PS 87 PA General Board Meeting Minutes (Nov 13)

General Board Meeting Minutes

PS 87 Parents’ Association 

General Board Meeting Minutes

11/13/20, 9:30am – 10.30am

Type of Meeting: General Board Meeting

Meeting Facilitator: PA Presidents 

Board members: Angie Arlia, Rita Kakati Shah, Kim Hausmann, Stacey Shapiro, Sara Loya, Carrie Weinrib, Marissa Curry, Ross Goldstein, Amber Entenberg, Lora Martinez, Emily Sabree, Regine Vincent Bonet, Bea Yang, Jill Rackmill, Erica De Piero, Megan Hoffman, Gillian Mollod, Michael Griffin, Natalya Murakhver, Jennie Sparandara, Robin Krugman, Gina Pisarcyzk, Stacy Cousino 

Call to order

Approval of minutes from the October 2020 meeting – Sara reported we are waiting on minutes from Melisa and motion was postponed until the next meeting. 

President’s Update

Angie – The presidents have been reviewing budgets with committees particularly around after school. There are very few enrollments so it is not clear if we can sustain funding. There are various strategies being considered and there will be a vote at the Dec 9th meeting to decide options. We are all strapped and at our limits however we need help on committees. Request to contact PA if interested in volunteering. 

Communications Update

Michael Griffin introduced himself. He is up to speed on communication. He explained the role of communicating with parents (google groups, FB group, A-Z connect). Call to reach out if parents need tech help. 

Community Affairs Update 

Jill explained the committee role on district level and that “things bigger than 87” are affecting our community. City-wide closing on our minds given the looming 3% positivity rate. Good news is that random testing is showing no community spread in schools as far as positivity rate. What can parents do to give feedback? Please write to your elective officials and sign a petition to call for schools to remain open. The PA does not take positions but parents can and should have the opportunity to give feedback. She will post in chat so parents can see how to give feedback.

Middle School Admissions – still unclear what deadlines will be. TBD on admissions format. No metrics (attendance, grades). There is an agenda to do away with screened middle schools. There is an organization that advocates for it. It is a controversial topic in the city. If you want to reach out to maintain screened admissions, Jill will provide contact information in the chat. 

Sunday is the last chance to opt-in to blended learning. There are scheduled meetings for parents to get information – Nov 18 CEC meeting and Dec 2nd meeting with Chancellor.

Administration Update 

Monica: Closing is on everyone’s mind. Thank you on behalf of teachers for decorating school. Teachers are working very hard. 

Mayor announced when the city reaches 3% positivity rate schools will be closed the following day. This is a v. quick turn around time. Cohort B coming home with materials today. Admin expect schools to reopen once rates back down. Cohort A will take things on Monday – looking for ways to make materials available over the weekend. Blended classroom teachers will work remotely with both cohorts. ICT classes will look like a regular structure. School has already planned what cohorts will look like. Live specials and remote specials will both happen. Fully remote families should pick up their materials asap. Building may close. DOE has purchased more devices and they told administrators that they will arrive next week for students who requested them. Families will be connected to arrange pick-up. 

Remote students must opt-in for blended learning during Nov 2-Nov 15 period. It is the only time this year. Because schools are mostly likely closing admin will wait until schools reopen to move kids into blended classrooms. A number of folks are opting in and planning to not attend right away. You will be switched into a blended classroom in the system and not be able to participate in your fully remote classroom. There is an option for parents to request a delayed start. Monica will accommodate this and families should reach out if they want to be approved. Admin is allowed to let children into blended only if they have the staff to accommodate. There is a shortage of bodies in the system right now. We have a low number of people who have opted in as of now. It will not affect our cohorts. Most kids will be going into Cohort B because that is where there is more space. 

Admin will have more office hours on the following dates:

Cohort A: Nov 18th 9:30am (depending on if we are fully remote – may be in afternoon)

Cohort B: Nov 19th 9:30am 

Remote Cohort: Nov 20th 9:30am

Meredith Sharkey asked about cohort schedules for fully remote. Monica thinks depending on the age having the smaller groups may be better for certain classes. They are figuring it out. 

Gillian: How long will schools be closed? Is there a chance all schools/boroughs won’t close? 

Monica: Unfortunately the mayor said it will be all or nothing. There has been no direct communication from the mayor’s office but it has always been the plan. No indication on how long schools will be closed. Monica does not think it will be for the rest of the year. 

Treasurers’ Update 

Kim – Shared revised budget (see Appendix). 

This is going to be ever changing as circumstances evolve. Still budgeting a deficit and do have reserves of 1M. Expenses are about ⅔ of a typical year. Galaxy costs have increased because we hired assistants and a media specialist. Office supplies and software costs increased – admin has given feedback that PPE is not needed so we may have surplus. Insurance increased and PA has assumed those costs. 19k from family giving so far. Expenses so far 80k for Galaxy – non Galaxy expenses are supplies for classrooms our net deficit right now for this year is 95K. 

Budget was voted on by sending a poll (yes/ no) in the Zoom Chat. 37 attendees 80% voted 31 said yes. 6 people did not vote (abstain). Budget was approved 

Enrichment Update 

Megan introduced herself. She listed the following enrichment programs by grade:

  • National Dance Institute: K and First grade
  • Center for Architecture: Second grade
  • Symphony Space and Chinese Cultural Center: Third grade
  • Ballroom Dance: Fourth grade
  • Biobus: Fifth grade
  • Some virtual assemblies school wide. Piloting art and fitness classes. Also looking into STEM. 

Megan asked for parent volunteers to help with enrichment

Fundraising 

Lora- Thank you to Harvestfest Participants. Gift Wrap sale raised 3K. Scholastic Book Fair is coming up.

Culture and Community Committee 

Regine – Early Dec maybe 12/4 will have the virtual International Dinner/ Dance also looking to plan a virtual volunteer event

Robin – 5th grade update

Dec 1st at 6:30pm there will be a MS student panel for parents.

Other Business

Kristin – How can people donate via check to PS 87? Make it check out to PS 87 Parents Association. Mail it to school at PA attention. 

Angie – Dec 9th 6pm is the next General PA Meeting. There will be voting on After School programming.

Meeting Adjournment at 10:24am 

Appendix 

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