MINUTES OF THE MCCPTA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
Thursday, May 4, 2006 at the Carver Educational Services Center
Officers: Cindy Kerr, April Keyes, Juan Johnson, Liz Wheeler, Sharon St. Pierre, Ted Willard,
Area Vice Presidents and Cluster Coordinators: Phil Kaufman, Jane deWinter, Steve Crowley, Pam Moomau, Lori Merrill, Suzanne Weiss, Kristin Trible, Linda Kuserk, Ellen Paul, Alies Muskin
Committee Chairs: Kay Romero, Anne Turner, Patti Twigg, Vicki Rafel, Meredith Walters, Neal Meyerson, Marney Jacobs, Jim Keenan
Call to Order: MCCPTA President Cindy Kerr called the meeting to order at 7:40 PM.
Agenda: No new business was added to the agenda.
Meeting Minutes: The April 6, 2006 Board of Directors meeting minutes were distributed. Corrections made were: Treasurer’s report should read “…with about $5,000 tied up in CDs”; Vice President – Educational Issues – correct spelling is Dr. Robert Bastress; and Training Committee report’s first motion should read, “…to attend spring training, June 7, on a trial basis.” The minutes stand approved as amended. Use of names in minutes was discussed.
The treasurer distributed the profit and loss budget vs. actual report for July 1, 2005 through May 4, 2006, the treasurer’s report April 26, 2006 through May 4, 2006 and the balance sheet as of May 4, 2006. There was a change made to the 2004 audit and an entry was adjusted. One letter needs to be written for the audit to be finished. Money (about $3,000) coming in for the presidents and principals dinner goes back out again. One issue for next spring is that the insurance company almost annually adjusts our premium, so it ends up higher for the fall. This year it resulted in a $4,000 bill. We’ll have to add this to next year’s assessment. We may switch insurance companies and go to a quarterly billing if we’re under MD PTA’s insurance company. We could still forward fund. Montgomery is one of four councils that can afford to do this. MD PTA may change their effective date, too, so we’d need to align with that date. Their insurance coverage cost ($128) is less than ours. The treasurer’s report will be filed for audit.
The President went to Parkland Middle School when President Bush visited. She also attended the NAACP Freedom dinner. In her MD PTA role she attended the Baltimore County Council meeting to observe their election, and the Baltimore City Council to visit and learn about Baltimore City closing six schools. At her last meeting with Dr. Weast, she’ll review resolutions from this year.
Corresponding Secretary: The Corresponding Secretary attended the reception for the Ruth Rales Reading Program.
Vice President – Educational Issues:
The VP for Educational Issues reported that she attended a High School Assessment (HSA) communications work group. MCPS is trying to get the word out to parents, students and middle and high school teachers that the HSAs will count for the class of 2009 and beyond. Discussion on HSAs included: the issue of transcripts indicating pass/fail or percentiles for classes through 2008 even though the HSA is not required; making sure that class of 2009 and beyond only shows pass or fail; and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and MD PTA putting together a focus group on HSAs for parents. MSDE is waiting on a letter of approval from the federal Department of Education to use Advanced Placement (AP) scores of 3, 4, or 5 as a substitute for the HSA in specific subject areas (e.g. biology, government). They’re also working on IB, special education needs and four alternative testing options. MSDE is aware of the perception surrounding a certificate of attendance versus a diploma. Preliminary scores indicate high pass rates, perhaps because of the MSA. Turn around time for AP and IB scores for graduation isn’t an issue now since the classes indicated are usually taken as freshmen or sophomores. Since HSA and AP tests are given in May, if only the AP is taken without a sufficient score then the HSA must be taken. Montgomery County asked for the exception to record a 3, 4 or 5 as a pass for the HSA.
Planning for the presidents and principals dinner continues: Chip Franklin from WBAL will emcee; a jazz group and the E. Brooke Lee Comedy Club will perform; Corrine Pat, MD PTA Vice President for Legislation, will join us for the installation of officers; and booklets made from the Champions Children PTA program entries will be distributed. It was suggested that we invite Kimberly Oliver, National Teacher of the Year, as our guest, introduce her, and send her a letter of congratulations from MCCPTA.
Suzanne Weiss made a motion to send a letter of congratulations to Kimberly Oliver inviting her to be our guest at the presidents and principals dinner. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
Discussion included not extending the invitation to speak to Ms. Oliver and the status of Broad Acres PTA.
Ted Willard made a motion that we send letters of congratulations to the winners of the Montgomery County Teacher
of the year and the Agnes Meyer award winners. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
The partners for education award will be given to ITV, which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Dick Lipsky will accept the award for ITV. They have been good partners with MCCPTA by broadcasting our programs and inviting us to participate in “Take Ten.” Stedwick Elementary School received the Champions for Children PTA award from MCBRE. Our vice presidents for educational issues and administration, and our president-elect attended an all day leadership seminar.
Vice President – Programs:
The VP for Programs asked cluster coordinators to remind PTAs to send in their checks for the presidents and principals dinner. The deadline is May 17, but we’ll accept checks later. PTAs should pay for their principal. Personal checks will be accepted, too, not just PTA checks. The MCCPTA office has the list of who’s paid. A reminder will be sent out on the presidents list.
Recording Secretary: The Recording Secretary attended the reception for Kimberly Oliver.
MD PTA Final Dues Report:
The MCCPTA membership log for 2005-2006 and the MD PTA Council Membership Report for 2005-2006 were distributed. A correction was made to the membership log for Springbrook High School. They paid $270 in person for 350 members. Please check for discrepancies between MCCPTA and state PTA. There are some glaring differences, for example for some schools MCCPTA may show the money paid to us, but the state didn’t receive any money. If cluster coordinators find that we got money, but the state didn’t please follow up with the school, but if the state shows money and we don’t, then contact our treasurer. Please remind locals that if they haven’t paid MD PTA dues, they won’t get membership cards mailed to them in the fall. In addition, the MD PTA is working on a list of units in good standing and we should have that by this summer. PTAs with deltas are no longer considered PTAs by the state. PTAs are not allowed to have different types of memberships (e.g. family), but PTAs can discount multiple memberships as long as the correct amount is paid to the state and the county for each individual. Before training we will try to clarify this issue.
Update on status of Hands on Science:
MCCPTA EPI, Inc. (a separate corporation from MCCPTA), decided not to offer Hands on Science (HOS) next year to local PTAs because of operational issues and not wanting to pass on the cost increases to local PTAs. Letters were mailed to adult leaders and local PTAs to explain the decision. HOS also sent out letters directly to PTAs stating there was no change in the cost, but the concern is that locals won’t realize this doesn’t include room rental fees and insurance fees. HOS doesn’t know how they are going to handle insurance and room fees. Our treasurer can talk to our insurance agent to see how locals can handle fees. ICB fees need to be considered, too, since there are different rates for PTA and non-PTA users. A letter of agreement is strongly suggested for any local wishing to use HOS. A FAQ sheet was suggested. Timing is important because locals are working on budgets for next year. The summer newsletter will have an HOS information sheet including options, considerations and a copy of the EPI letter. EPI’s fall summit will discuss after school programs and how EPI can help with the burden on locals to provide programs. Local PTAs may be going “out on a limb” without knowing it when they provide programs.
Community Involvement Policy Update:
The last delegate assembly voted to work on a response to the community involvement policy removal of any mention of PTA or any group by name, and to partner with other groups. Meetings are being set up with other community groups and the letter will be sent out. Policy implications mean that the Board can look to particular groups to get the information they want by referring to “historically underrepresented groups.”
National PTA Convention:
MD PTA is paying for two of our officers to attend the National PTA convention in June in Phoenix. Two other MCCPTA members would like to attend. They could go under MD PTA prices. Discussion included:
can we afford to pay for one or two at the per person approximate cost of $1,200 (not including food costs);
last year MCCPTA paid for one person and MD PTA paid for Cindy; $2,500 is the budget for training (spring, two conferences and National); and searching for any line item budget category other than training (perhaps special events or general administration) with money available.
Marney Jacobs made a motion that if the treasurer can find the money to send two people to the National PTA convention, we’ll send two, but if not we’ll send one. It was seconded. It passed by a voice vote.
Ted Willard made a motion that the first preference be given to Executive Committee members and beyond that to members of the Board of Directors. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
Juan Johnson made a motion to spend $180 for three lifetime MD PTA awards for the presidents and principals dinner.
It passed by a voice vote.
Committee for Montgomery:
A request was made by the Vice President for Legislation that MCCPTA pay the $60 fee for her board of directors position. Discussion included whether or not the fee was transferable from person to person, so a suggestion was made to pay the fee for the organization’s position rather than the individual.
Juan Johnson made a motion that MCCPTA pay $60 membership to the Committee for Montgomery for the MCCPTA Vice President for Legislation to hold a board of directors’ position representing our organization regardless of who holds that position. It passed by a voice vote.
Middle School Cell Phone Policy:
The student member of the Board of Education is proposing a resolution loosening of the restrictions on the use of cell phones in middle school, so that it’s similar to the high school policy. Middle schools now require a waiver to be on file. Issues discussed included: before and after school phone use; bus stop use; school related activity use; child care; teacher cell phone use; and time wasted on cell phones by staff. The middle school committee would like to have support for this proposal.
Summer Area Meetings:
Officers will do area meetings this summer. The Vice President for Administration will contact cluster coordinators and AVPs to set those up.
All committee chairs terms are up soon and letters will be sent similar to last year’s.
The issues brought up previously by Thomas Hearn are being worked on by MD PTA and National PTA.
Grading and Reporting:
A committee meeting will be held in May. The date will be announced. A pro-active wrap up of the year will be done because MCPS will be presenting on grading and reporting to the Board in June on what’s been done and what will be done next year. E-mail the committee chair one or two things that went well and one or two things that didn’t go well to include in our wrap up.
The committee chair reported that MCPS is asking for $13 million more to supplement pensions. Funding is in good shape. The request for local PTAs to send in operating budget issues has been ponied to schools.
Each Board member should send in a separate form. Forms are on the web site. Cluster coordinators should send the format to locals as a reminder. Locals can send a wish list. PTA presidents should consult with principals.
A draft letter written by the CIP and Operating committee chairs to the President of the Board of Education in response to the option of closing a school in regard to the situation with Sevens Locks Elementary School was discussed. The letter comments on the larger issue of school closing because of the precedent that it sets and is not specific to Seven Locks.
Marney Jacobs made a motion to send this letter out of committee in response to the proposal of actions to redistribute students and close one school. We ask the Board to consider all options except closing of schools. It was seconded.
Discussion included: reasons for sending the letter to the president of the Board of Education instead of the county council; costs of options picked by the Board and Weast; joint task force; confusion of sentence stating that “MCCPTA urges the Board not to make that decision based on operating budget factors” perhaps being cleared up by adding the word “solely”; precedent of weighing capital decisions based upon operating budgets; deleting the fourth paragraph; middle ground; our previous position against closing schools; make it about the kids not the adults; and no matter where the school is closed we oppose it. We’re the guardians of the process and we don’t pick and choose amongst our children.
Ted Willard made a motion to send a general letter based on our previous position opposing closing a school and dispersing children around an already overcrowded cluster and setting a precedent without any process of allowing a PTA or the whole county to weigh in on those decisions. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
The committee chair distributed his written report. The awards ceremony was last Thursday at Loiederman Middle School. Twenty-four students earned state awards, and the ceremony is this Sunday.
A Special Education Committee Update and handout on Policy IOB was distributed tonight. The Special Education Recognition Ceremony is May 8 at Rockville High School. The reception is at 6:30 and the program begins at 7:30. Policy IOB (Educating Students with Disabilities) is out for public comment until May 29. It will go back to committee in June with possible action in July. This summer MSDE will do revised COMAR regulations to come in alignment with IDEA 2004. Regional meetings will be held for comments.
The committee chair announced that registration for spring training will begin at 6:30 PM on June 7 at Rockville High School. Training starts at 7 PM.
The committee chair stated three issues: the rule is that the newest members of the board cannot be added to the board list until after their installation and then old members will have to be removed;
training in June should cover a beginners guide to the list serves (Patti will show this to the training committee); and in an election year we must definitive on what can and cannot be posted. The draft of proposed election activity guidelines compiled by the chair from suggestions and National PTA resources, and the IRS Fact Sheet were distributed. Discussion included the suggestion that we post the IRS fact sheet rules for non-profits and campaign activities on the website and suggest this to local PTAs, too.
Patti Twigg made a motion to put the IRS fact sheet on the MCCPTA website as soon as possible. It was seconded and passed by a voice vote.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 PM.