Dear Parents and Teachers,
We want to thank everyone who attended our PTA meeting on Wednesday; it was one of the largest meetings we have ever had, and it was virtual. We appreciate your patience as we updated our Zoom capacity and tried a new Question & Answer format that we had hoped would give the conversation more structure.
While we think the conversation was constructive, we saw disrespectful and at times disruptive behavior during the meeting—both spoken and in the chat. We have heard from parents who felt the meeting did not provide a safe space to voice their opinions. We have read all of your feedback in the form of your comments, questions, and emails since the meeting. Going forward, we will issue clearer guidelines to ensure that we engage civilly and that everyone’s voice can be safely heard in this new format.
We acknowledge that people have strong feelings about the reopening of school. We know this is an unprecedented situation and, as parents, we empathize with the positions you are in. Two of our PTA’s top mission statements are to support the school for the educational growth of our children and to help develop a cooperative working relationship between parents and teachers. The PS 58 PTA supports our teachers and also supports all of our families, whether they choose to attend on a hybrid or remote schedule. We are all committed to creating the best possible learning environment for our kids. To that end, we continue to prepare for a return to school that includes hybrid and remote learning.
Here are some of the ways the PTA has been working to support PS 58 over the summer:
PTA Support for In-Person Learning
- We made purchases of PPE and supplies to help ensure the health and safety of everyone in the building; we have parent volunteers who are making creative signs to ensure social distancing.
- We continue to purchase crayons, markers, scissors, and other school supplies kids need every day.
- We are exploring the best ways we can use the school’s outdoor space during the day, and have tried to find creative, affordable outdoor equipment to make the environment conducive for learning.
PTA Support for Remote Learning
- We made investments in technology, including purchasing new Macbooks for some teachers and updating the Chromebooks for students in the building.
- We purchased document cameras and electronic smart boards for every single teacher alongside more online subscriptions to supplement curriculum.
- We are working with the school to distribute printed materials and basic supplies to any family in remote learning who needs them.
Next month, we will finalize our budget with spending priorities for the year. We will also launch our direct-appeal annual fundraising campaign under the message: Come Together. We encourage everyone to get involved with both of these initiatives.
We know we have a lot more work to do. Going forward, we hope to improve the channels of communication within our school. This goal is even more important as we navigate this pandemic socially-distanced, with virtual meetings on Zoom.
Please keep bringing in your energy, your feedback, and your questions. We are listening. We are so proud to be a part of this wonderful community and seeing all the ways we are coming together for our kids.
Genevieve, Negar and the PTA Executive Board