General Board Meeting Minutes, 12/9/20

PS 87 Parents’ Association, General Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, 12/9/2020,  6:00 – 6:50 pm

Type of Meeting: General Board Meeting

Meeting Facilitators: PA Presidents 

Board Members: Angie Arlia, Rita Kakati-Shah, Kim Haussman, Stacey Shapiro, Ian Wildenborg, 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 

Guests: Monica Berry, Kazue Takenaga, Barbara Kissane, Shari Greenspan, Meredith Sharkey, Vicki Chen, Joseph Whelan, Valerie Kerbage, Margaux Larroche, Amy Sursock, Samantha Beno, Kar-Yee Fung, Jean Lissauer, Lorena Sanchez, Sabrina Blum, Jennifer Lee, Boris Markovich, Amy Worman, William Steiger, Isabel Vaz Pires, Nataliya Popel, Colette Collins, Stella Randone, Stephan Fleming, Sandrine Jain, Andriy Popel, Elena Lappas, Deborah Levitt, Anni Kluger

Quorum was met

I. Meeting Start and Outline (Rita/Angie)

Welcome and thank you for coming. 

II. Approval of October and November minutes 

III. Committee Chair Updates 

a) Presidents’ Update (Angie

Kids are excited to return to school this week. Stacy will provide an update about afterschool. Committees that need help are afterschool and auction. Want to continue to build community at PS87. Jennifer Stark planning some fun events for Jan and rest 2021. Thank you to Regine for the dance party last Friday. Lora and Amber thank you for Harvest Fest. Thank you to the book fair chairs.

b) Administration Update (Monica)

Teachers and staff are excited to be back in the building. Thank you for getting in consent forms, masking, staying home when you’re sick, etc. We want to be open as much as we can. A lot has been going on. We have a few teachers who are newly eligible to work online, so there are a few teacher changes and this is causing the building to be more short staffed. Teachers are working double-time. Working at school all day and then posting at night. School is short by 18 teachers. Dealing with constant changes and doing our best. Goal is to create stability for the kids.

Fourth and fifth grade student council is sending out a survey and working on a community service project. They would like your participation. Trying to keep some sense of normalcy. 

Mayor talked about 5 days a week for some elementary schools. In some schools, 30% are blended, 70% remote. PS 87 is the opposite with 70% blended. Admin looked at numbers today and we can’t bring in all the kids right now. Would need twice as many teachers and rooms. There may be groups of kids who could come in 5 days (kids who have more needs), but not any time soon, given the number of people who want to be in the building. Currently have 706 students in the school. We have about 250 students in the building each day. Each classroom holds 10-11 kids. Don’t have the manpower or the place for everyone to come 5 days a week. 

City schools have moved from monthly to weekly testing. Cohort A not tested this week. Cohort B will be tested this week. Short swab with Somos. Same setup. Want to test about 20% of students. No announcement about testing ahead of time. Some PreK and K parents want their kids tested. DOE will not do it. Have a database of names and won’t take people who aren’t on the list. Will test adult walk-ins (staff). 

New DOE rules and protocols are always changing. Updated policy regarding permits for schools – afterschool programs can now get permits to use the school after hours but schools can’t host family gatherings right now.

Admin office hours next week:

  • Cohort A – Tuesday, 12/15, 9:30-10:30 am
  • Cohort B – Wednesday, 12/16, 9:30-10:30 am
  • Remote Cohort – Friday, 12/18, 9:30-10:30 am

Gillian asked about Dual Language Enrichment. Monica said that Jacqueline and Erica  can start get-togethers on Jan 4th, now that there seems to be more stability in the schedule.

A parent said her son tested positive in October and that he can still test positive for months. What happens if he’s tested and tests positive. Monica will get back to her. Monica reviewed the general DOE policy about positive tests. If one child tests positive, just the class quarantines. If 2 kids from different classes (who aren’t related) test positive, then DOE closes the school for 1-14 days. 

c) After School (Stacy)

The 87 Afterschool program, which has been around for 30 years and normally serves more than half of the school population, is no longer financially viable. Last week the PA Exec board made the difficult decision to terminate the full-time 87 Afterschool staff with severance due to lack of enrollment in the program. 

Stacy said that the afterschool committee is conducting a survey to find out what families need going forward. She wants as much feedback as possible. The survey closes on Dec. 20th. Stacy asked parents to complete the survey and spread the word. Stacy invited parents to join the afterschool committee to figure out how to re-establish an afterschool program. Trying to figure out if it’s possible to run the afterschool program in the spring, now that the DOE will allow afterschool programs to run in the school building.  

d) Treasurers (Kim/Stacey) 

See Appendix for details.

Kim shared a revised budget, which reflects numbers based on the decision to terminate the 87Afterschool staff. PA approved the budget in June but can modify and approve the budget throughout the year, as needed. Because of the pandemic, the budget has been revised and re-approved at each GPA meeting this year. 

Operating budget revised for December. Deficit increased from $188K (Nov) to $288K (Dec). 

Income budget remains the same from Nov to Dec 2020. Family Giving money is coming in and will be reflected in the January budget. 

Expense budget shows an increase of $100K in other expenses, mostly due to expenses connected to the Afterschool program. 

Reserves have remained about the same, about $980K.

Voted on the revised budget. Voted by sending a private message to Angie in the chat. 

  • 52 participants 
    • 44 “yes” votes
    • 0 “no” votes
    • 8 people abstained

Kim shared the November Monthly report (see Appendix). $37K in revenue. Expenses $84K of $227K budget. Enrichment has spent $950 out of a $60K budget so far. $92K deficit. Bank balance about $1 million. SLK PPE $5500. Other expenses from last year are about $6K. More money coming in from Family Giving now. 

e) Enrichment (Megan)

No updates. 

f) Fundraising/Corporate Sponsorship (Lora/Amber)

Have 2 corporate partnerships going on. Encouraging people to shop local. Local stores are so supportive for the auction, etc. We know that some people aren’t going into stores for safety reasons. If you are using Amazon, use Amazon Smile and donate to PS 87. Link is in BPN or you can search on Amazon. Also have a shutterfly deal right now, 8% comes back to PS87. Please use the link in BPN.

g) Family Giving (Ross)

Thanks to the entire community for your Giving Tuesday contributions. Over $60K has come in so far. Feeling really good about reaching our goal for the year. Participation rate is relatively low, about 15-20%. Would love to have more people give, even $1 a month would be great. Be on the lookout for upcoming contests to promote family giving. 

h) Culture & Community Engagement (Regine) 

The International Dinner Dance last week was super fun. Officer Ayala came and the kids loved that. Wish we had more families, but those who came were very spirited. Want to plan game nights and book clubs in 2021 and an outdoor caroling event in December. Stay tuned. Any ideas to keep the community engaged, please let Regine know. 

i) Other updates: 

Community Affairs (Jill/Erica) 

Erica reported that Boris helped them put a parent advocacy link on the PS87 site. Thank you Boris! If there are needs, let us know. Want to network with parents in other schools. If you know people in other schools who are doing advocacy work, connect them to us.  

Communications (Gillian/Michael) 

No updates. Reach out if you need anything.

Wellness (Natalya) 

Not much to report. Working on Wellness in the Schools. Want to offer a virtual parent child cooking workshop in January. Probably 4-5 with an easy recipe. Will send out a list of ingredients and materials needed. Will also teach basic knife skills. Will reach out about it when it’s finalized. Will hopefully be 2x a month.  

Auction (Emily)  

Have a final logo. Looking forward to announcing the theme and date. Need volunteers. Lots going on. Many of the jobs require just reaching out over email. Would love to have your help. Looking forward to a fun and productive auction. 

IV. AOB / Meeting Ends 

Meeting ends at 6:50

Appendix

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