Garfield is reviewing the procedures that led to low capacity at the Homecoming Dance and a recent Assembly speaker whose comments concerned students and staff, Assistant Principal Ida Acton said at the October PTSA Board meeting. Attendees also heard from incoming PTSA Co-President Kendra Sims and that the school has hired a communications and volunteering coordinator with PTSA funding.
In addition, the PTSA Board unanimously approved the $306,000 Budget for 2022-23, and the membership will vote on it at the Nov. 15 General Meeting. One revision from earlier drafts: no reduction in the $20,000 allocated to provide a $300 “classroom grant” to every teacher that requests it. In 2021-22, those expenses trended under budget, but many teacher reimbursement forms arrived in June or later.
The Assistant Principal also discussed the following:
- A Clubs Fair is planned for next week. Attendees asked about how the two-lunch schedule complicates club meetings. No change is expected in the near future, and Ms. Acton noted that the District required GHS to change from one lunch (although some high schools were exempted).
- There is a renewed interest in school dances, and the Oct. 21 Homecoming event’s capacity of 400 (at Seattle Aquarium) is too small, but is unlikely to change at this point. The event is collaboratively organized by the student government (ASB) and GHS. More dances will be planned.
- The District made the decision to cancel the annual Grade 10 practice PSAT. While Grades 11-12 take the PSAT or SAT on October 12, a student summit for Grades 9-10 will focus on school culture and other issues, and student feedback. One possible topic: a recent Assembly featuring a speaker whose comments and actions offended many students and staff. GHS leadership will review process for choosing speakers.
In other PTSA business:
- Co-Treasurer Mary Murray noted that Annual Fund income is tracking behind last year. Vice President Sara Dickerman said that the annual appeal letter and other actions will start later this fall, and that the PTSA would welcome volunteers to help with the Fund and spring gala. Mary and Co-Treasurer Kate Ross are seeking volunteers, too, for a monthly review of the PTSA bank statements and for a summertime Audit Committee (contact them at email@example.com).
- President Kayla Epting reviewed PTSA’s four overriding goals for 2022-23, and Kendra led further discussion on them:
- Community, including creating events that better engage families of color; helping Principal Hart to meet more families; and building relationships with other community groups.
- Impact, in particular, collecting data and the stories that can present a clearer picture of how the PTSA is supporting the school.
- Advocacy, including first learning the issues that will excite Garfield community, for action to be taken locally, or at other levels. (PTSA is seeking Advocacy co-chairs.)
- Joy, following Principal Hart’s initiative to boost fun activities beyond the classroom.
- Kayla noted that the PTSA Board, while not using formal surveys to inform the goal-setting, tries to work with parent affinity groups and conduct other types of outreach. She added that the PTSA has improved its relationships with GHS leadership and has been trying to be more welcoming to BIPOC families.
- PTSA funding of $55,000 for school staffing needs is partly being used for a new volunteer coordination and communications position, which will be held by Football Coach Reggie Witherspoon.
The November 15 General Meeting will focus on student health and wellness, and will be hybrid (in the Library and available via Zoom).
2022-23 PTSA Meeting schedule
G=General Meeting and possible Board meeting (at end of General)
B=Board Meeting only
- G – Nov. 15 (changed from Nov. 8, Election Day)
- B – Dec. 13
- B – Jan. 10
- B – Feb. 7 (changed from Feb. 21, Mid-winter Break)
- G – March 14
- B – April 18 (changed from April 11, Spring Break)
- G – May 9
- G – June 13