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.