General Membership Meeting Minutes 3-26-215

March 26, 2015 PTAgeneral meeting – Minutes

Themeeting was called to order by Craig Williams at 8:30am. Aspecial guest was introduced - Mr. Fernando Pons, one of our Title OneRepresentatives. Theminutes were not read aloud but handed out to be read and they were approved. NextAna Camacho gave the Treasurer’s Report. She announced that we have changed thebudget to reflect our $30,000 goal for the fundps51 campaign. With the extramoney one of the things we propose is to add a part time Phys-Ed teacher. Alsoanother suggestion is to have a cash register. This will make all transactionseasier and more transparent and in general better for record keeping. A parent asked if we could set it up toreceive payments by credit card. Ana and Craig said we are considering allthese possibilities as we look at our options. Ana stated that we did reach our$2000 goal with the family concert which is wonderful. Nancy thanked everyonewho helped make the concert happen. It is a great idea to do this annually tokick off our major campaigns. Ana stated that we will be making a DVD of theconcert to use as a giveaway gift along with a raffle ticket for theVespa. Nancy stated we have raised over$5000 so far! We also increased the artand music department’s budgets. We will be voting on this budget at the Aprilmeeting. Nancy stated that Jennifer Greenblatt will be present at the nextmeeting as well and we need to form a nominating committee for next year’sPTA. In May we have to have an electionfor next year. Still only 30% have contributed to Direct Appeal. A parent notedthat this will probably be affected by fundps51 campaign at this point. It wasreiterated that the direct appeal is for parents to give and the campaign isfor all extended family, friends and community. A parent asked about Kindergarten graduation. Nancy stated that the PTAwill help with that as well. Kindergarten graduation is June 19th. PreK is June 15th Fifth gradegraduation is June 23rd. Ms.Polanco said the cost for Kindergarten graduation is $30 and includes a stuffedanimal and a t-shirt. Nancy stated a letter would be forthcoming regarding allgraduation activities. Ms.Perez, our art teacher and semifinalist for the Big Apple Teacher award, spokeabout the rally tomorrow morning. She also mentioned there was a rally onSaturday, March 28th by Cuomo’s office, but most importantly our ownschool is having one tomorrow morning right outside of the school. The purposeis to save our schools from Cuomo’s budget cuts and other proposals. Also,there is a sample letter that you can follow and send to the Governor’soffice. He is mandated to open and readevery letter. Key points were discussed. Mostly, new proposals that affectteacher’s probation periods and evaluation procedures that will make it veryhard for new teacher’s to stick it out and also takes all control away fromeach school to have any say in its own teachers’ evaluations. He is also tryingto raise the charter school cap which is detrimental to regular zoned public schools.It could leave a dangerous vacancy in our school especially because City Knollwill be leaving after this year. Cathy Myers Jusko asked everyone to encourageneighborhood people to enroll in PS 51. The biggest thing is that the amount ofmoney that could be withheld specifically from PS51 is $172,000 – while this isin mediation. If this budget goes through it will not be granted at all. Pleasecome to the rally tomorrow at 7:30am!
Nancygave the President’s Report. TheSaturdays for test prep are going very well. Parents for kids in grade 3-5 willreceive booklets to have during the break. The first day is multiple choicemath, etc. The 2nd and 3rd days are alot of writing. She feels the kids willbe as prepared as they can be. Ms. Myers Jusko stated that no electronicdevices are allowed in the room during the test. Nancy then discussed the manycelebratory activities and partnerships that will be going on in all gradesover the next couple of months. FernandoPons then spoke about Title One. Giselle reminded everyone what Title One wasand that we are School wide. Parent Money is 1% - ours is $1404. Fernando said have two options: Two workshops, or one workshop and onecultural trip. He and Iris Springer came up with a list of workshops and trips tochoose from. The workshops are for parents not kids. A vote was held first todecide if we wanted 2 workshops or 1 workshop and a trip. It was decided that we would have twoworkshops with a vote of 17 to 4. Next a vote was held to choose which 2 workshops. You could vote for as many as you like. AngerManagement – 8 votes. Improving StudySkills – 17 votes. Saying No to Children– 9 votes. Improving Human Relations –16 votes. Time Management Strategies –10 votes. Improving Study Skills and HumanRelations will be the 2 workshops. Craigagain asked that everyone please forward the emails regarding fundps51 andstated that he had received $1200 from just his circle. Themeeting was adjourned at 9:30.