September 2019 Meeting Minutes

DATE:  Monday, September 23, 2019
PLACE:  Syphax Room #256
TIME:  7:00 – 9:00 PM

MEETING MINUTES: 

ACTION ITEMS:

  1. Mark your calendar:
    1. Custodial Workers’ Appreciation Day: 10/2/19
    2. CCPTA Meeting: Monday, 10/21 – same time, same place
    3. SB Work Session – Arlington Facilities and Student Accommodation Plan (AFSAP): tomorrow, Tuesday 9/24, 7:00 pm
    4. Safety Forum: Tuesday, 10/15, 7-9 pm TJMS auditorium
      1. Please appoint a member from your PTA to the safety committee. Contact Tara Teaford, tara.gvp.teaford@gmail.com with the representative’s contact information.
    5. SEPTA ice cream social and first meeting: September 28, 2-4 pm, Walter Reed Community Center and on October 10, 7:00 pm, at Syphax. At that meeting, APS will talk about the new roll-out of the student support process.
    6. Reflections Program: theme is “Look Within,” and submissions are due October 28.
  1. Pre-Business Matters:
    1. Welcome & Introductions (7:02 p.m.)
    2. Introductions of CCPTA officers, representatives, & attendees
    3. PTA membership awards by President (7:08)
      1. Glebe ES PTA—Superior Membership Recruitment during 2018-19 school year
      2. SEPTA—Outstanding Membership Recruitment during 2018-19 school year
    4. School Board liaison – Tannia Talento (8:55) (see attached handout **PENDING**)
      1. APS published a RFP mid-August for hiring a national search firm for Superintendent position. New submissions under RFP are due Oct. 11.
      2. Chief Diversity Officer posting will be made soon.
      3. Community engagement regarding boundaries will occur; APS will roll-out shortly, and will ask CCPTA to help spread the message.
      4. Instructional Pathways Program (“IPP”)—will help inform the Capital Improvement Plan (“CIP”) process. Community engagement discussion on boundaries will inform our CIP; all of these processes are inter-related, and affect our 10-year timeframe and operational budget.
      5. APS also working on developing policies where the policies do not currently exist. There are a total of 65 policies that the School Board (“SB”) will update this year.  In addition, the SB shared a policy calendar during the 8/22 SB meeting.  This information is also included on the APS “Engage” page.
      6. A representative asked a question about sites for schools and location changes and asked—aren’t these decisions driving the boundary decisions? Ms. Talento said that there are a lot of factors driving changes, including the location of option programs.  IPP was done to aid us with information as we grow, and to determine what programs the community desires.  This is an APS staff document, not a Board document.
    5. County Board liaison – Libby Garvey (7:10)
      1. Welcomed Cintia Johnson; thanked representative PTAs for transitioning into the new school year. Shared that the County Board is working on establishing a cooperative relationship with the SB and County Board (“CB”).  Recently, there was also a joint meeting between SB, CB, and SROs.
      2. CB recently enacted an equity resolution.
      3. Shared that the budgeting process will be hopefully, less complicated this year. However, there are a lot of expenses, surrounding the clean-up stemming from the rain on July 8.
    6. Interim Superintendent – Cintia Johnson (7:12) (see handout)
      1. Background on Ms. Johnson–Cintia Johnson has served with APS for over 30 years; started as a classroom teacher, then moved to administration for 18 years before stepping into Asst. Superintendent role. When Dr. Murphy made the decision to retire, was asked to serve as interim superintendent and is grateful for the role.
      2. She is in the midst of visiting staff at every location—“One thing leads to another”—it’s a building upon of the previous support and leadership, which includes, attaining 5 years straight of accreditation and sharing the 2018-19 multiple pathways to success—including a 95% graduation rate, 94% of English learners who attain proficiency passed their Reading SOLs. Message also includes: a sharing of our beliefs (respect your expertise; support you in carrying the work forward; helping you to be at your best; taking care of yourself and others); elevating our priorities—eliminating the opportunity gap, an improvement in mental health measures and access to mental health resources; and having all students to be able to identify at least one school-based adult who supports and encourages their academic and personal growth (this is the “one thing challenge”—asking each staff member per school to do one thing to help achieve this).
      3. Annual online verification process (“AVOP”) completion rate is 54%.
      4. Transportation services—200 buses/154 routes/@18,000 students eligible. Concerns—contact Transportation Call Center @703.228.8670 or transportation@apsva.us
      5. The month is National Suicide Prevention Month
      6. 42 in 42 campaign: trying to meet with staff at every location in 42 days
      7. Staff vacancy updates: Asst. Superintendent for the Department of Teaching and Learning—interviews will be held tomorrow, 9/24/19; Chief Diversity Officer position description will be posted soon and advertised during October with the hope that someone will be hired before the end of the year.
      8. Q & A:
        1. Rollout of new schools? 5 schools opened or renovated; Dorothy-Hamm M.S will continue to have construction for its new addition.   Timeline for completion of renovation?  CCPTA will follow up with that issue.
        2. Annual Verification Online Process (“AVOP”)? Representative requested roll-out of information with CCPTA and identification of programs still need assistance with process.  Johnson stated that current data suggests that APS is further along with completion rates than they have been without AVOP.  There was a suggestion to make AVOP available via an app.—Ms. Johnson will follow-up.  There are kiosks available for parents—but how do we ensure that schools who need it, get it?  Ms. Johnson will work through Darryl Johnson as a point of contact, and will loop back with CCPTA.
        3. Staff vacancies for positions at schools and how to fill vacancies where vacancies occur at mid-year? Johnson will follow-up and report back.
        4. Director of Special Education vacancy? Two individuals serving in that capacity until we work through the needs within the department.
        5. Question regarding how PTAs can pay for websites and apps? Representative indicated that has a pending question into the Superintendent’s office. Johnson will follow-up.
        6. Representative asked about resources APS is committing to in order to ensure that disadvantaged families have access to online resources. An example of this is the website registration for a college information fair.  Johnson will follow-up.
  1. CCPTA Business (7:45)
    1. What is CCPTA: we have re-written our objective and mission; have outlined our initiatives.
    2. Relationship between CCPTA and APS: stresses our non-profit and independent, but collaborative relationship with the schools.
    3. Relationship between PTA and school/APS: Independent, but collaborative relationship with schools.  Independence is what enables our PTAs to be a productive resource for our schools. (Handouts – Legal Control of Funds, Dos and Don’ts of Partnering with Administrators, Is Your PTA an ATM for Your School?)
    4. Role of CCPTA representatives: bring notes from meeting back to the PTA and solicit any questions you may have to share with the CCPTA group.
    5. Focus points for the year: be a better resources for our PTAs; increase our advocacy efforts and voice; expand our initiatives; sponsor the summer activities fair; sponsorship of programs such as Challenging Racism; work with APS to continue to develop appropriate use of PTA funds; continue to monitor schools at the CB level.  There is a new general contact e-mail—arlingtonccptageneral@gmail.com.  Please direct all questions to this e-mail.
    6. Approval of May meeting minutes—motion made from the floor; voice vote taken; approved.
    7. Approval of CCPTA 2019-2020 budget: there are two columns—money spent in the previous year and in the second column, what we’re proposing to spend (see attached handout).  Motion to approve the budget made and seconded; voice vote taken; approved.
    8. Reflections Chair—this year’s theme is “Look Within.” Thursday, November 14 is the deadline for the County deadline; individual deadlines should be set before that.  January 22, 2020 will be the  awards ceremony.  We will need volunteers for this event.
    9. Don Weinstein—if anyone would like to assist in a review of APS policies that will ultimately be up for a School Board vote, let Maura know.
    10. Census 2020—a representative greeted most of you as you came in; encourage partnerships with Census 2020 and PTAs.
    11. Follow-up boundary process feedback: meeting with Lisa Stengle and Kathy Mimberg—discussion of how to approach the upcoming boundaries.  Timeline is a three step process—1) determine program locations (done in Dec. or Jan. of this year); 2) submit planning unit data to collect community input; and 3) boundary process in Fall 2020 for Fall 2021.  They do not know the boundary process framework, but we are hopeful they will follow some of our recommendations.  Please be engaged—they want to hear from everyone at each school.
      1. Have they changed the policy for establishing boundaries? It’s not so much about the policy, but the framework.
      2. Regarding changing locations and the IPP process—do we know if this process is continuing and whether they are finishing? There was a recent school board meeting where the IPP process and summary was shared.  School Board noted that changing programs or locations would require a school board vote.  Representative shared that School Board noted it is a monitoring item for them.
      3. PIP question—policy review is fluid, but APS is guiding the process for updates because there are so many policies to be updated.
    12. Career Center Building Level Planning Committee update – Katherine Novello—have held one meeting; at that meeting, discussed that there are 600 new high school seats coming on-line and that 800 additional seats “TBD.” The 800 are in addition to the ones sitting at the old Ed. Center.  We were told to envision various possibilities depending on how programs are put together.
      1. Have they told you the amount to be spent? We haven’t received direction on that front.  They gave us a general number that was approved, and said, if you could come in less than that, great.
      2. APS has said that instruction will inform construction. From recent meetings, we understand from APS that the urgency is at the elementary level.  But, high school seats are important—please keep your eye on this issue.
    13. Safety Committee – Tara Teaford—shared a one pager and flyer regarding the Safety Committee, including the mission and approach of the committee.  There will be Safety Forum to be held on Tuesday, 10/15 in the TJ Middle School Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.  We’re also promoting the “be smart” program which promotes responsible gun storage.  Ultimately, would like a school liaison at every school.  We are in the midst of preparing a baseline of safety policies and procedures at each school to be disseminated this year.  The Commonwealth requires the completion of a triennial safety audit between the parent representative, APS, and the school principal.  If you’d like to serve as the representative or learn more about the survey, contact Tara.
      1. Have you contacted the AEA to get teacher representatives? No, but will reach out.
      2. Is this committee the same that will look at the SRO MOU? Yes, we work closely with the SRO unit.  At the high school level, it’s important to highlight the rights of students and interactions with SROs.  Representative shared that at Wakefield, there is a class for “Know Your Rights.”  Tara stated that a representative from the Commonwealth Attorney’s office in Arlington will be available to answer questions at the forum.
      3. Regarding the new check-in procedures at schools and documentation requires, as well as how it is shared, we’ll follow-up, and will report back.
    14. Partnerships Working Group—we’ve had one meeting and will hold another in the next month. If anyone is interested in serving, let us know.
    15. CPCI Committee – Emily Vincent—created in 2015 in order to provide funding where county and APS cannot provide funds. Funding across schools and PTAs creates inequities; this committee helps ensure equity.  Guidelines and application forms are available on the CCPTA website (https://ccpta.apsva.us/).
    16. SEPTA update—this Saturday, September 28, we will hold an open house from 2-4 p.m. to be held at the Walter Reed Community Center. October 10 is our first formal meeting, at 7:00 p.m.  APS will talk about the new roll-out of the student support process.  SEPTA also offers mini-grants—see their website (https://www.arlingtonsepta.org/).
  1. Discussion topics and Issues (8:45)
    1. Challenging Racism—we have an opportunity to hear a presentation from the group, Challenging Racism, in the upcoming months. Potential topics include:   “Getting Started” – talks about historical racism, including systemic racism that we still deal with today (redlining, federal and local policies, etc.)  This puts the conversation about racism in context for today and is what they recommend starting with; Racial Micro-aggressions; and Conversations on Race – includes a part on talking about race with children.
      1. Group supported this presentation.  SB Chair Talento shared about how Challenging Racism has been funded by the SB for two schools—there is a funding threshold that requires a RFP if the contract meets a certain amount—so thus far, it’s been limited to a small number of schools per year.  If your PTA funds it, the state restrictions for RFP do not apply.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.