The meeting was called to order by Fran Rothstein at 7:30 p.m. on January
with Deborah Stoll keeping time and Sara Rosen taking notes.
The minutes of the last meeting were accepted unanimously as they are on the
Treasurer's report Sonni Malinoff
1. The checking account and savings account have approximately $35,000.
2. Disbursement for December totaled $16,560. This included expenses for the citrus sale, PTA state and national dues, the outdoor water fountain, booster grants, Blazer printing and mailing expenses, translating equipment, and line items for the drama department and Silver Chips.
Principal's Report -- Mr. Gainous
1. Registration for next year will begin in early February.
2. Blair has received grant money from the state for extended day academic programs and Saturday as well. This will take place from 2:30- 4:00 on weekdays and will coincide with Saturday School. The hope is that the Blair Sports Academy will utilize this program for academic support.
3. Ms. Steindkraus will retire soon. She was the Director of the Math and Science Magnet for 10 years. There will be a farewell event some time in March. Her temporary replacement is Dennis Heidler. At the end of the year the position will be advertised.
4. There was a nice turnout for the Recognition of Volunteers tea. The school appreciates all the support it gets from parents and this was a way for the school to demonstrate it.
5. Jim Funk is the new business manager replacing Laurie Checco.
6. There was yet another pedestrian accident. On January 12th a student was hit by a car. He was not in the crosswalk. He suffered a cracked bone behind his knee.
7. The next Principals Coffee is March 17th This is a good time for an informal chat with the principal.
Margaret Kahn -- Student Government Association
1. The SGA is taking on a large project with 4 facet Charity, Unity, Responsibility, and Ownership.
2. Each area will be emphasized in some way:
1) Hope Fundraiser--this will consist of asking students to think about how they spend their disposable income and ask them to give a portion of it to charity during a certain set time, such as a one week period.
2) Blood Drive
3) Book Drive
4) Community Service
Unity: Mix It Up Day--students will be asked to sit with different people for a lunch period in order to get to know new people
Responsibility: The SGA hopes to start a SADD Chapter, that is a Student Against Drunk Driving chapter
Ownership: The SGA plans to sponsor a student theft reduction program by having an anonymous tip box.
Membership Carolyn Lichtenstein
1. The membership committee is trying to think of ways to increase membership especially for next year. The committee needs a more extensive membership itself with someone with marketing skills. They feel they generally need more planning. The present committee is new to the job and learned a great deal so far this year.
2. The committee invites any and all ideas. Some that came up during the meeting were:
1. Advertise in the Blazer and Silver Chips.
2. A theme for the membership campaign
3. Make it easy to join on the PTSA's website through paypal or the our own charge account 4. Personal appeal. All members can call other parents to encourage them to join.
5. Emphasize the importance of membership. Numbers count when going to the school board or the superintendent on issues that affect Blair.
6. Use the new telephone system for reminder to join in English and Spanish.
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BEING A MEMBER OF THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE OR HAVE MARKETING SKILLS THAT YOU CAN SHARE, PLEASE CONTACT CAROLYN LICHTENSTEIN AT CAROLYNLatSPEAKEASY.NET
Pedestrian Safety -- Sam Stokes
1. Retiring Christy Huddle from the county made some suggestions after walking the property.
1. Fences along University Boulevard would prevent students from crossing unless at the crosswalks 2. Change how the sidewalks are aligned.
2. The drop off area was discussed as a source of danger and frustration. Sam spoke to security about this. One suggestion that came out of this meeting was to place cones at the end of the rows leading out of the parking lot so that there would be room for only one car. People generally don't know what to do but the situation is generally overwhelming.
3. Another idea about pedestrian safety was to give tickets to drivers and walkers who are violating the safety rules.
Counseling Committee -- Anne Kaiser
1. The committee is looking to create a subcommittee dealing with intervention and outreach for personal counseling. The fires that were set last semester has spurred a lot of conversation on prevention and intervention. Since there are no mental health personnel on sight, there needs to be a way to identify students who are in emotional trouble so they can be referred to the appropriate organization. The SGA may be a good place to start as well as flyers and soliciting the help of all students to watch out for their friends and fellow students.
2. If you are interested in being a part of the Counseling Committee, please contact Anne at akaiseratamerican.edu
Silent Auction -- Betsy Scroggs
1. The Silent Auction will be on April 28th to coincide with Blair Fair, the showcase of all activities and clubs in the school.
2. Jimmy Short is the staff liaison who is in charge of Blair Fair and he will be managing the booths.
3. Please be thinking of donation items or a service that you can provide. People are very excited about home cooked meals or goodies.
4. The committee wants to expand the team and anyone interested should contact Betsy at betsyscroggsatcomcast.net
Volunteer Committee -- Beth Martin
1. The coffee that was sponsored by the school in recognition of volunteers was lovely and appreciated.
2. El Golfo night is January 25th from 5-10:00 p.m. 25% of the take that evening will go to Blair, eat in or carry out. So come one, come all!
After Prom Committee -- Karl Berberich
1. January 19th at 7:30--meeting of the after prom committee
2. The school is transformed into a wonderland that evening for the after prom event. It is a worthwhile endeavor to have our children in a safe, fun environment on such an evening.
3. All those interested, please contact Karl at KSBerberatcomcast.net
Blair Sports Academy Stacey Gurian-Sherman and Howard Cohen of the PTSA and Melanie Coffin of the Recreation Department
1. Stacey made an extensive presentation on the history of the Blair Sports Academy with an emphasis on how the program was run last year on a lot of community support. She is concerned about how the money will be spent this year and what involvement the PTSA wants to have in influencing how it is spent and the future monies that might come to the school for this program in the future. The money requested for the program for this year was approximately $89,000 but the County Counsel ended up appropriating $169,000 with the Recreation Department in charge. There is concern that the program is now administratively heavy and that there is not enough being spent on academic support.
2. Melanie Coffin of the Recreation Department explained that the money given by the County Counsel must be spent by June 30th. The summer program has not been ignored and in fact, she and Lisa Bradley of the YMCA are working closely on this matter. They are also collaborating to insure that the Blair Sports Academy is staffed and run smoothly. The summer program is part of the Y's Empowerment Grant. The Recreation Department and the Y are working on a parenting component and a community event.
The academic support piece is being addressed by the hiring of teachers. Some of the time limitations have to be addressed as teachers are employed until 2:50 and the program starts at 2:15. There will be a full hour of academic support and those with a 2.0 or below point average will need to have a sign off in order to participate.
3. The areas of concern are : Academic support, the summer program, community partnership,and identifying the group the program is serving.
4. January 25th is the training for the volunteers in the teachers lounge off the Sac at 5:30.
Military Recruitment Madeleine Fletcher
1. Madeleine has a petition for people to sign if they feel comfortable. It is a request that military recruiters be treated like all other recruiters. As it stands now college and employment recruiters must go to the counseling office and students come to them and are not allowed to roam the halls approaching students. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SIGNING A PETITION, PLEASE CONTACT MADELEINE FLETCHER AT madeleinefletcheratyahoo.com
Beltway Widening Tony Hausner, former Blair parent and member of the Citizens Against Beltway Expansion
1. The state of Maryland is doing a study about widening the beltway with toll lanes. This will impact Blair as well as its surrounding neighborhoods.
2. On March 7th a forum will be held to give the state the opportunity to make a presentation to the general public as well as talk about the alternatives such as the purple line. The group would like to see the Blair community either sponsor the forum or urge people to attend.
3. There was some concern with including the purple line in the discussion at the forum. Tony explained that this is an information meeting and that the state is considering the purple line as an alternative. He said he would take this back to his community committee to discuss the agenda.
4. Presently the forum is being supported by the League of Women Voters, the Sierra Club, the Indian Springs Civic Association, the President's Council of Silver Spring Associations, and the Action Committee for Transit. THE EDUCATION FORUM ON THE CAPITAL BELTWAY WIDENING PROJECT, MARCH 7, 2006 AT 7:30 P.M. IN THE BLAIR AUDITORIUM. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT TONY HAUSNER AT tthausneratyahoo.com
1. Conquestos con suenos Carlos Deves has made a commitment to the Blair community to again conduct this fine program. The projected starting date is February 24th. Last year the program culminated in a celebration and resource fair. Rosa Sanchez our own PTSA liaison is helping to get this off the ground this year. The Y, the Blair Sports Academy and the Cluster will be called upon to get the word out about the program which educates and empowers parents to get involved in their child's education. Beth Martin, our PTSA volunteer coordinator, will advertise for volunteers for child care. This is also an opportunity for community service. Someone also reminded the group about the automatic calling system we now have that has the capacity to send the message out in Spanish.
2. Annette Joynes, our PTSA NAACP representative is getting married and is moving. Annette has gotten the ball rolling so whoever takes over can be assured of an easy transition.
3. On January 24th the school board will finalize the Academic Eligibility Policy.
4. On December 7th and 8th several fires were set at the school. Rosa Sanchez was able to give support to the family. Evidently MS-13 was after her to become a member. This is consistent with gang intimidation. Charges were dropped for insufficient evidence and the student is at home right now. Parent volunteers are doing hall duty for the time being. Also recently a Blair student was charged with gun possession. How do we deal with these gang issues. They impact all students at the school.
NEXT MEETING: EMORY LUCE BALDWIN, A MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST WILL ADDRESS THE PTSA ON LIMIT SETTING FEBRUARY 21, 2006 IN THE BLAIR MEDIA CENTER
FEBRUARY 13--EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
Meeting adjourned at approximately 9:40 p.m.