Blair PTSA needs you!
Open positions include MCCPTA reps, SHARP rep, Pedestrian Safety and Staff Recognition.
Fran Rothstein, Blair PTSA Co-President opened the meeting by introducing Chris Cox, the new PTSA Vice President for Administration, and asking for comments or revisions to the agenda.
The main portion of the meeting was the presentation, discussion and approval of the 2004-2005 budget. Sonni Mallinoff, the continuing Treasurer, presented her draft budget for comments. The PTSA did well financially last year with substantial money from dues, Citrus Sale and Silent Auction. Total Income was $42,110.43 with expenses of $31, 140.96.
Cluster issues included acknowledging Steve Bedford as our new Community Superintendent, replacing Walt Gibson and the information that some of our requests for support for Night School have been approved. These are for increased custodial and security personnel. However, there was no one present from the administration to report on how the Night School was to be administered.
MCCPTA held an open forum earlier in the summer at Einstein High School on issues that was very useful. It is imperative that we come up with two MCCPTA reps to support the initiatives and keep our issues and needs front and center. Requires a commitment to attend monthly meetings in Rockville. Anyone willing to volunteer or approach someone to do so should contact Fran Rothstein or Betsy Scroggs.
Back-to-School Night is September 9. Betsy will follow up with Carole Blythe-Goodman, membership chair to see what needs to be done to have a strong presence.
Open PTSA positions:
Counseling Advisory Committee - Anne Kaiser and Deborah Stoll are chairing it. First event is the Senior Parent Counseling presentation. Karen Hunt, Director of Counseling will meeting with Senior parents as a part of the Sept. 21 PTSA meeting. There is a proposed event on October 13. That day, everyone except seniors take the PSAT. The Counseling Department has set up information centers/activities pertaining to life after high school for the seniors. The proposal is to also invite parents of seniors. The parents would move as their own groups through the activities, including a presentation on financial aid from a State of Maryland staffer. This would be a Wednesday morning, probably from 8-10. Parking might be a problem and solutions would have to be explored. The suggestion was made to have flyers in the local libraries, grocery stores, etc. in order to reach some of the immigrant parents particularly. Part of the budget request from the Counseling Advisory Committee is to send postcards to senior parents advertising this event. Ms. Hunt is particularly interested in reaching the students who have not yet formed a plan for their year after graduation.
- Staffing, including numbers and who are in question. Sonni Mallinoff testified
on behalf of Blair but it is unclear whether things will improve. This is an
ongoing problem. Chris Smith will continue to chair and will need additional
volunteers to assume that role in the future.
Ninth grade wing is coming along. The lead teachers are Hunter Hogwood and Jennifer Kempf. A question arose about making sure that there be a strong counseling component so that fewer seniors lack plans for after high school.
Citrus Sale will once again be capably handled by Chris Simpson.
Blair Education Foundation is being nurtured by Sara Rosen. They are in need of someone, perhaps an attorney, to file for 501C3 status. Volunteers?
After Prom - Will Ramsey has agreed to chair it again. Parents were uniformly enthusiastic about his leadership. One of the sources of funding for the event is the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Blair after prom receives money proportional to the number of volunteers it provides. The festival is September 12. The PTSA contact person is Chris Hernandez, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silent Auction/Blair Fair - We don’t know the date yet-late April probably. The PTSA has agreed to include the food as a regular budget line item. A similar committee will run it again since they did so well.
Staff appreciation - Mary Abe was present. There is a breakfast for the staff on August 27. Baked goods and volunteers are needed. Richelle Meer is going to take on some new ongoing staff appreciation initiatives as well.
Mini-grants - Cindy Allen reported that there would be two rounds beginning with advertising at Back-to School Night. The mini-grants are for staff, students and/or parents. Both a presentation to the staff and to the SGA is planned. She will talk with Dan Levine and Joe Bellino to see if they will serve as staff on the committee again this year.
The issue building use and the ICB came up. It has been suggested as a topic to Silver Chips since no one seems to feel that the school groups get a fair deal on use and cost. This has had an impact on the planning of the concerts, etc.
Planning for fall meetings needs to be discussed at the next gathering because it was getting late. Options include program meetings with a business meeting beforehand, business only or a mix. The suggestion was made for programs with board appeal and sneak in the business. Sonni Mallinoff noted that two wonderful program meetings last year - the African American History one and the Diversity Training one were very poorly attended despite great content.
Deborah Stoll subbing for Sara Rosen, Secretary
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