Posts by Katherine Novello

PTA Meeting Minutes 1.9.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

January 9, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 20

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the PTA meeting
  • Nathan
    reminded everyone:
    • The
      Coat Drive was a booming success; PTA spent about $1,300 of the $3,000 we
      had approved because we received more donations of actual coats than
      anticipated (from a church in McLean); we were able to provide hats, gloves,
      boots, shoes, gift cards, etc. to supplement the drive
    • Added
      a Restaurant Night, on 3/8 at the Silver Diner; more info to follow
    • Nominating
      Committee still engaged in search for potential PTA officers; chair will
      be reaching out to members to find those who might want to serve on the
      board next year

  • Nathan
    introduced the guest speaker, Carole Goodloe, Outdoor Lab Board Member


II.    Outdoor
Lab: Carole Goodloe, Outdoor Lab Board

  • Ms.
    Goodloe introduced herself and gave a brief history of the Outdoor Lab
    • A
      non-profit that partners with APS to provide access to science and
      outdoor education for Arlington students
    • Founded
      by former APS science teachers; celebrated its 50th
      Anniversary this year
    • 225
      acres of pristine woods in Prince Willian County, exclusively for APS use
    • Currently,
      they are able to accommodate grade level trips at 3rd and 7th
      grade, as well as an overnight trip for 5th graders
    • Curriculum
      and staff coordinate lessons with APS science curriculum; opportunity for
      kids to engage in science curriculum in natural setting

  • Facilities
    are being strained by APS student population growth
    • Trying
      to work with APS to expand staff, facilities, and transportation to
      continue to provide same level of access
    • AOEA
      committed to rebuilding the cottage
    • Please
      talk to the School Board, Science Staff, Superintendent to support this
      vital resource (advocacy sheet distributed for talking points)

  • Summer
    Camp opportunities:
    • Three
      sessions (for rising 5th, 6th, and 9th
    • Includes
      three overnights, lots of hiking, fishing, boating, and science
    • Can
      sign up through the APS Summer Course Catalog that will go home during
      March conferences

  • Ms.
    Goodloe opened the floor to questions:



III.   Benefits of Title 1: Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

What is Title 1?

Part of the
Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

financial assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs) and schools with high
numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure
that all children meet challenging state academic standards

Federal funds are
currently allocated through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on
census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state

For more info:

Arlington has six
Title 1 schools, all over 60% free/reduced lunch

The Funding is
used for:

Additional reading

Development for teachers (on and offsite)

instructional materials


Summer programs
(such as: summer mailbox, summer school, summer enrichment)

involvement events (Multicultural Night, Fall into the Arts, for example)

Money cannot be used for:

something that other schools already get (they intend for kids to get MORE than
their advantaged peers)


School supplies

Food (unless its
for a Parental Involvement event)

Requirements for
Title 1 schools:

Staff must be
highly qualified (assistants must pass an exam or have college degrees)

documentation required (staff reports, parent attendance at events)

Must meet testing
targets or risk sanctions

Must develop a
school plan

oversight/support from the Central Office

Ms. Nesselrode
opened the floor to questions

Q: Is Title 1
based on a percentage of economically disadvantaged students? And is it only
elementary schools? A: Yes, Arlington has decided to allocate its Title 1 money
to elementary schools where 60% or more of the students receive free or reduced

Q: Can you
explain the difference between a Title 1 school and a Focus school? A: This is
changing because ESEA is changing, but in the past, the difference was that Focus
Schools were Title 1 schools that did not met their testing targets (targets
set by the state). They receive additional scrutiny and additional support to
help them meet their targets. Campbell was briefly a Focus School at the
beginning of my tenure here (2011) based on a drop in test scores, but our
scores have improved significantly each subsequent year without a lot of test
prep, which is something I am very proud of. We’ve been testing above target
since the 2013-2014 school year.

Q: Are the class
sizes in Title 1 smaller? A: Good question. Title 2 is the reason we have extra
staff, which leads to a lower student/teacher ratio. You can be Title 1 and not
have the Title 2 designation. Title 1 requires that we stay one below the
countywide maximum number of student per class. However, Title 2 means we get
additional staffing, so the student/teacher ratios are more favorable even if
class size doesn’t appear to be so different.

Q: Will our class
sizes be affected by the new lottery that will be administered by the Central
Office? A: Possibly, though we do have that hard cap based on Title 1.

Q: So kids will
be able to enter at any grade? A; Yes, if there is space. We don’t really know
how we might be affected. We’ll have to see what is stated at Kindergarten
Information night as to the lotteries. We do know that parents will be able to
apply to the lottery online.

Q: How many
additional students might we get? A: Maybe as many as 40, if we maxed out across
the school.

Q: Could our
Title 1 status be lost depending on who enters the lottery? A: It’s possible,
ultimately. My best guess would be that the people who currently apply here
would continue to apply, and that covers a wide spectrum of economic status.

Comment: We’re
under the radar, so it will take a few years I think before that might happen.
People don’t even know we’re here.

Transportation is a wild card, as we’ve never provided it to North Arlington;
it may change who applies over time.

Q: Will current
wailing lists be carried over? A: The current wait lists will be grandfathered
for one year. After that, there will be a different process.

Comment: This
change will also be more equitable for families who are more transient or who
move to the area after Kindergarten, like military families. They had almost no
shot at the lotteries in the past. 

Q: Will our
Montessori classroom be moved to the new Montessori building at the Henry site?
A: It’s a possibility. Not all classrooms will be moved there, but some might,
so it is a possibility. 

Kate Sullivan,
School Counselor:

As of yesterday,
rising 6th graders can apply for neighborhood transfers to Kenmore
and Jefferson Middle Schools; applications are available online. They are due
Friday, January 26th. The HB Woodlawn lottery deadline is January 19th.
Information sessions are being held at all Middle Schools this month; Middle
School counselors will be going over course options and electives for next year
with rising 6th graders on February 5th.


IV.  Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlights from December:

Fun Run donations
totaled over $10,000

Four Courts
Restaurant Night earned $700

Amazon rewards
earned $ 353

Zumba earned $280

Took in our Project
Discovery payments and paid out instructors

Expenses included
a new lamp for the Turtle Tank, Kindergarten Field trip support ($49), Teacher
Appreciation prior to winter break ($350), Outdoor Classroom expenses, VAPTA
and CCPTA dues paid, duct tape expenses, wellness event for the teachers ($78)

Movie Night broke

Department bought puppets and subscription to a music website with their
allocated funds

Any questions?

Q: How far back
does the Amazon rewards program look back? Does this include holiday sales? A:
No, there’s a lag time of about two months, so holiday shopping done on Amazon
will be reflected in future rewards payments.

Funding requests:

Ms. Berg, $100
for t-shirts for the Campbell Math Dice team

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

Ms. Dooley, $200 for
positive classroom behavior support incentives for Interlude

Students earn
points for positive behavior and can trade those points for tangible items; teachers
have been paying for these items out of pocket, and we don’t want that to

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

As many of you
know, we’ve raised more money than expected this year and we’d like to identify
a larger or longer-term project. We’ve discussed the idea of Library Furniture
replacement. Thoughts, questions, comments?

Comment: Looking
at more modern furniture that is also more adult-friendly, that can accommodate
ease of moving it and that is more flexible in terms of use for seating. Some
wobble-type pieces, and some pieces that are larger and better sized for older
ES kids and the adults who frequently use this furniture.

Comment: If the
school purchases the furniture, must use an approved vendor from a list APS
provides; PTA would have more flexibility in vendor.

V.    New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

  • Wetlands
    • Next
      meeting will be held next Tuesday evening, 1/16, at Barbara Martinez’s
      house at 6:30 pm, look for an email reminder shortly
    • We’ve
      signed contracts for the Dunk Tank, Rock Climbing Wall, and two Face
      Painters for the Festival

  • Paige
    Hamrick reminded everyone about Family Game Night on Friday, 2/2 at 6:30
    • Limited
      beverages and snacks will be available for purchase

  • Penny
    Wars will take place mid-February
  • Tammy
    • Reminder
      that the spring session of Project Discovery begins on 4/4
      • Any
        parents who have a special skill, interest, or expertise and who may
        want to lead a class, please get in touch

    • Something
      to think about: would Campbell be interested in the idea of partnering
      with a local CSA (Campbell would be the pick-up location for food)? This
      is a vendor we’ve worked with for a Project Discovery class. The CSA is
      called The Common Market.
      • Could
        we do a trial run to gauge parent interest?
      • Maybe
        have an information booth at the Wetlands Festival?
      • Tammy
        Bewitz will gather additional information and report back



VI.  Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Remember:
    Tannia Talento will be our guest speaker at the February meeting.
  • Thanks
    for coming and I hope to see you then! 

PTA Meeting Minutes 11.14.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

November 14, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 24

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the third PTA meeting of the year
  • Nathan
    reminded everyone:
    • Restaurant
      Night at Ireland’s Four Courts on 11/15 from 5-8 pm
    • Square
      One Art deadline packets will be coming home in this Thursday’s folders;
      opportunity to order your children’s artwork on various products (make
      great gifts)

  • Nathan
    introduced the guest speaker, Mr. David McBride, Principal of Kenmore
    Middle School


II.    Kenmore
Update: David McBride, Kenmore Principal

  • Mr.
    McBride introduced himself and his Assistant Principal, Ms. Christine Joy
    • Mr.
      McBride is in his second year as Principal, but has been at Kenmore for
      11 years
    • Ms.
      Joy has a teaching background (14 years classroom experience)

  • Mr.
    McBride conducted an ice-breaker exercise called Myth Vs. Truth
  • Mr.
    McBride noted that one of the great challenges of educating Middle School
    students is that they are prone to testing boundaries, therefore at
    Kenmore they try to:
    • Meet
      each student where he/she is
    • Provide
      needed support and structure
    • Model
      appropriate behavior and boundaries
    • Are
      proactive about messages pertaining to this age group’s boundary-testing (things
      like sex, drugs, alcohol, violence, etc.)

  • Mr.
    McBride opened the floor to questions
    • Q:
      I’ve heard about increased drugs in the county, things like drug-sniffing
      dogs and bathroom doors off the hinges. Have you noticed an increase and
      what are you doing to prevent? A: We have a Prevention Counselor,
      celebrate Red Ribbon week, and are ramping up prevention efforts. This is
      a nationwide concern, particularly the abuse of prescription medication
      and heroin, not necessarily specific to any one school in APS. We work
      with parents and encourage you to begin talking about these issues as
      early as Elementary School, to develop a plan/network of fellow parents,
      and to remain vigilant about preventing addiction.
      • Ms.
        Nesselrode: The March Campbell PTA meeting will be devoted to discussing
        the Arlington County Partnership for Youth and Families survey regarding
        risk-taking behaviors

    • Q:
      How do you promote the integration of your diverse student body, stop
      cliques from forming for instance? A: We have student “teams” comprised
      of diverse groups of kids. Each team has its own TA and Guidance
      Counselor to promote unity within the team. We see most of this “clique”
      type behavior taking shape online and outside of school hours, but it can
      still affect the school, so we talk a lot about character development in
      the homeroom classes to build a culture of kindness.
    • Q:
      Is there cyberbullying happening? A: Yes, it happens and it’s a challenge
      for schools because a lot of it happens outside of school.
    • Q:
      Are non-school-issued electronic devices allowed during school hours? A:
      No phone use is allowed in classrooms or hallways; children are permitted
      to use school-issued iPads at lunchtime; IT staff is trying to do a
      better job of filtering access to inappropriate content
    • Q:
      How hard is Middle School? I’ve heard some students saying it’s so hard,
      while other complain about being bored. So, is it easy or rigorous? A:
      APS doesn’t have an “Honors” track per se, so some students are going to
      need more challenge and find coursework easier, while others will find it
      challenging. It depends on the student.
    • Q:
      Is there a lack of afterschool activities at the school? A: We have as
      many afterschool activities as the other middle schools. We have Act 2
      and the Check-In program, as well as intramural sports. Many of our activities,
      like Lit Mag and Screenwriting, meet during school hours. We can have as
      many clubs and activities as we have sponsors, interested students, and
      space, so if you or your child have a great idea let’s talk.
    • Q:
      How do you support LGBTQ students? A: We are a diverse community and we
      respect all our students. We have LGBTQ students currently enrolled, as
      well as staff who identify LGBTQ. We are an accepting community and we
      work on being accepting in our anti-bullying program
    • Q:
      Being such a big school, isn’t there not enough spots for all children to
      participate in various activities? A: Yes, that’s a challenge that
    • Comment:
      In terms of clubs/activities afterschool, everyone should consider that
      teachers may not be getting paid for that time if it’s outside of their
      contract hours. Also, clubs are supposed to be student-led (students can
      create or petition for a club that they want to start). Response: Yes, we
      do need students to want a club for it to be successful.
    • Q:
      Now that transfers aren’t being allowed, will the pride be lost if nobody
      can choose Kenmore? A: Well, that’s not necessarily true. The STEAM
      certificate program is a school initiative and wasn’t sanctioned by APS,
      but that doesn’t mean that it won’t be. There is an “academic” track at
      Kenmore; our STEAM focus is well-suited for our diverse community because
      Art is a universal language and Technology is an equalizer; we have more
      opportunities/courses for Art and Technology minded students than other
      schools, but it’s not forced and any student can do well here.
      • Ms.
        Nesselrode discussed her positive perspective on Kenmore

    • Mr.
      McBride scrolled through the Kenmore Twitter feed to give a visual
      representation of a typical day at the school
    • Q:
      Is Kenmore becoming Spanish Immersion? A: That’s not on the table any
      longer and our focus will remain STEAM.
    • Education
      for this age group has improved as a whole; we have an excellent and
      committed faculty at Kenmore.
    • Q:
      STEAM certificate will still be offered? A: Yes, until they tell us
    • Q:
      Do you offer Latin? A: Yes, we currently offer it online, but we’d like
      to grow this program as student interest grows.
    • Q:
      Are you still a Kennedy Center CETA (Changing Education through the Arts)
      Partnership school? A: Not exactly. Due to budget cuts to their program
      we are no longer an official CETA partner school, however, individual
      teachers continue to work with them for professional development.

  • Kate Sullivan, Guidance Counselor
    reminded everyone that there is a Middle School transition “one-pager”
    available. Highlights include:

APS will decide
whether transfers are allowed after the MS boundary decision is made

Process for the
transition will not change; there will still be Information Sessions held at
each school, as well as an Orientation prior to the start of the year

Your Child’s
teachers will recommend levels for your children’s core classes and you’ll be
walked through elective choices


III.   Wetlands Committee: Nathan Zee, President

Planning begins
in about a month; first meeting likely will be held on 12/12 if you’re
interested in joining us look for
more information via announcements and Facebook

Festival will be
held in April

Activities likely


Dunk Tank

Silent Auction

Live Bands


May change time
to move away from the dinner hour to earlier afternoon; would then change menu
from dinner foods to snack-type food to accommodate. Consider this and email me
your thoughts.  


IV.  Nominating
Committee: Nathan Zee, President

Beth Cavey and
Stacey Zee have graciously agreed to be on this committee; we need one or two
more individuals to round out the committee

Amanda Lowenberger
volunteered to join committee

Motion made to
approve Nominating Committee of Beth Cavey, Stacey Zee, and Amanda Lowenberger

Motion seconded;
motion approved unanimously  


V.    Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlights from

Dog Fish Head
Restaurant Night earned us $1,400

Fun Run donations
this month equaled $4,200

Collected money
for Spirit Wear

Project Discovery
payments made

Expenses included
previously approved PA system upgrade ($9,900),

Any questions?

Q: When will we receive
Spirit Wear? A: Possibly this Friday.

Q: Where can we
purchase car magnets? A: We have them in stock. See Heidi Heim after the
meeting if you’re interested.

Funding requests:

Ms. Bradley, the
school Social Worker, $195.29 for Lego therapy set

Q: Is it a
specific set? Because we have a lot of Legos in the PTA closet. A: It may be a
specific set; we can approve the money and then loop back with her to see
whether it’s something specific. If she can use what we have, she won’t spend
the approved money.

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

Ms. Ammons, $49 to
offset the cost of Claude Moore Colonial Farm Kindergarten field trip

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

As many of you
know, we raised approximately $4,000 more than expected/budgeted during the
recent Fun Run fundraiser. At our last Executive Board Meeting we discussed
what that money should go towards. Campbell has identified a larger need in our
community for coats, boots, gloves, hats, scarves and other winter gear. We’d
like the PTA to consider contributing to this event. Ms. Monica Castillo helps
to organize this event every year; it’s run sort of like a pop-up shop on the
last day before Winter Break. The donations typically come from a local church combined
with donations of clothing/toys/games/other gifts from individual Campbell
families and surrounding neighbors who wish to donate during this season of
giving. We’d like to help round out the donations/fill any gaps with some of
our excess money earned through the Fun Run campaign. We’d like to approve funding up to $3,000
toward this goal. Thoughts, questions, comments?

Comment: Purchasing
these items individually must be difficult to coordinate. There is no physical
space to store things here at the school, so most of the shopping will have to
happen at the last minute. It would be helpful to have a set amount of money to
better coordinate this event and make sure the needs are met.

Q: What about a
Giving Tree? We could be more organized if we knew the exact needs/wants
beforehand. A: This is how we’ve organized the event it in the past, but that’s
something to consider.  

Comment: I don’t
think we should use PTA money for this, because it’s for a select group of
students rather than all students.

Comment: We fund
specific requests for individual teachers for specific items that won’t be used
by everyone all the time. I don’t see how this is different.

Comment: These items
will benefit students’ instructional needs indirectly. Students don’t need only
books and classroom supplies, they have socioemotional needs, too.

Comment: This is
a unique, one-time thing we’re doing. This isn’t a recurring PTA event. It’s a school-run
event and our PTA has had a one-time windfall. What better way to spend that money
than to turn around and spend it to support those in need in our own community?

Comment: This is
a schoolwide event, so it’s not just benefitting one specific family.

Comment: This is
good service modelling.

Comment: Our
community should support our own.

Comment: Perhaps
we should create guidelines or a framework with how we spend excess money in
the future; a set of parameters for what are and are not appropriate asks?

Comment: Setting
aside the charitable aspect, barriers to education affect all students in a
school, not just the ones particularly affected by being cold or hungry, so an
activity like this is for the benefit of all students.

Comment: This is
in direct alignment with our PTA mission

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously


VI.  New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan
    called for any new business
  • Paige
    Hamrick reminded everyone about Movie Night on 12/8
    • Pizza,
      beverages, and snacks will be available for purchase (no pre-orders for
    • Cars
      3 will be shown

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode informed us that new bottle-fillers had been installed in the
    hallway water fountains, and a new TV at the entrance displaying the
    Campbell Twitter feed was installed



VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Remember:
    we won’t have a December PTA meeting.
  • Thanks
    for coming and see you in the new year! 

PTA Meeting Minutes 10.10.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

October 10, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 24

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the second PTA meeting of the year
  • Nathan
    read two Thank You notes
    • Thank
      You letter from Ms. Peterson thanking the PTA for supporting the Music
      Department by funding the purchase of ukuleles  
    • Thank
      You letter from the Fifth Grade Team thanking the PTA for the Welcome
      Back Breakfast provided on the first Friday of the school year

  • Nathan
    reminded everyone:
    • We’ll
      be forming a nominating committee to identify potential new Executive
      Board Members at next month’s meeting
    • The
      Fun Run is less than two weeks away on 10/20; mark your calendars
    • The
      first Box Top deadline is coming up at the end of October, so be sure to
      send them in if you have them
    • Restaurant
      Night at Dogfish Head Ale House on 10/17; more info to come home in
      Thursday folders


II.    Counselling
Parent Survey: Kate Sullivan, School Counselor

  • Ms.
    Sullivan introduced a survey of Staff, Parents, and current 3-5th
    grade students to identify the greatest areas of counselling needs
    • Paper
      copy of the Survey available tonight, available in English and Spanish
    • Survey
      was previously distributed via the listserv, Facebook, and Twitter
    • Looking
      for discrepancies between what the various stakeholder groups (Staff,
      Parents, Students) report
      • So
        far, responses are closely aligned
      • That
        means staff is in tune with students’ needs

    • Data
      gathered from survey will help inform how staff and resources are

  • Please
    note that:
    • Someone
      is available for walk-in students at all times
    • Referral
      forms are always available (discretely) to students, parents, and
    • Any
      • Q:
        Will you be working with all grade levels? How will you prioritize you
        time? A: Yes, Tier 1 services are school-wide initiatives that will be
        provided to all grade levels. Anti-bullying is an example of a Tier 1
        service. Tier 1 interventions will follow the Mind-Up curriculum and
        will be provided in classrooms during Morning Meetings, or during a
        Specials block depending on the class schedule. Tier 2 interventions are
        those where a specific need is identified, and are not meant to be
        preventative but rather responsive to a particular situation or
        student(s). For example: typically, there aren’t many students who enter
        Campbell in the upper grades, but this need was identified for third
        graders this year, so a group formed to ease that transition in response
        to the specific need.

    • If
      you ever have any concerns, I am happy to check in with your student


III.   Site-based Survey Results: Maureen
Nesselrode, Principal

Ms. Nesselrode first
presented a community-building exercise for the attendees. The exercise is one presented
to Kindergarten students, and served as an example of an activity that can be
differentiated for Gifted students to go beyond the Kindergarten curriculum

Ms. Nesselrode
then discussed the Site-based Survey:

Given every two
years; APS Systemwide Survey is conducted in alternate years


In previous
years’ surveys, parents had not indicated that they felt the instructional
model was strong

In response, we
made some tweaks and improved fidelity to the Expeditionary Learning Model

Also made efforts
to communicate and educate the community about EL education

This year’s
survey showed much higher number of parents who indicated a strong
curriculum/instruction at Campbell

Ms. Nesselrode
then introduced another community-building “game” based on Campbell’s survey

The game is an
example of something being done in Math Workshop at Campbell , where students
work in small groups with the teachers facilitating

Q: Do we have
benchmark data to compare Campbell to itself and other APS schools? A: Yes,
that’s all available online. What we worked to address were areas for greatest
improvement, based on responses to our previous survey: strength of
instructional model, more regular communications (like Newsletters).

Q: How do you get
to the why behind the data? A:
Through informal conversations, the team/staff tries to drill down to find
areas of improvement and to figure out where to focus more effort.

Q: Are students
objective/fair reporters? A: Yes, 5th graders are particularly
reliable reporters.

Q: What about
bullying: is it widespread? A: Even if it’s only three students, it matters,
and we need to get to the bottom of it. Classroom lessons are important, and we
have some work to do in this area.

The Survey data
also helps to put things into perspective for the School Board, who typically
only hear complaints from the squeaky wheels


IV.  Fun
Run Update: Sean Doyle, VP Fundraising

Fun Run is one
week from this Friday

We’re behind on
our fundraising goal

Please remember
to register your student and send out links to friends and family

If you don’t want
to hassle with registering your student online, you can also just write a check
and put it in the PTA mailbox

We set an
ambitious goal of raising $10,000 since we reduced the big fundraisers from
three down to two

A reminder flyer
will go home in Thursday folders this week

Q: Do you need
parent volunteers? A: Yes. Set-up will happen the evening before, and we could
use help. Parents are welcome to participate with their students on the day of
the event, and can help as need arises on the day of (passing out water,
cleaning up, etc.)

Paige Hammrick,
VP Programming:

Reminder that
Spirit Week will be held next week leading up to the Fun Run

W: Pajama Day  

Th: Sports Day

F:  Class Color Day

Pre-K: Purple

K: Orange






Nathan Zee,

Reminder about Fundraising

Schoolwide: at
$6,000-10,000 level

Individual: at
$250 = 25 raffle tickets for Wetlands Festival; at $500 = one free Project
Discovery class and guaranteed placement

Q: Are incentives
by family or by individual? A: By family. if a family raises $250, they get 25
raffle tickets. But if they raise $500, the only get one Project Discovery
spot, even if there are two children in the family.

Q: How much does
Campbell get from Restaurant Nights? A: It depends on the restaurant.

Q: Where can I
find the Campbell Amazon affiliate link? A: It’s on the Campbell Elementary PTA
website, and we’ll send a reminder email out again soon.

Barbara, VP

Reminder about
Sqaure One Art: will take place before the holidays this year; order forms will
go out around Thanksgiving


V.    Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Jenny explained how
to read the budget (copies provided to all members in attendance)

Highlights for
the year so far:

Collected $2,000
in dues (for 200 members)

Collected money
for Spirit Wear

$600 from Amazon  

included: garden clean-up, ukuleles, and Teacher Appreciation breakfast

Any questions?

Funding requests:

Ms. Drabyk, $158
for activity sets for Kindergarten

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

Ms. Hill, $75 for
RIF books for Kindergarten

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

Increase to
funding for the Book Garden for Kindergarten students

approved up to $400, but the actual cost was $625.57 and books have already
been purchased, so the ask is to approve an increase to the funding amount to
cover the additional expense

Falls under the
Literacy Initiatives line item in budget

Any questions or

Q: Why did this
happen? A: Not sure, but doing our due diligence to find out.

Q: How were the
books selected? A: The librarian and a parent volunteer selected them. They
were purchased through Amazon.

Comment: I’m not
happy about the overrun and we should put a better system in place for next
time so that this doesn’t happen again. Perhaps a cap on price per book would
be helpful.  

Comment: Isn’t
our budget above what we need, so I’m not worried about it. Response: We’ve had
some good fundraising years, but we have planned to spend down reserves in this
budget. We need to stick to the budget. If we spend more than what’s budgeted
for a particular item, it cuts into funds available for other things and other
students. It sets a bad precedent.

Comment: These
are very nice books. Maybe increase the budget for this for next year.

Motion to approve
funding; seconded; approved unanimously after extensive discussion



VI.  New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

  • Project
    Discovery starts tomorrow; there are 158 students registered and there are
    four Odyssey of the Mind teams, two Primary and two Secondary
    • Thank
      you to Jenny Morris and Tammy Bewitz for their hard work on Project
    • Thank
      you to Staff and Parent volunteer teachers for these classes

  • Order
    Forms are available for Spy School Books to coincide with the upcoming
    Stuart Gibbs author visit to 4th and 5th grades
  • Please
    enjoy some salsa, made with ingredients from the Campbell garden



VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Remember:
    your donations are tax deductible in almost all cases and the PTA can
    provide you with a receipt if needed
  • The
    Amazon affiliate link does NOT work on the Amazon APP
  • Next
    month’s meeting will feature Dave McBride, Principal of Kenmore Middle
  • There
    will not be a meeting in December
  • January’s
    meeting will feature Judy Collins from the Outdoor Lab
  • February’s
    meeting will feature our School Board liaison, Tannia Talento
  • March’s
    meeting will focus on Youth Culture/substance abuse
  • Thank
    you for coming!

[Recent Events] PTA Meeting Minutes 9.12.17

Campbell PTA Meeting
September 12, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Approximate # of Attendees: 54

I.     Welcome and Introductions/Ice Breaker: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan welcomed everyone to the meeting and initiated an ice-breaker
  • Every attendee introduced themselves, their children (ages and teachers), and shared why they chose Campbell


II.    Overview of 2017-2018 Plans: Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan introduced the topic and turned over the floor
  • Programming highlights (Paige Hamrick, VP Programming)
    • Paige introduced herself and briefly described her role, then highlighted the main programming events that are planned for this school year:
      • Garden Work Day (Saturday, 9/16)
      • Back-to-School picnic (Friday, 9/22)
      • Spirit Week (three days prior to the October Fun Run)
      • Movie Night
      • Family Game Night (new this year; will be held in lieu of school dance)
      • Class Colors (also new this year, colors won’t change)
        • Pre-K: Purple
        • K: Orange
        • 1st: White
        • 2nd: Yellow
        • 3rd: Blue
        • 4th: Red
        • 5th: Green
    • Volunteers are welcome and needed to assist with events; attendees invited to sign-up for any volunteer roles they’re interested in; this is the FUN committee)
  • Fundraising highlights (Sean Doyle, VP Fundraising)
    • Two main fundraisers:
      • Fit-and Fun Run, coming up on 10/20
        • Can donate online or by check
        • There will be school-wide and individual incentives
      • Wetlands Festival in the spring
        • Dunk tank, bands, food, silent auction
    • We’ll need volunteers to help organize and staff these events
    • Also looking for opportunities for community partnerships
    • Other fundraisers that are coming up are:
      • Restaurant Nights (10/17 at Dogfish Head, 11/15 at Four Courts)
      • Square 1 Art (in December)
  • How to Get Involved (Barbara Martinez, VP Communications)
    • Sign-up on Announcements to get communications
    • Sign-up to volunteer on a committee


III.   State of the School: Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

·         At the beginning of each year, I like to share our school plan and our goals for the year. Here are the highlights:

o   435 students enrolled

o   Low staff turnover

o   Additional student services support

o   Updated carpet and paint (work done over the summer)

o   SOL scores improved again; closing achievement gaps

o   Ms. Christy is full time at Campbell this year; we’re increasing Outdoor learning time

o   Outdoor Garden Orientations are underway

o   Countywide adoption of TC Reader’s Workshop model; we were already doing it to some extent, but we’ll increase implementation to meet county expectations

o   Additional Reading Specialist support (Title 1 funded); Reading Specialists help with enrichment and build classroom libraries

o   Installed additional Smart Boards,; replacing Bulletin Board w/Flat Screen TV for announcements/Twitter Feed at entrance

o   New format for Back-to-School Night

o   Sound System upgrades being installed this week (PTA funded); may use it at this Friday’s Community Meeting

o   Updates in APS include

§  Reorganization of Central Office

§  Canvas (a Learning Management System) is replacing Blackboard

§  School Talk (text message alerts) is being updated  

§  Revised School Boundaries: new schools are opening and lotteries are being redesigned; more information can be found on the APS website under “Engage with APS”

IV.  2016-2017 PTA Audit Review and Vote: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

·         Over the summer, members of the PTA Executive Board met with members of the Audit Committee and conducted an audit of our PTA’s finances

·         Members received an electronic copy of the audit last week, and tonight we need to vote on whether to approve the audit

o   Motion to approve audit; seconded; approved unanimously 

V. Budget Review and Vote: Nathan Zee, President

·         We’ve had a successful few years

·         We’re budgeted at a loss this year to spend down some of our surplus funds

·         Budget highlights include:

o   Reduced PTA amount going to Outdoor Learning Coordinator because she’s now fulltime through APS

o   Paid for upgraded Sound System

o   Increased amount for teacher appreciation and teacher support

o   Outside experts and Outdoor Classroom amounts increased

o   Changed budget to grade-level support to encourage teachers to spend the money we’re making available across all grade levels

·         Any questions/comments?

o   Q: Why was VPI line item funding decreased? A: Because they are well-funded through the Early Childhood initiative and therefore don’t need as much

·         Motion to approve 2017-2018 Budget; seconded; approved unanimously

·         Funding requests:

o   Ms. Decker, School Librarian: $400 for First Reader books, one for each Kindergarten student (for a “Book Garden” for incoming students, based on last year’s successful “Book Garden” for graduating 5th Graders)

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

o   Ms. Dooley, Interlude: $225.29 for sensory toys, a room divider, headphones

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

o   Ms. Peterson, Music teacher: $140 for five new ukuleles

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved unanimously 

o   Funding request: $230 to neuter Paige, the school bunny

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved


VI.  New Business: Nathan Zee, President

  • Membership reminders will wind down in about a week
  • The Back-to-School Picnic will be held next Friday evening
  • Reminders:
    • Dogfish Head Restaurant Night coming up on 10/17
    • Fun Run to be held on 10/20
    • Four Courts Restaurant Night coming up on 11/15
    • Thursday Morning Parent Group meetings are open to all; they’re conducted in Spanish, but English translation is available
  • We’ll identify a nominating committee in November to begin the process of identifying the next set of PTA officers; four Executive Board members’ terms will expire at the end of this school year, so we’re looking for people to step into these roles
  • Any new business from anyone else?
    • Q: Can you talk a little bit about the process of bringing forward new business or idea/suggestions? For instance, how will we identify what we’re hoping to focus on this year as a PTA? Will you conduct a survey? A: We conducted a survey last May, and this year’s priorities, events, and budget are based on the results of that survey. We are always open to new suggestions and all are invited to provide comments/input at any time. We want to be as inclusive and transparent as possible.



VII. Closing: Nathan Zee, President

  • Thank you for coming! .

PTA Meeting Minutes 9.12.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

September 12, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 54

I.     Welcome
and Introductions/Ice Breaker: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the meeting and initiated an ice-breaker
  • Every
    attendee introduced themselves, their children (ages and teachers), and
    shared why they chose Campbell


II.    Overview
of 2017-2018 Plans: Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan
    introduced the topic and turned over the floor
  • Programming
    highlights (Paige Hamrick, VP Programming)
    • Paige
      introduced herself and briefly described her role, then highlighted the
      main programming events that are planned for this school year:
      • Garden
        Work Day (Saturday, 9/16)
      • Back-to-School
        picnic (Friday, 9/22)
      • Spirit
        Week (three days prior to the October Fun Run)
      • Movie
      • Family
        Game Night (new this year; will be held in lieu of school dance)
      • Class
        Colors (also new this year, colors won’t change)
        • Pre-K: Purple
        • K: Orange
        • 1st: White
        • 2nd: Yellow
        • 3rd: Blue
        • 4th: Red
        • 5th: Green

    • Volunteers
      are welcome and needed to assist with events; attendees invited to
      sign-up for any volunteer roles they’re interested in; this is the FUN

  • Fundraising
    highlights (Sean Doyle, VP Fundraising)
    • Two
      main fundraisers:
      • Fit-and
        Fun Run, coming up on 10/20
        • Can donate online or by check
        • There will be school-wide and individual incentives

      • Wetlands
        Festival in the spring
        • Dunk tank, bands, food, silent auction

    • We’ll
      need volunteers to help organize and staff these events
    • Also
      looking for opportunities for community partnerships
    • Other
      fundraisers that are coming up are:
      • Restaurant
        Nights (10/17 at Dogfish Head, 11/15 at Four Courts)
      • Square
        1 Art (in December)

  • How
    to Get Involved (Barbara Martinez, VP Communications)
    • Sign-up
      on Announcements to get communications
    • Sign-up
      to volunteer on a committee


III.   State of the School: Maureen Nesselrode,

At the beginning
of each year, I like to share our school plan and our goals for the year. Here
are the highlights:

435 students

Low staff

student services support

Updated carpet
and paint (work done over the summer)

SOL scores
improved again; closing achievement gaps

Ms. Christy is
full time at Campbell this year; we’re increasing Outdoor learning time

Outdoor Garden
Orientations are underway

Countywide adoption
of TC Reader’s Workshop model; we were already doing it to some extent, but
we’ll increase implementation to meet county expectations

Reading Specialist support (Title 1 funded); Reading Specialists help with
enrichment and build classroom libraries

additional Smart Boards,; replacing Bulletin Board w/Flat Screen TV for
announcements/Twitter Feed at entrance

New format for
Back-to-School Night

Sound System
upgrades being installed this week (PTA funded); may use it at this Friday’s
Community Meeting

Updates in APS

Reorganization of
Central Office

Canvas (a
Learning Management System) is replacing Blackboard

School Talk (text
message alerts) is being updated  

Revised School Boundaries:
new schools are opening and lotteries are being redesigned; more information
can be found on the APS website under “Engage with APS”

IV.  2016-2017
PTA Audit Review and Vote: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Over the summer,
members of the PTA Executive Board met with members of the Audit Committee and
conducted an audit of our PTA’s finances

Members received
an electronic copy of the audit last week, and tonight we need to vote on
whether to approve the audit

Motion to approve
audit; seconded; approved unanimously 

V. Budget Review
and Vote: Nathan Zee, President

We’ve had a
successful few years

We’re budgeted at
a loss this year to spend down some of our surplus funds

Budget highlights

o   Reduced PTA amount going to Outdoor Learning
Coordinator because she’s now fulltime through APS

o   Paid for upgraded Sound System

o   Increased amount for teacher appreciation and
teacher support

o   Outside experts and Outdoor Classroom amounts

o   Changed budget to grade-level support to
encourage teachers to spend the money we’re making available across all grade


o   Q: Why was VPI line item funding decreased? A:
Because they are well-funded through the Early Childhood initiative and
therefore don’t need as much

Motion to approve
2017-2018 Budget; seconded; approved unanimously

Funding requests:

o   Ms. Decker, School Librarian: $400 for First
Reader books, one for each Kindergarten student (for a “Book Garden” for
incoming students, based on last year’s successful “Book Garden” for graduating
5th Graders)

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

o   Ms. Dooley, Interlude: $225.29 for sensory
toys, a room divider, headphones

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

o   Ms. Peterson, Music teacher: $140 for five new

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

o   Funding request: $230 to neuter Paige, the
school bunny

§  Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved


VI.  New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

  • Membership
    reminders will wind down in about a week
  • The
    Back-to-School Picnic will be held next Friday evening
  • Reminders:
    • Dogfish
      Head Restaurant Night coming up on 10/17
    • Fun
      Run to be held on 10/20
    • Four
      Courts Restaurant Night coming up on 11/15
    • Thursday
      Morning Parent Group meetings are open to all; they’re conducted in
      Spanish, but English translation is available

  • We’ll
    identify a nominating committee in November to begin the process of identifying
    the next set of PTA officers; four Executive Board members’ terms will
    expire at the end of this school year, so we’re looking for people to step
    into these roles
  • Any
    new business from anyone else?
    • Q:
      Can you talk a little bit about the process of bringing forward new
      business or idea/suggestions? For instance, how will we identify what we’re
      hoping to focus on this year as a PTA? Will you conduct a survey? A: We
      conducted a survey last May, and this year’s priorities, events, and
      budget are based on the results of that survey. We are always open to new
      suggestions and all are invited to provide comments/input at any time. We
      want to be as inclusive and transparent as possible.



VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Thank
    you for coming! .


PTA Meeting Minutes 6.13.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

June 13, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 28

I.     Welcome
and Introductions: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the meeting and read a Thank You letter from Ms. Brewer
    and Ms. Cornejo for the area rug and carpet protector funded by the PTA
    for their Preschool classroom
    • They
      are very appreciative and think it makes the room look warmer and cozier


II.    Review
2016-2017 Accomplishments: Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan
    highlighted what a good year we’ve had
  • Good
    feedback from the PTA survey
  • Great
    year from a community-building perspective:
    • Successful
      Back-to-School picnic
    • First
      Outdoor Movie Night; well-received despite weather delay and resulting holiday
      weekend conflict/cold weather
    • Penny
      Wars (combination of programming and fundraising success); we got a lot
      of good feedback on this event
    • Annual
      School Dance
    • First
      Fit-and Fun Run was a huge success and participants loved it
    • New
      activities at the Wetlands Festival (Dunk Tank, K-9 demonstration,
      face-painting); great feedback on new activities as well as repeat ones
      (like the live music, a perennial favorite)
    • Second
      DC United event; had 27 kids participate in the high-five tunnel
    • Too
      many Spirit Days to name them all (including the extra one students
      earned through Fit-and-Fun Run success: color wars)

  • PTA
    Membership increased by over 5%
    • PTA
      received an award for increasing PTA membership

  • Successful
    from a Fundraising perspective:
    • Raised
      more than expected
    • Fall
      Pledge Drive exceeded goal
    • Fit
      and Fun Run exceeded goal
    • Square
      One Art exceeded goal
    • Wetlands
      exceeded goal
    • Penny
      Wars raised an unexpected amount
    • Amazon
      affiliate link exceeded projections
    • Able
      to fund numerous teacher support projects, including some that we’ll
      present for approval tonight
      • We’ve
        spent almost $25,000 on teacher support ideas (including pond redo)
      • That’s
        a lot of funding that we were able to provide to support the kids at
        our school

    • Good, involved, supportive PTA
      with well-attended PTA meetings
    • Thank you to our members for a
      wonderful year; we’re looking forward to another great year
    • Thank you to Jessica Haney, for
      her work Wellness Committee and for spearheading new events like the
      apple tasting and the teacher wellness event; she’s stepping down from
      her role so we’re looking for someone to take over the Wellness Committee
      next year; there are big shoes to fill


III.   Review PTA Survey Results: Nathan Zee,

  • Good
    number of responses, about 60 including a few of the Spanish version
  • The
    responses to our survey give us lots for us to think about for next year
  • If
    you have feedback, it’s welcome anytime (you don’t have to wait for a
  • Based
    on current feedback about Programming, possible changes we’re considering
    • Movie
      Night moved indoors (challenging to hold an event outdoors at this time
      of year, but warmer seasons present challenge of light until too late for
      a movie for young children)
    • We’re
      going to look at the School Dance trying a new direction; possibly
      replacing with a new event
    • No
      DC United game next year because they’re moving stadiums; highlight of
      this event was the community-building aspect so we’re going to try to
      take the fun from that event and transfer it to a new event (possibly
      another sporting event, but maybe not)
    • We’re
      looking at a doing Spirit Week rather than having Spirit Days throughout
      the year

  • Based
    on feedback about Fundraising:
    • Wetlands
      Festival is a definite, but we may make some tweaks to specific events
      based on feedback
    • We
      will not be doing a Fall Pledge Drive; we’re going to shift what people
      liked about Pledge Drive (the no-fuss aspect) to the Fun Run, which will
      take place in the Fall and become one of the two main fundraising events,
      the other event being the Wetlands Festival in the Spring

  • Thought/questions/comments?

o   Q: Why do away with the Pledge Drive when many
of us like the no fuss aspect and gave positive feedback, and participated in
the event? A: The main reason was the feedback we received, not all from the survey.
The Fun Run will have the no fuss component going forward. We’ll make it very
clear moving forward that you can “just write a check” for the Fun Run in the
same way you might have for the Pledge Drive last year.

§  Comment: We’ll need to communicate the No Fuss
option very clearly, that you won’t need to go online to register or send out
links and all that. You will be able to “just write a check” for this event.

§  Comment: The timing of last year’s Fun Run
made it difficult to communicate a clear message about the event because there
were overlapping fundraisers (Penny Wars and Square One); the objective of
revamping the timeline of events is to smooth this all out so we’re not
overloading everyone with fundraising messages.

o   Q We like the incentives from the Pledge Drive,
can we move them to the Fun Run? A: Good feedback; we can consider it.

o   Comment: I really like consolidating/simplifying
it to just two big fundraisers per year and applaud this change.

We don’t want
donors to get fatigued, so we may switch up the events again in the future to
keep things fresh without making people feel uncomfortable about how frequently
we’re asking for money.

Square One Art:
moving it back to November, so people can order and receive the products before
the Winter holidays.

Penny Wars: We’ll
do it again next year, tentatively scheduled around the same time of year:
Lincoln’s birthday.  

Feedback about Communications:

o   No major surprises in the feedback

o   Most people get their information from
Announcements, with Thursday Folders being the second most popular source.
Facebook was also mentioned as a main source of information.

o   Got email addresses from new parents at Kindergarten
Orientation and will add them to Announcements this evening.

Thank you for the
responses, we’re working on incorporating your feedback in our planning. Any
questions or comments? No.


IV.  Feedback
on School Initiatives: Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

At the beginning
of the year, I shared school plan with our goals for the year. I thought we’d
circle back tonight and look at the highlights.

At the end of
last school year, I surveyed parents to help inform our plans for this year. From
the survey, I learned that Outdoor Learning, evenness, equity was major concern.

233 Outdoor
lessons last year, so we set target of 300 for 2016-2017 school year

Ms. Christy
completed 374 lessons; broken out by grade level, it averaged about 50 per
grade level to ensure greater equity across the school

Teachers also
noted when they did Outdoor lessons without Ms. Christy; there were 37
additional Outdoor lessons beyond the 374 lessons

Countywide goal
of adoption of Writer’s Workshop model; we implemented it earlier and are
farther along in meeting this goal, including using writing to identify

Changed the
homework model to be just some math, plus reading and writing in journals

While it wasn’t
part of the school goal per se, we did leverage our relationship and proximity
with Long Branch Nature Center by having them here more and by taking more
walking Field Trips to Long Branch

Outdoor Community
Meeting twice this year

Created schoolwide
electronic Google calendar

Grade intervention, is a countywide initiative but we implemented it in our own
way and it went very well in terms of supporting student achievement

Grade Big Bad Basil Expedition won a Green Action Award

Ms. Norwood
developed an artist-in-residence program

PTA-funded Poet
for 4th and 5th grade students; will be having a poetry

conferences in K-5

Updated number of
expeditions to meet high bar that the EL model sets

Renewable energy,
concepts of social justice incorporated into expeditions

iPad initiative:
we’ve found a way to incorporate technology in a meaningful way

achievement is increasing, not through drill-and-kill but rather through
engaging, meaningful work

What’s new for
next year?

Ms. Christy will
be full-time next year, PTA will continue to pay her for lesson planning

Reader’s workshop
may be adopted countywide; we’re already doing it to some extent, but we’d
increase implementation to meet county expectations

Expanding our movement
furniture (for instance: pedal desks)

Interlude would like
to infuse more Outdoor Learning/project-based learning into their program

teacher will be incorporating more Outdoor learning into their program


Loved the
consistent trips to Long Branch

Yes, agree. Even
at the youngest levels, it’s teaching them so much more beyond just getting out
of the classroom. It’s been amazing.

Response (Ms.
Nesselrode): Yes, EL is all about consistent Field Work, so this aligns with
the principals of EL

Wolftrap artists
and Pre-K collaboration was great

I like the electronic
Google calendar. Can we put notifications of new events into it?

We’ll look into

furniture: maybe it could be incorporated somehow into the Simple Machine
expedition, by having testing out the furniture and comapring?

Can we ask students
for feedback about the kinesthetic furniture we have before we purchase more?
To see what kids like/prefer? Response (Ms. Nesselrode): Yes, we can explore

Wanted to share
some information about a topic that keeps coming up, Field Trips:

Baseline: each
class budgeted for two Field Trips, one per semester; PTA assists with
additional trips

This year, every
grade level took between 4-9 Field Trips

Field Trips are
meant to support the curriculum and enhance learning; most of ours are tied
into expeditions

We are going beyond
what is expected from APS w/ regard to Field Trips, and it’s asking a lot from
teachers to have as many as 9 per year because of the amount of work each
teacher must do for each trip (planning, collecting permissions slips, money,

We’ve done
virtual Field Trips via Skype

Comment (Ms.
Hill): experts do come here for learning and enhanced student experience, so
while it may not be a “trip,” it’s still special and people coming here from
the field supports learning, too

Comment: I’m a
teacher at the HS level and the paperwork for Field Trips is onerous; we do one
per year in my class. Field Trips are hard for teachers and if there isn’t an
educational component to the trip, it’s a waste.

Q: What are the
field trips for each level, are they consistent? Does the same grade level
usually have the same number of Field Trips? A: Yes, many are consistent year
over year. Sometimes additional opportunities come up that add to the number.

Comment (Nathan
Zee): The general PTA stance is that we want to support and fund any teacher
requests for Field Trips, but not force teachers to take Field Trips they don’t

One of the most
difficult parts of planning a Field Trip is worrying about funding, so PTA
support certainly helps with this. We just need to be reasonable with our
expectations. Also, from a culturally competent perspective, overnight trips
are not a typical experience. That’s one of the reasons we don’t tend to do many
Field Trips that require an overnight stay.

Comment: Parents coming
in to present their foods and cultures to kids in classroom at First Grade was

Comment: I didn’t
realize how many in-school activities were taking place (experts coming in from
the field), so really the kids are being exposed to more than I even thought.

Question: Do we
typically have enough chaperones? A: Yes, we often have more volunteers than
there are spaces for and turn people away.

Comment (Ms. Christy):
Thank you to the PTA for supporting me, financially and otherwise, for the past
three years. I’m happy and thankful that the PTA will be relieved of much of
this expense for next year. If there’s anything you need from me, I am here and
open to new ideas, so come find me or get in touch.

V. Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

As of May 30th,
the highlights for the month:

o   Paid for Teacher/Staff Appreciation week
activities and gifts ($30 vouchers to each teacher for miscellaneous expenses
they had during the year)

o   Paid for a bunch of the approved teacher funding

o   Paid for DC United tickets

o   Received $1400 from Square One Art

o   Paid for Penny Wars class incentive prizes

o   $144 from Amazon sales this month; $2,500 for
the year

Any questions? No

Funding request:

o   $10.99 for a six pack of reusable K-cups for
the Staff Room Keurig Machine

§  Ms. Hill read a sample of persuasive letters
that her Kindergarten students wrote in support of the reusable K-cups to
protect the environment

o   Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

Funding request:

o   $159.50 for reusable BPA-free plastic water
bottles for Kindergarten students to take home at the end of the school year
(to celebrate completion of their Water expedition)

§  Comment: Would prefer non-plastic bottles be
used. Can we purchase stainless steel ones instead?

§  Comment: Can we look at a grant to fund
pricier reusable water bottles in the future?

§  Comment: Metal dents easily, maybe plastic is
preferable for this reason?

§  Comment: EPA staff told our class that single
use K cups and plastic single-use water bottles are the worst environmentally

§  Comment: In the future, we could buy them from
Square One and give one to each student

o   Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

Funding request:

o   $300 for outdoor recess kits; purchased in partnership
with GS Troop 3090, who is donating $300 of their proceeds from Cookie Sales to
provide the recess kits to Campbell

o   Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

Funding request:

o   Not to exceed $400 for hanging book garden (about
40 books for graduating 5th graders, in celebration of their
promotion and to encourage summer reading)

o   Motion to approve funding; seconded; approved

Sound System

o   Ms. Nesslerode: Nothing wrong with the
components we have (speakers, equalizer, etc., but the experts from APS
recommend wireless lavaliers for performances and a new corresponding receiver,
at a cost of approximately $10,000

o   Sound quality would be improved, in the sense
that kids won’t be passing a handheld mic back and forth, but quote is more
expensive for a smaller scope than expected and would not be a complete
overhaul of the system

o   In our research, we learned that other schools
have purchased similar sets

o   We’ve also learned that many sound problems we’ve
had at Community Meeting are not about the hardware in the current system (like
the most recent Community Meeting when the issue was the Zumba song file was
corrupted and would not play)

o   We’re looking at getting 8 total mics: 7
lavaliers and 1 upgraded handheld wireless mic, plus jacks for regular mics

o   Offered us the option of a completely portable
system for around $8,000, but I’m not comfortable spending that much for a new portable
system as we’d be less able to secure it

o   Current portable system will still have to be
used in any areas outside of the multipurpose room

§  Comment: Maybe we should get fewer mics to
save money? Response: Passing around the mic is part of the problem we’re
hoping to solve, so we need an adequate number of lavaliers; also, the bulk of
the cost is the receiver and not the mics, so it wouldn’t really save that much
to get fewer.

§  Comment: I am in favor of this just because of
the school musical, having just seen this year’s musical which was very hard to

§  Q: What do you and Karen want? Do you feel
that this is a valuable endeavor? A: I feel that it will improve the sound, but
it’s a lot of money, and to be frank, I thought we’d get more for the money.

Q: Is there
another expense you’d rather we fund? A (Ms. Nesselrode): Not really. We’re
well funded and I can’t think of another big item that we desperately need.

Q: Nathan, what
do you think? A: I think we should do it. Having wireless mics would be great
for Community Meeting and the Musical. Other schools have them, and it’s what
the experts recommends. I think it will be an improvement.

§  Q: Since new system won’t work outside of the multipurpose
room, could we move the location of the Promotion Ceremony? A: We’re looking at
logistics (if we can work out adequate seating, etc.), but open to the idea.

§  Q: How long will the old system components
last? Are they getting too old? A: Expert didn’t seem to think those items need
replacing in the near term.

Nathan: We’d do
this “not to exceed $10,000;” work would be done over the summer. Quote is
$10,200 and includes installation but we think we can negotiate, so we’re only
asking for up to $10,000.

Motion to approve
funding for up to $10,000 for upgrade to Campbell Sound System; seconded;
approved unanimously 



VI. Review Draft
Budget: Nathan Zee, President

We have a draft budget for 2017-2018
but we’re not going to go through it tonight because we’ll be making tweaks
over the summer; however, I will present the timeline and our current thoughts

If you have
thoughts/questions/comments, please send them to me or Jenny Morris prior to
our Executive Board Meeting on 8/29

At Executive Board Meeting on 8/29 we’ll
vote to approve the draft to be presented for a vote at the first PTA meeting
in September 2017

Highlights of changes:

Plan to spend $20,000 more than we
plan to take in, with $10,000 earmarked for Sound System upgrade (plan to spend
more due to our surplus funds rolling over)

Change to allocate funding on a per
grade level basis

Increase in EL budget line item to
support Field Trips

Q: Better to do it by grade level or
teacher? A: In theory, we’d like this money to be used for things that everyone
at the grade level will do/experience have access to; perhaps we might consider
doing it by teacher in the future depending on how this works

Comment (Ms. Christy): The Wetlands
need to be tended to annually, Colonial Garden will need to be maintained
annually. Response: We have the Wetlands CIP fund to draw from. We need to talk
about the Colonial Garden issue more in depth in the future. Can you summarize
your thoughts and send them to me in an email?

Q: What about the front of the school?
A: Fence is coming down. Work Order through APS; we can talk about additional
beautification at a later date.

Q: What about the marquee? A: Got an
answer from Facilities: marquees cost between $30,000-$50,000, so we’ll have to
look at options. APS is not paying to install them any longer.



VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • There’s
    no new business.
  • Reminders:
    • Rising
      Kindergarten playdates are scheduled for 7/22 and 8/19 at 10 am here at
    • PTA
      Audit schedule for 7/26
    • Executive
      Board meeting on 8/29
    • Next
      year, PTA meetings will revert to being held on the second Tuesday of the
      month; there will not be a December meeting

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode: I forgot to mention earlier in our list of accomplishments
    this year, the start of the Latina Parent Group, which has been a great
    success. Thank you to Claudia Ramirez Cuellar for the wonderful idea!
  • Nathan:
    That’s a wrap. Thanks everyone for a wonderful and successful year! See
    you next year. 

PTA Meeting Minutes 5.16.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

May 16, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 17

I.     Welcome
and Introductions: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the meeting; noted that Ms. Nesselrode was unable to
    attend due to a schedule conflict (countywide APS awards ceremony), so Ms.
    Anselmo attended in her place
  • Nathan
    read a Thank You letter from Ms. Boni and Ms. Al Majeed
    • They
      were very thankful for all the teacher appreciation gifts, meals, and
      activities from the PTA; felt celebrated and appreciated and offered
      their gratitude

  • Nathan
    presented a package full of letter from Ms. McAleer’s students thanking
    the PTA for funding the purchase of bean bag chairs for their classroom
  • Nathan
    read a letter of congratulations from Dr. Murphy for increasing our PTA
    membership by 5%
    • Campbell
      received a certificate from the NOVA district PTA at the last CCPTA
      meeting; Katherine Novello, CCPTA rep, will bring it in to the school
    • Q:
      Given our increased membership, do we have a quorum here this evening to
      vote? A: Yes, we only need 10 members, and we have 17 present tonight.

  • This
    evening’s speaking topic has been rescheduled for the June PTA meeting,
    6/13, when Ms. Nesselrode will be present; topic will be: changes that
    occurred this past year, and soliciting feedback on some of those changes
    and possible tweaks as we move into a new academic year.



II.    Vote
on Slate for 2017-2018 PTA Officers: Chandi Krohl, Nomination Committee

  • Call
    for nominations from the floor; no nominations offered from the floor
  • Chandi
    presented the proposed slate for a vote:
    • President:
      Nathan Zee
    • VP
      Programming: Paige Hamrick
    • VP
      Fundraising: Sean Doyle
    • VP
      Communications/Outreach: Barbara Martinez
    • Treasurer:
      Jenny Morris
    • Secretary:
      Katherine Novello

  • Motion
    to confirm the slate. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.
  • Nathan:
    Congratulations to our new officers. The by-laws that were updated and
    approved last year included moving the timing of the vote to elect PTA
    officers to May (moved timing of vote up from June to allow one month of
    transition time for a smoother turnover of responsibilities), however
    terms officially commence in June.


III. Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

  • For
    the year, we’ve been doing great on our fundraising goals; we are about $15,000
    above projected fundraising goals, and expenses have been a little lower
    than expected as well
    • Made
      approximately $15,000 at the Wetlands Festival; had budgeted $13,000
    • Made
      approximately $8,000 at the Fun Run; had budgeted $3,000
    • Made
      approximately $7,000 from the Fall Pledge Drive; had budgeted $5,000
    • Made
      approximately $1,000 from Penny Wars; had budgeted no income
    • Square
      One Art made more than anticipated
    • Amazon
      sales made more than anticipated, so all those things add up

  • Highlights
    for the month:
    • Approximately
      $8,000 from Fun Run with very low expenses
    • $1,700
      from Square One Art

  • This
    month we had the following expenses
    • First
      Grade Field Trip to National Geographic Museum
    • Spent
      money we approved at our last meeting for Special Ed resources
    • Paid
      for work that was done on the Wetlands area; the updated balance in the
      Wetlands Capital Improvement Fund is now $3,763.40

  • Any
    • Q:
      Is the $200 for Community Building Other the budget that the popsicles
      for Campbell Olympics comes from? A: Yes.
      • Q:
        And what is that $90 of expenses for? A: The apple tasting event in the

    • Comment:
      (Ms. Hill) In their writing unit, my Kindergarten students are writing
      persuasive letters, and we’re focusing on “water” for our expedition, so
      we have been talking about the Pond. I’m using the concept of the pond
      re-do that the PTA debated and ultimately funded last year to inspire
      their persuasive letters, so don’t be alarmed if your students talk about
      the pond update as if it hasn’t happened yet, or if you hear rumors that
      the Pond is going to be filled in, this is probably the reason. 


IV. Funding
Requests: Nathan Zee, President

We put out a call to teachers for additional
funding requests, and here’s what came in since our last meeting:

Ms. Johnson: $47.96 for hard case
pencil cases

Q: Why does she need them? A: To
organize communal table supplies

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously  

Ms. Brown: $113 for supplies to create
scenery and costumes for 4th/5th grade play

Q: Has she already spent the money? A:
Yes, this is for reimbursement.

Q: What would happen if we didn’t
approve? A: She’d just be out of pocket for the items.

Executive Board will be discussing
putting a mechanism into place for next year (funding built into the budget,
separated by grade level), that would be available to teachers for items such
as this

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously  

Ms. Norwood: $250 to support Field
Trip for Third Grade classes to visit the Torpedo Factory to follow up on printing-making
by artist Veronica Kelly

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously  

 Ms. Oviedo: $619 from SpEd Team for math classroom
resources: Touch Math Kits 1,2, and 3 for grades K-2, downloadable “green”

Q: Is the “green” version for the
iPad? A: No, it’s printable, not digital

Q: Does the Department of Instruction
not provide adequate funds to SpEd Department? Where does the school’s SpEd
budget go? A: Most of budget goes toward testing protocols

Q: Any consistency issues with using
this program? A: No, it’s a widely used program within APS, but the county
hasn’t adopted it officially due to its expense

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously

$247.06 x 2 for FloorTex polycarbonate
carpet covers for Trailer Classrooms (for the areas under the art center tables)

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously  

Ms. Kim: $54.99 for Shark speaker portable
boom box with wireless speakers (to replace broken one)

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously  

Ms. Brewer: approval to spend up to $400
for an area rug (she may not want to buy it this year, but IF she does decide
to purchase it now rather than waiting another year, I’m asking us to
provisionally approve the amount, for this year only, in case she decides to
move forward before the end of the school year)

Q: Does Ms. Kim also need new carpet?
A: No, Ms. Brewer is only requesting a new area rug to be used for Morning

Motion to approve funding; seconded;
approved unanimously   

Big Picture Item that we’ve been
researching: Sound System upgrade, not to exceed $10,000; we’re not voting on
this item tonight, but laying the groundwork for a vote at the June meeting

Current Sound System is 10 years old
(installed in 2007), and not optimal for all our various needs

Ms. Anselmo and Ms. Nesselrode met
with two gentlemen from APS to talk about what our school needs are from a
Sound System: mics for Community Meeting, Weather Bugs, school play, etc., (7-8
wireless mics); ability to play sound through speakers for movie night and
other similar events, like Multicultural Night

APS reached out to an outside expert about
upgrading to system to include those capabilities; we think it might be in the
ballpark of $7,000-$8,000 to start but don’t have a quote from an expert yet

Sound System could be customized based
on our budget and needs; based on our budget and what we’re hoping to achieve,
we feel it would be reasonable to set aside $5,000-$10,000 for this, but we
need a hard number from a subject matter expert before we take it to a vote

When we do vote, it will be
“not-to-exceed” an amount that is slightly higher than quote we’re given, in
case there are some unforeseen circumstances (this is how we handled the Pond
Re-do last year)

Ideally, work will be done over the
summer, so we’ll need to approve in June

Questions and comments?

Q: Will APS help with maintenance? A: Maybe,
to some extent, as they are able, such as by doing minor maintenance, but
probably not with bigger issues.

Comment: In that case, we should
earmark some of the budget for annual system maintenance.

Q: Would APS say that they wouldn’t
help with maintenance if the PTA paid for the system to be installed? A: No,
once it’s installed they don’t ask who paid to have it installed before fixing

Q: Have any other school done this
recently? A: Yes.

Q: Will drywall repair be needed after
installation? A: No, the system is in a box that is already installed behind
the curtain on the stage, this would just be an upgrade/addition to current (box)

Nathan: before we go any further, does
anyone have a stringent objection to this idea?

Q: Is this the priority for spending? If
we weren’t spending the money on this, what would we be doing instead? Could we
get all new carpeting installed for the school? A (Ms. Anselmo): That isn’t a
PTA expense—that’s for APS to fund. We’re in line to get new paint and carpet
installed; it was not approved in last year’s budget, but we’re a top priority
for this year and we’re just waiting for final word as to whether it’s in the final

Nathan: We’ve had multiple meetings
and calls for suggestions, but the upgraded sound system is the one large
near-term expense that keeps bubbling up. Given our successful fundraising this
year, we thought it would be a good time for a project like this.

Comment: I’ve observed that the fence
in front of school is an eyesore, and it’s broken and might be a safety issues
as well. Can we get that fixed? Or remove it? Can we also concentrate on beautifying
and maintaining the front of the school, or getting a marquee? Response (Ms.
Anselmo): APS has an approval process for these items. We have requested a marquee
sign for the front of the school in our MCMM requests, but it has yet to be
funded. We can ask about the fence, and about either removal or replacement, but
even if the PTA were committing the money and/or manpower, we’d have to wait
for approval from APS Facilities to move forward.

Nathan: Assuming we do move forward
with the Sound System upgrade, the idea is that we could look forward over the
next 2-3 years, to what the next big project may be that we’ll need to save up
for. The executive board would like to establish a long-term strategic funding
plan for these, and other, items that are appropriate for the PTA to fund in
coming years.

Comment: I think the Sound System
upgrade is needed. I’d also really like to see a marquee installed because it
would be such a great communications tool.

Comment: I’d like us to consider an
alternative to the fence: a rock wall. Maybe it could incorporate an art
project and students could paint the rocks.

Comment: The PTA has talked, over the
years, about this area, but has chosen to focus more on the other entrance as
it’s the one more frequently used. This area is a more neglected area of
the school that we could turn our attention towards.

Comment: I’d like us to focus on
what’s sustainable and realistic to maintain in this area, should we move
forward with any changes to the front of the school.

Comment: I support the upgraded Sound
System because I think it would more directly benefit our kids and support
their education. Beautification projects, while not discounting them, to me,
don’t have as much direct impact on students or learning.

Nathan: So what I’m hearing is that we’re
in agreement on prioritizing the Sound System upgrade, and that we’d like to
discuss improvements to the front of the school, not in lieu of the Sound
System upgrade, but rather as the next item we take on.

Q: So how much do we have to spend
this year, setting aside money for all of next year’s needs, given our
excellent fundraising? A (Nathan): So to answer that question, the first draft
of the budget that Jenny and I put together has us planning to spend $20,000, including
the $10,000 set aside for the Sound System, based on what we’ve raised this
year. This is a first cut of the budget and neither the Executive Board nor Ms.
Nesselrode has had an opportunity to weigh in.

Comment: So that leaves us with
$10,000 after the Sound System? I’d love for us to consider doing both the
Sound System upgrade and front entrance beautification in that case.

Comment: While I’ve enjoyed this
discussion, I think we need to shelve it for now until Ms. Anselmo has some
answers for us from Facilities.

Comment: I like the idea of the
Marquee and beautifying the entrance, but I’d also like us to look at the
experiences we’re funding for students and looking at how much we spend on
funding field trips and at which grade levels and seeing how we might want to
make sure there’s equity in terms of how we’re spending those funds and also
talk to teachers about experiences we’d want Campbell students to have (such as
seeing an orchestra, or going to Mt. Vernon)

Comment: I don’t know who funded it,
but the Summer Reading/Library program is great and I’d like to see that
continue or even be expanded. Response: That was not funded by the PTA. I think
it should be happening again this summer.

Q: Are the wireless mics handheld or
lapel mics? A: Wireless lapel mics, but we’ll still have jack for handheld
mics, so it will be a combination of mic types.

Nathan: Thank you for approving all the
short-term funding requests and thank you all for a lively discussion around
the Sound System and potential other big-picture items down the road, while
remembering that we don’t want to lose track of experiences and equity.


V. Upcoming
Events/PTA Survey: Nathan Zee, President

Upcoming events:

Reminder: No Community Meeting for the
next 3 weeks; Community Meeting will resume on Friday, 6/9, and we’re hoping to
have it outdoors. And it will be Pajama Day.

DC United Game this Saturday, 5/20

Executive Board Meeting on 6/6

Next PTA Meeting on Tuesday, 6/13

Campbell Olympics on 6/14

PTA Survey re. Programming/Fundraising:
please complete it online by 5/25; paper copies will be available in the office
if you need one


VI.  New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

We’re updating our Volunteer form
prior to New Family Orientation on 6/13; will capture email addresses from new
families at Orientation (we’ll have a table set up)

We’re firming up 2017-2018 Committee
Assignments, we’ll do our best to have it filled out prior to the end of the
school year

Executive Board will be approving the
draft budget, which will be voted on in September

Working on scheduling the Rising K

We’ll look at the Survey results to
plan the year from a Programming/Fundraising perspective

Audit after end of Fiscal Year on
6/30; no spending is allowed from the end of the Fiscal Year until after the
Audit process is completed, so get your receipts for reimbursement in now

Ms. Christy will be full time next
year; PTA will continue to fund lesson planning and invoices, garden work days,
and summer hours but her line item in the budget is reduced accordingly

Q (Heidi): Will
we be taking T-shirts orders for New Families at the Orientation or over the
summer? A: It’s your call if you want to take that on.


VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • That’s
    a wrap. Thanks everyone. See you next month for the final PTA meeting of
    the year.


PTA Meeting Minutes 4.18.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

April 18, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 22

I.     Welcome
and Introductions: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the meeting gave a brief update on the Transfer and
    Enrollment policy revisions
    • Not
      much to update about specific to Campbell
    • We
      had good turnout at both community meetings (on March 30th and
      April 4th), and we were able to give a lot of feedback
    • Online
      Survey came out, so if you weren’t able to provide feedback in person,
      hopefully everyone has taken the opportunity to make their thoughts known
    • A
      two-page document went out to explain more about Campbell in a clear,
      concise, and cool way to help guide feedback for anyone who wanted to
      provide it

  • Beyond
    the transfer and enrollment policy, you could give feedback on:
    • the
      three HS siting options
    • K-12
      academic structure/plans

  • Lots
    of opportunities to comment, and hopefully everyone did; questions,
    comments or feedback?
    • Q:
      Site selection: if it’s the W-L site, being one of the smaller
      footprints, would that mean it’s a neighborhood HS? A: I don’t think the
      instructional focus has been determined; it has the potential to be an IB
      expansion, a 9th grade academy, a world language academy, a
      small extension of W-L, but decision has not been made. Presumably, they’d
      knock down the Ed Center and build something new, or possibly
      repurpose/refurbish the building if this site is chosen; there was a
      recent effort to get a historic designation, but I don’t know if that
      will be successful or whether it would affect the plans.
    • Comment:
      I asked about that at the meeting, and they said that even if it received
      a historic designation, they could build around the historic elements
      (like they had to do with the Stratford building)

  • Decision
    will be finalized in June
  • As
    far as Campbell is concerned, we did a fantastic job and we received feedback
    from staff and School Board members that we came together very quickly to
    advocate and our input was well-received. Good job, everyone.



II.    Presentation
of Slate for 2017-2018 PTA Officers: Chandi Krohl, Nomination Committee

  • None
    of the positions are contested and all positions have interested
  • The
    slate, who will be presented for a vote in May, is as follows:
    • President:
      Nathan Zee
    • VP
      Programming: Paige Hamrick
    • VP
      Fundraising: Sean Doyle
    • VP
      Communications/Outreach: Barbara Martinez
    • Treasurer:
      Jenny Morris
    • Secretary:
      Katherine Novello
    • And
      while this isn’t a position we vote on, Ms. Hill has agreed to be our
      Teacher Liaison again for the coming year

  • Nathan:
    I would like to add, that these are just the nominations and we’re not
    voting to elect today. If someone wants to come forward at the May meeting
    and say they’re interested, they may do that.

  • Motion
    to accept the slate. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.


III.           General Safety Tips: Ms. Dina Berhan,
School Counselor

  • In
    5th Grade, we do a lot of talking about refusal skills (on the
    topics of drugs, alcohol, peer pressure, friendship) in conjunction with Resource
    Officer Pagan from Kenmore Middle School. Refusal skills are:
    • Saying
    • Giving
      a reason for saying “no”
    • Suggesting
      a different activity
    • Changing
      the subject
    • Walking

  • General
    safety tips and topics we discuss are:
    • We
      want all kids to know full names, addresses, and phone numbers
    • We
      talk about play dates—that it’s okay to say if something makes you
      uncomfortable, it’s okay to ask to talk to an adult you love and trust in
      case of an emergency; they should feel comfortable telling a trusted
      adult when something makes them uncomfortable
    • Parents
      and their kids should have a “code word” for an emergency that allows
      kids to call parents and get out of a situation without feeling
    • Kids
      should ask before touching people’s pets
    • We
      talk about medication in the clinic
    • Don’t
      talk to people who approach you or drive up to you
    • Try
      to walk in groups vs. alone whenever possible
    • Don’t
      walk with loud music on headphones
    • Don’t
      use WiFi/internet without parental knowledge
    • It’s
      okay to talk to other adults about home safety
    • Don’t
      accept candy, food, medication from people you don’t know
    • What
      to do if you’re lost, how to ask for help, who to ask for help
    • If
      you see something, say something
    • Know
      where your siblings attend school
    • The
      law about anonymous reporting (not that they’d be doing the reporting,
      but that if they pass on info to a trusted adult, their identity can
      remain anonymous)
      • Reporting
        suspected abuse, neglect may be done anonymously

  • Ms.
    • code
      words are really important, as is having a plan with your child for what
      they should do if something is making them uncomfortable at a play date
      or sleep-over, so they can ask to come home without being embarrassed;
      let them know it’s okay at any hour, safety is more important than sleep
      or anything else
    • have
      plans for scenarios where something goes wrong, like forgetting/losing
      your keys—what to do in that situation; family code words can also help in
      situations where there is a risk of known family kidnapping (it’s a way
      for child to know if adult who is picking them up has been sent by a
      trusted adult and has legitimate permission to be there)
    • Know
      which is the right number to call in an emergency situation (cell or home
      or another number?)
    • Do
      role-playing in various scenarios
    • Know
      your parents’ names
      • Comment:
        tell kids to look for people in uniforms if they need help
      • Comment:
        tell kids that not all strangers are bad; tell them to find a parent if
        they can’t find someone in uniform

  • Nathan
    thanked Ms. Berhan, and turned over the floor to Liz Ryan for a deep-dive
    into the specifics of gun safety



IV.  Gun
Safety: Liz Ryan, Parent and Volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense

  • Why
    am I here? I’m a recent volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense. I’m
    here to talk to you about a program called “Be SMART,” which is about how
    to keep our kids safe whether we own a gun or not, by bringing adults
    together to talk about kids, guns, and safety. This program is not about
    politics or laws, though those are important issues; this is simply about
    keeping our kids “SMART.”
  • Things
    we can all agree on:
    • We
      want our kids to be happy and healthy
    • We
      all have the right to make responsible decisions about whether or not to
      own guns
    • If
      we can prevent even one child’s death, it’s our responsibility to do so

  • Headlines
    can make you feel helpless
    • American
      kids are 11 times more likely to die from gun violence than children in
      other developed countries
    • Each
      year and average of 1,300 children die from gun violence; the bulk are
      from homicides and suicides, but about 100 kids a year die from
      unintentional shootings

  • Questions
    to ask yourself before bringing a firearm into your home:
    • Are
      the security concerns consistent with the local crime rates?
    • Will
      other adults in the home join in the firearms training?
    • Do
      risk factors exist? Such as does anyone: have a mental health issue, have
      substance abuse issues, have a chronic health condition or chronic pain?
    • Do
      all adults in the home support having a gun?
    • What
      precautions will you take to safeguard your kids?

  • 70%
    of children under the age of 10 report knowing where their parents’ guns
    are stored, and of those, 36% report that they have accessed them without their
    parents’ knowledge
  • 1.7
    million kids live in homes where guns are loaded and unlocked
    • Q:
      What recommendation do you have for families where gun storage is a
      sensitive topic? A: Chalk it up to kids being kids and getting into
      everything, and stress that this is about safety without judging gun
      ownership. Give examples of how kids get into things they aren’t supposed
      to (like finding hidden Christmas presents).

  • In
    children under the age of 16, the presence and availability of a gun is a
    more significant risk factor for suicide, over a mental health diagnosis
    (firearm is the most lethal suicide method)
  • Suicide
    attempts by gun are fatal 85% of the time; by contrast, suicide attempts
    by taking pills are successful only about 2% of the time; adolescence is
    an emotional and impulsive time; the majority of individuals who fail in
    their first suicide attempt don’t try it again, so it’s of the utmost
    importance to keep firearms away from those who may be contemplating
    • Ms.
      Nesselrode: APS has aggressive procedures for monitoring suicidal
      ideation at school; we always contact parents when we have those
      discussions with students; suicide prevention is a number one priority
      • Q:
        Do you talk about whether there are guns in the home at that point? A
        Ms. Nesselrode): There are questions that asses what the student’s plan
        might be and what access they have to dangerous objects; we don’t want
        to suggest any ideas, so the questions are posed in a broad way; if the
        student mentions guns, we’re give this information to parents; this is a
        standard county risk assessment, and for students assessed as “high
        risk,” we may contact county health officials
      • Q:
        If you have a high school student, and your child tells you that they’re
        worried about a friend, would you recommend the parents contact the
        school? A: Yes, and teachers and school staff are required reporters, so
        by law, this would be elevated appropriately

  • What
    can you do about it? Program is called “Be SMART”
    • Secure guns in your homes and
      • Keep
        guns locked, unloaded, and stored separately from ammunition
      • There
        are lots of options to store your guns safely, even inexpensively

    • Model responsible behavior
      • Always
        keep your gun pointed in a safe direction
      • Treat
        every firearm as if it’s loaded
      • Be
        aware of your target and what’s beyond it
      • Don’t
        rely on your gun’s “safety”

    • Ask about unsecured guns in other
      • Make
        it part of a discussion
      • Volunteer
        information about your own home
      • Use
        technology; it may feel easier to have this conversation over email or
      • Talk
        to family and caregivers

    • Recognize the risks of teen
      • Changes
        in behavior
      • Feeling
        hopeless, ashamed, or desperate
      • Increase
        in aggression
      • Talking
        about wanting to kill themselves

    • Tell your peers to be SMART
      • Talk
        to you friends and family about what you’ve learned tonight
      • You
        can also volunteer to lead a presentation, we’re always happy to have
        more volunteers, or if you’d like to have us come and present to another
        organization, we’re happy to do so. Go to for more

  • Any
    • Comment:
      Some safes are better than others; having a safe that kids cannot get
      into is critical (there have been some reports of children being able to
      pick up safes that are not bolted down and throw them to get them to pop
      open). If you’re relying on a safe because you want to have quick access
      to a weapon and ammunition, you have a high burden to make sure that it’s
      doing what it’s intended to do.
    • Comment:
      I’ve had two students affected by gun violence. One was a parent’s
      suicide and another was an accidental shooting. The impact on the people
      left behind by these incidents was tremendous and devastating. All of
      their lives will never be the same. Liz: Thank you for bringing that up.
      Our presentation doesn’t really delve into that, but the truth is that
      gun violence is devastating for everyone.
    • Q:
      What age is appropriate to talk to kids about the danger of guns? A: You
      can talk to them at any age, however our goal is to talk to parents and
      inform them, because it’s the parents who ultimately need to take the
      proactive steps to keep their own kids and other kids safe. We emphasize
      that the onus for responsibility is on the adults. That said, I still
      talk to my kids about gun safety, and tell them to find an adult if they
      discover a gun. But I would not skip the step of talking to other parents
      before a play date or family members before a visit because kids, by
      nature, are curious and impulsive, and cannot be relied upon to make good
      decisions and the stakes are too high.
      • Comment:
        Study after study has shown that even children who’ve been taught gun
        safety and responsibility from a young age, still make mistakes and I
        wouldn’t trust any child with a lethal weapon, because I’ve witnessed
        their impulsivity.
      • Comment
        (Ms. Nesselrode): I’d expand it further when talking with kids about
        safety and kind of build up to it. In my years of experience, I’ve had
        kids bring inappropriate things to school and 90% of the time it’s to
        impress a friend; things like: cigarettes, lighters, pocket knives, etc.
        Managing those items, and keeping them locked and safely stored are
        important. If you’re not ready to tackle the “gun talk” with your kids,
        you can start talking about these other thing, because it’s the same
        mechanism—those impulsive kid actions that progress from smaller to
        larger things. Talking through this can’t hurt, although, as others have
        pointed out, kids make unreliable decisions.

    • Comment:
      I really appreciate the normalization of the conversation around gun
      safety. I wonder if we, as a PTA, can do more to help spread the word,
      maybe through Peachjar, or some other mechanism, and normalize/spread it
      even further.
      • Response:
        we’ve looked into Peachjar, but it’s expensive. We’re open to ideas
        about how to spread our message and outreach.


V.    Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

  • For
    the year, we’ve been doing great on our fundraising goals. This month we
    had income of:
    • $1,046
      from Penny Wars
    • $155
      from Amazon payments
    • $127
      from Brick’s Pizza Night
    • Approximately
      $6,700 from Fun Run

  • This
    month we had the following expenses
    • Paid
      Ms. Christy $315
    • Bought
      remaining books on teacher’s wish lists from the Book Fair
    • Spent
      $2,000 to fund various Field Trips
    • Paid
      $148 for wobble chairs for Ms. Sim’s class
    • Spent
      $96 for 100 thermometers for school clinic nurses to distribute to
      families who need them

  • Any
    • Q:
      Did the Campbell Spirit Wear t-shirts bring in a lot of money? A: That
      income was not received this month, that was a few months ago but we did
      well and it’s been very profitable. This month we paid for the Fun Run
      • Comment
        (Heidi): We’ll do one more Campbell wear offering for warm weather, so
        there will be another opportunity for those who may want short sleeved
        t-shirts for the season

  • We’ve
    been taking in money for the upcoming DC United game this month, too
    • Comment:
      We still have about 20 tickets remaining in our block of 100 tickets,
      we’ve sold 80 so far; game is May 20th.


VI. Classroom
Proposals: Nathan Zee, President

We put out a call to teachers for
funding requests, and our teachers have submitted 18 requests so far

Our first request is being presented
by a special guest, Third Grade student, Logan:

Logan read a short letter to the PTA,
outlining his class’s request and demonstrating the skills he has honed during
the persuasive writing unit in the Third Grade curriculum

Nathan: perhaps we can take this
opportunity to provide some instant feedback?

Motion to approve up to $300 for purchase
of three Bean Bag chairs for Ms. McAleer’s Third Grade class; motion seconded,
motion approved unanimously.

I’ll read through the remaining 17
items, and then we can have a discussion; then we’ll take a vote on the items
all at once; if anyone objects to an item being included, please speak up at
any time as we go through the list:

The first request will not be included
in the items that we’re voting on. As Jenny mentioned earlier, we spent about
$100 to buy 100 thermometers; technically per the PTA by-laws, we don’t have to
vote on items that are within $200 of a previously budgeted item, so that’s why
we didn’t take a vote prior to purchasing these urgently needed items when they
were requested. Under normal circumstances, we would take a vote, even on items
under $200, just to make sure that everyone is on board.

$500 for a poetry workshop for entire
Fifth Grade; includes two two-hour sessions culminating in a separate poetry
slam competition session, submitted by reading specialist, Ms. Fiordellisi

$39.99 for Scholastic Sentence
Building Tiles super set, support materials for speech and language program

 $54.95 for Say New Vocab Bingo, support
materials for speech and language program

$12.95 for Auditory Memory for WH
Questions Fun Deck , support materials for speech and language program

$4.95 for Webber Photo Cards Story
Starters, support materials for speech and language program

$249.50 for ten noise-cancelling

$27.15 for Sandtastik Play Sand
(white), support materials for occupational therapy program

$7.66 for Dinosaur Fossil Skeleton
toy, support materials for occupational therapy program

$8.95 for Educational Insights Play
phone, support materials for occupational therapy program

$18.99 for Giggle Wiggle game, support
materials for occupational therapy program

$16.99 for Jumping Jack game, support
materials for occupational therapy program

$10.62 for Yeti in my Spaghetti game,
support materials for occupational therapy program

$20 for Guiding Reading Level M, set
5, reading books to add to the classroom library, high interest lower level
chapter books

$20 for Guiding Reading Level M, set
4, reading books to add to the classroom library, high interest lower level
chapter books

$20 for Guiding Reading Level, set Arthur
chapter books, reading books to add to the classroom library Chapter books,
high interest lower level chapter books

$20 for Guiding Reading Level L,
number 15, reading books to add to the classroom library, high interest lower
level chapter books

Total of these sixteen requests, not
including the poet (which was $500), is $554.15


Q: Looking at the budget, do these
fall under classroom and teacher support/classroom resources? A: Yes.

Follow-up Q: Okay, so we have a total
budgeted of $3,000/year, so this won’t take us anywhere near that. A: Yes, so
technically we didn’t need to vote on any of this, but that’s not how we’d
prefer to conduct our business.

Q: Why are these needs being asked of
the PTA? Have their particular budgets already been exhausted? A (Ms.
Nesselrode): OT/SpEd/Speech teachers have no line item in the budget for
materials; SpEd has a very small budget and most of it goes to funding testing
protocols (i.e., Woodcock-Johnson testing forms); if the PTA could not fund
these items, I’d be able to find money elsewhere in the budget

Q: Do you ever leave money on the
table? A: No, it’s all spent.

Q: So if you don’t spend money on
these items, you’ll spend that money on something else that benefits Campbell?
A: Yes.

Q: Have we ever asked for donations of
these items? A: We have in the past, but most of these are small items that we
are able to fund.  

Comment: One idea is at the school
where I teach, we have a “giving tree” with teacher’s wish lists at the
beginning of the year at Back-to-School Night. A: Let’s work towards that for next
year’s Back-to-School Night.

Q: Is this all that was requested? I’m
surprised there weren’t larger requests. A: Yes, luckily, we were able to get
many needs met prior to this push for funding requests.

Nathan: feedback to the teachers, is
that hopefully they can put requests forward earlier in the year through a wish
list/”giving tree” concept.

Q: Do teachers request PD? A: PTA is not
allowed to fund professional development; sometimes EL money can be used
towards teachers going to the more expensive trainings (like Responsive
Classroom training, because it’s in line with the principles of EL), and APS is
offering more training for free in the summer.

Nathan: we can publish list of
everything we’ve funded in the past year to give teachers ideas for requests;
what we don’t want to do is tell teachers what they should and should not be
requesting, so we’re very sensitive to that; we want the request to come from
the teachers themselves

Comment: Are teachers holding back
requests, maybe feeling like they’ve asked for too much already? What if we encouraged/inspired
teacher with grade-level set-asides, so that teacher knew how much they could/should
expect to be directed their way?

Motion to approve slate of funding
requests. Motion seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Bigger ticket items that we’ve

Long-term, multi-thousand-dollar
project for new sound system is being investigated and we’re working on getting
details straightened out before proceeding

Buddy bench: we’re probably going to
try to refurbish an existing bench and see how that goes first


VII. New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

Tammi Bewitz: We have a $600 budget
for Teacher Appreciation; I request that we increase the budget by $400, to do
more for our teachers (maybe buy them a little something extra that won’t
require additional volunteers or parent donations)

Motion to approve an additional $400 for
Teacher Appreciation Week. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.

Nathan: we’ll look at increasing the
Teacher Appreciation Budget for next year

Wetlands Festival

    • Call
      for volunteers went out (Sign-Up Genius)
    • Food
      will be catered
    • Dunk
      tank (teacher and staff have already volunteered)
    • K-9
      Unit demonstration
    • Face
      painting 4:30-6:30
    • Music:
      four bands scheduled
    • Auction,
      lots of wonderful things to bid on
    • Online
      auction kicks off Thursday Night
    • Class
      baskets filing up; Kathy will coordinate getting these packaged for
    • Barbara
      is leading the marketing and communications for the Festival
    • Jenny’s
      running the budget and finances
    • Kelly’s
      coordinating signs and field paint to line off areas and keep activities separate
    • We
      have a Rain Plan, fingers crossed we won’t need it
    • T-shirts
      (spring offerings can be ordered, “Fire Sale” of old Campbell wear in odd
    • Thank
      you to everyone working so hard to pull together a great event


  • Jenny
    and I will take a first pass at next year’s budget during May, and the new
    Executive Board will discuss the draft at our meeting in June
  • D.C.
    United on 5/20, there are about 20 tickets left
  • We’ll
    put out a survey about PTA activities (programming and fundraising) after
    the Wetlands Festival in May some time to guide the Executive Board budget
    discussion. We’re going to ask about:
    • Our
      three big fundraisers this year were: Pledge Drive, Fun Run, and Wetlands
    • We’re
      considering going down to just two major fundraisers (Fun Run in the fall
      and Wetlands Festival in the spring)

  • Comment:
    Spring Garden Workday is this Saturday from 9-noon, rain or shine, bring
    gloves and water
  • Ms.
    Nesselrode: In terms of cultural competency, parents have specifically
    been asking about how this relates to gender identity issues, what are
    staff talking about with students? Staff is having the first of many
    conversations about best practices in supporting students who don’t fit
    into gender norms or who may begin to identify as LGBTQ; not political
    mostly about avoiding gender stereotypes. We never promote any ideas, but
    we share factual information when students ask questions. We have
    materials that you can borrow if this is a conversation you’re interested
    in having at home.
    • Ms.
      Berhan: looked over FLE (Family Life Education) curriculum w/APS staff and
      a Campbell parent, so if you’re interested in talking more about this, I am
      happy to discuss


VIII.        Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • We
    have two more PTA meetings this year
  • Teachers,
    feel free to send in more funding requests
  • That’s
    a wrap. Thanks everyone. See you next month.


PTA Meeting Minutes 3.21.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

March 21, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 32

I.     Welcome
and Introductions: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the meeting and read a “Thank You” to the Wellness
    Committee note from Ms. Sutherland, who expressed her deep appreciation
    for the “Self-Care” hour staff event; Ms. Nesselrode commented that the
    event was lovely and was very much appreciated by the staff (and
    well-attended, as over 20 teachers participated); thank you especially to
    Jessica Haney who conceived and brought the event to fruition
  • Nathan
    reminded everyone of the call for nominations for next year’s PTA
    Officers; only three more PTA meetings this year, so the slate of nominated
    officers will be presented at the April meeting and the final vote will be
    taken at the May meeting; if you are interested in nominating someone (or
    are interested yourself) in any of the positions, please contact the Chair
    of the Nominating Committee, Chandi Krohl, ; all
    positions are up for a vote every year, but each position is limited to a
    term of two years; the current VP Fundraising and VP Programming are
    ineligible to return as they have served two years, so at a minimum we
    need individuals who would like to serve in these roles though all six
    positions will be voted on at the May meeting  
  • Nathan
    thanked Kathy Evans for her hard work on the Penny Wars Fundraiser; we
    raised over $800 in change; even though it wasn’t designed to be a large
    fundraiser, it was fun and very successful and we received a lot of
    positive feedback
    • Q:
      Who won? A: There were two winners: the First Grade won with the highest
      number of points, and the Fourth Grade won with the most money; those two
      grade levels will get to buy items for their classrooms with the funds (like
      games for Indoor Recess)
    • Comments:
      the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union representative, Ashley, who presented
      our school with the “Big Check” at Community Meeting, shared how
      impressed she was with how we conduct Community Meeting, and that she’d
      like the CEO of the ACFCU to visit our school; the community engagement
      aspect of this fundraiser was really important; representatives of the
      ACFCU would like to volunteer for the Garden Work Day;

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode commented on our relationship with ACFCU: for those who don’t
    recall, they have been a financial backer (the greenhouse); they are
    enthusiastic supporters and have good follow-through, they are committed
    to upholding community ties
  • Nathan
    reminded the PTA that we moved our PTA bank account to the ACFCU earlier
    this year when we had to open new accounts; we decided to strengthen our
    growing bond and support a community-minded business in the process


  • Nathan
    reminded us that the Fun Run will be held this Friday and there will not
    be a Community Meeting; Nathan announced that the students were successful
    in meeting all three levels of fundraising incentives by raising over
    $6,000; parents are invited to come watch and/or to run with their
    children (there will be a DJ and it will be a very fun event); 195
    t-shirts were sold
  • Kathy
    Evans gave a quick update on the Wetlands Festival planning (next meeting
    will be this Saturday, March 25th at 10 am at Nathan’s home)
    • Wetlands
      Festival Donation basket letter will be coming home this Thursday;
      donations bins will be in the entryway of the school beginning next
      Monday; bins will be there to accept donations until 4/21
    • Grade
      level themes are:
      • Pre-K
        – Arts & Crafts
      • K
        – Gardner’s Delight
      • 1st
        Grade – Build It
      • 2nd
        Grade – Adventure and Action Stars
      • 3rd
        Grade – I Discover
      • 4th
        Grade – Outdoor Fun
      • 5th
        Grade – Food, Glorious Food

    • Online
      auction will start on 4/20 and end on 4/27
    • Sign-up
      Genius for Wetlands Festival volunteers will go out soon
    • Reminder
      will go home about parent/staff auction donations (if you have something
      interesting to give, i.e. handicrafts, behind-the-scenes tours, homemade
      dinner, etc.)

  • Nathan
    reminded everyone of the upcoming programming event this coming Monday,
    3/27: DC United player is coming to Campbell to sign autographs and take
    pictures from 6:30-8pm
  • Nathan
    turned over the floor to Ms. Nesselrode


II.    APS
Budget Update: Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode highlighted key aspects of the Superintendent’s Budget Proposal

Both the draft calendar: and proposed budget are online on the APS
website for viewing, feedback, etc.;

The Superintendent proposed a needs-based
budget, not necessarily a balanced budget, with the hope being that the county
would come up with what’s needed to make it happen

The increasing needs are largely due to rising
enrollment and the associated costs

There is a new procedure in place that
requires the Superintendent to propose a step increase for teachers and staff,
and then the School Board will decide whether to accept the step increase as
part of the budget

There are some items that are listed in tiers,
that would become cuts if needed

One of the tiers, further down, includes an
increase in class size

initiatives are not driving costs, rather this proposal is to maintain what
we’re doing currently, just with more students

Unrelated to the budget, Ms.
Nesselrode highlighted some of the Spring expeditions that students are engaged

 Fourth Graders are immersed right now in an
expedition that came about and was designed around donated basil seed; the
students are making an organic salad dressing with basil, and other
ingredients, many of which are produced here at Campbell; they will bottle the
dressing; they visited a culinary school as part of the expedition; in order to
incorporate academics, they are incorporating a lot of writing in the curriculum,
including media (making advertisements), label, nutrition facts, recipes, etc.;
goal is to serve the Campbell salad dressing here at our school and also at
some other Arlington schools; some may be available at the upcoming auction for
interested parties; the children are very, very excited about their expedition!

Third Grade working on their
expedition related to simple machines; they’ll be going on a field trip to
three local playgrounds to compare and contrast the different simple machines
found on the playgrounds

Kindergarten/First Grade expeditions
have been revamped as well, so lots of new and exciting things happening in the
spring; the ducks are back and spring is in the air

Ms. Christy shared that the Kindergarten students are beginning
their water expedition this coming week; First Graders are looking at the
Outdoor Classroom “through the eyes of a scientist” for their expedition;
Spring-themed haiku student poems have been posted at the doors to the
courtyard; in Art, students have created clay kiln-fired Fairy Houses that have
been placed throughout the courtyard, and metal tooling that is hanging from
the trees was created to deter birds from the plants that are growing in the
courtyard, check out Facebook to see the many inspiring pictures; next week the
Fourth Graders will be Skyping with a Salt Farmer from North Carolina because
they’re using her sea salt in their vinaigrette recipe, and they’re
investigating their sources and learning the stories behind their ingredients;
Ms. Nesselrode commented that this is a great example of how Campbell is using
technology in a meaningful way

Ms. Nesselrode commented that some of the teams’ spring
expeditions are launching earlier in the school year to try to lessen the
number of showcases held in June, because it’s such a busy time of the school
year with many competing events; all the dates for the Showcases will be entered
into the Google calendar, and handouts will also go home with a list of all the
Showcase dates printed

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode turned the floor over to Nathan


III.           Enrollment/Transfer Policy response:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan
    gave brief summary/background of process and where we are now
    • The
      School Board and APS Staff are embarking on rewriting the school Transfer
      and Enrollment Policies; that’s impactful because it determines who can
      go to what school, including neighborhood schools, choice schools
      (henceforth being referred to as option schools), and programs like
      Montessori, Immersion, and IB
    • New
      map dividing the options and programs by East-West
    • Our
      community needs to provide input to the enrollment and transfer process
      • Came
        to a head last Wednesday night at the School Board work session on this
        topic (a work session is an open meeting in which School Board members
        can ask clarifying questions to APS staff; work sessions are recorded
        and video is posted online, public allowed to attend these meetings, but
        are not allowed to comment)
      • APS
        staff presented a brief in which they discussed the future of options
        and the new east-west division
      • Campbell
        was listed in the category of neighborhood school with a STEAM focus,
        rather than as an “Option” school
        • Becoming a neighborhood school could mean losing EL, we’d
          have a set boundary, and many of the features that make Campbell unique
          would be lost (like looping, alternate report cards, etc.)
        • Ms. Nesselrode: the neighborhood would likely be from 8th
          and Greenbrier, so many current students would not be in the
        • This would dramatically change Campbell from the school
          that exists today
        • That’s why I sent out the email via Announcements with
          links to the survey asking everyone to provide feedback before the
          survey closed, and to provide feedback to via email
        • You guys did an amazing job; we had a lot of people
          sending feedback right away to notify APS that EL is unique within APS
          and important to continue
        • Within just a few hours of the call-to-action and our
          community’s response, APS came back and said they’d made a mistake and
          it was just an oversight and updated their draft to include Campbell as
          an “Option” school; told our community members to stay engaged
        • Tannia Talento, our School Board liaison, sent a note
          apologizing for the oversight and stating that she would continue to
          advocate for Campbell
        • So, that is all good news, but we may not be out of the
          woods yet and we should not be complacent
        • We hope to send a PTA letter, that is approved by the PTA
          members, stating what the PTA would like to have happen, as far as the
          transfer/admission process is concerned
        • Six of us met over the weekend, hoping to have a draft
          letter to share at this meeting, but we did not reach a consensus, so
          we agreed to outline a letter and talk about the main points we want to
          hit on and then make sure that, from a PTA perspective, we are mostly
          aligned; since then the six of us have had some more dialogue and we’re
          more aligned than we were initially
        • We want to be transparent about what we’re recommending
          and make sure that we’re representing the community

      • Nathan
        surveyed the members as to whether anyone wants Campbell to become a
        neighborhood school; the consensus was “no” and there was broad support
        for Campbell to remain an “Option” school
        • Q: Could we still be
          Campbell w/an EL focus as a neighborhood school? A: (Ms. Nesselrode): I
          think EL or not EL isn’t the only question; we could not maintain our
          current school culture, decisions, and program as a neighborhood
          school, with or without EL. For example: our alternate report cards
          would not make sense in a neighborhood school; things would have to be
          more standardized to become more like other neighborhood schools. As an
          “Option” school we can be different and those who do not want those
          differences have a choice about whether to enroll. In policy, there is
          no reason EL could not be maintained in a neighborhood school, but families
          would not be choosing our school, they’d be assigned here, so there
          wouldn’t really be a reason to do EL, and many of our unique features,
          that are not necessarily tied to EL, would be compromised and our
          culture would change.

      • Ms.
        Nesselrode asked whether everyone was familiar with the plan’s
        schema; she explained that in the scenario presented by APS, there are only
        three distinct types of schools: neighborhood schools with a defined
        boundary, east/west “option” schools, or countywide “option” schools
      • Nathan: so out of those
        options, which do we prefer? It’s clear that of those options, the PTA
        does not support becoming a neighborhood school, so we need to determine
        whether we want to advocate for becoming a countywide or east/west
        • To explain background, the admission/transfer policy
          update has come out of a concern to make access to option schools more
          equitable; for example, ATS has a countywide double-blind lottery,
          anyone can apply and have a fair shot, whereas Campbell’s lottery is
          limited to south Arlington overcrowded preference (so that could be
          viewed as being inequitable)
        • We are 100% lottery school, but VPI students do not have
          to reenter lottery for Kindergarten (they apply to a lottery for VPI,
          and then are automatically enrolled at Campbell for Kindergarten)
        • What people are saying about Campbell is the number of
          lottery slots available, after VPI and siblings are admitted, is only
          about 20 or so available for new families, give or take, depending on
          the number of siblings in any given year

      • Q:
        Is the VPI lottery countywide? A: (Ms. Nesselrode): The VPI program is
        countywide, but Campbell school’s VPI lottery is limited to students
        living in South Arlington


      • Nathan:
        from what I can gather, the School Board wants the outcome of this
        policy update to result in greater equity and simplicity
      • Q:
        So the Montessori classroom that’s here, would that then move since
        they’re moving the countywide Montessori school? A (Ms. Nesselrode):
        That’s a possibility, but it would not happen for next year.
      • The
        School Board will be making a decision about the transfer/admission
        policy before the end of this school year, to go into effect in fall of
        2018, but the decision as to whether Montessori satellite locations will
        become centralized is not part of this immediate process, though you
        could still provide feedback about that now
      • Q:
        Campbell is not the only school that has limited lottery admittance; for
        instance, isn’t Science Focus limited to north Arlington only? So is
        this really being driven by budget? A (Ms. Nesselrode): No, I don’t
        believe it’s budgetary. It’s being driven by capacity, and confusion (right
        now there’s a complicated matrix of policies that are difficult to
        navigate), and by planning, as new schools are built and programs are
        moved, there’s a need for coordination and a master plan (a big-picture
      • Q:
        Can you talk about why the Interlude program was moved to Campbell? A
        (Ms. Nesselrode): Because it’s a countywide program and we’re a
        countywide program, and because we have capacity, it makes sense from a
        transportation and capacity perspective. Also, in the past when the
        Interlude program was in a neighborhood school, it had to be moved
        around as schools became overcrowded; the hope was that by placing it in
        a countywide lottery school, it would become its permanent home. It’s now
        tied to our school culture and something that we’d like to retain the
        program as it makes the most sense in a countywide building.
        • Q (Nathan Zee): Is making Interlude a permanent part of
          Campbell something we’d want to advocate for in our PTA letter, to make
          another case to maintain our “Option” school status? A (Ms.
          Nesselrode): Yes.

      • Q:
        Are we going to talk about the east/west divide? Do we want to comment
        on that, or ask to become that instead of countywide, especially if
        being an east/west will affect our Title 1 status? A (Ms. Nesselrode): In
        this schema, there are only three types of schools: neighborhood,
        countywide, or east/west options. I’m not sure that we have a choice per
        se about whether we become countywide rather than east/west. Either one
        will likely affected our Title 1 status; I think that is an
      • Nathan:
        so to close the loop on the east/west model that was presented last
        week, there will be an Immersion east/west, and an IB east/west, and
        then Montessori and ATS would be countywide, and in the updated version,
        they have Campbell as countywide rather than neighborhood
      • Q:
        So what is the east/west dividing line? A: It’s kind of a zig zag and is
        pretty far west, south of 50 it’s Four Mile Run; A (Ms. Nesselrode): I
        believe that exact line isn’t set in stone, at this point it’s just a
        schematic, lots of community discussion to come that will likely
        influence the specifics of that line
      • Q:
        Was there an option for an east/west EL school? A; No. The only thing
        they showed was Campbell as a neighborhood school in the original draft,
        and then they went back and updated the presentation after the feedback
        they received to show Campbell as a countywide option. (Ms. Nesselrode):
        to point out, if Campbell became east/west, it would geographically have
        to be a west option, which would disenfranchise a number of our current
        families who would be considered east under the new schema; but I don’t
        think it’s up to us whether we’re classified as countywide or east/west;
        staff has clarified that we will be countywide
      • Comment:
        What we’ve encountered is a lack of knowledge about EL and Campbell as
        an option school; it’s clear we need to do some education of the School
        Board members, and broader community, about what we are and what EL is;
        we can be the conduit for this education
      • Comment:
        People don’t feel like the lotteries are honest
        • Nathan: that’s a good point. That is part of why this
          policy revision has come about, so that all the school lotteries will
          become managed in the same way, eventually (long-term) they may move to
          a centralized “super-lottery” because of this perceived inequity
        • Ms. Nesselrode: A centralized “super lottery” is much
          further off. Right now, this is how the VPI lottery is handled, and
          it’s not without complications

      • Q:
        As part of the community education/school advocacy we’re doing, do we
        need to talk about why we stay small, because of our unique geologic
        issues? Because we’ve heard comments about how it’s not fair that we’re
        a small school on a large property, or confusion about how many students
        we even have. A: (Ms. Nesselrode) Yes, those feelings about school size
        inequity are out there. But we need to remind people that we have and
        are continuing to grow. Building an addition here would be particularly
        complicated. Our capacity will probably go up, but likely with
        w/relocatables rather than an addition due to our unique geological circumstances.
        • How does our Title 1 status affect our size? A (Ms.
          Nesselrode): Class sizes will remain smaller at all Title 1 schools,
          but we’ll probably have more classrooms and grow beyond 430 students

      • Nathan:
        so, as far as the PTA letter is concerned, nobody supported becoming a
        neighborhood school vs. option; becoming a part of the east/west
        division schema is not really something we can advocate for right now,
        because it’s not what is being decided with the policy revisions that
        are happening right now, rather that is a long-term vision; if there’s
        discussion around whether we’d like to have a second EL school, I think
        it falls outside of the scope of this letter, but I’d like to open
        discussion on this topic and hear your thoughts
        • Q: How does the decision get made for there to be another
          EL school? A (Ms. Nesselrode): Opportunity to advocate for a second EL
          school is when a new choice school is opened.
        • Q: If the county were to create a new choice school, how
          would we advocate for it to become EL? A: We’d have to demonstrate
          demand@ the current EL school (Campbell), through a long waitlist for
          instance, and there could be a chance to get a second EL school and
          become east-west option in the future
        • Comment: It’s unfortunate that the community survey did
          not offer EL as an option on the same level as IB or Immersion, not
          able to demonstrate demand for the EL instructional model if the
          question isn’t asked; survey results can’t provide data to show community
          demand for EL; also, we can’t demonstrate potential demand across the
          county because our lottery has been geographically weighted and people
          from outside the preferred areas may not have been applying for that
          reason; becoming a countywide option may allow us to provide this data
          and make a case for a second EL school
        • Comment: the changes to the PIP and policy were not clear,
          the survey was poorly designed; such a large change deserves more
          public commentary
        • Comment: we could point out that EL was left off the
          community survey; we could ask that School Board members visit our
          school to become educated about EL
        • Comment: there’s no reason why our School Board members
          should not be educated about our schools; the information is online, we
          have amazing documentation about the things we’re doing at Campbell, we’re
          prolific on Twitter, etc.
        • Comment: we can put together a communications toolkit with
          all the information we have, so that we speak with one voice across all
          the various platforms and for all the various audiences

      • Does
        the PTA want to take a position on VPI guaranteed admission?
        • VPI students have already undergone a lottery process to
          even enter Campbell as Pre-K students; should they have to reapply at
          the Kindergarten level? Should they have guaranteed entrance to
          • Comment (Ms. Nesselrode): It would be nice, from a
            procedural standpoint, for VPI students to have to indicate, within a
            certain timeframe, whether they plan to return for the following year
            so that we could offer open spots to other interested students
          • Q: How much do current VPI students participate in the “Campbell
            Way?” A: In all aspects.
          • Comment: I feel like this is the child-friendly policy,
            it’s the developmentally right thing to do. Those students are already
            integrated into the school community and they’re part of the school
            community. They’re already doing EL, they’re at the Community
            Meetings. It seems just inappropriate to tell a student you can come
            here for a year and then good luck in the lottery.
          • Q: Do VPI students at APS get automatic priority at ATS?
            A: Yes, but that might be on the table to change with the policy

        • Nathan: Before we close the loop, let me just present the
          other side of the argument so that we can decide whether we’d like to
          take a position. If you have a great program that everyone is
          interested in across the county, but many of the available spots are
          reserved for VPI students, is the lottery equitable? Thoughts on that
          • Comment: I would argue that if it’s a matter of equity,
            then staff could decide to locate VPI classrooms more equitably, if
            that’s the primary goal. I just think that, on its face, it’s wrong to
            move children around, for educators to disrupt learning; from an
            educational policy standpoint, this is wrong
            • Comment: If the Montessori
              program is centralized, that could free up more space at Campbell

          • Okay, to paraphrase what I’m hearing, we’re not going to
            talk about specific numbers, but we’re going to advocate for kids who
            are here to be able to continue
            • Ms. Nesselrode: I think we
              have to be specific, because there are other programs here; if we’re
              talking about VPI, then we have to be explicit
              • Comment: For instance, per
                current policy, Interlude students aren’t allowed to remain after
                they “graduate” from the program, they must return to their
                neighborhood school

            • Ms. Nesselrode: One of the
              goals is to create consistency, so that programs in different
              buildings have the same admissions procedures. So I think you’d be
              right to advocate that countywide programs treat students similarly.
              Go with the broad ideas that reflect your values are and don’t get
              into the weeds, or subtleties of procedures.

        • Nathan: Okay, to paraphrase what I’m hearing, from a
          values perspective we’re going to advocate to be a countywide option,
          we’re going to explain a little bit about EL (we might do a separate
          fact sheet about EL), we are going to advocate for the VPI students who
          are already here to remain, in alignment with other countywide option school
          admission policies
          • Comment: we could advocate specifically to copy ATS’s
            policy, which is “Students will be chosen through a random
            double-blind lottery. The following students are guaranteed admission at
            the Kindergarten level: students who have completed the VPI class at
            Campbell, siblings of older students who will be concurrently
            attending, and everybody else is admitted on a space-available basis.”
          • Comment: So most importantly, we don’t want to lose the
            fact that we’re an EL school, it seems to me that we are more than
            likely going to be forced to be a countywide school where the
            preference for surrounding neighborhoods goes away. Which is not a bad
            thing, necessarily, if it means we get to keep EL, our small size, and
            who we are and what we’re all about. So it seems like that’s where we
            need to go with our advocacy.
            • Nathan: Does anyone disagree
              with this, because I think this a great articulation of what we need
              to write?
            • Comment: I don’t disagree,
              but I do feel a little concerned, along with what others have
              expressed, that when the School Board omits EL from the survey, and
              it seems that many decisions have already been made about the
              “vision,” I would not underestimate the uniqueness of the EL program,
              I would highlight it and wouldn’t make it a separate side sheet,
              because that’s a key point of what we hope to maintain and it worries
              me that in the interest of simplification, EL has already been eliminated
            • Comment: Whether that
              omission was intentional or not, I think it’s clear we have educate
              and advocate for our model, and I think there’s a group of us who are
              committed to doing that on an ongoing basis
            • Comment: EL is still thought
              of as an exemplary project and not a distinct instructional model,
              because of how our program sort of grew out of the push for every
              school to have an exemplary project; not a clear recognition that our
              program is based on an educational model


      • Nathan:
        Okay, in the interest of time, we’re going to have to wrap up this
        discussion. We can continue this discussion informally and unofficially,
        but we have to end on time to relieve the babysitters. So I think we
        have our message. The next steps are:
        • I’m going to work with folks, draft something up, and send
          it out to everyone and get any last minute comments and then send it in
        • I do want to add, that just because something isn’t
          included in this letter, for instance, we had some good discussions
          about a biased survey, extensive curriculum challenges not being
          addressed; we’re not going to hit on all of those topics in this
          letter, but everyone has valuable feedback and opportunities to share
          that through the Engage APS email, by responding to the online forum, and
          by attending meetings on March 30th and April 4th
        • If I can get the letter and some talking points ready,
          we’ll be encouraging folks to sign up to speak at the School Board
          meeting this Thursday night (and I’ll send out information about how to
          do that)

      • Ms.
        Nesselrode: I’d encourage you, in your talking points, to highlight both
        Campbell’s unique philosophy and instructional model


IV.  Call
for Teacher Support Ideas: Nathan Zee , President

  • Our
    teacher liaison, Ms. Hill, has approached teachers to submit their
    requests and has gotten an initial set of ideas
  • I’d
    also encourage all of our PTA members to submit potential ideas; talk with
    your teachers so that your ideas are ones that align with what the
    teachers hope to accomplish
  • The
    plan is to vote on as many as we can come up with, no later than May,
    possibly April; in past years, we’ve done it at the June meeting and had a
    mad scramble at the end of the year to execute funding the ideas before
    the end of our fiscal year (June 30th), so we’re trying to get
    ahead of that
  • We’re
    building a list of ideas now and we’ll run them by Ms. Nesselrode before
    finalizing because she sometimes knows of different ways that these items
    can be funded
  • Also
    begin thinking about bigger-picture items that we may need to save/plan
    for (2-3 year timeframe), akin to the scope of the pond revamp we did last


V.    Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris , Treasurer

  • Not
    too much happened in February; everyone has a copy of the budget at your
    tables, so does anyone have any questions? No questions.
  • We
    do have two funding requests:
    • Funding
      to pay for chaperones, including three First Grade teachers, to attend EL
      Field trip to the National Geographic Museum, in the amount of $150,
      submitted by Ms. Sim. Any questions or comments? No questions.
      • Motion
        to approve funding. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.


    • Request
      for two Core brand wobble chairs for Ms. Sim’s First Grade class to help
      with sensory needs, in the amount of $140
      • Motion
        to approve funding. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.


  • Nathan:
    we do have another request that isn’t fully fleshed out, but I’d like to
    discuss. The Kindergarten expedition is starting soon and they’d like to
    have lab coats. They’d like to make their lab coats out of t-shirts. A
    request went home to families to donate t-shirts, but so far, none have come
    in. They need about 60 of them, at an estimated cost of $200. Request to authorize
    up to $200 to purchase 60 t-shirts for the Kindergarten expedition
    • Motion
      to approve funding. Motion seconded. Motion approved unanimously.


VI. New Business:
Nathan Zee opened the floor to new business

Request from Ms. Christy:

If you shop at Costco, please consider
buying a bag (or more) of Whitney brand organic soil (costs $8.99/bag) before
the upcoming spring Garden Work Day; we can reimburse you for the cost; please
stack it by the Colonial Garden if you don’t have time to bring it into the

Tammy Bewitz called attention to the
county’s budget proposal that would reduce Glen Carlyn Library’s hours from six
days to 1 ½ days; brought a petition from the library to maintain current hours
for anyone interested in signing

Q: Is there an electronic version of
the petition that can be forwarded? A: Not currently; only paper copies of the
Library petition available


VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • We
    were going to talk about Field Trips, but we’ll delay that until next
    month’s meeting (April 18th)
  • Next
    Wetlands Festival planning meeting will be at my house this Saturday, just
    let me know if you’re able to make it
  • Look
    for information about Square One Art that will be coming home this week



PTA Meeting Minutes 2.21.17

Campbell PTA Meeting

February 21, 2017

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Approximate # of

I.     Welcome and
Introductions: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan welcomed
    everyone to the meeting and introduced the first guest speaker, School
    Board Member Ms. Tannia Talento


II.    Tannia Talento,
School Board Member

  • Ms. Talento
    gave a power point presentation

Ms. Talento described the mission and vision statement
of Arlington Public Schools, and our Core Values

Ms. Talento described her personal story and why
ran for School Board

APS 3-5 Year Action Plan
(available on APS website)

Enrollment actuals and projections
through 2026; more difficult to calculate beyond five years because that number
is not based on students already in the system

Right now, the School Board is
working to update the enrollment and transfer policy, new 1300 seat HS program
visioning process, Drew re-visioning process

Asking community to weigh in with
their thoughts on all these matters through the APS Engage website:
or email:

Website also has calendar of all
upcoming events

Community survey on the new HS
instructional focus underway

Transfer & enrollment policy
decision will be made in June; will go into effect for 2018-2019 school year;
draft policy currently online; community meetings on 2/22 and 3/2; meetings
will be live streamed

HS Boundary Process that recently
concluded in December

Six criteria that were followed

The goal was to balance enrollment
among all three high schools

Showed a slide of what the
boundaries look like now and what they will be for this coming school year

Over next 3-5 years, elementary
and middle school boundary refinements will take place as new buildings come

Next year (2018): School Board
will develop a new strategic plan, will review the CIP, will update the
“profile of a graduate” to align with the Every
Student Succeeds Act
(ESSA), which will likely affect graduation requirements

Superintendent will present next
year’s budget, and School Board will vote on budget in April or May; public may
attend work sessions but may not provide comment at work sessions, public
comment at School Board meetings

Ms. Talento provided contact
information for all School Board members

School Board office: 703-228-6015

Nancy VanDoren:

Barbara Kanninen:

Reid Goldstein:

James S. Lander:

Tannia Talento:

  • Ms. Talento
    opened the floor to questions and comments:
    • Q: On transfer/enrollment policy: Campbell values our
      diversity, which is achieved through the VPI preference in the lottery.
      Will that preference remain, to enable us to keep our diverse community
      intact? Or will VPI students have to reapply to a Kindergarten lottery?
      A: That’s a good question, I don’t have an answer for you. That’s part of
      what is being looked at. My understanding is that there is not a huge
      advocacy for changing that. We’d like to increase VPI across the county.
      This is where your participation in these meetings can make a big
      difference. Because if we don’t hear from you, we don’t hear how that is
      essential to your community. I’d encourage you to come to the meetings
      and advocate for that. Sibling preference at the elementary level is
      likely to remain. Not looking to make it harder for families to access
    • Q: What is PIP
      vs. policy? A: For those who don’t know, we have a policy, and then a
      PIP, or Policy Implementation Plan. The PIP explains how we put our
      policy into action. We’re growing so quickly that we need policy to be
      more general (a general focus and overarching goal) so that we can more
      quickly adjust to changes as we grow using a dynamic and more detailed PIP.
      This will not change the community engagement process.
    • Q: Very hard to
      see what changes are even being proposed in the documents (the mark-ups)
      because policy is so long and complicated. A: We’re just trying to put
      all the information out there. Some people prefer to see the track
      changes in the documents, other respond to direct engagement at meetings.
      We’re just trying to reach everyone wherever they are, however they learn
      or choose to engage. Remember, this is just the first draft.


III.           Camila Espinosa, Immigration Attorney

  • Ms. Espinosa
    gave a presentation on knowing your rights
  • What policies
    are changing?
  • Recent Executive
    Order: while not law, is policy and can affect changes:
    • largest
      change being who has become a priority for deportation
    • under new
      administration, new priority list includes all those arrested or charged
      with a crime, even very minor offenses (no longer only those who have
      been convicted of serious crimes)

  • What do you
    need to know?
    • Go to
      reliable sources for information (do not believe or spread rumors, verify
      and don’t spread fear)
    • Who is at
      risk: anyone without lawful status, people with lawful status who have certain
      criminal convictions
    • Who will ICE
      focus on:
      • People with
        pending criminal cases or prior convictions
      • People with
        final orders of conviction
      • People who
        have committed fraud or misrepresentation in application to the
      • People they
        believe pose a threat to public safety or national security

    • If ICE comes
      to your home:
      • They do not
        have the authority to force you to answer your door; if they do not have a warrant signed by a
        judge, you may refuse them entry
      • It’s your right not to answer the door and to refuse them
        permission to enter
      • You may refuse to speak to them, you have the right
        to remain silent
      • You should always provide true identification
        information (your name, DOB), but you do not have to share your
        immigration status

    • If you are
      at risk, what can you do?
      • Make a plan
        with your loved ones in case you are detained
      • Avoid contact
        with Immigration: don’t apply to change your immigration status or to
        renew your greencard and don’t travel outside of the US without talking
        to a lawyer first
      • Avoid contact with the criminal justice system

  • There was an
    extensive Q & A session, but for reasons of privacy, detailed minutes
    are unavailable


IV.  Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris , Treasurer

  • As of November
    30, we’re at ~$35,000 of income and ~$32,000 of expenses.  Specific details discussed were:

o   During
the month, we received $167 of income from Amazon, $515 from box tops program;
paid Christy for invoiced expenses

o   There were no questions from attendees on the budget status

Funding request
for $271 from Ms. Norwood to integrate STEAM principles into her classroom
using a “Maker Kit”  

There were no questions from the floor

o   Motion to approve funding $271 toward purchasing
a “Maker Kit.” Motion seconded. Motion passed unanimously.


V.    Closing: Nathan
Zee, President

  • Reminder: School
    Dance this Friday evening
  • Next meeting is
    Tuesday, March 21st