You asked for it. We wrote it.
Below is a list of
the PTSA has done this year to support Hastings’ children, staff, teachers, and parents. We’re thankful for your membership and volunteer hours this year and always welcome all of you to bring your talents, ideas, & time to our work.
To learn more about what we do, visit our website at
Have a wonderful summer!
Student Run Activities Grants
- Culture Shock - This completely student-run club has three major components: art, cuisine, and charity. Their goal is to highlight the art of various cultures through a variety of captivating performances in an annual show. They attempt to unite students of all backgrounds by giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents with the community. After the show, they sell food from various regions of the world to raise money for various charities. This year funds raised went to Rise Against Hunger and Kerala Flood Relief.
- Be Yourself Club - This PTSA–sponsored club is open to all students, is social, and is completely child-driven. It's the only club that bridges all three schools as high schoolers from GSA serve as mentors.
This year the group
- raised $1,000 by selling t-shirts that they designed, and donated the money to an environmental group, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
- painted gorgeous, positive affirmations in the bathrooms at Hillside and FMS
They want to continue the club at Hillside next year and are looking for a way to make it happen at FMS next year. (The PTSA funded supplies for their projects.)
Thank you to Marie-Louise Miller and Nicole Miziolek!
Parent Education Grants
- Family University - Workshops for parents and HHS students about the dangers of drugs, drinking, and the internet (PTSA & SEPTA provided food for attendees)
- PTSA’s Inclusion Working Group (IWG)
- Partnered with Hillside Principal Amy Cazes to provide parent workshops that correlated with the Diverse Book Initiatives rolled out this year. Teachers received professional development to support those areas. The IWG had two of three presenters provide workshops to parents to allow them the same training and understanding as the teachers.
- Center Lane Parent Workshop on Gender. Open to all parents.
- Parent workshop given by Learning Differences - Parent workshop on Strategies to Support All Learners by David Luhman, Director of School Partnerships and Innovative Practices. Open to all parents.
- Fostering Racial Literacy - Denis Price-Dennis, assistant professor from Teachers College, Columbia University. Open to all parents.
Needed Supplies/Equipment Grants
- Document Camera and books for Spanish 3 (HHS)
- Point and shoot digital cameras (HHS)
- Prom Bus (HHS)
- Recess Equipment (Hillside)
- Xylophone mallets for music (Hillside)
- Bird feed for bird feeders (Hillside)
- Due to high demand, the PTSA paid for an additional 300 copies of The Buzzer, A Special Issue on Race by Ross Abrams’s class (HHS)
- The PTSA surveyed FMS students during recess to get their input for additional equipment to be added to the playground. Equipment coming soon. (FMS)
- Back to School Breakfast hosted by PTSA (Hillside)
- Newcomers Dinner hosted by PTSA (All 3 schools)
- Picnic for families with children entering kindergarten in the fall of 2019 hosted by PTSA (Hillside)
- Three Teacher/Staff Appreciation Luncheons - PTSA coordinated, ran, and provided additional food (All 3 schools)
- Pool party for 4th grade graduation - funded ice cream for all (Hillside)
- 8th grade graduation party - PTSA coordinated and run (FMS)
- Pre-prom pretzels and lemonade get together and bus for the senior prom (HHS)
- Gifts purchased for five teachers who are retiring after many years in our district
- Food for 6th grade Grecian Festival (FMS)
- Food for 5th grade Latin Festival (FMS)
Grants Earmarked for 2019-2020 = $52,216
- 4th grade Arch4Kids
- Partial funding of current events grades 3 - 5
- FMS playground equipment
- Salsa dancing residency for grade 5
- HHS literacy conferences
- Math conference (FMS - Ms. Pak)
- Literacy conference (FMS - Dr. Mitlak)
- Hillside’s outdoor classrooms
- Teacher workshops through Windward School
- For next year, the PTSA also is offering each grade $1,200 for buses to encourage a meaningful field trip for every grade. Total $15,600.
- Five Scholarships for Seniors - The PTSA is proud to fund five scholarships for seniors that look for achievements in a variety of areas.
- 2 Academic Achievement and Service Scholarship ($1000 each)
- 1 Hildebrand Memorial Scholarship [aka arts] ($1000)
- 1 Scholarship for Service ($1000)
- One HASP Scholarship awarded by Greg Smith, HASP teacher/director ($500)
- Eleven Scholarships for 8th grade students were awarded for science, social studies, world language - 1 from French and 1 from Spanish, math, art Total = $1,100.
- Traffic Safety Committee - working to create safe drop-off zones, responsible for the ‘Stop. Look. Wave.’ lawn signs.
- Pace Car Program - PTSA committee that sells bumper stickers that reflect a parent’s pledge to follow the speed limit and not text or use a cell phone while driving.
2. PTSA - Partners with Students
- Student Advisory Committees The PTSA leadership met with 8th graders on the Student Leadership Board and HHS representatives to discuss the best way to support students. As a result of these discussions, the PTSA is working with students to provide interesting after school options and advocating for practices in the high school that would reduce stress and raise student, parent, and teacher awareness of positive coping strategies.
- The Be Yourself Club - See above for description.
- Culture Shock - See above for description.
3. Increase Communication with Parents
- Began the PTSA newsletter, which was sent electronically to all parents, to better inform members of our initiatives, grants, and events
Ongoing Programs & Meetings
- Pizza Friday - To ease the burden of regular lunch making, parents purchase one or two slices of pizza for their children for Friday lunches. The PTSA coordinates orders, delivery, and volunteers for this every Friday. Thank you, Hillary Murnigan, for your years of seamlessly organizing the finances for this program. Juliana Dal Piaz and Audrey deWys coordinated the volunteers and pizza, making this look easy. Jennifer Angel-Green is now taking over their position. We so appreciate that.
- New Book Fair
- Partnered with Race Matters to bring a vastly expanded Multicultural Book Fair and Festival to Hastings from May 29 - June 2. Local food vendors, talented musicians, and students read books, created crafts, and performed for our book festival patrons. It was a huge success, and we look forward to next year being even bigger.
- Used Book Fair and Mini-Used Book Fair at FMS - The books that were not sold were donated to hospitals and schools throughout Westchester as well as to charities.
- Handbooks and meetings created for parents to provide information about the transition from 4th to 5th grade, 5th to 6th grade, and 8th to 9th grade.
- Box Tops 4 Education organized and run by the PTSA. (Thank you, Tammy Black!) Funds are allocated with the input of the 4th grade student council to purchase items from GaGa pits to color printers.
- PTSA Co-Presidents hold PTSA Board meetings, meet with the superintendent and SEPTA leadership every six weeks, and meet with principals as needed.
- PTSA VPs meet with principals to share parent input from their respective schools before each PTSA meeting
- PTSA meetings run by VPs with principals throughout the year for Hillside, FMS, and HHS
- Next year - Look out for information about ordering your school supplies through the PTSA. We’re partnering with Hastings Stationery to make the process easy, locally sourced, and less expensive. The program will start for Hillside first.
Many thanks to our tireless volunteers!