11/13/2013 General Meeting Minutes

Nov 14, 2013 by

11/13/2013 General Meeting Minutes


PTA General Meeting

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Montclair Elementary Multipurpose Room


Melissa called the meeting to order at 7:05pm.


No official sign-in was provided, but approximately 25 people assembled for the meeting.  Quorum is 20.  Quorum is present.


MES Update:  Melissa reported on the following items:

  • Otter Walk update: Best run Otter Walk event to date!  We exceeded fundraising goals as well as the “fun” goals.
  • Dads club:  The members of the Dad’s Club were a HUGE help at the Otter Walk, as well as lending a helping hand around the campus.  Thank you so much Dad’s Club!!
  • Karen McCarthy is our new computer teacher.  She will start in December.
  • Otter Ball will be March 15th at Sequoyah Country Club.



Montclair Parent Presentation

Dr. Susan DeMersseman, Ph. D.



Dr. DeMersseman is a psychologist, writer, and parent educator.  She is also the MES “climate consultant” helping MES students and families.


She touched on key ideas regarding parenting and kids:

  1. Kids act as good as they know how to; good behavior is learned.  Children are not withholding existing abilities to aggravate us.  Be patient and reinforce what “to” do instead of what “not” to do.
  2. Teach replacement skills.   Discuss what they could have done in place of what they actually did.
  3. Choose your battles and use distractions.  Ask yourself, “What do you really want to battle about?” After you have made your point, change the subject with a more interesting topic to help ease anger and hostility.
  4. Choice vs. no choice: Give children choices as well as help them make good choices.
  5. Worries and fears:  students need a chance to explore fears in order to help conquer them.  First gather information about what your child is afraid of, and then form an action plan that can remove any possibility of that fear reoccurring.  Lastly, fill that space with other thoughts to help prevent your child from focusing on that fear.
  6. How to reframe an experience: Identify the emotion attached to the experience (“I understand why you would be upset.”), then help your child look at the threatening or uncomfortable situation another way.
  7. Develop a plan to address a specific problem:  specify the problem/behavior, turn the problem/behavior into a goal and engage the child in the goal (make them responsible for taking steps towards meeting the goal), clarify the appropriate behavior, and rehearse/practice it.  Finally develop a reinforcement system to help the student see daily progress towards meeting the goal.
  8. Mean behavior and bullying:  Many times society gets caught up in over-labelling bullying.  Bullying isn’t a one-time occurrence of mean behavior.  The definition of bullying is continual mental, emotional, or physical abuse that occurs over time and is meant to cause the victim distress.  There is a difference between being bossy and being a bully.  You can’t prevent hurt, and children need to understand that it is ok to not be happy all the time.  Teaching children healthy coping skills is the best way to combat bullying:
    • Ignore the annoying behavior
    • Reframe the experience
    • Identify the frustration
    • Arm your child with a strong comeback, “People don’t like it when you act like that.” or “I like being around you when you are nice.”
    • Teach them to be a bystander.  If they see someone being bullied, have your child stand beside the victim to help give them the courage to stand up to the bully.


Dr. DeMersseman ended the evening with a question and answer session for those who were in attendance.


You can reach Dr. Mersseman on her blog spot:



Meeting adjourned at 8:10pm.


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