SLT – September 2021 Meeting Minutes

Members Present

  • Robert Aiello- Principal I.A.
  • Bridget Ruggiero- Assistant Principal
  • Fredda Pichardo-UFT Representative
  • Theresa Rugolo- Teacher
  • Lisa Catapano- Teacher
  • Jessica DiGiovanni- Teacher
  • Tanya Molito- Parent Coordinator
  • Guadelupe Puryear-PTA President
  • Annlex Arriagada-Parent
  • Jennifer Molina-Parent
  • Genny Martinez-Parent
  • Meeting start time: 4:00
  • Review of Today’s Agenda
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • R. Aiello: We need to establish roles for SLT
  • Bridget Ruggiero -chairperson
  • Lisa Catapano – recorder
  • Annlex Arriagada- timekeeper

R. Aiello: We need a copy of the bylaws.

F. Pichardo: I will have a copy sent to the members so we can review them next meeting.

Review of last meetings Minutes

Minutes approved

Principals Report

Homeless Encampments

R. Aiello: Homeless Problem is not getting better. There is a CEC meeting tonight and Ms. Chan is bringing up the issue at the meeting. It is not safe for our children to walk in the street, walk over liquor bottles or even human feces. Not much is being done so we need to make some more noise to motivate change. We need to provide these people with services and rehabilitation. There is so much garbage in the area.

People are dumping their refuse and garbage in the area. We are contacting the LIRR because a large area where there is dumping belongs to them.

G. Puryear: I have heard that the people who do outreach can’t force them to leave the area. Is there a way we could get politicians or police involved?

R. Aiello: Local representatives we have contacted have not responded. Daniel Dromm always helped us and he is retiring and can no longer help us. It will take a multitude of us to speak up and call 311 and email because if they see the numbers of people that are contacting them we may get results. We need to work together as a community to get this issue solved.

G. Martinez: Wondering if you think a petition could help? Maybe the local businesses could get involved because I am sure they are suffering as well with the issue.

R.Aiello: Yes, I think that politicians seeing hundreds of names on a petition would help. It is my responsibility to protect your children. I think getting a petition together is a great way to get our voice out there.

G. Martinez: I certainly don’t mind doing that but maybe someone could assist me.

F. Pichardo: I’ll help you Genny. I am also thinking of composing an email that the teachers and parents can send daily.

R. Aiello: I think a stock email would be great.


R. Aiello: I am being told the main building busing should be fine. The situation at the Academy continues. The overall dispute is that transportation claims that children walking across Queens Boulevard is not a hazard, when I think it is a hazard. They do not want to provide the buses. We need to have the parents fill out the hazard exemption form to say we need buses there. They sent an additional crossing guard, but it is not the same as buses. It puts a hardship on the Academy for their dismissal. A majority of the students are dismissing from the building now. It’s been in place since 2004. So for 14 years they have been getting it and now they are saying we should not have been entitled from the beginning.

G. Martinez: There are so many parents double parked at dismissal, so maybe we could go car to car and hand out a form they could fill out.

B. Ruggiero: Thanks. We will make sure we have the forms available in all languages.

Covid Protocols/Vaccinations

R. Aiello: Yesterday the court refused to hear the argument against mandated vaccines. All staff must be vaccinated by Friday at 5pm. They must be uploaded by

11:59 pm. Anyone entering the building must be vaccinated. Parents entering must show proof of vaccination.

Any child who is sick during the day is sent to the nurse and she evaluates if there are Covid symptoms. We call it into situation room and send letters out to parents.

If a child is coughing, they will get sent to nurse and since that is a Covid symptom it will be called in to the situation room and it will be put on the school website. Even with all the safety measures in place there are still going to be Covid exposures. All staff members will be fully vaccinated by the end of this week so they do not quarantine unless they experience symptoms . They take a test after 3 days

There may be an example where 1 child attends academy and 1 attends main building and 1 child of your gets quarantined. That does not mean your other child quarantines. Only direct exposures quarantine.

A. Arriagada: If a teacher tests positive and is asymptomatic, will parents be notified?

R. Aiello: If a teacher is positive, they have to quarantine. If they are exposed and vaccinated, they don’t have to quarantine.

G. Martinez: If a teacher is exposed and our unvaccinated children are around them. Vaccinated people can be asymptomatic and then what if after 3 days they show symptoms- you can have a whole class that was exposed. Has this come up as an issue?

R. Aiello: The DOE is saying that from exposure the vaccinated teacher doesn’t need to quarantine because the risk is low enough that they want the staff member in the building for the gains the students will have in education. I think that’s what they are thinking

G. Martinez: I know positive cases get reported to the situation room, but if a teacher tests positive will they quarantine the whole class?

R. Aiello: Everything goes to the situation room. Anytime there is a positive case test and trace wanted a tracking form and everyone on the list would be quarantined except vaccinated individuals. Things will be different because now the students will be less.

G. Martinez: Do you envision losing a lot of staff?

R. Aiello: There’s a lot of privacy laws so I am limited. I can’t ask, but I do have a list of people who have uploaded their status. Fredda reached out to staff to ask them to let the administration know so we are prepared. We have called in extra substitute teachers and extra paraprofessionals this week. The rules keep changing so it’s been difficult. Now the date is Friday. So I called in subs and I have to keep them because I want to secure them so they do not get taken away by other schools. There will be some disruption come Monday.

G. Martinez: What is happening if you are noticing that parents are trying to keep their children home? I hear that some children have not gone in or are absent a lot.

R. Aiello: Children K and up are mandated to go to school. So if someone is keeping the child home then ACS will be contacted. If you do not send your child we call and identify and contact DOE central. They make home visits. Not sending your child to school is unacceptable. Fear is understandable, but then you have to make sure they are getting properly educated.

Expanded Halal Menu

R. Aiello: Met with head of dieticians and we are hoping that we can get a Halal menu. Staff shortages are delaying that, but we hope to get that before Christmas.

G. Puryear: What is the timeline regarding partitions?

R. Aiello- If not by Friday then within next week.

F. Pichardo: How do parents find out results for student Covid tests?

R. Aiello: Parents receive a letter when their child is tested. We are only informed if there is a positive case. If they are not getting results they should call the number on the letter receive when the child is tested. Testing is random. We may have same child getting tested each week and have a child who is never tested. We have been pressing for teachers and staff to get tested if they want to but they are denying the staff to get tested. We push it when we meet with the Superintendent and the Chancellor.

G. Puryear: If a parent gave consent and the child does not get chosen, can they reach out to you to let you know that their child hasn’t been tested so they can get tested?

R. Aiello: Unfortunately it can’t work that way because we get a list. ’m sure if a parent is concerned and they ask I may be able to help them. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

A. Arriagada: Ms. Pichardo when Mia gets tested, I get a text with results.

F. Pichardo: Thank you for letting me know. The reason I ask is because I heard there is a lot of miscommunication with the parents, not as much with the school but more that they may not be getting results in their language.

R. Aiello: The situation room now closes at 3:30 so we have to wait and sometimes the letter is not sent home that day and it causes confusion.

The CEP and Budget

R. Aiello: The CEP is still being amended, but at the next meeting we will bring it up and discuss the goals. When it comes to the budget, we should have more information about after school for parents at the Thursday meeting with the parents. A posting has to go out to teachers and then they apply.

G. Puryear: Saturday programs in previous years was state test prep. Are parents asking for Saturday programs that are more fun for the kids or is it more test prep?

R. Aiello: I get both. Some parents think that their kids have lost so much academically that they need more academics and some parents think that their kids have been through so much so they need to socialize. We are trying to figure this all out. We have to figure out staffing as well. We could also have a CBO coming into the building but this would not be teachers but more of homework help and watching them in general.

PTA Report

G. Puryear: This week we gathered and sent out the membership envelopes. Tomorrow I’m meeting with the photography company. We are thinking of doing a yearbook, We are thinking of trying Spring pictures in April. Are there any dates we need to stay away from?

R. Aiello: I have to get dates for state tests- so that week and the week before I would not do.

G. Puryear-: At main building we had Santa come to school. Could we continue to do that?

R. Aiello: I would love to do that. It’s a positive experience. If you can’t find anyone I will be Santa.

G. Puryear: Before Covid at the Academy we had ice cream on Friday. Can we bring that back?

R. Aiello: I have to find out if that is something that we are allowed to do. There is talk about children under 12 getting vaccinated and that will open up a lot more for us to do.

G. Puryear: Regarding the report for the PTA, we have an opening balance of

$ 12,079.62. We always help the staff with anything they need for graduations and celebrations. We would love to help in other ways, maybe with an assembly or workshop with the kids or some other special event.

R. Aiello: What is nice about PTA is that you have more freedom on what you can spend money on. There are many things that we are limited in using our funding for, so I think you can use your funding for certain things we can’t , so we will get together and discuss.

Let’s come up with some dates for the rest of the year for our SLT.

  • October 26
  • November 30
  • Dec 21
  • Jan 25
  • Feb 15
  • March 29
  • April 26
  • May 31
  • June 21

Meeting End Time: 5:35