Thank you for visiting the website of the Q300 Parent-Teacher Association. All parents and guardians of Q300 students as well as all teachers are automatically members of the Q300 PTA. PTA meetings are held monthly. Our goal is to work together to create and maintain a welcoming community for all Q300 families and to support the administration and faculty in building a school that provides outstanding education to our students based on the values of inclusion, inquiry, and responsibility.
The mission of the Q300 Parent-Teacher Association is to enrich and improve the educational, emotional, and social lives of Q300’s students by providing the following:
In the spring of 2014, the 100 or so families who elected to send their children to Q300 could not even tour the school, because it did not yet exist.
Q300 would open its doors for the first time that September. At the time, the newly formed school did not yet have a PTA. There was no one to raise funds. No one to arrange community gatherings. No one to bring families together and represent their interests.
Five years later, so much has changed.
With the support of an engaged community of families, the Q300 Parent Teacher Association has provided nearly $900,000 in financial support for school enrichment programs, teaching assistants, and community events since its founding. The PTA also organizes celebrations for Q300 students, families, teachers and school leaders.
“Q300’s welcoming and energetic PTA has built and sustained an inclusive, engaged school community,” said Mara Cusker Gonzalez, mother of a fifth-grader who has attended the school since its first year. “In addition to being thoughtful and innovative in raising funds and keeping parents informed, the PTA devotes endless hours to making sure we have numerous opportunities every year to come together as a school to share ideas, laugh, and learn from each other.”
In the summer before the school opened, though, the Q300 community of families was starting from scratch, with just two kindergarten classes, two first grade classes and one sixth-grade class.
Some of the families met for the first time in June 2014 at a gathering at Athens Square Park, where children spun each other on the merry-go-round as if they had been friends for years. More gatherings followed, including a picnic in Rainey Park.
An energized group met that fall to select a 16-member PTA executive board. The board quickly drafted bylaws, applied for 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status and began raising money, seeking creative ways to fundraise for enrichments while adhering to Q300’s goals of inclusion, inquiry and responsibility.
In 2019, the PTA raised over $300,000 to provide Upper Division enrichments such as professional development for teachers, enrichment electives, Chromebooks, and other supplies, and Lower Division programs such as art, music and teaching assistants in kindergarten through fourth grade. The PTA also successfully advocated for the New York City-funded renovation of the upper division science lab and the construction of a hydroponic lab.
Sonita Ramkishun was appointed as the Principal in 2020, after having served as an Assistant Principal prior to this new role.
Third-grade teacher Maria Panagiotakis said her teaching assistant “has enabled me to work closely with students in smaller groups and provide individual attention. They are an invaluable resource.”
Upper division ELA teacher Jean Kim said, “It is great to see the students who are interested in music, drama, or acting shine in new ways during the musical theater elective. The PTA enabled these students to develop their artistic talent in school.”
“The PTA has helped subsidize the Lego robotics elective with purchasing extra kits and materials to help support the overwhelming student interest,” said Scott Waldman, technology teacher in the Upper Division. “The funds that I have received from the PTA s helped me purchase equipment and other items for recess as well as storage units for my classroom. Thank you.”
PTA initiatives such as the Halloween Costume Party, Winter Potluck, and Stepping-into-Summer Dance Party draw cheerful crowds. Events such as Zumba-thons and movie nights also have helped build bridges between the PTA and the parent associations in the buildings Q300 shares with PS 17 and IS 126.
Today, the PTA continues to look for opportunities to build community and strengthen the culture of the school. The annual PTA survey gives families (parents, guardians and middle school students) an opportunity to inform the decision-making of the PTA and the school administration. New initiatives continue to emerge like Park Day in Spring 2019 when the lower division came out to clean up Athens Park and the upper division organized a faculty-student basketball tournament! These initiatives are key to supporting our school and administration in addressing the changing needs of Q300 students.
Written by David Wang on Saturday, January 18, 2020. [Updated on Saturday, November 13, 2021]