TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: December 2021
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 from 7-8pm on Zoom
Please mark your calendar for our next PTA meeting on Tues, Jan 4 7-8pm
7:00 Welcome & Introduction of Interpreters from Chris Campbell, TPES PTA VP Communications
Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS School Calendar 2021- 2022
— Dec 23-Jan 2: School closed for winter break
— TPES Scholastic Book Fair: February 11-18 – please note forthcoming announcement that we’re in need of volunteers to form a book fair committee
— TPES Read-a-Thon: March
— Reminder about the weekly Sharing our Stories held every Monday from 7:30-8pm on Zoom to celebrate the unique culture and traditions of students, teachers, staff, and community members. Anyone interested in participating or volunteering to assist with the program, contact Shana Sabbath Sabbathshana@gmail.comor complete google form: Sharing Our Stories sign-up form (to share in chat).
Announcements/ opportunities for engagement:
— THANKS to TPES PTA’s VP of Fundraising Kelly Young and to all donors to the Dolphin Drive in November, we surpassed our $10K goal, raising $10,117! This is fantastic as there are many needs to assist in our school and community’s recovery efforts. As an example, we have already committed $5K of those funds to purchase resources that complement teacher’s existing materials to support reading recovery, progress and enrichment.
THANK YOU to all TPES volunteers:
- All the outdoor lunch volunteers;
- Abby-Anna who organized Little Scholars after school enrichment program;
- Annie Kneedler who’s stepped up as room parent coordinator and all of the room parents, who are helping with communications throughout the year and organizing holiday gifts for the teachers and staff;
- Kaitlin Caruso, social services committee chair who organized winter coat/clothing drive and now holiday gifts for TPES families in need (please see email
TPES PTA Needs the Following Volunteers:
- Shivani Sutton has graciously offered to co-organize the TPES book fair again this year but is in need of volunteers to form a Book Fair committee. The planning is largely done – I just need additional hands to prepare materials in the weeks leading up to the fair and manage volunteers. The fair is only scheduled to run during school hours, not after school or evenings. Please note that we will also need additional volunteers during the week of the fair to set up, cover the registers, and take down.
- TPES is also looking for a Teacher Appreciation Coordinator to help organize quarterly luncheons or special activities for our teachers to show them how much we care. We provided coffee/donuts for back to school, a luncheon in October to celebrate a month of school and hope to organize one on Fri, Dec 17th and would love if someone could step up to assist.
- Speaking of, hopefully everyone saw Ms Paz’s note about organizing a Jolly Raffle as a fun way to help uplift the spirit and morale of TPES staff. She’s hoping to raffle tokens of gratitude and love, simple gestures and/or acts of kindness at least once or twice a week during the next few months. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, it could be as simple as a store bought pie, a gift card, a coupon for a dog walk, breakfast or lunch delivered, a babysitter voucher…the sky is the limit, anything that would cheer us up and put a smile on our face counts! If you are willing to contribute, please contact Ms Paz directly to make the proper arrangements. No contribution is too small!
THANK YOU to all PBES volunteers:
- Outdoor lunch volunteers, especially Vivian Khazendar and Shannon Earle who have repeatedly volunteered double or triple shifts to fill vacant spots. And Joyce McDonough who has made lunch outside possible!
- Book fair volunteers and coordinators Rachael Pierotti, Sarah Corcoran, and Chrissie Juliano
PBES PTA is looking for volunteers:
- to maintain the fish tank
- for possible help with student dismissal
- Individuals who would like to volunteer for Black History Month program and the PBES GEO-BOWL
- Volunteers for the end-of-year family gift drive.
If you would like to volunteer; please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
PBES is having a Holiday gift card drive to support PBES families during the holidays – and new book donations are also encouraged. Please contact Emma Cheuse (email@example.com) if you’re interested in contributing, for more details.
— As always, PTA is looking for volunteers who speak Spanish or Amharic to assist with translating and interpreting PTA notices and events. Please contact Shellyhill711@gmail.com.
— Again both TPES and PBES both appreciate and welcome volunteers. Requirements have been circulated on the listserv.
— MCCPTA: MCCPTA sent a letter to the MD State Board of Ed recommending that mask mandate stay in place until at least 2/28 and suggested that “Considerations that should be taken into account include 1) COVID-19 case rates and 2) pediatric vaccination rate and availability.”). 2/28was chosen based on anticipated (full) vax rates by then and because it would take us thru the holiday season.
See this link for more info on the progress towards planning dollars for PBES to be renovated or rebuilt: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/departments/publicinfo/community/school-year-2021-2022/Community-Update-20211119.html
Jaime Koppel, PBES: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Shaeffer, TPES: Rebecca.Shaeffer@gmail.com
7:15 Presentations from TPES and PBES Reading Specialists Ms Bozel and Mr Bledsoe about Benchmark about our reading curriculum and resources available to students and families
Ms. Bozel- TPES; Mr. Bledsoe: PBES
Benchmark Advance overview:
Developing literacy routines
Close reading of complex text
Instructional shifts addressed in Benchmark:
Built to support the college and career ready standards for literacy
Important to build routines:
Each grade will begin the school year with review and routines
Reintroduce previous material so that can seamlessly go into next material- lasts 15-20 days
Bridge ideas learned previously to new school year
Helps students build stamina
Fosters independent reading and thinking
Building collaborative conversations with each other
Time for accountable talk and active listening
Group roles- book discussion
All built into the standards of Maryland learning outcomes
Practice word study:
K: Letter formation
K-1: Phonological awareness
1-2: phonics patterns
3-5 syllable patterns, vowel teams, suffixes
Benchmark has clear principles- with consistency from grade to grade
e.g. Unit 1 is Government and citizenship
Unit 2 Characters
3: life science
- point of view
Go throughout the grade levels
Each unit 3 weeks
Week 1: Teach for transfer- teacher modeling and short reads
Week 2-3 students build knowledge and apply learning
End goal is mastery over time by the end of the year- not after each lesson
Content spirals across subjects
Close reading of complex text:
Interact with the text- annotation symbols
Students writing directly on text and take note in margins
K-1: shared reading – interact with text as first step, lots of modeling by teacher
2-5 annotation is for
This is to answer questions and gather evidence – helps with reading closely
First reading- identify key ideas and details, summarize
Built about multiple reads of same text
Analyze and craft structure, make inferences draw conclusions, compare and contrast multiple texts
Writing is used at all grade levels- connected to unit discussed in classroom
Writing to sources
Consistently taught across grades
Mini-lessons explicit teaching and modeling
Focus on text evidence to support an idea or opinion
Students write informational, opinion and narrative texts based on one or more sources
Builds up to extended research
Benchmark focuses on literacy foundations and explicit phonics aspects
Phonological awareness (ability to hear different sounds
Phonics/vocabulary – works with phonics and vocabulary in grades K-6.
Explicit teaching of academic vocabulary builds content knowledge
For students to allow all students to work with grade level texts
English learners (Multilingual learners):
Integrated English language development in every lesson -light, moderate or substantial support
Separate ELD lessons designed for English learners with the grade level text
Amplified texts provide picture support
Some given by classroom teacher, others esol teacher
Teacher can read text aloud
Students read with partners
All texts are online with text to speech
Amplified texts scaffold the grade level complex
Small group instruction with texts on students’ reading levels- eather move forward or back
Intervention programs for foundational skills and comprehension
Benchmark advance enrichment
Challenge activities built into many lessons
Literature circles- with novels
Small group instructional with texts on students instructional reading levels
Every unit has an enrichment activity
Novel studies: Benchmark advance
Curated by MoCO for diverse and excellent writing
Grade 2: Bad Kitty for president
Freedom in Congo square
Grade 3: Dany Dollar Millionaire Extroidinare
How tia Lola came to visit
Where the mountain meets the moon
Grade 4: Finding Langston
Who participates in BMA:
Any student demonstrating a need for enriched and accelerated instruction
Students with performance metrics showing advance
PBES: all students participate in Inquiry
What does it mean that my child is in 5th grade and is working on novel study but is not doing one of the novels listed on that slide:
That is not an exhaustive list, there are other novels that are included
Quotes are not always necessary they can paraphrase
The Benchmark was used for last 2 years but modified because of virtual
Looking at this year as first year of full implementation
Each of the lessons are very systematic with a lot of exposure to text
Are 5th grade novel study packets standard across classes?
These are grade level decisions are being made- the exposure in novel is across all grade, but the material that the teacher is using to teach is may vary from teacher to teacher
Reading logs may be something that teachers may ask them to keep to make sure that they are keeping up
All students have the opportunity to take part in the Benchmark Inquiry
Students above grade level reading have to do enrichment
At TPES have enrichment programs that have put in place, and parents can volunteer to help.
In K-2- bags of books are being sent home at their grade level- optional for teachers. If you haven’t gotten it, and wants it, you can ask your teacher
Ms. Anderson, TPES media specialist- can be reached out to for motivational reading if interested.
In Piney Branch, if student is not caught up at grade level reading, they are assessed at least quarterly and interventions are made to help them catch up.
All students at Piney Branch took home MAP scores for reading and math
For TPES shared in parent teacher conference—if not in parentvue, ask Ms. Bozel
5th graders reading only graphic novel- Mr. Bledsoe- reading graphic novels is fine; sometimes it is more complex with vocabulary and information; usually ok as long as reading.
Chapter books can be stressed in classroom
If free reading, can read whatever they enjoy
They need to be interested in reading.
There are graphic novels that are also chapter books
E.g. complex graphic novels for 5th graders- reach out to teacher can let student borrow one
e.g. Percy Jackson
My hero academia
A wrinkle in time
Enrichment above grade level is always happening
Students reading above grade level gets 3 kinds of enrichment at PBES.
Booster donation 3,095
Total receipts for bookfair- 8,622,60. Doesn’t affect our total income
Fundraising: 12,115 budgeted, currently 1,744
Very generous contributions for grants: 12,000 budgeted 11,745
Dolphin drive -beet goal of 10,000 raised 10,117 in 1 month of fundraising.- thanks to Kelly Young for organizing
Fundraising income 14,317.
Tommy’s pantry- 29,511 so far this year
Expenses: moved forward rapidly to support school with various effort
Especially reading and reading recovery – spent 5000 on it so far
Net deficit projected 17,431 because of last year; we will have 17,847
Tommy’s pantry number 62,000 available cash balance
TPES Voted to establish a $1500 budget line item for the social service committee
7:50 Treasurer’s Reports and Membership Vote to Approve Budgets
Kate Bauer, PBES Treasurer & Stephen Tippett, TPES Treasurer
Soon will be sending out something about child’s vaccination status- so that if they are exposed, they do not need to be vaccinated.
The guidance about quarantine changes or resolves
If not sure- ask with email
Try to be sure about contact tracing
Become a PTA member: Takoma Park Elementary https://www.tpespta.net
Piney Branch Elementary https://pineybranchpta.membershiptoolkit.com