Takoma Park Elementary School(TPES)
Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES)
Parent & Teacher Meeting (PTA)
Monday, November 2, 2020,
Antiracism & Social Justice in Our Schools
Mark your calendars for our next meeting, Tuesday, Dec 1, 7-8pm.
All PTA meetings will be via Zoom (details below) until further notice.
7:05 Upcoming Dates and Announcements from the MCPS Calendar
Chris Campbell, TPES VP Communications
Nov 2-30: TPES Dolphin Drive
Tues, Nov 3: Election Day (schools & offices CLOSED)
Wed, Nov 4: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)
Mon, Nov 9: Professional Day for Teachers & Staff (NO SCHOOL for students)
Nov. 9-22: PBES virtual Scholastic Book Fair & Readathon
Mon, Nov 9: Professional Day for Teachers (NO SCHOOL for students)
Wed, Nov 11: MP2 Schedule Changes go into effect (to be discussed next)
Mon, Nov 23 thru Wed, Nov 25: Early Release Days (dismissal at 11:30am)
Thurs, Nov 26 thru Friday, Nov 27: Thanksgiving Break (NO SCHOOL)
7:07 MP2 Schedule Changes for MCPS Elementary Schools
Christine Oberdorf, PBES Principal
When board approved schedule, one of the conditions was the district would provide feedback about the schedule. Slight change to Elementary schedule voted on last week. Only impacts Wednesday am.
- New schedule (starting Wednesday, November 11 1st Wednesday second marking period):
- 9am class meeting;
- 9:30-10:15am live instruction ending with guidance for independent work; this time will not include new learning – no new modules from Benchmark or Eureka; opportunity to revisit content, provide enrichment, or vary content
- Pacing guide for Eureka and Benchmark has been revised based on this new schedule.
- 10:30-11:30am self-guided work for most students; paraeducator & service provider support available Teacher will outline direction for what students due during that time. Teachers are finalizing their plan and will get us information soon.
- Teachers will communicate specifically with class about what the schedule will look like.
- Goal is to reduce screen time, provide students with additional support as needed, and additional planning time for teacher.
- TPES is moving last special of the day to that later morning time- not at 2:30 but moved to 10:30. It was hard to get kids to come back to that special in the late afternoon.
- TPES teachers will give them choices as to what to do in the afternoon; kids will be able to choose the activity.
- Not supposed to be done at 11:30, should be working
- PBES: Concern: they have 2 blocks of specials in the afternoon to move them both in the morning; there is only one slot in the morning, and not enough teachers to cover both sessions in the morning.
- 11:30am-1pm lunch and wellness break;
- afternoon Wednesday schedules remain unchanged;
- Wednesday morning blocks will no longer focus on instruction in Benchmark Literacy and Eureka Math, but include opportunities for students to engage in related content support, review, extension, & enrichment.
- Teachers will communicate with each student & family about the learning activities that students should complete during each block.
- Goal is to increase opportunities to reduce screen time, have students receive special education or related services, & provide time for independent or small group work
- Leadership team is finalizing details this week; please look for more information from your child’s classroom teacher next week
7:10 Equity through the Educational Lens
Emma McClary, TPES 2nd Grade Teacher & Equity Committee member
Kristen Dunlap, PBES 3rd Grade Teacher & Equity Committee member
- Classroom practices and lessons that focus on racial equality & social justice
- Guided discussion about what parents can do at home
Ms. Dunlap: all classes in MoCO completed Psychoeducational lessons; PBES had unity day and Unity week; they received special election materials from the county
Emma McClary: all received the same curriculum about all of this
Need to bridge and do social awareness at home
Spend a lot of time in the classrooms talk about what is going on in the world- 1-1/2 weeks in the morning; lots of things happening
Dual pandemic: social justice responses to combat racism
Lot of time talking about race, racism, anti-racism, social justice
So that they understand the difference between being a Bystander to being an upstander; being a bystander is watching; upstander- stand up and say what you are feeling. Talked a lot about this. Also tied this into lessons about bullying
Their opinions are valued and matter- created a safe space so that they can share what they are thinking
Spent time on the positive things that they can do to feel better if experiencing stress/anxiety/worry, negative thoughts or feelings
Each class made their own list; they have arsenal of things that they can do if they are feeling strong emotions.
PBES: celebrated Unity day- staying united- a class community, a school community, a TP community- together stand against bullying; united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion
Thinking about what we can do to stand together
Hearing all the voices
Kids communicate differently some words, some pictures.
Making sure we see those that feel invisible
County sent out material on Communicating info re: election to kids
Working with Benchmark reading on communities and government units
How is our election materials relevant in our world right now
Connecting it to things that elementary school students in terms of voting
Discussion: open and honest conversations re: election
How are we feeling about things? Socioemotional part of election lessons are crucial. Mood Meter
Talking about feelings towards the election
Had ground rules going in
Took time to talk about candidates and racial disparities
All of the lessons re; social justice, equity, election are the same across the schools
There is also a reflective piece on the professional level for the teachers, helps them have them open and honest discussions with the teachers
Teachers: all have unique perspectives that they learn and teach from; all will sometimes make mistakes
Parents at home play bigger roles as teachers
Classroom practices help make sure that equity is included:
Representation in literature
Representation in posters and decorations
Equity sticks and random calling strategies
Building relationships with families
Communicating high expectations for all students
Acknowledge and true appreciation of the differences that we have and appreciate the diversity
Recognizing that everyone has differences and that is ok
Teachable moments including factual conversations when things get said in the classroom
Modeling vulnerability, honesty and empathy
When teaching these lessons, created spaces where students feel valued
How to transfer the ideas from the classroom to the home:
Don’t overthink the conversation at home
Be factual, open and honest
Students understand feelings- can break things down to feelings if necessary
TPES and PBES each do collaborative planning within the school to help share best practices and ideas with each other!
Sharing our stories:
Every Monday Night TPES/PBES 7 pm is doing a Sharing our Stories with the teachers and families in the school community
Bedtime story- guest family, educator, etc sharing a story: book, interview
Educator giving tips on how to become more involved in the school community
If interested in sharing a story: contact Shana firstname.lastname@example.org
Next week: Ms. Coco – PBES counselor on how to handle remote learning with the
7:40 NAACP Parent Council Updates
Sharon Gaskins, TPES NAACP Representative
Lauren Van Tol, PBES NAACP Representative
- Upcoming NAACP initiatives
Parent council: way to allow you to advocate for your child and get involved in their kids’ education
Started in 1990’s by the NAACP Youth council
next meeting Thursday November 12 6:30 pm.
Middle School magnet consortium: Argyle- digital design, Parkland- Aerospace, Loederman- creative arts
Due dates soon
If interested in any of the programs:
1st meeting parents council at TPES on Thursday with Dr. Gadsden
Will collaborate with Piney Branch council
Equity Hubs: kids in K-5 can come and do distance learning in school building 8:30-5:30 for $50/mo with additional aid available
For kids who qualify for FARMS
Expanding across MCPS: https://www.equityhubs.org/
No plan for TP schools to host a hub
Lunch provided, and the day will be built around supporting distance learning and providing children with social emotional connections. Rolling Terrace Elementary and Rock Creek Forest Elementary which are less than 3 miles from Piney Branch are opening soon.
Montgomery county parent council : report on how black and brown students are faring in virtual learning; research conducted by UMD
7:50 Treasurer’s Reports
Kelley Skelton, TPES Treasurer
TPES continues to be receiver and payor of the food support from the 4 schools
Dolphin appeal in November is fundraiser
Greatest expenses this month- teacher classroom set up funds.
Erin Kelley, PBES Treasurer
Panther appeal just ended:
Passed our goal
On membership side just over 50% of the goal
Including role over from last year; very robust situation
Expenses: support staff, website, and paypal fees
NEXT PTA MEETING: Tuesday December 1st; new zoom link; will be sent out shortly before the meeting.