October 2019 Meeting Minutes

DATE:  Monday, October 21, 2019
PLACE:  Syphax Room #256
TIME:  7:00 – 9:00 PM

ACTION ITEMS:
– Email us at arlingtonccptageneral@gmail.com  to tell us which vendor(s) your school is using for after school enrichment; APS is collecting this information to ensure compliance with the new non-parent volunteer procedures
– Please ask your PTA to share its 2018-2019 final budget and 2019-2020 approved budget with our CPCI Committee
– Please share your PTA’s feedback on Equity Policy directly with APS and copy CCPTA on that feedback so we can amplify your school community’s feedback

Mark your calendars:

  • Elementary School P/T conferences will be held October 24th and 25th
  • Middle School P/T conferences will be held October 25th
  • Middle School Information Night coming up on October 28th, 7 pm at Washington-Liberty HS
  • High School Information Night coming up on November 4th, 7 pm at Washington-Liberty HS
  • October 30th Fall Ambassador Meeting to discuss upcoming ES boundary process, PTA presidents also invited to attend
  • October 26th is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, 10 am-2 pm at Fire Stations 1, 2, and 9
  • VA PTA dues on November 1st
  • Daylight Savings Time, November 3rd
  • End of 1st grading period is November 4th
  • No school on November 5th or 11th
  • MS and HS report cards issued on November 15th
  • ES report cards issued on November 22nd
  • Fall CPCI applications due November 18th
  • Thanksgiving Break November 27th-29th

7:00 PM:  Open Meeting

  • Welcome and introductions
    • Due to a closed School Board session occurring this evening, regarding the Superintendent search, Ms Johnson and Ms. Van Doren are not yet here; we will begin our meeting with CCPTA business; Ms. Johnson and Ms. Van Doren will join us later in the meeting
    • We will begin with a presentation from Marty Swaim about the Challenging Racism program and our options for an educational program for CCPTA representatives
  • Challenging Racism presentation, Marty Swaim
    • Marty Swaim: I am retired APS teacher; I taught at TJMS and Wakefield, when we started having these conversations
    • Challenging Racism has been holding conversations for members of the Arlington, Virginia community since 2004. Initially funded by APS to help close the Achievement Gap, Challenging Racism: Learning How was developed for parents as a parallel program to the cultural competency training for faculty and staff
    • Challenging Racism has grown and evolved from a workshop for parents, to providing information to school and work groups, community organizations, and others whose members can benefit from a deeper and broader understanding of racism and its effect on our society
    • Through reading, stories, activities and conversations, participants learn to work effectively in cross-cultural situations. We encourage a basic understanding of racism, white privilege, the roots of racism and its more recent modern manifestations in our society. The skills developed here can be applied by anyone to many different topics and situations
    • For CCPTA, we can hold a 2.5 hour session, either the “Getting Started” session or “Microaggressions” led by two trained facilitators
      • What we do in “Getting Started”
        • Introduction to racial literacy, individual vs. systemic racism, impacts of redlining to understand segregation, educational achievement gaps, and white wealth
        • Session will support you in building a consensus and shared urgency to talk about race in the PTA and in the community, in order to build change
        • Session introduces definitions for a common vocabulary and guidelines for understanding and creating a safe space for conversations
        • During session, we will break into small groups and have conversations around the course materials
      • The other option is we could do the 2.5 hour session on “Microaggressions.” I’d recommend the “Getting Started” session first, though the “Microaggressions” conversation is also very important.
      • Questions and answers:
        • Q: Who’s the audience? A: You, the CCPTA, are for this 2.5 hour session. But the 11-week courses are for any interested parents, educators, community members
        • Q: How are people finding out about the courses you offer? A: Communities hosting the current courses are publicizing on their webpages, through School Talk, on their PTA Facebook pages
        • Q: Can you explain more about the microaggressions course, if we’d want to do that one? A: Researched content is presented about microaggressions and then conversations follow
        • Q: Has anyone thought to make this course mandatory for all APS educators? A: That is our long-term goal, that all educators have this training.
        • Q: Can a PTA pay for this training? A: Yes, that’s an appropriate use of funds. It would fall under “community-building.” Grants may also be available to help individual schools and/or PTAs afford the training
          • Maura: to clarify, we are paying for this single 2.5 hour session, because we can’t afford to pay for the 11-week course to get all our members trained as facilitators.
        • Q: What is the cost, and how many individuals are allowed in the session? A: It’s $1,000 for around 25-30 people, materials included.
        • Comment: In terms of deciding between the two sessions, seems like the microaggressions topic would be easier to disseminate to our PTAs and might also be more useful in our daily lives.
        • Q: I ask that we tread lightly in anything that could be seen as political? A: Our 501C3 status is as an educational, not a political, organization.
        • Q: Can you do an essential “Getting Started” recap if we choose the “Microaggressions” session? A: Yes, we can tailor it to include the building blocks before moving onto the topic of microaggressions, because it’s foundational.
      • Handout distributed for November event for Challenging Racism [flyer attached]
  • Cintia Johnson – Acting Superintendent (presentation attached)
    • Follow up to questions from the September meeting were sent to the CCPTA; my responses to questions from last month will be sent out with this month’s meeting minutes (see separate attachment).
    • October is National Bullying Prevention Month; students are receiving lessons around being the “I” in KIND
    • Campbell Elementary was one of five schools to receive the EL educational credential for excellence in character and scholarship
    • Shared reminders about upcoming events and important dates
    • 2019-2020 Student Enrollment update:
      • 28,000 students Pre-K-12
      • 584 more than last year’s enrollment, but below projections
    • SRO MOU Update
      • Reviewed September 2019
      • No changes recommended
    • 2019-2020 School Board Action Plan update
      • Chief Diversity Officer
        • Job description developed and shared in September
        • Position posted 10/7, closes 10/31
        • Hope to hire individual by December
    • 42 in 42 Campaign Ongoing (visiting all 42 schools and programs in my first 42 days), #APS42in42
    • Invite all CCPTA reps to help their students identify one trusted adult in their school building
    • Questions and Answers:
      • Q: Sources of Strength, is this happening at HB and the Career Center or only the comprehensive HS? A: It is my understanding that this is happening for all HS students.
      • Q: Which stakeholder groups were consulted about the Chief Diversity Officer position description? Who is on the hiring committee? It’s my understanding that neither ACI, AESAC, nor SEPTA were contacted. A: It’s my understanding that outreach is ongoing and we do want everybody to see this information and share feedback as appropriate.
      • Q: In light of bullying prevention month, does APS have clear guidelines on bullying that are implemented across all schools, or is it left to school administrators to implements as they see fit? A: APS has clear guidelines. We have a PIP and there are steps that we expect to be followed when the statewide definition of bullying is met.
      • Q: Regarding the MOU, has there been feedback from students about things they might not understand or that might not be clear? A: What I can share is that the various stakeholders were consulted; embedded in this MOU was a Canvas Course entitled “Know Your Rights” for all HS students.
      • Q: Did the MOU review include a review of how it was being implemented at each school? A: We have and may need to make adjustments when/if particular incidents are brought to our attention.
      • Q: What is a Partnership Coordinator (position listed on your slide)? A: That position hasn’t been defined yet; we’re working through what we want that position to be.
      • Q: It’s come to my attention that students are being asked questions or interrogated without a parent or attorney present. What can be done about that? A: Dr. Jeanette Allen is the person to follow up with on any situations where the proper procedure is not followed. There are protocols and that should not be happening.
  • Gladis Bourdouane, update on the 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process: https://www.apsva.us/engage/planning-for-2020-elementary-school-boundary-process/
    • Boundary Process Objectives Fall 2020
      • Attendance zone for new Reed ES and adjusted neighborhood attendance zone for ASFS
      • Address projected overcapacity at neighborhood schools
      • Maximize school building capacity to accommodate growing need for ES seats
      • Make efficient use of existing facilities and resources in meeting enrollment
    • Pre-Planning Phase to take place November 2019-May 2020
      • First planning phase to address challenges and opportunities in working towards objectives (Nov 2019-Jan 2020)
      • Second Phase is to examine data at the Planning Unit level before developing boundary scenarios (March-May 2020)
    • Community Engagement:
      • Information will be shared with APS advisory committees and councils, CCPTA, APS Ambassadors, CivFed, Comite Hispanico, Black Parents of Arlington
      • Meetings will be held in locations convenient to involved schools
      • Information will be presented in several languages
      • Key Dates:
        • 10/30: Fall Ambassadors Meeting
        • First week of November: Initial Info on Engage webpage will be updated
        • November 5th: Online Community Information Sessions and Questionnaire
    • Questions and Answers:
      • Q: Has this been changed from countywide to just specific schools? A: Will still be a countywide process, but those specific schools are the primary impetus behind the boundary process
      • Q: What is the solution for kids who have no neighborhood school other than ASFS? A: We have big challenges if we don’t open the conversation to other solutions than the ones we have proposed in the past.
      • Q: What happened to the IPP? Where is it in this process? A: The IPP is guiding our work, as is the Strategic Plan and the VA Profiles of a Graduate. We will discuss this in more detail at the meeting on 10/30.
      • Nancy Van Doren – School Board member
        • Recently attended a restorative practice program, which aims to help students acquire the behaviors that will help them avoid interactions with police and the criminal justice system
        • One of the School Board’s legislative priorities this year is to ask State Legislature to decriminalize disorderly conduct behavior charge among students on school grounds

Business items and updates:

  • Approval of September meeting minutes: motion from floor, seconded, and approved unanimously
  • Treasurer’s report – Kendra Anderson
    • A little money went back into the CPCI fund because the actual cost of one of the projects we awarded came in lower than budgeted for
    • We’re still working on getting the audit completed; we had a technical problem that has caused a delay
    • Please note: first deadline for VA PTA dues is November 1st, additional deadlines are March 1st and June 30th
    • CCPTA dues are due December 1st
  • Safety Committee report – Tara Teaford
    • We will be adding APS Facilities to the conversation regarding ways to better coordinate safety in our schools
    • Anonymous reporting will be a topic of discussion this year
    • We want to explore options other than lock-down drills for encouraging preparedness in school shooter emergencies
    • Still accepting members to the Committee, please reach out if any member of your school community wants to join
  • Career Center BLPC update – David Priddy
    • A tour of the current facilities was offered to members of the BLPC
    • Students enrolled in current programs spoke about their programs
    • They presented some structural challenges posed by the current main building
    • Transportation was a focus of discussion; it was noted that the transportation study that was completed last spring was not conducted under current conditions (MPSA hadn’t opened, Arl Tech had not expanded to current number of students, etc.)
  • Partnerships Work Group
    • Will be meeting this Thursday, October 24th 7pm, we’ll update you on our discussions at the November meeting
  • Reflections – April Maddox
    • Need entries from all levels (ES, MS, HS)
    • School level winners should be decided by late October to give enough time for County level to be judged
    • County level decision will be made on November 14th
    • County Awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, January 21st
    • Questions and answers:
      • Q: Have you considered changing the deadline so it’s not so soon after the school year starts? A: You can advertise the contest as soon as the theme is announced, which is usually some time the prior spring. Can’t really change it because it’s a National PTA contest and our timeline needs to align with their deadlines.
  • CPCI update – Emily Vincent
    • Please ask your PTAs to share their 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 budgets with us so we can learn about how PTAs support our schools and how we can better support each other
    • Applications for grants can be accessed at our website here: https://ccpta.apsva.us/cpci/
    • Fall application deadline is coming up on November 18th
  • SEPTA update –Janna Dressel
    • Received 34 applications for SEPTA mini-grants (SEPTA has a $10,000 budget)
    • Phantom Ball fundraiser coming up soon, details can be found here: https://www.arlingtonsepta.org/phantom-ball/
    • Q: Where do you get most of your funding? A: Our online auction, the Phantom Ball fundraiser, and various restaurant night fundraisers

CLOSED DISCUSSION

  • Challenging Racism
    • Discussed the presentation and questions/concerns
    • Motion from the floor to engage Challenging Racism to present a program to the CCPTA
      • Motion seconded
      • Motion approved (one abstain)
    • Took vote on which topic we’d like Challenging Racism to present
      • 12 votes for “Getting Started”
      • 7 votes for “Microaggressions”
      • 1 voter abstained
    • Discussed timing for the presentation
      • A presentation outside of our regularly scheduled meeting was preferred by the majority
      • An alternate Monday is preferred
      • Stay tuned for potential dates
  • Policy update – Don Weinstein/Claire Noakes
    • Update to policy A-6.30 regarding the development and assessment of the Strategic Plan
      • Attempting to align APS Strategic Plan with state level policy
      • Update deletes all our own existing language and instead reads that we will follow all state and federal laws
      • From our perspective, this update lacks transparency and a clear route for accountability
      • We raised our concerns to APS and will convey their response
    • Equity Policy
      • We identified some functional issues with the draft
      • Ambiguous language
      • We’ve shared copies of the draft policy with you for feedback
      • Please share with your communities and send APS your feedback
        • Please CC us on your PTA’s feedback to APS so that we may amplify your questions and concerns
    • Questions/comments:
      • Q: Where is equity defined?
      • Comment: Policy vs. PIP; the policy should be broad and nonspecific; the PIP is where it should be specific with how it will be implemented
      • Comment: Concerned with the timing; there isn’t a lot of time to weigh in and share feedback with a policy that is so important and touches so much. More community members, especially those who are typically underrepresented, should be brought into the process, and it should take months, not weeks, to develop a meaningful policy.
  • Chief Diversity Officer position – Emily Vincent

Announcements/Upcoming Events

  • Civic Federation
    • Encourages you, your friends, neighbors, fellow parents to join and become Civ Fed delegates
  • ACI (handout attached)
    • Still needs representatives from all schools
    • MS and HS can send two reps from each school
  • Christa Mansur, Taylor PTA Pres
    • Started a Recycling Program at Taylor
    • Would like to encourage other PTAs to begin their own programs
    • We want to share more about what we’re doing at Taylor, teach about the 4Rs, give tips on waste management, etc.
    • Will host a meeting on November 13th at Central Library from 7-8:30 pm [flyer attached]

Next CCPTA meeting: Monday, November 18th 7 – 9 pm