SLT Meeting Minutes, October 18, 2021

SLT Meeting – October 18, 2021

In Attendance: Diane Berman (Teacher), Monica Berry (Principal), Cindy Lachow (Teacher), Lauri Posner (Teacher, Union Rep), Kristin Meister (Parent), Jill Rackmill (Parent); Andrei Clark (Teacher), Barbara Kissane (Assistant Principal), Shoshanna Jaffess (Parent), Jennifer Stark (Parent Coordinator)

June Minutes

  • Jill approved the Minutes and Kristin seconded them tentatively but SLT will be given a few more days to review for any changes and they will be officially approved at the next SLT meeting.

Principal’s Report – Monica

  • Next month Monica will bring us the budget.  It is changing every day.
  • We received the Intervention money.  It can be used for Boost Up and Special Education Recovery Services.
  • We did not get any money on the appeal for the teachers the PA had planned to pay for at the beginning of the year but with the Recovery Education money we were able to use that for those teachers rather than the PA money.
  • We received Recovery Arts Funding for $20,000 to be spent on a program which will be NDI.
  • Assessments and screeners of kids was discussed and the fact that they may have to be redone.  Teachers are the screeners.  Lauri said that it is really a pre-assessment.
  • We have 200 Chrome Books from COVID money.  We can start giving them out to the classrooms to do a computerized assessment.  It is for grades 3-5.
  • We are obligated to do these assessments.
  • Monica is assessing first graders in math.
  • The school does not have a lot of money for supplies which is odd.  The DOE did not give us our appeal for the teachers or substitute teachers because we got so much COVID money.
  • We received money because so many students left the school due to COVID and a lot of that money is just covering salaries to teachers or for subs.
  • People are still leaving the city so there might be another forgiveness of COVID money.
  • Jill asked if the kids are alright.  Lauri said with a small sample size the answer is “yes.”  One tiny thing is that the kids are a little more dependent on her and have a lot more procedural questions.  Also kids that were fully remote are not as good mask wearers.  Diane said that some kids have been gone since March of 2020 and don’t know the building as well or the teachers.  The fact that kids can go to the library is a big deal.  The hallways are not as loud as they used to be.
  • Cindy said that the kids are happy to be with one another which is gigantic.
  • Kristin asked about the local coordination of the schools in the area.  Monica said that the principals talk every day but they are different with where they are on certain things.  PS 9 puts everyone in the lunchroom because their lunchroom is twice the size of ours and have far fewer children.  Getting a day to day sub is almost impossible.  We might be one of the schools soon to allow parent volunteers to come back into the building.   DOE says to limit the number of adults that are in the building.  Kristin had asked about chess being brought back for 2nd and 3rd graders but with the kids not vaccinated they will shut down a classroom if that adult is positive.  Monica says we need to settle and see how we are going.  We haven’t been in school that long.
  • There are a lot of schools that are shutting down every day with breakthrough infections.
  • Jill asked the protocol for shutting down a classroom if a child tests positive and Monica outlined the rule.  The Situation Room makes the ultimate call.
  • Jill asked what the average class size is and Monica said 20.  She said a lot of schools have a smallest class at 27.
  • At this point Andrei had to leave the meeting and asked to be informed when the next meeting will take place.
  • Lauri asked if there was anything we wanted to do last year that we did not do.  Bea wanted a parent survey conducted last year that did not happen.  Bea contacted Jill because she couldn’t attend today and said she would like to see mental health support for kids and parents.  Monica said we could reach out to the person who came and spoke to the school community the last two years.  We didn’t do it for kids last year.  Lauri asked if she could do a combined family one with parents and students.
  • We got a date for December for RULER and people have indicated interest in being involved.  Training is geared toward educators but we could have a parent on the team.
  • Bea also asked about the scaffolding and netting and asked if it could be decorated.  Lauri said it would make the classroom even darker.  Monica will ask Greg.
  • Kristin asked about the K-Yard opening up the playground and Monica said she had asked but they said no while construction is ongoing.  Greg, the Project Manager, said maybe they would look into 13 feet cutting into the Big Yard.  Monica said she would ask Greg again about the playground in the K-Yard since a specific reason was not given last time for the closure.
  • We postponed the CEC for the Fall but we don’t have what we necessarily need for the Fall and we haven’t been told what we have to do.  Monica asked what we would use to make our Smart Goal as there is nothing at the moment.
  • Kristin had to answer a work call at this point so missed about 3 minutes of discussion here and came back in on the boiler conversation. [We can take this out of the final minutes but in case anyone wants to add anything here.]
  • Lauri went to check if work on the roof is taking place.

PA Update – Rita

  • Rita was unable to attend the meeting but she provided an update which Jill read into the record.
  • The PA is excited to announce the formation of its Executive Board for the new school year 2021/2022. We have a combination of new and veteran parents, and started the year with a focus on our bylaws that govern the executive board, as well as an emphasis of welcoming the community to our philosophy of “One Family Under the Sun.” 
  • Since the September elections, we have managed to fill the spots for VP of Communications and Fundraising Chair, and they will get voted in along with the K and 5th Grade reps at the October General PA meeting on 10/27. We are still waiting on Auction Chair, so do feel free to reach out to me if you think of anyone! 
  • Our first big event which will help raise funds for enrichment activities will be Harvest Fest taking place on Saturday 10/23, and we hope to see as many of the community as possible come together there. 
  • The PA also recently kicked off the DEI Task Force with a preliminary survey to feel the pulse of the community. The aim of the Task Force, which is made up of teachers, admin, support staff, AS staff and parents, is to represent the many vibrant communities that make up PS87, and to act as a bridge to enable programming, events, communications, and curricula are as inclusive as possible, where no matter your background, everyone can feel a valued member of the community. 
  • Monica said she has been talking to Geronimo with respect to any issues with after school.  Some TAs and parents work in the afterschool program.

New Business

  • This was covered above during the Principal’s Update.
  • The next SLT Meetings will be November 15th, December 13th, January 24th, February 14th, March 21st, April 11th, May 16th, and June 13th.   
  • There will probably not be Publishing Parties in December.
  • Monica raised the possibility of meeting in person for the next SLT Meeting.  Jill said she would prefer to wait until her child was vaccinated and Kristin indicated that it is easier with work to make the meetings remotely as she can do them from work. [We could take this out.] The issue was tabled for now and will be revisited at the next meeting.

Jill moved to adjourn and Kristin seconded.

Adjourned 5:30 PM