Campbell PTA Meeting
September 9, 2014
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Attendees: approximately 35 individuals
President, Beth Cavey, welcomed everyone to the first Parent Teacher
Association (PTA) meeting of the year.
of Campbell School Outdoor Classroom
Presenters: Jessica Haney and Christy
- The former Garden
Committee has been renamed the Outdoor Classroom Committee. Jessica Haney and Christy Przytawik are
- The Outdoor Classroom Committee
is seeking volunteers. If you are
interested, please email email@example.com
or Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call the school.
The co-chairs provided a brief history of recent
efforts for the Campbell schoolyard, the vegetable and flower gardens, and the
Wetlands Learning. There was also an
extensive discussion of next year’s plans which in general focus on increasing
utilization of the Outdoor Classroom by teachers and students. Some of next year’s goals include:
Maintaining the garden beds and assisting the
teachers and students in using the gardens
Assisting in the management of small groups of
students doing outdoor lessons
Assisting with farm-to-table lessons that can be
Developing expedition-related outdoor lessons in
conjunction with teachers and the Expeditionary Learning Specialist, Pam Clark
Fostering connections with local nature centers
and other community based organizations
Helping to plan and recruit for Garden Work Days
Learning more about native and invasive plants
in the Wetlands
Helping engage children in outdoor exploration
outside of school hours
In order to create a sustainable solution for
the entire school yard and grounds so that it can be better utilized by
teachers and students, the PTA is recommending the creation of a paid Garden
Docent position. The Garden Docent
would, among other responsibilities, conduct 2-4 classes per week.
This position would be filled by Christy
Przystawik, who has extensive experience in this type of work. She is a garden teacher at a public school in
Washington, DC, where the school grows, harvests, and cooks all of its food
from their own garden. She is also a
trained chef. This position is not part
of the Arlington Public School System.
The cost to pay for the position has been included in the PTA Budget
The first garden day is September 20th.
We hope you can join us.
There is interest in researching other possible
items for the grounds, including a beehive and chicken coup.
For questions or more information, please see
the attached document, “Campbell Outdoor Classroom Committee, Maintaining Our
Schoolyard, supporting outdoor learning” or contact Jessica or Christy at the
emails noted above.
Priorities, Review of Calendar, and Budget Discussion and Approval
PTA Meeting days and times: A survey sent out last year to PTA membership
and the broader Campbell community identified concerns with the PTA meeting
time. Unfortunately, there was no
consensus about preferred days and times.
Because Tuesdays have been identified as a day that does not conflict
with other Arlington Public School System meetings, Campbell PTA meetings will
remain on Tuesdays. However, the PTA
Executive Board is proposing to alternate the times to try to accommodate
different work and family schedules. To
that end, the meeting in December will begin at a later time (7:30 or 8 p.m.
TBD), rather than at 6 p.m. We look
forward to your feedback on how this alternate schedule is working.
PTA Priorities for the 2014/2015 School Year: The PTA Executive Committee, taking into
account survey responses, identified the following four priorities (not in any
order) for PTA activities this school year:
(1) the outdoor classroom; (2) field trips; (3) reading support; and,
(4) teacher appreciation.
Thursday Folders (Teachers Need Our Help): Every Thursday, a folder comes home with
important information in it from the school, the county, the PTA, and outside
vendors. Our teachers could really use
help in stuffing the folders on Thursday mornings. If you are able to help out, please contact
Elizabeth Cavey, PTA President, at email@example.com.
Calendar: Principal Nesselrode will be sending out the
calendar for the year soon. In the
meantime, here are the events scheduled for September:
Wednesday, September 17th (6:30-8):
Saturday, September 20th (9-1
p.m.): Garden Work Day
Monday, September 22nd (2:45):
Outdoor Classroom Committee Meeting
Friday, September 26th (8:30
a.m.): Garden Work Day
Friday, September 26th (5:30-8
p.m.): School Picnic
Classroom Parents: Each classroom will have a “Room Parent” who
will serve as an advocate for the parents and kids in the classroom. Parents can reach out to the designated room
parent if they have questions or concerns or to get more information. Teachers can utilize the room parents as well. If you are interested in being a room parent,
you can sign up during the Back-to-School Night or contact Rachel Schroeder at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PTA newsletter: The PTA will publish a monthly
newsletter. It will include meeting
notices, recipes, and other interesting items for parents. If you have ideas for the newsletter, please
contact Beth Cavey at email@example.com.
Ideas to raise money include: a fall fundraiser – some kind of pledge drive
TBD; Read-a-thon; Barnes & Noble wrapping presents on Black Friday;
restaurant nights; Wetlands Festival
Don’t forget to link all cards to Campbell
School. Some places like Target and Amazon give Campbell 5% of all
purchases. This is one of the easiest
ways to raise money for the school. Participating vendors include: Amazon,
escripts, Giant, Safeway. For more
information or to sign up your cards online, go to Campbellschool.org. For
questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also be sure to “friend” Campbell on
Budget for School Year 2014/2015:
Copies of the proposed budget were passed out
Eva Clark, the Treasurer, reviewed some of the
key projects funded last year (e.g., Chrome books, bikes for the pre-K
Last year, the Wetlands Festival raised about
$10,000 – some of these funds are carried over the following year
Campbell Outdoor Classroom Fund: $5,363.40 has
been put into savings
The proposed budget includes up to $6,000 to pay
for the Garden Docent position
Other priorities included in budget: School dances,
School picnic; Project Discovery
To get reimbursed for approved expenses, go to
the Campbell website and print off a reimbursement request form and submit it
to Eva Clark (you can drop it off in the front office or email it to her at email@example.com). Expenses under $300 in general do not need
general PTA membership approval, but our practice is to bring all such requests
to the general PTA.
The proposed budget includes carrying over funds
for next year’s budget.
TO APPROVE THE BUDGET: Nathan Zane
made the motion; Chandi Krohl seconded it.
The motion was approved. A copy
of the budget is available on the Campbell website. The website will also include the Treasurer’s
Project Discovery: Project Discovery is an after school
enrichment program run by the PTA. The
classes are after school on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Classes have included such things as zumba,
martial arts, chess, art etc. There is a
fee, but scholarships are available. It
is important to note that this is not a fundraiser – money raised by the
program is put back into program operations.
Another way to save $25 on program expenses is to volunteer to check-in
kids after school.
TO FUND AERATOR APPROVED: Motion
to fund an aerator for the turtle ponds up to $100 was approved. Patty Healy made the motion; Nathan Zane
School Picnic: The picnic is scheduled for Friday, September
25th (5:30-8 p.m.) on the Campbell School Grounds. There will lots of great food offered by a
variety of food trucks. 10% of all
proceeds from the food truck will be given back to the PTA. Campbell wear will be available. Bring your blankets and be ready to have fun!
are scheduled for Thursday, October 9th and Friday, October 10th.
will be offering a camp on both days.
Moley Evans, who runs Everwonder, will donate a percent of the proceeds
to Campbell. Everwonder camps will be
available to all APS parents/students. Look out for more information in your
State of the School Address and Questions
Presenter: Principal Maureen Nesselrode
for each grade:
- Prek = 65 students (5
- K -= 71 students (3 classes)
- 1st = 59 students (3
- 2nd = 64 students (3
- 3rd = 54 students (3
- 4th = 58 students (3
- 5th = 47 students (2
- Largest class is 24 kids;
smallest 17 kids
- Standards of Learning (SOLs):
- Very strong PALS scores
school wide K-2
- Significant gains in Reading
SOL pass rates in grades 3 and 4
- Strong math SOL results in
- Progress among ESOL/HILT
- Met state targets in all
areas 2 years in a row
- Areas to focus on for
- Consistency in Expeditionary
Learning (EL) practices
- Coordination school wide
(vertical alignment of Expeditions)
- The Workshop Model
- Student Led Conferences –
expanding in Grades 2/3 (students will do it at March and June
- Learning outside when
- Refreshing the building:
- Soccer field has been seeded
- Murals hung in cafeteria
- New stage curtains
- New art furniture coming
- New gym floor
- New bulletin boards
- Some new chairs/desks
- Requests have been put in for
bike track and new carpeting
- Changes in testing in VA
– these are state decisions, not Arlington County
- 3rd grade Science
- 3rd grade Social
Studies SOL eliminated
- 5th grade writing
- The Workshop Model: This model of learning is considered a
“best practice” for Expeditionary Learning and is endorsed by other
experts, such as Teacher’s College.
Principle Nesselrode provided an example. In music class, there may be a workshop
on playing the keyboard. It might
run something like this: the
teacher shows the students how to do it; the students go to keyboards with
headphones and when they have mastered a particular skill, they demonstrate
the skill for the teacher. The
teacher checks off the skill and the child moves on to another skill. This model can be used for all subjects. Because it involves a level of
independent work, a child’s progress may vary from his or her peers.
- Ipad Countywide Initiative
- Campbell has 3 pilot
classrooms. Liz Seitz, a K/1
teacher and trained reading specialist, researched and identified
appropriate applications (“apps”) for the kids to use on the Ipads. These have all been vetted with the Instructional
Technology Coordinator (ITC). The
“apps” are directed by the teacher and used to support classroom
instruction. Principal Nesselrode
will share the list of approved “apps” with parents. More information on the pilot projects
will be made available later in the fall/winter.
- Forms of communication with
parents: Thursday folders;
School Talk; Twitter Account; Campbell Website; Turtle Tales Newsletter;
PTA listserve; Call the main office for logistical questions
- Safety and Security:
- Please always enter the
school through Door 1 and sign the visitor log in the front office. If you need to walk through the school,
wear a visitor’s badge sticker.
- We have three additional
elementary school resource officers (SROs) – these are police officers who
work for the county and they are divided among the schools
- All schools have lock
down drills in September and January and monthly fire drills; there is an
annual earthquake drill
- Opportunities for 4th
and 5th graders:
Safety patrols (5th grade); chorus (4th/5th
grade); band/orchestra (4/5); Weatherbugs/Community Meeting (4/5); Yes
club – 4/5 by invitation; Book clubs – 4/5 by invitation; Encourage
students to stay committed to activities.
- Principal Chats:
Principal chats are scheduled once a month; however, because of
parent/teacher conferences in October there will be no Principal Chat that
month. The next one is scheduled
for Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 a.m. Contact Principal Nesselrode if you have
ideas for topics of discussion.
I hope everyone is enjoying school being back in session. The PTA Executive Board is looking forward to a great year!
Mark your calendars for the following events:
September 9: First PTA meeting, 6-8pm in the Multipurpose Room
September 20: Garden Work Day, 9-1
September 26: Morning Garden Work Day and Fall Picnic! Details to follow.