PTA Board Meeting Minutes – January 11, 2022
7:00 pm via ZOOM
Meeting called to order at 7:03pm
- Tina Lilley
- Kristen Liang
- Amy Bryan
- Anna Hume
- Kate Scher
- Megan Wildenradt
- Renee Harnett
- Tricia Schalekamp
- Kathleen Donahoe
- Sara Lukas
- Kellie Pecoraro
- Brad Nelson
- Leah Lansberry-Austin
- Courtney Sievers
- Kate Mathews
- Todd Simonson
Non-Board Community Members
- Reid Mathews – student
- Kendall Scales – student
- Lyn Visick – student
- Cindy Watters = Principal
- An-Lon Chen
- Sandy Hawley
- Will Kruse
- Susan Hernandez
- Ashley Schiavone
- Charlie Cartwright
- Jon Overman
7:00 Meeting Called to Order, Land Acknowledgement – read by Lyn Visick
7:10 Whittier Student Updates: Reid Mathews, Kendall Scales, Lyn Visick
Reid Mathews – Mr. Collin’s Class – This year is better than the last couple we had. Stronger connection between teachers & students. He wants to make it more comfortable for the younger students at Whittier.
Kendall Scales – Ms Childers Class – Wants to add unscented hand moisturizer. She likes that 4th/5th graders get to be helpful and she would also like to have more opportunities to help.
Lyn Visick – Mr. Keener’s Class – Likes that there are more gender neutral bathrooms available. He would like to help people understand gender and individual bathroom choice. Lyn would like to see more gender neutral spaces.
Question from Tina – What do you consider gender neutral spaces? Lyn: Bathrooms… Cindy suggested that we remove the gender binary component ie; boys & girls lining up, clothing
Kathleen Donahoe – asked for First Friday ideas: Reid – craft projects Lyn – Book exchange
7:25 Presidents Update/Housekeeping (Kristen/Tina)
Renee motioned to approve both November and December meeting minutes, Tricia seconded.
❖ Approval of November 2021 Meeting Minutes – APPROVED
❖ Approval of December 2021 Meeting Minutes – APPROVED
➢ Virtual School Tours, 2/8 @ 9am, 2/10 @ 6:30pm
■ 2/8 – Sara & Megan
■ 2/10 – Tricia & Megan
■ Suggestion from Susan – to provide special education information so people don’t have to solicit/ask questions about it
➢ Yearbook Club (Tracy)
■ Looking for help with layout/formatting
➢ Family Directory (Amy/Todd)
■ Looking for a way to compile a school directory
■ Anna – suggested we send out a DID YOU KNOW that Konstella can be a way to connect?
■ An-Lon mentioned that What’s App can be a super good tool, so maybe we pitch it that way
➢ March Food/Book Drive – Need some leadership for the food drive
■ Cindy – each week could be a different type of drive – ie; sock drive, food drive, book drive
■ She really wants the kids to help own the community aspect of it. Parents can help connect to the network.
■ Sandy Hawley – suggested this shelter https://lihi.org/about/
❖ Funding Proposals:
■ Want bright yellow jackets for recess supervisors. Could be used for field trip chaperones in the future. Same type of jacket that Safety Patrol uses. Cindy would like 10 in various sizes.
■ ~ $400 (10 x $30 each)
➢ Wildcat Spirit Fence Art – https://www.putincups.com/
■ Fence art would be about $2000
■ It would liven up the fence, be a focal point and show of school spirit.
■ Volunteer opportunity for parents
Amy Bryan motioned to approve safety vests, Anna & Kristen seconded the motion. – PASSED
Board to review the Fence Art funding proposal. Perhaps the community can be involved in deciding what the art looks like.
7:30 Principal & Staff Updates (Cindy)
COVID – we have had cases at school. Nurse Marissa has been amazing and has done contact tracing, notifying people of exposures, and has been our resident “HEALTH EXPERT”
Exposures in 3 classrooms, but only 5 kids needed to be quarantined. IF KIDS ARE VACCINATED, they don’t have to be quarantined! We have a fantastic vaccination at Whittier which is helping with minimal quarantines. We will monitor for symptoms and provide tests when needed to exposed kids.
Remote Learning – Whittier is ready to transition kids to remote learning within 2 hours. Laptops/ipads won’t be sent home unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Q: She’s heard that schools are running out of rapid tests… what is our supply of tests like?
A: We have enough antigen test for a few more weeks. We also have PCR tests. We’re being very strategic with timing of testing… waiting for 5 days
Q: Are we following CDC guidance of positive test but only 5 day quarantine
A: We are strongly encouraging 7 day quarantine
Whittier is approaching 90% vaccination rate with our students, and we’re taking a very hard stance on quarantining non-vaccinated students. (Vax rate is figured out by Nurse Marissa checking the state database and counting.)
Re: Teachers who are positive, they are also being handled on a case by case basis with close guidance from Nurse Marissa.
Q: HOW ARE TEACHERS DOING?
A: They are feeling like a lot of us, a little anxious but they don’t want remote learning too. They are AMAZING. Little acknowledgements make a big difference! Coffee, notes… anything that says “We see you, we know how hard you’re working”
Every staff member felt seen after the holiday gifts
NEW STAFF MEMBER – new K teacher Lola O’Rourke
Cindy is hopeful that clubs can start happening soon. – Yearbook club, Newspaper Club starting – 1st newspaper coming out in a few weeks
Mask Drive – she has enough to give 1 to each teacher/staff for now 50 total staff (18 teachers) – if you can, please purchase masks for the community.
Q: Do we need to fill out the covid test permission form that SPS sent out? A: NO
Q: I heard from a friend at a neighboring school that they are blanket testing. Are we blanket testing? A: No
7:50 Treasurer’s Report
- Budget Update (December reports): Balance Sheet, Budget vs Actuals, Profit & Loss
- Budget Survey (release Jan.?) & Town Hall (Community Meeting) Overview (Jan. 18)
- Everything looking good budget wise. Largest expense was the staffing expense
- Need volunteers for the Budget Committee – work to start up later this month
- Renee wants to do a budget survey
8:10 Nominating Committee – Vote Needed to Approve Members
8:15 Chair Reports
❖ Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
➢ Black Lives Matter at School Week, 2/7 – 2/11
❖ Legislative Update
MEGAN – Voting deadline is 2/8
➢ Vote to endorse levies/
➢ VOTE #1 – Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 1 to renew the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy vote in February 2022.
VOTE #2 Motion – Kathleen Donahoe, Second – Sara Lukas
I (Name) motion that the (Your PTSA Name) endorse a yes vote on the Seattle Public School Proposition 2 to renew the Buildings, Tech, Academics/Athletics (BTA) Levy vote in February 2022.
❖ Discussion: Does the Whittier PTA want to donate to Schools First?
❖ Fundraising – Spring Fling update + Jog-A-Thon check-in
8:45 Meeting Adjourned / Social hour (if you are able to join) via Zoom
Adjourned at 8:55 pm
Reminder of Upcoming Dates:
1/17 NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)
1/18 PTA Budget Town Hall (Community Meeting)
2/7 – 2/11 Black Lives Matter at School Week
2/8 PTA Board Meeting
2/8, 2/10 Virtual School Tours – 2/8 9am, 2/10 6:30pm
2/21 – 2/25 NO SCHOOL (Mid-Winter Break)
Notes, Reports & Resources
❖ Amy B. Nurse Marissa, Principal Watters – Mask Wishlist
❖ Kathleen, Courtney, Sandra, Martine – January First Friday, Winter Wishes
❖ Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Toolkit (for Nominating Committee)
❖ Communications (Kate S.)
➢ We just sent out our 7th Wildchat for the year! I’d love to get content from more board and community members. Please submit ideas (even if it’s just a couple sentences! Or a great photo!) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
➢ Our Konstella userbase has reached 660 with around 325 active members that read announcements. Committee creation on Konstella doesn’t seem to help with recruiting volunteers, though, so we may need a new approach.
➢ The PTA FB page has 169 follows + 116 likes. Our Instagram has 90 followers. Class FB groups really vary in reach and activity level. The K group, for example, has 32 members and almost no activity. The 5th grade group has 105 members and more discussion. I continue to support these pages, but note reach is low. I also can’t post across all Class FB groups in one session or the PTA FB account gets temporarily banned.
❖ EDI (Anna)
❖ Membership (Tricia)
➢ November 2021 we earned the PTA Bronze Membership Award – enrolled 1 more membership than the prior year
➢ January 2022 membership
❖ FACE (Events/Hospitality/Outreach) (Kathleen/Courtney/Todd)
❖ Advocacy (Megan)
➢ Focus on Advocacy Week is coming up – January 17-21st. There will be a call to action each day that we will share via Konstella and social media. You can learn more here. The week kicks off with a virtual legislative day and I hope to join meetings with Reps Frame and Berry.
➢ Levy ballots will be mailed on Jan 19th and they are due on February 8th. There are many ways we can support this which I will be sharing info on over the next few weeks.
❖ Volunteers (Kristin)