PTSA Board Hears About Enrollment, Black Lives Matter Week, Spring Fundraiser

The PTSA Board at its meeting last night heard that Garfield 2023-24 enrollment is projected to remain stable, which may slightly blunt the impact of Districtwide austerity measures expected to become clearer by the end of February. The online attendees also learned that the spring fundraising event and auction will be the evening of April 29 at historic Washington Hall, and that the Board will next month ask approval of an electronic-voting amendment to the PTSA’s “Standing Rules.”

Assistant Principal Regina Carr provided a school update, noting that Black Lives Matter at School Week will start on Feb. 13 at Garfield, and feature topical “mini-summits.”

Also, next year’s course registration for Grades 10-12 is February 9-28, but is not “first-come, first-served,” so students have time to consult with counselors and others. The PTSA is planning to offer an evening virtual planning session soon to help families understand the choices. Ms. Carr said that GHS additionally is planning a help session on Running Start, the program that enables juniors and seniors take a full or part-time schedule of courses at the Seattle College. GHS also will offer a college-finances informational event in a few weeks.

Ms. Carr also said that the school will soon be seeking volunteers in areas such as the new Tutoring Program and standardized test administration. Details to come.

In PTSA business:

  • Co-Chair Katrina Hawking reported that an Annual Fund post card and other outreach are the likely next steps to reach the $140,000 goal Anyone can donate right now! [https://garfieldptsa.org/annual-fund/]
  • Co-Treasurer Mary Murray reported that recent major PTSA budgeted expenses include support for teacher professional development, library books and supplies ($5,000), art supplies ($4,500), photography class supplies ($3,500) and underwriting of the Yearbook so that financial barriers won’t prevent any seniors from receiving a copy. Mary also reported that GHS is being asked whether the budgeted level of PTSA support is actually needed for certain services, such as hours for the athletic trainer, a library assistant and the recently hired part-time volunteering coordinator.
  • Sara Dickerman noted that later this month the Building Leadership Team (BLT) will consider how to allocate the 2023-24 discretionary budget, which is expected to reflect significant cutbacks by the District. The only good news is that Garfield enrollment is projected to remain about the same next year, while some schools shrink. It was noted that national PTSA policy and equity considerations make it very unlikely that the PTSA would use its funds to prevent loss of staff. Tracy Reed and Sara, as the PTSA’s BLT reps, also announced that Small Grant awards now total $12,000, including $300 each to 10 student clubs, and funds to purchase more copies of “Purple Hibiscus,” a book being read by sophomores.
  • This year’s Grad Night, the PTSA-supported celebration on the night of the June graduation ceremony, will begin selling tickets no later than April, said Co-Chair Linda Casey. New outreach efforts using social media and word-of-mouth will help make all seniors aware of the event and its sliding-scale fees.
  • The Spring Fundraising event’s date will be April 29, at Washington Hall (the historic building on 14th Avenue). Ticket info soon! The event’s auction will include silent and live components, and all community members are urged to seek and/or offer items. Restaurant gift certificates, goodie baskets, and time at vacation homes are among the ideas. Get involved by contacting garfieldhsptsa@gmail.com.
  • Two possible amendments to the Standing Rules were discussed. The Board approved for a vote by the PTSA membership in March an amendment that would allow electronic (email) voting by the membership for elections, and approval of budget, Standing Rules, and motions. The other amendment would remove the requirement that the PTSA have a Vice President as one of its officers. Discussion focused on how best to assure an effective leadership structure, and no action was taken.