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REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Name of PTA: Mt. Washington Elementary PTA
Date: February 20, 2024
The nominating committee met on __01/30/24, 02/08/24, 02/15/24__ to consider all eligible candidates for the ___July 1, 2024-June 30, 2025___ term of office. On behalf of the nominating committee, I present the following slate of officers for the association’s consideration:
PRESIDENT - LIZ FILLMORE
1ST VP - COMMUNICATIONS - OPEN
2ND VP-PROGRAMS - OPEN
3RD VP-FUNDRAISING - SARA SIMMONDS
4TH VP-VOLUNTEERS - CHRISTINA HOCHLEITNER
RECORDING SECRETARY - KAREN KEEN
TREASURER - ALEJANDRA (ALEX) RIGUERO
HISTORIAN - OPEN
FINANCIAL SECRETARY - OPEN
Additional Voting Members of the Executive Board
Committee Chairs and Assistant to be appointed by President at July Retreat
ARTS EDUCATION CHAIR - CINDY PENA
DIRECT APPEAL CHAIR - OPEN
MEMBERSHIP CHAIR - OPEN
MERCHANDISE CHAIR - OPEN
TECHNOLOGY CHAIR - OPEN
COMMUNICATIONS ASSISTANT - OPEN
PROGRAMS ASSISTANT - LAUREL DICKOW
FUNDRAISING ASSISTANT - CINDY RUCKER
VOLUNTEERS ASSISTANT - OPEN
DIRECT APPEAL ASSISTANT - OPEN
MEMBERSHIP ASSISTANT - OPEN
MERCHANDISE ASSISTANT - CHARLENE DUARTE-BRANNSTROM
Members of Nominating Committee:
ANGELA VAWTER (Chair), ALEX RIGUERO, HEATHER MARSDEN, STEPHEN TALTY (Advisor), MS. SUSAN MORRIS (Advisor)
The report of the nominating committee is submitted to the membership in writing at least 28 days prior to the election and reported at the election meeting. The report of the nominating committee must be entered into the minutes of the association.
California State PTA 1/2015
Reinstated Programs Update
Radical Cooks was approved to return to campus on February 12, 2024. The students in this after school enrichment class had the first class of a new session in the Staff Lounge on February 14, 2024.
Knitting with Que was approved to return to campus on February 12, 2024. The students in this after school enrichment class had their last class of the session in the Library on February 13, 2024.
Arts Collective After School (ACAS) - PTA's free art workshop for every student - was approved to return to campus on February 12, 2024. The ACAS Team is working on details to offer a workshop later this month.
The STAR PE program was approved to return to campus on Tuesday, January 30, 2024.
Bloom Arts Foundation's Creative Dance program was approved to return to campus on Friday, January 19, 2024.
Due to planned hiatuses in their contracted schedules, both programs will resume classes on Tuesday, February 6, 2024.
Second Letter | January 26, 2024
Dear District Staff and Mt. Washington Elementary School Administration,
We have yet to receive a response to the email sent to you last Friday, January 19. Another week has gone by without the return of all programs to Mt. Washington Elementary School and 3 days have gone by since the deadline for a response stated in the January 19th email. In that time, we have not received, as we requested:
any substantive updates on the status of our programs
a timeline for their return
a clear written articulation of the process to approve programs
a written commitment to the value of enrichment programs in the Mt. Washington educational experience
a written commitment to maintaining the vital roles that PTA and the Friends of Mt. Washington School play in that experience.
The programs that we are requesting detailed updates on their status and a listing of any outstanding documentation are: STAR PE, Parker-Anderson, Knitting, Radical Cooks, SODE/ Dungeons and Dragons, Girl Scouts, Arts Collective After School, Native Plants. Please, itemize the needs and status of each program.
Over the course of the week, we have received several phone calls from some of you stating the same messages: that there are no updates; the programs “are in risk management”; and that “no one really knows the process” to approve programs at school sites nor can anyone write one down for us. We did receive an offer for members of PTA and the Friends of Mt. Washington School to schedule a training in order to explain the process for program approval which, while generous, seems odd in that it would suggest that someone has a documented process (at least a powerpoint) from which to base the training.
We ask, yet again, for you to immediately lift the suspension of the enrichment programs at Mt. Washington. At this point, having been told that all of the documents are submitted, the programs have been vetted. Since we’ve also been told that all the programs are “in risk management,” all that remains is finalizing insurance documents that protect the district, but do little to enrich the students or keep them safe. We remind you that many of these programs have been running successfully for years at our school site and, at this moment, are running at other schools without the same interruption we’re experiencing at Mt. Washington. We see no need to wait any longer for their return.
Also, we ask, again, for you to respond, in writing, to all of the requests stated in last week’s email, as you did to an email sent by the 10th District Council on January 18. A copy of last week's email is included below. We also ask, again, for written responses to the questions in the zoom chat from the Town Hall meeting. We were promised this at the end of that meeting. We look forward to your response by Tuesday, January 30.
Next week will begin the fourth week without enrichment programs at Mt. Washington. This is unacceptable. We do not want to start a 5th week.
Board, Friends of Mt. Washington School
Board, Mt. Washington PTA
Response Letter to Town Hall | January 19, 2024
Dear District Staff and Mt. Washington Elementary School Administration,
As the two largest parent groups at Mt. Washington Elementary School, we would like to respond to the town hall meeting held on January 17, 2024. While we appreciate that the meeting occurred, it failed to clearly explain the situation or directly address many of the concerns of parents. It did not result in actionable steps or provide assurance that the in-school and after-school enrichment programs currently suspended will return for the students as quickly as possible. As stated in the meeting, we are requesting prompt action on the following items:
A detailed document listing all required documents for each type of program and the steps on how to complete applications and forms for each type of on-campus program, including, but not limited to programs that occur during instructional hours, after-school hours, fee-based programs, free programs, etc., so that vendors may service our students as soon as possible;
Application status of each of the affected programs; where they are in the process including any outstanding items and a firm timeline for the completion of the District’s vetting process;
A commitment by the school district and the administration of Mt. Washington Elementary School to value the importance of enrichment programs in-school (during the school day and instructional hours) and after-school (including field trips and parent-run programs and organizations), as well as the Mt. Washington PTA and Friends of Mt. Washington Elementary School as fundamental assets to the improvement of the school’s community.
Additionally, we are requesting that you follow up on the commitments made by LAUSD staff during the meeting to:
Inform us of programs that can be on a 5 year renewal cycle
Lessen the burden on our small community-based program providers by working with us to customize their process including reevaluating and reducing additional insurance requirements
We also would like to reiterate our preference to lift the temporary suspension of affected programs for a grace period of up to 60 days for our tenured programs as the process is being clarified. We ask this with the knowledge that several of these programs are being run right now at other schools without concern.
We feel that these requests are both reasonable and reflective of the core values outlined in the The LAUSD Parent and Family Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, the Mt. Washington Elementary School Parent-Student Handbook 2023-2024, and the Mt. Washington Elementary School website.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and we look forward to hearing your response by Tuesday, January 23, which will be exactly 2 weeks since the programs were suspended.
Board, Friends of Mt. Washington School
Board, Mt. Washington PTA
A Resignation Letter from the PTA President
Dear MWE Parents:
I've reached the decision that I need to resign as President of the PTA.
I'm a firm believer in full transparency so I will let you know how I reached this decision. Perhaps I'm explaining myself because I feel incredibly selfish for this decision.
I had a seizure February 2023 and then again October 2023. Thereafter, I fell down the stairs in early December, which resulted in a severe head injury. This past year has not gone well for me healthwise. I've been thinking for a while - especially after the 2nd seizure - that I'm not able to serve well as the President. I worked really hard over the break to recover physically only to have my aunt pass away early January. As you know, the past 2 weeks have been a whirlwind of chaos. I am not capable of continuing this role any further. I won't even be able to make the general association meeting on Jan. 23 because I'll be attending my aunt's funeral.
Last year, I was able to - after each event - thank everyone who worked on the event. I was not able to this year. I missed thanking our Halloween crew who worked tirelessly to put on a great event for our kids. I don't know all the intimate details, but I do know Jessica Malanaphy and Natalie Fernandez, the organizers of the event, did an amazing job - for the 2nd year in a row. Thank you so much. The entire 4th grade parents came together to put on a phenomenal haunted house (I only know this because my son is in 4th grade). Thank you all who work on the Halloween event and I'm always in awe of the creative abilities of this community (being a girl who really only knows Microsoft Excel and Word).
The threshold gifts are available (and have been sitting in my garage since November). I will let my successor distribute those. I apologize that they have not been distributed already. I hope the explanation above explains my lack of action.
If I've failed you in any way as PTA President, I apologize profusely and I hope you'll find it in your heart to forgive me. I hope it's clear that my intentions are always what is the best for our children.
If you ever need to reach me, my private email is email@example.com.
With love & gratitude,
MONDAY UPDATE RE: PAUSE OF PROGRAMS AT MT. WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY
Please note there is no assembly Tuesday morning.
A zoom link for the town hall: https://lausd.zoom.us/j/7687547972?omn=86723805755&from=addon
FRIDAY UPDATE RE: PAUSE OF PROGRAMS AT MT. WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY
A Town Hall meeting has been set with Ms. Morris and District leadership on Wednesday, January 17 at 3:00pm.
We will use this time to discuss and get clarity on the program pause.
Zoom: 768 754 7972
Both PTA and FOMWS has been in touch with the school and district leadership to move forward on the permits.
THURSDAY UPDATE RE: PAUSE OF PROGRAMS AT MT. WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY
Dear MWE Parents,
A quick update for you regarding the suspension of programs at MWE.
I spoke with Mr. William Downing, our Regional Director for LAUSD East and he informed me that there will be a townhall meeting early next week for parents to attend and discuss.
We made progress with the required paperwork today. MWE has submitted one application. Our stellar Fundraising Assistant, Cindy Rucker, has been following up and quick to respond to every single request. She has also submitted and helped with several applications.
I spoke with Mrs. Gravino directly today, and she verified what I suspected which is that throughout the entire time she was at MWE, all the required paperwork was filed.
I heard from an anonymous source that Mr. Monty Moy has been informed that STAR PE and Bloom both operate at other LAUSD schools so they must be an approved LAUSD vendor and that LAUSD should have the proper paperwork.
WEDNESDAY UPDATE RE: PAUSE OF PROGRAMS AT MT. WASHINGTON ELEMENTARY
Fellow Mount Washington Parents,
Like you, we were shocked and appalled at the sudden suspension of several critical programs this week. This was a completely unacceptable action taken without any parental consultation. The decision to pause these programs blindsided both MWPTA and Friends of Mt. Washington School as we had been working in good faith with the principal to meet all requirements.
In the last 36 hours we have met with Ms. Morris and have been in close contact with multiple representatives at the District. We have informed them of their legal liabilities on this, and have let them know the possibility of collective action from our highly activated community.
We have received responses from the district, and they appear to be actively working on this. The deadline of Friday, January 12th, has been established for the district to resolve these issues.
If these programs are not reactivated by Friday, we will follow up with requested actions and other ways all parents can help. We will share an email template at that point, along with contact information for the Regional Director.
Thank you all for your involvement. This community is wonderful, and we will all work together to resolve this.
MWPTA & FOMWS Boards
WE DID IT ... TOGETHER!
Because of all of our incredibly committed Wolf families,
we reached our goal of $200,000!
Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.
Learn about what your donation funds on our website
See some of our FAQs here: https://www.mwpta.org/directappealfaq
MWPTA Membership Drive 2023-2024 Update
Congratulations to the FOUR classrooms that reached 100% PTA membership by October 1 this year! Students in Ms. Sy’s, Ms. Kehoe’s, Ms. Gonzalez’s, and Ms. Robles’s rooms will be treated to a popsicle party courtesy of the PTA.
The membership drive may be over, but you can still join the PTA any time during the year. Click here to join now!
If you have any questions about membership, please email Jen Keeffe or Raya De Leon.
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The MWE PTA website (mwpta.org -- you're here now!) functions as your information and resource hub. Please make sure you set up an account with the website. Signing up enables you to do exciting things, like:
- Officially join the PTA
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