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Minutes of General Meeting

September 7, 2017

PRESENT:  A. Adams, N. Antoine, K. Albrecht, L. Ardiles, T. Arnold-McKenzie, M. Brandle, R. Bercy, R. Bristol, S. Bruno, C. Carney, J. Croshere, K. Darius Campbell, C. Eckler, O. Estevez, S. Fisher, A. Gilroy, N. Grogan, L. Floy-Dewdney, R. Freed, J. Hamilton, A. Harrison, J. Hernandez, K. Hill, M. Hilburger, C. Hyer, K. Khan, K. Klemme, K. Kucharovic, B. Lakretz, K. Leonardo, K. Lozada, R. McGovern, D. McKeon, T. Mark, G. Moran, J. Moralas-Rodriguez, N. Morris, K. Munn-Andrade, L. Prioleau, M. Ricafrente-Biazon, S. Saini, D. Santiago, M. Scott, R. Simmons, A. Stevenson, V. Sookdeo, M. Sorto A. Valencia, J. VonButtgereit


PLAZA STAFF: Mr. Gray, Mrs. Wilder, Mrs. LaVecchia


CALL TO ORDER: Christina Eckler at 7:10pm


Pledge of Allegiance, Emergency exits and procedures, no smoking, cell phones on vibrate. Parking rules (*do not park on the east side of Rockville Dr.*), driving precautions. 




Welcome, I am Christina Eckler and I am happy to serve as the Plaza PTA President.

I am always here at Plaza for drop off and pick up and am always available by email and phone.


- Introduction of Board Members:

Susan Fisher:           First Vice President - Legislation

Kelly Hill:                   Second Vice President - Membership

Doris McKeon          Third Vice President - Health and Safety

Vicmarie Sookdeo   Fourth Vice President - Fundraising

Kristina Lozada        Recording Secretary

Chanel Hyer             Corresponding Secretary

Kim Albrecht             Treasurer



Prior to this meeting we held our New Parent Tea and it is wonderful to see that many parents have stayed for our PTA Meeting.  I would like to thank Susan Fisher who chairs our New Parent Mentoring Committee


Kelly Hill is selling PTA memberships right now.

The cost is $10 for an individual membership and $16 for a family membership.


Please be mindful when parking around the school and safe when driving around school.


There are opportunities to help out with the PTA that will work out for anyone’s schedule.  Almost all of us on the Exec Board work full time.  Please sign up for committees and to help with upcoming events on the sign-up sheets that are going around.


Thank you to:


• Doris McKeon for planning last June’s Installation Dinner and for all her help as I served as President last year. I am sure that I will also need her help this year as well.


• Susan Fisher for hosting Meet and Greets this summer.  There will be a nursery trip later this fall.  Information will be announced at a later time.


• Troy and ? - taking pics on first day


• Fifth grade for donating a projector.


• PTA Board Members for attending summer budget meetings.


• Justine Chan for editing the Plaza newsletter.  This year the newsletter will be published on instead of in print form. 


• Julie Croshere and Kim Leonardo for chairing Fifth Grade Events


The Baldwin Board of Education has monthly meetings that are very informative, but attendance at the latest meeting has been very sparse.  I would like to encourage to try to attend these meeting.


Stacey Heuser and Elissa Kirchner served on the auditing committee (asks Treasurer, Kim Albrecht if the audit was conducted satisfactorily. Answer is yes)


Let the minutes reflect that the audit was completed satisfactorily.




Balance of accounts as of June 30, 2017:

Checking - $8,137.81

Savings - $5,950.53

Fifth Grade Events - $100


Flyers with budget information are available Flyers explaining procedures for check requests are also available with my contact information.


Budget Vote was taken

Let the minutes reflect that the budget was passed by the majority


We need to put a nominating committee together by November in order to start selecting those who will serve on next year’s Executive Board.  Please let me know if you are interested in serving on this committee.




Mr. Gray - Welcome to the new parents. I am happy to see this turn out for the meeting.


Last year our Team Orchid won the NYS English Council Award as a Program of Excellence.  This year we are pursuing the designation of a "NYS School of Character." Look for information to come home about this. During this application process we have a chance to examine ourselves as a school and be honest with ourselves about where we are at.


Introduced Mrs. Graham as the new part time assistant principal. 


This year we are taking on a new initiative.  We will be meeting with every child three times a year in a cross grade cohort to work on service project.




Q - Can you tell us more about what Schools of Character is?


A -It is not a curriculum or a program but a designation granted by a non-profit organization for which schools can submit applications. If they like your application they come in and observe the school and see if students can articulate the vision of the school.  There are several different designations of this award that we can attain


We will also be starting “Project Wisdom” which is a values based curriculum.


This year Team Orchid will include third grade students.  To participate in Team Orchid students must write letters about why they want to be on the team and get a teacher to sign.




Mrs. Wilder

This school year has gotten off to a great start 

All teachers are asking if you have not already sent in your child’s school supplies, please do so as soon as possible.

Please check folders and agendas nightly.

Tues 9/19 is Know Your School Night - we encourage all to attend

All children should read every night as part of their HW

If you have a question for an individual teacher please jot a note and put it in your child's folder.





First Vice President of Legislation - Susan Fisher

Welcome back. 

I want to discuss the advocacy side of PTA 

National PTA and New York State PTA were hard at work this summer

- “Stop Cuts to Classrooms” Program

- Amended position statement that supports the rights and service for undocumented children 

The National and New York State PTA writes up resolutions that they hope can eventually become legislation.  For example over the summer Governor Cuomo signed into law a resolution banning e-cigarettes on school grounds.  


NYS Board of Regents met over the summer and worked on the new learning standards which will soon be rolled out. 


NYC PTA  is advocating for more integration and working on promoting diversity statewide


Second Vice President for Membership - Kelly Hill

Encourages all parents to sign up for PTA memberships.  Reminder - joining the PTA does mean you have to volunteer for everything yourself.