PTA Minutes




In Attendance:

Mrs Cano Amato, Principal

Ms. Raciunas, Assistant Principal

Amy Chalkley, Parent Coordinator

Tiffaney, PTA President

Mary, PTA Co-President

Emily, PTA Co-Treasurer

20 Parents





Hi everybody, I’m Tiffaney McCannon and I am the PTA co-president. We are going to go ahead and begin with the meeting. We have a guest speaker but I imagine that she is looking for parking right now. With that said, we are going to start plowing through the agenda so that we can wrap up on time unlike last month.



I am going to let Emily talk about the numbers but it was a wonderful event. It was a wonderful event. We thought that we were going to have to cancel the event because we didn’t have enough volunteers and by the time it was all said and done we had 106 volunteers show up. One thing I do want to say about that was that until that Friday morning we were going to have to shut down rooms. I know that it’s my tendency to procrastinate but I wish that the temperature at this school was more like volunteer early so people don’t have to stress out and lose sleep over it. Shannon, the committee chair, she was really kind of freaked out and I said don’t worry they’ll show up. She really didn’t believe me and after she said “you were right”. If you see that we have an event and that you have the bandwidth to volunteer, volunteer early, because it does make a difference in people getting good night’s sleep.



We had a holiday fun drive that started the first week of December and it was really successful. We had about 25 families donate during our fundrive and we brought in a total of $14,000 so that was huge. These numbers also include any end of the year giving that people did for tax purposes.



We desperately need a fundraising chair. The woman who was our fundraising chair last year is ill and doesn’t have the capacity to do it this year. We desperately need it. Right now I’m fundraising chair and I’m pregnant and managing the day to day of the PTA. There is an event that we do every year and it was an event at Yankee Stadium. Even if you don’t have the bandwidth to be the fundraising chair if someone would be interested in taking on this organizing this event at the Yankee Stadium. Last year we had 88 people attend from the school that went. It was a great day, we all sat in a section, the seats were good and everyone had fun. The tickets are super reasonable because we get a discount.  If anyone is interested in being the fundraising chair or at least helping out with the fundraising committee that would be super appreciated because come March when I have this baby, I am just really concerned about fundraising activities.



With that said, in February we will be forming the nominating committee for the executive board elections. Our executive board positions have a two year term limit. I know that I have been on the board as co-president for two years. This is my second year so co-president or president will be up. I know that the co-treasurer positions will be up as well. I think that Shelly is willing to stay on, I hope, in some capacity. Next month we will be forming the nominating committee and they will be talking to people about about the executive board, what it does and what he  the responsibilities and  what it does. In April we will take nominations and in May we will vote. So if you want to be on the nominating committee or you want to be the PTA president please let us know. You will definitely learn so much about the city and the school system. You will be plugged in in amazing ways.I say this all the time but it never gets old seeing your kid at school and you will be seeing them a lot because you will be here a lot. Also to say that all of these positions can be “co” so you don’t have to do it alone. So if you work full-time, it could work out that you could have a good partner in crime.




PS110 is doing a film series. The first film is January 13th and the second film will be February 10th. Those will be both on Saturdays. Hopefully it will be cold but not too cold that people will still want to come out to see the movie.  We have postcards here. I’m going to have Natalie, who has spearheaded the event, she is going to get up and talk to you about it.


Mrs Cano would you like to speak now?



Good morning and Happy New Year! Welcome back to school. I seem to have caught a cold so forgive my raspy voice. Just a couple of announcements.


If your child was signed up for testing in gifted and talented, that testing begins now. It started actually today. We are beginning tomorrow through the 12th. Three staff members who have been trained to administer the test will be administering the test as per guidelines for grades K through 2.


If your child is in pre-k and you signed up for the test, you hopefully have already received notification about where to take your child. That testing is not done in the school building. You must bring your child to an outside location.


Our afterschool program from K through 5 will begin in February, on the 27th and end on April 26th. We are running it Wednesdays and Thursdays for 14 sessions from 2:45 to 4:15. That is by invitation. That afterschool program will  targets kids that we feel need are in need of additional support in grades K through 5 in reading and in math.

The Saturday Academy for grades 3 through 5  will be four sessions; two in March and two in April; March 17th and 24th as well as April 21st and 28th. That’s from 9am through 12pm and all 3rd through 5th graders are invited. Those sessions have been aligned to the state math test and the state ELA. For those of you with kids in grades 3 to 5 the test has gone through a lot of modifications in recent years. It is untimed. It is now shortened down to two days. Multiple choice is on day one and short answers and an essay on day two. They have done a really nice job in taking input from teachers in the classroom and understand what kids are going through when they are taking the test. The Saturday academy is for everybody just to give them a little extra support before those test.


Kindergarten admission window opened on November 28th and closes on January the 12th. If you currently have a child here in pre-k you have to apply for a seat in kindergarten. You have to go through that enrollment process again.


Pre-k opens on February the 5th and ends on March 30th.  


Also, we will begin this month looking at our children in need of additional interventions. We compile that information. It’s entered and then parents are notified in February about what we feel their child needs in terms of thinking ahead, whether we feel that they are ready to move on to the next grade or not. It’s called promotion in doubt process. We are looking at our kids to see what we need help them with so that we are assured that they’ll be ready to move on to the next grade.


Some of you may already have received the letter. We are required by the department of education to administer five health lessons related to HIV-AIDS. Obviously those lessons are grade appropriate. So in kindergarten it is more about how to live a healthy life; taking care of your body through good nutrition and good sleep, washing your hands, etc. than it is about the actual HIV virus. As the children progress through the grades, the lessons are more grade specific. Ms Fortunato will be administering the lessons in the upper grades and the Kindergarten teachers will be administering those lessons in the classroom. If you would like more information about that please come and see me. I have the curriculum.


I just want to say something about recess. Obviously we didn’t go out yesterday and we aren’t going out today because it is too cold. The guideline use to be up to 32f. That is no longer the guideline. The guideline now is up to school’s discretion.  If we feel that both the wind-chill factor and the temperature are conducive to going out than we can go out.  Ms Raciunas and I are big believers in going outside so we will be going outside as often as we can. The children need to be prepared to go outside. We have been back one day and the lost and found table is already this high. Please label everything your child wears. If it’s labeled we get it back to the kids. If it isn’t labeled, all those lost items went out already. We will prepare another batch to go out. Obviously we are wearing hats and gloves and layers, like me, sweaters and things. We lose things here all the time. Lunch boxes, thermos, please label everything. School bags, notebooks, everything should have your child’s name in it. Because if we can’t find it’s owner, it will sit on the table for a little bit and then we are shipping it out.

I can tell you that we sent a big supply of clothes to PS23. They were very appreciative. I should also tell you that our wonderful children on the student council and on the Lighthouse team prior to the winter recess they held a bake sale and the proceeds from that bakesale were used to purchase items that we sent over to Pastor Amy for the Rest It program that they hold there for the cold weather so that people have a warm place to sleep. Our wonderful children purchased sweatshirt, toothbrushes, underwear, scarves, hats, gloves. So that those individuals who are not as fortunate as we are, have something to keep them warm in the cold weather. Then they came to me and they said, Ms Cano we have to do something for the kids at PS23. So they decided that they were allocating $150 from the proceeds of the bakesale to the children at PS23. That was all from them. I received a letter yesterday from the principal and he thanked the children profusely because $150 went towards get the children things that they need. He also mentioned in the letter that on December 20th a mom arrived with her three small children. She had just left the house because of domestic violence. So right before the holidays, they arrived at the school and had nothing with them. They literally left. So part of the money that we sent went to purchase items for that family needed for the holidays. This all came from our wonderful kids. They are understanding that we are very fortunate and we need to be able to share that with those that are less fortune. As a matter of fact we have picked March as service month. More information will be going out to you. But that came from all of us talking to the kids.


Ms Raciunas is there anything that you’d like to add?

Are there any questions or concerns?

Thanks you.



I forgot to mention the gala. Our gala is scheduled for March 24th at 7pm. It will be in Long Island City this year. We will be looking for auction items and donations of food. The first meeting is tomorrow night. If you are interested in going to the meeting tomorrow night at 8pm, please email the pta email and I will forward you the information.


The lost and found items that we gave out were the items from September, October and November. Those are the ones that we sent out. Things that we received in November are still in house but they will leaving.


We have all these water bottles and lunch bags here from the beginning of the year. So, I called Gigi at PS23 and asked if she had a need for water bottles and lunch boxes and she was so excited because the kids were really excited to get water bottles and lunch bags.


We are also in the process of weeding out our library. We took a bunch of books to PS23 as well and I got a text from Gigi just an hour after we left. A parent had found some Captain Underpants books and those were going to be Christmas presents.  I am really happy that as a community we’ve decided that this would be the best use of our stuff.


I also want you to know that we do take care of our own. I know that some people have said “But what are we doing for our own kids in need”. The PTA does have funds in our budget that if there is a child or a family that can’t afford a field trip or 5th grade experiences or pictures. We absolutely give them the money. I just want you to know that we are taking care of our own as well.




I think that last month Annie gave you an overview of where we are at. So I will just give you a quick snapshot of the Holiday Fair. We bought in almost $7,000 and we had budgeted $4,000. We way exceeded what we had budgeted. We had about $500 of expenses. So we came out with a profit of $6,300!


Shannon did an amazing job chairing htat event so thanks for that and for all of you for coming out.


Any questions?




The only thing that we haven’t touched upon was the Pupil Path. You should have received at the parent-teacher conference a paper that explained how to sign up for Pupil Path. If you have not done so or have lost the paper, we are having the teachers resend those. At this point if you don’t have the paper or you don’t receive the paper, you need to contact the teacher or write them a letter about that. They are the ones who are generating those letters. We are working switching over to Pupil Path but some teachers are still using the portal and I am still using the portal. It’s a process so we still need everybody to be on the portal. It’s not one or the other. Right now we need you to be on both.


Q: Do you have any numbers as to how many people have signed up to Pupil Path?

AMY: Well I have one teacher that everyone has signed up save for 4 students. I sent out an email to the teachers yesterday asking them to regenerate the letters. So you should be getting them by the end of this week. I can probably gage that number better by the end of next week.


I am kind of learning Pupil Path as well so I can’t quite answer all your Pupil Path quite yet.





We conducted the survey about the alternative menu and the possible return to the traditional menu. The wellness committee wants to continue work on getting kids to eat the food served at the cafeteria and reducing waste. The overall was to continue with the alternative menu



The next CEC meeting is January 11th, next Thursday at 8pm at IS71. We will be send something out on the portal so you know when that is.


As Tiffaney said, we made a donation to PS23 which is a school in need. They were really so appreciative. It’s a really great school and we got to see a little bit of it and meet with the parent-teacher coordinator. We hope to be able to continue to make donation to them because it is really useful and needed there and we can  contribute.


Starting in the new year, we are going to work on contacting local politicians so councilmen etc to see how they can help us in our school because we’ve lost title 1 funding for a few years now. So that is like $400k a year. Our PTA has been doing a great job fundraising but of course we can’t close that gap. Also, other schools are starting to lose their Title 1 funding in this district as well. Arbor has also lost there funding. They have a grace period of this year. They will get a little less money next year. Then they will also be a non-Title 1 school. We are hoping to figure out a way to look at how this will change the schools individually and in our district and to see if we can leverage together with our CEC and our local politicians, to see what we can do to help make this transition not so abrupt and how we can function as non-title 1 schools in the district.


We are also going to check out the CEC meetings in District 2 in Manhattan because they seem to have a very strong parent attendance. They have various committees at their CEC. We are going to go and see what best practices and ideas we can gain from them as well.



One other thing, when we lost our Title 1 funding we lost a lot of opportunities for grants and programs like Cook Shop. A lot of organisations only want to give to Title 1 schools. WE’ve tried to supplement those things but like Yuli said, it’s a big gap to bridge.  It is going to be an issue in our district. The school took a hit and now there are going to be other schools dealing with it. Yuli is wanting to hopefully invite politicians and policy makers to a breakfast at the school sometime this year.


Anybody else have a committee report?


We had a fundrive and we have a drawing for a two-hour party at Videology.  If you gave at a certain amount your name was entered in the drawing. So the winner is Bronwen. She is a Kindergarten parent.


Pastor Amy did you want to say a couple of words?



I just came to say thank you to Ms Cano and the kids. The kids and Amy came over and brought the things that you had fundraised for and that the kids had worked so hard for. This was the second year that you had partnered with us for taking care of the guests at the Respite program, so I just wanted to say thank you. You also gave us some money in addition to the socks, underwear, blankets and the gloves. So we used the money to buy some desserts for them for Christmas Eve and we set up a little tree and put the presents under there. They were very appreciative of that and so were we, so thank you.


We also might talk about, in the future some other ways that we can partner to help serve the community that doesn’t have homes and shelter in this neighborhood. I hope that we can find ways to continue to partner and find ways to serve our community together.



Hi, I am Natalie, I am a parent here at the school and I also work for the french embassy.

We just organized this project with Tiffaney and the school. We are going to have two screenings that will be open to the community so not just the students in this school. There will be a first screening of Ernest And Celestine on January 13th. It is a french film but it will be shown in english for everybody. Then February 10th it will be Tales Of The Night and the same thing, it will be shown in english.


This is part of the program called Ciné-School. What we work to do also with the screening is to try and get kids to learn about movies, how it’s done and what you can do for activities. There are educational resources that were done for these movies in french and english and we made it available to the teachers in grades 3,4, and 5. Hopefully some of the teachers will use them and do some activities before the screening and after the screening. There are activities  pre and post-screening activities that are offered.


For other kids in other grades or for teachers that are too busy, we made all these resources available for download on the website. So you can go to the PS110 website in the events section. On the page of each screening you can find the educational material that you can download yourself in english and in french. The idea is to learn more about international movies and also to get an event where the community comes together. It is a Saturday and it’s cold outside. Also have people come to the school.


In terms of needs, we need more volunteers. For the tickets, if you are a family of more than three people it is $10. Adults are $5 an kids are $3. We tried to keep it inexpensive so that everyone can come. We will need people for the bake sale, for the tickets and maybe to clean up afterwards.


I hope that we can do this next year again and maybe have more international movies and open the field up to our community.



So yes, we still need more volunteers. We definitely don’t need 106 volunteers but we would need  like 25 volunteers for next Saturday. There will be an email going out. Right now I think that we have seven people. It is a really great way to spend the day. We will be having a bake sale and we’ll be selling popcorn. If you can’t be there on the day of, please consider making something for the bake sale.


Shannon did you want to say something about the Holiday Fair?



I just wanted to thank everyone, especially Tiffaney because I really thought that we were going to have to cancel the whole thing and she said “Oh no, we won’t even have to cancel a room”. And she was totally right. The Friday before the event between 5 and 10pm, I think that we had like 40 parents. This community is amazing. I hope everybody had fun. Thanks for helping to make it a really pleasant experience.



With that, I will now present our guest speaker.


Also, these postcards will be backpacked today but if you want to grab a few to bring to friends, please feel free to do so.



“Creating an environment where your child wants to do homework”



If you haven’t had a chance to sign please sign the sign in sheet. The minutes from last month’s meeting are also that clipboard if you want to take a look. We usually have the minutes up on our website the week after a meeting. So if you haven’t had a chance to sign the sheet please do so now.


We still have enough people to get the minutes approved. All in favor of approving the minutes from last month? Anyone against the meeting minutes? Ok, so they are approved.


Anybody have anything that they would like to discuss?


Q: My question is about extra help after school and how do we get it?

Ms Cano: When we begin the process we will ask the teachers because we want to keep the classes smaller.  It may not be a teacher of that particular grade but typically it will be staff.


Q: For the Saturday program do we need to sign up our child?

Ms Cano: The Saturday program will just be the four sessions and you just have to show up on the day of at 9am. That is for children in grades 3 through 5 and it is specifically geared towards the state math exam and ELA test.

Thank you for coming out today. Usually for there are four people at the January PTA meeting, including myself. So thanks for coming out.


We will have the minutes posted by next Wednesday on the website.

And if you need to reach us please feel free to email at

Thanks all so much.