PTA Meeting Minutes

March 11, 2022

March 11, 2022 / 9am ET (Virtual Meeting) 

There were 27 participants.  Kenny welcomed all.

A Word from Administration:

Principal Scarlato shared that Math and Literacy after school programs and Saturday Academy are in full swing and well attended.  These programs give children the opportunity to prepare for the NY State ELA and Math tests from grades 3 through 5.  ELA is on March 29 and 30, and Math is right after we come back from Spring Brake on the 26thand 27th.

With the lifting of social distance rules, our Cluster Teachers are in the process of transitioning back into their rooms: Ms. Tesoriero is going back to the Hydroponics lab and Ms. K will be back in the 3D Virtual lab, as well as the early child tech room.  It will take some time because of the school had to take so much furniture out of these rooms, but we are slowly getting them back in shape for our children to attend.  We also plan to attend Café Dupont, hopefully in April

Principal Scarlato will schedule another meeting regarding State tests for parents who missed the first meeting.

The Administration applied for funding for a much-needed upgrade in the auditorium for lighting, projector and sound systems.  Let’s hope we get it!

Adventure Land is booked for the 5th grades.  It will be on June 17th, 2022.

Horticulture Society donated four garden planters – they will be right outside our garden.

Parent teacher conferences were very well attended (98% attendance) – kudos to parents and caregivers!!

Attendance for the month of February was just about 94%, the highest in the district! Thank you for making sure our children are here everyday.

Principal Scarlato also shared her impressions about the Chancellor’s recent message to the public.  He wants to go back to basics, focus on getting our children learning: learning to read, phonics, etc.  We all know how important a strong foundation is in our children’s lives.

Assistant Principal Gallo then shared the new COVID protocols: masks became options for our K through 5 grades.  We stressed to the teachers that it is important for children to have conversation with the parents, and that the school will respect the decision of families – if they want the child to keep wearing the mask, it’s ok.

Social distancing is also optional, so we opened the jungle gym.  Hopefully it all keeps moving in a positive direction.

Guest Speakers:

Nairobi Liriano (5-312) – Her favorite subject is Math, she likes to make her sister happy and to play around with her. Her advice to new students is that teachers will get harder on you to get you ready for the next year.   She applied to several Middle Schools in the area and also in Astoria.   She is on the Green Team with Ms. Tesoriero and also Book Buddies with Mr. Zaino.  She has been at the school for three years.  She is also on Compass and ELA and Match after school test program.  She has fun while she learns.  Her favorite activities at PS 31 were field trips (Brooklyn Zoo) and game shows in the auditorium. Her favorite book genre is graphic novel.

Ms. Dagate (teacher) – Student Council is up to many fun things. We implemented Book Buddies again. We had three groups present to Kindergartners.  We also started our first newspapers. Students are working hard on interviews, design.  We also did collaborations on several activities, such as Kindness Cards that were sent to a senior citizens home. We will be working again on gratitude cards thanking our essential workers in the neighborhood in the spring.  Student Council will also work on financial literacy.  A new part of Student Council will work on that.    Debate Team is also coming back on June 4th at MS50.  We are one of the largest debate team on the District.  Our last debate brought us a multiple speaker and top team awards.  Finally, Empire will partner with WR Arts where we will implement a dance/movement section.  There is also a partnership between Empire and the Horticulture society.  Thank you to all parents who donated materials to Empire!!

Miss Kara’s Korner

There is a lot going on in our District and our School.  There will be a virtual Summer camp fair on March 22 at 6:30pm.  There is a D14 Town hall with our Superintendent Dixon on March 16th. That would be a great opportunity to ask any COVID protocols related questions.  We also have a collection of medical supplies for Ukraine.  We are teaming up with PS 34 and Ms. Bokman is taking the lead.  NYC School Survey – please take it, and it’s one for each child.  Each child will get a homework pass and the class with the greatest number of children that filled out the survey will get a pizza party!  Dentist is coming to PS 31 to see kids from K through 5 who consented.  The Forms went home for consent.  They will be doing only a routing cleaning at this time.  They’ll be here on the week of April 4th.  Finally, we will have our first PS31 Read-a-thon.  Anything that we raise in the Read-a-thon will be towards automating our library. 

PTA Updates

  • Valentines Day Shop was a big success!! We brough approximately $7,000!  
  • Class photos are finally happening!!  If your child sat for a picture, they will be in the class photo.  It will be a composite of photos.  Hopefully we can have a real class photo next year.
  • Chocolate Sale is also coming.  The boxes will come in the end of March.  Order forms will go home and the prizes will be over $600 worth.
  • Spring Festival:  Tina and Peter will co-chair.  It’s our big Fundraising event! We are still working on dates in late May or June.  We are working with the local precinct in order to close streets and have the whole block for our event.  We’ll need a lot of help, so please, volunteer.  There are several Committees you can work in.  We will send up QR codes for sign up.  Peter shared more details on each of the Committees and what is needed.
  • Nomination Committee: PTA Board Elections are coming up in June and we need a Nomination Committee.
  • Financials:  Peter went over the year-to-date PTA Financials