Dobbs Ferry PTSA - News and Information

Calling all Musicians in Middle and High School!

The PTSA is looking for student acts wishing to participate in a music festival at the the Embassy Center in Dobbs Ferry.
Saturday, May 17 at 6pm 

Eagle Lounge a Music Showcase 
Perform in front of your friends and community! 
All live music welcome… jazz, rock, singer/songwriters 

Performers must:
  • Be in middle or high school 
  • Perform live 
Space is limited! Email PTSA General VP, Mary McNamara at if interested
Deadline: April 18 Please include name, grade, band name, number of performers and genre of music

Catalyst's ACT Bootcamp

Saturday April 5th and Sunday April 6th (Two Days)
9:00am to 1:00pm
Dobbs Ferry High School

Catalyst's ACT Bootcamp is a one-weekend workshop that arms students with go-to strategies for outsmarting the ACT.

Our Unique Guarantee

Catalyst’s ACT Bootcamp is the only ACT prep class designed by instructors who have earned multiple perfect scores (36) on the actual ACT. Catalyst is uniquely poised to help students succeed because we take the real ACT every time the test is offered to make sure our strategies are truly effective. Selected topics include how to:

  • Highlight key information in seemingly confusing ACT science passages

  • Crack the 10 types of English questions guaranteed to be on the ACT

  • Shortcut the trickiest ACT math questions that stump more than 90% of test-takers

  • Speed-read the long, dense ACT reading passages so test-takers don’t run out of time

  • Catalyst’s ACT Bootcamp is not a “mock” ACT or an infomercial for our services. It is a momentum-boosting weekend seminar designed to make sure students march into the ACT with every key strategy fresh in their mind. Students receive Catalyst’s prep materials, self-study materials, diagnostic tests, and copies of essays that have received perfect scores on actual ACTs – all for just $165.

    To sign up - go to 

    For more information, email or call 800.235.0056

    Flowering Bulb and Plant Sale

    February 2 –April 25 2014
    Flower Power America’s #1 Flower Bulb Fundraiser!

    The spring line includes sunflowers, strawberry plants, lilies, and two dozen other best-selling flowering bulbs, plants and vegetable seeds. The PTSA earns 50% profit from each order, which helps support academic enrichment in our schools. Orders are shipped directly to you. Bulbs, plants or seeds will arrive in time for spring planting which will bring beautiful flowers and vegetables! Don’s miss your chance, order now!

    To order: Please go to the on-line web site to view the selection.

    For more information or to request a catalog, please contact

    Mary McNamara @

    Oct. 2013 DFPTSA Community Feedback Survey - Summary Results for DFUFSD

    Dear parent community,

    Thank you for your thoughtful responses to the DFPTSA Community Feedback Survey we sent in October. We were thrilled at the quantity and quality of the responses and have worked diligently to process feedback and create actionable goals for this school year.  While the survey results provided a large quantity of legitimate concerns and worthwhile goals, the PTSA parsed out the most common themes and set goals based on feedback from the majority of respondents in order to increase efficiency with limited resources.

    I have provided below a summary of key findings from the survey, details of parent “wants”, as well as PTSA goals.

    Most important issues facing the Dobbs Ferry school district (prevalent themes):

    ·         Adapting teachers and students to Common Core Curriculum requirements

    ·         Educating parents about the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the exploration process

    ·         Quantity and quality of state testing and teaching to the test

    ·         Homework quantity

    ·         Budget cuts

    ·         Middle School quality

    ·         Community divisiveness around educational issues

     Primary PTSA Goals (as reported by parents):

    1)    Organize opportunities for parents, BOE, and administrators to exchange ideas and communicate about important topics  (80%)

    What parents want:

    ·         Clarity, transparency and proactive communication from BOE and superintendent

    ·         Information regarding the Middle Years Program (MYP) and the exploration process

    ·         To provide parent input to BOE and administration on important issues such as common core, budget, MYP etc.

    ·         To witness an increase in quality and tone of public conversation and debate

    PTSA Goals:

    ·         Facilitate three (or more) public Q&A sessions on the MYP focused around three topics:

    1.      MYP: A Curriculum for EVERY Child.

    2.      How Could MYP and DFSD Values and Mission Work Together?

    3.      MYP and Project-Based Learning

    ·         Seek to provide increased access to district administrators and BOE to exchange ideas and information

    ·         Continue to provide district with parents to serve on key district committees

    ·         Work to facilitate open conversations about issues facing our district in real time in multiple sessions and formats

    ·         Send out more surveys to gauge parent concerns regarding specific topics and provide opportunities for constructive, positive conversations with administration

    2)    Fundraising for academic enrichment activities such as field trips and purchase of materials not funded by tax dollars  (78%)

    What parents want:

    ·         Parents are overall satisfied with the amount and quality of current PTSA fundraising activity (87%)

    PTSA Goal:

    ·         Continue to provide cost-effective, community-building, and utilitarian fundraising efforts to support and enhance academic enrichment for all students

    ·         Continue to utilize academic enrichment committees to work with schools and administrators to maximize enrichment dollars.

    3)    Communicating with parents about topics of concern or interest  (73%)

    What parents want:

    ·         Continue good work on character education such as bullying

    ·         More info on MYP

    ·         Help parent understand core curriculum changes better

    PTSA Goals:

    ·         Communicate to parents in an email a comprehensive module providing details of all school-based character development initiatives including anti-bullying efforts.

    ·         Work with Rivertown Parents to have info session on core curriculum and how professional development fits in and expectations around testing.

    ·         Facilitate three (or more) public Q&A sessions on the MYP (details above in section #2)

    ·         Find alternative ways to permit parents better access to information shared at public events such as web links, email sharing of minutes, etc.

    ·         Continue to solicit feedback from parents regarding topics of interest and share with Rivertown Parents during the planning process for parent education sessions.

    ·         Work with school administration to more proactively share “good news” to parents.

    4)    Working with the BOE and Administrators to improve schools and education via legislation at the state and local level (60%)

    What parents want:

    ·         Focus on raising awareness of state and federal legislation around education

    PTSA Goal:

    ·         Work with PTSA Legislative Chair to educate parents on educational issues at the state and federal level including links to balanced articles

    ·         Publish a guide to frequently used educational acronyms

    ·         Work with parents to advocate for students around the following topics:

    1.      Student data privacy

    2.      Standardized testing: quantity and usage of results

    3.      Unfunded technology mandates around PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) Assessments

    ·         Provide simple and turn-keyways for parents to advocate, e.g. letter writing and phone call campaigns

    I hope you find this information and plan informative, engaging and are energized by the goals established by the PTSA. As always, feel free to email me at if you have questions or concerns. We have an exciting year ahead of us and my hope is that you will want to reach out and get involved in this momentum!

    Let’s work together to make our schools even stronger.

    Shannon Johnson, DFPTSA President

    PTSA Membership & Calendar

    Welcome back to another school year!

    Please join the PTSA this year and get your copy of our award-winning student showcase calendar! 

    If you are unable to attend back to school night, contact Shannon Johnson at and we'll get the membership forms to you ASAP.

    The Impact of Social Media on our Tweens, our Teens and on Us

    Brief Summary and Recommendations
    Please visit general notes from a talk given by Jennifer Altman, Ph.D. and Lori Walsh,Psy.D. and sponsored by Dobbs Ferry PTSA, Monday, January 9, 2012. Parents who attended requested a summary including the basic rules list that we reviewed and we are happy to provide it below.

    PTSA Executive Committee Positions Open

    It’s that time of year again when we look to fill Executive Committee positions for the PTSA for next year. Our nominating committee is hard at work finding the best people to fill these open positions. But we need your help too!

    Please take a moment to look at the positions below and consider whether you would be interested in giving your time and energy to the PTSA. Positions are ideally a two-year commitment. Also, please find attached a form that you can fill out and send to our nominating committee chair to suggest potential candidates – a friend or neighbor that you feel would be perfect for a particular position.

    Listed below are the open positions for next year, as well as a brief description. To nominate yourself (or someone else!) or for further information on the responsibilities of each position, please email Sandra Rosas, Chair of the Nominating Committee at or fill out the this form [CLICK TO OPEN] and mail to Sandra. Nominations should be received by April 18th.

    The nominating committee will review all candidates and recommend a full slate to the PTSA Membership for vote, at the General Meeting on Monday, May 12th.

    President Elect

    This position has been newly created in order to reduce the time commitment of the office of President and enable “on the job training”. The president-elect will serve as an aide to and shadow the seated president for one year and assume the office of president at the end of the term as president-elect. The second year this person would be the seated President and groom the next President-Elect. It is a co-president type structure with one person always training the other.

    This position assists the President in his/her duties including having general charge and supervision of the business and affairs of the association. Is responsible for presiding at all meetings of the association, appointing committee chairmen and filling vacancies in chairmen of all committees, and coordinating the work of the officers and committees of the association.

    General Vice-President

    Responsible for overseeing all PTSA fundraising activities events as well as creating and implementing new fundraising ideas. This person does not actively manage all fundraisers but does oversee committee volunteers that manage the programs.


    Responsible for maintaining the DFPTSA budget including: monthly bank reconciliation, preparing income statements and balance sheets each month for the Executive Committee, making payments to vendors, managing expense reports, making bank deposits, preparing cash boxes for fundraising events, and helping executive committee prepare the annual budget. This job is flexible and can be done on your own time!

    Springhurst Vice President

    Serve as a DFPTSA representative for Springhurst Elementary School. Works closely with school principal, teachers and committees related to the elementary school to develop academic enrichment programs, oversee class coordinators, and attend DFPTSA sponsored events at the school.

    Recording Secretary

    Is responsible for attending monthly Executive Committee meetings (evenings), taking and publishing minutes of each meeting, maintaining hard copies of all meeting minutes, and creating agenda for monthly meetings that are emailed to committee members.

    About the PTSA

    The primary goal of the Dobbs Ferry PTSA is to be an advocate for the children. The best way to attain this goal is for you to get involved and join our organization. We're sure you will feel a great sense of accomplishment after participating in an event or on a committee.
    • Come and learn about issues and topics of interest at the General Membership meetings
    • Meet new people and make new friends
    No matter how much or how little time you have to offer your help is always needed and appreciated.


    Our newsletters communicate from the PTSA to parents. But the best way for the entire community to communicate amongst ourselves and back to the PTSA is through our Facebook group. Please join, please invite your friends, and together we can ask the questions that concern us and share the insights we all need to support our kids' education. Visit us at

    More Useful Links

    Head Lice Information
    Impact of Social Media
    Village of Dobbs Ferry
    Current Newsletter
    Rivertown Parents
    DF PTSA By Laws

    PARENT PORTAL - SIGN UP for access to your child's progress reports, report cards, and class schedules. Click here for instructions

    Anonymous Alerts™ Report bullying & other sensitive student issues anonymously to school officials.


    • Welcome back to another school year! We can all look forward to a year filled with incredible developments that will continue to improve our schools facilities, advance learning, and enhance instruction.  We look forward to the ...
      Posted Sep 6, 2013, 4:55 AM by Robert Plotkin
    • 2012 Accomplishments by the PTSA What We've Done/your dollars at workProvided efficient school supply ordering for all schools including deliveringSpringhurst supplies directly to classroomsFormed Rivertown Parents with other villages and ...
      Posted Mar 14, 2013, 6:45 AM by Robert Plotkin
    Showing posts 1 - 2 of 2. View more »

    DFSD Superintendent's Blog

    Online Payments

    STUDENT MEALS Nutrikids has changed to MYSCHOOLBUCKS.COM This service allows for online payments for student meals.

      OTHER PAYMENTS Payschools allows for online payments of other school related fees or items.


    Check the Committees and Contacts for phone numbers of officers and committee heads. If you have any ideas, concerns or opinions give us a call or email to

    National PTA Website 

    The National PTA website is filled with valuable information and resources for parents and educators. The main page is However, if you'd like access to the "Members Only" Section of the National PTA's website, you need to register in order to receive a username and password. It's simple, and takes only a few minutes. Go to Our National Unit ID is 030430. Take a minute to fill our the survey -- it will customize the information you can receive from National via email notification. Finally, remember to save your username and password to your computer's "password list" so you won't need to enter the information each time.  


    One of the (many) programs the PTSA provides to each of our district schools centers around academic enrichment. In the past we’ve called this ‘Cultural Arts’ but have included social studies and science enrichment activities as well. At the elementary level, it’s not too difficult to find programs that fit into the curriculum. The difficulty comes up in the middle and high school years when state requirements are high and time available for field trips is reduced.

    We’d like to reach out to our community members to see if anyone has a skill, an interest, or an experience that they might be willing to share with some of our students. Someone who has traveled to unique destinations may be able to speak to a Global History class. A laboratory scientist might be able to address a high school chemistry class. A middle school math class might enjoy listening to a CPA. A professional musician would always be welcome to speak to our band students.

    Our students pride themselves on their community service. It’s nice to show them by our own actions. Will you let us know any areas in which you might be interested in sharing your talents with our students?

    Send us an email at and tell us what you can do for our students. We’ll get back to you on coordinating things.