Minutes for Executive Board Meeting 11/6/2014

Executive BoardMeeting Minutes for 11/6/2014 at P.S. 51 Elias Howe

The meeting was called to order at 8:42am by Craig. Leslie read the minutes from the previous board meeting and they wereapproved. It was discussed that Lesliewould not be present at the general membership meeting on 11/13 and Roz wouldtake minutes until Marni could get there. Nancy then asked to do the Principal’s Report first so that Ms. Myers couldspeak about Title 1 and then move on. Ms. Myers explained that we are a Title 1 school which means we receivefederal funds. There are two kinds: The first is a School Wide Project Schoolwhich is what we are. This means thateveryone benefits from our Title 1 status. The other is a Targeted AssistanceSchool. This means that the funds are used only for children under the povertylevel who are struggling. P.S. 51 filledout a long application many years ago to attain our Title 1 status. There must be a meeting once a year. Ours will be held directly following theNovember 13th general membership meeting. Two parents every year must be voted for tobe representatives. Theserepresentatives decide how the Title 1 funds are used. Because our funds are school wide any parentcan be at the meeting and become a representative. The representatives choose from variousoptions for workshops at the school. Nancy stated that the school must usecontracted vendors. Giselle spoke aboutlast year’s funds and how they were used – for different workshops, etc. When we became Title 1 we were at a 95%poverty rate. Now we are at 60%. This means we are hovering at the cut off andare close to losing our Title 1 status. We are currently exempt from filling out lunch forms – we currently haveuniversal free meals – and when we are again required to fill these out it willprobably revoke our Title 1 status. Wehave a 30 million dollar budget and Title 1 is 30 to 40k of that budget. Ms.Myers asked that this be added to the agenda for the general membership meetingat the end as the Title 1 meeting is to follow. Nancy also stated the schools are no longer receiving letter grades. Instead they do what is called a “Snapshot”of the year and the school receives a rating of poor, fair, good or excellent. Next Ana Camacho gave the Treasurer’s report. She went over the budget – income and expenses. We discussed sending out another DirectAppeal letter. Leslie will draft theletter to show there are two ways to give – i.e. “option A and option B”. Give less if you need or pay ininstallments…..or give more if you can. Nancy feels we should continue saying how many families have given atevery meeting. Currently 40 families have given. Roz asked if Ana could providevisual for keynote at the general membership meeting again. It was determined that we could put the newdirect appeal letter up on the web site now and send a hard copy inJanuary. Nancy also said that in yearspast it had worked well to have a direct appeal table during parent teacherconferences. A schedule was set up fordoing so. Nancy will make a collage andit was suggested to have baked goods and free coffee to draw parents to thetable.
Ana Camacho also mentioned we had not taken care of Thank You cards forfamilies that had already given. Shesaid she would look into Vista Print to get something printed that would beeasy to address and send. Next was the co-Presidents’ report. Rozsaid we need to vote on fundraising at the next meeting. It was decided to put the vote right afterthe minutes so we could definitely accomplish it. Giselle will email class parents of the 3rdgrade to ask for their help in getting breakfast provided. We felt using the class parents to facilitateeach grade providing breakfast would ensure it was actually provided. Roz also noted we should thank them at themeeting. Next Marni talked about photo day. Weare pretty much all set. We will not doa PTA photo. Giselle sent out an emailto get more volunteers. Wendy andGiselle had taken care of the schedule. Marni said she would check with Mike about sibling pictures being in ourcontract and Louise regarding a faculty photo. Anamaria said for her children she had filled out both forms for eachchild, but put the money in one envelope and a note in the other specifying thesibling photo. Giselle said shecurrently had four volunteers and would give the information to Marni. Book Fair is also on target. Odettementioned have a family night when parents could come and purchase book. Odette, Ana Camacho and Leslie agreed to workit. Roz said we needed to make sure withNancy that an evening function would be possible. Nancy said that Wednesday, December 10thwould work and she would talk with security about a permit until 8pm. Next we discussed the gofundme campaign and the web site committee. We need a launch date for the campaign and acommittee for the web site. We need astrong mailing list in order for this to work. Everyone in the school needs to sign up for the mailing list andeventually sign up their social network. The blog on the web site is called “Weekly Wonders”. Teachers and Parents can post. We need to become known and to build goodwill. This should be ongoing. We must establish a presence so when we startasking for money people are incentivized to give it. The posts must be in the body of the emailnot as an attachment. Firstly, we needto get all parents to subscribe to the blog. Some groups within the school already have blogs and Nancy stated weshould consolidate so everyone’s energy is going to this campaign. Nancy asked about T-shirts and it was votedon and decided that the school would handle the making and selling ofT-shirts. The PTA will invest in Buttonswith our logo to give as gifts for donating. Discussions began about how to incentivize people to give and perhapslevels of gifts as thank you’s could be considered.
Giselle said the Holiday Concert will be on December 19th at1:30. Nancy took a photo of the PTABoard and the meeting was adjourned at 10:10am.