BES PTA Minutes – November 1, 2016

PTA Meeting Minutes

November 1, 2016


The Bannockburn Elementary School PTA met on November 1, 2016 at the Bannockburn Elementary School (BES). PTA Co-President Heather Kraus called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m.


In attendance: There were 23 participants including members of the PTA Board, BES Principal Kate Bradley, and BES Art Teacher Leah Ellert.


Welcome and PTA Co-Presidents’ and Committee Reports

PTA Co-Presidents Ms. Heather Kraus and Marget Maurer welcomed everyone to the meeting.

  • They began by discussing the PTA’s continued sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop at the school. The troop does not receive any money from the PTA but BES sponsorship allows the troop to keep a secular affiliation. The troop is open to boys starting in first grade. The BES PTA has sponsored the troop for many years. Kathy Hurld moved that the PTA sponsor the Cub Scouts for another year; Allsion Leotta seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote with no objection.
  • Kraus and Ms. Maurer then presented the minutes from the September 30, 2016 PTA meeting for review. Laura Miller made a motion to approve the minutes; Jill Holland seconded it. The motion was approved unanimously by voice vote as distributed with no objection or correction. Past PTA Meeting Minutes are available online at:
  • Tim Yehl, Treasurer, presented the Treasurer’s Report. The PTA is currently on budget and in place for staying on the planned budget for the year.
  • Allie Ammerman and Allison Leotta presented the Communications Committee Report. The Committee reached its goal of having 84 percent of BES families join the PTA. Ms. DaSilva’s third grade class reached a PTA membership rate of 100 percent. Ms. Ammerman and Ms. Leotta reported that the PTA Directories were out and reminded members that they can download an app for their phones.
  • Jill Holland presented the Community Service Report. She noted that the service events held to date—the Mana Food Drive; the Walk for the Homeless and Bag Lunch project; and the clothing drive—had all gone very well. She thanked all who had contributed and volunteered. She noted several upcoming service opportunities, including the annual post-Halloween candy collection; a new and used book collection (to include CDs and DVDs) on November 9-11; and a toy drive for the National Institutes of Health.
  • Kraus presented the Cluster Report. She encouraged all PTA members to vote in the November elections for three county school board seats. She also noted that there would be a hearing in January on the school board’s capitol improvement project, which members could attend. The report also noted on-going discussion over calendar and bell time changes. Some members of the meeting requested that the Advocacy Committee provide more information on all of these discussions and dates of important events, such as the hearing in January.
  • Maria Steyn presented the In-School Activities Report. She noted that the fall Artist in Residence had already begun working with the lower grades (K-2). She said that planning for International Night and Math Day was already underway.
  • Hurld presented the Montgomery County Council of Parent-Teacher Associations (MCCPTA) Delegates’ Report. She also noted the importance of voting in the upcoming school board election, suggesting that the election outcome could impact the capitol improvement plan. She also asked members to consider an opportunity for BES teachers: the Marian Greenblatt Excellence Award. Ms. Bradley can nominate teachers; the PTA can also nominate teachers and/or support the teachers Ms. Bradley nominates. She also discussed the Council’s Proposed 2016-2017 Advocacy Priorities and suggested our PTA support them, but with a modification. After discussion, Ms. Steyn moved that the BES PTA “support the MCCPTA Proposed 2016-2017 Advocacy Priorities with the following modification to the ‘Community Issues’ section:  we propose striking ’Title I and FOCUS schools’ and replacing it with ‘all schools’ so that the first sentence reads ‘Encourage MCPS to provide an equitable education for all by allocating more resources to all schools’.” Ms. Leotta seconded the motion and it passed by voice vote without dissent.
  • Bradley presented only quick updates in order to give Ms. Ellert time to discuss art programs at BES. Ms. Ellert described her approach of trying to link art class with what the children are working on in their other classes. She said that she “doesn’t teach art, she teaches through art.” She explained that each child gets a sketch book that will go home with them next June, so parents can see how their child’s work develops over the year. She said she focuses on collaboration both within each class and across the grades. She also made a plea for potential art supplies parents could send in from home, ranging from left-over yarn to cereal boxes. She urged us to think creatively about supplies, as she works to show the students how they can make art from unexpected material. She concluded by encouraging parents to ask their children to explain any of the art they bring home; she finds that the students always have a lot more to say about their work than we initially see and that they are eager to explain their thinking to us.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:13 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Bonnie Noonan, December 2016