The meeting was called to order by Fran Rothstein at approximately 7:30 with 22 people in attendance.
1. Sonni Mallinoff made a treasurer's report. Sonni feels that we are doing well. At this time of year, we are winding down. There was a request for $260 to help to pay for t-shirts for the Sports Academy which has more students participating than expected. It is a program that gets kids off the streets after school, gives them something fun to do, and encourages academics. David Ottalini moved that the PTSA give $260 to the Academy. Deborah SToll seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously. There was also a discussion of the budget and the possibility of a discretionary fund so that there is some freedom to take care of things that are not line items. Sara Rosen and Sonni will work on this over the summer.
2. Carolyn Blythe Goodman is willing to help with Back to School Night in recruiting members for the PTSA. Her child is graduating and we need a new chairperson.
3. We need a nominating committee. Ron McClean, Deborah SToll, and Kathi Yu will work together to establish a slate of officers and committee chairs.
4. Principal's Report
1. On April 18th and 19th the student pretended they were elementary school students and practiced predestrian safety. Next year the program will be in full gear.
2. High School Assessments are on May 23rd. It is very important that every child be at school that day. An absense is considered a failure. The need to be well rested, have breakfast and do the best they can.
3. Mr. Gainous commended the parents for trying to get the students into more APs, SATs, etc. There has been increased giving on the part of parents who are concerned for those students who can't afford the AP testing and SATs. Blair is aware of this and no student should feel that they can't take these tests because of a lack of funds.
4. Because of a lawsuit which Montgomery County lost, secretaries are not allowed to work outside their stated hours of employment. It is a great loss to all schools.
5. Crime and Security Task Force
1. Tracy Jaffe made a report. The task force met with Laurie Checco, business manager of Blair and they strived to have the written policy comply with parent's ideas.
2. The task force is working to refine a procedure in which a packet would be given to students whose belongings have been stolen. This packet would include teh name of the school's MCPD officer, the phone number of Blair's head of security, an explanation of what your rights and responsibilities are and a procedure for recovering academic work. The burden lies with the student to inform teachers of their loss.
3. There continues to be a sense that crimes are being committed at school. How can the Blair community turn it around. Students, in particular, need to take responsiblity and not be passive bystanders when witnessing a crime. School spirit is affected by students not feeling their belongings are safe at their school. In addition students need to feel at an equal footing with the administration in regard to reporting, confidentiality. The issues of drugs and bullying were specifically mentioned.
4. Mr. Gainous mentioned that the SGA and the administration are working together to create an atmosphere of community. The SGA has had a growing interest in being a positive influence. Mr. Gainous also mentioned that certain students who were identified as known troublemakers are no longer at the school.
6, LInda Simon, MCCPTA Rep
1. The new driving legislation has passed and the new restrictions will be going into affect in regard to driving with passengers.
2. Victor Salazar is running for office.
3. There is a new policy that the school board and Weast are trying to put into affect that will decrease community involvement. Instead of requiring parent feedback on issues, they are changing it from a policy to a regulation. This means it would be encouraged rather than required. The policy of involvement was established in 1986 in which all stakeholders were given a part in the long range education facility planning. Linda Simon moved to support Policy FAA as it stands. Melissa York seconded and it was unanimously passed.
7. Safety--Ford Motor Company is willing to take a number of students through a driving course to teach them defensive driving.
8. Silent Auction--please come. May 7th Movie and Music Sale fundraiser. Please come and support and help out.
9. Conquita con tuenos
1. The Blair cluster along with many agencies including JJ FAir is sponsoring this most worth program that includes empowering Latinos to become a voice in their own and their children's lives. 78 people are already signed up. Childcare is included and is on Thursdays from 7-9:00 p.m. at Long Branch Community Center. There are 5 sessions with the 6th session being a culminating celebration.
10. Grade Liasons
1. The teachers really want grade liasons. The nominating committee will recruit grade liasons during the nominating process.
11. 8th period Issue
1. People are concerned with the options students have for 8th period while they are waiting for after school activities begin.
2. Part of the concern is that the staff be respectful of the students while they try to figure out where to go and what to go during the 8th period.
3. Locker access is also a concern and is tied to the use of the building especially night school which starts at 4:30.
12. Announcement: April 30th is University of Maryland's open house from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The meeting ended at approximately 9:45 p.m.