PTO Executive Committee Meeting Minutes – October 5, 2020
Attendees: Adam Kirschenbaum, Jessica Kramer, Chrys Limardo, Dana Rooney, David Landeryou, Sharon Scholem, Amy Lally, Jessie Cates-Bristol, Lauren Herrington
1. Approve last month’s minutes
- Minutes approved.
2. Principal’s Report
- We know the information from DCPS that most people know at this point. The Administration at Key just learned about the current update about school reopening today.
- We do know that if parents want to send children for in-person, they have to get immunizations current to return to school.
- More information will be sent from DCPS by October 13th.
- Ms. Taylor (4th grade) is going on maternity leave. Ms. Parks has been identified to replace her while she is gone. Ms. Solomon will be coming back which will allow Ms. Parks to move to Ms. Taylor’s class, but there are a few weeks of potential overlap. D. Landeryou requested that the PTO pay for the duration of time that she will not be officially on as a DCPS employee.
- Adam K. put a motion forward to cover two weeks of Ms. Parks to help with transition as we have done in other teacher – vote taken, all in favor.
3. Teacher’s Report
- Several teachers reached out to share a concern about being asked more about the Chancellor’s announcement. Parents need to understand that teachers don’t have any more information about DCPS opening than they do. They do not want conferences to be overrun by these types of questions.
4. Membership Coordinator Report
- 84 families have paid dues, $53,700 contributed thus far. This is 35% of parents sending.
- We can mention PTO role and dues at class Zoom parent meetings that will happen. Let Adam and Kelly know when they are scheduled. Those of us on the executive committee can overview the elevator speaking points created for these meetings.
- Dana will use the pie chart graphic to show where the school is with collecting dues in the next NW@K.
- A to Z has been shared for specials teachers to use to email full classes.
- Classes can be automatically populated and there is a cc option to include the administration. But teachers have to remember to add them and this is important for administration to see class-based emails going out. Dana will follow up with A to Z help desk to see if there is an automated function for cc’ing administration.
- The Inner Core (Specials) teachers do not have access to the parent emails lists because each class is populating them a different way.
- Dana is preparing to print the A to Z book and we need to finalize how to distribute.
5. Treasurer’s Report
- We are 10k down from our anticipated funding level.
6. KEHP Update
- No updates, KEHP would not be possible in the near future.
7. LSAT Update
- Motion to have Sara Richey and Bill Slover participate as Community Members on the LSAT
- Motion accepted
- LSAT Election Results – Amy Lally, Tim Johnson, and Lauren Herrington were all elected as committee members
- Lauren asked Key Administration if there is anything LSAT needs to focus on to support moving to in-person learning. David and Jen stated that a lot of information has come in today and they are processing this and will circle back.
- The team discussed updates on the HVAC. Patrick Davis from DCPS has been in communication with school regarding HVAC issue prior to districtwide HVAC inspections happening, D. Landeryou thinks this effort will be combined.
- Lauren asked Key Administration if the PTO can create a parent and teacher survey to collect information on what parents want in terms of returning and what are the needs for transitioning.
- Lauren stated that parents are feeling frustrated with lack of information coming from Key. This data could be very helpful and give parents a chance to share their preferences. The survey questions will allow the community to have a voice in this conversation. It will allow us to collect data on the comfort level of parents to better understand and its essential to do this before we go back.
- Also, Lauren noted that schools can request to go back fully, there is a template request that can be submitted to DCPS. This is not related to the 13 schools that did the proposal for small groups.
- (Adam K.) Can LSAT put together a survey to go with NW@K? Lauren agreed to draft something.
- Amy L/ brought up that timing would be important too. Will there be any further information about HVAC at Key to help time the communication with that update?
- Key administration noted that Information regarding the HVAC work is supposed to come to them soon, hoping within a week or two.
- (D. Landeryou) There are also plans to do a walk through of the school with DCPS regarding all the safety precautions that need to be put in place.
- (Adam K.) There is a DCPS call that families are invited to on October 6th. This meeting can help provide more information to help craft the survey and a second survey can be done moving forward.
- Administration was told that the choices that were presented were 100 percent virtual, five days a week classroom with teachers in classroom, the CARES program is virtual learning, but facilitated by a teacher. Parents will be offered lottery spots for in person learning.
8. Equity Team Update
- The team is operational, there have been a few issues that have come up this year and the system has moved into action on these issues.
- There are two staff liaisons to the equity team.
- Kindred groups will be up and running soon.
- Idea for raising money for faculty and families that are having extraordinary needs at this time. The team has been working with Ms. Green and DCPS reps to figure out what is possible. We can collect money and purchase gift cards (grocery, Visa, etc.) and then they can be distributed to high needs families.
- There is an oversight issue that needs to be recognized. This effort can’t be directly associated with Key School as an organization, so we are not sure who the keeper of the money can be. DCPS recommended PTO handle the donation collections part. This could become confusing with collecting dues as well. The school would then be gifted the cards and the school could distribute them.
- Who would receive the money? (J. Green) The cards would be available at the front office and families could come in once a week and get a gift card. For staff, we could keep it in a place where people can take one as they need it. You have to use the honor system in this process.
- (Adam K.) The PTO is operating on a deficit right now. This is resulting in potential funding issues for PTO paid items like aides and bulk supplies. Asking families to donate more money may be a big ask. A lot of motivation for dues payment is getting a place in KEHP, which is not in place nor a motivator at this point.
- C. Limardo suggested speaking to Palisades Citizen’s Association as an organizing entity for collecting funds for this cause.
9. New Business
- Pizza Community Night – October 6th
- Potomac pizza was one of the few places that agreed.
- PTO General Meeting – Wednesday, October14th
- HarvestFest – Pumpkin Carving Contest Option
- This would be virtual, there has not been response from the festival committee. PCA is also doing a lot of Halloween events so there may not be an interest.
- Ways the PTO can support Key Admin if there is a move to in-building education
- Covered above
- Mathnasium virtual event: October 27th – is open for students 2nd grade and above.
- Adam K. is looking for organizations that want to do things to keep families involved with key. Ideas are welcome for events.
- Amy L – can we revisit the IT position for specifically supporting teachers for when we are doing hybrid. Our aides are an example of non-DCPS employees that have access to the IT resources.
- Adam: this position was funded by Raise the Paddle event and would not be a DCPS employee and can’t use the DCPS infrastructure because they can’t get access with that.
- The money would have to come out of Non personnel spending and we do not have enough funding for that?
- Jessie Cates-Bristol has DCPS tech people onsite at their community-based organization and they direct staff to use the IT help desk.
- Lauren – there are IT people hired at other schools that are doing this using PTO funds, we should further look into this.
- Adam K. agreed to examine further.
Next Exec Meeting – November 2nd at 5:30