PTSA Board Hears about Tutoring Program, Buzzer System

Principal Tarance Hart told the PTSA Board at its meeting last night that Garfield is starting a new after-school tutoring program and that the front door security buzzer system is almost ready for use. Also, the PTSA Annual Fund campaign has reached almost 40 percent of its goal, and the co-chairs will continue to reach out to families and possible donors.

Dr. Hart also noted during the online meeting that:

  • The tutoring program is funded by a grant from the Alliance for Education. Looking toward 2023-24, the overall GHS budget may sustain cuts unless the District’s financial outlook improves. “We are going to have to make some possibly tough decisions so we can better utilize our resources,” Dr. Hart said. “We’ll be transparent throughout the process and update you along the way.”
  • An open house for prospective students and their families will be held in late January or early February, exact date to be set later this week.
  • GHS is seeking a parent or other community member to work as a testing coordinator (for standardized tests including College Board exams such as the AP). The job posting is not yet available. To express interest, contact Ms. Hurd in the Main Office,

In PTSA business:

  • The Annual Fund is showing a good flow of donations. As of December 12, about $52,000 has been received toward the $140,000 goal. Email and other outreach will build on the “Ask” letter sent just before Giving Tuesday in late November. Donate now!
  • PTSA Co-Treasurer Kate Ross reported that school staff have $2,000 in PTSA-purchased gift cards to distribute to families in need, and the total is expected to rise before Winter Break.
  • A “calming room” supported by the PTSA Small Grants Fund was described by Vice President Sara Dickerman, one of the PTSA reps on the Building Leadership Team (BLT). Among other funded projects: A microphone system that puts live captions on a classroom screen to help students stay focused on what a teacher is saying. About $18,000 of PTSA-raised money will be awarded by the BLT by the end of the school year. More info.
  • The BLT is revising the Garfield “Continuous School Improvement Plan” (CSIP), to add methods of measuring success toward the plan’s learning and other goals. More info.
  • Planning is moving ahead for Grad Night, the PTSA-supported celebration immediately after the June graduation ceremony, reported Co-Chair Anne-Phyfe Palmer. Concerns about cost remain, and discussion turned to the potential of seeking business sponsors. The cost per participant is about $185, but the PTSA offers self-selected ticket price tiers, including a full scholarship.
  • The Spring Fundraising Auction/Gala is likely to be on April 29, at a venue with capacity of 200, Sara reported. The auction will include silent and live components, and procurement is starting. The committee has not yet decided whether a sit-down dinner will replace the 2022 appetizers-and-cocktails format.
  • A small committee will convene to decide how to best honor Theo Celios, former PTSA volunteer and parent of GHS alumni, who suddenly passed away last month. One likely option is a student scholarship that school staff would award.
  • The brewery get-together for Grades 11-12 parents and caregivers was successful, and PTSA Class Reps will be planning for more social events.