TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: January 2021


Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)

Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)

Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021,


Location: Zoom


Town Hall & Participation in PTA Leadership

Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Tuesday, Feb 2, 7-8pm.

All PTA meetings will be via Zoom (details below) until further notice.


7:00    Welcome
Introduction of tonight’s Spanish and Amharic interpreters

7:05     Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar

         Chris Campbell, TPES VP Communications

Mon, Jan 18: Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Schools & offices closed; NO CLASS)

Fri, Jan 29: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO CLASS for students)

Mon, Feb 1: First Day of Black History Month

Tues, Feb 2: TPES & PBES PTA Meeting 7-8pm via Zoom

Fri, Feb 12: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO CLASS for students)

Mon, Feb 15: Presidents’ Day (Schools & offices closed; NO CLASS)


  • Please join us at Sharing Our Stories, a weekly Zoom PTA event on Mondays at 7:00pm for TPES and PBES families, where we learn about all the amazing identities that make up our school community. Our special guest on Monday, January 11 is Mercedes Castelo, whose family will join the TPES community next fall. Ms. Castelo will share poems, games, and stories of Mexico. Spanish interpretation is available. Interested in being a guest storyteller or educator or need the Zoom details? Email Shana at


7:10     Town Hall  

  • Please post your questions and comments in the chat or click the “raise hand” icon to be unmuted
    • Participants are invited to discuss their questions and concerns
      • Overview of health metrics as they factor into reopening plan
      • In order to go back to in-person schooling, county using 14 day average of cases
      • Right now, average 434 daily/cases and 40 cases/100,000 needs to be <50 cases/day and 5-10/100,000
      • There will be a board meeting next week to make this decision re: school reopening
      • Governor has moved teachers to group 1b for vaccination
      • About half of the students are not going to return
      • G: 319 students will stay remote; 294 want to come back
      • O: still proceeding and planning for a Feb 1 start date.
      • 295 will come back
      • Getting a lot flexibility in designing the best plan for our needs
      • Phase in plan- first group going in is K-3
      • Grades K-3- 4 days/week in person MT, TF with Wednesday reserved for online and cleaning of schools
      • Grades 4 and 5- A and B schedule. A week and B week
      • Will get more information before the final start date for students
      • Focus school: has more support or support for special programs: PBES is a focus school
      • Equity hub – about 35 students in building; about at capacity.
      • Likely be options for families through the summer to make up for lost ground
      • If we go back to in person, school will start later because of busing; will need to align online school with in person schedule
      • Everytime changes are made lose a few kids who aren’t able to navigate the change
      • G: have to divide staff between those coming back and those staying home. They have identified teachers who will return in person, classrooms used that allows for social distancing
      • Goal in person and virtual not in the same classroom; but may need to move classes around with teacher, some virtual in the presence of a teacher

No extension of school year- summer programs will be optional; never extend through whole summer Usually 4-5 weeks

No Vaccine for children until late fall at the earliest; no mandated COVID vaccines for return to school


  • Potential timeline for COVID vaccine for elementary school children
  • What new challenges are families facing with virtual learning? What challenges continue to persist? How can our community address these challenges together?
  • What topics would you like to see at future PTA meetings?


7:40     PTA Leadership for the 2021-2022 School Year

Sarah Goupell, PBES PTA President  

  • Position vacancies and how to get involved

For next year: Nominating committee; President at both schools will have expiring terms, treasurers, exec VP at TPES, and other positions, as well for various committee.

If you have questions, please get in touch with Meg and Sarah if you have questions

Positions and description:


Garden club:

7:50     Treasurer’s Reports

Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer & Erin  Kelley, PBES Treasurer

See treasurer report

136,409 for the foodbank

Piney Branch PTA: Kids Hats and gloves available in the vestibule of the school

Masks for the teachers

300 high quality balls and jump ropes to be used for PE for kids without at home



You can become a PTA member online:

Takoma Park Elementary

Piney Branch Elementary