Skip to content

Open School Night/Pre-K Fees PTA Meeting Monday, December 12th 5:30 – 7:00p

November 15, 2016

Open School Night/Pre-K Fees PTA Meeting: Monday, December 12th 5:30 – 7:00p

Please save the date for this special evening!

All parents are invited to visit classrooms for Open School night on Monday, Dec. 12th anytime between 5:30-7p.m. At 6:00 p.m., interested parents and neighbors are invited to a presentation on the new Pre-K sliding scale fee. Join DPS and school board leaders to learn how the scale will be implemented, provide feedback and hear about plans to expand Pre-K access in Durham Public Schools. If you would like to submit questions in advance, please email George Watts PTA President, Elizabeth Lindquist at

*5:30p Enjoy Open School night in your child’s classroom

5:50p Drop off school-age children in the gym for childcare (pizza will be served to children)

6:00p Special presentation on the new Pre-K sliding scale in the Media Center for parents and neighbors

*Open School Night goes until 7:00p and will happen concurrently with the Pre-K sliding scale meeting.

The following leaders have committed to attend:

  • DPS Area Superintendent John McCain
  • DPS Deputy Superintendent for Academics Stacey Wilson-Norman
  • DPS Magnet Specialist Mary Griffith
  • Board of Education member Steve Unruhe

Please email George Watts PTA President Elizabeth Lindquist at

Elizabeth addressed the Pre-K fee issue at the Oct. 27 general Board of Education meeting. Those comments  begin around 30:00 in this online video:

Nov. 14th PTA Meeting/ Reunión de la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA) de Watts – 14 de noviembre

November 6, 2016
George Watts PTA & PAAC Host the November 14th PTA Meeting: “Eliminating Disparities in Our Education System”
  • Please join our Parents of African American Children (PAAC) committee with special guest, 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year James Ford. Mr. Ford is currently working with the Public School Forum of North Carolina to address opportunity gaps and achievement disparities in schools across the state. Mr. Ford will join PAAC in leading an open, transparent discussion about race, curriculum, data, being well-rounded, and how we can make a lasting change together. Please join us to explore some of the reasons why we have a gap and what we can do about it.
  • Drop your school-aged children in the gym for pizza and child care starting at 5:30, then join other parents in the lobby to eat before the meeting begins at 6pm in the Media Center.

On November 14, Mr. Ford will provide a national context for our situation here at Watts, present examples of schools that have turned around their opportunity gaps, and lead Watts’ parents and teachers in an open discussion of how we can make a lasting change together. Please join the PTA at our November 14 meeting and begin OUR work to create an equitable education environment that will benefit ALL children at George Watts Montessori School.


“Eliminando las desigualdades en el sistema educativo”

En el 2015, el Departamento de Educación de los Estados Unidos (USDOE) designo a la Escuela George Watts como una “Escuela Enfoque” debido a la desigualdad en los puntajes obtenidos en la pruebas entre los diferentes grupos raciales y entre otros sub-grupos, tales como los niños con necesidades especiales.  (Los padres fueron notificados por carta en agosto 2016.) “Las Escuelas Enfoque son identificadas cuando se descubre una gran diferencia en los niveles de desempeño entre subgrupos con alto desempeño y aquellos subgrupos con un desempeño mucho inferior…durante 3 años.”

Por favor únase a la PTA y al Comité de Padres de Niños Afroamericanos (PAAC) durante nuestra reunión el 14 de noviembre donde tendremos a James Ford, Maestro del Año de Carolina del Norte 2014-2015, como invitado especial.  El Sr. Ford actualmente está trabajando con el Foro de Escuelas Públicas de Carolina del Norte para solventar la brecha en oportunidades y las disparidades en desempeño en nuestras escuelas a lo largo del estado.  Esperamos que padres de niños de todos los grupos raciales se puedan unir a esta conversación.


Por favor acompañe a la Asociación de Padres y Maestros (PTA) durante nuestra reunión el 14 de nov. Y así poder comenzar NUESTRA labor de crear un ambiente educativo equitativo que beneficie a TODOS los niños de la Escuela George Watts Montessori.

Navigating Parent-Teacher Conferences/ Participación de padres y defensa de nuestros derechos

October 19, 2016

Join your fellow George Watts parents for a special Parent Engagement & Advocacy Workshop Sunday Oct. 30th, 3pm-5pm, George Watts Media Center.

Childcare and Refreshments Provided.

Students with involved parents tend to do better in school.  Workshop will cover tips and techniques for maximizing conference time.

  • Parent-teacher conferences are one of the most underutilized tools for both parents and teachers.
  • The average conference lasts only 20 minutes – learn what you need to know to be prepared to get the most out of your parent-teacher conference time!
  • Workshop will also cover need-to-know information for navigating Watts and DPS. Every child needs an informed advocate to succeed in school – join us to learn what you need to know!

¡Venga y aprenda la importancia de las reuniones entre Padres y Maestros y como esta alianza entre la familia y la escuela nos ayuda a fortalecer a nuestro estudiante! ¿Por qué es importante su asistencia?

El día del taller puede llevar a su hijo (de edad escolar) al gimnasio y los padres se reunirán en la biblioteca.

  • Los estudiantes que tienen padres involucrados en su educación, les va mejor en la escuela.
  • La reunión con los maestros es una herramienta que a veces desaprovechamos.
  • Hablaremos de sugerencias para sacar provecho de la reunión con los maestros.
  • ¡En promedio la reunión con el maestro solo dura 20 minutos – aprenda como preparase para sacar provecho de este tiempo de conferencia entre el padre y el maestro!
  • Daremos información importante sobre Watts y las Escuelas Públicas de Durham (DPS)

Para ser exitosos en la escuela, los niños necesitan un defensor informado que lo apoye – ¡Acompáñenos para aprender lo que necesita saber! 

Para mayor información o para registrarse comuníquese con: Español: Angie Schiavone  919‐599‐6670 o Inglés: Donna Rewalt 919‐560‐0538


Upcoming events

October 19, 2016
  • Sunday, Oct. 23rd:  The Parents of African American Children (PAAC), a subcommittee of the PTA will meet from  3-5 in the Media Center. Childcare will be provided. All parents are invited to attend.
  • Monday, Oct. 24th:  Morale Monday–teacher/staff breakfast and lunch buffet. Please drop off food at carpool or in teacher workroom 7:30-7:45a
  • Monday, Oct. 24th: Literacy Night: 5:30-7p in the Media Center
  • Friday, Oct. 28: Primary’s “Grace & Courtesy” snack, 1p for parents of Pre-K and K students (in your child’s classroom).

Urgent meeting of the Pre-K Fee Committee

October 18, 2016

Urgent meeting of the Pre-K Fee Committee

When: Tuesday October 18 from 6 – 7:30 PM

Where: George Watts Montessori Media center (enter through the main door on Watts St; parking at the side and on the streets)

Why: Discuss how to represent the George Watts and Morehead Montessori school community at the upcoming DPS Board of Education (BoE) meeting on October 27, where implementation of sliding scale fees for GWM and MM will be open to public comment

Who: Open meeting for anyone who wants to attend

The Board of Education (BoE)  decided on Oct 6 to implement sliding scale fees for our two schools. The topic will be brought up at the Oct 27 BoE meeting to allow public comment. Many parents have expressed concerns, so we decided to hold another meeting of our committee tonight to discuss what is known about the plan, identify level of support and issues/concerns, and perhaps arrange speakers to address the support and concerns raised by the GW and Morehead Montessori communities.

We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday,

-Tom Wenger and Anna Gassman-Pines

Co-Chairs, Morehead and George Watts Montessori Pre-K Fee Committee

Hispanic Heritage Month /¡El Mes de la Tradición Hispana!

October 5, 2016

Please join us for a  Hispanic Heritage Month Potluck Dinner and Celebration

Monday, October 10, 2016; 5:30-7:00 pm in the George Watts Elementary School Gym

Please bring a labeled Latin or Spanish dish for the potluck dinner at 5:30 pm. Families are welcomed to bring cultural items to display, and children will share their Hispanic Heritage Month work. We will enjoy student presentations as well as dances from Latin American countries at 6 pm. For more information about Hispanic Heritage Month, please go to:

Vengan a compartir con nosotros ¡El Mes de la Tradición Hispana! Celebremos y compartamos la cena

lunes el 10 de octubre de 2016; 5:30 – 7:00 de la noche en el gimnasio de la escuela George Watts

Por favor traigan un plato de comida típica para compartir a las 5:30. También les invitamos a traer objetos culturales de su país de origen para exhibirlos. Vamos a disfrutar juntos de presentaciones, bailes y danzas de países hispanos a las 6.  Para más información sobre el mes de tradición hispana, visiten:

Board adopts new PTA Listserv guidelines

October 5, 2016

The PTA board voted on October 3, 2016  to approve new guidelines for the PTA listserv. You can view them  online here. Here are some key points:


● Who can post a message: Any listserv member can post a message on the listserv by sending an email to

● Message approval: The Watts PTA listserv is moderated. Messages are pre-approved by the listserv moderator(s) or PTA Board.

● Signing a message: Messages should be signed with the originator’s name and relationship to the Watts community. (For example, “Jane Doe, mother of a 3rd grader.”)


● Message topics: Messages on any topic relevant to Watts, the PTA, and the surrounding community are appropriate. This includes messages on sensitive or controversial topics.

● Commercial messages: Messages promoting commercial or personal businesses are not allowed.

● Political campaigning: The listserv cannot be used for political campaigning. The Watts PTA is exempt from federal income taxes because it is a non-partisan non-profit organization. Political issues, however, can be discussed.

● Copyrighted material: Copyrighted material cannot be posted without the permission of the copyright owner. Instead, a link to the material should be provided.