Northwood PTSA General Meeting
September 17, 2018
Meeting was opened at 7:38 pm by Ms. Robyn Watts, PTSA President
In attendance were Principal Mildred Charley-Greene, President Robyn Watts, Treasurer Cathy Shrestha, Secretary Jenn Sawin, and approximately 18 others.
Vice President Andrea Verbrugge, Cluster Coordinator Michele Moller, and MCCPTA Delegate Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz were unable to attend.
Copies of the May 15, 2018 meeting minutes were distributed. A motion was made from the floor to approve the draft minutes and seconded. The motion was approved by a unanimous voice vote.
Ms. Watts expressed appreciation for the Northwood community, noting this as a strength of a smaller school, and spoke of challenging some perceptions of Northwood. She noted increased teacher PTSA membership demonstrates teachers’ investment in the school. Northwood has many types of students, with varying needs, representing 59 countries.
Ms. Watts also mentioned the Education Foundation (fliers were available).
Ms. Watts briefly explained the role of Northwood’s PTSA NAACP representative (Tamara Overby, who could not attend): to attend monthly parent council meetings, including the annual Q&A with the superintendent, and keep dialogues open for children of color.
Ms. Shrestha presented for approval this year’s budget, which shows more detail than previously. Discussion focused on the new proposed mini-grants, which will support teachers’ buying unique project materials and some professional development. Ms. Charley-Greene spoke of her own use of mini-grants as a classroom teacher. Amounts are expected to be $50-100. The proposed mini-grant budget of $1,000 struck some as low; Ms. Shrestha and Ms. Watts said the program could expand with increased funding. In response to a question, Ms. Charley-Greene explained that MCPS has restrictions on crowdfunding; the mini-grants are not intended as seed money for crowdfunding.
A motion to approve the budget was made and seconded, and passed by unanimous voice vote.
Membership (Ms. Jenny Espinoza, Membership Chair)
Last year PTSA had 70 members. We currently have 76 staff members (out of 212 staff). Approximately 16 members joined online through the new website, the school website has a link, but the new site is not a school website. The website is secure for payments.
After Prom (Ms. Jillian Newby)
We need sophomore and junior parents who want to learn how to run After Prom.
Fundraising drives planned are: Mixed Bags in late October and early November; Northwood keeps 50%. Direct donation ($20.19) campaign, raised $5000 last year. Silent auction at Mi Rancho February 7, 2019, including dinner, wine bingo, and the auction. Ms. Newby encouraged parents to ask businesses for donations.
Presentation: Dr. Maureen Ponce, Counseling Department Chair
Dr. Ponce is new to Northwood this year; previously in another DCC high school and before that in middle schools. She summarized Counseling Department staffing and student assignment (grades 10-12) by last name with 2 counselors dedicated to 9th grade. Dr. Ponce explained that counselors work with students developmentally on enrichment, emotional, personal, academic, and career interest issues. Her goal is that students leave Northwood prepared for their next steps. Academically, counselors work at the start of the year to ensure proper class placement. Dr. Ponce noted that the rigor of AP classes provides skills needed for college and that a key issue is getting extra support and resources when needed.
Assessments, standardized tests, and graduation requirements: ACT/SAT/Accuplacer scores are needed to avoid paying colleges for non-credit classes to demonstrate readiness. Students will still take PARRC this year and MCPS may continue to use those tests in some form. Under the “skip question” model in some tests, if the student shows mastery in an area, the test adjusts the path of later questions. Dr. Ponce suggests parents check MCPS’s website for graduation requirements, as they differ based on graduation year.
Parents can track students’ grades using MyMCPS. Individual activation codes were mailed. There will be a tutorial at Back to School Night.
Ms. Charley-Greene welcomed new Assistant Principal Linda Jasper.
Ms. Charley-Greene reviewed highlights that bring Northwood to the “cusp of amazing.” Rising Teacher of the Year [________________name]. Ms. Charley-Greene as Maryland High School Principal of the Year will be visiting our reps on Capitol Hill to advocate for the school; she noted schools as diverse as Northwood are not seen as typical. Dr. Smith was impressed during his visit on the first day of school.
Two students won cross-country recently at the Hood Invitational, and both varsity and JV football won this past weekend. Two AP Art students created a float for the September 23, 2018 Wheaton Arts Parade as a capstone project.
Saturday Jam sessions are now replaced by Tuesday GLAD periods, which students can use for remediation or enrichment such as language conversation clubs or sign language.
9-18-18: GLAD is period 7.
9-19-18: Yom Kippur, school is closed.
9-27-18: Back to School Night. Schedule will go out soon. Naviance breakout will be offered.
10-5-18: Interims and Homecoming game.
10-6-18: Homecoming dance.
10-10-18: PSAT. County requires all 10th graders to take PSAT, there is no fee. 11th graders can take it again (for a fee) and test for National Merit Scholar. PSAT scores provide critical information on a student’s strengths and weaknesses. Note that the county does not pay for the SAT in the spring unless Northwood is approved to offer it during the school day as last year; the application has gone in for this year. Individual fee waivers are available for the SAT.
10-18-18: DCC Open House. Northwood has little room and has become a school of choice. County is recognizing achievements at Northwood. Ms. Charley-Greene wants to hear about any negative comments on Northwood so perceptions can be met with facts and issues can be addressed.
Discussion of Renovations and Perception of Northwood
In response to parent questions, the remainder of the meeting discussed renovation plans and perceptions of Northwood.
Ms. Charley-Greene recently met with Dr. Zuckerman, COO of MCPS. An architect has been chosen, and the expectation is to use a modular building plan. Parent advocacy remains a priority, and Michele Moller is the point of contact. Ms. Sawin summarized an email from Ms. Moller regarding discussions held between Dr. Zuckerman and the Walter Johnson Cluster Coordinators regarding planned renovation at Woodward, and Ms. Moller’s intention to schedule a meeting with Dr. Zuckerman.
Parents want advance notice of dates of any meeting where advocacy presence is needed, and an update at the October PTSA meeting. This is their top priority for PTSA this year.
Equity concerns: The Northwood facility doesn’t tell students they are valued. Despite good programs, the facility gives a negative impression of school quality; Blair looks impressive and the assumption is that programs are good if facility looks good. Ms. Charley-Greene noted that Northwood students gave testimony last February and did focus on equity. Students should stay involved in testimony and stay visible as advocates.
Counter negative comments with facts: MC2 graduated 5 seniors with Associate of Arts degrees last spring. Helene Mclaughlin took physics students to the state Science Olympiad. The Latin Dance Team were at the Kennedy Center.
Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 9:18 pm
Minutes respectfully submitted by Jennifer Sawin, PTSA Secretary
NOTE: October PTSA meeting Tuesday October 16, 7:30 pm in the Media Center. October’s presentation will feature the School Resource Officer and focus on safety and security.
On behalf of the Northwood PTSA and the entire NHS community–Welcome Back! I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the amazing administrative team, teachers, parents, and students of Northwood High School. It gives me a great sense of pride to know that each year, more families are selecting NHS as their first choice school. The Gladiator Nation extends a special welcome to the Class of 2022 as well as to faculty and staff who are new to Northwood.
Study after study has shown that students achieve greater success when the school community works together to support learning, You can become a V.I.P, a Very Involved Parent, by volunteering for opportunities that suit your schedule and abilities. The PTSA has many opportunities available with a range of time commitments. With your support we are able to provide scholarships to graduating seniors, award teacher mini-grants, ensure a safe and affordable After-Prom experience, celebrate our teachers, and much more.
I invite every parent, student, and community member to join the PTSA. Show them we care! Let your voices be heard!
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”–Theodore Roosevelt
Robyn D. Watts
PTSA President, 2018-19
May 15, 2018 Minutes
Northwood PTSA Meeting
May 15, 2018
Meeting was opened at 7:44pm by Mrs. Betty Haaland, PTSA President
Approximately 16 persons were in attendance.
Copies of the draft April 2018 meeting minutes were distributed. A motion was made from the floor to approve the draft minutes. The motion was approved by a unanimous voice vote.
The election was conducted by write in ballot. Ballots were counted by a student and Mildred Charley-Greene, principal.
There were two nominees for President: Robyn Watts and Jillian Newby. Ms. Watts was elected by a margin of 8 to 6.
All other candidates ran unopposed.
President: Robyn Watts
Vice President: Andrea Verbrugge
Treasurer: Cathy Shrestha
Secretary: Jenn Sawin
In addition, the following individuals volunteered to fill other positions.
Membership: Jenny Espinoza
Staff Appreciation: Ashley Marchionini
MCCPTA Delegate: Amarilis Lugo de Fabritz
Ms. Charley-Greene, Principal
Ms. Charley-Greene began by asking the PTSA to consider funding/sponsoring mini grants for teachers as a means of encouraging them. Grants could be for supplies or for professional development, etc.
To better recognize the gifted and dedicated teachers, Ms. Charley-Greene also requested that the PTSA encourage parents to nominate teachers for awards. The Northwood Administration will publish a list of awards at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. A list of awards can also be found on the MCCPTA website.
5/17 – After School Jam Session
5/21-24 – Delayed Openings for PARRC and HSA testing
5/25 – Last Day of School for Seniors: Clap out will be from 2-2:30pm
5/28 – Memorial Day; No School
5/30 – Senior Academic Awards
5/31 – Cap and Gown Distribution
6/2-6/3 – Prom and After Prom
6/6 – Graduation
Mrs. Cathy Shrestha, Treasurer
Mrs. Shrestha presented an update on the PTSA budget. We raised approximately $3,800 from the online auction and an additional $250 from the yard sale. We currently have around $8,000 in the bank.
Reminder that the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon is scheduled for Friday, June 15 beginning at 12:30pm. Donations of prizes and gift cards, as well as food and volunteers will all be needed. A Sign Up Genius will be sent out with specific needs.
Jillian Newby, After Prom
Jillian gave a brief update of where planning stands for After Prom. It will be held in the Terp Zone at the University of MD and will run from 12-3am sharp. We must be totally cleaned out by 3:30am. Two Sign Up Geniuses have been created for volunteers and prizes for the students.
Ms. Reazer thanked the PTSA for its support of the first International Night. It was a great success.
Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:44pm
Minutes respectfully submitted by Andrea Verbrugge, PTSA Secretary