PS 87 PARENTS ASSOCIATION GENERAL BOARD MEETING
October 14, 2020
Board Members: Angie Arlia, Rita Kakati Shah, Doug Creps, Kim Hausmann, Melisa Tezanos, Sejal Shah, Jen Hoke, Jill Rackmill, Gillian Mollod, Megan Hoffman, Lisa Procopio, Jessica Stanco, Melissa Donovan, Nisha Lima, Lora Martinez, Amber Entenberg, Stacy Cousino, Michelle Brophy-Campbell, Leila Brahimi, Natalya Murakhver
Quorum was met
Meeting called to order by Angie Arlia
As the first item of business, Angie and Jen Hoke welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced a change to the agenda to allow Monica to speak first.
As the first order of business, Monica welcomed parents to the meeting. She explained that she usually gives a short update at the monthly GPA meetings. She referenced the email she sent recently to the parent body and committed to updating parents every other week about school COVID protocol as she gets updates from the DOE. She shared that information is being updated regularly and things seem to be in constant flux. The biggest item as she sees it is random COVID testing in schools. Part of the agreement to keep schools open between the Unions and City is random COVID testing in schools. The testing was supposed to start in October for hybrid-learning option and a waiver was sent home to parents. As part of the bargaining agreement with unions the random testing was a “must have” element. But as of today – no penalty if don’t give consent for testing. She encouraged parents to give consent because children can be asymptomatic and early detection and contact tracing is the best way to keep schools open. She shared that there would not be a ton of notice before schools close down. The administration would be told at 8 pm the night before in some cases.
She then gave an update on the learning clusters and shared that the school currently doesn’t have enough teachers and is very short staffed. The moved cluster classes to 12.30 and it is optional if kids would like to drop in and attend in person. The clusters provide a good opportunity to move, play a game, and enjoy with other kids. The plan is to rotate clusters for blended learning kids so that they all will have the opportunity to participate. All clusters in the building will do movement and students will get cluster assignments online.
She also shared that Mark and Ashley have started taking the kids outside and are going to incorporate 78 st. into the play area for the children. Kindergarten classes all have opportunity to play outside. When it opens, Metal park will have a schedule for kids to go outside to play. Right now, they are painting and power washing the park.
Lastly, she shared that they will offer office hours for parents to drop in at 9.30 a.m. – split by cohort, depending on dates. On Oct 21st, Cohort A and on Oct. 22, Cohort B and Remote and also encouraged parents to reach out via email. The plan is to offer office hours at least once per month and will schedule more if needed.
Monica then opened the floor to parent questions:
Parent Question: How do you withdraw consent for COVID testing?
Answer: Good question, not sure yet. The school will be notified 2 days prior to testing as to who will be tested and can say no at that point. Know they already tested at Anderson on Tuesday. Will check in with them. We will let you know.
Parent Question: How are they preparing the kids for the COVID tests?
Answer: In addition to preparing the kids by letting them know what is going to happen during the testing, if the children are uncomfortable or under duress, they will not go forward with the tests.
As the second item of business, Wilson shared that the team is doing its best to provide afterschool services in the current environment. He encouraged parents to sign up as registration is now open. He also shared that there is a live running class on Thursdays, which is the only in-person class currently being offered.
Parent Association Elections
As the third order of business, elections were held for the 2020-2021 PS 87 Parents Association:
Pam Unger and Angelina Arlia conducted the elections. Pam opened the floor for in-person nominations for any of the positions and there were no motions from the floor. The slate of elected candidates and the motions of first and second support follow below:
Candidates: Angelina Arlia and Rita Kakti Shaw
First: Jen Hoke Second: Lora Martinez
Candidates: Kim Hausen & Stacey Shapiro
First: Angelina Arlia Second: Jen Hoke
VP of administration:
Candidate: Melissa Curry
First: Lora Martinez Second: Jen Hoke
Co-Secretaries: Carrie Gardner Weinrib, Sara Meyer Loya
First: Jill Rackmill Second: Stacy Cousino
Candidates: Gillian Mollod and Mike Griffin
First: Kelly Ramot Second: Stacy Cousino
VP Community Affairs:
Candidates: Erica and Jill Rackmill
First: Jen Hoke Second: Stacy Cousino
Afterschool: Stacy Cousino
First: Kelly Ramot Second: Jen Hoke
Family Giving: Ross Goldstein
First: Lisa Procopio Second: Angelina Arlia
Auction Chair: Emily Sabree
First: Lora Martinez Second: Angelina Arlia
Enrichment officer: Megan Hoffman
First: Jen Hoke Second: Lora Martinez
Wellness Officer: Natalya Mukhaver
First: Rita Second: Kelly Cousino
Fundraising Chair: Amber Entenberg and Lora Martinez
First: Stacy Cousino Second: Jen Hoke
Culture and Community Chair: Regine Vincent
First: Jen Hoke Second: Lisa Procopio
SLT: Meredith Sharkey and Jami DeAngelis
First: Kelly Ramot Second: Jen Hoke
[Note: Originally had four SLT PA candidates but needed two based on teacher constraints]
As the fourth item of business, Doug Creps presented the June treasurer’s report, which reflected the full-year 2019-2020. Last year, revenue came in at $490,000. Originally budgeted for $830,000, pre-COVID, which resulted in school shutting down in early spring. PA expenses were $588,000, a deficit of $97,000, Doug explained that the PA always budgets for a small deficit due to its large reserves. At year-end, the PA held $1.1 million in funds and didn’t dip into its reserve.
Doug then turned to the September 2020 report. He shared that the PA had raised $17,000. The full year 2020-2021 PA budget is $424,000, with the thought that in the Spring the school may open up to in-person fundraising activities. He also shared that expenses to date were $25,000, the bulk of which was $10,000 in classroom supplies. The PA has $60,000 budgeted for enrichment, about half the amount of what they usually have set aside. That number is comprised of $10,000 for each grade. If an enrichment opportunity comes along, can procure more funds at that time.
Kim Hausmann shared proposed revenue and expense numbers and explained that the PA is still planning on a slight deficit of $27K. Planning for about 50% less revenue and expenses than in a normal year.
The treasurers also shared that the significantly reduced Galaxy budget dollars, which the PA provides to the administration, was due to DOE policy changes that no longer allow the PA to fund classroom assistants, recess, monitors, and other key school programs.
Please see attached treasurer’s report for greater detail.
As the fifth item of business, Lisa Procopio introduced Ross Goldstein, who is taking over the role. Lisa encouraged new families to contribute and shared that much of what people see in the school is supplemented by PA for example, enrichment programs and the library/librarian. She shared that the school received air purifiers free of charge, but need to cover the cost of filters to the tune of $65,000 over the next 5 years. She also shared that $960 is a typical family giving annual ask but PA is conscious that everyone is in a different situation, so parents should feel completely comfortable giving what they can. She also suggested that people reach out to their employers to see if their company supports corporate matching for school donations. She also reminded parents that there is the option of joining a monthly payment program on the website so parents don’t have to give one lump sum.
As the sixth item of business, Lora and Amber shared that while Harvest Fest will look very different this year, we will still celebrate as a community. Heartfelt mention to new K families – this is a great community, let’s work together and take it one day at a time in this difficult environment. On 20th and 21st will decorate the building and are asking for parents to participate if they can. Will also give out Harvest Fest bags w/ crafts and conduct a virtual costume contest, by grade. Submit pics by Monday 26th at midnight. Will also have PS87 gear and guess the pumpkin weight. Harvest Fest is all about growing the community. They also shared a new fundraising gift wrap program through a company that will give 40% of proceeds to the school.
Middle School Admissions
As the seventh item of business, Jill Rackmill shared that she is thrilled to be working with Erica Shapiro to bring parents news about happenings in District 3 and the city. Jill shared that the city is short thousands of teachers. Forty six percent of students in District 3 are doing remote schooling. No news yet about middle school admissions. Normally the admissions process would be opening but not this year. No dates given and no deadline for admissions deadline. There will be additional time to apply. There is a middle school email that you can reach out to on the DOE’s website. Virtual open houses will be taking place on a school-by-school basis.
Culture and Community
As the eighth item of business, Regine shared that this committee is focused on growing a culture at the school. She shared that while COVID will present historic challenges, her hope is that the community can still hold virtual events and welcome all new families to the school.
As the ninth order of business, Megan shared that in a typical year, enrichment activities in the school include art, science, dance, etc. This year the committee is working with our partners to understand their virtual on-line offerings. She is also aware of the remote and blended learning days when at home. She shared that the committee is looking to get people in to do movement and study halls to answer questions, etc. She is also fitting it into the schedule to have interaction with other kids and adults on remote days. She encouraged parents to share their ideas.
Meeting adjourned at 9:00.
June 2020 and September 2020 Treasurer’s Reports (as of Sep. 30, 2020)