PTA Minutes




In Attendance:

Mrs Cano Amato, Principle

Amy Chalkley, Parent Coordinator

Fran Angone, Sustainability Coach

Tiffaney, President

Annie, Co-Treasurer

Emily, Co-Treasurer

Shelly, Secretary

21 Parents



Hi everybody. Thanks so much for coming to our PTA meeting. We have a special speaker today and we will let her talk first. She’s come all the way from upstate to speak to us today, Dawn Hettrick.



Dawn Hettrick is a Professional Engineer with the Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation in the NYS Department of Health.  She has been working with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on assess human exposure to environmental contamination across the state since 1989 and on projects in the Greenpoint area since 2004



I started passing around the sign in sheet. Please sign in and on the back you can see the minutes of last month’s meeting that we will vote on later. We did post the minutes a week after the last meeting. Please let us know if any changes need to be made.



Good morning, I just walked in. I’m sorry I missed that talk. I’ll have to go to the library to ask my questions later as well. Let’s get right to it.



If you are interested in the testing, you have until November 13th to request testing and you can do that online. Children from pre-k through 3rd grade are eligible for testing. Testing dates will be on January 6-7, 13- 4, and  20-21 outside of the school for the pre-k students. Students in K through 3rd will be testing in the school January 3 through the 19th.  


In late march, if your child is eligible you will receive an inscription letter. There are two levels of scoring; 97% and above your child is eligible for the city wide program and at 90% or above you child is eligible for the district wide, which for us is at PS132.


As for the test itself, someone asked me if they can prepare their child. We don’t recommend that you prepare your child. They are testing your child’s innate capacities.

There is a verbal and a non verbal portion. Some parents take the test just for information purposes.  If you want to share the results of your child with us we would appreciate it because we give the test but we don’t see the results. And the city wide program is very hard and a lot of parents don’t want to put their child under that kind of pressure.


We have the catalogs available downstairs in the office if anyone is interested.



Many years ago there was a pilot program to instate free breakfast for all in the classroom. Now it’s happening. Our start date is Monday. I haven’t sent home the information yet because believe it or not we don’t have the equipment for it yet. So this is how it’s going to go. Children who want to come for breakfast in the cafeteria at 7:40 can come have the ”grab and go” breakfast or the hot item. It might be a biscuit sandwich that will still be a little warm. If they arrive at 8:10 we will have a little station that they can take a ”grab and go” breakfast. The can eat it between 8:10 and 8:25 in the classroom.


Also because we are a green school we have to have organics collection in each classroom. We now need to sort out garbage, recycling and organics in each classroom. I really don’t know how many kids will actually eat breakfast. A lot of our kids have home lunch and eat breakfast at home, which I hope continues.


We have the PTA who very nicely gave up their first floor room for all this new equipment. They wanted us to prepare 500 breakfasts and I said no because we will waste it. We will start. Also, there will no longer be hot breakfast in pre-k.They will also get a ”grab and go” breakfast.


Q: Do you need volunteers for the roll out?

Yeah, let me look at that. Ideally we would have a station at each entry and kids could pick up their ”grab and go” bags as they come in. This would avoid kids going up to the cafeteria and taking more time on the very short schedule.

Amy: please have a conversation with your kids it you don’t want them to have second breakfast at school. If your child is already eating at home this isn’t an offer for a second breakfast.

Q: I’m wondering if the kids won’t all want to try it next week and then never get it again?

Yes that might happen and we will try and adjust accordingly.  

Q: Can we bring the food to a homeless shelter after?

No, the DOE doesn’t want to take any risks. Whatever doesn’t get eaten gets thrown out. Even during lunch, if I child takes a milk and doesn’t open it, even if it has only been out for 15 minutes, the DOE estimates that the temperature has already changed and the product should be disposed of.

Q: Will there be signage for the kids to know what is in the bag?

There will be a menu that will go out just like for lunch. Please be patient with us. We are one of the last schools to roll out. The fire department was here earlier this week and said that we were in fire code violation. I don’t know what to do. I can’t figure out the logistics of their system for them.


We also have to have a system to dispose of liquids within the classroom.


To add to Amy’s point, please have that conversation with your kids and if it’s going to be wasted have that conversation with them to.


Lisa has been graciously coming to lunch . The more hands we have the better. We have a 50 minute window and we want the kids to spend as much time as possible outside. It’s a very busy place and can be quite hectic. Lots of hands being raised and help needed to open lunch boxes and drinks.


Also you guys pack those lunches so well…we are constantly opening things for them. That and milk containers. I will be a millionaire once I retire and find a way to get those milk containers open more easily. The kids are so proud once they actually learn how to do it themselves. I ask them to help their neighbor afterwards.

They kids are very quick to learn that mommy will ask what I ate at lunch and so they throw out what they don’t eat. So have the conversation about waste and be conscious of how and what you pack.


Q: What periods do you need?

10:55 -11:40

11:50 – 12:40

Ideally we would have one parent per table. We have a hundred kids in there going for 20 minutes. Its hectic and I’m still not happy with the way it’s running. Then of course, we want kids to be able to talk with their friends but we’re constantly asking them to take a bite and then talk. And we don’t want to be a silent lunch school or a school with no recess or recess only twice a week.


We have Mr. Alcantar (a parent) that comes in every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and that is an amazing help.  



The parent-teacher conferences will be held on November 16th. It will be a half day of school, Dismissal will be at 11:30. The conferences will run from 12:30pm to 2:30pm and from 4pm to 7pm. They are children led conferences for kindergarten through 5th grade and the interaction with the child varies at every grade. Usually parents ask how school is going and the kids say fine. Well this is the time for kids to articulate how they are doing and what they need to work on.


We are moving the lost and found from the school because we have and abundance of items. We don’t have space to hold onto things. We can’t keep lunch boxes and water bottles either.  


Amy: Yesterday, Tiffaney and I went through everything and looked for labels on the items. If it is labeled I will try to find the child. But only about of 10% of the items were labelled. We emptied 50 water bottles yesterday. There was a lot of stuff.


Also, if you have a child that has a large water bottle and they are getting school lunch, we aren’t allowed to carry their tray for them. You have to teach them to carry their water bottle under their arm and then carry their tray.


We can’t save everything that we are collecting every day. Schoola will be get our items on November 15th. There is a letter that is going out this week about our policy on lost and found.


There are three bins that you can look through on the table when you walk into the school.  One with the things found this week, one with items from the previous week, and another bin for all other items. Please try and keep some semblance of order within each bin.



Please make sure that your children are getting enough sleep. We will let them sleep. They can’t function for an entire school day without enough sleep.



The school day begins at 8:10 and the first bell is 8:25. We have 50-60 kids late everyday. It is very difficult for kids to catch up everyday. Also after 8:25 they may show up to an empty classroom. I might be preaching to the choir because it’s the same children every day.


Again today there was a student, the same student, arriving to social studies at 8:50. She missed the entire social studies lesson.


It starts early, those are the habits that we want to build. We need to be on time for our jobs and school is our kids job. Kids are late and they have no consequence. We can’t do detention or late passes. This needs to come from home. You need to talk to your kids about this. There is a line out of the office door on some mornings. I am going to see with the attendance officer what we can do about this.


Same thing with absences. If your child is absent please call us or bring a note. We call all children who are absent. Please call us to let him know.


Also, the other day there was a mom who called to say that her son didn’t want to go on the class trip. She called to tell me and I said ”no ma’am, your child is going on the trip”. It is part of the curriculum. We can’t let children not come to school because they aren’t in the mood.



Thanks, I’m going to blow through this because we all have to go.


It was amazing. We had over a 100 parent volunteers. The Monday before we had just 30. So it was a beautiful thing to see this happen. We had a goal to raise $6,000 and we made $11,426 – there are still a few expenses, but we should clear at least $11,000. That is amazing!


I’ve been begging for a multicultural holiday festival chair. Shannon Clare has very graciously offered to co chair the holiday fair. She is looking for a co-chair if anyone is interested. Also, we are all here and there is a template of how this went down last year. Our goal for this event is only $3,500 and so this is more of a community building event. We already have some great raffle prizes left from the Fall Fest as well.


Shannon: I will do the day-to-day stuff but I do need someone who is more creative and someone who is willing to go out and find all our raffle donations.  



Hi I’m Yuli, the chair of the Advocacy committee and we are here to help you use your voice to be heard. One way we can do that is at the Community Education Counsel meetings and the next one is next Thursday. If you come to the meeting, you can ask questions and voice concerns. It’s a great way to be heard. It is held at 215 Heyward street room 238.


Amy: I usually backpack this home and put it on the school’s Facebook page.


Tiff: I go all the time and have room in my car if anyone would like a ride.





We have family night tonight from 6pm to 7:30pm.



We have a food drive organized by the 5th graders that will be in November.



Picture day retakes will be happening on November 10th. If you’ve signed up you should be hearing from Gretchen this week. It’s hectic on retake day because we have to hand pick kids from their classrooms.


Everyone should have gotten the Stomping Ground document with three pictures in your child’s backpack. You can send in the paper or you can go online where you can see more photos than just the three on the paper. You will be getting a retake paper that you’ll need to fill out for your child to be eligible for retake day.


Q: Can we do sibling photos?

Amy: No, it’s too chaotic.

Tiffaney: We are hoping to have a professional photographer at the Multicultural Holiday Fair and for a reasonable price, like $20, and could get a print. You’ll be able to order more if you want. This was our way of replacing the sibling photos.


Last year also the sibling pictures took too much time and Stomping Ground couldn’t accommodate everyone.



The Multicultural Holiday Fair will be on December 9th. We are still looking for a co-chair for this event.



The committee sign-up sheets are here. Please fill them out if you’d like to get involved.



It’s that time of year again – the kids will be going on fieldtrips. If you volunteer to chaperone please be responsible for the kids. If you see something, say something. If you see a kid acting inappropriately please intervene or inform a teacher.  We need to keep the kids safe.



Emily and Anny had to leave but they will be doing financial report at the December PTA meeting.  

Our holiday fund drive will start in the beginning of December. If parents haven’t yet given we will remind them of how they can donate to the PTA and their child’s school.  



I just want to remind everyone that there will be no school on election day, November 7th.


Tonight at family night, we will do a thanksgiving activity. Tonight at 6pm.



Can we approve the minutes. All approved…thanks.


Anyone have any questions? Ok, thanks so much for coming.