Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meeting Minutes ~ January PTA Meeting

Below are the minutes from the PTA meeting held on January 20th. 

As a reminder, everyone is invited to attend PTA meetings! It's a great way to hear from Principal Cassidy and also to learn about upcoming PTA events. We hope to see you at our next meeting on Tuesday, February 17th. We meet in the Media Center at 6:30pm.

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board
Meeting Minutes

January 20, 2015


Daniel MacLagan, Jennifer Cassidy, Becky Anderson, Shari Perkins, Tia MacLagan, Paige Janco, Leslie Greindl, Cheryl Maloch, Andrea Grieco


EJ Media Center
Next meeting:
February 10th, 2015, EJ Media Center

Call to Order – Dan MacLagan, 6:35pm

Old Business

·         Last Meeting’s Minutes Approved
·         Teacher Appreciation Breakfast was good, lots of food provided for the teachers as they returned to school for the teacher workday after Winter Break.  Thank you to Shari Perkins and Lisa Newara for co-chairing and stepping in at the last minute!

Principal’s Address – Jennifer Cassidy

·         Ms. Cassidy gave a shout out to Lisa Stamey.  With Lisa’s help, the school was able to obtain an $8300 grant from the Thurber Family Foundation that will be used to fund the Destination Imagination after school program for the rest of the year. 
o    Mr. James will be heading up the Destination Imagination program.
·         The school will be hosting a parent information session on the Georgia Milestones Assessment.  She would like all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade parents to attend, but it would be beneficial for all parents, even if your student will not be taking the Georgia Milestones this year.
o    They released the Assessment Guide in December so they can share factual info with parents now.
o    She would like the PTAs help in spreading the word:
§  Georgia Milestones: Parent Workshop
In April 2015, GA Milestones will replace the CRCT for Grades 3-5. All parents K-5 are invited to join us for a parent workshop.
There will be two identical sessions: Thursday, February 12 at 6:30-7:30 and Wednesday, February 18 at 8:00-9am. Both sessions will be held in the Media Center and translation will be available.
Topics will include: general testing information, new ways students will respond in writing: extended and constructed responses, sample test questions for grades 3- 5, strategies for best supporting your child with the increased testing expectations, connection between curriculum and testing.
·         In December the state released the new CCRPI results.
o    EJ’s overall score went down 1.7 points.
o    Content mastery levels stayed about the same.
o    There was a bigger drop in the ELL areas.
o    Across the board, no significant declines.
o    Ms. Cassidy would be happy to discuss the results in more detail with parents, but last year when she had a parent meeting about the CCRPI results, only one parent attended.  She asked for feedback on whether we thought there was a need for a meeting this year.
§  Several people mentioned that they were more interested in their children’s individual results than in this kind of statistic.
§  This led to a discussion on Progress Reports, Report Cards, Teacher Communication, etc…
·         Ms. Cassidy said her expectation is that teachers should be sending out something (e-mail or paper) at least once a month about what is coming up.
·         The Report Cards and Progress Reports are done on a schedule.
·         Outside of that, the amount of communication with the teachers is different for each student.
·         Home Access Center was also mentioned as a way of keeping up with your student’s results on a timely basis.  Ms. Cassidy said that the teachers should be entering scores within 5 to 10 days of an assignment.

Budget/Annual Fund Update
·         Tia stated that she has made another deposit for the Annual Fund, but did not have the amount available.

New Business
·         Open Board Positions – two Vice Presidents have had to resign from their roles recently, and need to be replaced. 
o    VP of Communications
o    VP of Fundraising
o    Becky has a meeting scheduled with Tara Barooah this week to come up with job descriptions for this and a few other open positions. (Yearbook and Spring Carnival Co-Chair.)
o    Ms. Cassidy offered to help by sending out a school wide e-blast when we have information so that it goes to all families, not just those in the PTA.
o    Dan and Shannol will continue to try and recruit!
·         Bingo Night – Friday 2/6
o    Ms. Cassidy let us know that we are good for the date even though it is a Friday.  Fun Time Live will be cancelled that night.
o    The letter to the GBI to get the Bingo license has been sent. (Lisa Stamey)
o    Katie is working on the prizes.
·         Fun Time Live
o    Flyers will be sent soon,
o    Just need to show up.
o    Question was then brought up about capacity, and whether they would be staffed enough to handle any amount of students, or if at a certain amount, some would be turned away because of no pre-registering system.  It seems that they have planned for a large number of attendees so this doesn’t look like it will be a problem.
·         Spirit Night
o    Next Spirit Night is Feb 11th at Sky Zone
·         Directory
o    Shannol has gotten the data file from Dora.  Is working on getting it into PTAvenue and getting an electronic copy.
·         Yearbook
o    Need Chair
o    Dan was asked if he could get with Shannol about creating instructions on how to upload photos to Picaboo.  Many teachers and event chairs have photos that need to be uploaded and don’t want to wait until last minute.
·         Spirit Wear
o    Need Chair
o    Shannol would like to see a school design competition next year/have student designs available.  It was asked if the art teacher could assist with this and Ms. Cassidy said that could be arranged.
·         Survey
o    Shannol and Dan would like to do a survey for the parents about the PTA to get their feedback.
·         Atlanta Hawks Fundraiser
o    Tia would like to head up a PTA fundraiser (GA PTA Family Fun Night at the Hawks)
o    Every ticket sold is $5 for our PTA
o    Game is March 27th
o    This was approved, she will work on flyer and get them out to students

Committee Reports

·         Membership
o    Lisa N is currently working on the envelope drive.
·         Volunteers
o    Tara will work on creating job descriptions for the most needed positions.
·         Science Expo
o    Kick-off was on 1/16.  Ms. Merkle and Ms. Williamson helped to create a video showing experiments for the kick-off to run during announcements. 
o    Forms are available in the office and online and are due 2/12.
o    We have applied for a grant to fund the Science Expo, but will not know if we have received it until late February.
·         Leslie asked if there was anything special we could do to say goodbye to the building.  There was a discussion about students using paint (making a mural) or markers during room parties. Ms. Cassidy was ok with this as long as building was being demolished.
·         Reading for Education – was very successful.  The goal was 130, and they received 155 booklets back.  Several families sent money in with a note declining participating. Teachers received the prizes for their classrooms today. Ms. Cassidy noted that Dan and Shannol did a good job with the communication for the program.
·         Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up Feb 17-20.  Shari Perkins and Jodi Kaplan are co-chairing.  Someone mentioned that Katie had ideas for the breakfast for this one, so they should be in contact with her.
·         Tia mentioned that she had received a letter from SunTrust regarding fees, including a per transfer fee ($14) that would make our PayPal transfers unaffordable.  She contacted the manager and the fees should be waived. It may have been sent to us (as a non-profit) by mistake. She will need to watch to make sure they don’t charge us.

Meeting Adjourned by Dan MacLagan at 8:20pm

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