Thursday, September 18, 2008

Notes from the PTA Board Meeting

The Beckford PTA board met this morning in the Staff Lounge for their first meeting since school started.

President Robert Cohn called the meeting to order around 8:30 a.m. and quickly went to the tasks at hand (or rather, on the agenda).

Mrs. Friedrich gave her Principal's Report; since losing our beloved Math and Literacy coaches (we miss you Ms. Mollo and Ms. Clifford!) Mrs. Friedrich reported that a faculty member will step up to become a Math Lead and one will become our Language Arts Lead. As usual, when faced with a tough break, Beckford rises to the challenge. We weren't told who would assume the Lead titles, and now that I think about it, I don't think anyone asked... but I tip my hat to the teachers who are stepping up in our time of need.

Yes, yes... we know, we know... our test scores have dipped this year. But I don't think it's really any cause to worry. Mrs. Friedrich is appealing our scores (this is common practice, just to make sure there was no tabulating errors) and quite frankly, if you've been following the API scores statewide, you'll know there have been federal changes to the scoring, and because of this many schools have failed to meet last year's federal standards.

from an article published in the Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2008:

Statewide, about 24.5% of elementary schools would have reached last year's federal standards but will probably fall short this year. That works out to almost 1,400 schools. More than 37% of middle schools -- or about 480 campuses-- face the same fate, according to a Times analysis. (A similar calculation could not be made for high schools, which have a different proficiency scale, because the state has not released the necessary data.) The reason for the seeming decline is a rising bar for success. This year, to meet federal targets, the required percentage of students who must be proficient rose from 24.4% to 35.2% in English and from 26.5% to 37% in math. That means a school that met last year's standard would have one year to increase nearly by half the number of students proficient in English to stay on the plus side of accelerating federal expectations."We have to look at proficiency for all," said Ramon C. Cortines, senior deputy superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, who defended the rising expectations but criticized the scale's steepness and inflexibility.

So everybody chill about the API! We're still the BEST LITTLE SCHOOL IN THE VALLEY... because we have the best kids, parents, teachers and staff! Thank you to all of you!!! You make the difference here at Beckford.

We've buttoned-down our budget for the year, and will be presenting it for approval at the next association meeting on October 7th (potluck dinner starts at 6:00 p.m. and the meeting, proper, starts at 6:30). Childcare will be available, and we've invited our Beckford Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to lead the flag salute. Homework passes will be given to students whose parent(s) attend the meeting. If you've never been to a PTA meeting, please come and join us!

Which reminds me to remind you: Membership Drive is in full swing! Please join the PTA! In fact, every student, parent and siblings should all be members of the PTA. Your $6.00 membership fee goes so far in providing so much for all children. If you have any questions, please leave a note for Membership Chair Starlet Wagman in the main office.

Quick run-down of agenda items:
  • Entertainment Book fundraiser is also in full-swing. Chairperson Extraordinaire Diane Segismundo is once again heading this committee. Only $20 per book, half of which stays at Beckford. For every two books sold, each child will receive A CUTE LITTLE STUFFED MONKEY!!!!! This makes Vera Houston very happy.

  • The Ice Cream Social was a smashing success! PTA raised $500! Thanks to the Ice Cream Social volunteers!

  • Picture Day - October 3rd. Parent Volunteers -- don't forget to stop by the Auditorium in the morning to get your Volunteer I.D. photo taken!

  • School Beautification Day - Chairperson Marilyn Seemann and Co. have scheduled October 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. A flyer will be coming home with more details.

  • Our first Skateland Night of the school year has been scheduled for October 14th. President Robert Cohn will be asking our teachers if maybe perhaps if it's okay and not a big deal pretty please with a cherry on top can the kids have a "Homework Lite" night for that evening. We'll let you know how that goes over with the staff. Either way-- it's all good. :)

Reminder: PTA Board meetings are ALWAYS open to all PTA members. The next PTA Board meeting is scheduled for October 16th at 8:13 1/2 a.m. (Dudes, don't even ask me about that wacky time... ask your PTA President, kthanxbai.)

PTA President Robert Cohn

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