Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December Minutes
To view the full minutes of the December 19th meeting, click on the link above.  Highlights from the December meeting include:

  • Stories of schools and PTAs "giving back" to the community.
  • Sun and Moon Yoga school fundraiser opportunities.
  •  CPCI Fund update:  Funds were recently allocated to six projects totaling $7,775.  After these funds are allocated, there will be $5.00 remaining in the fund.  CCPTA is seeking additional contributions this year so that more projects at more schools can be funded. A summary of projects funded and listing of contributions will be posted to this blogspot as soon as possible.
  • APS 2017-18 budget shortfall of $22million.  Much of the shortfall is attributed to enrollment growth expenditures; second-year initiatives such as the psychologist and social worker expansion effort and the continued expansion of Arlington Tech; compensation increases; and retirement and health insurance expenses.  The public can submit comments and suggestions via  budget.feedback@apsva.us or https://budget.arlingtonva.us/fy-2018-budget-priorities-public-input/ on the APS website.
  • Dr. Kristi Murphy provided information about the development of the school calendar.  There will be a meeting January 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the Ed Center.  Please come.  There may be some significant differences in the calendar from years past, particularly as Arlington strives to align spring break with neighboring jurisdictions which may have received waivers to begin school prior to Labor Day.
  • Lisa Stengle reported on the final high school boundary adjustment decision.  Staff is currently gathering feedback about the process as they look toward the processes next year to revise all middle school boundaries and boundaries for all elementary schools in south Arlington.  PTAs and principals should inform staff of the schedule for their schools' biggest events so that outreach and communication efforts can be made to reach the most people possible.
  • Superintendent Murphy reported over 1000 entries for the MLK Jr. Visual Arts and Literary contest.  An recognition event will take place on January 15th and the School Board will provide recognition to students at its January 19th meeting. 
  • Arlington Tech applications are due January 31st.  An open house will be held on January 7th.
  • FAC will meet January 4th at 7:00 p.m. to brainstorm options for consideration to provide 1300 new high school seats.  The meeting is open to the public and currently scheduled to take place at the Columbia Pike Library, unless a larger room is needed.
  • BAC is working to evaluate the implications of various instruction designs and facility options, as well as implications of the compensation and benefits study to inform decisions being made in those areas.
  • An issue was recently raised regarding the proper use of PTA funds for teacher salaries or professional development.  Linley Mancilla is attempting to schedule a webinar with the VA PTA for January.  In the meantime, she provided a handout on “suggested use of PTA funds.”   More clarification to come.
  • Next CCPTA meeting will be January 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the Ed Center.  Happy holidays and a safe winter break to all.  See you next year! 


Monday, November 28, 2016

November meeting highlights:

  • Reflections update from Coordinator Edgar Tolentino:  Judging should be concluded by the end of the month and winners forwarded to the District Chair by December 9th.  The awards ceremony will be held January 18th at Washington-Lee High School.  Snowdate is January 25th.  Individual submissions should be returned to the schools by the first week in December.  
  • The CCPTA budget for 2016-2017 was passed.
  • Any PTAs that have not updated their information with the Virginia PTA should expect an e-mail from CCPTA Treasurer, Linley Mancilla, to remind them to update their current information.
  • CCPTA has received three requests for CPCI funding so far this year.  
  • Each PTA that has been "credited" proceeds from the pumpkin patch sales should contact Chris Ditta to indicate where they would like the proceeds to be forwarded.  Funds can be paid directly to the PTA or requested to be donated to the CCPTA's CPCI fund.   
  • SEPTA's grant cycle has ended.  Requests totaled $7,000 and there was $3,000 to give.  Somehow, all requests managed to be funded!  Drew Model School is still in need for additional funds for two smart boards.  Contributions are welcomed.
  • Rosa Briceno provided a presentation and update on the FACE (Family and Community Engagement) initiative.  FACE works to engage parents and the community to work together with schools.  CCPTA supports this initiative by providing resources for FACE activity/event food and childcare needs.
  • Dulce Carrillo is the new FACE Community Engagement Coordiantor.  Her role is to increase public participation in schools by creating two-way dialogues with organizations such as CCPTA and others with the community.  She works to engage the community in such issues as school boundary processes, the Drew visioning process, budget, the School Board's upcoming admissions and transfer policy review, etc.  She also will meet quarterly with Arlington County to coordinate with their community engagement efforts.
  • SharePlay.org founder and Glebe Elementary School Spanish teacher Yanira Umana Ayala gave a presentation on the SharePlay service project now in its third year at Glebe.  The project aims to facilitate children helping other children in need and has raised money to provide a soccer field and the first inclusive playground for children with disabilities for schools in El Salvadore.  Currently in its third year, the goal is to get more schools involved and to provide a basketball court for a middle school in El Salvadore.
  • Education Theatre Company (ETC) Executive Director, Stan King gave a presentation on ETC's various programs and its efforts in Arlington schools.  Mr. King noted that their programs do well at schools that can afford them, but not as well at less affluent schools. Students at less affluent schools do not have the same access to the arts and ETC's programs. ETC is trying to bring-in more Title I schools through grants.  Similarly, ETC runs numerous summer camps for students pre-K through 12 and would like to provide one scholarship per camp.  They are looking for prospective scholarship students.
  • Dr. Barbara Kanninen was this month's school board representative.  
    • She spoke about Arlington Tech, noting that all 8th grade students have visited the facility and recruitment efforts continue to fill next year's class of 100 students.  
    • Also, the visioning process for Drew Elementary has begun and the community seems to have a good sense of the programming it would like to implement as the Montessori program moves to the current Patrick Henry facility when that school moves to their new site at TJMS/Community Center.  The next meeting for the Drew visioning is scheduled for December 8th.
    • The lease at the Syphax/Sequoia center is being finalized and the offices currently housed at the Ed Center will be relocating to that site.  It is still to be determined what will be done with the Ed Center building.
    • High school boundary adjustment process continues.  The School Board will take action on its decision at its December 1st meeting.
    • The process to fill positions for the Joint Facilities Advisory Committee (JFAC) continues.  About 50 applications have been received.
  • Superintendent's report by Dr. Murphy:
    • Dr. Murphy noted remarks by School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren and School Board member Emma Violand-Sanchez following the presidential election earlier this month.  He also noted that resources can be made available for schools wanting or needing them due to concerns following the national political debate.
    • Dr. Murphy noted Arlington schools' ratings in the Niche rankings.
    • Arlington Tech is accepting applications for the 2017-18 incoming freshman class.  Dr. Murphy noted that the program is suited for both college and non-college tracts with certifications making students job-ready at graduation and the ability to earn dual enrollment credits.
    • MLK Jr. essay contest submissions are due 5:00 p.m. Friday, December 9.
  • FAC report by Lois Koontz indicates all current projects on track.  Ms. Koontz also highlighted APS' efforts to change its method of construction contracting by using  a project management company to manage construction contracts.  APS does not have sufficient staff to oversee its multiple concurrent projects and using a project management company is fiscally efficient in the long term.
See you in December!

Monday, November 7, 2016

October Minutes
To view the full minutes of the October 24th meeting, click on the link above.  Highlights from the October meeting include:

  • Swanson Middle School makes first CPCI donation for this school year!  Thank you, Swanson!
  • Peter Fallon and Monique O'Grady gave a presentation regarding the upcoming 2016 Bond.  The CCPTA voted to endorse the bond which will help fund multiple school construction and maintenance projects .
  • Linda Erdos gave an update on the high school boundary adjustment process.  The School Board will have a work session November 9th after receiving recommendations from the Superintendent at its November 3rd meeting.  A public hearing will be held TUESDAY, November 15th at 6:30 p.m.  The School Board will take action on a final decision December 1st.
  • Arlington Tech presentation, including remarks from one of the students from this year's inaugural class.  A parent information night is currently scheduled for November 15th - please note, this is the same night as the public hearing regarding high school boundaries.
  • Phoenix Bikes presentation by Executive Director, Meg Rapeley - highlighting partnerships with APS, celebrating Phoenix Bikes' tenth anniversary, and a potential relocation from Four Mile Run to the currently vacant retail space in Arlington Mill Community Center.
  • Bike Arlington, car-free diet presentation - emphasizing recent and ongoing efforts to reach out to students to get them to start thinking and using various transportation options, promoting good habits and a healthy environment.
  • Superintendent's highlights including, Drew visioning kick-off; stop arm bus cameras in effect; call for entires for aetv winter break greeting; and a new video series on "th Whole Child" and video series on the summer literacy project, "Boys of Color."
  • Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez was the School Board representative.  She is seeking input as to how to identify more people to participate in APS working groups and committees and how to make committees more representative of the diversity in our community.
  • Committe updates from FAC, SEPTA, and ACI.  
  • ACI seeking feedback about high school models.
See you in November!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Reflections coordinator meeting preceded the opening of CCPTA's first meeting of the 2016-17 school year on Monday, September 26th.  The new Reflections Coordinator is Edgar Tolentino, parent at Barcroft Elementary School.

CCPTA kicked off the year with a packed agenda to include information from the Virginia PTA summer workshop, a presentation by Dr. Tara Natrass about the State of Virginia's work on the profile of a high school graduate and diploma requirements, and a presentation by Lisa Stengle and Linda Erdos about Arlington's current high school boundary refinement process for 2017 and APS' 3-5 year action plan.  Minutes from the September 24th meeting will be posted as soon as possible.

Superintendent's news and highlights provided by Cintia Johnson on behalf of Dr. Murphy:

September 29th: promoting literacy community book conversation with County Board Chair Libby Garvey and School Board Chair Nancy Van Doren

October 5th: Walk and Bike to School Day

October 14th: "Harvesting Dreams for Our Children" event at Kenmore Middle School

From the CCPTA President:

CCPTA President, Chris Ditta, will join school board member Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Superintendent Patrick Murphy as a panelist at the Committee of 100 meeting on October 19th.  The topic will be high schools and solutions for providing additional secondary seats.  If you have any thoughts or comments, please forward to Chris so that he can represent CCPTA's school community on this panel.

Thank you to all who came out for our kick-off meeting.  We look forward to seeing all new and returning CCPTA representatives at next month's meeting on October 24th.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CCPTA Meeting Dates 2016-2017

*All meetings are at 7:00 p.m. at the Education Center by W-L High School in Rooms 101a-b unless otherwise noted.

Monday, Aug 29 
Monday, Sep 26 - Reflections pre-meeting at 6:00 p.m.
Monday, Oct 24
Monday, Nov 21
Monday, Dec 19
Monday, Jan 30
Monday, Feb 27
Monday, Mar 27
Monday, Apr 24
Monday, May 22

APS 101 Information and Training for PTA officers:  
Monday, June 12 at Wakefield H.S. cafeteria

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Congratulations to our new officers!

On May 23, 2016, the CCPTA elected the new officers for the 2016-2017 school year:

Chris Ditta, President
Lisa Sockett, Vice President
Evan Thomas, VP Communications
Don Weinstein, Vice President
Maura McMahon, Secretary
Lilly Mancilla, Treasurer
Lavonne Stewart, Dues Chair

We look forward to an exciting year!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Introducing the CPCI Program

This year, the CCPTA, under the leadership of President Chris Ditta, has decided to highlight solutions within our schools. Our goal is to identify and elevate PTA practices that work well in our schools, and share them broadly for others to adopt and modify to meet the needs of their families. As part of these conversations, we have been asked by PTAs who sometimes have excess funds how they could share their funds with schools who may not have the PTA infrastructure to fundraise to cover their initiatives.

Last fall, the CCPTA Board discussed the idea of creating a fund with Dr. Murphy, and asked what existing APS initiatives we could support through pooled funding. Together, we agreed to try creating a central fund, built from donations by PTAs, to support various initiatives in our public schools.

At the December meeting, the CCPTA board announced a new initiative: the CCPTA-PTA Collaboration Initiative, or CPCI.  Through this collaboration, PTAs and community organizations may contribute to a central fund. The fund will provide assistance to school PTAs that may not be in a position to pay for schools events or class trips.

Donations to the CPCI fund may be made in the form of money or in-kind resources. The CCPTA leadership has asked each PTA to earmark a donation for this initiative, and provide their donation by January 26, 2016. If a PTA does not have the ability to donate funds, it is encouraged to donate excess goods, assistance or expertise to another PTA. The CPCI initiative was discussed at our December 14th CCPTA meeting.

To date, the CCPTA has received some donations, but it is not too late for your PTA to give! If you have questions on the initiative, please contact one of the CCPTA Board Members. If your PTA would like to make a donation, please contact our Treasurer, Linley Mancilla.

For additional information about this program, or information on how to apply for funding, please see our PTA Resources page.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Celebrating Arlington's History Makers - Tonight at H-B Woodlawn (Stratford Building)

Back to Stratford: Arlington Honors Those Who Fought for School Integration and Made History

February 1, 2016
On February 2, 1959, four African American seventh-graders entered Stratford Junior High School, marking the beginning of the end of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s practice of public school segregation. They were the first African American students in Arlington County to attend their neighborhood school rather than a segregated school.
On Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, all four of the original integrating students will return to the Stratford Building, now home to the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program. Fifty-seven years ago on that day, they  had to negotiate a battalion of helmeted police officers protecting the perimeter of the school grounds. This time, they will be honored participants in a special evening, “Celebrating Arlington’s History Makers.”
The former students will join a distinguished panel of community members in Stratford Auditorium, 4100 Vacation Lane in Arlington, where the County invites the public to join in honoring them and the community effort that helped bring about integration.
The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a screening of the 2001 documentary “It’s Just Me … The Integration of the Arlington Public Schools,” which was developed by the Arlington Educational Television (AETV) staff to share the memories and reflections of the people who were involved in the struggle to integrate Arlington Public Schools.
After the screening, the former students will join community leaders to discuss that pivotal time and the role each played
The panelists include:
  • Students who integrated Stratford Junior High School in February 1959
    • Michael Jones
    • Gloria Thompson
    • Lance Newman
    • Ronald Deskins
  • Alfred O. Taylor, Jr., civic activist, educator, author, and community historian
  • Sharon Mondé, APS graduate and former APS teacher and administrator
  • Carmela Hamm, daughter of Dorothy Hamm, Arlington leader in the struggle to integrate schools
  • Martha Miller, Stratford Junior High School teacher in 1959, author
  • Moderator: Drew Costley,
Event Sponsors:
  • Arlington Public Schools
  • Arlington County Government
  • Arlington Chapter of the NAACP
  • Black Heritage Museum of Arlington

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Facilities Update from the FAC Liaison to CCPTA

The following is the Facilities Update for January 2016 from our CCPTA liaison, Don Weinstein:

  • Abingdon Elementary School:  The design phase is nearing completion.  The project will be out for bid in March, with construction to begin next summer.
  • Ashlawn Elementary School:  Work is nearly complete on the Montague Street ramp.  The final grounds work will be completed in the spring, when the weather permits.
  • Discovery Elementary School:  The athletic/play fields will be turned over for use in February.  Initial measurements point to the building achieving great energy savings, as planned.  Detailed data will be available once the new power meter is connected to the recently activated solar panels.
  • McKinley Elementary School:  The project is on schedule.  Dominion Power devoted extensive resources to activating the new underground electrical service, which was a critical aspect of the project.
  • Stratford Middle School:  The schematic design phase is about 50% complete.  The FAC briefly discussed a potential sequence of construction activities should the project be pushed back to 2020. 
  • Washington-Lee High School: Phase 1 of the interior reconfiguration is almost finished, with some specialty glass and furniture scheduled to arrive this month.  APS is in discussion with the low bidder for Phase 2.
  • Wilson Site:  APS is working on the schematic design, while continuing to pursue parking options.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Community Conversation on Teen Drug and Alcohol Use

Parents, caregivers, teens, and all community members are invited to attend an interactive presentation and discussion on: 
  • The effects of drugs and alcohol on the adolescent brain;
  • The legal consequences of unlawful use of substances; and
  • Knowing your rights when interacting with law enforcement.
Our goal is for you to have a better understanding of the impact that substance use can have on you/youth, families, and the community.