TPES Meeting Minutes: June 2021

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES) &

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) 

Parent Teacher Association Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, June 1, 2020, 7:00pm

Location: Zoom


7:05     Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar 

Wed, Jun 16: Last Day of School for students! Virtual half day.


Pick-up some new books for summer reading!

Our last book distribution of the school year will be Wednesday June 2nd, 11-3.  We will be in front of Piney Branch Elementary and will have a mix of new and gently used books. Come grab a couple books for summer reading! If you have any last-minute donations of gently used recreational reading books for grades K-7, please drop them off at 841 Linden Circle in Takoma Park before 10am on Wednesday, June 2. There is also  a collection box outside PBES near the entry doors, if it is easier to drop books at the school. Thank you!


Kindergarten registration may be completed here:


Please join us for Sharing Our Stories, Monday, June 7 at 7:00pm on Zoom.

We invite all our elementary scholars to come with a poem, picture, book, or item around their house (such as a special holiday outfit or decoration, a family picture) to share with each other. Spanish interpretation is provided. Zoom details will be posted on the PTA listservs and in messages from the Principal. If you would like to be a guest storyteller or educator, please email Shana at  


7:15     TPES PTA Summer Budget 

    TPES PTA Treasurer, Kelley Skelton


Summer budget will provide for foodbank to continue it’s work for the summer. Budgeted 7,500/mo

Also classroom set up fees for the teachers

And  paypal fees to cover donations

Budget approved.


7:25    Vote for 2021-2022 PTA Executive Committee slates

    Lauren Greenberg, Chair, TPES PTA Nominating Committee


See slate below. Thanks to those who are termed out and thanks to those continuing on. One vote to approve the slate in its entirety.

Margaret McDonnell gave her greetings. She has a rising 5th, 3rd grader and entering Kindergartner.


    Lia Salza, Chair, PBES PTA Nominating Committee

PBES slate – Lia introducing the slate. The slate passed; at least 7 board members present.

Jaslynn Laurence introduced herself. Son is rising 3rd grader.

Takoma Park Elementary School PTA

Executive Committee Slate


Positions 2021-2022
President Margaret McDonnell
Executive Vice President Joyce McDonough
Treasurer Stephen Tippett
Executive Secretary Dianne Kirsch
Membership Secretary Yelena Breiding
Vice President Communications Chris Campbell
Vice President Membership Amanda Wagner
Vice President Fundraising Kelly Young
Vice President Equity Chai Shenoy
MCCPTA Delegate Mercedes Castelo
NAACP Rep Sharon Gaskins


Piney Branch Elementary School PTA

Executive Committee Slate


Positions 2021-2022
President Jaslynn Laurence
Executive Vice President
Treasurer Kate Bauer
Secretary Kawsar Talaat
Vice President Communications Emma Cheuse
Vice President Membership Kathryn Bacon Goldman
Vice President Fundraising Jocelyne DeHaas
Vice President Equity Michelle Hill
MCCPTA Delegate Jaime Koppel

Thank you Meg and Sarah, you are AMAZING!!!!

TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: March 2021

Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) 

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, March 2, 2021 from 7-8pm on Zoom 


Principal’s Updates: Hear from Dr. Gadsden & Mrs. Oberdorf

Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Tuesday, April 13, 7-8pm.


7:00    Welcome & Introduction of Interpreters 

Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

    Chris Campbell, TPES VP Communications 

March 1-31: READATHON for both schools (Chris Campbell, Sara Lewis  & Sarah Goupell) -Piney Branch 4600 minutes so far goal 200,001; Mr. Pendleton’s 4th grade class has most students participating

Readathon has changed this year

All money raised from Readathon will be supporting the PTA

At TPES- majority of funds will go to media center. Huge need for funds

Last year- 600 titles not returned to library from 2019-2020 school year

90% of nonfiction connection needs to be replaced – outdated, bad shape

Recording minutes: online- Required for TPES, Optional for PBES

Paper calendar optional but encouraged if possible to have visual

What counts as reading: reading by themselves, listening to story by adult, online books either reading or being read to online

Donations- not required, but greatly appreciate

On the PTA website there will be celebrity readers reading each day and

Readathon page is on kids homeroom page in MyMCPS/Canvas for TPES

March 3 – Kindergarten families Zoom with Dr. Gadsden re: reopening, 7pm

Open house for students who are returning to in-person instruction

(all day; Sign Up Genius forthcoming from school)

March 4 – 1st & 2nd grade families Zoom with Dr. Gadsden re-reopening, 7pm

March 7 – Welcome-back decorating at school entrances from 5p-6p at TPES & PBES

March 8 – No school; teacher professional day

March 9 & 10 – Asynchronous learning days for all student

March 10 – Open house for students who are returning to in-person instruction

(all day; Sign Up Genius forthcoming from school)

March 12 – Half day for students

March 15 – Schools re-open for phase 1.1; some students return (K-3)

April 6 – Grades 4 & 5 students who opted in return to in-person learning

April 13 – Joint PTA meeting for TPES & PBES, 7pm

April 20 – PBES STEM Night 6:30-8:30pm


  • Please join us for Sharing Our Stories, Mondays at 7:00pm on Zoom. On March 22nd, PBES PTA President Sarah Goupell will read “Waiting for the Biblioburro” by Monica Brown in honor of the 2021 Readathon. Spanish interpretation is provided. Interested in being a guest storyteller or educator or need the Zoom details? Email Shana at


  • Nominating PTA Officers for the 2021-2022 School Year   

Lauren Greenberg & Lia Salza Goldstein

Recruiting officers and committees for both schools’ PTA

Executive committees good way to learn what is happening at schools and get to know people at school

TPES: Executive membership secretary- take minutes at executive committee meetings and PTA meetings

President/Vice President

Looking for anyone who wants to become involved- please reach out to Lauren or Lia.;

Can share positions, especially those that require heavier lift, e.g. Treasurer


7:15    Principal’s Updates for Plans to Re-Open
Principal Gadsden and Principal Oberdorf

Dr. Gadsden:

Hybrid model- not all virtual not all direct learning

Teachers will spend them sometime on the computer working with all kids, and sometime breaking them into small groups to work together in person.

First 2 weeks will be getting accustomed to being in school- please be patient

After spring break, they will hopefully be used to handling

Will send survey for transportation

Kiss and ride- most have opted not to come on bus

Likely will block traffic as they are dropping off kids

Be patient

Don’t get out of cars

Kindergarten parents- either park in neighborhood and walk them to door; if you can’t let them out of the car.

2 open houses- so can see classrooms. Teachers may or may not be there. You can come in and see what classroom looks like/where they will sit.

If child is not returning in person, will not be allowed to tour the classroom

If child need special time and attention- send an email

March 3 (for KG) and March 4 (1st and 2nd parents) meetings are for adults only- all parents should attend so they know what to expect. Meetings at 7 pm.

Going back to school will not look the same as it used to

Staying home will not look the same as it has done

For open house tomorrow- come into main office.

If didn’t chose the bus to leave room for other kids and now want to choose bus, how to make change? The request goes to transportation can submit through synergy

Waitlist: As people change their minds re: in person, there is a lot of traffic both ways. Will call people on Friday to let them off the

K open house- Wednesday, rest of open house Tomorrow 10:45-3:30

If can’t remember if signed up for bus- check on status of request for transportation: Parentvue or email Ms. Paz.

New bell times start March 15.


Ms. Oberdorf:

PBES instructional model different: priority was for students to remain with current teachers

Support for virtual and simultaneous. Hard to promise simultaneous right now because this is all brand new.

A couple of situations where teacher is not returning to building- assigning a paraeducator someone who is already a staff member- to be co-working and coteaching with the virtual teacher.

Arrival/dismissal changing: student will be entering 4 different entrances depending on where you are coming from

Welcoming 3rd grade first so a small advantage

Survey for traffic

State Testing: will need to continue the MCAP state assessment to 3rd-5th English and math

Push to shorten assessment this year

No details yet.

No 5th grade MISA (science) test this year

Open house- production of video to show students what it will be like once come off bus/car/walking in door

All teachers will be hosting open house- virtual and in person

Friday March 12 dismissal- entire class will be attended to see how things are different on zoom or what things will look like once they return in person.



Hybrid: blend simultaneous and support to virtual. Best practice for simultaneous for 2 teachers in one classroom- don’t have that

Direct instruction but also virtual


PBES: grades are in pods and rooms are adjoining- have an additional staff member for every 2=3 room

Crossing guards are coming back; will be fully staffed as before. No safety patrols at PBES and no discussion at TPES to decide on patrols.

In communication with Lucy Nehrer from TP to help with logistics

A/B rotation: can we do every week for 4th and 5th grade if few enough come

Rationale – youngest learners need to be in person

PBES: Not able to have all students here every week, except for those special education services

Even though percent is 45%, when look at class to class not able to offer across the board to have everyone come every week

Working with KA and identify space in building- interim for between when 3rd grade starts and 4th grade, and before and after care

PBES: number returning 306 students returning overall; out of 620 students total

Trying to not have a wait list- do have 1 class where more students want to come back than have space

Small wait list-for 3rd grade; 4th and 5th no wait list.


Will 4th and 5th go earlier than April 6? No idea

What will 9th and 10th look like? Teams planning to make sure scope and sequence not interrupted- so not just review but allows students to continue learning asynchronously.


TPES: 9:25-3:50 ; lunch will only be 1 hour

Some time for them to be on zoom with the teacher in the class, and independent work off computer or on computer (nearpod, etc).


PBES: 9:25-3:50


How will weekly covid testing work- will all students who opt in be tested weekly, or will they be rotated.


What happens with cases of COVID in the classroom- definite protocol in place, and work with the department of health and human services.


Spring break March 29-April 2, also no school April 5.


TPES: Kindergarten children will not go in the building through the front door.

Kids who get out of cars- will go in through the cafeteria/KA door and go straight through to their classrooms


Only walkers are going through the front door.


Summer Camp Resource Sheet:


7:55    Treasurer’s Reports

Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer & Erin Kelley, PBES Treasurer

KELLY: TPES: sufficient funds to operate 29.049 in operating funds

Food funds: 90,000


PTA has expended almost 6000 to get classrooms ready- would like to update budget currently budgeted at 12,000 up to 18,000 – approved


ERIN: PBES: good cash flow- have enough funds to operate for the rest of the year- still need $3000 or more from readathon

Cumulative and expenses are close- just below where we started

If you haven’t joined the PTA not too late, those membership dollars really help MCCPTA and MDPTA in their advocacy.


Next meeting Tues April 16 after spring break!


Have a terrific spring break everyone!


2021 Read-a-thon

Final Update:

Thank you to everyone who has helped to support the 2021 Read-a-thon!  We hope your child had a great time reading during the month of March.

Now that the Read-a-thon is over, the minutes have been tallied and we are pleased to report that students read for nearly 140,000 minutes this month. The money we raise from the Read-a-thon will go towards funding much-needed school supplies like PPE for teachers and students as well as helping Ms. Anderson, the TPES Library Media Specialist, recoup lost, damaged, or outdated titles from the media center that sorely need replacing.

Donations can be made online at Please donate and encourage friends or family to donate by Friday, April 16thAny amount, whether it is $3 or $300 helps.  Thank you!

Read-a-thon Video Page

Watch people read books aloud as a way for your child to earn minutes.

We are excited to launch our 8th annual Read-a-thon event! It is our largest fundraising event and it gets the children excited to read!

In Read-a-thon, a child reads for a month to raise funds for the Takoma Park Elementary School PTA.  Read-a-thon runs March 1 – March 26, 2021.  Please encourage your child to read today!

On this page, you will be able to find more information about our Read-a-thon event.

Read-a-thon Donate ButtonTO DONATE:  You may…

  • DONATE ONLINE NOW. We are only accepting online donations/pledge submissions this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deadline for donation is April 16, 2021.

We hope that you enjoy Read-a-thon as much as we enjoy presenting the Read-a-thon.  Your participation is crucial to the success of Read-a-thon.  Happy reading!

The PTA Read-a-thon Committee Co-Chairs

Sara Lewis and Chris Campbell

TPES Book Fair – Thursday, October 5th.

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