Creative Science School

critical thinkers, courageous problem-solvers, compassionate community builders

PTA Meeting Minutes 5/20/14

PTA Meeting Minutesbrittney

Meeting called to order by Kenneth at 6:35pm.  

Staffing updates from Ben

-       No word on the assistant principal position yet.

-       The .5 learning center position is now someone who is a transfer (both candidates offered the job in round one declined). More info to come.

-       Process hasn’t started yet for secretary position. There may be interviews.

-       4th grade and mid-level positions still depend upon what happens with the AP position.

-       SLP position will be placed – no word on it yet.


Other updates from Ben

-       Staff has been busy planning for next year.

-       School-wide storyline will now be a year-long, all-school theme. Next year the theme will be critical thinking. The staff worked on what critical thinking means to CSS and how it could be accesible to K-8 students. The list they came up with is: asking questions, thinking about thinking, challenging assumptions, considering other ideas, seeking evidence. The basis will be the book The Starry Messenger by Peter Sis.

-       This year we didn’t come together as an all-school group very often. The staff would like us to come together more frequently throughout the coming year but for shorter presentations (20-25 minutes) that would work better for the younger students. These community meetings will happen once a month, and the kids will be involved presenting by grade level at the gatherings. There will be different themes for each month.


Budget update

-       Pledge drive brought in about $16k, and the FUNraiser brought in about $6k.

-       Kennedy School brought in about $2500.

-       Living fence for the garden with a fire marshal-approved gate estimate is $1200. We have $200 from a grant and $450 from Indiegogo campaign (continuing through the end of May). We’d like to use unspent funds from Montavillage for the balance (about $600). Motion made, seconded, and approved unanimously. June 4th will be a garden culmination day and the start of the fence project (more information to follow).

-       There is a proposal to establish a before-school math tutoring program (two days per week). It will be open to all grade levels and will utilize our 8th graders as tutors, who will earn community service hours. Students could be both teacher and parent-referred. It will be staffed by two parent volunteers. The ratio of students to tutor would ideally be 2-1. The program has been used successfully at several other PPS schools. There is a one-time startup fee of $500 for materials. There would be a training program in the fall for the 8th graders, and a small amount of funds would pay for refreshments for the training. There are no paid instructors. There are many interested 7th graders, and Rawls is very supportive of the program (and would recommend mid-level students for tutors). We’d hope to use the library (hours would be 8-8:40am). We’d like to allocate $500 to start this program in the fall. Motion made, seconded, and approved unanimously.

-       For Pam’s retirement, the teachers are doing a spa gift certificate and the classrooms/students are doing individual gifts and contributing to the scrapbook. The PTA is using $250 from the events budget to give her a McMenamin’s gift certificate for an overnight/dinner/spa.


Letter to school board regarding space allocation issues

-       Heather Zelinsky (Site Council) has crafted the letter as a follow up with the district reps, and we’d like to have it sent to the reps by many members of the community (similar to the email flood that solved our ESL problem last year). This will go out via the Blast/Boom as well as class reps. We discussed as a group and made a few changes/suggestions.


Open PTA board positions for next year

-       All parent leadership position descriptions have been posted on the bulletin board by the front office and have been going out every week in the Blast.

-       All positions can be shared.

-       Chris Anderson will continue as president (usually a 2-year position).

-       Everyone is encouraged to come to the June board meeting (June 4th, location TBD).

-       Position descriptions are included at the end of these minutes.


Junk food and items sales

-       We’d like to encourage that food being sold at events and before/after school (school store) be healthy.

-       We’d like to encourage the selling of items at the student store that are more sustainable (fewer small plastic toys).

-       This might be a good issue for the new sustainability chair to take up with Lynne and Filip.

-       Could we encourage the student leadership to educate themselves about who makes these items and where they end up (landfill) and research better options?


Meeting adjourned at 8:25pm.





Creative Science School

PTA Board and Committee Positions




President: Becomes familiar with the PTA and how it operates. The president leads not by dictating but by working together with members, other officers and chairs, and community members to address common concerns. The president gathers agenda items for board and general PTA meetings, leads board and general PTA meetings, and meets monthly with school administration and site council facilitator. President is generally a two-year position, and previous board experience is recommended.


Vice President: The vice president, who may be called upon at any time to temporarily assume the place of the president, should make a thorough study of the president’s duties and responsibilities, and be familiar with the work of the association. The VP leads meetings in the president’s absence and attends all board and general PTA meetings. The VP position may be coupled with another board position.


Treasurer: The treasurer, as the authorized custodian of the funds of the association, receives and disburses all money as prescribed in the bylaws and standing rules and as authorized by action of the association. The treasurer tracks all PTA income and spending.


Secretary: The secretary is responsible for keeping accurate minutes of both board and general meetings and distributing them to the community. The secretary must therefore attend all board and general meetings or find a proxy to take minutes in his/her absence.


Communications Chair: Coordinates the efforts of the various internal and external communications and leads the communications committee (can be a shared position). The communications committee is responsible for sending out the weekly Blast newsletter, the weekly mid-level newsletter, the weekly principal’s update, and other urgent updates. The communications chair also oversees the school website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.


Communications Committee positions: Website, Newsletters, Mid-Level Communication, Bulletin Boards, Facebook Page, Twitter.


Fundraising Chair: Oversees and coordinates all fundraising efforts with assistance from various subcommittees and is a liaison with the school counselor and mid-level student council.


Fundraising Committee positions: Just Give, Restaurant Nights, FUNraiser, Creative Arts Run, Class Food Sales, Box Tops for Education, Garden to Table.


Music Committee Coordinator:  Coordinates in-school music enrichment while collaborating with staff.


Events Chair:  Plans year-long events calendar and coordinates efforts of subcommittees.


Events Committee positions: Back to School Picnic, Halloween Party, Craft Night, Pool Party, Staff Appreciation Week, Science Fair, Montavillage, Camp Out.


Garden Committee Chair: Oversees the activities and communications of the garden committee and is a liaison with the school garden educator.


Garden Committee positions: Classroom Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Community Care Event Coordinator, Watering Coordinator, TreeCycle, PTA Liaison.


Site Council Liaison:  The liaison shares information between the Site Council and the PTA board and relays family feedback to meetings. The position is only open to current parent members of the Site Council.


Involvement/Volunteer Coordinator:  Surveys parent community for interests/skills; facilitates training of volunteers, communicates opportunities for involvement, recruits parents volunteers, manages the Pitch In email, and recruits for admission tour guides.


Class Rep Coordinator:  Acts as liaison between PTA board and class representatives. Recruits and trains parents for class rep position and serves as a mentor to those reps. Communicates information to class reps for distribution to their classes and helps problem-solve when necessary.


All class rep positions available as solo or shared positions – one per classroom.


Hospitality Coordinator: Helps transition new families to CSS by planning welcome coffees, finding new family “buddies,” getting new families hooked into the various communication channels, and finding first grade parent volunteers to run the summer K-1 playdates.


After School Coordinator: Oversees the after school enrichment committee, which finds and trains parent volunteers, schedules classes, manages the database and finances, and manages the registration process. This can be a shared position.


After School Enrichment Committee positions: Registration, Parent Volunteer Coordinator, Database Manager, Finance Manager, Class Recruitment Coordinator.


Sustainability Coordinator: Manages school Terracyle program and is a liaison with school administration, mid-level service program, and garden committee to coordinator sustainability fundraising and opportunities.


Mid-Level At-Large:  A current mid-level parent who stays connected to the specific needs of mid-level, acts as communication liaison, and fosters parent involvement from mid-level families.


Kindergarten At-Large:  Current Kindergarten parent stays connected to the specific needs of Kindergarten, acts as communication liaison, and fosters parent involvement from Kindergarten.