PTA Minutes


APRIL 11th, 2018


In Attendance

Amy Chalkley, Parent Coordinator

Mary, PTA Co-President

Annie, PTA Co-Treasurer

Emily, PTA Co-Tresurer

Shelly, PTA Secretary

18 Parents




Good Morning everyone. So they’re doing the state testing today that’s why we’re down here this morning. I am covering for Tiffany as most of you know she had her baby girl Sally, I believe on the 13th of March or maybe the 16th somewhere around there. She should be back for the next PTA meeting probably so it’ll probably be a fairly short meeting.


Today we are doing the nominations for the 2018-19 PTA executive board so the current executive board term will be over in June. It’s a two-year term and so we have Yuli and Sunny here who is running the nominations committee so I’ll let her take it.




SUNNY- So I think that we have nominations.

YULI – We do. We have co-president nominations, Shannon Claire and Rob Marre.


ROB – My name is Rob Maher. Iggy is in PK104. I know most of you guys. We own a shop in the neighbourhood.


SHANNON – Hi, I’m Shannon. I think that I literally know all of you. I’m super excited to work with Rob and to help the school out. Thank you guys.


YULI – And I think that for secretary, I believe that Shelly Garinther is going to do it again.


If you know anyone who is interested in being treasure or co-treasurer please let me or Sunny know. We really need someone to manage the money and the budget, Bronwen. We will be accepting nominations and we will do the voting at the May 2nd meeting.


Emily – Between now and then, if anyone knows of a treasurer possibilities.


ANNIE – Co-treasurers are really the way to go. Emily and I are co-treasurers. It breaks up the tasks really well.   So for example, if you are talking to someone. Emily does all of the deposits and the event reports and she does the budget with the budget committee. I do the bank reconciliation, and I make sure that there are back ups. That’s why some of you get annoying emails from me all the time ‘’do you have a receipt’’. I prepare for the audit and then I do the reports for the chancellor. The other things we piggyback on each other, who’s available like passwords for the square account or getting cash boxes for events or that we will do as we are available. But it does help out a lot and the tasks break up pretty nicely. The other thing about being co-treasurers is that you don’t both have to be at every meeting.


Emily – There is also a monthly executive board meeting with the president or co-presidents, treasurers and secretary just to go over business. So that meeting you really should attend on a monthly bases. The executive board can set a time that works best for everyone. Annie and I both work full-time and we’ve made it work so I think that it’s possible.


Q: What are some of the biggest issues that you would be carrying over to next year or some of the lessons learned this year?


Emily – That’s a good question. I think that right now we have a nice amount of money in the bank and at the next meeting will also be present the budget for next year. So the good news is there’s a surplus so that always helps when your a treasurer. I’d say the one challenge that we’ve had, it’s not a huge challenge, but Citibank is the bank use. We kind of talked about changing banks because they’re not the best bank in my opinion and their online functionality and getting information transferred into Quicken or QuickBooks is like it’s a little clunky. So people could look into a different bank, not necessary, but it just might be like more helpful for people. Annie other challenges that you can think of?


ANNIE – Hopefully, some of the challenges we’ve worked. I think that there will always be new things that come up. Because this is the third or fourth year of being a non-profit and having to follow the regulations that we have, we’ve been able to put a few things into place. For example, there is process now for filing and recording all the back up and the receipts and preparing for the audit. The first couple of years, I was actually on the committee and it was a lot of work because there was nothing in place. Now there is something in place. Same thing for preparing for the taxes, preparing for the budgets. A lot of it is already there. We just did a conversion from Quicken to Quickbooks which was really unpleasant But it’s done now and so I think that hopefully by the end of the year I’ll have time to clean it up. So the banking and the record keeping is, I think, easier. Although if we switch from CitiBank that might be another transition.


Emily – Then there’s like monitoring the New York City charity donations and writing the letters everyone for their taxes, the tax letters. But really, I have to say that Sandy, who was the treasurer before, she put a lot of the systems in place and had all the accounts open, ready to go, just transfer them over. So I feel like at this point a lot of stuff is in place so if it’s just sort of like picking it up and doing a little bit of training and then just take it from there. There’s not much like new things that need to be done.


ANNIE – Unless there is something completely new that is identified. I think that for a new treasure, it’s just making tweaks figuring out what works for the current group. The one thing that everybody will have to do at the beginning is that we will have to be removed from the account and the new group will have to be put on which requires coordination because everyone will have to go at once. So there is a little bit coordination to hand everything off.


Emily – Anyone have any other questions? Ok, I’ll hand it off to Amy.




Hi everyone. I have Ms Cano’s notes and then I have a few notes myself.


The after school program resumes next week. It is not happening today or tomorrow because of testing. If you need a calendar, you can stop by the office and I can give you one if you need it. It resumes next week. Because of testing and we have 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders who are in it. It’s a lot for them to sit all day and then have this extra after school. It will resume next week.


If your child is in the Saturday program, the last two days are April 21st and April 28th.


Kindergarten registration is underway. So letters have already gone out. Ms Cano usually gives the speech that if you are on the waiting list, the waiting list does move. Please be patient. It does move sometimes as late as August or September. There has been some movement already but unfortunately, if you have a seat somewhere else and you’re waiting for a seat here, I am sure that you are holding onto to that seat until the last day in hopes of getting a seat here and vice versa that happens with people that have seats here. So they may hold on until the last day of kindergarten registrations before they decline on their seat here.


PreK registration begins in May. So letters will start to go home beginning of May and then we will start to register and do the same process all over again, same as kindergarten.


This year, for the SLT which is the school leadership team, there are actually be elections this year which is the first time this is ever happened. They have decided to put elections in place. There are ten seats available. There are five parents and five staff members. The required seats are principle, the teacher who is also the UFT chair, the PTA president and co-president. So that takes up two of the five parent spots. So really there are only three spots for parents this year. Which I believe, other than the president and co-president, is what we have right now. This year is just different. It use to be that you could go to Ms Cano and say “I’m interested” and if there was a spot you could have it. Now there is an election that is not too much different from what you have here. It’s pretty democratic.


For those of you that don’t know what the SLT is, it’s basically the vehicle for developing school based-educational policy and ensuring that resources are aligned to implement these policies. There is more online in the parent handbook. Or if you have any questions you can talk to myself or Ms Cano about it.


That’s all for Ms Cano’s notes. Does anyone have any questions?


Q: The Saturday classes, is that for math?

I believe it is for both math and ELA. I think that you could approach them and say that you would like your child to enter it but a lot of the time it’s the teachers that approach you and say that we feel like your child could utilize it. It’s not a mandatory thing. it’s for kid’s that need extra help. It’s in the morning, I believe from 9 to twelve.


Q: Can you tell us about the music teacher position and also what is happening now in lieu of music?


In lieu of music right now, we have Ms Alveradi she’s actually been substituting in our school for the last two years. She doesn’t have a music degree. She’s not teaching the keyboards right now. What she is doing is more of like storytelling through literacy and storytelling So it’s still very interactive and very fun but it’s not so much singing. In second grade they are doing some poems. For PreK it’s more reading and talking and being creative with it as well.


In terms of getting another music teacher there is a search. So if anybody knows anyone in education that is musically inclined please send them our way. I believe that you could talk to Ms Cano. Then there is a process and I am not exactly sure what the process is. I do know that they are actively pursuing that. It’s not something that, the hire won’t happen won’t happen this year. It will be for the next school year.


Q: My son takes violin lessons across the way at the park coop. There is a woman there, Concceta. She has a masters in music education and I believe that she is couple of credits short in getting the public school accreditation. She seemed to know the path forward and the next steps that she needed to do. She’s great.


OK, well she should speak to Ms Cano because she has a relationship with us. Ok great, thank you.




The other thing that I wanted to talk about to is participatory budgeting. We don’t have any specific project for our school but there are some really really amazing project so if you live within a little more that District 14. You can either go to a sight or vote online. They started the voting online last year so it’s much easier. There’s a lot of really amazing project. I printed out two. There’s actually on that sort of does affect us. There are four NYPD security cameras in cameras in the 84th and 94th precinct. If you go online it goes into more detail about where the security cameras will be. So it will be around McGolrick Park and the Brooklyn promenade. Then this is a pedestrian safety on Clay and Commercial so its park over there. This is close to my house so it’s an area that is close to my heart. But there are also quite a few schools looking for funding as well for different if you guys want to take that take anybody for mission I


Also tonight we are doing a summer camp Fair. So there is going to be all different organizations Some of them that we work with now in out after school program and some that just offer summer camps. They’re coming tonight and a lot of them are going to be offering activities. Actually just a really fun and engaging night for the kids. We will have pizza and refreshments. That’s from 6pm to 7:30pm. They will be giving out all kinds of information about summer camps. We even have someone there who you can consult with, who does consultation for sleep-away camps. So she knows about all the sleep way camps in the ti-state area.


Q: Is it a potluck?

It’s not a potluck. Only because, we did it last year and the space is too tight to navigate all that with all the vendors. Anything else?




Thanks Amy. So there are a couple of events coming up that hopefully everyone has heard about.



The book fair is starting next Monday and I believe it’s running all week. And there are author visits happening this week and next week. So I’m not sure about the exact schedule for the book fair. Does anyone want to talk a little bit about the book fair. So is there a schedule so you know when to send your kids with money?


STEPHANIE – Send your kids with money everyday. Amy, is it possible to have the schedule on the portal?


AMY – So I sent the schedule last week to the teachers. The teachers should be sending an email to each of your classes. I will remind them. I feel that if I send the schedule that gets a little confusing. So I did ask the teachers to send an email.


STEPHANIE – I wish that I had I had the schedule with me. My name is Stephanie and I have a son in second grade. I am organizing the book fair this year with Agnes who is sick so she isn’t here today. This is very exciting because it is the first year that the book fair will be bilingual like our school. The second thing that we implanted this year is a lot of used books so that every kid can leave the book fair with a book in hand.


We have five days of book fair. We’ll have an entrance on the side where we park the scooters. Every morning from 8:15 to 9:30 will be parents’ time. It’s really your time to come and we will all be here to help. We also have Spanish and Polish books. Not as many as french but we are getting there slowly.


Q – What is the price range for the books so we know how much money to send with the kids?


STEPHANIE – From 1$ to 25$ but the new books, I would say between 10$ and 20$ to give to the kids. So they can get one nice book and one first reader. So that’s about the range. You can bring more if you want. So spread the word if the teachers don’t do it.


Monday: 2-311 PK-103 PK-105 PK-102 2-301

Tuesday: 1-204 PK-104 PK-101 5-402 5-407 2-312

Wednesday: 1-212 1-202 1-201 4-401 4-403 4-406 2-211

That day, on Wednesday, it will be family night so come between 6pm and 7:30pm

Thursday: All Kindergarten classes

Friday: 3-302 3-306 3-305


Last thing is that we need volunteers to come and help us. There is a link to a document where you can register. Basically what we need is people to help us sell. When the kids come in it’s a lot of movement, noise and craziness. We really want to be with each kid to help them. More often than not they chose something that is not age appropriate. We want to be the most adults possible to help them make the best choices. There is this link that you can register even just for one hour. It’s on Facebook as well.


Q – Are you still collecting books?

You can still give me some more books if you want. We have tons. But please, if you are going to throw them away please give them. Anything that we have left, we will donate to two other schools who are asking for books because they are mounting a library. Why I am blocking is that very close to the event we have so much to do that your books might stay in boxes for a few weeks. Thank you.


ROB – I emailed our class as the point person for the book fair. One thing that we suggested is that we donate for the class, money for the teacher to buy books.


STEPHANIE – Are you a PreK parent? Yes, so that would be giving money for your kid but also give money to the class.


Even for the library now that we can code the books. Before we couldn’t code the books so they had to come from a DOE system. Now we can code the books so we can take donations. Of course, we could always use more books in french.


SHANNON – Rob had another really good idea, especially for the little ones, put their money in a pouch with their name and the amount on it. So they don’t lose their money and people know how much they have.


Emily – Another upcoming event is the PS110 Yankee game. Last year they got a whole section and it was a lot of fun. Tickets are 40$. Shannon is organizing that. There was an email account set up that Amy sent out. I think that there are 100 tickets available maybe not that many left.


SHANNON – It should be really fun. Because we are in our own section you don’t have to worry about the kids wiggling around or people being inappropriate. The seats are really good. It’s in the outfield but you have a great shot of the field. It’s really cool. We could raise about $1,200 so that’s really good. We are taking cash, credit cards, checks, all of it.



Emily – The other big event that is coming up is the Fun!Run. This year it’s on Friday June 1st. We definitely still need volunteers. You can either contact Erica directly, by email or at the pta gmail account if you are interested in volunteering. We are revamping the Fun!Run this year. I think it was a little bit chaotic last year. We are doing a few things to help. One of them is to have all the children wear a lanyard or a sticker that can be scanned for the laps. Because last year we were trying to hashtag them and it was difficult. So we will be purchasing something, it’s less than a hundred dollars. We have it in the budget. And that should help streamline it. From last year we learned a couple of things that worked and didn’t work so hopefully this year it will be a little smoother. But we will definitely need a lot of volunteers for that event.



Q – Where is the Fun!Run taking place this year? Because I was there last year for that little incident that happened


Emily – I don’t know. Erica couldn’t make it today. I will email Erica and find out.




Next meeting we will be presenting the budget and voting on it and then redo it for the June meeting. So if people could come to the next meeting to see what the budget looks like. In the interim if you have questions or ideas about the budget you can email the PTA.


Q – Actually, Rob had an idea, I know that we have a line item for families that need help paying for field trips and things. He suggested a line item for the teachers to help pay for supplies that come out of pocket.


Emily – So what we have been doing this year and last year before the mid-winter break. We have been giving teachers Amazon cards depending on the budget between $75 and $100 for each teacher. So I know that doesn’t seem like a ton of money but you have to multiply that by 45 people so that’s kind of like what we’ve been doing. Me and you are going to sit down and look at the budget and if we have a little more to give them next year that’s great. So that is part of what we budget. If you have something like more specific you’re thinking of definitely we can have a conversation about it.


Q – A lot of it has to do with supplies that our Pre K teacher buys in the beginning of the year. Maybe we can move that gift card towards the beginning go the year so they don’t have to lay out the money. It adds up and now they can’t write it off on their taxes.


Emily – Yeah I mean that’s certainly something to think about. I don’t know. You as the new president could put that in place for the following year as the new president. Beginning of the year is always so crazy that trying to do that distribution and then we ask all the teachers to submit their receipts for everything to. So beginning of the year tends to be really hectic but it is something certainly to think about. I don’t want to dismiss it but we can talk about that.


Q – Could that be something that could be added to the list of things that needs to be brought at the beginning of the year.


AMY – We used to have a suggested donation of like 10$ on that sheet. I could see with Ms Cano if we could do something like that again.


Emily – Yeah great so committee updates, Fleur do you want to talk about for the Funraiser, the debrief, to give the good news.


FLEUR – So we had our Purple Party gala. It was really successful. We had a really good turn out, over 250 people there. It was a really great night. Stephanie and Daniel were really wonderful hosts at the studio. It was a really great space and I hope that we are invited back next year. We had a wonderful MC who did a really great job. We had a really great bar. We were able to make money off of which we did last year and that was thanks to Marie and Patrick. The food was incredible. Reema and Yaelle brought in so much yummy food. The decorations that Yuli really helped me out with really made the place look fabulous. Also everyone came in little touches of purple. I spent last night editing down Fabrice’s pictures from about 800 down to about 20-30 pictures. We are going to share those on a link. Maybe I’ll pick just a few to put on Facebook because it’s a public space and some people don’t want to be on a public space. We haven’t finalized the amount of money we have made but we know that it will be over 50k. Which is really amazing. That does include ChariyBuzz which Bronwyn has been spearheading. It’s been really successful and that is a project that continues for the next 12 months. But we can keep only keep the money for the Purple Party for now.The next will be for whatever else. We are going to do a fire sale for the ten items that didn’t get sold through the 501 Auctions probably this week or the next. That will also be with a link and some photos. It was a really fun night. Yeah really good. We sent out a little survey to about 50 people. Overall it was all positive. The people that were most critical were like myself, Yuli, Stephani, and Sandy that were really in there. Just little things that we’d tweak. If I am forgetting anyone, I’m sorry. Thanks.


Emily – Thank you Fleur and Sandy and everyone else did an amazing job. The event was like pretty incredible just the space was awesome. And I mean everything, the food the drinks. It was really well organized. The whole set up with the check in and buying the tickets and it was just a successful event. So thank you all for doing that. And of course we raised a ton of money. I think last year we raised 35K or 37K.


FLEUR – That’s true, but that’s without the expenses taken out. This year it’s with the expenses taken out so that’s amazing.



Emily – Thanks for participating. So I think committee updates we kind of went over everything. Any other committee updates that anyone wants to bring to the table. So again, next meeting we’re going to vote on the executive board for the coming year and we’re going to review the budget for next year. If we could just get an approval of the minutes from last meeting everyone who approve them say yeah.


Q – Currently, we have Italian as the second language. What are the chances that we add on or transition Spanish or Mandarin Chinese.


AMY – I can’t quite speak for Ms Cano but I can speak for how she has answered in the past. So having the french and the spanish are two totally separate things. The reason that we have Italian, in the years prior, when we had we had a special teacher retire.

We had to pull from one of our teachers who already existed, like a teacher. So they took from those teachers what they were. So Ms Avalia said that she would like to teach Italian. So that was implemented way before any talk of having the dual language program. It would also like to fit into the day. We’d have to have it in the budget to be able to do that. So it would have to fit into the day. Right now there are five specials, we couldn’t possibly have six. If every child would have mandarine one period then something would have to go away like music would have to go away. The only other possibility, if you know a teacher were going to retire or something like that and maybe that’s it. But I don’t know how logistically that would work then. On the other realm of adding another dual language program, it is a huge undertaking. We have had immense support from the embassy to undertake it. Also it would be the room that we would need to have. This is a pretty small school, in terms of classroom space. We are growing every year with the french program because we started out with my daughter started she was in the second classroom. So our first French graduating class was last year. They started out as one contain classroom. Now it’s grown to two classrooms. So every year it increases another class.


Q – Just curious, how many years does the Italian teacher have before she retires?


AMY – I don’t know. There is a retirement age but then the DOE doesn’t force teachers out. Then it has to be another conversation It has to be a collective of what language do people want. And can we then hire someone from outside. Unless a special teacher retires, like Ms Izaksen where we are actively looking to replace her. We feel very strongly about the music program here. I just don’t know about another language here.


SHANNON – And what Ms Cano said last time someone asked about this, is that in order for the school to hire a new teacher they have to get rid of a teacher.


BRONWYN – I just want to tell everyone, in case you don’t know what CharityBuzz is because this is an ongoing opportunity for our school. Charity buzz is an online auction site that has very wealthy frequenters who go on like to buy generally one-off experiences that you can’t otherwise bye. So these philanthropists are going on and buying things like Saturday Night Live tickets that you can’t otherwise get and those can sell for like $15,000. They are buying internships for their kids to have a summer internship at a magazine or a financial house or a tch agency, advertising something like that. They the short internships, One week or one month, paid or unpaid. You can set parameters that they have to be in a college program, four year programs, studying a particular discipline if you want to. Tickets to sporting events sell for a lot. Tours of agencies or meet and greets with high up

people in businesses or celebrities. And everybody knows somebody, like everybody has the connection. Sometimes it’s hard to think of what it might be that will be valuable. They do all the work in putting up the auction and managing the auction themselves. It’S just kind of free money for the school. So I’m more than happy to help you brainstorm if you have an idea and facilitate the auction gathering. We have a twelve month contact with them right now so we have another ten months to try and raise money for the school. So we’ve raised sixty five hundred dollars so far with Charity buzz, which is awesome. We still have one more live auction which is for a lunch with the host of Man VS Food which is live and at the Diamond. We had a lunch with the producer of Game of Thrones that was our highest selling auction. That went for $2,750. Then a custom portrait by Dan Wits went for $1,100. A tour of Daniel’s studio. Lunch with some other celebrities, the woman from Glow, the star of Mean Girls, the pedicure with the claw lady. Random things but they all sold, it’s all money. A tour of Facebook that went early on and went for $1,100. Super low hanging fruit.


I’ve used it before and we raised $50,000 every year. Golf at an exclusive club. Someone knew someone who was a member and was ready to play with three total strangers. And we sold that twice, so the person who didn’t win was offered the prize at the same price and so we made $20,000 each time, so $40,000. So yeah, really low hanging fruit.


Just think about what you know or people you know at that school and what jobs they have. Internships are really easy sometimes depending on the agency. Meeting people or reading scripts. We got six thousand dollars for that at my other auction for having somebody at the agency read their manuscripts. So it’s just like getting them thinking and being creative. I’m more than happy to help you brainstorm if you can think of your contacts. Thank you.


Emily – Thank you. All right Thanks everyone.