TPES PTA Meeting Minutes: March 2019

Takoma Park Elementary School (TPES)

PTA Meeting

Tuesday, March 5, 2019. 7-8pm


7pm: Welcome: Upcoming Events and Announcements, Lia Salza Goldstein)


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

March 22: Kids Adventures Summer Camp Kick Off @PBES 6.30-8.30pm
Parents vs Kids soccer game, crafts, face painting, food.

March 28: STEM night, 6.30-8pm. A great family night out, please attend.

April 2: PTA meeting featuring another great PEP workshop – Understanding Friendship and Bullying that has been designed for the TPES age group

April 17-22: Spring break, no school (enjoy!)

May 2-3: Kindergarten orientation – no school for current Kindergarteners.
(Note: Kids Adventures will only be open for current KA attendees on these days).

May 5: TkPk5k – family friendly road race that benefits your health and our school. More details below and .

June 5: Due to snow days this will no longer a professional development day but will now be a regular school day.

June 12: 2nd grade promotion ceremony (more details to follow)

June 14: Due to snow days this is now the last day of the current school year.


Treasurer’s Report, Erin Kelley

Fairly quiet month for the accounts, Erin noted:

  • Cash flow looks to be down $10,000. We are waiting for reimbursement for the STEM grant (which funded robotics materials and recent assemblies). Reimbursement from the State can take up to 6 weeks, paperwork has been submitted.
  • Membership dues are a little lower than expected due to lower than expected membership rates this year.
  • The book fair was extremely successful and raised over $12,000 of materials that will be going back to our classrooms and Media Center. On the accounts, book fair figures are represented as an expense and an income because the school is reimbursed in books rather than money. Thanks to Shivani Sutton and Kate Ivcevich for leading the fair, to all the volunteers and to everyone who participated – a great event and fundraiser for the school.



Readathon Update, Sara Lewis

The readathon is now underway and will run through March 28.

Please remind your child to record their minutes and to keep the calendar in the folder – crucial it is there on Friday mornings.

Each Friday will be a dress-up day to make it fun along with prizes and certificates for participating kids. More details and reminders will be in dolphin folders.

Some questions already raised:

  • If my child doesn’t have a sponsor should they still participate?
    Yes! It’s not just about fundraising, it’s most importantly about encouraging kids to read – focus is on the minutes and not the money. Kids are earning leaves, certificates etc for minutes and not for money!
  • Do you need more volunteers?
    Yes, especially for Fridays. Mornings (10am-11.30am) and Afternoon (2.30pm – 3.45pm). If you have flexibility and would be willing to volunteer then please get in touch (
  • When do you need sponsorship pledges to come in?
    The deadline for submitting pledges is 12 April.


After School Clubs (Lia, for Virginia Davis)

The next session opened at 7pm on March 5. You can now sign up online for the next session of enrichment clubs after school.

Following a successful campaign to get the word out about our scholarship program, we now have a big need for more. If you are signing up your child please consider adding a donation for a scholarship too.


Run Club (Sasha Johnson and Sarah VanWye, TPES reps for TKPK5K)

The Takoma Park 5k  will be held on May 5. Registration is now open! Scholarships are available for the race, if you know anyone who would benefit please reach out to Sasha or Sarah.

A 4 week training programme for TPES kids will begin next month on Thursday mornings at 8.30am (from April 4). The run club is free for kids and the PTA’s wellnesss committee will be providing free healthy snacks. The club’s goal is to help TPES students prepare for the race, work on movement goals and have some fun! The run club could use a few more volunteers, even if just for 1 or 2 sessions.

March 19 – please eat at Mark’s Kitchen that day, a portion of proceeds will go to TkPk5K funds that night and those funds come back to Takoma Park schools.




Safe Routes to School and the TKPK5K
(Lucy Neher, Special Projects Coordinator, City of Takoma Park)

Lucy briefed the meeting on Safe Routes to School, TKPK5k and special projects.


We are committed to making Takoma Park a walkable and bike-able city. Recent / upcoming initiatives include:

  • A pop-up bike lane on Maple Ave later this year
  • The old wooden stairs behind TPES down to the community center have been removed and will be replaced by trees/shrubs
  • Additional bike racks and sidewalk building
  • Redoing school zone signage for consistent and fresh look.

In May we will be applying for a grant to put a sidewalk on Chestnut and Hodges and a raised crosswalk at Hodges / Holly. There is strong neighbourhood support.


Safe Routes to School has a range of regular programming:

  • Walk to school day (will be October 9 this year). 5 Takoma Park schools participate, builds enthusiasm and safety knowledge about walking to school.
  • Pedestrian safety exercise with Kindergarten classes
  • Bike rodeo at PBES with 4th Bikes and an obstacle course, focus is on learning to ride safely (not how to ride!)
  • TKPK5K (5 May). Started in 2009 with 350 people, grown to 1500 runners. Nearly every year it has given $5000 to the PTAs of each of the 5 schools – city keeps none of the money – schools spend funds on wellbeing activities run by the PTA wellbeing committees. Lots of local business support, so please say thank you to those businesses!
  • Bike to school day (May 8)
  • Camp (I Can Shine) – teaches bike riding to 30 students (aged 8-13) with disabilities. The camp runs over a week with a host of volunteers.

More details .

Additional Business: Health and Wellness Committee, TPES PTA

The two people Chairs of this successful, well-funded committee are stepping down. The committee has had a significant positive effect on TPES. If you are interested for next year please get in touch with Lia.

Additional Business: Grants, Tracey Mathias

Tracey, one of primary authors of the STEM grant, briefed the meeting about the grant purchases (robots for 1st and 2nd graders; 2 special assemblies for Kindergarteners facilitated by the Blair robotics team). There will be an exhibition at STEM night.

The meeting agreed TPES/PTA will maintain the robotics purchases/replace broken pieces. TPES will also maintain our relationship with the Blair robotics team next year. Dr Gadsen suggested Tracey work with PBES on the grant this year instead. This will bring the same benefits to PBES students and enable TPES students to continue their robotics journey when they move to PBES. Thank you to Tracey for her hard work in obtaining the grant!