PTA Meetings

PTA Meeting Minutes 6.12.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

June 12, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 38

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to final PTA meeting of the year
  • Nathan
    read a “Thank You” note from the 5th grade thanking the PTA for
    helping to fund their trip to the Baltimore Aquarium
  • Nathan
    welcomed new Campbell families to the PTA meeting


II.    Year-in-Review:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Nathan
    went over the highlights from the year:
    • PTA Membership

We had over 210
members join the PTA – the most we’ve ever had!


Campbell as an Option School (carryover from last year)

Fought to keep
Campbell where it is and preserve our Outdoor Classroom focus, Connection to
the Nature Center, Economic Diversity (with almost no achievement gap) – WELL


Family Game Night

Campbell Spirit
Wear Sales

School Movie

100% success rate
in announcing Community Meeting agenda in advance of Community Meeting – never
been done before!

Wetlands Festival
– most well attended festival ever including the dunk tank return and new rock
climbing wall (never mind the fluke weather pattern that resulted in canceled
soccer games on a beautiful sunny day) – ~40 volunteers to pull this off!


Project Discovery
Fall/Spring – Jenny and Tammy deserve platinum medals for their efforts here


$14,500 –
Wetlands Festival (including expenses)

$14,100 – Fun Run
(including expenses)

$2,600 –
Restaurant Nights

$2,260 – Square 1

 $1,900 – Amazon Link Money

$786 – Penny Wars

$500 – Box Tops


Outdoor Classroom
Coordinator – We funded over 100 hours of Ms. Christy’s time this year (hours
for May and June still to come!)

We helped to fund
many of the supplies for the lessons that Ms. Christy gives the kids – when you
see photos on the twitter feed, many of the veggies, fruits, etc. are funded by
the PTA!

We funded
landscaping crews to come clean up the Campbell grounds twice this year

All Kindergarteners
got to pick a book from the garden at the start of the year

Two retirement
gifts for retiring teachers were funded by the PTA

The following
Teacher Appreciation events were paid for by the PTA:

Staff Breakfast

Olive Garden
Lunch (October Conferences)

Staff Breakfast

appreciation week which included activities every day!

T-shirts for the
Math Dice team

Supported Boys on
the Move and Girls on the Run

Supported the
Coat Drive/Holiday Drive at Campbell to offer winter wear and presents to those
in need at the school

Two Wellness
activities for teachers this year.

Donation to CCPTA
fund: we made a donation to the County Council of PTAs who uses these funds to
help even out the funding between all the schools in the county.

We paid for the
remaining books on the teachers wish lists after the book fair

We were able to
provide food, childcare and translation at all of our PTA meetings

5th Grade
Promotion (coming up!)

We funded the
following for each grade level:

Specials: Ukuleles
for the music department, Classroom puppets and training for the Spanish
Department, Supplies for the 5th Grade Musical

Kindergarten –
Lots of classroom supplies and a field trip to Discovery Theater

1st Grade – Field

2nd Grade – Field
Trip to the farmers market including fruit and veggie purchases, purchase of
bags and additional veggies for the showcase and some supplies for the Campbell

3rd Grade –
Helped to fund the bus to Harpers Ferry for Field Trip

4th Grade –
Funding the field trip to Great Falls

5th Grade –
Helped to fund the bus to the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Interlude –
Funded many incentives and rewards and a calming herb garden

And our biggest
funding item of the year was the PA system upgrade!

Even though it
was last year – one more shout out for the pond upgrade from two years ago


III.   Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlights from
May include:

    • Collected
      about $8,000 this month from Wetlands Festival receipts
    • $143 from Box Tops
    • $121 from Amazon rewards
    • $150 from Kona Ice (from
      Wetlands Festival)
    • $275 from Silver Diner
      Restaurant Night
    • $140 from Brick’s Pizza Night
    • Main expenses were: Outdoor
      Classroom hours, Teacher Appreciation week activities, two Field Trips,
      some additional Wetlands Festival expenses, paid Project Discovery
      instructors, Interlude classroom supplies

Funding request:

$343 for 6 ft. recycled
plastic bench to replace the broken bench

Motion to
approve; seconded; approved unanimously

budget/spending plan (from the time after the audit until the first PTA meeting
of the year in September:

In accordance
with the draft budget, there will be money available to spend on Ms. Christy’s
summer planning hours and some grounds maintenance/work (about $1680 for
Outdoor Classroom hours and $800 for grounds maintenance)

Q: Will there be
any money available for a Welcome Back breakfast for staff? That usually
happens before our next meeting.  A: We didn’t
have that in the summer budget last year, but we can add it in so that whoever
is coordinating the breakfast doesn’t have to wait two weeks for reimbursement.
Do we have a motion?

Motion to
approve; seconded; approved unanimously


IV.  Campbell
Changes for Next Year: Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

School Siting
discussion has been tabled for now, but will resume in the fall; there is a
broader conversation around the EL model, and confusion within the community
about whether ours is a well-defined model for an option program

As these
conversations continue, remember to attempt to educate others in the community
about the EL model, which is nationally recognized and clearly defined

Test scores are

We had many
engaging showcases and expeditions this year, including some new ones that
really focused on social justice, community, and sustainability

Changes for next
year include:

Four Kindergarten
classes, three at every other level, including 5th

These two
additional classes necessitate the SpEd Pre-K relocating to Carlin Springs
Elementary school

If we hit 500
student enrollment, we will receive additional funding

Other grade
levels will have to be located on what is now the K-1 hallway because we’re out
of space on the other side of the building and we are not getting an additional
trailer for next year

Likely a 2nd
grade class will move to K-1 hallway

Parking will be a
challenge next year, so please keep that in mind and don’t have the expectation
that there will parking available on-site for every event

Q: Did you mean
we should be engaging with APS about the EL model, or just with the broader
community during more informal discussion? A: The broader community; more
people need to understand what EL is and why our model is distinct.

Q: Do you know
where this pressure to change or take away our option status is coming from? A:
Pressure to find seats.

Q: Any way to
engage more fully with ACPD about those who continue to turn left out of the
parking lot despite the signage? A: Ideas are welcome, but I’m not sure there’s
much more we can do to encourage compliance; it’s a known issue and there
really aren’t any tools that we have not yet employed.

Next year we will
be advocating for a 4-top “cottage” relocatable; it’s likely that all of Pre-K
will be placed in that relocatable cottage

We did get more
staffing allocations for next year already; we will have two art teachers (one
who is full time and one who is almost full time, with 0.9 allocation)

That means we
will look at providing gifted art groups for identified 4th and 5th

Open House will
be held on Thursday, 8/30 at 2 pm

Q: Will there be
any summer library events this year? A: No, but I can check to see whether the
school library may be open for some limited hours for children to check-out
books over the summer

Q: Where are the
Summer School students who will be at Campbell coming from? A: They are all
Campbell or Carlin Springs students

Q: Did the budget
reduction in FLES affect Campbell? A: No, it did not. However, Ms. Valdez will
be returning to Bolivia. We have already hired her replacement (from Tuckahoe).
However, there could be further cuts in next year’s budget and Campbell could
be affected.

Q: When will we
get teacher assignments for next year? A: Letters will be mailed in August.
Some other staff changes are that Mr. Schoenherr is relocating to his home town
and Ms. Sim will replace him as a 2/3 teacher. We will be hiring a new K-1
teacher to replace Ms. Sim.


V.    2018-2019
Committee Positions/Speaker Topics/Big Budget Ideas: Barbara Martinez, Incoming

  • Barbara Martinez introduced herself and led us through
    an exercise where we identified what we were most proud of from 2017-18
    and what we want to see in 2018-19
    • Highlights of what we’re most proud:
      • Engaging with APS
      • Outdoor classroom/Ms. Christy
      • Support for EL
      • Increased PTA participation
      • Support for Field Trips
      • Grade-level funding

    • Highlights of what we’d like to
      see next year:
      • Increasing teacher funding
      • Food other than pizza at PTA
        meetings (we’ve tried this in the past, and it was not very successful)
      • Keeping Campbell an option
        school on this site
      • Outdoor white board/chalk board
      • More Ms. Christy
      • More diversity at PTA meetings
        (we have the Thursday morning parent group; working on ways to better
        engage the Ethiopian community; Claudia is our PTA Ambassador)
      • More arts groups (NSO, Ballet,
        theater trips or visits to school)
      • English classes for parents?
        Pairing up with parents who want to learn Spanish?

  • Barbara summarized the
    status of key PTA positions for next year and encouraged folks to
    volunteer where they are able
    • Looking
      for new individuals who want to be more involved in the PTA
    • We have a number of open
      positions on various committees (see handout)
      • New committee this year: Garden
        and Wetlands Maintenance Committee; will take over some of the
        coordination of this activity from Ms. Christy so she can focus on her
        lesson plans
      • Wellness Committee will be
        changing and become broader in its scope
      • We have a position for anyone
        who’s interested, and positions that fit with every level of time
        commitment and skill set/interest

    • Q: Room Parent Coordinator, what
      is this position? A: In the past, we’ve used Room Parents for
      communication; the Coordinator would contact the individual Room Parents
      with messages that the PTA felt were important to push out (such as a reminder
      about a fundraiser or an event); we’re open to thinking about how this
      position might be leveraged in the future



VI.  Closing
and Celebration : Nathan Zee, President

Wanted to take a moment to recognize Claudia
Cuellar, who was selected to receive the APS Honored Citizen award for all her
years of service to our community; let’s hear it for Claudia! Well done and
well deserved!

I can't thank you
enough for the opportunity to lead our PTA the last two years and I feel quite
privileged to be part of such a fantastic community! Rock and roll!

PTA Meeting Minutes 5.8.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

May 8, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 27

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to second-to-last PTA meeting
  • Wetlands
    Festival results:
    • Successful
      event by every measure
    • Raised
      around $16,000, with about $2,000 in expenses
    • Huge
    • Events
      and activities were very popular
    • Raised
      more money than we spent on food (donations vs. fee worked well)
    • We
      have a series of lessons-learned to turn over to next year’s planning
    • Thank
      you to all volunteers!

  • Teacher
    Appreciation this week events/activities:
  • Reminders:
    • Final
      Restaurant Night is coming up on 5/22 at Chipotle at the Columbia Pike
      location, between 4-8 pm
      • Informal
        Picnic at the Campbell playground to follow, weather contingent

    • Looking
      for a Restaurant Night coordinator to take over for next year
    • This
      Friday is the last Community Meeting until 6/8 because of SOL testing
    • Rising
      Kindergarten Orientation will be held on Wednesday, 6/6, at 4 pm at


II.    Officer
Election, Beth Cavey, Nominating Committee Chair

  • Proposed
    slate was introduced at our last meeting
  • We
    are taking nominations from the floor, if anyone else would like to be
    considered for a position
    • No
      additional nominations were offered from the floor

  • The proposed PTA Officer Slate will be voted on as a whole.
    The nominees are:
    • President – Barbara Martinez
    • VP
      Programming – Paige Hamrick
    • VP
      Fundraising – split between Julia Ahumada
      (General Fundraising) and Christy Hiers (Wetlands Festival Chair)
    • VP
      Communications and Outreach – Kathy Evans
    • Treasurer– Amanda Lowenberger
    • Secretary – Shana Brown

  • Do we have a motion to adopt the proposed slate?
    • Motion
      to adopt; seconded; approved unanimously

  • Congratulations
    to our new Executive Board!
  • Everyone, please consider a more active role in the PTA. It
    will pay-off for you in a lot of ways. There are leadership positions
    beyond the Executive Board, such as Restaurant Night Coordinator, so
    please consider taking on such a role
  • Nathan:
    Official transition of Officers is June 12th, except for
    Treasurer, which happens after the PTA audit
    • We
      need at least one at-large PTA member to volunteer to be part of the
      Audit Committee; the audit will be held in early July, exact time and
      date TBD. Please consider if you are available.
    • New
      Treasurer will become official once the audit is completed, after which
      point we will visit the bank to change over signatories to the account


III.   Counseling
Advisory Committee, Kate Sullivan, School Counselor

Another way that
you could become involved at Campbell would be to join the newly forming
Counseling Advisory Committee

We are forming a
Counseling Advisory Committee to help align Campbell’s counselling program with
the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) model

ASCA model for a
comprehensive school counselling program includes:


Beliefs, vision, and
mission statement

Domains that are
covered by the counseling program are: academic, social-emotional, and career,
with a heavy focus on social-emotional, in alignment with the whole-child

Ensure that
everything is aligned with the ASCA standards and competencies (like Standards
of Learning for counseling lesson plans)


Use of data:
collected data early in the year through a survey to better inform counselling offerings

Use of time: track
activities throughout the year with reports and

Creation of an
Advisory Committee (for next year), to help make sure that all of these things
I’m doing align with best practices and community needs

Delivery System:

Preventative Classroom
curriculum for K-5 (Second Step and Mind-Up lessons)

student planning (mostly Middle School transition)

Services, as needed

Indirect Student
Services (referrals to outside community resources, consultation with parents
and teachers, collaboration with all staff)


Action Plans and
Results Report

Performance Evaluation

Program Audit

The Counseling
Advisory Committee will:

Be a
representative group of stakeholders that reviews and advises the
implementation of the school counseling program

Be diverse in membership
to accurately reflect Campbell’s values, concerns, and interests

Be 8-14 members and
will include counseling staff, parents, administrators, and teachers (lead,
assistant, and specialist teachers), and possibly (older) students

Attend 3 meetings
held throughout the first year of committee formation


meeting to set goals

meeting to review and evaluate program’s success and challenges

 Subsequently, there will be only two committee
meetings each year

If interested in
joining the Counseling Advisory Committee:


Phone: (703)



IV.  Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlights include:

    • Operating
      expenses so far this year were $37,000 and we took in $55,000 in income,
      not including the Wetlands Festival
    • We’ve hit
      our income goals and are looking pretty good
    • In April
      • Took in $7,400
        in Project Discovery Payments; Instructor payments will go out this week
      • Received $61 from Square 1 art
      • Received $83 from Amazon rewards
      • Received $7,671 from Wetlands
        Online Auction payments; more to come in May
      • Made the $785 deposit from the Penny
        Wars fundraiser
      • Spent $400 for Odyssey of the
        Mind registration reimbursement
      • Spent $216 for Musical
      • Spent $262 – Outdoor
        Coordinator hours
      • Spent $366 on purchases for
        Expedition Support
      • Spent $173 on Outdoor Classroom
      • Spent $98 for Math Dice

    • In May look forward to:
      • Additional Project Discovery
      • Wetlands Festival income
      • Expense to subsidize 3rd
        and 5th grade Field Trip charter buses from grade level line

  • Q: Have any of the grade levels
    not used their allocation of the grade-level funding? A: 1st
    and 2nd Grades have not used their line item funding;
    Expedition Support line item money also remains available

Funding request
from Ms. Ammons for gifts for two retiring Staff members:

$400 to cover
items for Ms. McMahon and Ms. Sananikone, which are TBD

Ms. Ammons will
coordinate purchase

If approved, the
money must be spent, and receipts sent to PTA, prior to 6/30 in order to be

Motion to
approve; seconded; approved unanimously

Q: I can’t figure
out from the budget exactly how much cash we have on hand. Can you clarify? A:
We have a few significant expenses pending, but current bank balance is about
$74,000. We’ll be around $60,000 once those expenses clear.

Q: Any
big/expensive projects we’re taking on? A: We intentionally have not solicited
ideas for a large project this year given the uncertainty around the Elementary
Planning/Boundary Initiative.


V.    Elementary
Boundary Initiative Update: Nathan Zee, President

  • Campbell was first to realize the
    implications of this initiative back in December

We lobbied School
Board members, spoke at School Board meetings, sent in 52 letters, had members
on walkability task force, FAC, etc., all providing their input

We’ve had several
surveys that we’ve shared via Announcements including Campbell walk zone
survey, and a survey asking what criteria should be considered in school siting

  • Other PTAs began doing the same
    and there has been significant pushback as to how APS has handled this
    process, resulting in delayed timelines
  • Arguably,
    the message that resonated the most with the School Board and Staff
    appears to be related to diversity. Staff appears to have heard our very
    real concerns about what happens to diversity at the current Campbell site
    if the building becomes a neighborhood school filled to 101% capacity with
    kids in the walk zone; most students from this theoretical walk zone would
    be economically disadvantaged. In their latest document, Staff has
    acknowledged that student outcomes are negatively affected by the
    diminished resources available to an economically disadvantaged community.
    They have acknowledged that their stated focus on student success and achievement
    is placed at risk by creating situations in which economically
    disadvantaged students are concentrated in any given school.
  • Our
    formal PTA stance is that we are not advocating for or against any other
    schools or communities to be changed; we are strictly speaking about why maintaining
    Campbell in its current location is imperative to the program, and serves
    the overall APS goals
  • Late-breaking news is that the
    community feedback session has been moved back from 5/9 until 5/30 (7-9pm
    at Swanson Middle School)
  • Please
    send me any questions you think APS staff should answer at the 5/30
    meeting. I will compile the questions and submit them
  • We
    will look at what (if any) PTA letter to send in after the 5/30 meeting
  • Nathan
    opened the floor
    to questions and comments. A robust discussion ensued.


VI.  New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

Any New Business?

Jenny Morris, Project
Discovery Coordinator:

This is the last
week of Project Discovery for classes that meet on Thursdays and Fridays

Next week is the
last week of Project Discovery for classes that meet on Wednesdays


VII. Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Final
    PTA meeting of the year will be on Tuesday, 6/12. We'll have a recap,
    celebration, and transition discussion (plus any updates on the Elementary
    Planning Initiative).
  • We’re
    looking to schedule our annual audit the weekend after the July 4th
    holiday. This will allow us to change signatories on our bank account and
    formally complete transition. Let Jenny Morris know if you would like to
    participate as part of the Audit Committee.
  • We've
    begun work on developing our 2018-19 PTA budget. If you have feedback or input,
    please send it to Barbara Martinez or Amanda Lowenberger.

PTA Meeting Minutes 4.10.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

April 10, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 32

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the PTA meeting and read a Thank You letter from Ms.
    Berg’s 2nd grade class, thanking the PTA for purchasing books
    from the Teacher’s Wish lists during the Book Fair
  • Reminders:
    • Brick’s
      Pizza Night tomorrow night, 4/11, order between 4-8 pm; a reminder email
      will be sent out over Announcements with the flyer attached
    • Garden
      Work Day is coming up on 4/21, 9 am -12 pm
    • Wetlands Festival is coming up
      on Saturday, 4/28, from 4-7pm
      • Please volunteer to help with
        the festival using Sign-Up Genius:
      • Please consider a parent
        donation to the auction (dinner, item, event, etc.; contact Sean Doyle
        for ideas)
      • Please consider donating an
        item to the class basket(s), any grade

    • Spirit Days will be held leading
      up to the Wetlands Festival on 4/25-27; W – Superhero Day, Th – Crazy
      Hat/Hair Day, F – Class Color Day:
      • Pre-K – Purple
      • Kindergarten – Orange
      • 1st Grade – White
      • 2nd Grade – Yellow
      • 3rd Grade – Blue
      • 4th Grade – Red
      • 5th Grade – Green

  • The Outdoor Lab Trip previously
    scheduled for Sunday, 4/22, is postponed until next
  • Julia
    Ahumada will take the lead for Teacher Appreciation week (May 7-11) since
    Mecca Keller will be unavailable. Thank you, Julia!
  • Elementary
    Boundary information will be updated this Thursday evening during the School
    Board Work Session – stay tuned!


II.    Anxiety
in Children: Cassie Class and Dr. Meg Michel, School Psychologists

Ms. Nesselrode
introduced the Student Services team

Kate Sullivan,
School Counselor: Tier 1 topics and schoolwide preventative interventions that
are part of Mind-Up/Second Step curriculum, facilitates small groups and
occasionally sees individual students as need arises

Cory Bradley,
School Social Worker: helps families access community resources

Cassandra Class,
School Psychologist: does all student evaluations, facilitates social skills
groups, and provides primarily Tier 2 support

Dr. Meg Michel,
School Psychologist, Interlude: primarily interacts with Interlude students and
provides Tier 3 support

Ms. Class began
the presentation on Anxiety in Children and provided hand-outs with detailed list
of resources and strategies for dealing with anxiety

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is
something we’ve all experienced. It is a normal reaction to situations that we
perceive to be dangerous.

It is an adaptive
response that increases our arousal and alertness that allows us to prepare to
combat danger.

When is anxiety a

When it is
experienced to a level that interferes with daily functioning and well-being

Anxiety in

Anxiety is most prevalent
psychiatric disorder in children and adolescents (3-25% of all children
experience anxiety to a diagnostic level)

Median age of
onset is 6 years old, peaking between 8-10 years old

Frequency of
disorder is equal between genders during elementary years, adolescent females
have an increased frequency (2 to 3 x more likely than male adolescents)

80% of youth with
a diagnosable anxiety disorder do not receive mental health treatment (includes
both counselling and Special Education identification or educational accommodations)

Childhood anxiety
is correlated with a variety of mental health disorders in adulthood, including
depression (children with anxiety are 8 to 10 x more likely to have depressive
disorder as an adult)

Important to
identify anxiety early because there are very effective treatments; if children
receive those treatments, the prognosis is very good

In terms of how children
with anxiety present, they tend to:

Fear that future
events will have negative outcomes

View minor events
as potentially threatening

Engage in a
variety of avoidance behaviors to reduce exposure to perceived threat
(tantrums, for example)

Have worry that
is either unrealistic (e.g., an imagined threat) or out of proportion to the

Anxiety in
children younger than 8 tends to be very specific, such as fear of the dark,
fear of dogs, fear of separation

Anxiety in
children aged 8 and older tends to be more abstract and more social, such as
fear of rejection, fear of poor school performance

Signs of anxiety:

children often report somatic complaints (upset stomach, headaches, sleeping
problems, nausea, rapid heart rate)

They may request
to see the nurse on a frequent basis

May also display
thinking or learning challenges, such as attention or memory problems

Might display
restlessness, fidgetiness, rapid speech, withdrawal, perfectionism, and/or
failure to complete tasks

The different
types of childhood anxiety disorders are described in detail on the hand-out;
in the interest of time I will not go into them all

The types of
anxiety we see most frequently at school are generalized anxiety disorder,
which is a pervasive worry covering many broad areas of one’s life, lasting for
a prolonged time and interfering with daily activities, and social anxiety disorder,
which is an intense fear of social and performance situations and can present
as selective mutism

Lately there has
been more attention given to anxiety resulting from trauma, PTSD

We also see some
school-refusal behavior, which is usually a result of separation anxiety or
fear of an aversive situation at school

When should you
seek professional help?

Every child will
experience some level of anxiety, so it’s really looking at when it’s
interfering with daily functioning, when it’s excessive, and when the worry is
about something that is not developmentally appropriate

Q: What about
phobias? I know adults who are still afraid of heights. Should they be seeking
help? A: Well, you must look at whether it’s impacting their daily life. For
example, if a veterinarian is afraid of animals, that would be a problem. If
your fear is being in public places, that could certainly interfere with
functioning. But if it’s a fear of heights, you can probably find ways to get
around that fear and still lead a typical life. If it was something an
individual wanted to work on, there are treatments available if someone felt it
was necessary to take those additional steps

We have many
supports available at Campbell for students experiencing anxiety

Classroom lessons
with Ms. Sullivan (Mind Up curriculum, steps for calming down, emotional
regulation) available to all students

Anxiety groups
facilitated by a member of the Student Services team for students with
school-performance anxiety

“Take a break”
spots in every classroom

Counselling staff
available for check-ins with students as-needed

We have some
students who require additional support than what is available to the general
population, so there are students who have IEPs or 504s with accommodations for
their anxiety

Ms. Cass turned
over the floor to Dr. Michel to discuss strategies for dealing with anxiety

Dr. Michel
discussed anxiety from the parents’ perspective

Things for
parents to keep in mind:

The goal isn’t to
eliminate anxiety, but to make it manageable

Don’t avoid
things that make your child anxious (can become a learned coping mechanism;
exposure in some gradual fashion is a part of treatment for most anxiety)

Avoid minimizing
or magnifying fears

Model coping

Limits and
structure are important and serve to reduce anxiety

preparation can help, perhaps keep period of anticipation short enough that
it’s manageable for your child

Ask, “What’s the
worst-case scenario?” to talk through situations that are causing anxiety

strategies for managing a child’s anxiety include:

Give them a job
to do or put them in a “helper” role

Make sure they
have activities where they can feel confident and competent, even chores

Give them
creative outlets to experience mastery over their fears (e.g., writing,
drawing, drama, play)

Use bibliotherapy

Don’t forget
about the anxiety-reducing benefits of exercise

strategies and mindfulness:

Help children
judge the “size” of their worries (small, medium, large, or on a scale of 1-10)

Worry tree:
worries are the leaves, bigger ones to the top, smaller to the bottom; can use
sticky notes so that as worries change over time they can be moved around on
the tree or maybe removed all together

 “Mind in a jar” (

Meditation or
body scans

Deep breathing
(“take 5” and box breathing)

Yoga, progressive
muscle relaxation


Teach children to
use sensory details in their environments to ground themselves in the present
moment (e.g., looking for a specific color or shape, identifying 3 things they
can see, hear, or feel around them)

Teach awareness
of how their bodies feel when they’re anxious vs. calm

Q: Is the worry
tree a good technique to use to see if there’s an issue that’s causing anxiety
that you may not be aware of? Or is it better to wait until you know there’s
something worrying your child, because could this make them worry about
something that they weren’t worried about before?

A: It’s a good
strategy for any kid, because they all have worries, even mundane ones, so you
aren’t doing harm with this technique. This may be a way to get at kids who
don’t express their worry/anxiety in more apparent ways.

Q: Anger and
oppositional behavior, you mentioned those as possible signs of anxiety?

A: Yes, these
behaviors, and irritability, are often signs of anxiety. It’s important to try
to understand what’s causing the behavior and sometimes the reason is that they
are feeling out of control and are trying to exert some control or gain some
control back, that’s fairly common for children who have trouble verbalizing
their anxiety. There’s an article here that talks about why disruptive behavior
can be a sign of anxiety:

Q: What kind of
professional development is APS offering to teachers to help them deal with
anxious students in the classroom? How is APS addressing this?

A: There’s been a
recent focus on the idea of the “whole child” and a lot of attention is being
paid in that sense to the social/emotional aspect of a child’s education. The
new strategic plan that’s just been released includes an increase in
social/emotional curriculum opportunities, so I believe that aspect is going to
be developed within curriculum. We have some of those pieces now, but this
would be a broader curriculum. They have increased staff allocations for our
department (counsellors, psychologists, etc.) over the past couple of years to
provide more support in the schools, so that we can be supporting teachers. The
lessons we provide in the classroom are done with the teachers present, so they
are benefitting from the lessons, too. Occasionally there are presentations at
Staff Meetings. If teachers have a concern about a particular student, there is
a referral process and then the team meets to talk about case management.

Q: What about a
scenario when one child in your family has anxiety and the other does not? What
are the best strategies for dealing with that?

A: Well, you
probably don’t want to do a lot of comparing between your children and pointing
out differences in the responses to stressors between an anxious and a typical
child. As a parent, you can employ modelling, but with siblings, because of sibling
rivalry, this strategy might not work as well. As a parent, the things you can
do to help your anxious child are the same strategies that your less anxious
child can use when they do encounter the inevitable worry, even if it’s not as
frequent or as intense an experience for them as it is for your anxious child.
Any of the strategies we’ve listed on the handout are great for every child. The
mindfulness techniques could be done as a family. Incorporating these techniques
into your routine could benefit all of you. For instance, doing relaxation breathing
techniques before bedtime, or guided meditation. I would approach it as
something you’re going to do as a family because the mindfulness and
self-soothing strategies can be used by every child to calm down, whether they’re
anxious, angry upset, or winding down for bedtime.

Q: Over the course
of your careers, have you noticed a change in the types of anxiety or the
incidences of anxiety?

A: Yes, the
incidence seems higher over time. As for the types of anxiety, I’ve noticed
more anxiety related to school performance. Also, the prevalence of anxiety in
females ages 8-12 has increased and something we’ve noticed.

Ms. Nesselrode: The
roll-out of additional mental health experts is a budget item that’s discussed nearly
every year during the budget proposal season. After Parkland, it was one of the
things discussed a great deal at the national level. One of the recommendations
discussed nationally is for all schools to have the type of support we
currently have, so that school psychologists aren’t spread too thin and don’t
have to spend all their time testing and going to meetings. By having more staff,
the psychologists can serve more kids, even those who don’t have an IEP or 504
or other formal plan. And sometimes they are even able to help a student avoid
needing those plans, because they’re able to intervene and extinguish a behavior
earlier on. We’ve noticed that the increased staff has been a tremendous improvement.
We’re also able to tell students that if they are in distress, they can go down
to the counselling suite and, because there are four staff members there, they
will be very likely to find someone who can see them right away.

Ms. Sullivan: We
mentioned the staff referral form earlier, but I’d like to remind everyone that
there is also a parent referral form available online if you feel that you need.
The form comes straight to me and if it’s not suited to me, I would then refer
it to the appropriate staff member. You can access the form here:
Students in 3rd-5th grade can also refer themselves by submitting
a form and putting it in the locked mailbox on our door. Students have been availing
themselves of this opportunity and that’s a good thing, because the more we
normalize reaching out for help, the better.


III.   Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlights for this
month include:

$305 for the K Field Trip to Discovery Theater

    • Spent $855
      to purchase remaining items on teacher book wish lists
    • Paid $735 for the Outdoor
      Coordinator February hours
    • $200+ for PTA meeting expenses
    • Spent $130 for the Online
      Auction website fees
    • Spent $150 for Magna Tiles for
      Ms. Sim's classroom
    • Spent $16 for Bunny supplies
    • Spent $100 for journals for the
      1st graders

$2,080 in Project
Discovery income

$175 in Amazon
rewards income

No questions

No new funding requests
this month

Officer Nominations: Beth Cavey, Nominating Committee Chair

  • The proposed PTA Officer Slate is:
    • President – Barbara Martinez
    • Treasurer– Amanda Lowenberger
    • Secretary – Shana Brown
    • VP
      Programming – Paige Hamrick
    • VP
      Fundraising – split between Julia Ahumada
      (General Fundraising) and Danielle Quist (Wetlands Festival Chair)
    • VP
      Communications and Outreach – Kathy Evans

  • We
    are taking nominations from the floor, if anyone else would like to be
    considered for a position
    • No
      additional nominations were offered

  • Do we have a motion to adopt the proposed slate?
    • Motion;
      seconded; approved unanimously

  • Nathan: To confirm, that was not the vote to elect officers.
    The vote will be held at next month’s meeting (May 8th), so if
    folks are still interested, we will take nominations from the floor as
    part of the voting process during the May PTA meeting.


V.    Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

PTA Meeting Minutes 3.13.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

March 13, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 25

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the PTA meeting
  • Reminders:
    • No
      Community Meeting on Friday because of Parent/Teacher conference make-up
      events; next Community Meeting will be on 3/23
    • Meeting
      this Friday at 8:45 am at Campbell (in the Conference Room) for Wetlands
      Planning finalization
    • Meeting
      this Sunday at 1 pm for Auction planning at Sean Doyle’s house; contact
      Sean if you’re interested in helping out (
    • Project
      Discovery registration closes on Friday, 3/16

  • We
    had a successful Restaurant Night at Silver Diner
  • APS
    will be paying for the new Library furniture, so we have a surplus of
    funds that can be reserved and put towards other uses next year or in the future
  • Quick
    thank you on a successful Penny Wars event, which raised around $800; we’ll
    announce the winner at the next Community Meeting


II.    Beth
Cavey, Nominating Committee Chair

  • We
    will be presenting an official slate at our next meeting and voting in May
  • Actively
    seeking nominations for all six PTA Officers (President, Treasurer, VP
    Comms, VP Programs, VP Fundraising, Secretary); we need a nearly full
    slate of new officers; Paige Hamrick has agreed to run for a second term
    as VP Programs
  • If
    you are interested, please let me know
  • There
    are two-year term limits, so Nathan, Jenny, Barbara, and Katherine cannot
    keep their current positions
  • Come
    be part of what makes our community so special
  • We
    will send out official position descriptions after tonight’s meeting so
    that anyone interested has them


III.   Youth
Culture Survey, Maureen Nesselrode, Principal

about student risk behaviors, given to 6th, 8th, 10th,
and 12th grade students by APS in partnership with DHS (Arlington Partnership
for Children, Youth and Families)

Look at trends in
risk-taking behavior among students in Arlington schools

Questions ask
about: sex, drugs and alcohol, smoking, relationships, stress, mental health,
domestic violence, abuse, etc.

Elementary-High School
students receive age-appropriate questions

Q: Has the questionnaire
been updated to ask about juuling/vaping? A: Not yet.

Ms. Nesselrode
then explained what those terms mean:

Juuls are devices
that allow for vaporized/smokeless delivery of tobacco and/or marijuana; they
look like USB flash drives and can be charged by plugging them into a laptop, so
they can be easily concealed at schools; “juuling” is using a Juul brand vaporizer

“Vaping” is inhaling
tobacco or marijuana vapor through a device such as a Juul or an e-cigarette

The presenter
from the Arlington County Partnership for Youth and Families was unable to
attend this evening as previously scheduled, but the results from their survey
can be accessed online at:

One of the outcomes
from this survey is the newly adopted Child Protection Unit, which Ms. Sullivan
will now describe


IV.  Child
Protection Unit Initiative, Kate Sullivan, School Counselor

Produced by
Second Step (this is the social-emotional curriculum that APS already uses for
Tier 1 classroom lessons, in combination with Mind-Up curriculum)

After Spring
Break, I will deliver one lesson per class at every grade level for the Child Protection

Being delivered
countywide in age-appropriate ways for kids K-5

Why the need for

National statistics
about abuse and risk factors are very concerning

APS-specific data:

Nearly 50% of female
students in grades 8-12 report being harassed at school

20% of those female
students indicated a dating partner made unwanted sexual contact


Every grade level
will be expected to distinguish between safe, unsafe, and unwanted touches

Grades 1-2 will
be able to identify the Touching Rule:

Touching Rule: A
bigger person should never touch a child’s private body parts, except to keep
him or her healthy

Grades 3-5 will
be able to identify the Private Body Parts Rule:)

Private Body
Parts Rule: private body parts are private. No one should ever touch yours (except
a doctor or a nurse), ask to see yours (except a doctor or a nurse), or make
you look at his/her/or anyone else’s private body parts. And never touch anyone
else’s private body parts.

Q: What vocabulary
will you be using to describe private body parts? A: We will be discussing it
in general terms, not naming every specific body parts. We will call “private
body parts” any part your body that would be covered by a bathing suit. I will show
them a picture of a child wearing a bathing suit so that they understand what
area is being indicated when I say “bathing suit area” or “private parts”; the
lesson is highly scripted and does include the terms, “breasts,” “penis,” and “buttocks”
when I initially introduce the picture of the areas that will henceforward be called
the “bathing suit” area or “private parts.”

Grades 3-5 will

Identifying the “Never
Keep Secrets” Rule: Never keep secrets about someone breaking the private body
parts (or touching) rule

Learning how to
apply assertive reporting skills in response to scenarios when someone has broken
the private body parts (or touching) rule

Q: Do you talk
about who are the safe/appropriate people to report to? A: Yes, we do.


February: School
counselor presented CPU to Campbell staff at staff meeting

March: CPU letter
sent home to parents. Ms. Sullivan is available to meet with any parent who’s
interested in learning more about this lesson

April: Ms.
Sullivan delivers CPU lessons to K-5 classrooms; home links sent home with
students following lesson delivery. K-2nd lessons will happen during
first week of April; 3-5th will be given the lesson during the
second week of April; each lesson is approximately 30 minutes

teachers and the school psychologist will be present during the lessons. I will
follow-up with any students who have difficulty with the lesson or who didn’t
meet learning objectives


V.    Elementary
Boundary Initiative Update: Nathan Zee, President

Latest news:

We lobbied School
Board members, spoke at School Board meetings, sent in 52 letters, have members
on walkability task force, FAC, etc., all providing their input

We’ve had several
surveys that we’ve shared via Announcements including Campbell walk zone survey
(open until 3/16), and survey asking what criteria should be considered in
school siting

Other schools
have been lobbying their positions as well

It is unclear
what specific transportation changes may be coming as APS looks to reduce transportation
costs, but there is a possibility that “Courtesy” busing to Campbell could be

Campbell will
likely be receiving an additional (fourth) Kindergarten next year, and two
additional trailer classrooms to accommodate expected growth as APS moves
towards expanding/maximizing all Option Schools’ enrollment

In April, Staff
will make recommendations about what schools are being considered to move, but
will not indicate what program will move where; that decision will be made next
fall in conjunction with the Elementary School boundary process

Depending on the recommendation
in April, we will be ready to continue to engage

VI.  Treasurer’s
Report: Jenny Morris, Treasurer

Highlight this month

$77.65 from Game Night
concessions; $507 in expenses

$458 in Outdoor
Classroom expenses, coordinator hours total $507

$515 in Project
Discovery income

$210 in Amazon rewards

$250 from Girl Scout
Troop Donation to update recess supplies

Two Funding
Requests, which do not require votes because they’re within grade level budgets:

Grade Field Trip assistance, $1,000

$129.99 for Magna-Tiles for Ms. Sim’s class choice time

With these
requests, all line-item funding for K and 5th grade has been exhausted

VII. New
Business: Nathan Zee, President

Any New Business?

Ms. Christy,
Outdoor Learning Coordinator:

The proposed APS budget
includes proposed cuts to the Assistant-to-Teacher program

This program enables current APS Paraprofessionals who qualify to participate in a
partially funded program to obtain a Virginia teacher license. 

The loss
of this program would have a significant negative impact on Campbell, as there
are current Campbell Assistant Teachers in this program who would not be able
to continue in their programs without this continued financial assistance

Nathan: talking points will be shared for those who would like to
express support for the program to the School Board. Miss Christy will be
speaking at the March 22nd School Board meeting


VIII.        Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • Teacher
    Appreciation Week coming up during second week of May
    • Our
      Committee Chair will be out-of-town during that week, so we need a
      volunteer to step-in to coordinate/plan the events and we also need help/volunteers
      to execute those plans; let me know if you’re interested and available to

  • Next
    Restaurant Night will be Brick’s Pizza Night on April 11th (4-8
  • Thanks
    for coming and that’s a wrap!

PTA Meeting Minutes 2.13.18

Campbell PTA Meeting

February 13, 2018

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

# of Attendees
: 80

I.     Welcome
and Introduction: Nathan Zee, President 

  • Nathan
    welcomed everyone to the PTA meeting
  • Nathan
    introduced the guest speaker, Tannia Talento, School Board Member


II.    Tannia
Talento, School Board Member, Campbell Liaison

  • Ms.
    Talento introduced herself and thanked our PTA for our input and feedback
    regarding the Elementary School siting process
  • Ms.
    Talento provided an update on APS/School Board happenings:
    • New
      School Board Member, Monique O’Grady, has taken office
    • School
      Board Member Barbara Kanninen will be up for reelection
    • Pre-K
      and Kindergarten registration is underway
    • Activities
      for Black History Month are culminating in a celebration at Gunston Middle
      School; “Arlington: Past and future Excellence” will be held from 6-8 pm
      on 2/28
    • School
      Board Advisory Councils and Committees are seeking new members. For more
      information, visit:
    • New
      Middle School Boundaries were adopted in December; they will go into
      effect in Fall 2019
    • The
      APS Calendar for 2018-19 was adopted
      • One
        change to look for is that Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held over
        1 ½ days rather than 2 full days

    • Adopted
      the first of two Acceptable Use Policies for student devices; second
      policy will be discussed at the March 22nd School Board
    • Option
      and Transfer Policy Revisions:
      • Sibling
        preferences maintained for Elementary level; waiting to update Secondary
        level sibling policy until after boundary revision process is complete
      • All
        option programs became Countywide admission
      • Student
        must re-apply every year to remain on waitlist after this year

    • Preparing
      for new schools to open
    • Visit
      Board Docs for upcoming School Board meeting agendas about the CIP for FY
      • 3/8:
        AFSAP monitoring report on projections and capacity utilization due
      • 3/22:
        CIP framework (informational item)
      • 4/5:
        CIP framework (action item)

    • Strategic
    • In
      January, we gathered community input on draft mission and vision
    • FY
      2019 budget hearings will be held on 2/22 and 2/24
      • Have
        a deficit for the coming fiscal year and we don’t anticipate the county
        being able to close all the gaps because their budget is also projecting
        a shortfall

    • Reed
      Elementary school BLPC process underway
    • Career
      Center Working Group meetings will be held from February until August;
      still able to accommodate the growth of Arlington Tech as planned for
    • Education
      Center offices are relocating to Syphax Building; Instructional Focus for
      seats at the Ed Center site TBD

  • Ms.
    Talento gave an update the timeline for the Elementary School Planning
    process; details are available online at:
    • Winter
      2018: approved process and scope
    • Spring
      2018: designation of neighborhood and option schools (decision about
      where programs may move will not be made, just whether they should be
    • Fall
      2018: adoption of Elementary School boundaries
      • Policy
        • Efficiency
        • Proximity
        • Stability
        • Alignment
        • Demographics
        • Contiguity

  • Ms.
    Talento opened the floor to questions and comments. Extensive questions
    and comments were taken. Some highlights include:
    • Comment:
      We are concerned about Campbell being moved, especially if the only
      consideration is density of students nearby.
      • Response:
        I don’t know whether Campbell would be named. We have to find out how answers
        to a number of unanswered questions (seats gained? cost? disruption to
        programs?). We’ve heard your feedback and are thankful for your comments
        that will help inform our decision. Campbell has not come up
        specifically in our discussions about possible program moves
      • Staff
        will present the possibilities at the 4/10 work session, and community
        engagement about that proposal will begin on 4/11

    • Comment:
      Our program was built by our parents. The time to engage with the
      community is now, because there are so many considerations that aren’t
      being talked about yet.
    • Comment:
      Also, consider many of our students are transfers from Barcroft because
      of the alternative calendar. What is going to be done about that
      calendar, which is not appropriate in a neighborhood school (because it’s
      different than all the other schools, shouldn’t it be an option?)
      • Your
        comment about Barcroft’s calendar should be emailed to the Engage

    • Comment:
      FAC Meeting on 2/28 will discuss what criteria other than walkability
      should be considered
    • Comment:
      Moving choice schools out of South Arlington is not acceptable.
    • Comment:
      With such little information about what might be proposed, it’s hard to
      give appropriate feedback.
    • Comment:
      Don’t understand why we’re considering the cost of moving schools when
      we’re under such tight budget constraints; programs must be considered
      individually and more than just walkability must be a factor.
    • Comment:
      Staff and School Board Members should come tour our school (and other
      option schools) before making any recommendations or decisions. They
      should see EL in action and understand how much we utilize our location
      and surroundings for instruction.
      • Response:
        I will take that feedback to the School Board Members.

    • Comment:
      Our instructional focus is tied to our location and can’t be replicated
      • Response:
        We’re looking at boundaries and countywide programs because some may not
        be strategically placed. This is just a proposal that staff is bringing
        forward. Then the School Board must weigh whether it will cost too much
        to move the program in terms of instruction, community impact, financial
        cost. We are trying to make an informed decision. 

    • Comment:
      Our children have built and care for a lot of the outdoor spaces at
      Campbell. From a whole child perspective, moving our program could be
      detrimental to them.  
    • Q:
      Where should we be sending our feedback? A: Send emails to; these emails go to Staff
    • Q:
      How was this process initiated? A: Staff made the proposal and the School
      Board voted to consider their proposal.
    • Comment:
      Since the decision was made to make all option schools countywide, you
      should consider that Campbell is located pretty close to the N/S split
      and provides good accessibility; seems like a good way to keep option
      transportation costs down.

  • Ms.
    Nesselrode shared that in her discussions with staff in the Central
    Office, she has been making the case that Campbell isn’t a good candidate
    to move for the following reasons:
    • Instructional
      Focus good fit for current location (Outdoor Classroom, Wetlands, walking
      Field Trips to Long Branch Nature Center)
    • Interlude
      Program colocation
    • Diversity
      of student body might be compromised if we were moved to a less central
    • Will
      continue to advocate until proposal is put forward in April


III.   Closing:
Nathan Zee, President

  • No
    time to go through funding requests; they were all within our previously
    approved budget. We don’t need to vote to approve, but for transparency, I
    will send out details by email.
  • Kate
    Sullivan, School Counselor: Please try to keep the discussions about
    program/school locations and potential moves to yourselves and try not to discuss
    with or in front of your children, to save the students from undue anxiety.

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!

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.