December 2018 Meeting Minutes

DATE:  Monday, December 17, 2018

PLACE:  Syphax Room #256

TIME:  7:00 – 9:00 PM  


Action Items- please share the following with your PTAs:

  1. Anyone interested in joining the newly formed Safety Committee should contact Tara Teaford at
  2. Question from the floor- how are PTA’s handling the new opt-in process for directories? Please send responses to Heather Carkuff Joson at
  3. Please bring concerns or questions about the user agreements and financial responsibilities concerning iPads and devices to our January meeting.
  4. Given the impacts APS boundary processes have had on not just school communities, but between and within neighborhoods, CCPTA would like to present a unified voice in sharing feedback and recommendations to the School Board before the next boundary process begins. We are asking PTA’s to forward their members’ thoughts, concerns, and suggestions regarding APS’ boundary PROCESS (ie, methodology, approach, factors used in decisions, means for community input, etc.)  to be formulated into structured feedback and possible recommendations for the Board’s consideration.  Please email Emily Vincent at before the January 28th meeting.  CCPTA reps may also bring their community’s comments to the January 28th


  • Welcome
  • Attendance- Nottingham, Ashlawn, Hoffman-Boston, Tuckahoe, Yorktown, Arlington Montessori, Stratford, Kenmore, Jamestown, SEPTA, Wakefield, Jamestown, Key, H-B Woodlawn, Jefferson, Career Center, Taylor, Williamsburg, Washington-Lee, Drew, Patrick Henry, Discovery, Jefferson, Randolph
  • School Board update – Barbara Kanninen (7:10-7:20)
    • Boundaries done on Dec 6
      • Start of year short we were short 1000 elementary seats
      • We were also behind in middle school and high school
      • Although APS has been growing for the past 10 years the rate of growth is slowing down
      • The opening of Fleet Elementary next year will add 750 seats
      • Hopefully with the opening of more schools in the next few year we will get a handle of elementary growth by 2021
      • The next challenge will be middle and high as the current elementary school students move up.
    • Naming process- opening new middle fall 2019 and the current program moves need names
      • School board names new schools- vote on Thursday (12/20) for new middle, new name for W&L, Montessori etc.
    • Academic things- academic performance update, identified gaps, especially ESOL-HILT and African American students need more support
      • Prek-12 instructional pathways- what do we want to offer, neighborhood options, etc.
    • Class size report was just released- about us under statistics
      • At or below threshold for classroom size= doing really well across Arlington in regard to class size
      • $10 million in growth cost for new schools and $10 million in one time cost due to new schools
    • Into budget season- facing $43 million deficit based on what the County will provide to us
    • Asking CCPTA to consider a letter to the County Board in support of tax increase or support for more money raising activities.
  • Superintendent’s update (7:20 -7:30) Superintendent’s December 2018 Presentation
    • Kindergarten info night- Jan 28, 2019 (usually about 2000 people)
      • Recommendation from floor to have multiple kindergarten info sessions in order to increase access by more families
    • Sound of the Season- 30+ performances in Dec, APS Senior center Cards
    • Winter Weather Reminders- APS School Talk, 2 phase announcement procedure, push out message by 6pm, then by 6am update
      • Early dismissals- decisions made by 11 am. However, the tendency is to leave students in school to ensure roads are treated etc
    • 2018-19 School Board Action Plan plan
    • 2018 fall ten year enrollment projections – Jan 24 monitoring report at school board
    • Student device usage and fees for lost or damaged devices (See Handout)
  • Other liaison reports/updates (7:30 – 7:40)
    • ACI – Meredith Purple, Gabriella Uro, Dana Milburn
      • For ACI–At our January 9 meeting, we will spend some time hearing from school reps on the instructional issues of interest to their school communities.  CCPTA Reps–Please remind your PTA presidents and ACI reps to set aside some time to discuss these topics with the community and PTA
    • BAC – Cecilia Ciepiela-Kaelin- no report
    • FAC – Laura Saul Edwards
      • Met last week at Gunston. A number of capital project are happening. There is ongoing planning for the repurposing of Ed Center.  They are trying to reconfigure space for 600 people.  Biggest issue is that the Ed Center is classified as a historic building. Trying for a enclosed walkway between ed center and W&L
      • Most of meeting on long range planning- amazon, projections etc came up a lot – how many students will amazon bring to us?

 CCPTA Business

  • CSQ box reminder/General questions from the floor
    • How are ptas handling the opt-out directory process? Ask your PTA’s and email
  • MOU reminder letter – Memorandum of Understanding between APS and ACPD. CCPTA has been asked to send out a letter to all the principals reminding them of the new MOU to help ensure it is followed.  CCPTA leadership has already spoken with Dr. Murphy regarding consistent implementation across schools.  CCPTA will also raise question regarding APS’ plan for ensuring students are aware of their rights and how they are implementing that plan.
  • VP and Committee reports
    • Treasurer’s report – Kendra Anderson (7:40-7:45)
      • October we added $4.53 from Amazon Smile and Nov none, Dec- CPCI monies came in. And all but 8 schools have paid dues.
      • Summer activities fair- wants an extra $750. We had cut the budget because they weren’t using it.  Kendra recommends giving them the extra money and we have the money.   Motion approved.
    • Reflections – April Maddox forwarded report:
      • Winners have been announced. Dues need to be paid to state on behalf of schools or students will be disqualified.  We need a new chair for next year. PTA is required to put on the program, so CCPTA really needs someone to volunteer to chair the program next year.
    • CPCI – Emily Vincent
      • 9 applications, 5 were funded, and of those not funded one was asked for additional information and to resubmit in spring.  Applicants who were not awarded grants have been notified with an explanation as to why request was not granted.  Over 10k funds remain for the spring funding round.
      • Deadline for spring is March 25
    • District advocacy – Mahender Dudani – representing us at VA PTA and district advocacy. – Motion for Mahender to be the delegate
    • SEPTA – Janna Dressel
      • online auction very successful. Raised $14k
      • Jan 9 – Ann Dolin will present “Learn More in Less Time”. This is a joint presentation with the     Open to all parents.
      • Special Ed summer fair- Jan 27 Walter Reed center 3-5pm
    • Safety Committee – Tara Teaford forwarded report:
      • After the CCPTA approved the creation of our Safety committee, I posted it to Arlington Education Matters and received a couple of interested emails. How else can we / will we share the information with the school system and individual PTAs that the committee exists and is soliciting interest and volunteers?
      • Once established, we will coordinate with the APS administration, including and especially the Emergency Manager, to address our priorities in the new year.
  • PTA partnerships and Collaboration
    • Recent elementary school boundary changes have presented natural opportunities for some inter-school initiatives. A large portion of the Oakridge community will be districted to Hoffman-Boston next year.  Oakridge and Hoffman Boston have already scheduled a joint social event as a fundraiser and membership drive for the Hoffman Boston PTA in January.  It is hoped that the relationship will continue.
    • Similar to Oakridge and Hoffman-Boston, a large portion of Henry families have been redistricted to Drew, presenting possible opportunity for collaboration and partnerships to help families transition and to build new community at Drew.
    • Partnerships are a way to help address inequities across the system. Disparities in financial resources directly impact a variety of opportunities through enrichment programs, professional development, teacher and staff appreciation, field trips, classroom materials, etc.
    • There are also disparities in non-financial resources that impact student opportunities, learning, and success – a prime example being lack of experienced parent leadership for newly-formed PTAs. More experienced PTAs could assist new ones and any PTA could benefit from the experiences of others
    • How do we pair people/schools up? How do we identify and then meet the needs?
    • Please bring thoughts, ideas, examples on how to create partnerships between schools to January 28th meeting
    • Identify what PTAs are doing at their schools – and what some of the needs are at PTAs (especially the new ones)

 Discussion topics

  • School boundary processes
    • Current process seems to be pitting neighbors against neighbors
    • Please talk to your pta about boundary process, what works and what doesn’t. suggestions about the process etc.  Emily Vincent
  • Digital device user agreements and student financial responsibility
    • Most kids take care of their devices but at the end of the last year many turned up missing
    • From YHS PTA- , to be shared as part of the digital device/financial responsibilities conversation–at the Dec 10 YHS PTA meeting, we had a short discussion about that policy, and members provided the following informal feedback (not a vote)–The policy should be clearer about how and who makes decisions regarding whether a repair is regular wear and tear or warrants a charge.  There should also be clarity around how that is communicated to parents and whether there is any sort of appeal process.   Parents also want more detail and clarity around how to refuse APS devices for their students and think there should be a clearly-communicated APS policy on how to opt-out.  Concerns about user agreements and student financial responsibility

** As a reminder the CCPTA cautions about speaking to the press on any topics.  If you choose to speak to the press please do so as an individual parent and not on behalf of the PTA or the CCPTA.  

On the horizon:
Registration for Challenging Racism class at Claremont and Jamestown
Reflections Awards Ceremony January 23rd
CCPTA meeting January 28th
Kindergarten Information Night January 28th
Summer Activities Fair February 8th