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PTA Meeting Minutes – January 6, 2009

Minutes of the Jamestown PTA Meeting
January 6, 2009

Call to Order – Herman Narcho

• The meeting was called to order at 7:35 p.m. The minutes of the December 2, 2008 PTA meeting were approved. The Multiage and Second Grade teams attended the meeting. In addition to the Executive Board, there were approximately four parents present.

• Inner Courtyard Update – The PTA has received a grant of $4,000 from a private foundation, as well as an anonymous donation of $1,000, both to be used for the Inner Courtyard. Thank you to Monica Gerlach for her work on acquiring these donations. We currently have an overage of approximately $80 for purchases for the Inner Courtyard. The $4,000 grant allows us to pay for benches, teaching beds, weather stations, bird feeders, science experiments and guest speakers. In ten months, the PTA is required to report to the private foundation on how these funds are being spent. The PTA voted to approve a motion to create a bank account for the $4,000, and to require that, before any of the grant money is spent in the future, a written proposal must be submitted to the Executive Board of the PTA. If the written proposal is approved, the PTA will write a check for the expenditure.

The PTA also voted to approve a motion that requires the same procedure to be used before any other funds are expended on the Outdoor Classroom (i.e., not just grant funds). A motion was also approved that the PTA spend $80 of the $1000 donation to cover the overage currently outstanding.

Ms. Annan-Glascoe indicated that, while the space has come a long way and looks beautiful, we must not make additional purchases or donations for the Inner Courtyard or other school grounds until the teachers have had an opportunity to create a vision/plan for that space. She will raise this issue at the upcoming staff meeting and get teacher input. We must ensure that any outdoor space is accessible to the children and that its use fits within the vision of the teachers. The Multiage and Second grade teachers said that they are interested in purchasing science experiment kits and weather stations for use outside. They also inquired about the garden spaces previously requested by teachers that would be located outside of their classrooms. The purchase/donation of the proposed benches or any other materials for the Inner Courtyard should be put on hold until the PTA and the teachers are able to agree on a vision for this space. (An issue was also raised as to whether the Inner Courtyard has been measured for the benches that were under consideration.) APS must approve any major changes to the school grounds. For this reason, as well as possible safety concerns, the slate that was to be placed in the Inner Courtyard should not be used. There was discussion about the best use of the picnic tables located in the courtyard.

Prior to the next PTA meeting, the Habitat Committee will meet with Monica Gerlach to discuss these issues. It would also be helpful if members of the Outdoor Classroom committee speak at the February PTA meeting.

Principal’s Report – Laura Annan-Glascoe

• In response to a parent’s inquiry about the possibility of conducting a survey of Jamestown parents related to the provision of Special Education services at Jamestown, Ms. Annan-Glascoe explained that such a survey would need prior approval from APS’s Planning and Evaluation Division.

• Mrs. Schaffner thanked the Hospitality Committee for the holiday cookies. Teachers also requested that the “snack attacks” be given prior to staff meetings if possible.

Treasurer’s Report –Miriam Discenza

• Ms. Kahler purchased the bikes for the MIPA children for $275. The book fair will net approximately $3500.

Fundraising – Katherine Price

• The Winter Social will be held on February 6, 2009 at the Washington Golf and Country Club. Tickets will be $50/ticket this year. The price has been reduced from last year because we will save money by holding the event at the WGCC.

• Barnes & Noble in Clarendon will hold Jamestown Elementary School “Day” from Friday, January 23 through Sunday, January 25. Our library will receive 20% off of all purchases made on its behalf. There will be a writing contest. Look for information in back pack mail.

Community Relations – Karen Apsel

• We collected 200 toys for the Arlington Pediatric Center; 177 pounds of food for the Arlington Food Assistance Center; and 350 toiletry bags (and an additional 300 bars of soap) for the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. Thanks to everyone who made these projects such a success.

Internal Relations – Julie Esanu

• Jennifer Holm (author of the “Baby Mouse” books) recently came to Jamestown and met with all of the classes. It was a very successful visit. She also had lunch with several third through fifth grade contest winners.

Corresponding Secretary – Laura Cressey

• Ms. Cressey is currently researching security systems to install at the front door. One proposal was recently submitted for $18,000 which would include the installation of additional cameras and approximately 30 computers with release buttons to unlock the door. It is possible we could open the project up for competitive bidding. Arlington County will have to approve the installation of any security system.

Adjourned 8:34 p.m.