Attendance: Attendance was very high, approximately 100 people in all, many of whom left after the principal's report to attend a senior parent's meeting.
Fran Rothstein presided over the meeting.
1. After eliminating no shows and non residency students, the population at Blair is presently 3325 students.
2. Great opening of school. The climate has improved and the school seems happier and friendlier. This has come from a staff wide study and discussion on how to make students feel cared about. Staff met in teams to discuss such things as how to make each student in their classroom feel like the teacher cares about them. Ways to make this translate into the halls as well was discussed. This was based on a book by Ruby Payne and a lecturer that Mr. Gainous and some of the staff heard. These initiatives are making a significant difference.
3. There continues to be some confusion about the new Grading and Reporting system. The high schools have been given more time to work the kinks out. Blair has chosen to focus on achieving some consistency within the different departments.
4. Each year the Annual Yearly Progress reports include many areas in which the bar is raised every year. Although Blair has made progress on many issues, the math grades of Latino males continues to be a challenge and an area in which there hasn't been much progress. No matter how many areas a school has progressed, if you fail an area 2 years in a row, the school goes on a watch list and then can be taken over by the state.
1. A $50,000 budget has been developed. The mini grants line has been increased. Blair depends on the citrus sale, membership and the silent auction to fund the budget.
2. Treasurer will have a fuller report at the next meeting.
1. Because of the hurricanes in Florida, there is a possibility that there will be no fruit. Chris Simpson, chair of the committee, is considering what to do about advertising and orders. She will be working out asking for orders without the guarantee of citrus.
1. Mini-grants are eligible to teachers, students and parents. Grants range from $200-500 and must directly benefit students.
2. There is $7,000 available for grants.
3. There is a need for more volunteers on this committee. Please contact Cindy Miller at CAllenInk at aol.com
1. The Silent Auction will be held, as always, at the Blair Fair. An organizing meeting will be held in November.
1. The Committee is interested in feedback on the mailing sent to new 9th grade students and their parents.
2. The committee needs volunteers to be a liason from each grade with the school. Please contact Ron McClain at rmcclain at parkmont.org
1. There will be a meeting Thursday, September 23, 2005 at the Carver Auditorium, 850 Hungerford Road, Rockville concerning feedback on how the schools are performing and the operating budget. This will replace the testimony that clusters made to the board concerning the operating budget so attendance is important.
2. Volunteers are needed for a pilot on an interactive course bulletin online. Please contact Deborah Stoll at djstoll at starpower.net
3. Each school in a cluster has a representative at monthly meetings to talk about what's going on in the Cluster especially in regard to MCPS.
1. Repesentatives for the Black/African American and Latino communities are needed to help increase academic achievement.
At this point breakout groups were formed and the following are the group reports.
1. The faculty has committees in which they explore and discuss academic issues. The group recommended and will try to have a parent attend these meetings. If you are interested, please contact Kathi Yu at kathiyu at hotmail.com
2. There was a discussion of the diversity of academic needs with an emphasis on writing and reading and pushing kids to their potential.
1. The discussion was around overcrowding. There are 850 freshman which is a little smaller than last year.
2. There are 4 points that the group made:
3. Ray Scanell moved that the PTSA establish a standing committee on overcrowding. Linda Simon seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously.
1. Try to connect up with people who don't come to PTSA meetings. How can we make it attractive to come to meetings for everyone.
2. BEN use -- would it make a difference to urge even more strongly for the use by families.
3. Do mailings in several languages to support activities at the school.
Shewitt Woldu, Vice President of
the SGA, announced that the SGA is doing a graphing calculator drives. If you
know of anyone who no longer needs their
graphing calculator, such as a former student who is now in college, please send it into the SGA. They will give it to a needy student.
Sara Rosen, Secretary
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