Dear Jie Ming families,
(FYI this is a copy of an email sent this morning to our most up-to-date parent email list -- if you read that already, no need to read this! Just trying to cover all our communication bases.)
I hope you are healthy and staying warm! As we settle into this new phase of the school year with about half of our students returning to in-person learning, it’s a good time to hit reset on what has been an incredibly atypical year for Jie Ming’s PTA (parent-teacher association).
We’ll be having our next meeting on Thursday, February 18, at 8pm, via Zoom (password: 815267). At that meeting, we’ll need to vote on the budget for the current year, and we’d love for you to be a part of that discussion. In a typical year, the budget would’ve been passed in September, paving the way for spending throughout the year. This year has been anything but typical and we’ve had very few opportunities to spend PTA money. However, we still oversee about $20,000. In order to use any of it on things like classroom supplies, thank you gifts, renewing the Wawayaya reading program, or anything else (and carry the remainder into next year), we must discuss and vote on the budget.
According to the rules governing our PTA, all parents/caregivers are welcome to participate, but only members are allowed to vote. And we need at least 20 voting members each year to maintain our status as a PTA. Because it’s been such a strange year, we have not had opportunities to promote membership. Please join, if you feel compelled. Membership dues are $10 per person, about $6 of which pays for our affiliation with the state and national PTA organizations. Some parents have suggested making that amount less. I’m completely open to those discussions. However, any change requires a vote. And again, according to current rules, only dues-paying members are allowed to vote. So, if you can, please join the PTA to have a voice in the future of our organization.
In spite of all, we have been able to accomplish some meaningful things this year. At the meetings that we have had, we’ve seen engaged participation reflective of the diversity of our community, including first-year Jie Ming parents. We have managed some incredibly tough issues together, like the return to virtual school in the fall and again to in-person learning this month. Families interested in pod learning found each other thanks to PTA research and networking. Families gathered safely to celebrate the Harvest Moon Festival in October, offering kids a chance to meet some of their classmates off-screen. Virtual clubs are on the cusp of starting (sign up here!) and safety supplies have been delivered to in-person classrooms, thanks to the quick work and generosity of many families.
Despite the remarkable difficulties this year has presented, we have, as a community, found and created moments of connection and light. Please help us to carry that energy into planning for this spring and the next school year, which are full of possibilities for re-imagining the work that the PTA can and must do to support our kids, our school, and our community, meaningfully and together.
Hope to see you all at our Zoom meeting on Thursday, Feb. 18. An official agenda and invite will be coming via Konstella (sign up here, if you haven’t already).
And again, please sign up for the following, depending on what works for your family:
Leah Young, PTA President