Welcome – Annie Johnson, President 

Thanks to everyone for attending this evening. We are happy to see all of you, and grateful for all that we’ve been able to accomplish during this school year despite its many limitations.

Thanks to all who ordered Harrison shirts! We sold 160 shirts — a higher total than we’ve had in the last several years, so that’s great. The shirts are scheduled to be delivered to Harrison and distributed there during the first week of December. If you are 100% remote, we will figure out an alternative way for you to get your shirt.

Principal’s Report – Dr. Andrea Haynes

  • Harrison now has 63 remote learners. This number has doubled since the return to school on Oct. 5. Currently, the choice for remote learning lies with parents. Families who wish to enroll their students in remote learning should contact Dr. Haynes.
  • Harrison is currently one of only a handful schools in the district that has not had a positive COVID-19 case within school walls.
  • Dr. Haynes spoke with Jeremy Maskel (OPS Communications Chief) regarding the decision-making process for closing schools. Three factors affect that decision at the district-level:

o   How many total cases are in a particular building? (The district then turns this number into a ratio, comparing cases to total number of individuals in the building).

o   Are cases related to staff? Can the building continue to operate with the number of staff affected?

o   Are the cases related to community spread or district spread?

  • The district has deemed snow days as remote learning days. During snow days, Harrison will offer live instruction in the mornings (schedules will be sent out via email or Class Dojo). Students who do not participate in remote learning during snow days will be marked absent. However, Dr. Haynes supports any parent who decides to let their child(ren) have the day off during a snow day.
  • Second quarter progress reports will be sent home this week. The pandemic has affected many students’ academic performance. More students are receiving Cs and Ds than would have in the past. Please reach out to your students’ teachers if you have concerns. There are supports available at school to help those students who are struggling.

Harrison Gives – Katherine Fischer

  • Due the pandemic, there will be no live event for Harrison Gives as there has been in the past. Instead, there will be an online signup where families can select a child to donate to. The signup link will be sent in emails from both the PTA and Dr. Haynes.
  • There are two ways to donate this year:
  1. Shop online and have your gifts delivered to the school. Please make sure to reference either Mrs. Laura Bowden or Miss Anne Lynam.
  2.  Email a gift card to Mrs. Bowden (laura.bowden@ops.org) and she will shop for you.
  • Mrs. Bowden will coordinate the wrapping and distribution of gifts.

Committee Reports

  • Fundraising Committee – Vivian Capurro

o   We raised about $350 during out Sgt. Pfeffer’s fundraiser in October.

o   The committee is planning a Read-a-Thon in the spring. The details are still be worked out, but keep an eye out for an email with further information.

  • Room Parents – Molly Colling

o   Provided pirate’s booty and scratch-off masks to be used during Halloween parties.

o   The challenge of the committee is how to balance fun with safety during the pandemic.

  • Staff Appreciation Committee – Jennifer Woolf

o   Provided a pizza lunch to staff in September.

o   Bob’s Catering provided a staff dinner during conferences.

o   Planning to provided Nothing Bundt cakes to staff for a holiday treat.

o   The committee is also working on a plan to use Bob’s Catering for a “Feed the Teacher” event. The idea is that parents could “adopt” a teacher and a meal would be delivered for the teacher and his/her family.

o   The committee already has spent 2/3 of its budget. They are hopeful that the PTA can increase its budget so that it can continue to provide extra appreciation and support to staff during this challenging school year.

  • Yearbook – Annie Johnson

o   There will be a yearbook this year!

o   Annie feels that it is important that we document this very unusual school year. Please email the PTA if you have any ideas or suggestions about ways in which the yearbook could do this.

Treasurer’s Report – Rebecca Firestone

  • We currently have $24,795 in the PTA bank account.
  • We approved a budget of $14000 at the beginning of the year. We have currently spent about $3000.
  • We budgeted $2000 for COVID-response expenditures. We have currently spent about half of that amount.
  • We would like to increase our overall budget from $14000 to $16000 to support the following committees:

o   Room Parent Committee

§  In the past the room parent committee has been funded almost entirely by parent donations. It has never required its own line item. Rebecca would like to create a new dedicated line item of $1000 for room parent activities.

o   Teacher/Staff Appreciation Committee:

§  This committee requested a $1000 increase to their budget (from $1000 to $2000) to support the extra expenditures required to support staff during the pandemic.

  • A motion was put forth to increase the budget from $14000 to $16000. The motion was carried.
  • Star Grant funds are still available.
  • Staff are encouraged to continue submitting receipts for the Teachers’ Fund.

Guest Speaker – Mrs. Dani Herzog, school counselor

  • Mrs. Herzog shared a PowerPoint titled “How Can I Help My Child Through This All?” The link to her PowerPoint can be found here:__________.
  • Important points include:

o   Remember that children are experiencing any combination of these feelings: uncertainty of the future, anxiety, fear, relief, happiness, frustration.

o   Control your anxiety around your children. Focus on the positive side of things. Talk with your children about what is going well with your family and how your family is protecting itself.

o   Validate your children’s feelings. Ask them to name their feelings. Share a time when you felt a similar way and how you handled it.

o   Provide reassurance. Tell family stories of other challenging times you’ve gone through as a family and how you worked through it.

o   Limit media. Have conversations about what you’re watching.

o   Keep a consistent schedule and make sure to include fun things in the schedule.

o   Focus on positive behaviors in your children. Keep a 1-3 ratio: for every negative response, try to give 3 positive responses. Ignore minor negative behaviors.

o   Let your children be bored! Boredom leads to creativity and self-reliance.

o   Give your kids extra love these days. Add as much fun as you can to their lives.

  • Mrs. Herzog has also spoken with her students about three things they can try when they are feeling worried:

o   Talk to an adult you trust about your worry.

o   Take “Dragon Breaths” to calm yourself down.o   Change your thoughts from “What if?” to “What can I do?”


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