: Campbell PTA Minutes January 14, 2014

PTA Minutes                                                January
14, 2014

I.               PTA
Winter Fundraiser: The Read-A-Thon. 
Kickoff is February 11th


will kick off the Read-a-Thon Fundraiser (with the theme “Campbell Loves to
Read!”) at the Book Swap, to be held Tuesday, February 11.  There will be a quick (15-minute) PTA meeting
right before the Book Swap.  The
Read-A-Thon will be introduced at a Community Meeting.   The fundraiser supports the goal of

improving students’ reading performance. 
Students will have a month to get their pledges.  People can pledge based on the number of
books read, the number of chapters read, or a flat amount of their choice.  We will distribute sponsor forms and logs for
people to track their reading.  Students
can count the books they are doing for school reading logs for the
Read-A-Thon.  We may have book scavenger
hunts with bookmarks and pencils as prizes. 
There will be a prize for the class with the most books read.  The Read-A-Thon also will be coordinated with
Read Across America Day.  Look for more
information in Thursday folders about the Read-A-Thon as well.


II.          Campbell
Movie Night: Friday, February 28th

The movie will be
Despicable Me 2.  To help out with this
event, contact Patty Healy @

Festival Fundraiser: Saturday, May 3rd


is our biggest fundraiser of the year. 
It includes a Silent Auction, arts & crafts, a scavenger hunt,
musical entertainment, and refreshments from local food trucks.  It was a huge success last year.  We will soon begin writing solicitation
letters to companies for items to donate to the Silent Auction.  To help plan this event, contact Beth Cavey @




·          Expenses for Campbell wear items
(T-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.) were $3,000, and revenue is $1,759 to date.

·         Amazon Scripts has raised $100.  Eva will send around the info on how to sign
up for this, so that Campbell receives a percentage of your Amazon purchases at
no cost to you.  Alternatively, you can
sign up for Amazon Smile.

Zumba brought in $270.

Project Discovery revenue to date is
approximately $8,000 (prior to expenditures).  

We are on track with respect to
spending, though actually need to spend more. 
We will have a $20K surplus and will be thinking about how to use it.


on PTA Expenditures


·          Since Campbell lost its RIF designation,
Sheila Gale requested $1500 to purchase books to distribute at no cost to all
students.  There is money in the budget
for this.  Ms. Nesselrode noted that
having books at home makes a difference; the research shows that sending three
books home over the summer (to students who are reading below grade level) has
the same outcome as having the student attend summer school.  PTA voted unanimously to approve this

Christy P. (Campbell parent and former
professional chef) requested $184.41 to buy an induction burner to teach
cooking as an enrichment program for the younger grades, particularly K-1.  Induction burners are cooktops that are safe
in that you can touch them and they don’t burn, and you can use them to heat up
food and water.  This request was
unanimously approved.

·          Beth Decker requested $312 for a mini “free
library” that will be placed outside, near the school, e.g., in the courtyard
area.  Students can put books in and take
them out after school or on weekends.  It
functions like a mini book exchange.  It
looks like a giant bird house with plexi-glass  in the front to protect it from the elements.  This request was unanimously approved.


to Families


·         Through donations from Campbell families
under the auspices of the PTA, 36 families received dinner and toys for
Christmas.  Ms. Clavel thanked the PTA on
the families’ behalf.


VII.      Principal’s


Budget Issues


·          There will be a shortfall this year in
the APS budget and additional cuts. 
Enrollment continues to rise, and commercial tax revenue in the county
has fallen.

·         Arlington continues to fare better with
respect to the budget than most other jurisdictions nearby.  There’s an opportunity for citizens to
provide input on the Superintendent’s proposed budget in February.  The APS budget will be finalized in the
Spring, and the fiscal year starts in July.

·         In the last budget cycle, Campbell lost
the nurse we previously had.  We now
share a registered nurse (Crystal Suki) with two other schools (Hoffman-Boston
and Tuckahoe).  She spends three ½ days
at Campbell each week.  (Most other APS
schools have a nurse for 2-2.5 days a week.) 
She does vaccine paperwork and education in the classroom on health
issues.  In the past, she co-taught the
“Too Smart to Start” alcohol prevention program for fifth graders (with Ms.
Mantilla and Officer Pagan).  Because our
nurse didn’t have the time available to co-lead the class this year, a
volunteer did it. 

·         It is important to have a nurse at
school so he/she can form a relationship with children who need to see the
nurse.  Some students come to school with
significant health needs, such as diabetes. 
And some Campbell students don’t have their own pediatricians.    

Lola, the nurse assistant, is still
full-time at Campbell.

If the nurse is out and Lola is out,
Ginny Pietro ends up being the backup.  

If you would like to express your views
to the County Board on the budget process, this is the time to do it.

We will have talking points available
that people can include in letters to the Arlington County Board if you would
like to express your views about having a school nurse.  Note that clinic staff is under the County’s
Department of Health Services, not APS, so the County Board is the audience for
these letters.

It’s not yet clear what proposals will
emerge from the APS budget.  There could
be personnel cuts, since 80 percent of spending is on personnel. The county has
already cut out the low-hanging fruit. 

Issues of compensation and class size
are on the table. 

The budget is all about how to manage
with rising enrollment and without increased funds.   

the Horizon: Classroom Libraries

Research shows that what makes s
difference in improving students’ reading scores is giving them choices about
what they read and getting them engaged so that they read more; it’s about the
volume of what students read. 

Campbell is moving toward a “Readers
Workshop” model in which students choose their own books.

Campbell is building up classroom
libraries on topics that are interesting to students.

Teachers are participating in staff
development activities on this topic.

Kindergarten Info Tours

We are heading into the season for
school tours.  There are five tour dates,
in February, March, and April.  It will
be helpful to have some parents there to answer questions.

The deadline for transfer applications
is April 15.


Luther King Essay Contest

·           Campbell student Rose Newell won the MLK
Essay contest.  She will be honored at a
School Board meeting.


All APS schools are on a five-year
accreditation cycle.

Campbell is scored against EL
expectations.  This process is ongoing;
the accreditation organization may want to include a focus school in the mix,
so Campbell may be visited. 

Ms. Nesselrode is working on revising
Campbell’s mission statement, since the current statement does not reference
instruction or achievement.  The revised
statement is now close to final, and Ms. Nesselrode will bring it to the PTA
for feedback.

Standardized Testing

Elementary schools across the county did
testing in January, including DRA assessments and quarterly benchmark
assessments for grades 2-5.  Completing
DRAs for all the grades takes almost a month, with different students tested at
different times.  Campbell’s results can
then be compared to other schools.  

Based on test results, teachers may
adjust reading groups.

One of the advantages of being a focus
school is that there’s flexibility to make instructional adjustments mid-year
based on test results and other changes. 
(In other words, a student may need to work with a reading specialist
for a few months and then no longer need it so can then stop.  Or if test results find that many students
are not understanding/retaining a certain concept, teachers can revisit it.)

The day after the PTA meeting, a
representative from the State Board of Education visited Campbell.

Web Site

The Campbell Web site is being
updated.  If you think there are things
that should be on the site that are currently not there, please e-mail Ms.

Nesselrode on Twitter

You can follow Ms. Nesselrode on Twitter

get quick updates on school-related issues.

School and Summer Camps

Information about Summer School will be
distributed @ the March Parent-Teacher conferences. 

There will be 2-3 weeks of Arlington
Parks & Rec camps @ Campbell.


School Construction Update


·     The
School Board put on hold the proposal to build an additional elementary school
in South Arlington after rejecting the potential plans to build on the Carlin
Springs-Kenmore campus.

·     Discussions
are centering around where else a school could be built.  Parents are mobilizing to send a message to
the School Board that we need to look for another site in South Arlington.