Monday, November 18, 2013

CCPTA meeting 11.18.2013 Ed Center
As a carry over from the PTA presidents meeting, here are a couple of places where you can make a PTA website, endorsed by nobody ‘official’ but used by Barrett  and Glebe

Introduction by Ted, first of three or four meetings covering budget, CIP, community engagement

In attendance this evening are: Nottingham, Science Focus, Tuckahoe, TJ, Taylor, Jamestown, W-L, McKinley, Budget Advisory Committee, Hoffman Boston, Williamsburg, Barcroft, Patrick Henry, LongBranch, Randolph, SEPTA, Carlin Springs, Jefferson, Glebe, Barrett, ATS, Facilities Advisory, Yorktown, Wakefield, Transportation Committee, Abington, Ashlawn, Clarement

Ted: pre meeting was well attended and take aways will be addressed.

Emma is creating a family engagement leadership group. She wants to build capacity of family / student engagement towards student learning. They are meeting six times over the course of a couple of months to build and share a best practice model.
School Board: funding gap, va retirement system, growing enrollment, many secondary issues. APS contributes to the county in many ways, strategic plan presentations are happening now. SOL scores. New reading test and reading score has dropped. Will be looking at legislative package, she will be testifying at the state board next week about legislative issues that APS is for and against.
Students are advocating for passage of the dream act, which allows them to go to college at in state rates instead of out of state rates.
QQ do you expect a change in tone from legislature? AA There is commitment from Governor to sign dream act.
OEI Opportunity Education Initiative, is the State Agency that is taking receivership over the school boards for the schools that are failing. Court case is going on now.

FAC, Don Weinstein CCPTA and FAC meet at the same time when there is a Holiday. Last FAC meeting was on 21 OCT at Yorktown.  MCMM minor construction and major maintenance list was addressed, the list is smaller this year than last, as a result of better long term planning.
Security coordinator is emphasizing school cameras, radios, and visitor management. This will happen at all levels.
New elementary school has county board approval now. There is now a permit to disturb the ground at Ashlawn.

Budget advisory council: shortfall, they are looking at priorities and how to cover gaps and trade offs that are being made.
Transportation: starting to work on final report. Also happy to come to schools and talk about transport issues. The responses to the survey were quite low only 3000 responses. Probably not enough data to make an informed decision off of. LOTS of people voiced issues they had with the survey.

Technology: Chris Didda is not here, but there is a tech project report?

ACI is meeting twice a month and needs input.

Recruiting for the calendar committee, they meet only once and make suggestions for next years calendar. Tentative calendar was shared with CCPTA, real published calendar will instructionally sound, and will better line up with the neighboring jurisdictions. Also went over the tentative calendar. This will be emailed to principals tomorrow. Committee will meet on January 18th YOU can be a committee member. If you want to join, you can reach her by clicking the hyperlink above or contacting Ted at the CCPTA.
QQ it would be better to start the schools earlier to have more instruction time for SOL’s.
QQ can the calendar be published in a way that we can tie it to our outlook calendars?

Raj Adusumilli Assistant Super for Information Services
Contact List for parents / ptas that are trying to develop directories. This will be available to the front offices of each school for PTAs to create student directories.
QQ many questions about parent vue
QQ parent vue and mining for data for school directories.
QQ what about parents that do not have Internet access?
QQ what about the emails that are going to the wrong place?
If you have access issues please call the helpdesk 703-398-1246
He is working with Linda Erdus to create a parent academy class. Clearly recognizes lack of understanding.
Has a very acute awareness of sensitivity of student information and is erring on the side of caution.
QQ what about the parents that don’t speak English?
There is a new ability to query a report coming out in the next week.
StudentVue is ready to be rolled out, but the password information reset ability was not tight enough. 22 november will have all passwords reset. 25 november is when the student vue will roll out to middle schools.
QQ do I need to ask my kids for their passwords? Yes. In the future there should be an ability to have a parent account control multiple student accounts.

Anyone looking for more information on directories contact Geneva through Kathleen.

Diedra McLaughlin
Presentation that was created by Michael Walden: about statistics around value of a high school education. Impact of APS budget on Arlington County, the more that is spent on schools the more they will make. APS students are more likely to be fiscally successful through their life.

Pat Murphy:
That report by Michael Walden was made to quantify how important it is to conserve the long term investment that has been made in APS. The school division is an economic engine for the county, to keep meeting the needs of the kids we need to keep spending money on the schools.
Big Data Competition: provide data sets to create an analytical model. There is an article in todays (11.18.2013) Washington post education section.
An article from ‘the Atlantic’ ‘You’ll be shocked by how many of the world’s top students are American’
Thank you for your patience with APS go, thank you for participating, we are looking for results of the survey to be presented in the spring of 2014.
New Elementary School at Williamsburg campus community meetings were November 13th and 14th. Web page will be launched soon, principal selection will begin soon. New Principal will be selected by April 2014, on board by July, one year prior to school opening.
There was a meeting last week at Williamsburg middle around the construction for of the new school. Middle school activities will not be effected or obstructed during construction.
QQ please create a PTA entity of some type to help educate potential parents of new school students.
QQ construction timeline. How can you pick a GC and start two weeks later?
Congrats to the student athletes at W&L, Yorktown, and Wakefield. All of the schools are doing well and continuing to improve. Athletics are sometimes glossed over and need to be recognized.
QQ athletics are a huge opportunity for some kids and they are not paid enough attention to? How to consistently let kids know that sports are potentially a way to get into schools, or a different place in life?
QQ not just athletics, band, and many other activities can help extend opportunities.
Grading period is Q2. Grades for kids in 6-12 should all be home.
Dr Richard Allington Tuesday November 19th from 7 to 8:30 pm at Wakefield parent meeting, to talk about reading
Arlington Teacher Job Fair December 9&12 they are hunting for high quality staff and are looking to attract high quality staff.
APS budget meeting December 11th at W&L for 2014-2015 budget. Anticipating a budget shortfall again and trying to find more ways to close the gaps.
QQ what is the plan to fund technology for the new schools and the schools that will have additions?  
No school on nov 27 thru 29

Next month the CCPTA meeting will be on the 16th at Kenmore Middle School. 

Monday, November 11, 2013


If you are a PTA president, please come to the next CCPTA pre-meeting at 6pm on 18 November 2013, room 101 in the Ed Center, 1426 N. Quincy.  It's time for you to discuss mutual issues of concern for PTA presidents.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October CCPTA meeting notes

CCPTA meeting at Patrick Henry Elementary School. 21October2013

Into by Ted, then a quick tour around the School with Hector Ruiz, the PTA president of this school.

Good evening from Ted;
There are index cards on table so people have the ability to anonymously ask questions.


In attendance were;

Gunston, Ashlawn, Carlin Springs, Patrick Henry, Hoffman Boston, Williamsburg, Barcroft, Kenmore, Barrett,  Claremont, Long Branch, Nottingham, McKinley, Tuckahoe, Jamestown, Washington & Lee, Abington, Jefferson, Randolph, Special Ed PTA of Arlington, Yorktown, and Science Focus


Special Ed information night at Key on the 24th of October at  7pm (doors open at 6:30)


(School Board) thank you for coming tonight,
Next phase of more seats for more students. CIP (capital improvement plan) over next ten years, there was talk of perhaps a fourth high school, reality is there are no funds or space to create another comprehensive high school in the county.
How to meet growing capacity? Wakefield is 350 seats below capacity. They are not looking at shifting High School boundaries, Wakefield will hit capacity on its own.  Elementary School #2 will probably be scrapped as the school board is looking at the most acute need, it appears that next acute need is going to be at the middle school level. 1000 more students enrolled at APS this year than last.
QQ Arlington Mill space
QQ HB capacity
QQ CIP process
QQ Rumors for National Guard readiness center and the space available there.
Public Facilities review commission is looking at the plans around the new schools. Permission to get use permit from county as APS tries to get approval to build schools. County is asking APS to pay the same way that they ask developers to pay for community improvements. We are entering budget season. Fairfax County School Announced that they are dropping their FLES program.
Multimodal transportation, moving beyond buses and getting minds wrapped around budget requirements.
QQ county has biggest budget cash bubble ever (32M.) There was a following discussion around budget and how to perhaps approach County Board members to communicate the priorities.
This year there will be a BIG conversation around FLES.


Kristin Haldeman, chair of Multi Modal Student Safety & Transportation Committee.
Committee members would like to go to PTA meetings to take pulse of community to see what issues are out there. They would like to have a liaison from each school if possible. They are trying to create an integrated transportation system for students and staff. Also trying to relieve congestion around schools in pick up and drop off. Wants help getting Kyle’s survey spread broad and wide to see that the people that have the least ability to communicate have their needs met.
QQ how many schools have liaisons currently?
QQ are you considering special ed transport needs? Talked in a circle and answerd overall system improvement is their goal
QQ how to contact-
Parent survey is now to November 1st
She is eager to go to PTA meetings and communicate with everyone.


Betty Hobbs, here representing Pat Murphy

Info-graphic about graduation rates. 97.5% graduation rate!!!
Enrollment update, projection was within 2% of actual.
Safe routes to school, walking school bus initiative.
Walk and Bike to school day. Wrapping in instruction in every way they could,


Kyle Lukacs (APS Transportation)

APS GO! Transportation Management Plan. Long term transportation plan, smart routes and smart choice. Access Assessment. Student surveys, staff surveys, parent surveys. 30 questions, takes about ten minutes. Goal is to find barriers to public transport, biking and walking.  How can they encourage people to travel in a different way? The more information they have the better they will be able to plan for the future.


Marcia Jackson (Student Services) and Gladis Bourduoane (School and Community Relations)

Aspire2Excellence building a path to college and career
There is awareness that there is an abundance of information and it is hard to find resources. They are now creating an academic planning map that consolidates a path. They survey seniors every year to find out what they wish they had learned earlier. Here is the map with hyperlinks:

66% of APS kids are taking advanced diploma path. APS wants to have everyone at least aware of the advanced path.


Summer reading program, summer mail box books.
Traveling trolley pre-k through grade 2 to keep kids engaged in reading through the summer.
Abington has a read and roll bus. Loaded with 1500 books that kids can check out. Books were matched to students reading level and interest.
Schools libraries were open at various times through the summer to keep kids reading.
To maintain momentum they have a camping out, reading in program.
Look to engage families  and give kids choices that are tailored to kids reading/ learning level.  
QQ how does that effect RIF and our loss of that program? Many RIF program schools are cut back. Summer initiative is primarily targeted to title one schools.
QQ funding is always an issue. Is APS taking advantage of corporate sponsorship? If you have contacts, let them know.
QQ middle school also has lost RIF funding, how are they being helped? Strong collaboration to secondary schools, and attempt to encourage middle schools.
QQ are you just for title 1? Is trying to grow all current programs to go further and into higher grades, did not say how.
QQ approximate cost of the trolly? Cost of trolley was rolled into cost of books and everything else, no immediate answer. 
PTA’s want to know how much they would have to raise to get their own trolley?


Questions to APS reps:

QQ how can Barcroft get an academic planning session? Send an email
QQ what is the real number around on time graduation (not asked by me)


Chris Didden, Tech advisory committee – 
is meeting with county tech advisory committee
Joint school and county rec facilities
Tech pilot happening in every school this year. Chrome books, Ipads and laptops. Every school has been asked to participate. 1 to 1 technology ratio is going to happen. Which devices, what security, who owns, who charges, who is aware of radiation and safety around it?


Ted Hayes:

 is talking to people from different schools, wants to make sure the CCPTA is doing what it can for everyone.  If you have a suggestion, he wants to know about it.
Currently there is a Draft APS policy on gifts to teachers is out and will be published. Also a Draft policy on Enrichment is also floating around and will be published soon.

Reflections chair is assistance is still needed for awards ceremony on the 15th of January.

Next month CCPTA meeting is November 18th at the ed center. There will be a PTA president pre session.

  If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Location of CCPTA meeting October 21st

Next Monday evening, October 21, 2013, there will be a CCPTA meeting at 7pm and a pre-meeting at 6pm, both at PATRICK HENRY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.  Thanks to Kelly Maguire and Hector Ruiz for hosting us!

Here is a set of directions to the school:

The address to the school is 701 S. Highland.  This directs you to the side entrance.  The main entrance, and the one people should use, is via the parking lot that sits between the school and the Arlington Career Center.  It is where the flagpole is located.  The front doors will be unlocked at about 5:45.   We are going to be in the library.  We have some signs we will hang to direct people to the library. Once you enter the school, take a left, then the first right and it's about half-way down the hall on the left.

More about this during the week, but make sure that you go to PATRICK HENRY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL next Monday.  If you go to the Ed Center, you'll be lonely!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Volume 1: Communication Tools
September, 2013


Every PTA should have a communications plan that they have coordinated with their school’s principal and main office.  Here are some of the tools that APS makes available for school and PTA use.

§  APS School Talk – The APS communications office and school principals may send out email messages to their school communities using APS school talk.  Principals can include important PTA dates and events in the messages they send out.  Parents are automatically enrolled in APS School Talk when they complete the first day information packet.

§  Web Sites – Most of the PTA organizations have web sites that use the APS web tools, or link to an external page from their school’s main site.  If you have questions about how to use the tool, contact your school’s Principal or Webmaster.

§  BackPack Mail – Keeping in mind that not all your families have access to high-speed internet, sending information home in weekly or monthly backpack mail works well for elementary and some middle schools.  There is a school board policy governing what may be sent in backpack mail, and outside organizations must receive approval to send items in backpack mail from the APS Communications Office.

§  Robo-Calls – Schools and PTAs (through the school office) have the ability to send automatic calls to their school communities. Note that the messages will be sent to EVERY phone number a parent has registered with APS, so use these messages judiciously, and coordinate them with the Principal.  To establish a robo-call message, contact your school’s main office.  If they aren’t sure how to do it, contact the APS Communications Office 703-228-6005.

§  Translation Equipment – APS has 5 sets of translation equipment with 24 receivers each that may be used free of charge.  The equipment is designed to be used by someone translating a meeting simultaneously, and must be checked out and in at the Communications office in the APS Education Center. Equipment may be reserved by calling Claudia Mercado at (703) 228-6005.

§  PTA Listservs – Many PTAs have established listservs for their school communities, and many use common free tools like yahoo or google groups to administer them.  Most allow individual families to sign themselves up for these groups, and it is good practice to have assigned PTA members to monitor the messages posted.

§  CCPTA Listserv – Join the CCPTA listserv to receive announcements of important events and CCPTA-sponsored meetings and information sessions.  Each school is invited to send representatives to the CCPTA, and all parents are welcomed to attend the meetings. 

To join the CCPTA Listserv, go to, click on the MEETING DETAILS tab and click on the link to join the CCPTA Yahoo Group. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CCPTA meeting notes 9.16.2013

CCPTA meeting Notes. 9/16/13

The next CCPTA meeting will take place October 21st at Patrick Henry.

Please forgive my notes, lots of great information is here, I am certain that moments after post this and walk away I will have an epiphany of some sort about something  I should have included, or how to spell, or what to capitalize.

Ted Hayes: CCPTA is here to help the PTA’s,
We are trying to meet at many different schools this year. Please check this blog to see where the net meeting will be.

Abby: went through School Board priorities for the year, makes it easier to stay focused as the school board tries to balance issues.

Joint school and county board meeting on the 16th.

QQ Abby was asked about online vs distance learning vs having a teacher in front of students and why is it not clear to students when they are signing up for classes how the courses will be presented. (specifically for German 3) Answer was that it will be addressed

QQ Abby was asked about Elementary schools that do not have FLES; FLEX classes are offered in schools that do not have FLEX. Connie Skelton in the Office of the Superintendent is the best person to ask.

QQ achievement gaps for minorities, APS does not set lower standards for ethnic groups, which is the standard throughout the state.

QQ County Board is placing high density complex dwellings and not adjusting school sizes to fix it, led to discussion with no resolution.

Thursday night School Board work session will be at ED Center  in room 101 at 7:30

APS 101 will be at Wakefield on September 30th at 6:45 and should last an hour

ACI (advisory council on instruction) member should be placed on PTA agenda, so they can better represent your school . Many schools do not have reps, and should.

Don from Facility Advisory Committee (FAC) is always well prepared with a report and I can’t find it in soft copy. I will strive to do better next month…
Ashlawn groundbreaking was on Monday
Wakefield opened on schedule, with exception of the pool and the gym, when other building is dropped the geothermal equipment will be placed. Building is LEED Gold standard.

Multi Modal transportation committee meets 1st and third Wednesdays of every month.. They are looking to meet at schools that have transport issues, and have a 15 minute open for comment section every meeting.
Advisory committee on tech:
Raj and Pat Murphy trying to look at process improvements, reporting to school board,

Mary Rouleau
Affordable Housing Power Point Presentation information to be found

Cintia Johnson Assistant Superintendent
Unified ID badges – what where and why. They will have passive chip. Lots of people bombarded her with questions.  Here is a policy from 2007

PPP that will be posted on the APS website 

Reflections is coming up – mid October is county deadline in the schools, more on APS  website. Michael is looking for assistance with reflections.
Meeting should be at Patrick Henry next month third Monday

Kathleen on CCPTA has an awesome page full of shortcuts that I will get in soft copy and post.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sept 16th Meeting Agenda

Notice of Meeting
DATE:Monday, 16 September 2013
TIME:7pm general meeting ending at 9pm
PLACE:Room 101, Education Center, 1426 N Quincy St. (across from the Brown
Greetings & Introductions

PTA updates from each school

Abby Raphael, Chair, APS School Board

Introducing APS committee liaisons

Mary RouleauExecutive director of the non-profit Alliance for Housing Solutions in Arlington

Dr. Cintia JohnsonAssistant Superintendent, Administrative Services, APS

Dr. Patrick Murphy, Superintendent, APS

CCPTA President’s report

New business