March 3, 2017 PA Meeting

CPE II General PA Meeting

March 3, 2017, 8:30 AM


A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held on March 3, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in the CPE 2 cafeteria.  A quorum was present.




Administration: Principal Naomi Smith


Exec. Board: Alissa Peck, Co-President; Alex Donn, Secretary; Michelle Perry, Treasurer; Elaine Cunningham-Gross, VP-Middle School.


Parents: Ruth Masterson Creber, Remeise Chandler, Cathy Ewald, Yongsoo Park, Ara-Zior Wilson, Monica Ponzini, Allison McDermott, Elizabeth Simmons, Mark J. H. Terry, Anand Raghunath, Adam Rzetelny, Nicole Smith, Rosalie Sanchez, Jeremy Fader, Doug Geers, Rachel Hees.


Alex Donn opened the meeting because Alissa was running a few minutes late.

Principal Naomi Smith stopped by to say hello and asked the parents if we had any questions for her.  (There were few questions and then Naomi left.)


Nominating Committee  

  • Alex explained that under our bylaws, we need a Nominating Committee to solicit candidates and manage the process of electing parents to next year’s PA Exec Board
  • Our bylaws say we have to create this Committee at the March PA meeting, which is today’s meeting.
  • We can have as few as 3 people on the Committee, but 2 of them must not be current Exec Board members, and no Nominating Committee member can run for a position in this election.
  • We want people to volunteer, but not if they would otherwise have volunteered to be on the PA Exec Board
  • Allison McDermott, who was on the Nominating Committee last year, explained what it entails.
  • (Alissa arrives and takes over running meeting.)
  • ***Nominating Committee formed: Anand, Ruth, and Anat

Treasurer’s Report

  • Michelle Perry, Treasurer, gave the Treasurer’s Report.
  • Many teachers have not sought reimbursement for the money they can spend for classroom supplies.
  • Some have spent some of their allotted money, others have not spent any of it.
  • We need to make sure that the teachers know that this money is available for them – reminder email to teachers regarding how much they have left.
  • Reference to Michelle’s addition of an “expense” line related to the kitchen classroom, correcting previous version that had included only a line for money received for kitchen.


Parent Involvement


  • There was an extended conversation about a perceived lack of parent engagement at the school.
  • Parents who have been at the school for a while noted that there has been a real decline in parent participation at all kinds of events: class events, curriculum night, etc.
  • Possible causes for this decline were discussed, including the idea that families are choosing CPE2 because it is a “good” school, but with a limited understanding of its history of active parent involvement.
  • Other factors were discussed: parents noted that the families in the younger grades are more active than the families in the “older” (e.g., 3rd & 4th grade) grades.
  • Regarding curriculum night, a parent explained that this year, child care was not provided for the first time in a long time and said this (rather than the makeup of the school) may explain the drop-off at this event. [If the question was about the Open House, Naomi explained to the PA Exec Board that it was not feasible to arrange child care for over 300 families].

February 8, 2017 PA Meeting



Parents: Yongsoo Park, Meredith Lampert, Lilach Musman, Maia Nuku, Oriana Stracuzzi, Maja Ceras, Miyonna Milton, Anna Soto, Megan Horton, Doug Geers, Rosalie Sanchez


PA Exec. Board: Alissa Peck, Nina Zmanouskaya, Alex Donn


Administration: None



  • Alissa Peck opened the meeting
  • Introductions
  • Interim financial report presented by Alissa Peck because Treasurer Michelle Perry not present
  • Annual drive update: we have raised almost $15K so far toward our $20K goal
  • We have $88K in the bank, but do not be fooled by that: we happen to be at a moment when we have taken in money from fundraising efforts, but have not yet received bills for things we are buying – our financial situation is fine, but we are not swimming in extra money
  • *Minutes of 1/6/17 PA meeting unanimously approved
  • *Minutes of 12/7/16 PA meeting unanimously approved
  • Discussion of Fall Fair: how to improve.  Many parents present felt that we need to improve the value of the wristbands, which were $20 or $25 and did not, actually, seem to get you very much except for the bouncy castle.  Bottom line – we should either significantly expand the range of activities that are covered by a wristband or reduce the price of the wristband.  Parents felt that, except for the bouncy castle, there weren’t many activities that were covered by the wristband, i.e. you had to pay for them despite having purchased the wristband
  • We are working on the CPE2 Events Calendar and should be able to distribute shortly
  • Discussion of the different types of “potluck” events that class parents are initiating in order to bring the families in each class/grade together
  • A parent mentions an interesting event at Mt. Sinai: the Brain Fair, let’s get more details and find a way to promote via communications
  • After-school programs: we may want to re-distribute the list of all after-school parents so that new parents can access it
  • Discussion of how parents can best communicate with other parents about after-school programs, transportation, etc.: using the google group is one option, but in certain circumstances it may be effective/useful/appropriate for Naomi to send out in SMORES or the PA to send out in communications – parents wanting to get a message out should reach out to the PA and see what makes sense
  • Hopes & Dreams Update
  • Garden Update
  • Parents can make a difference: garden, greenhouse, custodian are examples of parents improving the school by being persistent in advocating their positions to DOE reps and others
  • Parent suggests yoga/mindfulness in class, this has been suggested before – apparently Naomi is open or supportive, but the issue is teacher training – teachers must be trained appropriately


January 6, 2017 PA Meeting

A general membership meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 8:30 a.m. on January 6, 2017 in the CPE2 Elementary School Cafeteria.  A quorum was present.


Meeting Business:

Alissa Peck, the PA President, opened the meeting.  To be more consistent with the healthy foods policy, the meeting snacks were fruit, instead of Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins.  (There was also coffee.)


There was an update regarding the January 20, 2017 tea with Principal Naomi Smith.


Treasurer Michelle Perry provided the Treasurer’s Report and an update on the Pledge Drive: we have raised $13,000 so far.


Update regarding the open position of VP-Communications: one parent is interested in taking the position, but parents were encouraged to spread the word that the position is still open.


Verbal notice was given that, at the next General PA meeting, we plan to hold an election to fill the open position of VP-Communications.  Notice was also provided that to spread the word regarding the VP-Middle School Liaison position: Elaine Cunningham-Gross is currently performing the duties, but if there are other Middle School parents who would like to run for it, we will have an official election.


A parent asked if the bylaws require us to fill the open VP-Communications position.  I (Alex) answered that I am pretty sure the Bylaws provide for a “succession” system and do not require us to fill it.


Regarding the need for improved communications, a kindergarten parent noted that he had not been aware of a recent half-day, and no one from his family was there to pick his son up when the bus arrived.  It was suggested that for important notices like that, we should make sure that a hard copy goes home in the purple folders.


*A Fundraising Committee was formed.  Different strategies were discussed.


*A New Parent Welcome Committee was formed.  Starting program mid-year, assuming we have the volunteers, but goal is that incoming parents receive welcome packet upon registration and are contacted by a PA member right away.


Meridith Lampert provided a garden update.  The garden has been put to bed for the winter.  One focus of the update was on how we can ensure that Middle School students are able to participate in gardening.   We should consider, both for the Elementary School and the Middle School, adopting tree beds to expand our garden footprint.  Another was the possibility of having a mural painted on the cement on the side of the garden.

December 7, 2016

General Meeting Minutes

A general meeting of the CPE II Parents Association was held in the CPE II Elementary School art room at 6:00 p.m. on December 7, 2016.  A quorum was present.




PA Exec. Board: Alissa Peck, Nina Zmanovskaya, Michelle Perry, Elaine Cunningham-Gross


Parents:  Jennifer Olmsted, Elizabeth Simmons, Marielena Chacon, Stephen Fraser, LaShanda Dandrich, Ara-Zior Wilson, Meridith Lampert, Rosalie Sanchez, Maja Cerar, Doug Geers, Jennie Dundas, Rachel Hees, Nicole Smith


School Administration: Naomi Smith, principal



  1. Introductions


  1. Principal’s update (Naomi):
    1. The Hopes & Dreams meeting on December 2, 2016 had the highest attendance since Hopes & Dreams have started.
    2. 6th-graders are camping this week; 4th-graders will go later in the school year.
    3. Middle School update:
      1. 1/3rd 6th-graders joined from CPE2 Elementary
      2. More CPE2 5th-graders applying this year than last year
    4. “Kids Speak Out” event on Sunday, December 11:
      1. School opens at 10:30am for making posters – all families welcome to join or meet the CPE2 group in Central Park later
      2. Naomi’s weekly notes have all the info plus a separate email from CPE II Communications has been sent out with a sign-up link


  1. The minutes of PA meeting held on November 4, 2016, were approved by the majority of attendees.
  2. Hopes & Dreams meeting held on December 2 (Alissa Peck and Liz Simmons):
    1. 4 focus areas:
      1. Creating Compassionate Communities
        1. Empathy group led by CPE2 parent Jessie Klein
        2. Social Justice.
        3. Community service projects for CPE2 Middle School.
      2. Parent Communication
        1. Create a Welcoming Committee/Parent Ambassadors to help new CPE2 families.
        2. Streamline Naomi’s/PA’s communication.
        3. Improve CPE2 website.
      3. School Advocacy
        1. Ultimate goal – find a new building for PreK-8.
        2. Write grants (1/2 classrooms need air conditioning).
        3. Obtain a 501c3 tax-exempt status for CPE2 to be able to apply for large grants.
      4. Sustainable CPEII
        1. Teach kids to support the garden and other Health & Wellness projects so that eventually they could run such projects themselves.
    2. Next Hopes & Dreams meeting in March 2017.
    3. Liz Simmons proposed to create a separate website for Hopes & Dreams.


  1. Garden Update (Meridith Lampert):
    1. A new educator for the garden has been found. She will come to CPE2 twice a week and teach kids how to crop vegetables and make a salad.
    2. The fence is helping against garbage.
    3. A pile of old ply wood is still around. May need volunteer help to get rid of it. A suggestion came up to use the wood for an art project.
    4. Next steps:
      1. Create greenhouses for winter gardening.
      2. Middle School may do gardening to meet their community service requirements.
      3. Big cement planters: buy tulip bulbs and plant for spring.


  1. CPE2 Annual Contribution Drive (Alissa Peck):
    1. Pledge letter & envelopes went home in the purple folders.
    2. There is an option to contribute online; the letter has the link.


  1. Alissa Peck reminded families to use the Amazon link on CPE2 website. The school gets 6% when families use this link to log in to Amazon. It does not cost families anything extra to use it. CPE2 gets about $100 per month from this. Michelle Perry mentioned that a similar incentive may be agreed on with Fairway Market supermarket chain.
  2. Coffee & Tea with Naomi – an upcoming event in January (date to be communicated later) (Nina Zmanovskaya). It will be an informal dialogue with Naomi where parents can ask questions and get answers.


  1. Jennifer Olmsted suggested to make signup for parent-teacher conferences more seamless and avoid showing the names of parents who signed up.


  1. Class parents update (Nina Zmanovskaya). All classes (except 6th and 7th grades) have at least one class parent. Class parents have access to their class email lists. Nina to provide class parents with individual parents’ email addresses for communicating steps regarding teacher appreciation.


  1. Treasurer’s Report (Michelle Perry):
    1. 2016-2017 PA budget deficit is $11k
    2. May need to dip into savings (currently at $73k)


  1. PA needs:
    1. The VP of Communications role is open as Muronji/Mitchell had to step down due to lack of available time.
    2. Fundraising Committee: need several parents to help with fundraising at upcoming events (Spring Fair)


  1. Maja Cerar suggested fundraising by selling CPE2 gear (mugs, tshirts etc)


  1. Ara-Zior Wilson suggested to create a place on the CPE2 website where parents could sign up to volunteer for different projects.


  1. Elizabeth Simmons provided an update on electricity issues in the elementary school building. The gym needs air conditioning that will cost $500k to install – need a capital grant for this. Next step – create a list of projects we need to write grants for.



November 4, 2016 PA Meeting


A general meeting of the CPE II Parents Association was held in the CPE II Elementary School cafeteria at 8:30 a.m. on November 4, 2016.  A quorum was present.  




Exec. Board: Alissa Peck, Anat Grosfeld, Alex Donn, Michelle Perry, Mitchell McCraw


Parents:  Mark Terry, Sharise Pabon, Oriana Stracuzzi, Meredith Lambert, Richard Lin, Kelly Hesburn, Jen McKenna, Ara-Zior Wilson, Elaine Cunningham-Gross, Zoe Schneider, Batia Eyob-Serrette, Mort Lebigre, Yvonne Diop.  


School Administration: None




Jazz program:  Zoe mentioned that there is a jazz program at the Jazz Standard that some CPE II classes are taking advantage of; kids eat lunch & listen to jazz; 2nd & 3rd grades; if interested in having your child’s class participate, talk to Zoe.  


***Minutes of the October meeting — approved unanimously.  


***Motion to amend bylaws to add a Middle School Liaison position to the Exec. Board – passed unanimously.  


***By unanimous vote, Elaine Cunningham-Gross selected as Middle School Liaison.


***Motion to amend bylaws to change the “co-President” officer position to a “President” officer position – passed unanimously.  (Motion made because co-President Jorge Estrella recently resigned, leaving Alissa Peck as the only President.)


Treasurer’s Report.  Michelle Perry provided the Treasurer’s Report.  


Middle School Meeting Notice:


  • A middle school parent was frustrated that the emails regarding the PA meeting did not indicate that the meeting would take place at the CPE II elementary school (as opposed to the Middle School)
  • Going forward, communications regarding CPE II PA meetings should indicate that the meetings take place at the elementary school


Fundraising Discussion:


  • Fall Fair Outcomes: the Fall Fair grossed $12,000 and netted $9,000
  • Was a successful event, but we needed more parent volunteers
  • Matching gifts possible for any CPE II fundraising programs?  Must be a specific purpose to get matching funds, maybe camping trip – with REI, for example, as a possible sponsor




  • Hopes and Dreams discussed
  • No soap in bathrooms, send those issues to Lashanda (chair of custodial committee)
  • Need to use Google Docs to enable parents to communicate
  • Website needs to be updated
  • Marathon may be opportunity to get volunteers/energy for fence building project
  • Class parents need access to class lists to communicate


CPE2 PA Meeting – September 16, 2016

A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held on September 16, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in the CPE 2 cafeteria.  A quorum was present.  



Administration: Principal Naomi Smith


Exec. Board: Alissa Peck, Co-President; Anat Grosfeld, VP; Alex Donn, Secretary; Nina Zmanovsky, VP of Parent Services; Mitchell McCraw, VP of Communications.  


Parents: Simmy Peartree, Latoya Peartree, Irlanda Javier, Mortimer Lebigre, Lilach Musman, Alita Terry, Mark Terry, Ara-Zior Wilson, Oriana Stacuzzi, Kaza Razat, Malgorzata Stanislewska, Rosalie Sanchez, Carmen Sanchez, E’Treea Tropp, Mariama Dunca, Cathy Ewald, Doug Geers, Nicole Smith, John Semlak, Rashida Sales, Esther Mantecon, Maria Garcia, Elaine Cunningham-Gross, Remeise Chandler, Cynthia Alvarado.  


Principal’s Report:  

  • We had the middle school open house last night: great, exciting.  Pointed out a parent at the meeting who lives in a new arts building, PS 109, now residential, which is where CPE2 first started – great thing, exciting.
  • Olympic Medalists were at the school to run a track and field event for 1-5th graders.  
  • Ellie the Elephant visited the school- a near life size model elephant to educate kids about how circus elephants are taken from their kids very young, and are otherwise treated poorly.
  • A VIP delegation from Thailand, including first lady of Thailand, are coming next Friday


Alissa Peck, co-president of the PA:   

  • Introduced herself.  Co-president Jorge will be running evening PA meetings, while she will be running morning PA meetings.  
  • CPE II is a really special place.  
  • Went around and introduced other members of the exec board.  
  • Nina is the VP of Parent Services, but as class parents are not being utilized this year, her role needs more definition, there may be a motion to do that at the next meeting.  Parent involvement is important.


Fundraising – Anat talked about the fundraising for kitchen classroom. The garden which started last year was successful, but limitation was there wasn’t a way for kids to prep food. Fundraising for a total of $10,000.


Fall fair – October 15 – If you are interested in volunteering, we need you, to run events, clothes, etc.  Liz Simmons will be running the Fall Fair.


Kelly D’Aquila, Chair of the Health and Wellness (H&W) Committee:  Introduced herself. H&W is part of PA but work somewhat independently. We have been asked to help with Fall Fair – trying to encourage people to bring healthy foods, etc., think of ways to integrate our health & wellness message into the Fall Fair, also want to make it more sustainable – recycling, electronics recycling, etc.


Treasurer’s Report:  

Michelle not here.  Outgoing Treasurer Richard speaks about the budget.

Projected income: $42,000

Expenses: $41,650

In the bank: $62,000 [estimated]


Allison McDermott: Box Tops coordinator, encourages all of us to collect box tops to raise free money for the school, it ends up raising several hundred dollars every year that is very useful.


Other ongoing fundraising: Amazon – go to CPE2 website, click on Amazon, then we get 7% of your amazon purchases


Alissa: Motion to create a new PA Exec. Board position, Liason to the Middle school.  Passed unanimously.  


Meeting closed at 9:05 AM.


CPE2 PA Meeting – June 3, 2016


A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 8:30 a.m. on June 3, 2016, in the CPE2 cafeteria.  A quorum was present.



Exec. Board: Liz Simmons, Rick Edinger, Peter Holtzman, Anat Grosfeld, Alex Donn.


Parents: Eva Schwartz, Lashanda Dandrich, Etreea Tropp, Mariama Duncan, Alissa Peck, Jo-An Choe, Lilach Musman.


CPE2 Administration: Principal Naomi Smith.


Budget Reviewed/Approved

  • The major item at the June general PA meeting was the review and approval of the 2016/2017 budget.
  • Copies of the budget were distributed to PA members, who reviewed it and asked questions.
  • The budget was approved by unanimous vote, with the understanding that our Bylaws provide for the ability to authorize additional expenditures by a vote of the entire PA.


Principal’s Report

Naomi provided an update on a number of areas, including:

  • We became a PROSE school, which Naomi described as a bridge to flexibility.
    • Secretary’s Note: The DOE’s website states, “The Progressive Redesign Opportunity for Schools of Excellence (PROSE) program was established as part of the new contract between the UFT, CSA and the DOE. The PROSE program enables schools who have a demonstrated record of effective school leadership, collaboration, and trust to implement innovative practices outside of existing rules.”
    • This development informs our request for some early dismissal days and official non-attendance days.
  • We want to integrate issues of social justice into our curriculum.
    • Mariama, a teacher at Teacher’s College, is focusing on inclusive education.
    • She obtained tickets for the entire staff to hear someone speak on the topic of inclusive education at Teacher’s College.
  • We don’t want professional development to be a “one shot deal”; instead we want professional development to be an ongoing exercise.
  • CPE 2 will provide childcare for parents who really need it on professional development days.
  • *Naomi proposed an adjustment to the end-of-year schedule for next year, and the PA membership approved it.
  • Naomi said she is amazed by the garden and thanked Anat and the Garden Committee for their work.








CPE2 PA Meeting – May 11, 2016

A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 6:00 p.m. next to the garden in the “big yard” at CPE 2.  A quorum was present.



Exec. Board: Liz Simmons, Rick Edinger, Jorge Estrella, Anat Grosfeld, Alex Donn, Richard Lin.


Parents: Nina Zmanovskaya, Daniel Colon, Marielena Colon, LaShanda Danrich, Batia Eyob-Serrette, Lilach Musman, Miyonna Milton, Yvonne Diop, Nicole Smith, Elizabeth Cohen.


Minutes Adopted:

The minutes of the April 1, 2016 meeting were approved.


Garden Tour/Update:

  • The major item at the May PA meeting was the progress that was made in the creation and growth of the CPE2 garden.
  • The PA meeting was held outside, near the garden, in order to give PA members an opportunity to see how much progress has been made.
  • Anat Grosfeld gave a tour of the garden and discussed what is growing and how the garden is being used during the school day.
  • Students have access to it during recess, and staffers from Sprout are there to help.
  • The digging area is very popular too.


Nominating Committee/Upcoming Elections

  • We voted to extend, until May 25, 2016, the deadline for closing the nominations for next year’s PA.


SLT Report

  • Lilach gave an SLT report, focusing on:
    • Hopes and Dreams (incl. how to increase parent involvement)
    • Communications between parents and teachers (SLT working on a CEP – Comprehensive Education Plan, which will involve creating a communication plan for parents and teachers, including an item regarding how long parents should be expected to wait for replies from teachers



  • There was a brief, preliminary discussion about the Fall Fair, including talk of when the best date would be (possibly 10/15), whether we would use the street or keep it all in the big yard, and whether we would need to close off the street if we don’t use the street.
  • There will be a Fall Fair committee, and Liz will co-chair it, those decisions will ultimately be made by that committee










CPE2 PA Meeting – April 1, 2016

A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 8:30 a.m. on April 1, 2016 in the CPE2 cafeteria. A quorum was present.  


Exec. Board: Liz Simmons, Peter Holtzman, Anat Grosfeld, Alex Donn, Anat Grosfeld, Carlotta Ramos, Richard Lin, Michelle Perry.


CPE2 Administration: Principal Naomi Smith.  


Parents: Mort Lebigre, Kaza Razat, Quintina Vargas, John Semlak, Mariama Duncan, Eric Wrolstad, Allison McDermott, Ileana Concepcion, Latrice McLoyd, Kai Pearson, Asha Rumin, Maia Nuku, Monica Ponzini, Kimberly Muniz, Mary Ausman, Marielena Chacon, Alissa Peck, Daniel Morales, Fabien Cammarata.      


Principal’s Report:

Naomi opened the meeting by providing an update on a number of items, including:

• The new custodian started on Monday and we are already seeing a difference

• The big yard is better, and the drains are better

• The boxes in the cafeteria have been cleaned up/removed because of concerns voiced by parents

• Participatory budget

• We have not had hot water recently, but we are working on it

• The Middle School received a donation of Chromebooks from Columbia Prep

• Reference to tap dancing

• Reference to oyster project

• Space becomes more of an issue on testing days: we can’t use the small yards because of acoustics

• Kids opting out of testing will have meaningful work to do

• Question about lead testing, Naomi responds that the last testing was done in 2005 and we tested lead-free then


President’s Report:

• Liz reports that an “anti-speeding” campaign representative was supposed to present at today’s meeting, but the person could not make it

• Discussion of ways to support transgender students

• Reference to the Gender Family Project

• Family training

• The “CFE” lawsuit awarded money to schools, but it has not been paid out, think of ways to push that process forward


Updated Bylaws Adopted

• Most of this meeting was devoted to updating and approving our bylaws

• We handed out drafts of the proposed new bylaws, discussed the most important changes (pretty much just the list of positions on the exec board – the number of VPs is being reduced to 3), and answered questions

• Then we took a vote of the General PA Membership, which unanimously approved the updated bylaws.  


CPE2 PA Meeting – March 16, 2016

A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 6:00 p.m. on March 16, 2016 in the CPE2 library. A quorum was present. (This March meeting had initially been scheduled to take place on March 9, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in the cafeteria, but the meeting did not take place because a quorum was not present.)


Exec. Board: Rick Edinger, Liz Simmons, Alex Donn, Anat Grosfeld, Michelle Perry, Richard Lin, Cathy Ewald, Carlotta Ramos.  


CPE2 Administration: None.  


Parents: Kelly Dell’Aquila, Jason Iwanesky, Lashanda Dandrich, Brandice Reyes, Lilach Musman, Bernard Devlin, Miyonna Milton, Jo Mispel, Nicole Smith, Meredith Lampert, Maia Nuku, Allison McDermott, Batia Eyob-Serrette, Ismaica ______[can’t read last name].  



Members of the Executive Board and parents attending their first PA meeting this year introduced themselves.    


Adoption of Minutes:  

• On the Secretary’s motion, the PA membership voted to approve the minutes of the February 5, 2016, PA meeting.  


Nominating Committee:

• A Nominating Committee was formed to handle the next PA elections, at which we will elect Exec Board members to serve for the 2016-2017 school year.  

• The members of the Nominating Committee are:

o Carla Bellamy

o Allison McDermott

o Liz Cohen


Budget Adopted:

• Our proposed budget was put to the PA General Membership for a vote, and it was unanimously adopted. (The document outlining that budget, which was distributed at the meeting, is called “PROJECTED BUDGET CPE2 PA 2015-2016).  

• The total projected income is $38,850, and the total projected spending is $33,850.

• Our current balance is about $63,000.  


Garden Expense Approved:

• In addition to approving the budget, the PA General Membership voted to authorize an additional $2,000 for expenses related to starting a garden in the big yard. Per this vote, any of this authorized garden money that is not spent will be dedicated to garden purposes going forward.

• Funds for this project were not included in the projected budget because it was not anticipated that we would be able to get the garden started this year.  

• However, due to a great deal of hard work by a number of extremely committed parents, the garden will be built this year.

• We are seeking/obtaining grants, and some necessary resources are being donated, but there are still expenses.


Recess Supervision:

• Liz solicited comments/information about the adequacy of supervision during recess – what are people seeing/hearing. Issues?

• A parent reported observing a minor incident that was handled well.  



• Liz and Batia recently attended an “overcrowding” meeting hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer’s office.

• One takeaway was that we are not alone: many schools are struggling with this issue.

• We may want to think of ways to join with other similarly-situated schools/parents to make more of an impact.

• Reference to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE lawsuit).  


SLT Report:

• We need to remind parents to take a moment, before sending emails to teachers, to ensure that the tone and content of the emails is appropriate.


Health & Wellness:

• The March 5 (Saturday) event had a disappointing turnout, some workshops were cancelled.

• Reminder: April 16 is the Health & Wellness Spring Fair. If you want to help out with that event, let Kelly know.  



• Major development: after a ton of work by a lot of dedicated parents, as well as administrators, we are getting a full-time permanent custodian.  

• The custodian starts March 28.



• A parent asks about the school’s homework policy, wants to understand why his child does not have more homework.

• Discussion about progressive education, the purpose of homework, and the need for our school to better communicate its policy to parents.



• Cupcakes were eaten because it was this Secretary’s birthday, and Liz awesomely arranged for cupcakes. Thanks, Liz!!!

CPE2 PA Meeting – February 5, 2016

A General Membership Meeting of the CPE2 Parents’ Association was held at 8:30 a.m. on February 5, 2016 in the CPE2 cafeteria. A quorum was present.

Exec. Board: Rick Edinger, Liz Simmons, Alex Donn, Anat Grosfeld, Richard Lin.

CPE2 Administration: Principal Naomi Smith, Assistant Principal Theresa Luongo.

CEC: CEC Representative Laura Lugo-Rivera (

Parents: Jo Mispel, Janille Hill, Mary Ausman, Marielena Chacon, Monica Ponzini, Lilach Musman, Jo-An Choe, Meridith Lampert, Carla Bellamy, Mortimer Labigre, Kaza Raza, Asha Rubin, Allison McDermott, Hope Kidd, Mitchell McGraw, Kelly Hesburn, John Semlak, Alison Peck, Laura Lugo-Rivera, Stephen Fraser, Batia Eyab-Serrette.

Members of the Executive Board and parents attending their first PA meeting this year introduced themselves.

Principal’s Report:
Naomi reports that there is a Jazz Tap group in the Middle School that is the result of parent involvement. We have a collaboration with “bio bus.” We are considering the possibility of having a puppet show in one of the outside yards.
Responding to a prior question from a parent regarding what progressive education looks like at CPE2, Naomi describes a 3rd-grade class that is studying World Culture (Joiane’s class).
She notes that there are many, many different ways to approach this topic. The point is that we can creatively adapt the curriculum to meet the needs of our students.
Theresa reports that we are working with the custodians to address the facilities/maintenance issues. The sinks are being replaced, and walls are being painted.

Adoption of Minutes:
On the secretary’s motion, the PA membership voted to approve the minutes of the January 8, 2016, PA meeting.
On the secretary’s motion, the PA membership voted to adopt the minutes of the December 9, 2016, PA meeting.

Treasurer’s Report:
We have a current balance of $55,913.
Our year-to-date expenditures is $28,374.
Our income for the year is $25,836.

Budget Update:
Rick explains that the money that has been spent this year was included in a proposed budget that was never put before the PA membership for approval. This was a mistake, and our plan is to correct it by putting that budget before the PA membership for a vote at the March general membership meeting. We would do it today, but we only learned of this mistake recently and want to provide notice to the membership before the vote.

President’s Report:
Rick introduces CEC Representative Laura Lugo-Rivera, who says hello and that she is there to listen.
Permanent Custodian Report. Anat, Rick, Naomi, and Theresa have had two meetings with Chris Oehl (Dep. Director of School Facilities for District 4) to discuss options for a full-time permanent custodian. The only agreeable option had appeared to be an NYCDOE Pilot Program which would give principals and the DOE supervisory power over the custodial matters in our building. Naomi and Mr. Pantelidis had agreed to pursue this option initially, but last night Naomi expressed concern about this option because of negative feedback from other principals about it. Naomi has set up another meeting with Chris Oehl and Mr. Pantelidis about this.
35th Anniversary Event Planning Committee – formed: Alissa Peck, Mariama Duncan, Liz Simmons.
Social Justice Committee – formed: Rick Edinger, Daniel Morales, Hope Kidd, Jo Mispel.
FYI from the Chancellor: There are workshops available for parents of children with IEPs/special needs, and the workshops can be tailored.

Space/Co-Location Discussion:
A parent notes that our school’s population has grown by 55% since 2009, and we have been rated as an over-utilized space.
A parent explains that we’ve been told there is no more space for us in the school or in District 4.
CEC Representative Lugo-Rivera emphasizes that we cannot wait for anyone else to act. We, as parents, need to take the initiative.
The Building Council is supposed to meet monthly.
A Parent Joint Workshop is when parents from both co-located schools walk through the school and create a map of the space and how it is being used. The CEC will help us pursue this.
P.S. 171 is mandated to work with us, and we should write to them to state this. The Chancellor mandates a quarterly meeting between the parents of co-located schools, and if P.S. 171 will not meet with us we need to report this.

SLT Report (Lilach):
Most of the discussion of the recent SLT meeting concerned the possibility of hiring a full-time music teacher. Because we have full-time art, science, and P.E. teachers, we are probably not going to get a full-time music teacher now. We do have an enrichment program – the 92nd Street Y program.
A parent says we need a music teacher, not just an enrichment program. Another parent agrees: there is a difference between going to the 92nd Street Y and watching musicians perform occasionally, and having a full-time music teacher at the school.

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