Outgoing Potomac Elementary School PTA President Golru Ghaffari opens the group’s first ever outdoor meeting Thursday. To her left is President elect Susana Zhuo.
Photo by Peggy McEwan
As if anyone needs to be reminded that times are different, consider the Potomac Elementary School PTA meeting Thursday.
It was held outside!
Principal Catherine Allie could not allow anyone inside the building.
The PTA had to have an in-person meeting (Zoom would not count) in order to have the organization’s Board approved, according to out-going president Golru Ghaffari.
Chairs were set up in rows six feet apart and everyone among the three dozen attendees wore a face mask.
“We’re trying to do the safe thing with social distancing,” Ghaffari said.
Ghaffari stood on a chair in front of the crowd to open the meeting and introduce the slate of officers for the 2020-2021 school year. A voice vote of those present accepted the slate as offered.
Many board members were staying on for another term but, after two years, Ghaffari turned the presidency over to Susana Zhuo.
“This year we are going to be really inclusive and invite everyone to [share their ideas and the work],” Zhuo said.
With distance learning for the students and gatherings questionable, PTA members discussed the problems they will face providing special events for students and staff.
As the school year ended with school buildings closed, Teacher Appreciation Days became one of the first of the PTA distant events.
“The kids sent their teachers emails and videos,” events director Tara Kubasik said. “And we delivered baskets to each teacher’s home.”
The annual student talent show went virtual, with dozens of students demonstrating talents via video.
“We will try to come up with creative ideas again,” Kubasik said. “We have a great Board; we do things together.”
Rose Davis and her two children are new to Potomac Elementary School, but she volunteered to be vice president elect for the PTA as a way for her family to get to know the community.
“I was very impressed by the way they handled the [coronavirus] situation,” Davis said. “They have some big personalities that work well together.”
In addition to the election, the PTA was giving out year books, with cover design by fourth grader Walter Robson, to those who ordered them, and Dr. Allie offered to answer questions.
Many people asked to go inside and see the school, but she had to say no, promising she would organize tours as soon as she could.
As for the start of the school year she said they expected an enrollment of 399 students. And, she noted, with a big new school she had plenty of space for students to learn in small pods when and if that time comes.
Right now, she said, MCPS is taking feedback on the recently released draft plan for opening schools.
“It is very important that you give feedback,” she said.
The 21-page plan from Jack R. Smith, Superintendent of Schools, is available here: https://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/reopening/MCPSDraftRecoveryPlan.pdf.
Submit your feedback on the Draft MCPS Fall 2020 Recovery Plan. Your feedback is important and will help inform our planning. Go to http://mcpsweb.wufoo.com/forms/submit-feedback-for-draft-2020-fall-recovery-plan/
Board of Education, Montgomery County Public Schools, Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive, Room 123, Rockville, Maryland 20850
E-mail: email@example.com All messages sent to this address will be automatically copied to all Board members.