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2009-02 February Minutes

Atkinson PTA meeting    February 10, 2009

Attendees:   Sheri Campbell, Gabriela Goldfarb, Jim Laden, Susan Sodia, Rachel Belcher, Laura Mason, Traci Sullivan, Janie, Cohen, Roselia Santos, Alfredo Santos, Barb Frank, Gretchen Dursch, Courtney Hayes-Lattin, Karla Zirbes, Alessandra Rueegger, Nikki Schulak, Mario Aguilar, Veronica Rodriguez, Haydee Lopez, Susana Mendoza, Shannon O’Fallon, Aaron Weitz, Amie Weitz, Sandra Templeman, Lydia Hernandez, Elliott Young, Betsy Thielman.
Welcome, review minutes,        Gabriela Goldfarb, PTA co-president
• Agenda, Calendar of Events, Two page summary of the budget, superintendent letter distributed.  January minute review next meeting
• Announcements:  Atkinson Auction March 6th.  Homework club Wednesday nights from 3 to 4 pm.  Need Volunteers.  Outreach committee brought up the need for the homework club.
    What do possible budget cuts mean for Atkinson
Principal’s Report         Chris Gutierrez, Atkinson Principal
• Refer to Portland Public Schools 2009-2010 Budget Shortfall Potential.  Middle column is best guest for what will happen.  We are told the situation is getting worse.  We are $21,574.00 behind.  February 20th is when the legislature is going to give us hard numbers to start planning with.  We are talking about programs that may be cut.  Other dates, Thursday at Madison High School Carole Smith will go over the budget shortfall.  Chris is setting up meetings with staff members to have an opportunity to provide staff with information and get input.  February 16th is the Salem Bus Rally.  Feb 26th at Wilson High School Carole Smith will speak again.  Survey of US superintendents says 250,000 teachers could be without work in September.

Budget cuts:  Staying informed and taking actions         Gabriela Goldfarb
• US senate passed a bill to give schools money now it goes to the house.  If they agree and Obama signs then we will get money if not then we won’t.  Cuts state money, title one, and ESEA.  Email, or call your representative and let them know how you feel call and say you want money for education.  Best way to show support is to come to the rally in Salem.  Go online to the PPS survey as Carole Smith (Superintendent) makes difficult budget decisions.  PTA meeting in March on the 10th will revisit the budget, and vote again.  Later in March a series of meetings for people to voice their opinion on what makes Atkinson a place they wan to be.  Will do two surveys one about the playground and one on what is important for the school.  Decision need to be made in early March before spring break for Chris to make his staffing requests.  April meeting will have the results of the survey and then we can decide on the PTA funding.  May we will make a decision for spending money.  Auction is March 6th after that we will know the results and if we have enough money to buy it.

Stand for Children Rally, PTA Contribution for Atkinson Buses     Karla Zirbes, and Elliott Young
• Rally in Salem is Monday.  One bus is full and we are starting on the registration cards.  It is kid friendly.  Bus leaves at 10 am returns at 2pm.  Forms will need to be filled out for each child under 18.  The Rally is from Noon to 1 pm.  We have been asked to make a contribution to cover the cost of the bus.  PTA moves to allocate $100 from our budget to Stand for Children to help cover the buses.  No opposed the motion passes.

Playground Shelter         Jim Laden   
• Playground shelter committee has developed a survey about the shelter so that teachers and parents can give their input.  Two questions at the end of the survey address the district building shelters by 2017.  A bond may be available in 2010.  The other questions is if whether to use the money for staffing instead of the playground.  Online survey is available in English and Spanish.  Other languages will have paper surveys available.  They will be available in the lobby.  Small group are speaking up on the playground, and we need to get an honest reflection of what people think.  In March if the Auction goes as planned then we will know how much money we will have.  In the survey there is a picture of the shelter.

Heath & Safety Problems         Gabriela Goldfarb, PTA co-president   
• Health and Safety issues.  Parents donated time to clean the bathrooms due to concerns of sanitation for our children.  The maintenance of the school has deteriorated.  We have one fulltime and one part time un-effective person and we need to quality effective custodians at night.  Parents need to tour the restrooms to see the smell and issues. Low level maintenance in the classroom as well and it is unsanitary for the children.  Parents need to be the squeaky wheels to the district.  Gabriela will draft a letter to the district and all can sign.  We can invite a district representative here to answer our questions.  Cafeteria problems have been raised.  The food is still frozen inside and milk is expired.  Years ago it was decided to have chocolate milk only on Friday’s.  It is now available daily again without asking.  Main dishes are often gone when the later classes get to the cafeteria.  We need to have parent speak up if they see issues. 
Proposals for future parent workshops         Gretchen Dursch, and Betse Thielman    
• Scheduling workshops for parents on the Spanish emersion vision of the district.  How Spanish speaking students are learning English.  Hoping in early March.  Maybe two meetings one for parents who need to make decisions now and one for others later.  Have someone come in from Multnomah County Library and talk about internet safety.  For older kids in 4th and 5th grades and for parents.  PTA will provide childcare for siblings.  Hoping to have Spanish translation.  She is

Tabor Commons Update         Traci Sullivan   
• Christmas Tree fundraiser raised $6,250.00.  Thanks to all who helped.  They are now shifting gears to construction mode.  They will be putting out a call for laborers.  They need help with the metal stud framing.  Need for a good lead on insulation or sheetrock donated or discounted. 

8:10p Adjourn