RJ Reynolds High School PTSA Board Meeting Minutes Janauary 12, 2021, 6:01 pm Click here for PDF
Meeting called to order by Betsy Keller
Betsy Keller, Laura Neelon, Jennifer Hudson, Keely Bridges, Nicole Beale, Dr. Leslie Alexander, Beth Budd, Mari Valaoras, Betsy Keller, Dawn Nelson, Sarah Stitzel, Stephanie Kennedy, Ashley Pearce, Ashley Stabolitis, Kathryn Northington, Pamela Henderson
Approval of Minutes
Minutes from October and November were submitted by Keely Bridges. Betsy Keller made a motion to approve the minutes. The minutes from October and November were approved.
President’s Remarks - Betsy Keller
Betsy called the meeting to order. She wished everyone a Happy New Year. She said that because we did not meet in December, we had quite a bit to cover in this meeting and we want to do some brainstorming. Without any delays she kicked the meeting off.
Treasurer - Jennifer Hudson
Budget report was made visible on the Zoom screen for all to see. Fund raising is low. Legacy has raised $68k. 25% of that will go to Boosters. We have $85k in the bank.
Legacy - Stephanie Kennedy
Stephanie informed us that Legacy has raised $68k so far. We have about $1,500.00 outstanding from corporate sponsors and another $2,000.00 from a family. We should get to $80k once we receive everything that is outstanding, but it will not get us to $100k.
Betsy said it is not where we want to be but we are going to be ok. We did gain new corporate sponsors this year and that is positive. We hope that these are short term challenges.
Stephanie said that tax letters will be going out next week.
Dr. Leslie Alexander - General Remarks
Dr. Alexander started by saying that what is being done for the teachers is very thoughtful and she is very thankful.
She would like to thank Robin Woodard for the amazing job she does with the website. She would also like to thank Karen Morris for getting the testing information out.
The numbers on kids who are planning to return to school are up and down. It changes daily. The cohort schedule is up on the website as of today.
The parking sticker application is up on the website. Students need to have a parking sticker if they plan to park in student parking. The parking sticker applications will be approved the first two weeks that we are back. There will be spaces for everyone who needs one.
Dr. Alexander said she is most concerned about the teachers. Teachers are really concerned and scared to come back. Some teachers do not have windows in their room. They are concerned about kids eating in class without their mask on.
Dr. Alexander really wants each classroom to have a hepa air filters. We do not have the funds for them but we are looking for approval of funds through the Alumni Association. The goal is to circulate the air 6 times while students are in the classroom.
We really want to make sure the teachers are taken care of.
We are in the process of making decisions on graduation and what that will look like this year. They are considering a drive by style graduation. They are also considering doing graduation in small cohorts outside.
Prom will not be approved this year.
There will not be a high school lottery. Numbers are not high enough this year. Magnet numbers are low because they application window was very short this year. If you want to be at RJR next year there will be a spot. Our numbers are low and we can take them. We are looking at a little over 1,600 for next year.
Dr. Alexander reported that putting kids into their cohorts took a lot of thought and time. The cohorts can’t go over the capacity of 10. Students are beginning to change their mind about coming back.
When we do return we will need to be patient. It’s going to take time to see who shows up. We will be able to determine what will happen with the arts after that.
Nothing will be like it was before. Teachers are going to be tired and taxed. They will not have any planning time. Teachers will also have to cover for each other. Patience will be important during this time.
Booster Club Report
Booster Club did not present in January.
- Arts Magnet - Pamela Henderson reported that the videos that have been put together are amazing. A lot of work has gone into them. Well done! The drone style promo videos were really helpful. We wanted to show all sides of the school. There has been success with individual family meetings. It has been difficult to get information about magnet schools this year. The parents have appreciated the work being put in by the staff. We are in the process of preparing for the virtual Acapella Jam. Teachers are working hard to get that ready. They are playing it by ear as to what will happen inside the building during the Acapella Jam. The Jesus Christ Superstar musical will happen. The musical will have to meet the district requirements. We must show grace this year. We are concerned about our students and want to make sure they are taken care.
- Hospitality - Dr. Alexander reported that Caroline is doing a fantastic job taking care of our teachers.
- Communication - Betsy reported that a lot of work is going into getting information out via social media and our newsletter. Betsy asked if we are missing any forms of communication. Is there anything else we can be doing?
- Guidance - Nicole Beale reported that we do not have specifics yet regarding registration. She said that departments will do videos. Students typically ask the same type of questions and they will try to address those. One video will target freshmen and the other video will target everyone else. They are rethinking registration. They will still hold one on one meetings. They will probably do the meetings through classes. They haven’t even been able to lay eyes on the freshmen yet. Senior meetings took place virtually. We are learning that things don’t have to be done a certain way. They are going to offer morning, afternoon, and evening slots for meetings. They will be looking at teacher recommendations this year instead of test scores. We have six weeks to get everyone registered. Students need to know that they will be taken care of.
Brainstorming and General Comments
Betsy asked what our immediate needs are?
Ashley Pearce asked what percent of students are coming back? Dr. Alexander reported that 52% of the students have indicated that they will come back, but that number changes daily.
Drop off and pick up will be different. Plan for glitches.
Betsy asked how we will reach the new freshmen families?
Dr. Alexander reported that good things did come out of teachers using technology in their classrooms for teaching. It is amazing!
Betsy reported that Caroline is doing a great job with hospitality. She asked what new ideas we might have? What else could we be doing to support the teachers and staff?
Betsy reported that Caroline tries to use local businesses when helping our teachers.
Betsy reported that we want to expand and recruit more members for PTSA. We need to build our team for next year. She asked that everyone be thinking what they want to do next year. She asked that we also look for others who might want to be involved.
Next Meeting - Tuesday, February 9th @ 6:00 pm Via Zoom
Motion to adjourn was made at 7:09 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Keely Bridges