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Minutes of General Meeting

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.

Third Vice President for Health and Safety - Doris McKeon

Carseat and seatbelt laws.

All children under age 4 must be restrained in car safety seats

Booster seats are required until age 8 (or less than 4'9" or under 80 lbs)

It is not against the law for a child to be in the front seat of a car however air bags can harm children and smaller adults especially those under 4 feet tall.

Recently there was an article published calling the current generation of children “iGen.” The article stated that children growing up with iPhones are more physically safer than ever but they are also psychologically more vulnerable. Time spent with other people is a good measure of good mental health but these kids are doing much less of that than ever before due to Smart Phones. Social isolation leads to depression. More kids are feeling left out than ever before due to hearing about what is going on with others on social media.

Vice President for Fundraising - Vicmarie Sookdeo:

Passed out raffle tickets

The Plaza PTA is tasked with raising $19,000 this year in order to fund our programs. The Book Fair, Chinese Auction and Picture Day are three fundraising opportunities that are coming up soon.

There will be one basket to raffle off at every monthly PTA Meeting, so please attend

Recording Secretary, Kristina Lozada

Please sign the attendance sheet by printing your name neatly

I am also in charge of Plaza Apparel and am selling some items tonight. I have several small short sleeved shirts that are perfect for kindergarteners and some adult items. I will also be selling a wider variety of sizes of children’s items at Know Your School Night later this month.

Corresponding Secretary, Chanel Hyer

Read aloud thank you cards from graduating high school seniors who one the Plaza PTA Academic Award in June. The former Plaza students who received this award and wrote notes of appreciation to the PTA were Serena Zingale, Betticia Johnson, Julia Latimer, and Phillip Orselli.

C. Hyer also read aloud a thank you note from Mia Biazon, 2017 graduating fifth grader, thanking the PTA for all the fun fifth grade events she experienced in her last year.


Book Fair - Susan Fisher

The Book Fair will begin on the night of Tues 9/19, which is also Know Your School Night.

I need volunteers after school that day to set up, as well as volunteers to sell books that night and at school on 9/20 and to help with tear down after the school day ends.

Picture Day - Doris McKeon

I need volunteers to assist with Picture Day on Sept 29.

Holiday Breakfast - One of the best events of the year will be happening on

Dec. 2

For all new parents - I have been at Plaza for 11 years now and if you come talk to me I promise I will give you the honest scoop on what committees to join.

Fall Festival - Nicole and Troy Mark

Fall Festival will take place on Plaza’s field/courtyard from 11-2pm on Saturday Oct 14 (raindate will be10/24)

There will be vendors selling items (it costs $30 to obtain a table to sell), food, DJ, games, fire truck… Costumes are encouraged and there will be prizes for kids and adults. We have a sign up sheet going around. We need volunteers to help on that day.

Fifth Grade Car Wash - Julia Croshere

Please bring your dirty cars out to Plaza on Sat. Sept 30

Fifth Grade Events also needs Yearbook photos (baby and toddler) from fifth graders

Coupon Books - Kim Kucharovic

This fundraiser starts on Sept 19. This year books will not go home with kids. Only the order form will be going home. The cost of the book is $25. The due date is Oct 14. Out of state friends and family can support us by buying a book online that is appropriate for their state.

Chinese Auction - Chanel Hyer

Are you creative? Do you like to talk to others? Are you a closet basket maker? Do you have new un-used items to donate? Or are you willing to “bargain shop” at local stores (Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods) and then donate your finds? Please support the Plaza PTA’s fundraising efforts and join the Chinese Auction Committee. I need your help to reach out to local businesses, Plaza parents and staff to gather raffle decorations, and then help to create the awesome baskets for this year’s auction to be held at the next PTA meeting on Tuesday October 30. Thank You.

Bake Sales - Kristen Klemme

Our first bake sale will be on Nov 30 (during parent teacher conferences). Please let me know if you can donate baked goods.

Miss Chocolate - Rhonda Simmons

The Miss Chocolate fundraiser takes place Oct. 2 - Oct. 23. I will need volunteers to help distribute the materials to the kids.

VicMarie Sookdeo added, “Miss Chocolate has been our biggest fundraiser and we have gotten $4,000 in the past. The catalogue has many more items than chocolate. Please support this fundraiser.”

C Eckler - Next Meeting resolutions and Chinese auction will be held on Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00pm

(Today’s raffle donated by Sweet and Savory Cafe was won by Alisa Stevenson.)

There will be a clothing drive on Sept 29 (drop off at the gym 3-6pm and the next morning during the car wash) A flyer will be sent home to explain exactly what items we are collecting. We will also need volunteers to help with this.



Meeting adjourned aT 8:05pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by PTA Recording Secretary Kristina Lozada on September 9, 2017.

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