PAC Meeting Minutes – May 17, 2016

Insight on the College Decisionmaking Process from Parents

Casey Robinson: Principal’s Report  We’ve had a lot of events and successes over the past month. We had a very successful Frisbee weekend May 14-15. Our Varsity girls won the entire Southerns and our Varsity boys placed third after being seeded sixth. (Applause!) On Friday May 13, they were pulling out on charter buses to head to Atlanta as we were simultaneously trying to get the other 610 students heading out to 42 different service events.This service day was an idea of a couple of juniors and a couple of seniors. For our first time doing it, I think it was a huge success. I would say 95% of projects were really successful. Kids were outside and I was super-impressed with how they dealt with the rain. They kept their heads up; a ton of the projects were outdoors. It was a really great day and a great idea.We finished two weeks of AP testing. We have the SOL’s starting after Memorial Day. We have never- ending opportunities in the Black Box….Two weeks ago we had all of the middle school music students at Hershey Park. We had a good class trip to Philadelphia….Also we are just trying to have some classes in between all of the events.We have just as much coming in the next six weeks. We have the One Acts. Next week we have some really great music: the last instrumental and chorus concerts of the year are fun events: light and great music and a time to appreciate our seniors. Friday is our last day for seniors to be fully in school. They are embarking on their senior projects starting Monday then on to other senior events.One of the reasons we came to Junetime four years ago was: How do we keep instruction going and interesting all the way to the last day? Junetime is a way of doing that, of learning something that kids may not have had the opportunity to learn about before.Kelly Kabiri, Treasurer’s ReportWe are still cashing checks so the number I give you is not final. This year the No Sweat Fundraiser raised almost $40,000 for the No Sweat Fund. From last year we had an additional $6,000 we did not spend. So that rolled into the $40,000. Teachers asked for $37,800 in requests ranging from small requests to really big requests. Technology is usually a big one. We have the testimonials from grateful teachers posted on the PAC website: 46,000 in total minus the $37,800 we spent for projects in the year that’s now ending means that $8,200 is going to roll into next year’s No Sweat fund, thanks to the amazing generosity of parents.

Vicki Mendelowitz: Report from the County Council of PTA’sI’m the County Council of PTA’s representative for H-B. Anne Hammer is my co-rep, representing the middle school. I represent the high school. Anne is moving up next year to represent the high school and I am moving out.Some of the other [APS] schools are not so wealthy as H-B. So APS is starting a fund that they hope all of the PTA’s will contribute to. Then if a school doesn’t have enough money to fund something, they can come to the County Council of PTA’s, fill out paperwork and a committee discusses their request and decides how much to fund. For example, this year, one elementary school was given $800 so they could take a trip to Jamestown.The CCPTA Fund has just been launched; five or so schools have contributed amounts in the hundreds of dollars.[There followed discussion in which a couple of parents emphasized that money contributed to the No Sweat Fundraiser is under a compact with parents that says every penny will go to H-B. So a donation to the CCPTA Fund would need to be made from other PAC funds.]

Laura Saul Edwards, PAC Co-Chair, reporting in her role at a member of the Stratford site Building Level Planning Committee:Later this week they are reporting on the schematic design….It was discussed earlier in the year by the School Board that this Stratford site, where we sit on Vacation Lane, might not re-open as a middle school until September of 2020 rather than the initial target date of September, 2019. Well, the Arlington Public Schools’ Superintendent’s proposal has now put the schedule firmly back at the Stratford project being done in September, 2019. Secondly, the proposed driveway separating auto from bus traffic, the County Board voted four to one to uphold the proposed driveway.Question from parent Celia Boddington: Will the Stratford program therefore have to move [twice] as was initially anticipated?Laura: I believe so.

Parent Lisette Mondello, pitch on the Arlington County Film Festival: My son so is part of the film program here at H-B. Our film festival is now the Arlington County film festival. We had a fundraiser at Chipotle….the money is used to help pay the judges, film teachers and actors and directors from all over the Washington area. This year we had 195 student films. It has grown incredibly over the past year. It’s becoming increasingly prestigious. We are proud of that.We need a little more help. We have a Signup Genius. On Friday afternoon June 10th, teams from all over the county come, we mix the students from different schools. They have three hours to make a film. We need help that evening. We serve them dinner. And then Saturday June 11th we need some parental help volunteering. It’s an all day festival. So if we send out a Signup Genius in the next week or so, please consider signing up. It is Saturday June 11 and Fest Eve is Friday night June 10th. It is as fun and exciting to see that imagination and creativity is alive and well. It’s at H-B: we are the host.

Kristen Colston update on the Wilson Project, H-B’s new building in Rosslyn: The Building Level Planning Committee approved a schematic design that will be discussed by the School Board on June 2 and voted on June 16th. The meeting can be watched on-line

Votes on Nomination for a Parent Advisory Committee Co-Chair to replace Laura Saul Edwards next year.Laura moves and it was seconded by Meredith Wadman that David Tornquist and Kristen Colston be approved as co-chairs of the H-B Woodlawn PAC for the 2016-2017 school year. The vote carried unanimously.The two positions we really need volunteers for still for next year are the secretary and the ListServ manager.At this point, Casey Robinson and Liz Waters who runs Junetime left the meeting with about half of the parents in attendance to talk about Junetime. Those interested in the College Panel remained in the library to hear a panel of parents talk about the college application process.

College PanelThe Parents on the College Panel were:Lawrence Cheng – his daughter is a graduating senior and his son just graduated from college two weeks ago and is a class of 2011 H-B alumBeth McLean- her H-B senior son is Evan. Her older son is a junior in college.Jayne Bultena – her son Luke is a graduating H-B senior. Her daughter is a 9th grader at H-B.Vicki Mendelowitz; her graduating H-B senior is Dylan. She also has a son in college who went to H-B.Marcy Gessel: her son Ben is a senior at H-B.Our moderator was PAC Co-Chair Dave Tornquist, whose son Matt, a Yorktown senior, is going off to college this fall. His daughter Caroline is an H-B sophomore.Some takeaways:Marcy: I spent a lot of time on Naviance probably more than my son did. I looked at the Scattergrams and the acceptance history. Those two tools tell how your child’s grades and test scores match with how others at H-B have either been accepted or not at that school. It helps you to know what school is a real reach, where he might get money.Fatima in the office has the Naviance password if you don’t get it from your kid.Your child’s TA is his/her counsellor. You may have to ask them for a meeting; some TA’s will reach out to you and others won’t.Google “Common Data Set” – all schools have to enter all kinds of statistics there.Also, the Department of Education’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System publishes all of this information. See their website: also has algorithms allowing you to find and compare colleges. For instance, you can request “schools with a study body of less than 3,000 with ultimate Frisbee and music. “There are lots of filters here which are useful, especially if your kid is overwhelmed.College Raptor has kids’ reviews on various colleges.To make the load of applications manageable, H-B physics teacher Mark Dodge recommends that a student develop a list of their ten top-choice schools, then apply early action to the fifth school, and if they get into that one, then only apply in addition to the remaining top four.Recommended Books:By Lauren Pope: 40 Schools You’ve Never Heard of That Will Change your LifeBy Frank Bruni: Where You Go is Not Who You AreBy Cal Newport: How to Be a High School Superstar Without Burning Out: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out)End of PAC minutes May 17 2016 In Attendance: Casey Robinson, principal; Liz Waters, H-B Gifted Resources teacher; and the following parents: Laura Saul Edwards, Kelly Kabiri, Amy Stock, Celia Boddington, Anne Hammer, Richard Stern, Jayne Bultena, Beth McLean, Meredith Wadman, Jeanne Radday, Helen Tiene, Kristen Colston, Marcy Gessel, Vicki Mendelowitz, Greg Lane, Laurie Miller, Matt Bennett, Lawrence Cheng, Leslie Atkins, Beth Connors, Paula Levin-Alcorn, Jacky Jenks, Maribeth Egan, Lisette Mondello, Deanne Sobczak, Art Saenz, Judy Palmore, Theo Mall, Kathryn Ricard, Donna Alpi, Meryl Corshen, Ken Rybarczyk, Alice Rybarczyk, Susana McTyre, Sam McTyre, Elisabeth Casey, Alison Roser, Debbie Grant, Maria Zemankova, John Cherniavsky, Melinda George, Jennifer Scotti, Heidi Daniel.