዳንድ በጎ ፈቃደኞች ሊጠቀሙ ይችላሉ –

ለበጎ ፈቃደኝነት ወይም ለማንኛውም የጂኦቦውል ጥያቄዎች ያነጋግሩ፡

ለእያንዳንዱ ክፍል የጂኦቦውል ውድድር ቀናት እና ሰዓቶች፡-

ሰኞ መጋቢት 18 በጂም ውስጥ

9፡35-10፡35 ጥዋት ጂ. 4 (ኬሲ፣ ኤስኮው፣ ፕሉመር፣ ሴራ)

12፡00-1፡00 ፒ.ኤም. ግሬ. 5 (ኬኒ፣ ማድሰን፣ ፒኖክ፣ ቶልሰን)

1፡10-2፡10 ፒ.ኤም. ግሬ. 3 (ዱንላፕ፣ ጋዝዳ፣ ጆይ፣ ካንዴህ)

2፡20-3፡20 p.m. ግሬ. 3 (ክላክስተን፣ ጊልስ፣ ግራናዶስ፣ ሄርናንዴዝ፣ ወጣት)

ማክሰኞ፣ መጋቢት 19 በጂም ውስጥ

9፡35-10፡35 ጥዋት ጂ. 4 (ቦልደን፣ ኤበርሊ፣ ሊ፣ ፖርተር)

12፡00-1፡00 ፒ.ኤም. ግሬ. 5 (ብሩኪንግ፣ ካሪዩኪ፣ ሉከር፣ ፓትሪክ)

በመስመር ላይ የተማሪዎችን ደህንነት መጠበቅ (ሱዛን አንደርሰን፣ TPES ሚዲያ ስፔሻሊስት)

ስላይዶች እዚህ ይገኛሉ፡

በቤት ውስጥ ምን ማድረግ ይችላሉ

በትምህርት ቤት ውስጥ

የመስመር ላይ እንቅስቃሴ ቁጥጥር/የተጣራ ነው።

ተማሪዎች በMCPS መለያ መግባት አለባቸው

የMCPS ማጣሪያዎች ተማሪዎችን ተገቢ ካልሆኑ ድረ-ገጾች ይጠብቃቸዋል።

እንቅስቃሴ (የፍለጋ ታሪክ፣ ወዘተ) እና Google Drives ክትትል ይደረግባቸዋል

ሁሉም በ TPES እና PBES ያሉ ተማሪዎች የዲጂታል ዜግነት ትምህርቶችን እየተቀበሉ ነው – ብዙውን ጊዜ በመገናኛ ብዙሃን ባለሙያ (በ TPES በአብዛኛው ሱ አንደርሰን ነው። ወይዘሮ ኤድጋር በPBES ያስተምራቸዋል)

ትኩረት፡ አስተማማኝ እና ጤናማ ምርጫዎችን ማድረግ

ከኮመን ሴንስ ትምህርት ሥርዓተ ትምህርት ይጠቀማል

ከትምህርት ቤት ወደ ትምህርት ቤት ወጥነት ያለው ለመሆን ይሞክሩ

ቤት ውስጥ

MCPS በቤት ውስጥ ክትትል ወይም ማጣሪያ አይደለም

በቤትዎ ዋይፋይ ወይም ራውተር ላይ ገደቦችን ማዘጋጀት ይችላሉ።

ቴክኖሎጂ ሁሉንም ጉዳዮች ሊፈታ አይችልም, ስለዚህ ግምት ውስጥ ማስገባት አለብዎት:

ስለ ሕጎቹ እና ስለሚጠበቁት ነገር በመደበኛነት/በአክብሮት ከልጅዎ ጋር ይነጋገሩ፡

እነሱ የቴክኖሎጂ “ተወላጆች” እያደጉ ናቸው.

ዲጂታል አጠቃቀም ሁሉም “መጥፎ” እንዳልሆነ አጽንዖት ለመስጠት ያስታውሱ. ብዙ እንቅስቃሴዎች ለመማር፣ ለፈጠራ፣ ወዘተ ጠቃሚ ናቸው።

እራስን መቆጣጠርን ያበረታቱ

የቴክኖሎጂ እቅድ ያውጡ (የጋራ ግንዛቤ መመሪያ)

በቤተሰብ እሴቶች ላይ በመመስረት ደንቦችን/ገደቦችን ያቀናብሩ

ለምሳሌ፡ን ይጎብኙ

አብራችሁ አድርጉት።

ለልጆቻችሁ የምታደርጉትን ሞዴል አድርጉ

አስደሳች ይዘትን በጋራ ማጋራት ይረዳል

ቴክኖሎጂን አንድ ላይ ይፍጠሩ ለምሳሌ ፒያኖ ሲጫወቱ የሚያሳይ ቪዲዮ

ስለሚያዩት ነገር ተነጋገሩ እና በመስመር ላይ ይጫወታሉ

የደህንነት ምክሮች

ልጆች የእርስዎን ፍቃድ መጠየቅ አለባቸው – ሳይጠይቁ መሳሪያዎን መያዝ አይችሉም

ህጎችን እና ገደቦችን ያዘጋጁ – አስፈላጊ በሚሆንበት ጊዜ አይሆንም ይበሉ

መሣሪያውን በሚያዩበት ቦታ ይጠቀሙበት

የትኞቹን ጣቢያዎች/ጨዋታዎች እየተጠቀሙ እንደሆኑ ይወቁ

መገናኛ ክፈት – የማይመች ነገር ካዩ ሊነግሩዎት ይገባል። ተንከባካቢዎች እነዚህን ንግግሮች መቀበል አለባቸው።


ያለማስታወቂያ ነጻ የሆኑ ትምህርታዊ፣ አዝናኝ ድህረ ገጾች

አብዛኛዎቹ በClever afer ተማሪዎች ወደ MCPS አውታረመረብ ይገባሉ።

የሃብት ዝርዝር (እና የሚፈለጉ የይለፍ ቃሎች እዚህ ያግኙ

ጥያቄ እና መልስ

ስለ minecraft ቪዲዮዎች ጥያቄ

Minecraft ቪዲዮዎች በዚህ እድሜ ላሉ ልጆች አግባብነት የሌላቸው ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ እና ልጆች እየተመለከቷቸው ከሆነ ወላጆች በክፍሉ ውስጥ መሆን አለባቸው.

ስለ Chromebooks ጥያቄ

ቤት ውስጥ chromebook ከፈለጉ፣ ኢሜል ያድርጉ፡

ለ wifi የተለየ ሂደት አለ። ቤት ውስጥ wifi ከፈለጉ በኢሜል ይላኩ እና የተማሪዎን አስተማሪ ይጠይቁ። ለ wifi መሙላት ፎርም ይሰጡዎታል።

የተማሪ መለያዎችን እንዴት ማግኘት ይቻላል፡-

ስፓኒሽ፡ቅድመ እይታ

በChromebooks ላይ ስለደህንነት ጥበቃዎች ጥያቄ

በ TPES እና PBES ላይ በተማሪዎች Chromebooks ላይ ያለው ጥበቃ ተማሪዎች ክሮሞ መፅሐፎቻቸውን እቤት ውስጥ ሲጠቀሙ በራስ-ሰር እንደማይተላለፉ ያስታውሱ።

ስለ ክፍል ዶጆ ጥያቄ

ወደ ክፍል ዶጆ እንዴት እንደሚገቡ መረጃ ለማግኘት አስተማሪዎን ይጠይቁ

የበጀት ዝማኔዎች

TPES (ኤሚ ስዊፍት፣ TPES PTA ገንዘብ ያዥ)

በዚህ ወር 202 ዶላር መጣ

ወጪዎች የፔይፓል ክፍያዎችን ያካትታሉ። መዋጮ ሲያደርጉ (ጥሬ ገንዘብ፣ ቼክ ወይም ፔይፓል)፣ ፔይፓል ክፍያ እንደሚያስከፍል ያስታውሱ

ለሰራተኞች ድጋፍ ተጨማሪ ገንዘብ አውጥቷል (የቫለንታይን ቀን ፣ የውሃ አቅርቦት ፣ የምሳ ካርድ ለ paypal ቡድን)

ፒቢኤስ (ራቻኤል ፒሮቲ፣ ፒቢኤስ ፒቲኤ ገንዘብ ያዥ)

ጥቂት ተጨማሪ የማበረታቻ ልገሳ እና ለ readathon የገንዘብ ማሰባሰብ በዚህ ወር ልገሳዎችን ከፍ አድርጓል።

ወጪዎቹ የ BTSN ሕጻናት እንክብካቤ፣ የፔይፓል ስሜት፣ ወዘተ ያካትታሉ።

ቀጣዩ የPTA ስብሰባ

የሚቀጥለው የPTA ስብሰባ ኤፕሪል 2 በ 7 ፒኤም ይካሄዳል


February 2024 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 from 7 – 8pm on Zoom 

Meeting Kick-off 

Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President welcome

  • Intro to topics to be discussed
  • Desiree Hernandez will be translating in Spanish, we do not have an Amharic interpreter today. Notes will be shared in English/Spanish/Amharic.
  • Reminder: PBES suggestion/feedback form at this link.  Please give feedback regarding upcoming meetings or other PTA suggestions/ideas

Upcoming Dates & Announcements

TPES ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Read by Clare Dean, TPES PTA Vice President

  • Support a TPES Family During a Time of Crisis: On behalf of a dear kindergarten student at TPES and his family, Ms. Paz has created a GoFundMe page. His mother, 26 year old María, passed suddenly from complications due to her leukemia. Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the cause, Ms. María Vicente Chan’s children chaperoned by Ms. Paz returned her to Guatemala for burial. The medical and funeral expenses unfortunately still linger and any further contributions are enormously appreciated. Click here to contribute to the GoFundMe. 
  • Black History Night is on February 29th at PBES! We are looking for six volunteers from TPES to help with set up, food, clean up and the art table. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Gabrielle Williams. We will put her information in the chat. ( 
  • TPES Read-a-thon is coming soon and NEEDS VOLUNTEERS: February 19-March 15: The Read-a-thon is one of our PTA’s most significant fundraisers, where students will read to raise funds for the PTA. Like in a charity marathon where runners are “sponsored” for every mile they run, students will collect pledges for the time that they read. It’s a lot of fun! The students get very excited to read and set reading goals. Volunteer roles only take a few hours and many can be done from home! Our most important volunteer need right now is on Friday, February 16th for the book giveaway! Even if you can’t commit to a whole time slot, we appreciate even an hour of your time! You can sign up to volunteer on this linked spreadsheet. Please contact Amanda Wagner ( for more information.
  • Does Your Child Have Extra Pants in Their School Cubby? Please send in labeled pants with your child to stay in their cubby in case a change of clothing is needed. Most children only have shorts from the beginning of the year as their change of clothes. Please label your student’s clothing as it helps get the items returned if misplaced.
  • Lost and Found: Please come check out the lost and found! Most coats are now hanging on a coat rack, while there are three (large and overflowing) boxes of sweatshirts, sweaters, fleeces and lunch boxes. There is another separate box of water bottles and finally, a box of hats, gloves and scarves. Everything is located in the atrium (pictures attached for reference). We ask that if your child has lost something this year, to please come look for it, as there are a significant number of items. Please remember your ID when you come to school so that you may get in.
  • Nurse Seeking Donations of New/Excellent Condition Pants (Sizes 4-10): Please consider sending in an extra pair of pants for the nurse’s office. Not only do bathroom accidents happen, children need to change their pants if they fall in the mud/wet grass, spills in the cafeteria, etc. As a Pre K-2 school, we have lots of change of clothing needs! 
  • Valentine’s Day: When sending valentines in with your child, be sure there is a valentine for every child in the homeroom class. Unfortunately, students without a full set will not be permitted to pass out valentines. This is being done to safeguard the emotional health of our children. Teachers will be sending home class lists soon.
  • Yearbook Ordering is Now Open: If you’d like to order a yearbook for your child, please use this link. Yearbooks cost $22 and will be distributed at the end of the school year. 

PBES ANNOUNCEMENTS: ready by Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President

  • February is Black History Month! TPES/PBES Black History Night Celebration: February 29, 7–8 pm – The Black History Night event will take place on Thursday February 29 from 7 to 8:00 PM at PBES, cosponsored by the TPES and PBES PTAs. Expect live interactive performances, refreshments, and engaging art activities. Students and their families/caregivers are welcome! More details to be provided in the coming weeks.
  • February 19: No school (President’s Day)
  • Cultural Heritage Night, GeoBowl, and Readathon updates will be provided by the committee members after the announcements
  • Here is the sign up link to bring some Valentines treats for PBES staff on Feb 13:

Budget Updates, TPES and PBES

Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer 

Zones of Regulation

Ms. Altofer . TPES Counselor 

Overview – Zones of Regulation is an SEL curriculum originally developed for small groups of students with autism or sensory processing issues. We are however seeing more and more children with self regulation challenges.

  • Mr Altofer and Ms. Ampofo are working with this curriculum (Zones of Regulation) this year. 
  • Breaks feelings into color zones.
  • Will be continuing to refine lessons and have consistency throughout classrooms/school.

Q: Are there ways we as parents can support what you are doing at school?

A: You can have conversations with your student at home if they are becoming unregulated or getting close to a tantrum, ask what color they are in. Reinforce that red is not good/bad but means out of control. Remind them that not everyone experiences their feelings the same, there isn’t a right/wrong, just a difference of opinion.

Q: If this was originally developed for kids on the autism spectrum, how appropriate is this curriculum for kids who are not on the spectrum (which presumably is most kids)?

A: It was developed for that purpose but has been used in school/clinical settings with students with ADHD, students with regulatory issues. 

This is something that is good for all children, it was just designed for children originally for kids on the spectrum. “A good strategy is a good strategy”

From chat: I rarely get details from my kids about what they learn daily, but my kindergartner and 2nd grader fell all over themselves to tell us everything about the zones of regulation!

Q: I really appreciate the focus on zones of regulation this year. How it the zones curriculum being balanced with other guidance curriculum that covers other topics?

A: This year, this is the curriculum we are using. Next year we will incorporate mindfulness into zones. 

Q:Is this tool being used in PBES as well so students can maintain a consistent approach as they age up?

A: No, but it is available. Choice was made to use it at TPES based on what counselors/staff were seeing and what seemed appropriate.

Q: What trends post-pandemic are you seeing? Particular grades or throughout?

A: Throughout school. My sense that it was from being out of school, being on screen, then having to transition back. The social skills foundation and general frustration tolerance has decreased. In any given year, there is a handful demonstrating this but we are seeing more and more, behaviors are getting bigger, more students are becoming physically aggressive, etc.

Black History Month celebration – no presentation this evening

Reminder: The celebration is Feb 29th at PBES


Mrs Oberdorff: Thank you to all the volunteers for GeoBowl and Readathon

Dr Gadsden: Thank you for everyone volunteering for lunch, recess, and at school, and for your smiles when you come in.

Ingrid Gardiner,  PBES PTA President

  • Reminder that next PTA meeting will be on March 5 at 7 PM 

Additional Q&A:

Q:Is there a “no-school day” on Tuesday, May 14th?

A: May 14th is a Holiday with schools and offices closed for Primary Election Day.

January 2024 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Rescheduled: Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 7 – 8pm on Zoom 

Agenda will include:
(1) Upcoming TPES and PBES dates and announcement
(2) Update about Black History Month events
(3) Presentations by Dr. Gadsden (Principal of TPES) and Ms. Oberdorf (Principal of PBES) on protocol and processes for virtual school in the case of inclement weather.
(4) Q&A

7:00 PM: Meeting Kick-off 

Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President welcome

7:05 PM: Upcoming Dates & Announcements
Joyce McDonough, TPES PTA VP Communications
Chris Campbell – PBES PTA VP Communications 

TPES Announcements: 

  • Little Scholars Club Registration Extended through Sunday, January 21, 8pm for Cheerleading, Hip Hop, and Mini Med

We have been working with Little Scholars to ensure improved programming this winter session. If a class is no longer listed, it is full. Please click here or on the attached flyer to register. 

  • Next Food Forest and Gardening PTA Committee on Wednesday, January 24th 8-9PM

To learn about planting in the spring, Spring Gardening Club update; and Green School recertification. Please email Erin Mohan for the Google Meet link.

  • Green School Certification at TPES: Bring in dried-up markers and used-up glue sticks

There are 2 boxes in the Atrium, one for dried-up markers and one for used-up glue sticks. Please send your used items in with your child! They’ll be sent to be recycled once the boxes are full! Let’s see how many pounds of plastics we can prevent from going into our landfills! 

  • Volunteers Needed to Coordinate TPES/PBES Soccer Spring Event

This spring the TPES and PBES PTAs hope to hold a soccer game event to bring together our school community. If you are interested in helping to make this happen, please reach out to Kaitlin Caruso (

    • Thanks to our parent volunteer, Alfia Ali, we have an active Amharic-language WhatsApp group for TPES parents. We also have a Spanish-language WhatsApp group, led by Ms. Paz. Help us spread the word! 
  • Advice on Lice. We are still having reported cases of lice at the school. You may have noticed that our PTA is including tips in our weekly newsletters to keep lice front of mind. We have also purchased some medicated shampoos and combs for the nurse to distribute to families who may need them. 
  • Blair HS has their STEM night for Grades K-5 on January 26th, 
  • There is NO school on January 29th. 

PBES Announcements: 

    • The Geography Bowl has begun! Packets should have come home with you children with maps of Africa and The Americas and questions about these regions. For anyone unfamiliar with the GeoBowl it’s a voluntary opportunity for kids to develop an enthusiasm for geography and create school spirit through team competitions. The packets are completed outside of class time and the classroom with the highest percentage of completed packets gets a donut party 🙂 You can learn more about the GeoBowl on the PBES PTA website HERE, including important dates:
      • Monday, January 22 4pm-5pm and Thursday, January 25 8am-9am packet completion help at school for those kids interested in getting support completing their GeoBowl packets 
      • Thursday, February 1st Final day to turn in completed packets
      • Monday, February 5th All corrected packets will be returned to classrooms
      • Please consider volunteering by filling out this FORM
  • TPES/PBES Soccer Spring Event: reach out to Sara Lewis at if interested in participating through PBES.
  • Little Scholars Club Registration is open through Sunday, January 21st. Scholarship applications are now closed. We are accepting donations to help cover the cost of scholarships for the Spring Semester of after school programming. Link here to make a donation.
  • January 24: Instrumental music concerts at TPMS: 6:00 p.m. Strings Concert, 7:00 p.m. Band Concert. Family and friends are invited to attend. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Mrs. Pratt at

Amanda Wagner from TPES and Leanne from PBES will now share a special announcement about the Read-a-thon at each school.

  • Read-a-thon is a schoolwide event to encourage kids to read over a period of three weeks.
    • TPES: starts February 14
    • PBES: starts February 2
  • Parents submit their readathon minute trackers back on fridays; win pizza party for most read
  • Book giveaway on first day, starting book collection next week
  • Families may submit donations for every minute or book read. Will be sending home information.
  • How to participate (both schools)
    • Book collection: Donate books for the book giveaway, particularly books in Spanish
    • Parent volunteers
      • Help with book giveaway
      • Tally minute trackers
    • More information coming soon
  • Contact information:

7:15 PM: Update from NAACP Representatives and PTA leadership regarding Black History Month Events

Gabrielle Williams, TPES PTA NAACP Representative
Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President 

  • Theme: Blacks in the Arts
  • Solidifying date for the event at the end of February
  • Will be held at PBES
  • Planned for the event:
    • Food
    • Dance troupe
    • Opportunities for student involvement
  • More details coming soon

7:25 PM: Protocol and Processes for Virtual Schooling In the Case of School Closures Due to Inclement Weather (Including time for Q & A)
Ms. Joi Hollis, Principal of TPES
Ms. Christine Oberdorf, Principal of PBES 

  • Dr. Gadsden will stay on the call at the end for further questions
  • Slide Deck
  • MCPS Operating Status
    • Color coded system (LINK)
    • Multi-step process for making the decision to close (LINK)
      • Team tracking weather data and what surrounding districts are doing
  • Code Purple: Virtual Learning (LINK)
    • Only happens under certain conditions
      • Predictable storm/event
      • Part of multi-day event
      • Prior preparation and communication has taken place – school will know by noon the day before
    • Get Ready announcement will be sent from school
    • Required to have live (synchronous) instruction on 2-hour delay schedule
    • Attendance taken: maximize flexibility if difficulty during sign-on
    • There will be opportunities to make up work missed if unable to be online
    • Chromebook: must have access to a device for live instruction
      • Request device (link)
      • MCPS ITS handles the distribution
        • Tech days
          • TPES: Wednesdays
          • PBES: Fridays
      • MiFi device – request through school principal
      • Technology support resources (LINK)
      • Additional Tech Supports: School will send the resources via email when having a Code Purple day
      • Advance planning: Ensure you can find Canvas and Clever – look at documents and check with teachers/child to find out if child knows their signon details
      • Sign up for MCPS alerts (LINK)
    • Meal service: offered at 20 sites thru county; MCPS will communicate where these will be
    • TPES Schedules
      • Separate schedules for each grade
        • Start: 11:05
        • Lunch: 12:05-12:40
        • K: will not have specials – many movement breaks
        • User-friendly icons (teacher faces) to help out students and families
          • Hub to click on your grade level to take you to the slide deck with your child’s grade.
    • PBES Schedules
      • Start: 11:05
      • Lunch: 12:45-1:30
      • Follow pod and teacher within grid
      • Specialists will use the teacher zoom link to keep from switching rooms
    • Can assign chromebooks the day before the code purple if needed


  • How TPES kids move from classrooms for homeroom/math: Canvas landing page will have zoom link and their schedule; TPES working out how to handle math transitions; Students will switch virtual classrooms for reading if they have Ms. Wade.
  • Snow days: only 2 built into the calendar. Unsure what January 29 or spring break will look like yet. MCPS may ask the state for special dispensation to avoid makeup days.
  • Do students have to logon to a MCPS device? Everything can be accessed through student’s google account. No need for a specific device from MCPS.
  • Canvas: do students know how to use it? Students are familiar with accessing it.
  • Chromebook tech issues: send device to school and IT will troubleshoot. 
    • Tech days
      • TPES: wednesday
      • PBES: friday
      • Send in the device (not charger) with a note of the issue
      • Not always immediate reply; will try to turn around based on availability 
  • Students sign in to Google with their ID and .net email. For example: Then they input the same password they use in school.
  • Passwords and logins: if students don’t remember, call the office
  • Preferable for kids to be on their own computer rather than having several kids on one projector/device.

7:50 PM: Budget Updates
Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer
Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer

  • TPES include link to document?
    • Through December 31, 2023
    • Ahead because of Dolphin Drive, Read-a-thon, Dolphin Gear
  • PBES include link to document?
    • Fundraising same as last year
    • Working on getting more business sponsorships
    • Bookfair expenses
    • Holiday treats, etc. 
    • Total expenses: $15,086

7:55 PM: THANK YOU: Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President 

Reminder that next meeting is Tuesday, February 6, 2024

General questions:

  • Are they learning how to access Canvas at school? Teachers are teaching this based on their tech level; making as much of the navigation visual.
  • Lost and found: ideas to organize? Teachers borrow from the lost & found when someone needs a coat; they try to reconnect kid with coat when possible; appreciate any help with that; Parents: take an inventory and come by the school to go through the atrium
    • Possible ways to help
      • PTA take photos and send on listserv
      • Donation of coat racks for better organization?
      • Want to ensure everyone gets their things back before donating this year. 
      • There is a supply of available hats/gloves/coats at PBES that they give out when they see a need.
  • Tomorrow (January 19) is NOT a virtual day. Building will not be accessible.
  • PTA will try to hold a session on how to log in for virtual learning, on MCPS Chromebook and non-MCPS device.

December 2023 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, December 5, 2023 from 7 – 8pm on Zoom 


(1) Upcoming TPES and PBES dates and announcements
(2) Presentations by PBES reading specialist (Mr. Bledsoe), Math Coach (Mrs. Faulk), and Staff Development Teacher (Java Robinson) and TPES Principal and Vice Principal (Dr. Gadsden/Ms Hollis) with resources, tools, and activities to help kids at home depending on which areas kids may need help with based on report cards.
(3) Q&A

7:00 PM: Meeting Kick-off 

Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President welcome

  • Intro to topics to be discussed
  • Reminder: PBES suggestion/feedback form at this link in chat asking for folks to give feedback regarding upcoming meetings or other PTA suggestions/ideas. Link:

7:05 PM: Upcoming Dates & Announcements

TPES ANNOUNCEMENTS: Claire Dean, TPES PTA Vice President

    • Online Book Fair:  TPES PTA is partnering with Bookworm Central for both an online and on-site Book Fair.  The online book fair is available right now.  Link:  You may also purchase books to go directly to the media center – see link on page. If you order books by December 8, they will arrive by December 22.  TPES PTA receives 15% of all proceeds from the online book fair.  
    • TPES Merchandise:  If you would like to purchase some TPES merchandise for the holidays or winter season, please contact TPES PTA VP Claire Dean.  If you are interested in TPES merchandise before the holidays, please send me an email to coordinate at  You can check out our online book fair at: You can see the full list of available titles by clicking the “Books” tab at the top of the fair page. You can also help Ms. Anderson and the Media get the books they need by purchasing from the Library’s Book Fair Drive. Those books will go right to the Media Center’s collection. Let’s get reading!
    • The Health Room needs change of clothing donations for boys, girls and non-binary clothing sizes 4-10, specifically, underwear (new only), pants and shirts. As a PK-2 school, we have several accidents throughout the week where children need a change of clothes. 
  • Thank you – the TPES Holiday drive was fulfilled. All spots were taken for the holiday toy drive. The PTA encourages donations to STM toy drive and City of Takoma Park’s 2023 Toy Drive:

Small Things Matter’s Holiday Toy Drive:

City of Takoma Park’s 2023 Toy Drive:

  • Reminder to make sure your child has a change of seasonal-appropriate clothing kept in the classroom (top, pants, underwear, and socks). 

7:10 PM:  Dolphin Drive Update, Diana Hickey van Houwelingen, VP of Fundraising

Exceeded goal: $11,077; including Thanksgiving match partners = $14,077 total

7:12 PM:  Budget Updates

Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer

Most of the income this month was from Dolphin Drive.

Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer

PBES also surpassed the goal for Panther Appeal.

 7:20 PM:  Report Cards – Tools, Resources, and Activities Presentation

TPES – Dr. Gadsden and Ms. Hollis

Resources for supporting math and reading at home

Link to presentation:

Families can print reading resources information at home. If you don’t have print capabilities at home, you can email reading specialist Ms. Jennifer Fahrenthold:

Math coach: Samikia East:

Questions during presentation: 

Q: Dr Gadsden showed an online portal for DIBELS. How do we access that? We only got a printout at our parent-teacher conference. 

A: The Home Connect website is listed at the bottom of the second page of the DIBELS report, and is also available at  If you have any additional questions, please email

Q: Math question: For students who complain about having to make drawings when they can solve problems in their head, how can parents explain to them why these strategies are important? 

A: Please let students know it is great that you know how to answer problems in their head, however, there are many ways to solve a problem and the teacher wants to see what strategies you used to solve your work that is why it is important to show your work.  The teacher might have a question about your work but you left for the day and if you show your work they can look at your work to get their question answered.

Q: When we observed during the open house, the teacher was using leveled readers typical of a balanced literacy approach, which surprised me given the move by MCPS to the science of reading.  Do classrooms need more decodable texts?  And could the PTA support this? Or, is the goal to use a mix of leveled readers and decodable books?  

A: Thank you for your kind offer, but we have an excellent selection of decodable books.  Teachers have access to both decodable readers and books that are not designed as decodable readers so that they can select the type of book that is most appropriate for the task the teacher is envisioning. If you have any additional questions, please email

Q: Does TPES also have access to restorative justice training? 

A: We have a Restorative Justice Coach who trains staff.

PBES – Reading Specialist- Mr. Bledsoe, Math Coach-Mrs. Faulk, Staff Development Teacher-Java Robinson
Ms. Faulk, Math Coach: presentation on how you can support your child at home
Mr. Bledsoe, reading specialist: presentation on helping your child with reading at home. Email:
Java Robinson, Staff Development Teacher: Presentation on Restorative Justice & Minority Scholars Program

Link to presentation:

7:45 PM:  Q&A

Facilitated by Chris Campbell, PBES VP of Communications and Aphra Adkins, PBES PTA VP

Form will be filled out and shared.


Ingrid Gardiner,  PBES PTA President

  • Reminder that next meeting will be on January 8 at 7 PM

November 2023 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 from 7-8pm on Zoom
Meeting Minutes

Agenda included: (1)Upcoming Dates & Announcements (2)Dreambox Presentation by Samikia East (3)Wait Until Eighth Presentation by Amber Rieke (4) Treasurer’s Reports and Budget Votes

7:00 PM: Meeting Kick-off  – Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President 

Upcoming Dates & Announcements (Read by Joyce McDonough, TPES VP Communications) 

Takoma Park Elementary PTA 

  • The Dolphin Drive Begins! (Please refer to Diana to make announcement) 

November is coming and it’s time for our annual Dolphin Drive!  This year we aim to raise $10,000 for the PTA.  With your support we can continue to provide programs and opportunities for our students at TPES.  Be on the lookout for more information about how you can participate and show your school spirit!  Go, Dolphins!

Flyers and envelopes will be coming home with children in the Dolphin folders, if not already. Envelope: write the child’s and teacher’s name on the website. Donations also accepted at

  • Bring in Magazines for the Counseling Office 

Students will be creating collages to help identify emotions and understand zones of regulation by cutting out examples of people experiencing different emotions from magazines this week. Please send in magazines with people that could be useful for these collages.

  • TPES Open House: Friday, November 10, 9:30-11:30AM

Some classes will do their normal activities, others may have special events. Teachers will determine the format of the event and how parents will engage.

  • Reminder: Respect Road Signs

As a reminder, there is no left turn at the exit of the school parking lot onto Holly Ave during school hours. There has been additional congestion at drop off/dismissal, including buses not being able to drive through, due to cars trying to turn left onto Holly Ave from the TPES parking lot.  

  • Small Things Matter and TPES/PBES Annual Coat Drive 

The school is partnering with Small Things Matter for its annual Coat Drive! The drive runs until November 15. Please bring new or gently used coats to the designated box in the main office during school hours. All PBES and TPES families are invited to get coats on Tuesday November 7 at the TPSS Coop and again at a later date (to be announced soon).

  • TPES will have Hearing & Vision screenings from November 6th through the 9th from 9:30am to 3pm. The school is in need of several volunteers to help the health room staff escort students from the classrooms to the screening location and back. Please let Ms. Paz know if you are available to assist during this important screening ( 
  • There will be HALF DAYS on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week and NO SCHOOL November 22-24, 2023. 

Piney Branch Elementary PTA 

  • Panther Appeal Update: Thanks to All Who Contributed

Appeal is over, a big thank you to everyone who donated! Your support makes everything the PTA does possible!.  We are getting close to our goal and hope that our silent auction gets us to the $10K goal

  • On November 9 the PTA is hosting a Community Celebration from 7-8:30 pm, where we will thank our PBES Family and Friends for their support and participation in our vibrant community. There will be a silent auction, raffle, pizza, and a “Why I Love Piney Branch” group art project. The PTA needs volunteers for our PBES Community Celebration on November 9th! 

The event will have a group art project for students, a silent auction, pizza and raffle prizes! Bidding for silent auction items will close online at 630pm the night of and continue in person at the event.

Please fill out this SignUp Genius if you are able to volunteer. 

  • Feedback Needed: After-school Programs

Please complete this survey  to help the PTA plan future after-school programming. We are interested in your feedback, whether you have participated in the past or are interested in participating in the future.

  • Thank you to Adanna Johnson for volunteering to serve as an NAACP representative for PBES! 

We are looking for one additional NAACP representative to share responsibilities with Adanna. The NAACP representatives attend monthly meetings (or ensures PBES representation at monthly meetings), share important information from the Parents’ Council with the school community, and help to plan/support outreach events/activities at PBES. Please reach out to Sara Lewis ( if you are willing to serve in this capacity.

For all volunteers: MCPS Volunteer Training and support guide – please complete this before you are scheduled to volunteer:

7:10 PM: Dreambox Presentation and Q & A

  • Samikia East, Staff Development Teacher, TPES
    • Link to presentation
    • Dreambox is a digital math program that K-3 students have access to at home and at school that complements the Eureka curriculum.
    • Empowers teachers and parents with actionable data
    • Students are encouraged to use it at home without assistance.
    • Role of the Learning Guardian
      • Ensure technical compatibility: PC, laptop, or ipad. Up to date browsers: Safari, Chrome, Firefox, or Ipad app. Not compatible with android tablets, iphones
      • Username, password, classroom id comes from teacher. Student will know their picture password.
      • 5+ lessons per week, to be completed both at home and at school. Set this expectation with student.
      • Support best practices: student is the only person playing on the child’s account. It’s ok to make mistakes. Use Help and hint buttons. 15 minutes per lesson; turn on volume
    • Creating free Dreambox Math Family Account
      • Some lessons at home, some in class. This account will help know what’s been done at school
      • Login to the child’s account. Select Set Up Parent Access link. 
      • Cannot create account from ipad app
      • Enter email and create a password for parent account
      • Forgot your password link is on the login page
      • Once logged in, parent can monitor child’s progress
    • Priority for Eureka worksheets or Dreambox? To work out with the student’s math teacher. Dreambox sessions are short. May rotate what the student does each evening.
    • All data kept in house by the teacher.
    • Very little data is linked to student’s account; secure
    • Is there an offline version? Can choose to do the Eureka workbook instead of Dreambox. Research shows 5+ lessons per week can improve results. Students not on screens every day at school; MAP growth scores increased with Dreambox use.
    • How do Eureka and Dreambox relate? Both are Common Core based. Eureka may not get to all concepts covered by testing; Dreambox can
    • Logins were sent home previously; Ms. East will remind teachers to send again.
    • Joyce McDonough comment: Just wanted to name for PBES families, especially our 4th and 5th grade families, that TPES PTA purchased subscriptions for all K-3 students to address learning loss during the pandemic but the program can be used for older students. It’s an adaptive program that adapts to the skills and needs of your child.
    • Dreambox is adaptive depending on where the student is. Goes through K-8 skills
    • Tutor Me: TPES is not supporting the program this year.

7:25 PM: Wait Until Eighth Presentation and Q & A

  • Amber Rieke, Health & Wellness Committee, TPES PTA
    • Fellow parent; presented last year on Wait Until Eighth
    • Conversation started last year and picking it back up
    • Wait Until Eighth is a national campaign 
    • Focused on smartphones because of social media/internet access
    • Many studies coming out about social media and mental health of youth – suggest not helpful and could be harmful; health advisories released by APA and other organizations
    • Seeing increasing issues with tech at school being a distraction; mostly smart watches
    • links to research on how smartphones are changing childhood
    • Organization set up a pledge to sign to agree not to give child a smartphone until at least 8th grade; helpful to have the norm to avoid the peer pressure of other families giving smartphones.
    • Considering setting up something similar for TPES and PBES families; open to ideas on how to address the pressures. Ensure that it is something that is sustainable into the middle school years.
    • – survey to submit ideas and provide feedback. Please complete by November 26. Will circulate in PTA newsletter and elsewhere. 
    • Amber’s email for additional questions
    • Resources for parents of high school age children? Many resources on the wait until 8th website

7:40 PM: Treasurer’s Reports & Budget Votes

  • Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer
    • Votes: 
      • Using Square and PayPal charity accounts for collecting payments, both in person and online links
        • Motion passes
      • Increases to budget expenses
        • General Expenses
        • Outreach & Social Events: buying merch, fund events
        • PTA Administrative: copier expenses, CPA for tax processing
        • Subtotal School Programs: 
        • Staff Support: water cooler, etc.
          • Motion passes
    • FInancial Review completed and submitted to Free State PTA
  • Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer
    • Changes
      • Panther appeal is complete, except the silent auction; over $8000 collected so far
      • PBES received a grant
    • Expenses: Aquarium, staff support, pta operations b/c paypal fees
    • Book fair closed but will see the funds next month; not income for the PTA.

7:55 PM: Closing Remarks 

  • Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President 
  • Reminder that next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 5th

October PTA Meeting Minutes


Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, October 3,  2023 


Meeting Minutes and PTA Information


  1. Upcoming Dates & Announcements 


  • Afterschool Programming at both TPES and PBES started today (10/3).  Little Scholars and any other programs have onsite coordinators to ensure that your kids get your kids to class.
    • Please note: finish times for TPES and PBES are different: TPES is 5:30 pm and PBES is 5 pm


  • September 15 – October 15 : Hispanic Heritage Month


  • Hispanic Heritage Night:
    • October 11 at 6:15 pm – PBES
      • To volunteer, contact Desiree Hernandez at
    • October 12 at 6:30 pm – TPES’s event Heritage & Family: Unidos por Nuestros Hijos
      • We have a poll to get to know our TPES Hispanic community with results on display at the event. Arts, crafts, food trucks and a children’s parade are also planned. A sign up genius will be going around shortly.
      • Also, please be aware that SSL hours are available for middle and high school students to help at Hispanic Heritage Night at TPES on October 12 at 6:30PM.  We would greatly appreciate your help. 
      • We could use 2-3 volunteers to help set up tables starting at 6 pm
      • To volunteer, contact Mercedes at
  • Watch D.C. United in their finale game of the season and support the TPES PTA
    • On Saturday, October 7, DC United will play the New York City Football Club in the finale game of the Fall season at Audi Field.  If you are interested in attending the game and including a donation to the TPES PTA, please see the Dolphin Digest sent on September 26th for more information.  All seats for TPES will be in Section 119.  
  • October 9th – NO SCHOOL
  • October 25 – PBES English Language Development Night – Gift of Being Multilingual 
  • October 27 – November 3 PBES Book Fair 
  • PBES New suggestion/feedback form at this link.  Please contact the PTA with any suggestions/ideas

  • PTA Volunteer Opportunities:
    • One-time volunteer opportunities – Be on the lookout this year for emails! 
      • Book Fair (sign up for shifts)
      • Readathon (tally up minutes)
      • Staff appreciation (deliver meal, coffee, etc.)
      • Garden and atrium beautification
      • Field trip chaperones
      • School Fun Mornings – fall, winter, spring (supervise fun activity stations so teachers can prep reading/math together as grade level team) 
  • Regular (weekly or bi-weekly) volunteer opportunities: 
  • There is an immediate need for volunteers to help during TPES lunchtime (in the cafeteria) and recess. Lunch will remain inside this year; volunteers are needed to help monitor and assist children in the cafeteria as well as outside during recess. For scheduling purposes, lunch/recess runs from 11:30 AM to 1:45 PM.   
  • Classroom volunteer (work with classroom teachers, often during reading or math) 
  • Room Parent (~monthly commitment) 
  • Classes still in need of room parents: Ms. Lewis (Kindergarten) 
  • We encourage you to join the TPES PTA to help us fund this important work that we do all year long. Link to join: 

For all volunteers: MCPS Volunteer Training and support guide – please complete this before you are scheduled to volunteer:

  1. Budget Updates

Amy Swift, TPES PTA Treasurer

  • Update on expenses and income:  
    • Income, to date, includes membership dues, donations, and gear sales. 
    • Expenses, to date, include classroom set-up, gear inventory, and registration costs.
    • Budget Report: 


Rachael Pierotti, PBES PTA Treasurer

  • Update on expenses and income:
    • Income, to date, includes donations and gear sales.
    • Expenses, to date, includes welcome lunch, classroom set-up, and operations expenses.
    • Budget Report:


  1. Safe Routes Presentation:

Kaysi-Ann Webley, Special Projects Coordinator for TKPK: Pedestrian and Cycling Safety

Contact: Kaysi-Ann Webley at

  • Walk to School Day – tomorrow 10/4
  • Reminder – ongoing Library Construction. Cars will get towed in the construction zone.


  1. MAP/Dibels Presentation


DIBELS presentation by Jen Fahrenthold, TPES Reading Specialist 


  • DIBELS Assessment: DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early LIteracy Skills: 
  • 4 ratings: Blue/Green/Yellow/Red
  • Just an indicator of strength and need for skills. Skills assessed include:
    • Phonemic awareness
    • Phonics
    • Reading Fluency
    • Vocabulary
    • Reading Comprehension


  • This information will be available during parent teacher conferences


Slide Deck Link:


MAP Presentation, Ms. Oberdorf, PBES Principal and Mr. Weerts, PBES Asst Principal:

  • MAP stands for “Measures of Academic Progress” 
  • MAP Math and Reading
  • Untimed
  • Adaptive and adjusts to each student’s performance
  • Aligned with state reading and math standards
  • Track Achievement and Growth
  • Results will be posted in ParentVUE
  • Assessments happen 3 times per year: Fall, Winter, Spring


How MAP scores are used:

  • Identify strengths and foundational gaps: enrichment or intervention
  • Considerations for course placements in middle school

MAP is only one measure used to monitor student achievement 


Slide Deck Link:




Q: What is the difference between Blue and Green in DIBELS:

A: Green – has met benchmark; Blue – has achieved well above benchmark


Q: When are MAP results received?

A: Testing ends this week: Could be 2-3 weeks 


Q: When are DIBELS results received?

A: They are shared at parents conferences


Q: Who administers exams? 

A: Teachers and support staff administer tests – both MAP and DIBELS


Q: What are Norms based on? 

A: They are based on NWEA. Montgomery County also has own norms (local norms)


Q: What role do MAP scores play in G&T designation?

A:  Not MAP test based. Screening for G&T starts in 2nd grade. 


Q: If a student misses exams can they make it up?

A: Yes there will be opportunities to make up


Q: What is CES? 

A: Enrichment program offering for students entering 4th grade. Reach out to Ms. Oberdorf for more information


Q: How often are teacher conferences held? 

A: End of 1st quarter. None after that formally scheduled but can be made on an as needed basis


If you have any additional questions regarding DIBELS, please reach out to the DIBELS specialist 


  1. Wrap up:
  • Hispanic Heritage Night flyers shared
    • These will also be distributed to students/families
  • PBES: We have new Panther Gear in the online store! Be sure to check it out.
    • In addition, there is an Art Contest for students to submit proposed designs for panther gear. The PTA will choose the top 3 then students will vote on their favorite.


  1. Thank you: Ingrid Gardiner,  PBES PTA President
  • Next meeting will be on November 7 at 7 PM 


POST MEETING: TPES Kindergarten Q&A with Dr Gadsden, TPES Principal:


Q: Could you provide some clarity on the amount of screen time for K?

A: Let’s talk about what screen time look like for K:  On an average day your child might have wiggle break in am and pm (dance/count physical activity with music, etc -approximately 3 min each session, at most 12 min total); at dismissal time often children treated to story online while teacher is managing dismissal; periodically centers with students working on reinforcements will be working online. No individual screentime for the most part in Kindergarten. Should be max 20 min a day


Q: How are screens being used during the day?

A: There are videos associated with curriculum – usually science or social studies but not typical and are not replacements for teacher instruction


Q: How often are they watching shows like Magic School Bus?

A: Should not be doing this! Might happen in bus room (12 min max) Could happen during indoor recess but should not have happened/be happening yet.


Note: We don’t do instruction based on video unless it comes directly from county


Q: It looks like teachers could use help/aides?

A: Yes! Parents can come volunteer! You can come read stories, etc. during lunch, help with reading, bus room, etc.


Q: Outdoor recess or physical activities would be great as a treat. Why screens as treats?

A: We don’t use screens as treats. 


Q: How much reading happens in class by teachers?

A: Read aloud by the teacher happens every day. The technology use (read aloud video) comes when teachers might have to multi-task. It is not being used in place of teacher reading.


Q: How can we make sure indoor recess is physical/social? Would volunteers be useful?

A: Yes! We can definitely use volunteers for lunch and recess!


Q: Can we raise funds for assistants?

A: MCPS does not allow parents to raise money for assistants. Only way is to volunteer and come into school and help out.


Q: Can we have kids have lunch in the classroom due to high covid/flu cases?

A: We need whatever number of staff per class to manage the classes in each classroom and we do not have those resources.


Q: How is the content chosen for wiggle breaks?

A; It is dependent on the teacher. Check with your child’s teacher if you have questions.


An email was sent by Claire Dean (TPES PTA VP) with information on how to volunteer! 




General PTA Information:


PBES PTA Executive Committee:

President: Ingrid Gardiner

Executive Vice President: Aphra Adkins

Treasurer: Rachel Pierotti

Secretary: Lis Hooper

VP of Fundraising MaryKathryn Lee

VP of Membership: Sara Lewis

VP of Communications: Chris Campbell

VP of Equity: Desiree Hernandez


Advocacy Representatives: Matthew Stark Blumin and Paul Donowitz


TPES PTA Executive Committee: 

President: Kaitlin Caruso 

Vice President: Claire Dean

Treasurer: Amy Swift

Executive Secretary: Anna Juarez

Membership Secretary: Lesley Perry & Christine Kahler Smith 

VP of Fundraising: Diana Hickey van Houwelingen

VP of Membership: Mercedes Castelo 

VP of Equity: Jon Frederick 

VP of Communications: Joyce McDonough 

NAACP Representative: Gabrielle Williams

MCCPTA Delegate: Christina Davis 



PTA October 2023 Q&A Follow Up 




Q: Can a child be placed in CES after 4th grade? And how does CES impact what they do in 6th Grade?

A: If a vacancy opens in a CES class at any time in fourth grade through the first quarter of fifth grade, the central office selects a student for invitation through a random lottery from the waitpool. Participation in CES does not extend to any specific programming in middle school.




Q: Are there enriched reading classes at TPES (as with math)?

A: Consistent (different class) enrichment for math begins in first grade and continues in second grade. Students switch classes for math and are provided more consistent enriched instruction at that time.


Q: This is beyond the scope of what was discussed in the meeting tonight but it is a follow up on a question that came up in last month’s meeting: Would it be possible to share the details of the lead testing for the TPES water – what levels were found when, and when will that water be retested? In the meantime, could kids be allowed to bring water bottles onto the playground during recess? Thank you! 

A: I’m not sure about the results of the lead water testing (beyond that which was shared); The children are not only allowed, but encouraged and reminded to take their water bottles to recess.

For PBES and TPES:

Q: Is there a way for parents to have access to Montgomery County level data to see how children are developing compared to this peer group? 

A: I am not aware of any means of access for MCPS level data by grade level to make comparisons within the peer group. (both PBES and TPES)

TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: September 2023

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Thursday, September 7, 2023 


Meeting Minutes and PTA Information

  1. Upcoming Dates & Announcements
  • Little Scholars After School enrichment clubs at both TPES and PBES
    • Registration opens September 7th at TPES and September 8th at PBES.  
    • Sign-up is open until September 17th. 
    • Applications for PTA funded scholarships are due September 10th through the online form (link will be provided at the bottom of the registration form) 
    • Clubs will begin on October 3rd.
    • Link for TPES: 
  • Important dates:
    • September 13: PBES back to school night (7:00 PM) – Adults only
      • PBES PTA is working with Kids Adventures to secure onsite childcare  for those who need it and will share more information soon
      • Instrumental information session at 6:45 pm
    • September 14-15: TPES Picture Day
    • September 22: EARLY RELEASE (1:20 PM) 
    • September 25: NO SCHOOL
    • October 3: Next PTA Meeting (Zoom), 7:00 PM
    • October 9: NO SCHOOL
  • Hispanic Heritage Month
  • Breakfast and lunch:
  • PTA Equity teams
  1. TPES Welcome 
  • Dr. Zadia Gadsden, TPES Principal & Ms. Joi Hollis, TPES Vice Principal
    • This is Dr. Gadsden’s 20th year at TPES!
    • Despite challenges that happen at the start of each year, TPES had a successful start to the school year.
    • Welcome to new families and welcome back to returning families.
  1. PBES Welcome
  • Mrs. Christine (Chris) Oberdorf, PBES Principal & Mr. Richard Weerts, PBES Vice Principal
    • Mrs. Oberdorf’s 6th year as Principle of PBES!
    • PBES has 602 students (15 more than projected)
      • 9 3rd grades
      • 8 4th grades
      • 8 5th grades
  • PBES is fully staffed with the exception of one long-term sub for special ed, which they hope to fill by December.
  • Ms. Hernandez is planning a Hispanic evening event on October 11th. 
  1. PTA Welcome & Volunteer Opportunities 
  • PTA meetings will be first Tuesday of every month 
  • Kaitlin Caruso, TPES PTA President 
    • Weekly updates are sent with PTA information and opportunities – lots of opportunities for volunteering this year – encourage all to take part.  
    • There are also ample opportunities to volunteer at school – Ms. Paz seeking volunteers for picture day
    • Become a member of the PTA OR renew membership – 
      • Free memberships are available
    • Join the listserv:
    • PTA funds help with supplies, field trips, drives, and more!  
  • Ingrid Gardiner, PBES PTA President 
  1. Introducing Gabrielle Williams, TPES NAACP Rep.
  • This is Gabrielle’s first year as Rep. She will bring family concerns and needs to light.  Will also connect district-wide NAACP priorities to the PTA.
  1. Q&A


Q&A – Both TPES and PBES

  • Q: How do we celebrate holidays as a community?
    • TPES does not celebrate holidays due to them often having religious aspects.  Instead, they focus on celebrating diversity, being good people, etc.  
    • PBES similarly stopped celebrating Halloween recently and thinks about alternative holidays.  
      • For Valentines Day, they focus on kindness and friendship
      • Community circles with community members
      • In recognition of challenges parents voice when children celebrate holidays on school days, they’re working hard to be more inclusive and think about those holidays and celebrations. They include them in announcements, etc.  
  • Q: Mental health support for students?
  • PBES 
    • PBES uses Leader in Me program
    • Supplements Leader in Me with MCPS resources.
    • Students typically participate in Leader in Me sessions four days a week (15 minute sessions).  They also have sessions with counselors on well-being and community building.  
    • PBES partners with an outside organization to provide therapy services to students in need.
    • PBES has a well-being committee that meets every two weeks to identify additional needs. 
  • TPES
    • TPES used Leader in Me school last year but didn’t feel it was as well suited for the younger students 
    • This year they are using a program called Zones of Regulation which seems more appropriate for younger children.  Through this program they identify feelings and what to do with them, learn how to manage their feelings.
    • Guidance counselors visit each class each week for 30 minutes
  • Q: How do you deal with extreme heat?
  • PBES – 
    • Follow MCPS protocol
      • Recess after 12:00 noon has to be indoors – so anyone that has recess before noon is outside (and closely monitoring). Anything after noon is indoor
      • It’s not always a district mandate, but they follow the guidance on MCPS website about temperatures
      • MCPS sent someone out to confirm airflow was happening after the building felt warm (after the 3-day weekend)
  • TPES –
    • Are not as strict about following MCPS guidance.  
    • They do not have space for indoor recess but they try their best to let them have activity when they have to move things inside.
    • Sometimes that means just letting them outside for 15 minutes.
    • Rooms at the top of the building do not cool as well but they have empty rooms to move them to.  
  • Q: How can we volunteer?
    • TPES and PBES welcomes volunteers for almost anything (ie reading, sweeping!) but not until October.  This gives time for children to learn the rules, processes, and procedures.  
    • Any volunteer needs to take the child abuse and neglect training
    • PBES has a volunteer coordinator, Victoria Welch
    • The PTAs will also email volunteer opportunities
    • PBES:
      • PBES PTA’s Staff Appreciation Committee is collecting gift cards to host a gift card raffle at  PBES’s monthly staff meetings. Parents can either 1) Donate money and the committee will purchase gift cards to Target/Amazon/etc or 2) Parents can donate gift cards that teachers might enjoy (for example: book store/Starbucks/local restaurants/etc). You might even have some on hand that you wouldn’t mind passing on! You can turn in either gift cards or cash to purchase gift cards to Ms. Welch at the front desk at PBES.
      • PBES families: We are still looking for room parents for a few classes, particularly for Ms. Porter (4th) and Ms. Patrick (5th). Granados, Gazda, Eberly, Serra, Kenney, and Luker could also use one more room parent. Please reach out to Amie Kershner if you can volunteer (
  • Q: School security – 
  • PBES:  The space was not breached last year despite rumors. There was a group that rented out the space through the Montgomery County use of public facilities; it was a permitted event.  Anyone that has specific concerns can reach out.
  • TPES: Also has had no breech.  They are having cameras installed, exterior doors, hallways, to deepen security


  • Q: TPES: How do students borrow books from the library?
  • Kindergarteners do not get to borrow books right away – they have to go to the library twice before they can borrow a book.
  • Ms. Anderson will walk them through the process.
  • After they have experience they will be able to borrow more flexibly.
  • 1st and 2nd graders are familiar with the process so do not need to wait. 


  • Q: TPES: What type of field trips are planned this year?
  • Each grade will go on at least 3 field trips (one might be within the school)
  • 1st grade has one planned for Oct 31st to Sharp’s Farm


  • Q: What kind of English support and ESOL classes are there?
  • TPES made the transition to structured literacy and signs of reading. 
  • During the shift, TPES’s PTA funded structured literacy training.  
  • Teachers are doing an exceptional job with doing phonics and really great reading (RGR).  
  • TPES has English development language teachers and ESOL for all three grades – they are currently testing Kindergarteners.  




  • Q: PBES: How do the pods work? 
  • Each grade has 200 students, so they prefer to break them into smaller groups for lunch and recess.  This helps to make lunch/recess more manageable and to help with planning (specials, lunch, and recess is correlated with teacher planning time)
  • For the most part pods are lunch and recess pods (half go to lunch and half go to recess and then they switch).  There are also specials pods so those teachers can coordinate together. 


  • Q: PBES: Are there opportunities for enrichment in 3rd grade, especially for kids that were pulled out for math and reading at TPES?
  • There is no pull-out program for 3rd graders
  • However, when they did the articulation they worked closely with staff at TPES to ensure students have academic peers in their classroom that are also suited for enrichment 
  • In 4th grade they begin to offer course distinction 


  1. TPES Budget


  • Treasurer: Amy Swift
  • Budget was passed/approved during the meeting
  • Biggest fundraiser is book fair
  • Expenses 
    • Can not pay out reimbursements unless it has been approved in a budget.  If something comes up they can do an amended budget which is presented to the membership for a vote.  
    • Expenses include cultural assemblies, teacher and specials support, field trips, health and wellness, scholarships for enrichment clubs, equity &  inclusion programs (Rainbow club, Hispanic Heritage month, Multi-cultural assemblies, books that represent the diversity of our students)..  
    • $43,000 in expenses planned.  $33,000 funds expected to be raised.  This is a net loss of 10,000 but there is a cash balance of 24,000.  The goal is to use the money to benefit the school.
  1. PBES Budget


  • Treasurer: Rachael Pierotti
  • Budget passed/approved
  • Income from:
    • Carryover
    • Fundraisers – Panther appeal, readathon, club scholarships, gear
    • Small business sponsorships and small grants
  • Expenses:
    • $19,000 of the budget goes to programming that includes costs of swimming (swim lessons during PE), club scholarships, equity fund, special events (STEM night, geo bowl, etc)
    • Also staff support, PTA operating expenses, panther gear, etc


General PTA Information:


TPES PTA Executive Committee: 

President: Kaitlin Caruso 

Executive VP: Claire Dean

Treasurer: Amy Swift 

Executive Secretary: Anna Juarez

Membership Secretary: Lesley Perry & Christine Kahler Smith 

VP of Communications: Joyce McDonough

VP of Membership: Mercedes Castelo 

VP of Fundraising: Diana Hickey van Houwelingen

VP Equity: Jon Frederick

County Delegate: Christina Davis 

NAACP Representative: We still are looking for a volunteer! 


TPES Key Volunteer Teams:


One-time volunteer opportunities – Be on the lookout this year for emails! 

  • Book Fair (sign up for shifts)
  • Readathon (tally up minutes)
  • Staff appreciation (deliver meal, coffee, etc.)
  • Garden and atrium beautification
  • Field trip chaperones? 
  • School Fun Mornings – fall, winter, spring (supervise fun activity stations so teachers can prep reading/math together as grade level team) 


Regular (weekly or bi-weekly) volunteer opportunities: 

  • Classroom volunteer (work with classroom teachers, often during reading or math) 
  • Room Parent



For all volunteers: MCPS Volunteer Training and support guide – please complete this before you are scheduled to volunteer:


June 2023 PTA Meeting Minutes

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Association Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, June 6, 2023 from 7-8pm on Zoom 


1a.   Upcoming Dates and Announcements – Refer to MCPS 2022-2023 Calendar and additional dates at the end of these notes

Both TPES and PBES:

  • June 13th 7-8pm via Zoom TPES-PBES NAACP Parent Council meeting.  Dr. Gadsden and Mrs. Oberdorf will join for a discussion on how to help our students keep engaged and continue learning over the summer. A zoom link will be sent on the day of the meeting. Look out for an email from Sharon Gaskins and Ingrid Gardner with more information. Need volunteers for next year’s NAACP Rep from TPES (and PBES)
  • Friday, June 16: last day of school (half day)
  • Summer school— Summer school invitations have gone out and summer school is full at PBES. Please contact your student’s teacher or principal with any questions. 
  • Thank you to all TPES and PBES volunteers — please visit the TPES and PBES PTA Volunteer Hall of Fame and help thank all volunteers.


  • June 15th PBES – Reminder about Fifth Grade Promotion. The PTA will be providing lunch for the fifth graders that day. 
  • If you are a committee or event co-chair or room parent or would like to be one next school year, please contact Sara Lewis or add your name to the Google Document to confirm that you can volunteer – help us get all set up for the fall!


  • Volunteers Needed for TPES Field Days: June 7 (K), June 8 (1st) and June 9th (2nd) from 9:15-11:30am Field Day is coming up and the success of the event depends greatly on the number of volunteers there are per station! There will be 10 – 12 stations and each station should have at least 2 volunteers to function properly (20-24 volunteers needed per day). The dates and times for Field Day for each grade are listed below. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Ms. Paz ( with your name, child’s name, phone number and the date you plan on volunteering. As a reminder, please come dressed comfortably and equipped with a hat and sunscreen for your personal use, as well as water. Please help us make this a memorable event for all students!


  1.     TPES Wellness Committee Initiative of “Wait Until Eighth” (Amber Rieke from Health     and Wellness Committee) 
  • Nationwide family-led initiative to change community norms and delay phone use until 8th grade
  • Responding to a wave of recent research on the youth mental health crises
  • While a lot of the recent research highlights teens, we know that children are getting access to phones earlier and earlier
  • Smartphones are addictive and distracting but they can also impact child brain development, increase risk for mental health conditions, increase risk for exposure to cyberbullying and inappropriate content
  • for resources
  • Consider signing the pledge on the Wait Until 8th to have strength in numbers (more families signing on to this helps) but no action is requires
  • For families worried about their child missing out on conversations that take place on social media/phone, can appreciate the idea that we all link arms to change the norms in our school communities. The more families who delay, the easier it is. (The other thing to point to is that it is technically not legal for kids under 13 to use social media anyway, we just know that’s not enforced.) There are also always options for flip phones for texting!
  1.   Membership vote on the 2023-2024 Executive Boards 
  • Voted on full slate for TPES and it was passed
    • President: Kaitlin Caruso 
    • Executive Vice President: Claire Dean
    • Treasurer: Amy Swift
    • VP Membership: Mercedes Castelo 
    • VP Equity: Jon Frederick 
    • Membership Secretary: Lesley Perry and Christine Kahler Smith
    • VP Communications: Joyce McDonough
    • VP Fundraising: Diana Hickey van Houwelingen 
    • MCCPTA Delegate: Christina Davis 
    • Executive Secretary: Anna Juarez
  • Voted on full slate for PBES and it was passed
    • President: Ingrid Gardiner 
    • Executive VP: Aphra Adkins
    • Treasurer: Rachael Pierotti 
    • Secretary: Lis Hooper 
    • Fundraising VP: Mary Kathryn Lee
    • Membership VP: Sara Lewis 
    • Communications VP: Chris Campbell 
    • Equity VP: Desiree Hernandez
    • MCCPTA (County) Delegates: Matthew Stark Blumin; Paul Donowitz
  1. Brief remarks from TPES and PBES principals 
  • Dr/ Gadsden: Attempted to return to normal with evening activities and such. Was a difficult year but grateful to teachers and parents and staff who showed up
  • Ms. Oberdorff: Thanks to PTA board and membership for helping to facilitate events; thanks to all who showed up to help
  1. Margaret Webb (Guest speaker and parenting coach). We’re pleased to be joined by Margaret Webb, who has been a parenting coach for over 12 years. She’s a certified life coach, nature-based coach, a former teacher, and author. She’ll be sharing highlights and actionable steps from her Summer Survival parenting course. 
  • PDF Handouts referenced:
  • She is the mother of a 20 y/o son with autism. 
  • A contributor to TilT Podcast about parenting differently wired children
  • Identify things that create tension with your child (eg boredom, unstructured time ) and then brainstorm with your child things they can do when these moments come up
  • They may also need downtime to do what they consider flow-type activities (things that come really easily to them and it may not look like what your neighbor’s kids are doing (swinging, swimming, bouncing, singing, etc)
  • There’s the child aspect and then there’s the parent aspect – what can parents do as well to set ourselves up for success
  • Can ask: is there anything I can do ahead of time to make stressful times easier for myself? What do I know are the stressful times of our day? If we can do things to check off stressful items we will be calmer and have larger bandwidth to manage kids during stressful periods
    • Do I need to pack a lunchbox for myself?
    • Do I need to have water in my car for pick up?
    • Is there anything that I need to communicate ahead of time to those who are supporting my child? (and who do you feel safe communicating that information to)
  • Taking time to reflect each week – either alone, with you and a partner or you and your kids to ask three questions: 1. What worked? 2. What didn’t work? 3. What’s one thing we can try next week that can get us a different result?
    • How can you be a better friend? How can you take care of yourself better/next week? 
  • These questions creating a learning mindset, curiosity, a reminder that nothing is set in stone
  • Academics during the summer are light and real-life based (math with baking; geography with maps of places they are going; good books, trips to the library; going to museums; tap into what they already like and slip in the academics. Go light on the worksheets. Summer is a time to recharge. Make it authentic to what you’re doing day-to-day and different from what they’re doing at school.
  • Grocery lists from and have the kids plan the grocery list and go shopping with you
  • For summer camps, could sit down with your kids and a spreadsheet where they are engaged with you in filling out which camps they are going to each week, what time they need to walk out of the door each morning, what they need to pack for camp and then have them back up the night before
  1. Treasurer’s End of Year Report and Budget Votes


  • A little over the goal at $32,678 for total PTA income
  • Expenses: major one is dreambox math adaptive software is already planned an in the works but not in this budget – it costs around $10K
    • Mostly school support activities like academic supports, 2nd grade graduation, field trips, teacher appreciation week
    • Expenses at $54,628
    • Will leave the available cash balance at $35K?
    • PTA taxes were done and accepted by the IRS
  1. PTA Summer Send-Off! 


List of Upcoming Dates and Announcements

Reminder on Upcoming Dates/events: 

To request topics for future PTA agendas, please reach out to or

Announcements and Opportunities:

  • Snack donations for both TPES and PBES to be distributed to teachers and counselors to ensure all kids have access. Nut-free, healthy options requested. Delivery options: please drop off at the main office between 8:30 am-4:30 pm, or order for direct delivery to the school.
  • School Meals Applications due ASAP – free federal meals have ended. All families must either complete the application for Free or Reduced School meals from MCPS or deposit funds to pay for your child’s meals at school.

Deposit funds in your child’s “MySchoolBucks” account – link 

Apply for Free and Reduced Meals at School – link

No child will be turned away – PBES and TPES will ensure every child who requests food receives it, but applications are needed so no debt is accrued. The PTA equity teams are also seeking to support families during this time – please donate to the PBES PTA and TPES PTA and to Tommy’s Pantry to help fill gaps and ensure food access for all in our community. 


Reminder for all volunteers: MCPS Volunteer Training and support guide – please complete this before you are scheduled to volunteer:


We need your help and support:

Become a PTA member, donate, become a sponsor, sign up to volunteer:

Takoma Park Elementary School PTA:

Piney Branch Elementary School PTA:


PBES Website:

Find out the latest from the Panther Tracks Newsletter for PBES. Sign up for the PTA listserv or send an email to to start posting and receiving messages.


TPES Website: