February PTA Meeting Notes

Restorative Practices at PBES
Ms. Greenberg presented on the Restorative Practice approaches PBES is embracing. See her presentations slides here!

Upcoming Events:

February 22, 7-9pm Black History Month Celebration
Presentations by students, and potluck

March 14, 7-9pm Pool-a-palooza
Pool party and fundraiser for supporting the pool

March 16 (set-up) Readathon and Book Fair

March 19-20, GeoBowl competitions

Meet the Acting Principal, Vince Fazzalare!

Mr. Fazzalare started his teaching career at Takoma Park Elementary, back when Sam Abbott was the mayor of Takoma Park and the city was working on passing the Nuclear-Free Zone ordnance. He went on

to teach at a number of local elementary schools, before beginning to specialize in early childhood education. He moved on up into administration, where he served as Assistant Principal before retiring in 2010, and has stayed active in acting roles ever since. At the community meeting on Tuesday, January 23, he described his latest appointment as a homecoming. Mr. Fazzalare encouraged parents to drop by to talk with him about anything on their mind, and particularly emphasized having sit-down chats in h

is office rather than bus stop fly-bys. He really wants to get to know the issues of the

school and the people too. As for himself, he's from a large Italian family in Philadelphia, he lives in Silver Spring, where he loves to cook and garden, especially roses. He's also a passionate reader. Mr. Fazzalare emphasized that he holds himself to high standards, and that sets the tone for his relationship with teachers, students, and parents too. Please make a connection with him soon!

Letter from the PTA President

Past letters are archived here.

January 16, 2018
Fellow Piney Branch Parents:
 Just wanted to relay a couple of updates regarding some important issues/meetings:
 1.     Important meeting [update, Tuesday, January 23] – 7:00 – 8:00 pm in the Media Center to discuss the impending Principal transition. While we haven’t been informed yet about the substitute Principal, I hope that information will be forthcoming at this meeting or right before. Eric A. Wilson MCPS Elementary School Director for our School will be in attendance to answer our questions regarding this transition. He’ll be joined by Principal DuBois and Assistant Principal Greenberg.
2.     Update on the new elementary school for the Down County Consortium. While there is still no information on the MCPS site, the City of Takoma Park has populated information on the process and background documents here:
The City of Takoma Park staff representative to this committee raised a number of process and substantive concerns that resulted in a letter from our City Manager to Superintendent Smith. Here is a copy of that letter:
These concerns and additional questions will be discussed at the Takoma Park City Council Meeting tomorrow – the meeting begins at 7:30, I believe these issues will come up at the work session scheduled to start at 8:30pm – so maybe some of us can go right to the City Council meeting from the PBES meeting tomorrow night!
3.     I know a notice went home with 5th graders today. The incoming 6th grade parent meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 22 at 6:30pm at the TPMS Cafeteria (snow date – 1/29 at 6:30pm)
As always, thanks for your support. Please feel free to let me know of any questions or concerns you may have.

In solidarity,


Fred Azcarate

PBES PTA President

Danilo – 5th, Madsen

Alex – 3rd, Richie

Panther Pride Appeal

Thank you to the families who have made generous donations! We raised almost $6,000 of the $10,000 goal.
The Panther Pride appeal is focused on funding three big priorities for the 2017-2018 school year:
  • $5,000/yr for the pool, including swim lessons in gym class and math mania
  • $3,000 for cultural assemblies throughout the year
  • $2,000, this year we would like 4 teachers from PBES to attend the National Math Conference in DC.
If you would still like to give, here is a link to pay online (add Panther Pride to the memo please)
Kelly Young
VP of Fundraising

Recent Events:

PBES Fathers & Fitness, Tuesday, September 19, 8:30-9 a.m.:

Calling all fathers (or uncles, grandfathers, or male friends/guardians/mentors)!
Bring your child and join the PBES community on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30-9:00am, for some low-impact fitness fun as part of our annual Fathers and Fitness event.
Please wear comfortable clothes and sneakers for an AWESOME workout at school!
Once you arrive, follow signs to your workout!
Please join the PTA Health & Wellness Committee in thanking MAD Fitness for leading this session for the second year in a row. MAD Fitness (www.madfitness.us) is a mother-and-daughter Takoma Park fitness center. We appreciate their partnership!
Fathers for Fitness is a countywide MCPS event that is part of part of the national movement Dads Take Your Child to School: www.dadstakeyourchildtoschoolday.com.

Back to School Night, Tuesday, September 19, 6-8:30pm:

Join your teachers, PBES leadership and the PTA for an introduction to the school year and classroom discussion.

Join the PTA for this school year, today

Whether you are new to PBES or a veteran panther, please joint the PBES PTA for the 2017-2018 school year. The all-volunteer power of the PTA helps our kids, our school and our community in ways large and small: 
  • Before and After School Clubs. 
  • Supplemental academics, like the Geo-Bowl. 
  • Underwrite field trips. 
  • Social Events like Bingo Night, Gingerbread Night, International Night, and the Student Talent Show where families come together, have fun and share their diverse backgrounds. 
Fill out the online membership form and pay dues online via PayPal.
You can also print out the hardcopy membership form and submit cash or a check in your child's Take Home Folder. Checks should be made out to PBES PTA. All donations are tax deductible.
--For more information, contact Alex Ruttenberg or Janice Simsohn Shaw

2017-2018 School Supply Lists are here!

See everything you need for all grades right here.
(Students in the new 4th grade Center Program at PBES will receive a different supply list).

Meet the new PTA Board :        

PresidentFred Azcarate
Executive VPAlly Piazza
VP of Fundraising  -  Kelly Young
VP of CommunicationsAriel Woods
VPs of MembershipAlex Ruttenberg & Janice Simsohn Shaw
Treasurer Lynn Mandell
Secretary Anat Shahar

Donate gift cards for PBES families!

Ms. Kennedy, school counselor, is always accepting gift cards in modest denominations ($25) to local stores (Giant, Safeway, Aldi) to give to PBES families who need them.

Ready to volunteer?

You must complete the training course first: Training for MCPS Volunteers

Panther News. Read all about it!

Follow this link for the latest edition of the newsletterSeptember Panther News

To submit material to the newsletter, please contact the PBES PTA VP of Communications. The newsletter goes out at the beginning of every month.

                    December Panther News
                    November Panther News
                    October 2016 Panther News
                    September 2016 Panther News 
                    August 2016 Panther News
                    June 2016 Panther News
                    April 2016 Panther News   
                    March 2016 Panther News
                    February 2016 Panther News
                    January 2016 Panther News
                    December 2015 Panther News  
                    November 2015 Panther News
                    January 2015 Panther News
                    December 2014 Panther News
                    October 2014 Panther News       

Current Bylaws

At the January 15, 2013 PTA meeting, the general membership voted to approve changes to the PBES PTA bylaws suggested by the Bylaws Committee. These bylaws have been approved by the MDPTA. Click here for a copy of the bylaws.