October 10, 2005 Executive Board Meeting minutes
Deborah Stoll called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.
Treasurer's Report Sonni Malinoff
1. Right now we have $6600 in membership dues and $1700 to deposit. $500 is for the Sports Booster for the water fountain.
2. The Balance in the checking account: $22,944
The Balance in the savings account: $17,000
3. Outstanding bill: $894 for rental of the building for the cd sale in May
4. We received a letter and a check for $800 from an anonymous donor to support anything the PTSA feels is important.
One area of concern is the AP testing situation. Because it must be off site and extra funds are needed for the rental of tables and an administrator, more funds are needed. The first thing is to call on MCPS since this is a function of Blair's size.
Another possibility is the translation equipment.
5. Carolyn Lichtenstein requested more money to order enough T-shirts for 2 years since there is a start up fee and this would save some money in the he long run. David Ottalini moved to add $100 to the Membership Committee line item on the budget. Ray Scanell seconded. Passed unanimously.
1. The PTSA wants to push teachers to use BEN. The school also wants them to as well.
2. Teachers are very appreciative of the volunteers. Bravo Bath!
3. Issues that can be discussed with Mr. Gainous at the teas: soda machines and the fact that the income from them has gone from $200,000 to $50,000; the number of students as of October 1st was 3076; graffiti, hall climate; bathroom use.
4. Generally, things seem quiet at the school.
5. At the IRT meeting support for the new Honors and AP students who had never been in any of these accelerated classes was discussed. A summer writing workshop was also discussed.
6. Blair Sports Academy
1. The YMCA received a grant for $25,000 some of which will go to the Blair Sports Academy to get the program started.
2. Tom Perez, County Councilman, is requesting money for Blair to make it a year round program.
3. Our lack of enough physical space is a problem and perhaps we should be thinking about a non sports academy along the lines of Wheaton High School.
4. Mr. Short, vice principal, suggested that something be organized for the female students. There is physical and emotional abuse that goes on and they need something just for them as well.
1. The meetings he has gone to so far were an introduction to the new representatives and a message from the president of MCCPTA. There were discussions about policies and the use of address books for mailings. Dr. Weast introduced the 206 top senior staffers.
Cluster Rep Ray Scanell
1. The first business for the cluster is for each school to identify 3 priority areas.
1. Blair Enrollment. Although enrollment is down, things are still too crowded. The DCC, as Ray understands it, has closed both Blair and Einstein in the choice process because both schools are too crowded. There was some question as to the efficacy of the DCC.
2. The other possibilities are Blair facility issues, Blair academics, Student safety and security, communication and counseling, sex education, humane high school start time, and measurement of the success of the DCC.
3. It was felt that some of these areas are related, especially to the overcrowding issues. Many of the concerns lead back to this.
Individual Action: Ray and Herb will try to consolidate some of the issues into 3. The choices will be presented to the October PTSA meeting.
2. It was mentioned that anyone can testify at a board meeting and can sign up for 2 minutes.
Membership Carolyn Lichtenstein
1. Right now we have 358 members. Back to School night was problematic because of the traffic issues that night that made people too late to sign up for membership.
2. A source of disappointment is the response of the teachers.
3. We need a good sign to promote membership at the various events.
4. We need to emphasize that the PTSA speaks for Blair and the more PTSA members we have, the more of a voice we have with on the issues.
NAACP Annette Joynes
1. Annette has attended some meetings already. The emphasis is on figuring out how to get African American parents more involved. They are thinking about listserv groups to inform parents of events and activities.
2. Annette will meet with Mr. Gainous to talk about getting more participation in the W.E.B. Dubois Honors Society which is a step toward getting into the National Honor Society. There was also mention of the Sandra Mann program.
Volunteers Beth Martin
1. Beth is working on getting volunteers to be at every school event to promote PTSA membership.
2. Volunteers come from outside of our school community and there often is little or no screening done by the agency that sends them. There are also volunteers who just call the school up to help out.
1. Mention was made of El Golfo and their willingness to designate a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in January to be a night for Blair fundraising. They will give 25% of the total take. Tuesday was ruled out as it is a PTA night throughout the county.
PTSA Programs Fran Rothstein
1. October--The original thought was to have a seminar on gangs. Victor Salazar, MCCPTA vice president is already organizing a big community meeting on gangs already. Perhaps we should use our own resources and break out into groups. It was suggested that the students participate but they might be too afraid. The break out groups will be asked to come up with suggestions and strategies for Blair.
2. November--Grading and Policy
3. December--A social
4. January--What do we want to do?
1. There was a question of whether or not, or how, things that cost money should be posted to the listserv. There was no conclusion but it is something that needs to be thought about and addressed.
1. Counseling issues. It seems that students who want to drop down a level are having difficulty doing it. The system seems to be rigid when a student finds him or herself overwhelmed and out of their element and want to make a change.
1. The county committee on student eligibility for activities has met and is writing a report. The majority opinion is to keep the status quo. The minority report will be to make changes in eligibility so that students can participate in extracurricular activities while trying to improve their academic status, thus giving them an incentive and encouraging a relationship with the school and personal success.
2. Conquista Tus Seuenos will get funding this year. It is a 5 meeting program culminating in an activity fair and potluck dinner. The goal is to empower Spanish speaking parents to advocate for their kids educational needs, to use strategies within the family and to support their children.
The meeting was adjourned at about 9:45 p.m.