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November 16, 2017

6:00pm, Multipurpose Room

1. Call to Order @ 6:08pm

2. Pledge of Allegiance/Fire Exits/No Smoking

3. President’s Report

  • Kelly will be taking membership

  • Everyone will receive a ticket for the raffle

4. Huntington Learning Center Presentation

5. Principal’s Report

6. Teachers’ Report

7. Officer and Committee Chairs’ Announcements

8. Unfinished Business

9. New Business

10. Adjourn

Important Upcoming Dates to Remember:

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences 6-9pm, 11/30

  • Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:30am - 3:00pm, 12/1

  • Holiday Breakfast, 12/2

  • Holiday Boutique, 12/7

  • Holiday Bazaar, 12/8 & 12/9

  • BOE Meeting - Lenox @ 8:00pm, 12/13

  • Winter Concerts, 12/21

  • Grade 3-5 @ 9:30am

  • Grades K-2 @ 1:30pm

  • The Brain Show 6:30pm, 1/5/18

NEXT PTA MEETING - January 4, 2018 @ 7:00pm

Thank you:

Thank you to Chanel Hyer and Myrlene Scott for chairing the Chinese Auction. They did a wonderful job.

Thank you to Doris for running picture retake day. Thank you to all the parents who were there to help.

Thank you to Susan Fisher for attending the 2017 NYS PTA convention November 3rd-5th. She will be giving her report during officers reports.

Thank you Rhonda Simmons for running Mss Chocolate and for everyone who purchased and sold items. This is truly a wonderful fundraiser for us. It did amazing again this year, so thank you all.

Thank you again to Vicmarie for another wonderful and informational Cultural Arts assembly.

The minutes for the last meeting dated October 30th have been posted on the website. Are there any corrections? (No corrections) Let the record reflect the minutes stand as written.

The Baldwin High School musical cast Sister Act is performing November 16, 17, and 18. You can still purchase your tickets at the box office before the shows.

Please make sure that you are signed up for virtual backpack. Many flyers are going home that way. There are directions available to help sign up for virtual backpack, and if you need further assistance please go to the main office for help.

An email was sent out last week to all the committee chairs, Executive VP board members and PTA members asking for volunteers for the nominating committee for 2018-2019 school year. They will meet in March and go over all nomination forms submitted by the membership. There is a workshop they need to attend if they have never served on this committee. The committee is comprised of 5 people. I need one more from the exec. Board and 2 from general membership. Please email Christina Eckler if you are interested.

Founders Day is February 5, 2018. The honorary life committee, which chooses this year’s recipients for a special award presented to deserving PTA members, needs more members, preferably someone who was on the committee last year. Deena McCoy, Elissa Kirshner, and Alisa Stevenson have already said she would volunteer. We are asking for one more parents if possible.

Principal’s Report:

Thank you for coming out at earlier hour. We had a conflict with another elementary school in the district. I think we should stick with 7:00pm because the past meetings were better attended. This is our last official PTA meeting of 2017. The next PTA meeting is in January.

If you have not done so please submit to the virtual backpack. Fewer and fewer papers will be sent home. This year everything that goes in the virtual backpack also goes through connect ed emails. We use the emails 95% of the time. The phone calls are often ignored. There are instructions on the website to get onto virtual backpack. Please reach out to the main office if you need the instructions again or need help signing up for the backpack.

We’ve gone back to using Plaza Facebook this year as our main way of getting the kids’ stories out. Last year Team Orchid won State English Council program of the year. There are students covering the meeting tonight. The stories last year focused primarily on things going on in the school and the classroom. We covered 60 stories. There are many more opportunities for the kids to write stories and report. We have more technology that has eliminated obstacles for completing the stories and getting them published. 20 stories have already been published. By December we will have 44 stories. 4th graders are using google classroom and google slides. They are learning how to share their work, and give us ownership of that work so that we can publish. Our kids are being technology experts. This is a tremendous opportunity for them to cover their stories and their service projects. We had a chance to meet with 58 teams (k/5, 4/1, 3/2), they can sit in the principals office and discuss what character means to them and come up with service projects that they can do. Keep checking Facebook and applauding and commenting.

Community input meeting: How do you crowd out negative social media - flood it with innocent, productive, children voices.

Teachers Report:

Mrs. Graham, and Mrs. Mahon


The kindergarten students are reading a variety of pattern books during Reader’s Workshop. They are learning to use their sight words to write their own pattern books independently during Writer’s workshop. Please continue to review your child’s sight words each night when reading with a family member. The kindergarten classes are preparing for their Thanksgiving Feast with their book buddies on WEdnesday. The kindergarten students will be the Native Americans and the 5th graders will be the Pilgrims. We are requesting that the kindergarten students wear fall colors for the feast. The children will make Native American headbands in class next week. We’re looking forward to a great afternoon! Thank you in advance to all of the parents that volunteered to help with the feast.

1st Grade

In our new reading unit

We’re learning about character traits.

We look for evidence to support our claims

Our new character friends await.

In writing we are learning

To form our opinions.

We will write persuasive letters.

Santa, start saving millions!

In math we are trying out

Different strategies to add.

When we learn which works best for us

We will all be glad.

We experimented more with water.

We saw that it can travel and make things sink or float.

We even saw a gigantic pumpkin

Being used for a boat.

We’ll read and write about Thanksgiving

And compare long ago to how we celebrate.

We are thankful for your little ones.

We think that they are great!

2nd Grade

Greetings from second grade! We have been hard at work over the past few weeks. We have begun our new non-fiction unit in Reader’s and Writer’s workshop. The students love learning about so many new topics, expanding their knowledge, and sharing with others! In math, we are continuing the module unit of place value to the hundreds. Please have your child try out the I-Ready lessons at home. They look forward to using the laptops in class to strengthen their math skills. In social studies, we are learning about continents and oceans. In the science lab, we are becoming soil experts. If you see our students in the hallway, stop and ask them what soil is made up of! Thanks for all of your support at home with the students. Happy Thanksgiving.

3rd Grade

Third grade is continuing to enjoy our time in the Science Lab with Ms. Rosen studying air and weather. Ask us to tell you about our cloud walk and the observations we made outside. In Social Studies, we are continuing our study of map skills and learning about our country. In math, we are beginning our unit of multiplication. In writer’s workshop, we are gathering ideas for our expert book topics in informational writing. In literacy, we are launching our study of non fiction. We are using text features to help us find information and learn how to obtain the main idea and supporting details. We would like to wish all of our families a Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for your continued home support!

4th Grade

Fourth grade will be beginning our new reading and writing units on non-fiction. Parents are encouraged to take their children to the Baldwin library to select non-fiction books to read at home. We are moving into 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication. This can be a challenging concept. Please practice all basic facts with children so that they are automatic. Knowing basic multiplication and addition facts really helps students with this unit. We continue our science unit on rocks and minerals and look forward to starting our social studies unit on Native Americans.

5th Grade

Fifth grade is very excite about our upcoming play at Madison Square Garden. We encourage all parents to check the students folders for mail regarding events and activities in fifth grade. We just signed our t-shirts and can’t wait for their arrival. Students just completed their personal narratives and had a celebration to share their published pieces with other classes. In addition, the students just brought in their first book extension/home reading connection project. Students read informational books and created posters reflecting all they learned. This was a wonderful launch to our non-fiction unit of study and the projects are displayed in the halls outside our rooms.

Officers Reports:


I was selected to represent Plaza PTA among 350 plus statewide members, delegates and participants a the NYS PTA’s 121st Annual Convention in Niagara Falls. We represented nearly 300,000 PTA members in more than 1,400 schools throughout the state. State convention delegates set PTA policy - guiding advocacy and the organization’s focus - by voting on resolutions .Delegates learn about current issues in education that affect children, network to share best practices, and hear experts and inspirational speakers. Convention attendees were welcomed by a video from National President Jim Accomando and former National PTA President Chuck Saylors who joined delegates at convention. President Accomando and former President Saylors both highlighted the role of PTA in advocacy, family engagement, and programs for our children. An amazing keynote from Judge Verda Colvin, Georgia Superior Court Judge, focused on our commitment to children. Judge Colvin, the first African American female appointed to the Macon Judicial Circuit, discussed her experiences in youth and drug courts, and how family and community engagement can make a difference for every child. She also emphasized the importance of male involvement in the PTA. Amy Hysick, the 2017 NYS Teacher of the Year from the North Syracuse Central School District, shared her own inspirational story and passion for teaching. She discussed how we can all support student motivation and increased engagement on all levels. Resolutions were discussed, and voted on. There were 9 retentions, 8 updates, and 2 rescissions voted into policy. I also learned about many issues at convention workshops.

Membership: 191 members as of today - 94% towards our goal


Holiday boutique 12/7 - items as low as $1

Holiday bazaar 12/8-12/9 - still looking for vendors, $50 per table

Cultural Arts:

Magic Bob - Take pride, school character, how to respect each other and be kind to each other

January 5th - The brain show door opens at 6:00pm, they will have pizza

Treasurer’s Report:

Balance 11/15 - 163089.80

Savings 5956.56

5th - 8377.05

Question- How much did the Chinese Auction make? $909

First - Susan Fisher

Second - Vicmarie Sookdeo

The treasurer’s report has been accepted.


Thank you for kidstuff coupon savings book - Mrs. Steingruebner

Thank you for coupon book. - Mrs. Barone


Personally thank everyone who volunteered and donated for the Chinese Auction. I hope you enjoyed yourself. The complete list of donors found on Plaza PTA Website

Treasurers Audit Volunteers needed. This is done 2x a year, once in January and again in July/August.

Susan Fisher and Shani Bruno volunteered.

Committee Reports:

Bounce Trampoline Fundraiser January 14th

12/2 Holiday Breakfast

Sign up sheet for baked goods

PARP will be in March this year.

Huntington Learning center

Renae Hammond and Kristen

Helpful homework tips

Ideas for what you can do at home

Raffling free academic evaluation

We often hear how frustrating homework can be

  • It can take all night

  • Child can not do it themselves


  • Care for our children

  • Care that they do their homework


  • Standards are raised

  • Show concern when they are having a hard time


  • Communication between parent and teacher

  • Let teachers know if student is struggling or not being challenged

How many of you have children who have difficulty doing homework?

Takes all night, more than 2 hours?

Oh I forgot!

Does not do his/her best work

  • Want child to put in more effort

  • How can you use 3 Cs to get best effort

  • Positive and encouraging

  • Lets see you do your best sentences

  • Refuse to do homework without help

  • They have to build their independence

  • How often do you try to block out their time in the afternoon?

  • If it’s too hard - block out time e.g. 4-4:30 math, and then take a break

  • I forgot my homework

  • Use the planner

  • Use planner at home, reinforce the planning/organizing process you use at home

  • Feel like they are doing what adults have to do to be successful

  • Structured but positive environment

  • Homework at the same time every day

  • Using a calendar, planning out their homework time

  • Weekly planner

  • Plan homework around after school activities

  • Build independence

  • Work with child to plan it out

  • Hold child accountable to their plan

Being involved in your child’s education

  • Communicate with teacher when student is struggling

  • Ask for the teachers to review with student if they need reinforcement

  • Organize

  • Build Independence

Next meeting January 4th

PARP will be taking place in March

Holiday Bazaar… need volunteers

Need parents and students

50/50 raffle - Price to be determined

Need help calling potential vendors

Raffle drawing

Meeting adjourned at 6:54


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