PTA Minutes

Note:  PTA Minutes are draft only until approved at the next PTA meeting. 

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
5:30pm – 7:30pm

Student translator: Emily

Call to order and introductions: The PTA meeting commenced at 5:35pm.
The board members present were introduced.

Nominations & elections were for a second co-recording secretary, a communications secretary, a second co-treasurer, and 2 SLT members.

The parent coordinator, Margie, reviewed the handout titled “Communication at Harvest.”
The principal, Kate Burch, made a calendar announcement. They have put as much as possible on the school’s Google calendar. Kate reviewed some upcoming events: the student climate initiative walkout on September 20, and the extracurricular fair on September 23rd. Extracurricular contracts were due on October 1st. Tutoring also counts. Kate reported that signup for AP computer had been successful.

SLT chair & President’s report:
The new chair was purchased for security and had been met with approval. The parent-staff mixer on September 6th was a success. We are working hard to have translators present at every event. Students doing community service will rotate through that role. We want to put up the Harvest sign.

Treasurer’s Report:
The current bank balance is roughly $13,000. We are considering offering small scholarship awards, for example in the amount of $200.

Outreach coordinator:
The outreach coordinator was introduced. The first student fair was on October 3rd. Volunteers are sought to help at student fairs.

Principal’s Report:
Kate discussed her commitment to engaging the Harvest community even deeper this year, to foster the vision of students as producers, not just consumers. She led attendees in an exercise called the Right Question Protocol, in which small groups each generated three topics that they wish to address at Harvest.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.

Submitted by Mallay Occhiogrosso

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Meeting opened at 5:30 p.m.
Kristi Marie Steinmetz was nominated then accepted then approved to be recording secretary for this meeting.
Election Ballots were distributed to all in attendance and elections began.
The Election Results for the Academic Year 2018-2019 are as follows:
PTA Co-Presidents: Natasha and Cherie
PTA Co-Vice Presidents: Claudia Rossi (1 remaining opening)
PTA Members-at-large: Ann Marie Scalia and Kristi Steinmetz (6 remaining openings)
Recording Secretary: open position
Corresponding Secretary: open position
Co-Treasurers: Manju Chattergee (1 remaining opening)
School Leadership Team: Kristi Steinmetz and Claudia Rossi (2 remaining openings)
Members took a vote and approved $1650 for Susan Avery to attend the NACAC Conference in California
Members took a vote and approved the school schedule for next year with Monday remaining a day of early dismissal.

Discussion was had about welcoming the new families at the New Family Welcome at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13th. PTA members that will be there could wear nametags and carry clip boards to get names and email addresses, and along with welcoming the new families.
The executive board meeting of the PTA will be on Tuesday, June 12 at 5:30 p.m.
Other items were discussed concerned getting more parent/guardian involvement such as themed monthly meetings, raffles, 50/50s.
Outgoing co-presidents and incoming co-presidents will meet for lunch to discuss all that needs to be discussed for a smooth transition.
The meeting ended at approx. 6:50 p.m.

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
5:30pm – 7:00pm

A call to order was declared and the PTA meeting commenced at 5:30pm.

  1. Agenda Topic: Math Department Presentation: John McCrann spoke about the math department at Harvest. Math at Harvest is different. Deep, beautiful, challenging, real-world problem solving. used in curriculum. Great resource for parents to help students with studies. After school club for SAT prep being discussed to augment Laura’s SAT prep elective for juniors. Math tutoring offered Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school 3:30-4:30 and Thursdays during lunch.
  2. Agenda Topic: President’s report: Graduation will be at the Kaye Playhouse 68th and Park. $5,160 for 5 hours. Need for more fundraising activities and volunteers. Discussion about selling water bottles, chocolate lollipops for valentines day, string backpacks. Also, should Wine and Cheese be fundraiser. Manju will arrange for free wine donation.
  3. Agenda Topic: Treasurer’s report: PTA approved graduation at Kaye Playhouse and to reimburse Martin $250 for drum circle during intensives.

Submitted by Joan Brothers


Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 11th, 2018
5:30pm – 7pm

A call to order was declared and the PTA meeting commenced at 5:30pm. For the sake of expediency, printed minutes of the last meeting were available and a motion to forego reading and approval was proposed, seconded and passed unanimously. (assumption, since I missed beginning)

  1. Agenda Topic; cell phone use in classrooms: Parents and teachers have expressed concern about cell phone use in the classroom and the consequential disruption to learning, the hypothesis being that less phone distraction and enforcement of the school policy (no cell phone use in class unless for research or to take photos) would improve students’ focus and learning. Suggested solutions were to continue with the current rules, enforce a rule of relinquishing cell phones upon entrance to class rooms (logistics to be discussed), or offer a class-by-class solution . ADC, the lower house Social Studies teacher, has been piloting the use of Yondr pouches; the cell phone is put into a pouch and locked/unlocked by a special “key”; these pouches cost about $20 each but concerns are that they are easily broken. He demonstrated the pouches to attendees, and is planning on doing more research including visiting other schools who have had success using the pouches.Parent suggestions ranged from confiscating phones if used inappropriately, and making parents have to come and sign them out, to make it difficult to get them back fast. Students should learn that they have to follow rules in life, so this is a way to start enforcing that, practice self-control and be present. When teenagers “multi-task” they pay 10-40% less attention that when they are not distracted. In any case, this is not an issue to be resolved immediately; teachers, students and families should be part of this discussion and a survey will be sent out to be able to gather enough data to use in coming up with a suitable solution, to enforce at the beginning of the next school year. It has to be a unanimous decision, should be called a “policy” rather than a “rule” to be effective and all teachers have to be in agreement, otherwise it stigmatizes certain staff, and also could result in a power struggle between teachers and students over handing over phones. The fact that the school does not have a 100% ban on cell phones results in less government funding.
  2. Agenda Topic; Social Studies: Following Museum Night, Social Studies Gateways presentation on world revolutions, Andy di Calvo gave a talk on what the mission statements for this subject. The department works to help students develop the tools, understanding and habits to investigate their place in the world, the nature of their culture and identity, what they can contribute to their community and the historic and social forces that shape who they are. The inquiry-based curriculum promotes skill-building for learners of all levels and prepares students for academic and professional success whilst engaging them with complex ethical questions that situate them personally and politically. They learn to understand the past by questioning what it means to be human and how humans create just or corrupt societies. The belief is that students should use research to find answers to authentic questions, and they demonstrate their progress through benchmark assessments, including 10th grade Gateway research projects and culminating in an Upper House project that reflects their learning over the 4 years. They develop skills of argumentative writing and the ability to access content, read latterly and corroborate information by recognizing genuine sources. Today social media plays such a major part of students’ lives that myths, urban legends and “fake news” can misinform real facts and figures. Social Studies aims to help develop life skills as well as academic ability; there is a strong constructivist pedagogy that encourages critical thinking and collaborative learning. A couple of parents suggested that they present guest lectures in their particular fields of law and advocacy in criminal justice reform and said they were an untapped resource. Kate suggested that the school set up a database with lists and contacts of parents and what they can offer. The school already offers opportunities for parents to share their professional experiences and information as possible career choices.
  3. Treasurer’s Report: Manju presented an interim PTA financial report, to be filed with the principal by January 31st, showing a beginning balance of $7,032.59, income of $3,226.60 and expenses of $1,395.41. The school was unable to get extra funds through Title 1 status, missing only by 2%, so next year extra pressure will be put on families to complete forms; 99% participation is necessary. There is a new fundraising opportunity that is similar to AmazonSmile, with Barnes and Noble who will match funds. Other opportunities to raise more funds include bake sales during community events and Manju will look back over past meetings minutes to reach out to several parents who volunteered to spearhead a fundraising and events committee. Anticipated expenditures include graduation (currently since the school has no auditorium, a space at the School of Medicine has been used and it costs $7,000); senior dues are $80 for cap and gown and $20 for the Yearbook. Kate suggested recycling the caps and gowns to lower costs to families. Research for an alternate, cheaper venue is being conducted, suggestions are welcome.


                Meeting adjourned at 7:00pm

      Upcoming important dates:

  • Monday 1/15 Martin Luther King Day, school closed
  • Monday 1/29 Chancellor’s Conference Day, school closed
  • Tuesday 1/30 school closed for students; school resumes with regular schedule January 31st
  • Tuesday2/6 SLT meeting 4:30-5:30pm, PTA 5:30-7:00pm


Submitted by Barbara Lakin, PTA Recording Secretary


Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 5th, 2017
5:30pm – 7pm

 A call to order was declared and the PTA meeting commenced at 5:35pm. For the sake of expediency, printed minutes of the last meeting were available and a motion to forego reading and approval was proposed, seconded and passed unanimously.

  1. Presidents’ Report: Fundraising was addressed; one suggestion is to promote more school merchandise to be sold to students and to families at community events. Currently sweatshirts are available, but the range of products might be expanded upon to include logo tees, caps, water bottles etc, and the quality needs to be assessed to ensure that the product is durable. An AmazonSmile account has been registered for the school; in order to benefit the school whilst shopping online at Amazon, customers must first go to their profile, click on “select a charitable organization” and type in “Harvest Collegiate High School”. For eligible purchases at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.
  2. Principal’s Report. Kate had good news on the results of the NYC Department of Education school quality report and passed around a draft of the snapshot view. Harvest Collegiate is in the upper quadrant of school quality with regard to performance and impact (developing higher academic standards for unscreened incoming students), scoring well in all categories, but especially well in school leadership.

Winter Intensives will take place in the new year; for 5 days straight (Tuesday January 16th to Friday January 19th, students have an opportunity to learn and explore something new and also gain a 0.5 credit for most choices, which will go on their transcripts. There are 22 different options and it is hoped that most students get matched up to one of their first 4 choices, but with nearly 500 students, this is not always possible. The intensives are a highlight of the school year for many students  and provide a memorable experience.

The subject of drug use within the school, and how it is dealt with, came up. Many high schools have incidents of cigarette smoking and use of marijuana and “juuls” which are a vaping device that is harder to detect than a conventional e-cigarette due to size and appearance. High school students are more vulnerable to being influenced by peers to partake and although they are warned about how the effects can cause brain cells to be killed off, they generally have a mellow attitude towards recreational soft drug use. At Harvest Collegiate students discuss the legalization of marijuana in the  Social Studies class “Looking for an Argument”, so are aware of many pertinent facts and figures of drug use, including the statistics on how race and socio- economic status play into the issues including incarceration for drug offences. Some parents view marijuana as the gateway to more serious drugs, but this is not a universal view and there is a big difference between recreational drug use and addiction. However, it was agreed that prevention is necessary; students are educated in all health issues including alcohol and drug abuse, and Kate will investigate drug-prevention organizations  whose staff can provide more guidance to students at the school.

The water fountains have been out of use and are being fixed or replaced; in the meantime water is available in the school cafeteria.

A school nurse will become a reality soon; it seems there are enough students with medical issues to warrant having one on site, and a letter will be sent out for both students and families to be able to provide data to the DOE as proof of  the need.

Once again the subject of language offerings came up; Spanish and French are available in Upper House, but the school’s philosophy is to be narrow and deep in education and since they cannot cover everything, it might be better if students who show an interest in studying a foreign language undertake classes as an extra-curricular activity.

The recent media coverage of sexual misconduct in many areas of industry, politics etc was mentioned, and it was suggested that this be discussed in advisory along with other topics such as bullying. The issue with social media and how much young people are using it constantly is a matter of concern; cyber-bullying is used to harass or humiliate and can lead to serious consequences including suicide. The use of an outside advisor (either DOE or non-profit) will be investigated. Social media and its negative impact on how young people relate to each other is already discussed in an Upper School workshop “Consent and Coercion”. It is also necessary for students to understand that all online activity is of permanent record and a negative representation on social media websites can be damaging in terms of providing unwanted information to would-be employers or college admissions counsellors who now want to get more background on potential applicants.

A brief report was made on the recent Model UN trip to Berlin; Harvest Collegiate High School was the only NYC public school that participated. It was described as a cultural experience that was community based and students interacted with fellow delegators as well as learned about diplomacy and international relations.

The meeting adjourned at 7:00pm.

Upcoming important dates:

  • Monday 12/18 12:45pm: Ice Skating Trip for students and families
  • Thursday 12/21 5:30-7:00pm Winter Solstice Potluck and Concert
  • Monday 12/25/17 to 1/1/18 Winter Break, school closed
  • Tuesday 1/9/18 SLT meeting 4:30-5:30pm, PTA 5:30-7:00pm

Submitted by Barbara Lakin, PTA Recording Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

PTA meeting commenced at 5:40pm. Special Presentation and Principal’s Report: Susan Avery and Tara Williams, the 2 college counsellors, introduced themselves and asked families to identify what grade their student was in currently, and asked if anybody knew how many colleges there are in the US (4,000) and how many students transfer and graduate from a different college than the one they started at (36%). They pointed out that although “collegiate” was in the school name and it was important to prepare for college, that it should not cause anxiety, for either academic standards or potential cost. It is most important for students to match to suitable colleges, and legacy colleges can be detrimental for a student; their own interests have to be paramount. For such a small high school it is rare to have 2 full-time staff members dedicated to college application and counselling, and their room (525) is always open for students and families. They gave a hand-out “Harvest Roadmap to College” which showed the path and preparation leading up to applications; 9th grade is a time to get used to the high school experience, build skills, learn to organize, be independent and productive, keep up academic performance and join extracurricular activities including sports and explore interests; sometimes a career path can be less than obvious. Local college trips are taken covering a variety of public and private, 2 year and 4 year courses to show choice. Also it is important to consider applying for open honors which give extra credits on the transcripts. At the beginning of 10th grade students start to work on Gateways in math, English, social studies and science, and continue to explore extracurricular clubs and do community service; Gateways need to have been completed to be able to move up to Upper House and prepare them for Capstones,  and in addition, 55% of HCHS students take AP classes. Kate stated that depth is preferred over breadth; colleges are more interested in sustained interests and genuine passion than creating an impression with an achievement tailored for college application. For example, babysitting and child care, whether paid or not, is considered to be a more than valid experience. Susan and Tara can be contacted about summer jobs and community service placements that can be used for applications. By the end of 11th grade students should have researched colleges and see if they qualify for EOP/SEEK state funded financial aid. Students can apply to 2 year or 4 year colleges, and 2 year college is an excellent start and can lead to transfer of credits to a 4 year college; HCHS has only had 2 graduating years so far but 2/3 of its alumni are attending 4 year colleges (the national average is 30%). If a student is aiming for 4 year colleges, they should register for SAT prep (there are many low-cost or free options, including online). It is recommended that any student with a 85+ GPA should register for 2 SAT II subject tests. NYC has a “College Access for All” initiative offers SAT testing for free. Also they should get letters of recommendations written by 2 teachers in whose subjects the student has done well. In 12th grade, all SUNY applications must be submitted by November 15th, and FAFSA (financial aid) applications before Winter Break. The school holds 2 “lockdowns” (on October 27 and November 10th) to help students complete applications without distractions. 4 Capstones must be completed to graduate to college level work, and it is recommended that students commit to a college that requires taking out less than $8,000 a year in loans (most of the stress of college application is finance-related), but different colleges have different criteria for scholarships and it is important to Google them to see what their endowments offer. Also some colleges do not require SAT or ACT scores for qualification; it is recommended to go to the Fairtest website to see 950 institutions who are “test flexible” or “test optional” and do not use standardized test scores as requirements. Governor Cuomo is offering financial aid to families who earn under $100,000 a year through Excelsior scholarships, but these only apply if the recipient stays in New York State for 2 years after graduation. If he/she leaves, the money is considered a loan and has to be re-paid. In the US 70% of students graduate with $25,000 to $30,000 in loan debt, but repayment schedule and amount can be negotiated if necessary, and delayed if the graduate is not employed. Colleges to whom HCHS students have successfully applied include many SUNY and CUNY schools ( Adelphi, Bard, FIT, Hunter, Albany, Oswego etc)  and Brandeis, Columbia, Cornell, Swarthmore, Oberlin, Kenyon, Denison and more. Also it was suggested by a 9th grade parent that students look into studying abroad; so far no HCHS student has applied, but a representative from St Andrews in Scotland will be visiting the school to talk to students, and many European universities are free or low cost, and can offer courses in English. 2 parents asked about information on joining the military or a military academy; the school has no direct contact but will research.

Presidents’/Treasurer’s Report: Co-president Elena Gonzalez made a motion to waive the reading of the September’s minutes; the motion was seconded and the minutes passed unanimously. Elena presented the 2017-2018 Budget  which listed the anticipated expenses of $7,720 and anticipated income of $10,500 for the 2017-18 period,( based on last year’s figures), leaving an anticipated fund year-end balance of $11,705. The proposed line item expenses included college bus trips,  in-school community events, and honorariums.  Additional line items were added to the budget for (an increase from $600 to) $1,000 for the college counselors  for professional membership and in-school events. Elena also made a special appeal on behalf of the Model UN student group to add a pledge to  the student event line item of $500 for an increase of up to $1,000 for an upcoming Model UN trip to Berlin for 10 students as they need to pay about $1,500 per student (for flight and hostel stay) since it is the school’s policy that no student should be denied participation due to lack of funds. In the interest of transparency, Elena made it clear that her daughter was one of the students going on the trip. Additional support is being obtained independently by the group through a GoFund Me account and other fundraising events such as bake sales. Kate also mentioned that since the school has no auditorium, an alternative  venue for the graduation ceremony has to be considered and for costs (TBD) to be offset by the PTA. Suggestions of The New School and Cooper Union, both local institutions, were made and will be researched. A motion was made to approve the budget; it was seconded and unanimously approved.

A flyer was available for information on the PTA Family Giving Fund which would pay for many extracurricular programs and academic support. Donations can be made by check or Paypal and although the school has 501c3 status it has not yet been registered ( but should be soon so that families can get corporate matching funds for the year end and other larger donations can be sought out. Kate also emphasized the importance of completing lunch forms, (even if a family does not qualify and lunch is free anyway), as it can mean $100,000 in funding for the school.

There were no candidates for the open positions of co-treasurer or co-secretary, but 3 positions of “members at large” (who attend executive board meetings but cannot vote) were filled by Sherry Carr, Natasha Baras and Gloria Arriagada, and a class representative, Paula Hajar, was nominated for 12th grade, completing the roster for all grades.

Upcoming important dates:
Monday 10/9 Indigenous Peoples/Columbus Day: school closed
Wednesday 10/18, 5:30-7:00pm: Special Education at Harvest
No November PTA meeting
Tuesday 11/7 Election Day: school closed
Thursday 11/9, 4:30-7:30pm: student led parent-teacher conferences
Thursday and Friday 11/23 + 11/24: Thanksgiving recess, school closed
Tuesday 12/5 SLT meeting 4:30-5:30pm, PTA 5:30-7:00pm
Adjournment was at 7:00pm
Submitted by Barbara Lakin, PTA Recording Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

PTA meeting commenced at 5:30pm. Co-president Elena Gonzalez welcomed everybody present for the first PTA meeting of the year and asked everybody to introduce themselves.  There were a lot of 9th grade families attending and they spoke of their children’s experiences in the first few days within the new school community. Elena waived review of June’s minutes; they were approved, seconded and passed unanimously.

  1. Principal’s ReportKate introduced herself to new families and explained the structure of the school as a part of the Consortium School community, and how teachers can design their own courses to encourage critical thinking, creative analyses and challenging college-level academic research by students, whilst adhering to the 7 Habits of Heart and Mind, as well as offering some AP classes. She announced the largest school size since inception, of around 5oo enrolled students, but also emphasized the need to keep the student voice heard in the structure of advisory and student government for discussion of pertinent issues. She also commented on the many achievements of the faculty including published papers, status as Master Teacher, PhD qualifications, authorship of blogs and experience of teaching at college level, as well as citing their international and multicultural backgrounds. She named the newest hired members of staff, Ana who will teach forensic science and pre-med, Rob Collazo who will be the new music teacher replacing Orlando who retired, and also the return of Sheila Kossoff who will teach French Literature and social psychology. We will have an extra special ed. teacher., Mary Anne Keeler, and a part-time dance, health and PE teacher, Laura Fitzgerald. Kate was asked by families about learning languages, and although Upper House curriculum offers choices of Spanish and French, it is believed that in the Lower House, if too many subjects are offered then students cannot do in-depth learning including double periods of certain subjects. Therefore course choices are somewhat limited in freshman and sophomore years, in junior and senior years many more options are made available  including forensic science, and students can study language (including study of culture and literature) for up to 2 years. Kate also encouraged new students to sign up for the many extracurricular courses, clubs and tutoring made available either on site or at nearby locations.A ceramics program is starting and Will Reardon, of NY Stoneware, has volunteered the use of his kiln to students. Kate also introduced Margie as parent co-ordinator , in her 2nd year at HC, and Mike as vice-principal, who has a PhD from Stanford, is in his 4th year at HC and is responsible for administration, as well as Katia, math specialist and Mary Anne Keeler, the new special education teacher.
  2. President’s ReportElena explained the roles of the SLT and PTA and announced open positions for both. Bill explained the SLT’s function in school governance issues and addressing the 6 points of the rubric guideline determined by the School Chancellor. The candidates for the 2 open positions on SLT were Catherine Jacobs, an art and language teacher who is already on the SLT, and Christie Steinmets, a new parent who is a professor of literature and gender study at NYU and The New School. Both were unopposed and voted in unanimously. On the PTA, the 2 co-presidents, 2 vice-co-presidents, co-treasurer and corresponding secretary volunteered to continue in the same roles from last year, and there were no candidates for the open positions of co-treasurer or co-secretary, or 2 positions of “members at large” who attend executive board meetings but have no voting rights. In addition, 3 parents volunteered to form a fundraising committee; Claudette Allen, Maura Barley and Janice Cruz. Also class representatives were nominated for 9th, 10th and 11th grades and one is needed for 12th grade.
  3. Treasurer’s ReportManu explained the function of the treasurer, to organize finances and budget, and the recent initiation of a $500 discretionary fund for Kate’s disposal to cover small expenses,  and addition of line items such as annual bus trips so they could be financed without going to a general vote, to save time. There is a current annual budget of $8,000 that covers expenses such as community building events and contribution to the Model UN trip. Currently fundraising is limited to bake sales (at Curriculum Night etc) and the Wine & Cheese party which, although primarily a community event, in fact made about $1,000 profit. The non-profit status of 501c3 has been approved and soon it can be used for getting corporate matching grants and donations. The Title 1 status is contingent on families completing the lunch forms (his determines the number of students who qualify for free lunch; anything over 60% will add $100,000 to the school budget) so it was emphasized that all parents complete the forms by mail and online, regardless if they think they qualify for free lunch or not.
  4. Treasurer’s Report:

Upcoming important dates:

    1. Friday 9/15: Back to School Picnic at Madison Park near 26th Street 5-7pm light refreshments; bring a blanket to sit. In case of inclement weather, location will be at Harvest Collegiate High School.
    2. Thursday and Friday 9/21 + 9/22: school closed for Rosh Hashanah.
    3. Tuesday 10/3 SLT meeting 4:30-5:30pm, PTA 5:30-7:00pm.

Adjournment was at 6:55pm

Submitted by Barbara Lakin, PTA Recording Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 6th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

The meeting began with a performance by the after-school Dance Club, who performed to Andra Day’s “Rise Up.”

Presidents’ Report: Joan Brothers reported on the success of the Wine and Cheese event. We raised ~$1,000 at the event (~40 attendees). Now that we have our 501c3, we have set up an account with NYC We will use this to solicit donations, in lieu of PayPal. There will also be an increased social media presence (Facebook/Instagram). Elena introduced the procedures for elections. The group then opened the floor to nominations. 

Elena Gonzalez and Joan Brothers were nominated, uncontested, to continue as co-Presidents.

Chris Hayes and Claudia Rossi were nominated, uncontested, for the position of Vice President.

Barbara Lakin will continue as Secretary.

Manju Chatterjee was nominated and will continue as Treasurer.

All nominees were accepted (uncontested).

Members at Large: no nominations (we will bring this up and solicit nominations in September, as in the past)

SLT: The group nominated and elected two members at the meeting and will nominate/elect two more in the fall. Ron, Chris, and Claudia were nominated. Each nominee gave a short presentation about what he or she would bring to the SLT. A ballot election was held. Claudia Rossi and Ron Diorio were elected.

PTA members moved for the recording Secretary to cast the electing ballot for the entire assembly to elect the candidates to office. The candidates were elected.

Manju updated the PTA on the Association’s finances:

Opening balance               $6820.79
Deposits                           -2159.00
Expenses                          -1054.00
[as 5/31 Ending Balance    $7925.79
Pending Check for $50, awaiting clearance]
Actual Balance          $7825.79

SLT Report: 25% of Harvest Students are on an IEP, and the group discussed this. The group discussed working to communicate better with parents. Also discussed was the fact that the facilities committee will have to figure out what to do when Harvest’s lease is up in 4-5 years. It was discussed whether seniors (next year) should focus, during the second half of the year, on internships and co-ops. It was also discussed that the student members of SLT might, more formally, communicate with their peers.

Principal’s Report: 10th graders put together a Humans Right’s Conference (on education, refugees, LGBTQ+, women’s rights, and Indigenous rights) which was a great success and well-supported by outside organizations. The Fall 2017 course catalog is now available. We only have two teachers moving on (Grant Chen and Liana Donahue (who will still teach art part-time and an intensive). We are re-gaining Sheila Kosoff, who is coming back to teach French literature and film (and social psychology). We have a new science teacher: Anna Solovenya, who will be teaching forensics and an advanced science elective, “pre-med.” We have a part-time dance, health and PE teacher, Laura Fitzgerald, who will teach an advanced Dance elective. We will, for the first time, start a Ceramics program. Will Reardon, of New York Stoneware, has volunteered to offer his kiln for students to use. Our music teacher, Orlando, is retiring. A new music teacher, Rob Collazo, will be joining us. Another special education teacher, Mary Anne Keeler, will be joining us. Kate went over some of the new courses being offered in the fall. Paul-Michael Huseman will be pioneering a Video Game Design course. Theater will also be coming back to Harvest. Journalism Club will become a new elective course, which will produce The Harvest Tribune. Many more new courses will be offered. Harvest held an event, modeled on Swarthmore’s program, called “chocolates and choosing,” where students explored potential colleges and college-level opportunities, e.g. College Now and AP (100% of rising seniors participated). There will be a new “College Now” Statistics course, which will be taught by Danny Ramos. Kate discussed Harvest’s special relationship with Hunter College. A number of courses are offered through this partnership. We also had the first ever fashion show, put on by the Fashion Club. Kate discussed next week’s schedule: capstones, roundtables, prom, graduation, etc. Next Thursday, June 15th, there will be a “New Family Welcome” at 5:30pm. 

Action: the PTA voted to set aside money, as necessary, up to $500, which will be discretionary and at Kate’s disposal for use between now and graduation.

The group discussed a welcome picnic to be held at a park (perhaps Madison Square Park or Hudson River Park) on the first day of school. 

The meeting was adjourned shortly after 7pm.

PTA minutes faithfully submitted by Todd Barnes, outgoing PTA Secretary.

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

PTA meeting commenced at 5:50pm. Joan Brothers welcomed everybody present and waived review of April’s minutes; they were approved, seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report: The PTA paid for 2 bus trips to visit college campuses and it was suggested that in future certain expenditures become a line item in the annual budget since they will become a regular disbursement and if they are already included in the budget it will not be necessary to vote on them. Kate also suggested that we set aside a budget for stipends (professional speakers and alumni helping with tours) and also ask the staff for a “wish list” of equipment or supplies that might be anticipated.  Many teachers do not require big budget items, except music (for replacement + upkeep of instruments) and science. The school was able to get computer carts worth an estimated $3,000 and just paid $200 for moving expenses. It is estimated that graduation costs about $6,000, including cost of venue. A recent donation of $2,500 was received. The current balance is around $6,500.

Principal’s Report: It was discussed during SLT that we try for a deeper communication with families so parents understand what is going on in the school and what the students are doing. The school has a Facebook page that needs expansion, and Kate would like to see more social events for parents and guardians; already a Book Club has been formed and the first reading suggested was a 1963 article by James Baldwin on what it means to teach, “A Talk to Teachers”. Students have been studying the work of James Baldwin.

Kate discussed Gateways and Capstones, the metric to show who graduates and the rubric that explains the various levels of study (approaching Gateway, approaching collegiate, cum laude etc). Gateways are aligned with Common Core standards, are rigorous, and as part of the consortium school alliance, replace Regents exams in everything apart from ELA. Gateways and Capstones are similar, but in Capstones there are 2 more evaluators and peer reviews are optional. They are intended to offer skills for life and prepare for the intellectual work in college, so become more sophisticated as students move up grades. In the Lower House there is a core content for classes plus structured reading and study groups. In Upper House, in addition to this there is independent research, and there are much more course choices including World Religions, Sociology, Philosophy and Macroeconomics. The 9th Grade social studies “Looking for an Argument” sets the foundation and for Capstones the student cannot present until he/she is ready, and needs the approval of 2 teachers who review and give feedback. The claim has to be solid so a commitment has to be made, and in some cases an initial claim doesn’t work so the subject may need to be changed. If it is a minor element, the student can try to improve their work, but if it is obviously not working, they have the option to change topic.

There are 40 Consortium Schools in NYS and the state requires students to pass 5 Regents exams, but these schools have exemptions from all but English, so schools are legally bound to prove performance assessment instead of standardized tests. It has been proven that colleges value the Consortium School philosophy and can sometimes request Capstone presentations in a student’s application. The only area where Harvest Collegiate breaks with Consortium standards is that it offers AP courses. Since the school has an innovative and committed teaching staff it can offer subjects not currently offered and the #1 request has been for a Philosophy course.

More college acceptances have been recorded and a complete list of colleges will be on the website, and on May 10th there will be an official College Signing Day.

Upcoming important dates:

    1. 5/11 6-9pm Wine & Cheese Friendraiser, adults only community-building event
    2. 5/12 Guitar Fest
    3. 5/29 Memorial Day; school closed
    4. 6/6 SLT meeting 4:30-5:30pm, PTA 5:30-7:00pm

Adjournment was at 6:50pm

Submitted by Barbara Lakin, PTA Co-Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

The meeting began at 5:40pm.

  1. The PTA voted to waive the reading of the minutes.
  2. The PTA voted to approve two bus trips for junior students to visit colleges, one visit to New Paltz and another to Princeton & Stevens ($1675 and $1045 respectively).
  3. SLT Report:
    1. The GSX (Gay-Straight Alliance) sponsored a lunch, the LGBT+ Solidarity Forum, yesterday (with break-out discussion sessions) went well, and many students stayed.
    2. SLT discussed the Comprehensive Education Plan, particularly, school leadership (the direction of the school): there is a need for more administrative/leadership help. A plan is developing to have teachers take over some of the responsibilities that might more traditionally fall to an Assistant Principal.
    3. The recent bake sale raised roughly $500. Also, we have an active fundraising drive, and a few hundred dollars have come in. On Monday, the PTA donated $160 in food for the GSX (Gay-Straight Alliance)-sponsored event. We also donated to the Solidarity Forum for Immigrant and Muslim Students.
    4. After many years, we are now, officially, a 5019(c)3.
  4. Principal’s Report:
    1. College: Students are being accepted by many impressive colleges, many by their first-choice: Brandeis, Cornell U, FIT, Oberlin, Goucher, and many SUNYs and CUNYs.
    2. Special Events: LGBT+ Solidarity Forum; Holocaust survivor speaker; part-time filmmaking teacher (Esther de Rothschild), who is also a professional filmmaker, offered a special screening for students (featuring Harvest students); on Friday, Barbara (our co-secretary and a textile designer, along with a Parsons professor and one of her current students)kicked off the Career Luncheon Series; also on Friday, the school hosted a Coffee House event. Upper house students once again have morning meeting together in the main room.
    3. Capstones and Gateways: Kate presented examples of Capstone and Gateway assignments (and student work) in the social sciences. She offered to share work and assignments done in other disciplines. Parents were invited to look over the materials and bring questions/comments to the next meeting.
    4. Drug Prevention: Kate informed the PTA of a recent increase in problems at the school relating to student drug addiction and abuse. The school has been working with affected families.
  5. Courtney Okeke, an Adolescent Health Educator with Be Better Brooklyn, gave a presentation about a new, free, five-week“OASAS- (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) approved alcohol and substance use prevention program,”called Refuse, Remove, Reasons (RRR), which takes place during school for upper-house students. Students attend, once-per-week, for five weeks, during PE. Students can choose between this program and a leadership course.

The meeting ended at 6:59pm.

Respectfully submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Co-Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

The meeting began at 5:30

  1. Minutes were approved.
  2. Voting item: The PTA approved a $100 honorarium for a Broadway actor (Les Miserables, which the students are reading), doing work at the school in David Sherrin’s class.
  3. Voting item: The PTA approvedtwo $50 stipends for two alums to attend the trip to visit SUNY New Paltz ($100 total).
  4. Susan Avery and Tara Williams then took over to host Harvest’s College Meeting for Families. Parents were given a presentation, a packet of information, and answers to their questions about the college application process.
  5. Kate’s Principal’s Report:
    1. Class of 2021 was admitted today, a very diverse class, speaking many languages. b. International Women’s Day:Students, faculty, staff organized activities during lunch today around International Women’s Day.
    2. Kate spoke about colleges becoming more competitive. She reminded us that the core skills and habits of mind emphasized at Harvest—reading, extra-curricular activities, taking care of their well being—are preparation for college and life in general.

The meeting ended at 7:00pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Co-Secretary

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 7th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

PTA meeting commenced at 5:55pm. Joan Brothers welcomed everybody present and waived review of January’s minutes; they were approved, seconded and passed unanimously.

    1. 501c3 Update: Joan reported that Alex had filed a 2 page short form 2 weeks ago that should be processed within 2 months (the long form is 23 pages long and takes 18-24 months to process). The short form self-certified status only allows for up to $50,000 annual funding but the aim is to get the short form for now and also apply for a long form for future. Due diligence has to be reviewed with the previous filing and during the first week of March a meeting will take place to review documents and confirm they were filed correctly, or see if additional information is required. There are issues of liability if filing is incorrect, including a possible audit. The budget runs a calendar year, and the disadvantage of a short form (which is valid for 3 years) is that with a cap of $50,000 there may be opportunities missed to receive a bigger outside donation. However, if more funds are offered, a request to the IRS can expedite the process so that they can be accepted. The PTA budget is not the responsibility of the principal and government stipulation does not allow a PTA member to receive any payment other than reimbursement for legitimate expenses.
    2. Fundraising: it was suggested that an e-blast be sent to families to request that they or their extended family and friends donate through the website (the school has no official request for annual dues). The number of donors is more important than the amount of money, as it indicates how much participation families exercise in the school community. Another suggestion was to request that people pay for certificates that would cover a specific item, for example “$X = 1 hour of internal tutoring” etc.
    3. Event that requires funding: Kate cited a number of academically adept juniors and would like to organize an overnight college trip tour of 4-5 schools around April 11/12th (during Spring break) for 20 students whose GPA would be a factor in selection. It will cost approximately $7,000 in total cost, but the PTA will need to contribute funds.
    4. Alternate funding to the school can be made outside of the PTA in 2 ways, if funneled through the DOE, and allocated specifically to the school, they receive 100% of the money. Alternatively, the Fund for Public Schools is a non-profit organization that can receive funds supporting public schools (either in general or a specific school) but they take a 7% administrative fee that ironically causes more paperwork on the part of the school.
    5. A meeting with Susan and Tara, school college counsellors, for “Collegiate Futures” is slated for March 8thand was requested as a separate meeting to the PTA, but it was decided that to avoid meeting overload on families, it would be incorporated and be the theme of the PTA meeting with extra time allocated. Also it was decided that  each month a specific topic pertinent to HCHS be featured to attract more participation and a wider audience at PTA meetings. Kate suggested that the topic for the April meeting be Gateways and Capstoneswith a reading of discussion on understanding expectations with rubrics to families, and also habits of mind.
    6. Parent representatives have not yet been able to contact families as Margie has not yet received enough confirmations for sharing contact info, but their help would be good in advocating for donations and getting better attendance at community building and fund raising events.
    7. Elena discussed a fundraising opportunity called Groupraise ( which is a website that lists many affordable restaurants in Manhattan that participate; the school gets 15% of any bill, and it was suggested that maybe even a group of parents might want to book a table together to raise money and also socialize. Chris would like to organize a “Dad’s Dinner” (a gender-focused gathering in a social setting) because traditionally mothers tend to be more involved in school activities.
    8. Event to fund raise; Wine and Cheese Party, which is a social event but the hope is that it could also be a vehicle for fund raising with a donation or ticket cost, and maybe also a silent auction. Venue is yet to be advised as an affordable option needs to be researched, but it will take place in April.
    9. Principal’s Report: Kate announcedmore exciting news regarding the school:
      1. Juniors took the English Regents and 92% of 11th graders are qualified as college ready.
      2. Quality Review: took place on February 2nd and 3rd and involved students, staff and parents, and the school scored the highest possible score.  It was described as having a joyous school culture where students felt safe, there is mutual trust between students and teachers, there is a high rate of diversity and habits of heart and mind and meaningful acts are engaged. It also had the highest resource allocation and a rigorous curriculum where the humanities team was described as “knocking it out of the park”, and had the highest score on collegiate expectations. (Most students have the luxury of not having to count credits as 44 are required, but most HCHS students have over 60 by the time they graduate). Minor areas for improvement were in math and science where until now the lesson plan was not the focus, and there is a need to use more text books. All AP courses have some IEP students and the school is on track to meet the goals of seniors expected to graduate
      3. Student Protest March against Immigration Policy. Many students marched and although not officially sanctioned by the DOE and noted as an absence from school, the idea of advocacy and standing up for beliefs is encouraged and Kate contacted parents of students for permission to participate. There will be a Celebration of Muslims and Immigrants (commitment to diversity and peace)   in school on Monday February 13th at 12:45 involving a Potluck; parents are welcome to attend and the PTA called a vote (approved) for a budget of $200 towards refreshments.

Upcoming important dates:

        1. 2/20-24 school closed for Midwinter Recess
        2. 3/8 PTA meeting featuring Collegiate futures for Families

Adjournment was at 6:55pm

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 10th, 2017
5:30pm – 7:00pm

5:30-6:00pm Parents were invited to view Museum Night (Social Studies Gateway exhibitions)

The official PTA meeting commenced at 5:58pm. Joan Brothers welcomed everybody present and waived review of December’s minutes; they were approved, seconded and passed unanimously.

A vote was called to approve an honorarium (about $100 for a gift) for a Broadway actress who visited the school and talked to students.

      1. SLT Report: Ron reported; right now the subject is budget and CEP, and each month one goal out of 6 will be discussed. This month the schools supportive environment was addressed and with feedback from the SLT, some changes were proposed. Also the current status of Gateways  and Capstones, streamlining student assessments and teacher evaluations. The senior trip was also discussed; a day trip to a dude ranch in upstate New York was proposed, and logistics from actual date to possible financial help need to be appraised. It was also suggested that monetary gifts, funded by the PTA, be distributed to students at graduation for outstanding achievements. The 501c3 process is taking longer than anticipated and there was a 1/13/17 deadline; possibly a financial incentive could be given to get a volunteer to help push this through; a lawyer is not necessary, but the work involved is onerous. The 501c3 status has been discussed since the inception of the school and would help the school get much-needed donations and corporate matching funds. Also a fundraising team needs to be formed with a volunteer to head it so the PTA can organize future events, either for fundraising or community-building (or both); thus far events have not been planned very far ahead and request for help has been ad hoc and sent out prior to each occasion.
      2. Principal’s Report: Kate cited a few encouraging items regarding the school:
        1.  Museum Night; students did deep research and wrote 5 page papers on a revolution (French, Haitian or Iranian). This invited authentic conversation and was accompanied by original artwork by students.
        2. Math Round Table; Chris and other parents have organized this for 10th grade students to present their projects to peers, staff and parents and invite challenging questions  that can be discussed as a group.
        3. First HCHS Alumni Day was a huge success: over 40 alumni from as far away as University of Hawaii ( plus Swarthmore, Columbia, Perdue and many SUNY and CUNY schools) came to give feedback on how their high school experience had led them to be very well-prepared, especially in Humanities. In Science and Math they felt less prepared, so Kate feels that the school may need to offer more text book teaching and not be so experiential in approach. Alumni felt that they had the necessary time management skills, that their interpersonal exchanges with professors were easier because they already addressed their high school teachers by first name, they had a good grounding in critical-thinking and that essays were easy because of all the preparation they already had. The students who moved away from home seemed to generally happier than those who stayed in New York (possibly living at home for budgetary reasons) but most seemed very happy with their colleges. One shock for them though was that they felt in general that in college “nobody cared” because they had had, and were accustomed to, such a nurturing environment at HCHS.
        4. Intensives: started this Thursday 1/12 and will continue for 6 full days through the following week (Monday is Martin Luther King Day).  Families should have been given packets that include permission slips where relevant. Parents are invited to see exhibitions on January 23rd at 11:00am. January 24-27 are Capstone and Gateway presentations.
        5. Due to the success of Alumni Day, it was suggested to collect all alumni info and start a Google Group; this could be useful in 5-10 years. Kate said that alumni are allowed to retain HCHS e-mail addresses and encouraged to forward any message onto their new e-mail addresses. There is already an alumni Facebook page established.
        6. 32 current seniors have already been given early decision placements into colleges that include Oberlin, Clark, Emerson, Hofstra, Vermont, Goucher New Paltz and Westbury. Students do not need to have completed all Capstones for acceptance into colleges, but do need to finish them in order to graduate.
        7. Million Woman March January 21; Adam and Sally have organized a trip for about 20 students to take a roundtrip bus to DC costing about $40. There will also be a rally in NYC near Trump Tower on the same day.
      1. Upcoming important dates:
        1. 1/16 Martin Luther King Day; school closed
        2. 1/12-20 Winter Intensives
        3. 1/23 @ 11:00am Intensives exhibitions; parents invited to attend
        4. 1/23 Lower House End-Term Ceremony; students only
        5. 1/24-1/27 Capstone and Gateway presentations
        6. 1/30 Chancellor’s Day; school closed to students
        7. 2/27 next PTA meeting.

Adjournment was at 6:55pm

Harvest Collegiate High School
PTA Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
5:30pm – 7:00pm

Meeting commenced at 5:40pm. Joan Brothers and Elena Gonzalez welcomed everybody present and waived review of October’s minutes for the sake of expediency.

          1. Election s were held for co-vice president, co- secretary and co-treasurer. New members were elected; co vice-president Chris Hayes , co-secretary Barbara Lakin and co-treasurer Manju Chatterjee. In addition, class/grade representatives volunteered; 9th grade Barbara Lakinand Martin Fleisher , 10th grade Bryn Bowenand 12th grade Ina Pannell- St. Surin. Several parents including Vanessa Palmer, Bryn Bowen and Gloria Arrigada, volunteered to be members-at-large to help with school events, etc.
          2. Treasurer’s report; nothing has changed much since last month, with an account balance of around $6,000. However there are some upcoming expenses such as pizza for the Potluck dinner, the Teacher Appreciation  Breakfast  etc. Although Kate managed to achieve promised funding of an extra $50,000 for next year, many expenses need to be covered; $90,000 for after school activities, $7,000 for the graduation venue and upper  house college visits. Fundraising ideas were discussed, from suggesting year-end donations to the PTA using Paypal (we cannot get matching grants from employers yet as we still do not have 501c3 certification, which most businesses need for tax purposes, but we are in the final process of getting this completed). However, a letter will be written to parents and families and e-mailed, and also distributed at the Potluck dinner, and families will be encouraged to also pass this on to extended family and friends.
          3. Principal’s Report:
            1. Kate discussed expenses and also community-building events from and ice skating trip at Bryant Park on Monday December 19th (leaving school at 1:15pm), Winter Solstice and Pot Luck Dinner (with musical presentation), and a Peace Sing morning meeting on December 23rd where students will have a sing along and be offered hot chocolate to drink.
            2. Kate had many wonderful things to share, from students working on rigorous projects, discussing literature, challenging math and helping each other to learn. There has been a Restorative Justice training to repair the recent troubling events in the lower house community, and extra-curricular activities are at a 64% participation, although ideally it should be 85% or more, with 30 clubs and tutoring available.
            3. HCHS has had 3 very complimentary reports on the school; a November 14th article  by Michael Mulgrew, president of The United Federation of Teachers about HCHS and how diversity drives excellence, one in NY Metro last week and an upcoming one in Chalk Beat, for which 2-3 hour interviews were conducted. Attendance for the 2 Open Houses was around 2,300 and 16 middle schools conducted tours of the school. The school is becoming a model for diversity in a city that has extremely segregated school districts.
            4. Progress Reports will be sent out next week; this is the final grade that will not appear on the transcript, so if grades are not up to standard, this is the time to buckle up, especially since this is a short term ending January 31st. Winter Intensives start in January with a large choice of 7 days of learning in one specific area; choices are to be submitted by Friday December 9th and on the final day, each group will do a presentation (around 11:30am on Monday January 23rd).
            5. Kate requested a vote on a calendar change; Tuesday January 3rd is the first day back to school after the midwinter recess, so she wanted to ask if they could apply a Monday schedule (with early dismissal at around 11:45am) to allow for staff development. Votes were cast and approval was unanimous.
          4. SLT Report:    Elena and Kate discussed the topics that included the use of electronic devices in school; officially there is an “off and away” policy in school, but some students use their cell phones between classes and also have to use them to complete certain studies, so a hardline crackdown is not implemented as it could cause conflict. The school will be receiving additional resources by having a DOE SAPIS (Substance Abuse and Prevention Specialist worker (most likely a licensed social worker)  to help with safety and drug/alcohol abuse, which is more of a problem in the Upper House but will also be offered to Lower House as a cautionary guide.                                                                                                                                                  The library will be open at lunchtime with a faculty member present and it is used by all students, especially upper house college and Capstone applications.                                                                                                                                                                The Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP), implemented by the DOE, will comprise of a 50 page document that measures assessments, goals and action  plan, rigorousness of instruction and strong family-school communities; it is a framework for the school to work upon, and is a compact between faculty, students and guardians.
          5. A parent brought up the issue of an Instagram account that was set up just before Thanksgiving, called “Harvest Exposed” and he was concerned about cyber bullying within the school. Kate responded that the account was quickly shut down and was not discussed with the general student body as this would possibly inflame the situation further.
          6. Upcoming important dates
            1. 12/21 Midwinter Solstice Potluck Dinner 5:30-7:15pm including musical performance.
            2. 12/23 –Last day of school 2016
          • Adjournment was at 7:15pm.

 PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting began at 5:35pm.  The two PTA chairs Joan Brothers and Elena Gonzalez introduced themselves and started the meeting.The minutes of June 2016 were approved.

Principal’s Report

          1. Students should be participating in extracurricular activities, either Harvest activities or other activities.
          2. There was a fight outside of school involving a Harvest student.  The school will be addressing the issue in discussions with all students.
          3. Shirlene Blake has been named state dance teacher of the year.

Treasurer’s Report

The June end of year balance sheet was handed out at the meeting.  More budget details will be discussed at the next meeting

College Counselors

The college Counselors Tara Williams ( and Susan Avery ( were invited to the meeting and told parents about the college process at Harvest.

          1. In Lower House (9th and 10th grade) the college process is discussed in Advisory class.
          2. In Upper House (11th and 12th grade) the college counselors meet students in Advisory class and individual meeting.
          3. For financial aid the counselors help parents prepare FASA forms (federal financial aid form) and families can look for individual scholarships on
          4. There is a College Intensive option in January
          5. Starting in 9th grade students visit at least one college a year
          6. Tara and Susan have reached out to colleges sending out 500 letters with a profile of Harvest and followed up with emails.  As a result a number of schools are visiting Harvest such as FIT, Perdue, Swarthmore, Oberlin, and SUNY Purchase.
          7. The school has a SAT math prep class.
          8. About 70% of Harvest students apply to 4 year colleges.  For SUNY schools students need a B average or better so this is important for students to know early in high school.

SLT Election

          1. Two new parent representatives were elected to the SLT Maura Bairley and Catherine Jacobs
          1. The first SLT meeting will be on Tuesday, September 27 from 4:30-5:30pm

The meeting ended at 7:00pm.

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

1. The group voted to approve the minutes of the 5/10 meeting.

2. Election: The group voted to approve the panel of candidates for executive
offices: President (Elena and Joan); Vice President (Robin); Treasurer (Tamara); and Secretary (Todd).

3. SLT Election: Danielle, Mark, and Ron ran for SLT. Danielle and Ron were elected (in a very close election) to serve next year. Two more at-large members will be elected in the fall (to allow first-year student parents to join).

4. Principal’s Report: Kate urged parents to look at the “Enhanced learning” section on the website lists an amazing host of college acceptances (98% going to college; ~60% of those going will go to 4-year colleges and ~40% will go to 2-year colleges).


Kate reported on capstone progress. The faculty has decided to create a process like the “capstones” for teachers; they have set goals and will participate on the City-wide Chancellor’s Day. Faculty transitions: Two faculty members are moving on (Beth Krone will go to Ohio to pursue a PhD in English literature; Pam Hallson is moving home to Wisconsin); Lucas Johnson will be our new English teacher (graduate of Brooklyn Tech; Brown University) with interests in Afrofuturism, magical realism, and popular culture; we have two strong candidates for the science position. Our college counselors will continue to provide services (both full time). Armand, who teaches French, ASL, and ELL, will be joining Harvest full-time. We will also continue working with Brittany, a part-time counselor, who inaugurated BASE (Brother and Sister support) and will be taking over our internship program. We had a nice event for upper-house students, called Chocolates and Choosing, where students worked toward thinking about their majors. Kate presented information about how College Now and AP courses have better prepared students for work in college. Course selection will be on June 28th. Kate passed around a form, though which students (for rising 11th and 12th graders) can register their interest in College Now (a partnership with Hunter College). Kate announced next year’s (potential) AP courses: AP history; AP macroeconomics; perhaps AP science; AP environmental biology; AP English; there will be a College Now statistics course at Harvest for advanced students in statistics; the school is considering AP calculus; perhaps AP computer science. On Tuesday June 21st there will be another college preparation workshop for parents. This session will include information about financial aid.
5. Treasurer’s Report:
a. Alex will meet with the examiner next week to finalize our 501(c)3 status.
b. See the attached chart for a funding update.
c. The group discussed the Wine and Cheese event (publicity).
d. 1) Kate suggested that we host an informal welcome event early in September next year (perhaps at a park).
2) Kate discussed the rising costs of cap, gown, yearbook, prom, photos, and the senior luncheon. The school ends up without discretionary funds to help individual students who cannot afford these costs. Kate asked the group if they would be willing to contribute in this capacity.
e. The group made a motion to allocate $1000 to the school for “senior activities.” The school can allocate this money based on individuals’ needs. The motion passed. An additional motion decided that the PTA executive committee has the authorization to add an additional $500 if needed.
f. The group made a motion to approve our estimated budget. The motion passed.

6. SLT Report:

Ron reported: the group discussed security issues (security of lockers, bags,
phones/electronics, etc.); the group discussed course selection options for
students with IEPs (24% of students have IEPs); the group discussed
extending opportunities in sports and athletics (SSAL vs PSAL; Harvest
students will be competing in the PSAL championship this Saturday); the
group discussed upkeep of facilities—there is a new facilities group which
will make maintenance more efficient; the group discussed a grant to expand
outreach for admissions. Dr. D discussed restorative justice.

The meeting was adjourned at 7pm.

Submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Secretary

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The meeting began at 6:00pm and was adjourned at 6:45pm.

1. Minutes: Vote to approve April 2016 minutes: the minutes were approved.

2. Elections: Nominations for Co-president, Co-Vice President, Co-Secretary, and Co-Treasurer for election in June: We have two people nominated for Co-President (Joan and Elena); one nomination for treasurer (Tamara); one nominations for Secretary (Todd), and one nominations for Vice President (Robin)

3. SLT Report: Kate announced recent awards. Harvest was one of six schools nominated as a Model in Mastery of Learning school. The school also won the UFT excellence in education award. Mock elections were held here over the last few weeks (Trump and Sanders won in both upper and lower house). The Coffee House Night was a great success. There will be elections for two spots on the SLT committee at the June meeting. The group discussed the budget of the college office—there are two staff members, one of whom, this year, ran out of hours. The group discussed how to deal with this next year. Senior parents will be surveyed about their satisfaction with the college application process. Graduation was discussed (100 capstones are still not complete; 98% of students have enough credits to graduate). Lower house is having a glow party, complete with a rap battle, an Xbox battle, a Yu-Gi-Oh! battle, music, and more.

4. President’s Report: Teacher Appreciation Day was a success. The PTA Board approved giving money ($885) to pay for the bus for juniors to make college visits. The PTA (retroactively) approved this expenditure. Pam expressed that she was very impressed by our school’s college counselors.

5. Wine and Cheese: The group discussed the date of the venue Paula’s suggested (a photo studio in Chelsea) for our Wine and Cheese Event. The venue is $600, and we’re estimating that 60 people will attend. The group discussed how much to charge each person attending (teachers get in for free)—either $20 or $25, or $20 in advance or $25 at the door. The group decided on June 9th. Pam will check this date with Kate. She will also discuss the time of the event.

6. Remind: Margarita Rodriguez spoke to the group about “Remind,” a texting
service for school announcements. This is a program for parents and students. Students, for example, can request texts to wake them up for school. Parents can request texts to track attendance. PTA meeting announcements are also possible.

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

Meeting began at 5:45 pm.
–Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 3. The PTA will again buy bagels this year and parents will be asked to contribute baked or store-bought items
–Two student films created for the January intensive will be at the Tribeca Film Festival
–Harvest won a UFT (United Federation of Teachers) Team High School Award
–Junior students will have the opportunity to visit high schools on April 21 and April 22 if they do not have capstone presentations. The schools are Drew University or SUNY Sullivan Community College on Thursday and Wesleyan or SUNY Farmingdale on Friday

College Presentation by Harvest college advisors Susan and Tara
–Senior college acceptances are listed on the bulletin board outside the college office
–Seniors talked to juniors about their college application experience
–By the numbers:
Our college counselors completed 215 recommendations, 112 calls to colleges, FASA (financial aid application), college board
Good Debt vs Bad Debt
The counselors talk to seniors about Good debt vs Bad debt for college. It is important not to have too much debt but it may be necessary to borrow some to get a college education
Students taking the SAT need to prep. Although there are some SAT optional schools, that will limit student’s choice of schools.
Hudson Guild has free and low cost tutoring
Harvest has a free SAT review program for juniors on Monday afternoons
Fee waivers are available for SAT reading and math
— What are Colleges Considering?
In order of importance:
1.GPA in College prep classes
2. Overall GPA
3. SATs (most 2 year colleges do not require SATs
4. Recommendations, Personal Statement, Essays, Extracurriculars
— Community College
2 year colleges can be a great place to start and then transfer to a 4 year college.

The meeting ended at 7 pm.


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

Meeting began at 5:45 pm.

1 The group voted on the election of a new co-president and Joan Brothers was elected.
Two parents running unopposed were elected to open spots on the PTA Executive Board as Members-at-Large–Manjulika Chatterjee-Bowen and Elena Gonzalez. There are still open positions available for members at large as there can be up to 8.

2 The SLT discussed:
– a first dance for the lower house
– the seniors’ graduation that will take place at the Academy of Medicine
– ongoing work on curriculum.

3 Margarita Rodriguez introduced herself as the new Parent Coordinator. She has 7 years of experience at a public school in Brooklyn and is excited to Join Harvest Collegiate. She can be reached at

4 Ekene ( goes by E) introduced herself as the new theater teacher. She is trying to bring guest artists, choreographers or costumes designers to talk to the students. The Parent Association voted and approved to provide up to $200 for an honorarium for a workshop at school for the Drama Club and other interested students.

5 The group discussed the choice of names for the 501 (c)3. The result is: Friends of Harvest Learning Incorporated. Alex Hartnett will be putting in the paperwork for the 501(c)3. We hope to have it in place by the beginning of next school year.

6 The location for a wine and cheese party in May was discussed again. Ideally we need a free or cheap space and any suggestion is welcome.

7 The principal informed us that the visit of the school by the Superintendent went well. She also told us that the college advisory for juniors is now starting intensively.

The meeting ended at 7 pm.
Submitted by Paula Moureaux-Nery, PTA co-secretary.


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

Meeting began at 5:45.
1. The minutes from the previous meeting were approved.

2. The group discussed the election of a new co-president. This will be an expedited election. This was announced, also, at the last meeting. Nominations can be made via email. At the last executive meeting, fundraising was discussed. Should the PTA do another wine and cheese event like last time, or would the group like to do a Barnes and Noble event? The group discussed getting 501(c)3 status.

3. Principal’s Update (Kate):

a. The winter intensives were wildly successful. She reported on various intensives: Master Chef, Filmmaking club, Pi Performance, DIY club, Stairway to Harvest, Art Museum travel to Philadelphia, college immersion at Swarthmore, “Awake” (which combines philosophy and physical education), “Urban Male” (which looks at African-American and Latino masculinity, social justice and institutionalized racism), Band Camp, Model UN at Yale, “War in Syria” (with a Model UN simulation), Capstone Intensives, and more. She discussed the murals and affirmations painted in the stairwell.

b. The culture and humanity of the school is developing well. Academically we are doing well. There are yet some challenges. The students did well on the English Regents. Of all 11th and 12th, 60% have met the CUNY college readiness standard; 23% passed the standard to graduate, but haven’t yet made the CUNY standard. Of seniors, all but 4 students have passed. 161 students are in AP courses; 18 in fall and 18 in spring enrolled in College Now (at Hunter and John Jay).

c. On Friday there was a formal staff satisfaction survey, which was a testament to the quality of the students, staff, teachers, and administration. Kate read the enthusiastic responses, which were very, very positive. The staff looks to improve by a) integrating programs, b) helping teachers work collaboratively, c) helping to support students who struggle, d) strengthening relationship between teachers, staff, and students, and e) deepening and strengthening the culture of the school.

d. New Hire: World languages teacher for American Sign Language and French

e. New Hire: Margarita Rodriguez, the newly hired Parent Coordinator

f. New Hire: A community associate to run the Student Life Office

4. SLT Report (Ron):

a. Discussion of a new hire—there is a new guidance counselor for upper house.

b. There is a new Student Life Center, a space for students to come for assistance.

5. The group introduced themselves to new members. The group spoke about their reasons for choosing Harvest.

6. The group discussed ways of building school-parent relationships: potlucks, back to school nights, open school day, gateways, roundtables, extracurricular presentations, etc.
The meeting ended at 6:53
Submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Secretary


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:45pm. Adjourned at 6:45pm.
1. Treasurer’s Report:
a) The school did meet the requirement for Title 1 funding however some outside grants will cover costs of trips and other extracurricular activities.
b) PTA received over $400 in donations in December.

2. Kim resigned as co-president of PTA. This opens one Executive Board spot which will be determined at next Executive Board Meeting

3. SLT Report:
a) CEP objective: Creating a supportive, safe environment for students
b) SLT student members asked for more challenging work
c) Students asked for Lower House Social

4. Principal’s Report:
a) Interviews are being conducted for new full-time parent coordinator
b) In addition to parent coordinator 4 positions will be added: Community Associate, School Aide, World Languages Teacher, part-time Guidance Counselor/Yoga Teacher
c) Kate discussed CARA: College, Access, Research, Action
d) Sheila will bring to Harvest a College Counseling Bridge program
e) Winter Solstice was a big success as was the a new tradition of a Peace Sing
f) Revolutionary War Museum will take place on 1/20 from 4:00-5:30 pm
g) Kate discussed Lower House Geometry Roundtables to discuss how to make math relevant and meaningful
h) Kate will distribute special and Winter Intensives schedule and Spring Course catalogue
i) Kate announced the publishing of David Sherrin’s book, The Classes They Remember, Congratulations David!

5. Miscellaneous:
a) Gateways and Capstones will be presented starting week of 1/25
b) The group discussed forming standing committees vs. committees based on need/project
c) Clara asked about more structure for volunteering
d) The group discussed the need for more fundraising ideas/opportunities
f) Next Executive Board Meeting will be Tuesday 1/19 at 5:30 pm


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

1. Treasurer’s Report: The budget is the same. Nothing has been spent or raised this month.

2. SLT Report:

a. 60 families have still not returned lunch forms. These families are receiving daily, automated telephone reminders.

b. The school is still figuring out its budget, trying to determine how much administrative support is needed.

c. Trip to Budapest: Laura gave a report on the trip. It was a great experience for the students and the chaperones. The students were able to see what life is like outside NYC, outside the States.

d. The group reviewed the Chancellor’s new CEP objectives, which involve working with the community. One objective involves a program called “Strong Families.”

d. Update from Dr. D on the Discipline Ladder (Restorative Justice) is in conflict with the Chancellor’s new disciplinary code. Some consequences were removed from the schools’ prerogative. The threshold for one-day suspensions was lowered.

e. Emergency preparedness and evacuation plans were discussed.

3. Winter Solstice Party, Concert, and Potluck:

a. The group discussed decorations/organizing for the Solstice event on December 22nd. Geneva is working with Tamika Watson, who does very impressive balloon decorations. The group also discussed other logistics: time, food, entertainment, etc.

b. The group also solicited volunteers to help with the event.

4. Principal’s Report:

One student earned a Posse Scholarship, several were accepted to SUNY, and another student was accepted to Aldelphi (her first choice).

On Friday, over 50 students performed as a part of Guitar Fest.

The Deputy Director came and toured last week and wrote a glowing report to Kate (see the attached Principal’s Report).

The school also won a Blackboard Award (see more in the attached Principal’s Report).

5. Misc:

1. Alex asked about the Book Fair to be held at Barnes & Noble. We now know how to do this, but it seems like it won’t be possible to organize one this semester.

2. The group returned to a discussion of the Winter Solstice Party, Concert, and Potluck. The group will craft an email announcing the event, details, suggestions for food, and a PayPal link for parents to donate in lieu of bringing food.

3. The group discussed finalizing the 501(c)3 designation.

The meeting ended at roughly 7pm.

PTA Minutes submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Secretary


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

Meeting was called to order at 5:38

President’s Report: We held our first Executive meeting last week. At this meeting, Lauren volunteered to do research to solicit local business to donate food for our Solstice event. Alex has also done research on how to finalize our designation as a 501(C)3 (nonprofit) organization. We need a Statement of Purpose. The group was solicited for ideas to inform the Statement of Purpose. The group also discussed Geneva’s suggestion that we register through the Amazon Smile program, which would allow the Harvest PTA to receive a small portion of what customers spend on the website. The group also discussed a Chipotle day, a day on which students and parents (esp. seniors during lunch) eat at Chipotle and receive a money back on every purchase made in support of Harvest. We also discussed planning a book fair at the local Barnes & Noble, a similar program. Notably, we are also allowed to hold performances in the store space. The group discussed the plan to hold a performances on that day, potentially December 3rd and 4th. Kim also reported that Harvest teachers have noticed that the main foyer of the school is sterile and lacking in decorations. Dr. D has received approval to paint in the area. We also discussed building benches top place near the windows (to prevent students from leaning on the windows). Kim requested that, if anyone knows an available carpenter, this might be a great volunteer opportunity. Kim explained a “fund a wish” idea, wherein we solicit parents for money for the benches. Kim told the group that the best way to approach funding would be to spend PTA money on the benches and then raise it back later. A recently closed church has raised the possibility of donating a few pews. Kim suggested that students may cover the pews with stickers. The group also discussed potential mural projects. Dr. D explained the custodial issues involved (canvas vs. directly on the walls). Kim also discussed creating Harvest sweatshirts, t-shirts, and water bottles which we can sell at various Harvest events.

Principal’s Report (Dr. Michael Dunson Reporting for Kate Burch): Dr. D announced that Harvest recently won the prestigious “Blackboard Award.” The school is a “Rising Star Honoree.” Wednesday, Dec. 2nd is the awards ceremony. We have 25 tickets for staff, faculty, students, and parents. The group was solicited to attend.

Student-led parent teacher conferences are this week (Thursday 5-8/Friday 1:30-3:30). The school is still trying to get lunch forms returned. There will be a computer set up where parents can go online and fill out the form. If we still lack the required number of forms, the PTA will be solicited to help.

Upper house begins its new quarter today. Their schedules will largely change as a result.

This week Harvest held a college application “lockdown.” Students couldn’t leave until they filled out college applications.

We have a new theater teacher, Ekene Okobi, “E.” Susan Avery will also return as our part time College Counselor to support our 118 seniors.

Additional announcements from SLT meeting: Pam reported: Queen’s Terrace on the Park is a potential location for the Prom. The New School also has a potential space for graduation.

501(c)3 Nonprofit Mission Statement: The group brainstormed ideas for a mission statement. The group decided to keep it simple: to support Harvest teachers and students and to provide educational enrichment.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40.

Submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Secretary


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:44, when Kate Burch introduced students from the senior catering internship, “Harvest Catering.” Brian, a senior, talked about the group and notified all that they are gathering donations. Sally Abdelghafar, who coordinates Harvest internships, shared with the group that nearly every senior is now interning. Some students are even creating their own nonprofits.

Kate then introduced two new mathematics teachers: Julia Shube and Danny Ramos.

Kim announced that the upcoming open houses will be Oct. 22nd and November 10th. Volunteers are needed.

1. Principal’s Report (Kate):

a. Spotlights on Harvest: Harvest was chosen as a “hidden gem” in the New York Post.
NY1 came to film at the school, where they observed students in classes discussing literature and dancing. NY1 came to review our participation in the innovative Progressive Redesign for Schools of Excellence (PROSE) program. City council members will come to the school tomorrow, 10/21.

b. Harvest by the Numbers: Kate distributed “Harvest by the Numbers,” a list of statistics about the school in the style of the Harper’s Index. The numbers highlight the school demographics (e.g. languages spoken, number of National Board Certified Teachers, teacher retention rates), academic indicators (e.g. essays written and books read per week, percentage of students who have passed the regents, etc.), and cultural indicators (e.g. number of clubs, attendance rates, etc.). (See attached handout)

c. Updates/Upcoming Events: 1) Now is the time to make sure that student who wish are enrolled in open honors. 2) The short schedule on Mondays is meant to accommodate departmental meetings for faculty. There will be less “experiential trips” (though there will be some, along with advisory activities). Students in lower house (9th or 10th grade) are required to do 25 hours by the end of 10th grade; the short schedule on Mondays can also accommodate this requirement. 3) Parent-Teacher-Student led conferences will be November 19th-20th. Please make sure to attend. 4) Kate reminded the PTA of the “restorative justice” fairness panels. 5) College night will be Oct. 28th from 5:30-6:30—for juniors and seniors. 6) Thanks were extended to Kim Colon Cullen, Ina Pannell, and Pam Mancini for volunteering for the citywide high school fair. 7) Oct. 22nd, we will be hosting over 700 people for our Open House at Harvest 5:00-7:30. Please email if interested. 8) Kate reviewed the “out lunch” policy change for upper house students and reported its success. 9) The group discussed making handouts (like “Harvest by the Numbers” available at Open Houses)

Kim discussed the PTA calendar and Giving Fund. She also promoted the Winter Solstice event, encouraging more parents to attend. She also solicited the group for ideas for raising funds/support for such events.

2. Treasurer’s Report: Since there hasn’t yet been an executive meeting, there is no formal treasurer’s report. Pam informed the group that the PTA’s current balance is $7260 (including a recent, generous donation of $400 via PayPal).

3. Misc. Notes:

Pam reminded the group that the SLT committee will be meeting before PTA meetings from 4:30-5:30.

Kate announced that, as Tyree will be moving on to Hunter College, we will be hiring a new Parent Coordinator. Please let Kate know if you’d like to serve on the hiring committee. The search will begin in January.

Kate reminded the group of the importance of parents turning in lunch forms. We need these forms filled out in order to be eligible for Title I funds (over $150,000!).

The group discussed fundraising ideas: auctions, painting events, community building, etc.

Ina let the group know that Random House has made a donation of free books to Harvest. The donation included a signed and dedicated copy of Rachel Swaby’s Headstrong.

The meeting was called to a close at 6:48pm.

–Submitted by Todd Barnes, PTA Secretary

Harvest Index
Fall 2015

Harvest Collegiate by the Numbers
Number of students: 473 including 9 fully included D75 students
Home languages spoken: Albanian, Arabic, Bahas Indonesian, Bambara, Bangla, Bhutanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Cantonese, Dutch, French, Fulani, Hebrew, Irish, Japanese, Kreyol, Mandingo, Mandarin, Mongolian, Polish, Serbian, Spanish, Tagalog, Tuvaluan, Twi.
Faculty: 35 full-time, 2 part-time, 2 social workers + 2 college counselors, 4 interns
Number of National Board Certified Teachers: + official “Master Teachers” + Teachers
qualified to be School Building Leaders: 4 +1+4
Positive response on official NYC survey on School Commitment, focus on learning, parent-teacher-principal trust, teacher-principal trust, teacher-teacher trust: 97-100%
Teacher retention: 95% Teacher attendance: 96%
Number of applicants for 2015: 2,461

Academic Indicators
Average number of books read in one year of Lower House: 41
Percentage of 12th graders on track for four-year graduation: 98%-96% Regents passing!
Percentage of all students on track for four-year graduation: 96%
Argumentative essays written each semester: 8-16 (most students)
Labs performed and analyzed each semester: 5-15 (most students)
Upper House student meeting our own internally high Common Core college ready standards in English/science/math/history: 73%
Percentage of students taking one or more classes for “Open Honors”: 28% (last year)

Cultural Indicators
Average number of students per Advisory for personalized guidance: 16
Extracurricular Clubs (in addition to sports): 25 this year
Student participation in extracurricular commitments: 82% last year
Number of student-led affirmative Morning Meetings: every day, four days a week in LH
Percentage of sophomores doing community service in New York City: 68% last year
Families attending parent-teacher conferences: 61-86% last year
Fairness Panels for restorative justice: 3 so far Suspensions: 4 so far
Number of teen pregnancies over four years: 0
Percentage of freshmen on overnight ropes course & teambuilding trip: 81%

FAQs about Harvest Collegiate

What is the theme of Harvest Collegiate? You are. The purpose of Harvest is for all of our students to learn to think—deeply and well.

How do you do that? All of the learning goals in our courses are aligned to key habits of mind and heart: Curiosity, Evidence, Perspective, Connection, Voice, Responsibility and Creative Contribution. Students must present projects they are proud of—a complex math problem, historical research paper, a literary analysis, or science lab—to panel by the end of 10th grade (their Gateway) and by the end of 12th grade (their Capstone) in order to graduate.

What is your curriculum? Students at Harvest take 57 credits, more than the 44 required by the state for graduation. In addition to four years of English, Math, Science, Social Studies (plus Advisory and PE every term), students in the Lower House additionally have independent reading and music every day, so that every student learns a musical instrument, and becomes an avid reader! In the Upper House (11th and 12th grade), students have a vast array of advanced electives including Filmmaking, Economics, Dextar and Dostoevsky, Entomology, French Spanish or Japanese, Theater, Internship, Studio Art, Hot or Not: Thermodynamics, advanced music or an Advanced Placement class (offered in Calculus, English, Econ, US History, Environmental Science).

What extracurriculars are offered? Robotics, Jazz, GSX, Sailing and Boatbuildling, Model United Nations, Math Team, Outdoor Adventure, Ambassadors, Chess, Cooking, Salsa, Art Club,

How do you promote your commitments to: Peace, Diversity, Growth? We organize the school for teachers to know students—through their small group Advisory and by keeping the school experience more intimate through the two Houses. If a core value is broken, we have a Fairness committee (of students and teachers) for restorative justice. We challenge all students through Open Honors and support them with caring teacher and after school academic programs.

What is a typical day’s schedule?
Breakfast starts at 8:00am and we ask you to be here by 8:20 at the latest for a prompt start to 8:30 Morning Meeting or Advisory. As our theater director says, on time means 10 minutes early!

What are you facilities like? We have three science labs, a library as well as five additional classroom libraries, five laptop carts for all classroom use, a class set of Ipads, a dance studio and a fitness room.

Uniforms and lockers? No uniform, please dress overall appropriately. Yes, you will get a locker.

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, September  16, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:36pm.  The minutes from June 2, 2015 were approved.

–Welcome (PTA Co-President Kim Colon-Cullen)
Kim welcomed everyone and spoke about the PTA plans for the year.  The main focus of PTA fundraising this year will be funding extracurricular activities.  The balance at the end of last year was about $7,500.  The executive board will meet to make plans for the year.  These meetings are open to all parents.

The next PTA meeting will be on October 20, possibly with a meet and greet at the Whitney Museum (adults only),

–Principal’s Report (Kate Burch)
Class Schedule
There is a new upper house (11th and 12th grades) schedule this year with four long classes each day.  The schedule of classes will change in mid-November. The schedule change allows for more credits–7 credits plus advisory and physical education.

Calendar Vote
Kate reviewed the calendar for the school year.  (This had been sent home with students last week.)  The parents voted on the change listed on the calendar for 1/19, 2/2, and 2/3 which will be used for Gateway Presentations.  (These are Regents Testing dates on the DOE calendar).  Parents voted by ballot to approve the change for those 3 dates in 2015-2016 as listed.

–Elections (PTA Co-President Pam Mancini)
Each position and the election process was described before the election.  Parents may serve more than one position.

The SLT has 5 parent representatives–2 are elected in June, 2 are elected in September and 1 is the PTA Chair or a PTA Co-Chair.  The SLT meets monthly and meetings are open to all parents to attend.  SLT is mandated by state law and includes parents, teachers, students and the principal.  The SLT is charged with ensuring parents’ participation in the goasl of improving student performance and ensuring a well-functioning community and drafting a Comprehensive Education Plan.

At the meeting, elections were held by ballot for (2) SLT Parent Representatives. Elected to the 2 remaining positions for parent representatives were Mark Schwartz and Danielle Williams.

The PTA positions of president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary were filled at the June election.  The positions were filled with co-positions for each.  At the September election up to (8) members-at-large are elected to the PTA Executive Board.  This allows all families (including new families) to serve on the Executive Board.  The role of a members-at-large is to attend monthly Executive Board Meetings and to serve as chair of a committee.  Committees are determined by the PTA Co-Presidents after the election.

Class Representatives
Class representatives keep parents informed about issues particular to their grade and plan social activities for their grade.  It is a voluntary position that can have more than one rep.

PTA Positions 2015-2016*

Co-President Kim Colon-Cullen Pam Mancini
Co-Vice President Clara Mosquers Geneva Musgrave
Co-Secretary Todd Barnes Paula Moureaux-Nery
Co-Treasurer Tamara Carroll Jennifer Goodman
Member-at-Large Joan Brothers
Member-at-Large Lauren D’Isselt-Knowles
Member-at-Large Alex Hartnett
Member-at-Large Tamika Watson
Class Reps 9th Joan Brothers Tamika Watson
Class Reps 10th Milagros Rios
Class Reps 11th Paula Moureaux-Neary
Class Reps 12th Bridget Rivera

SLT  2015-2016

5 Parent Representatives Ron Diorio Jennifer Goodman
Pam Mancini Mark Schwartz Danielle Williams

*There are still positions open for members-at-large and class representatives.  Please email if you are interested in serving.

The meeting adjourned at 6:50pm.

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:40pm and the May minutes were approved.

— PTA President’s Report (Pam Mancini)

●  Updates: Teacher Appreciation Breakfast, Friday May 8; Wine & Cheese Reception, May 15 were both very successful PTA sponsored events.
● Change to PTA Bylaws: The following amendment to the PTA bylaws election section for Co-Treasurer and Members-at-Large were approved:
Changed: The election of PTA Treasurer is changed to Treasurer or Co-Treasurer
Added: The PTA will elect up to (8) Members-at-large to the PTA Board at the first PTA meeting of the year. A member-at-large must agree to serve as a committee chair. The committees will be determined after the election by the PTA President or Co-Presidents.
It was clarified that these are additional positions available and neither a Co-Treasurer nor all 8 member-at-large positions are required to be filled

PTA Nominees from May meeting were approved in an uncontested election since only 2 people were nominated in each co-position. The election of 2 SLT reps were approved in an uncontested election since there were only 2 nominees. (A parent may serve on both the ● PTA and SLT)

PTA Officers Elected for 2015-2016
● Co-Presidents: Kim Colon-Cullen and Pam Mancini
● Co-Vice-President: Clara Mosquers and Geneva Musgrave
● Co-Secretaries: Todd Barnes and Paula Moureaux-Nery
● Co-Treasurers: Tamara Carroll and Jennifer Goodman

SLT Parent Representatives for 2015-2016
● Elected Parent Representatives: Ron Diorio and Jennifer Goodman.
● PTA Co-President Representative on the SLT: Pam Mancini
(The two remaining SLT Parent Representatives will be elected at the September PTA meeting.)
— Treasurer’s Report (Alex)
● PTA approve expenditures voted by the PTA Board since the last meeting for $122 for pizza for the Harvest Spring concert on 5/28 and $200 for the Harvest Student Block Party 5/29
● Harvest Spring Reception Totals, Projected Finances for the year, Proposed Budget for next year as presented at the PTA meeting are at the end of the minutes
— School Leadership Team (SLT) (Ron)
June 15 is the last day of classes and the last day of school is June 26. Students do not attend for the days between unless they are presenting or attending a gateway/capstone presentation or working with a teacher preparing their project. Any parents may attend the presentations and there will be a schedule.
SLT works on goals to ensure the budget reinforces the CEP goals
— Principal’s Report (Mike Dunstan–Dr. D)

● Title I Funding
The school budget will be reduced next year by $100,000 directly from the loss of Title 1 Receiving any Title I Funding depends on documenting the number of students eligible for free lunch so it is important for the school to receive these forms. This year even if the remaining forms had been returned, the school did not make the percentage for Title I. This could change in future years.

● Schedule Changes for Next Year
9th and 10th grade are the lower house and 11th and 12th will be the upper house. The upper house will change to a different class time schedule with 1.5 hour blocks for some classes and a quarter system for classes. Most parents were in favor of this change. The advisory groups will be either lower house or upper house rather than all grades. There will be 3 lunch periods next year–2 for the lower house and one for the upper house. Outlunch will be available for the upper house lunch period since there is not space for everyone. Outlunch is being piloted now.

● Building Issues Update
Although the drinking fountains have been fixed there are still 2 outstanding issues–roof leaks and a gate in one of the stairways that is not alarmed.
There is a yearly building safety meeting on June 11 at 10:00am that parents may attend. Meeting will take place at Legacy.
●Senior Class Events–Prom, Senior, Trip, Graduation
A group of parents is needed to help plan/fundraise for these events next year. (Send an email to the PTA if you wish to help.
— Planting for Harvest Fundraiser for Fall Enrichment (Pam Mancini)
The PTA will begin a fundraising appeal for Fall Enrichment to help fund.
The meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

After a review of the April meeting, including discussion of the role of the PTA in fundraising and community-building, the April minutes were approved.

President’s Report (Pam Mancini)

          • Friday the 8th is Teacher Appreciation Day. The PTA had previously voted to provide breakfast for the teachers; this was reiterated.
          • There was discussion of a gap in communication this year between the PTA and the classes. It was agreed that the Parent Coordinator will send out important notices.
          • Janice has arranged for the piano tuner, Adam Michelman, to be in contact with Colin to arrange to tune the piano.
          • The Spring reception will be on May 15th at Alex’s office.

Election Committee

The Election Committee opened the floor to nominations for next year’s officers, with the following nominees resulting:

          • President: Kim Colon-Cullen and Pam Mancini and as co-presidents
          • Vice-President: Clara Mosquers and Geneva Musgrave as co-vice-presidents
          • Secretary: Todd Barnes and Paula Moureaux-Nery as co-secretaries
          • Treasurer: Tamara Carroll

Pam suggested that the class reps be open positions, to be filled by as many parents as want to volunteer. She also suggested having “members at large,” who can, for example, head committees.

SLT/Principal’s Report (Kate) and PTA Discussion:

          • The primary business was the budget. Main thing was updates on the budget. Most of the money is spent.
          • Mike has officially been appointed Vice Principal.
          • There was also discussion of the transition from Legacy, both of the positives and the negatives.
          • Roof: This is leaking. Pressure needs to be put on the right people. The building is leased; the lease is until 2024.
          • Out lunch: Students have requested this. Next year, with a full school, there will not be enough space for all the students to eat inside. The sense of the PTA was to try this with the Upper House first. A suggestion was made to have bag lunches available for purchase in the cafeteria so that students do not need to buy lunch outside.

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm.

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:40pm.
Reading of the minutes for the March meeting was waived and the minutes were approved.

President’s Report (Pam):

          • We need to select a new date for Spring Reception to use the same space in Times Square
          • Upcoming elections June 2 for PTA Board all positions: PTA president (co-presidents), vice-president (co-vice-presidents), secretary (co-secretaries), treasurer. Janice Kamrin will head the nominating committee. Parents can email the PTA to nominate themselves or someone else at
          • (5) Parent/Guardian representatives on the SLT–Election for (2) SLT positions in June and (2) SLT positions will be elected in September. Final parent rep is PTA chair or a co-chair. Nominations for the June SLT election will be taken until the voting on June 2.

SLT Report (Ron):

          • The SLT discussed an update on building issues (listed below)
          • Admission statistics for Fall. (About 145 students accepted and 3 declines.) There will be a date in the spring for some 7th grade students to visit

Harvest Principal’s Report (Dr. D):

          • Building issues
            The water in the drinking fountains is working again but there are still issues with water leaking from the roof, especialy during the snowy winter and the security gate in one of the stairways is not alarmed.
          • Parents need to return the DOE school surveys handed out at the parent conferences or sent home with students by Friday, April 17.

General Discussion (Pam):

          • The spring reception date was moved Friday May 15 from 6:00-8:30pm. The new date will be sent out by the class reps with a link to reply and pay at the door by cash or check. The reception will be a social event and not a fundraiser and the teacher reservations will be complimentary. We will therefore try to keep the costs down and use the ticket revenue.
          • There was discussion about the role of the PTA as a fundraising group and other goals, such as community building.
          • There will be an increased need for funds next year since there will not be Title 1 funds.

The meeting adjourned at 6:45pm

PTA General Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:40.
Reading of the minutes for the February meeting was waived and the minutes were approved.

President’s Report (Pam):

          • Reminder that the spring fundraiser will be on May 1st.
          • The student-led parent-teacher conferences are at the end of the month.

SLT Report (Ron):

          • Review of the budget process
          • How the school will operate while Kate is on maternity leave (which reiterates the information from Kate’s March newsletter: Dr. Dunson, our Vice Principal, will be in charge, supported by mentor principal Mr. Ken Cuthbert, an experienced former principal, and by Arleen Liquori, the principal of Legacy in our building.

Discussion of the discipline ladder (Dr. D):

            • The most helpful part of this is that its a common language with which to discuss common concerns, and is aligned with the DOE code (which was just revised). The school is implementing interventions for the students that have the most behavioral issues.

General Discussion (Pam):

          • Alex spoke about the recent passing of Dr. Sarah Blos, one of the school’s founders and also the mother of junior Lucas Brooks. This led to a general discussion of how the school community can be sensitive to other students who have lost parents.
            • It was agreed that whether or not the loss should be public should be up to the student and his or her family.
            • There was discussion of possible ways for students to share their feelings, such as a tribute day, or something attached to the Mexican Day of the Dead. The school staff will continue to discuss this issue and ask the PTA for input and assistance as needed
          • The school cannot pay for upkeep for the piano in the lobby, since it was a donation. The PTA voted to pay for a piano tuner to come and service the instrument; the PTA will assume responsibility going forward for keeping the piano in working order. Pam will ask the class reps to send out a request in case there is a parent who does this or knows someone who would be willing to donate their time and expertise.

Staff Report (Laura):

          • Winter Intensive: Laura spoke about the Winter Intensives in general, then Gina and Katya made presentations on specific intensives:
            There were 15 intensives, each servicing 16-18 students (except for stop-motion animation, which had more).
            Six overnight trips were planned; one had to be cancelled because of the weather.
            Gina and Sally led a French immersion trip to Montreal.
            Katya led an intensive that combined dance and math.
          • Laura reported on the recent visit to the school by Reuben Blades, which was attended by the students in the principal student leadership groups. The next visitor will be Stephanie Andujar, who plays young Rose on Orange is the New Black, and who is the daughter of one of the building’s security guards. She asked that parents pass on the names of people they think might be good additions to this program.
          • Laura also announced a tentative trip to Washington DC, which is planned for Friday, May 15, to Sunday, May 17 (the weekend after the History AP). The current cost is $200, but this may go up. This includes lodging and transportation, but the students should bring money for food (breakfast is included).
            • No student can be failing more than one academic subject.
            • There can be no major behavioral concerns.
            • Students with allergies are discouraged from going.
            • There will be space for about 30 students; it will be first come-first served.
            • There may be space for two PTA members.

Kate has had her baby: his name is Jones David Belkin


PTA General Meeting Minutes
Thursday, February 5, 2015
5:30-7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 5:40

The minutes were approved for January 13, 2015

President’s report (Pam Mancini)

          • The revised Harvest Collegiate website is online.  The address remains the same  There is a now a Harvest Family Page (under the “News” section) with information for current families, including a link to the PTA Minutes.  More information will be added.
          • Save the Date:  Spring Fundraiser on Friday, May 1st.

Principal’s Report (Kate Burch)

The Winter Intensive is under way and Kate thanked the PTA for the donation.

Special Guest Speaker Sean Grover, LCSW

Author of the new book WHEN KIDS CALL THE SHOTS:  How to Seize Control from Your Darling Bully and Enjoy Being a Parent Again  (Mr. Grover’s website:

Mr Grover spoke to the PTA on “Five Things Every Teenager Needs”.  You can read more details on the five things here: htttp://

The meeting was adjourned at 6:40pm

Treasurer’s Report:

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