TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: June 2019

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)

PTA Meeting

Tuesday, June 4, 2019. 6:45pm-8:05pm

7pm: Welcome/Events and Announcements, Lia Salza Goldstein (President)

Lia previewed the following upcoming events for everyone’s calendars.

  • Wednesday, June 12, 10am: 2nd Grade Promotion and Picnic – Takoma Middle School
  • Friday, June 14: Last Day of School/Early Dismissal (1:20pm)
  • Thursday, August 29, 5pm-7pm: Back to School Celebration (class lists are posted by the front door, come play on the playground)
  • Thursday, August 29, 7pm-8pm: Kindergarten Back to School Night (adults only), TPES All Purpose Room
  • Friday, August 30, 3pm-4pm: Open House (children invited to come meet their teachers/see their classrooms; parents welcome)
  • Tuesday, September 3: First Day of School
  • Thursday, September 5, 7pm-8pm: Back to School Night for 1st and 2nd Grade
  • **To Be Scheduled** Playdates for incoming kindergarteners – will be announced on the listserve.


7:10pm: Treasurer’s Report/Summer Budget, Erin Kelley (Treasurer)

Erin walked through the end-of-year budget report. Overall, a very good year; we exceeded fundraising goals and have about $20k to roll-over into the new year.

Summer budget presented: proposal included increasing the teacher classroom set-up budget to $125 per teacher, working in the NEA foundation grant for kindergarten and 2nd grade classroom robotics, a few building and facilities maintenance items, and funds for the atrium mural.

  • Motion to approve the summer budget was seconded and passed unanimously


7:20pm: Supply Kits, Sasha Johnson (Coordinator)

The school has contracted with a third party to get school supplies, which can be ordered online and will be available in classrooms at the beginning of the new year.

Here is how you order:

  1. Go
  2. Enter the school ID, TAK008 (3 letters/3 numbers) (for Piney Branch families, the code is PIN226)
    3. Follow the directions to complete your order.
    4. Keep your online confirmation as your receipt.


When ordering you can also add a “classroom donation” kit which includes hand sanitizer, kleenex and other staples for teachers. If you would like to order a donation kit of school supplies please indicate “star student” as the child’s name and we will give those to the lead teachers by grade for distribution.


7:25pm: Mural, Lia Salza Goldstein

As part of Dr. Gadsden’s birthday celebration, about $2,000 has been raised toward a mural in the TPES Atrium, on the slanted hallway up to the Media Center. Rose Jaffe will be creating the piece, with input from parents and Dr. Gadsden. Contact Lia and Meg if you are interested in donating or participating in the process.

7:30pm: Committee Recruitment

Are you looking for a way to get more involved in the TPES PTA? Are there particular activities, initiatives, or concerns that you want to help with? Be part of a committee! Committees include:


  • Advocacy
  • Equity
  • Fundraising and Development
  • Health and Wellness
  • Basketball Game
  • Gardening and Landscape
  • Scholastic Book Fair
  • Staff Appreciation
  • Cultural Arts
  • Playground and Field
  • Social Services
  • Read-a-Thon



Contact Meg or the Committee Chair if you’re interested, and look for more volunteer opportunities in the fall.

7:35pm: 2019-2020 Elections

The proposed slate of candidates for TPES PTA Executive Committee is:

President: Meg McDonald
Executive VP: Caleb Gibson/Malawi Welles
Treasurer: Kelley Skelton
VP Communications: Lauren Greenberg
VP Membership: Samer Sadek
VP Fundraising: Sasha Johnson
VP Equity: Shana Sabbath/Viky Sosa
Membership Secretary: Becca Jones Albertus
Executive Secretary: Allison Belemvire
MCCPTA Delegate: Hilary Stevens

Each candidate was asked to introduce themselves.

In response to a question, Shana discussed efforts of the Equity Committee, including: supporting teacher efforts, working to align efforts with PBES to provide continuity of services for children and families served, scholarships for afterschool clubs, development and support of the Young Scholars program, coordination with the Lunch and Learn program, which will provide continued meal and academic support to local families over the summer (this year at TPES for the first time), and summer efforts to build on MCPS/PTA diversity and inclusion initiatives.

No additional individuals expressed interest in running.

A motion was made to approve the slate, motion seconded, and slate approved by unanimous vote.

7:50pm: Principal Notes, Dr. Gadsden

Dr. Gadsden is exploring new methods of relaying information home. She would appreciate input about:

  • The Dolphin Newsletter (is it effective, can it be shortened, what information is critical to include)
    • Generally, people present agreed that there are families in our community best served by printed materials, and the Dolphin Newsletter should be continued.
  • Robocalls – similar to Piney Branch, where a robocall is followed by an email transcript
    • Would this be beneficial on a weekly basis? Only as needed?

7:55pm: STEM at PBES, Tracey Matthias

The STEM program is at risk of being cut by MCPS. Tracey and others testified before the MCPS BOE, and a number of families have submitted written comments in opposition to the cut. The proposed budget would cut ½ FTE special programs, and 0.5FTE focus programs. Resources would not be reallocated to PBES, but would go to additional “focus programs” being implemented at other schools. Parents received no notice about the cuts, which represent a very small portion of the budget, but would have a significant impact on PBES. Encourage kids to write to the BOE.

8:00pm: PTA Collaboration, Jared Hughes

There is going to be a summer effort to connect the TPES, PBES, and Takoma Middle PTAs, including an effort to create a centralized directory. Conversations are ongoing about how to improve coordination between TPES and PBES PTAs, and whether a single organization might benefit both schools. Contact Meg if you’re interested in helping or have an opinion.


8:05pm                          [ADJOURN]