The minutes from the February 7 PTA general meeting can be downloaded here and are copied below:
Fairland Elementary School PTA
General Membership Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
7:00 PM, Media Center
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by President Kerry Luse. In attendance were: Vice President Sykeena Mitchell, Secretary Jamie Cook, Principal Lakeisha Lashley, Assistant Principal Stephanie Spencer, Vidhya Shyamsundri, Gopal Vembar, Deneen Gordon, Jeanette Proudfoot and Shona Weaver.
- VP Sykeena Mitchell reported that the school nurse requested that the PTA assist with a clothing drive for children’s clothing size 6-10 to be donated to the health center for use when students need a change of clothes. The PTA will send out communications requesting donations.
- The PTA recently purchased and donated 10 pairs of headphones to the school, as requested by the Media Center.
- The PTA is planning a school dance for Feb. 24. We will send out a request for volunteers to assist.
- We will plan a spirit night at Pump it Up, perhaps in March (dates to be coordinated with other school fundraising events)
Principal Lakeisha Lashley gave the following updates and news:
- The CandyGrams fundraiser is ongoing to raise money for the student fund, which assists with school items such as staff laptop repair, prepaying buses for field trips, paying lunch bills, etc. CandyGrams can be purchased for $1 each for delivery to students or staff.
- Classes will be holding Valentine’s Day parties at various times on Feb. 14.
- The Student Government Association (SGA) is running the Pennies for Patients fundraiser through February 17. The week of Feb. 13-17 will be a spirit week with themed days. Watch for information coming home with students.
- Blake High School will perform a children’s play for grades K-2 on Feb. 24.
- Girls on the Run is starting its spring season in March, culminating with a county-wide event in May. Registration for girls in grades 3-5 begins Feb. 15. Information is being sent home with students.
- Ms. Gray (reading specialist) will be planning a “Celebrate Reading Week” for February 28-March 4. More details will be coming soon.
- A Fairland neighbor has approached the school with concerns about student safety during dropoff and pickup, particularly regarding students who have to cross Fairdale Rd. to enter cars parked opposite the school. Fairland is monitoring the situation with extra staffing and handing out notes reminding parents about safety at dropoff and pickup. The neighbor will also remind the neighborhood association to please drive carefully during those times.
- Fairland is strictly enforcing a no-nuts policy regarding food brought to classrooms for birthdays or other events. Information was sent home with students earlier this month. Please follow these guidelines for any treats you send in to avoid disappointment.
The main part of the meeting was devoted to discussion of how to increase parent participation in the PTA. It was noted that Fairland parents are very involved in events that they are able to attend with children (i.e., math nights, Donuts with Dads, 2nd grade poetry tea, etc.), but that attendance at PTA meetings is very low. The following suggestions were made:
- Provide food at PTA meetings. This is difficult to do in the Media Center, but we will aim to plan the April PTA meeting to include pizza and take place in the APR
- Send home a parent survey about PTA participation, asking for feedback
- Provide incentives (e.g., SOAR slips) to students if their parents attend PTA meetings
- Highlight in PTA announcements that PTA meetings give a chance to talk to Principal Lashley.
- Print “PTA Meeting Tonight” stickers and put on students on PTA days to remind parents
- Print a ½ page flyer for involved PTA members to distribute at various bus stops to other parents
The April PTA meeting is important in building enthusiasm for next year and identifying candidates for leadership positions, as elections will be held at the May meeting. It was suggested that the PTA do the following at the April meeting:
- Give a compelling description of the PTA, its importance, and the type of work it does both in directly supporting events at Fairland and as being advocates within our larger community (school cluster, county PTA council, etc.)
- Print up “fast facts” on the different positions, with a description of duties and time estimates
- Be able to project the PTA website so that parents can see how to access PTA information
- Provide incentives to students whose parents attend, perhaps by having a contest to see which grade level has the most parents (with a popsicle party as a reward).
Meeting was adjourned at 7:53 PM.
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