PTSA 9/14 Meeting Recap

Principal Tarance Hart provided updates on lunch tents, enforcement of mask use, teacher vacancies and other topics during the PTSA Board’s first meeting of the school year on Sept. 14. Thanks to Dr. Hart, Assistant Principal Regina Carr and the many community members who attended via Zoom.

  • The District will be providing two large tents for outdoor eating, Dr. Hart reported, and the school may request that the PTSA help purchase additional ones. Indoor eating spaces include the Commons, the gym and hallways.
  • Dr. Hart described the District’s procedures for notifying families about COVID cases. The two main types of messages: 1) an alert that a student was in a classroom with a COVID case, but not in “close contact” with the affected person and 2) message with quarantine, testing and other info when if a student is determined to be in close contact. Dr. Hart said that the District was still working on communications procedures for exposure during a GHS sports event. [More information is in the “Positive COVID-19 Response” section on the SPS website’s “Resources” page – www.seattleschools.org/resources.]
  • A parent wondered how well the school is enforcing the requirement that masks be worn, and Dr. Hart and Ms. Carr said that while staff are being vigilant, it is hard to ensure that the policy is being followed perfectly at all times.
  • COVID testing is available at the school, but Ms. Carr noted that results have usually taken 3-4 days, and that faster turnaround is available through the Curative/City of Seattle testing kiosk near the Garfield Community Center tennis courts. [https://curative.com/sites/15631
  • In response to a parent concern, Dr. Hart will investigate whether students who have tested positive for COVID have faced harassment.
  • In response to a question about whether Garfield has adequate staffing for current enrollment, Dr. Hart noted that the school was in the process of filling four teacher vacancies: one Language Arts, one part-time French, and two Special Education.
  • Curriculum Night is not yet scheduled. Dr. Hart will look into it.

PTSA business and announcements

  • The PTSA held its first staff appreciation event, providing bagels, muffins and beverages on Sept. 13.
  • The first Grade 9-10 families meet-up is being scheduled by the PTSA for Oct. 2 at Judkins Park. Further details to come.
  • Board President Kayla Epting reviewed PTSA goals for the year.
  • The PTSA approved a new allocation of $1,000 for use by the GHS student government (Associated Student Body – ASB) to support teachers.
  • The PTSA is seeking volunteers for several interesting roles, such as Annual Fund Co-Chair and Advocacy Co-Chair. Most may be shared with another person. 
  • Board members briefly discussed the topic for the first General Meeting of the year, on Oct. 12. It will focus on resources offered by Garfield and community organizations to help students handle the mental health and other stresses of this pandemic year.
  • Board Vice President Sara Dickerman, who also is a member of the Building Leadership Team, said the BLT’s agenda includes working on revisions to the Continuous School Improvement Plan. The C-SIP sets out the school’s academic and other goals, and measurable strategies for achieving them.

The PTSA meeting dates for the 2021-22 school year are posted online here and are subject to change: https://garfieldptsa.org/ptsa-meeting-dates