Dear Incoming Tech Families,
The Brooklyn Tech Parent Association (Tech PA) is delighted to welcome you to Brooklyn Tech! We hope you are enjoying your summer, and that your student is gearing up for a great school year to come.
The Tech PA aims to serve families at Tech with information and guidance about navigating Tech. We encourage your participation at any level and appreciate your help!
Below are some thoughts on helping manage your family's transition to Tech and how the PA can support you.
We look forward to seeing you at the first meeting on Thu, Sep 20, 6:30pm at school. If you have questions before then, please be in touch!
Laura Hamilton and Cindy Kue
Tech PA Co-Presidents
P.S. You can wait to buy back-to-school supplies until after your student has heard from her teachers what she'll need. But one thing you won't need to buy is a daily planner. The PA will be distributing Brooklyn Tech daily planners to all new students when school starts.
Communication from the PA
Our most important piece of advice for a Tech parent: read your email. Email is the primary way that both school and the PA will communicate with you.
You and your student will receive many messages from school, especially theDaily Announcements.
Once school starts, you will also receive a weekly newsletter from the Tech PA called Tech Talk.
We promise to send you useful information, and we keep fundraising appeals to a minimum. If you are receiving this email, you will automatically receive Tech Talk -- no need to signup. (Also, if you use Gmail, Tech Talk will likely arrive in the Promotions folder. Drag it to your Inbox so you don't miss future issues.)
If you know of a family that isn't receiving Tech emails, they can sign up on Tech's website.
Getting Ready for Tech
You have already received many emails from school with information on how to prepare for your student's first year at Tech. These emails are excellent and we recommend you read them carefully.
The PA has also put together some thoughts about preparing for Tech, where we provide info and advice from the parent perspective. The PA's Parent Guide offers the following for new families:
See the FAQs from previous years' first PA meetings, as parents often have the same questions.
A link to school's "How Tech Works" webpage, for answers on everyday questions like what to do if your student is sick and how to find your student's guidance counselor
Thoughts on how to prepare for the first day
Most of the information comes from school or other educational resources. We've attempted to summarize, highlight, and explain from the parent perspective. There's a lot to learn, so we hope you find the PA's Parent Guide a useful resource in the coming years.
The PA organizes many activities for parents throughout the year:
Workshops: Twice a year, the PA brings in speakers for free workshops on a Saturday morning. The workshops typically focus on the college process (standardized tests, essays, creating a college list) and supporting your student's academic performance and emotional health.
Monthly Meetings at school: All parents are invited to the meetings, typically one Thursday per month at 6:30pm (see schedule). The meetings typically feature speakers on topics such as the college process, financial aid, and Major selection. (You may have noticed that we focus a lot on the college process. Starting early and gently in 9th grade makes the process smoother.) Usually Mr. Newman and/or Mrs. Nottingham also present an update on goings on about school and answer parent questions.
Parent networking: The PA runs social events for parents throughout the year, such as: a Lunar New Year banquet, two meet & greets at an events space, a Diversity Committee ice cream social on Tech's roof deck, and an auction gala in the spring.
Diversity: The Executive Board formed a Diversity Committee last year to look at ways of involving more groups from our diverse population. Please bring ideas to us. The Executive Board also hopes to see more diversity in the slate of candidates for Executive Board positions. We want the Board to better represent the diversity of our school.
Principal breakfasts/dinners: We organize casual morning breakfast meetings and evening light dinners with the principal, Mr. Newman. They're a great opportunity to meet the principal, learn about Tech, and ask questions.
Volunteer opportunities: We help out a lot around school with events like the college fair and open houses.
Budgeting: Thanks to parent donations, the PA contributes over $200,000 per year to support Tech's academics, teams, and clubs. The PA relies on input from both the school and parents in budgeting, and the annual budget is voted on by the PA. (You can even donate now if you'd like to get a head start.)
We're an active PA and your participation at any level is welcome!
PA Membership and Meetings
All families at Tech are automatically members of the Tech PA. The PA is led by the Executive Board, a group of parent volunteers elected every year.
The Tech PA looks forward to seeing you at our first meeting, Thu, Sep 20 at 6:30pm in the Brooklyn Tech auditorium. We highly recommend that you attend. This meeting is an excellent opportunity to hear directly from the Principal, Mr. Newman, and the Assistant Principal of Parent and Student Engagement, Mrs. Nottingham. Both are incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. The Q&A session is a good chance to ask questions, and also hear answers to questions from other parents that you didn't even know to ask.
You will also learn about Brooklyn Tech, what is in store for your student's first year, and opportunities for you to be involved in the PA.
Finally, we will be electing five 9th Grade Parent Representatives to the PA Executive Board and one parent member of the School Leadership Team (SLT). If you are interested in being on the PA executive board or SLT, watch for self-nomination information in an upcoming Tech Talk newsletter.
All parents are invited to monthly meetings, typically on Thursdays at 6:30pm at school. See the meeting schedule.
Consider Joining a Tech Parent Group
The PA has broadcast accounts on Facebook in English and on WeChat in Chinese (微信). We encourage you to follow these accounts.
There are also informal parent chat groups on Facebook and WeChat. They are not affiliated with or managed by the PA, but they can be a good forum for asking questions of other parents. If you choose to join one of these groups, we encourage you to follow good etiquette: be nice and keep the conversation focused on Tech-related questions and answers. There are many places on social media to debate, vent, and rant -- maybe the Tech parent groups aren't the best place for that.
Final Thoughts from the PA
As your student transitions to Tech, we leave you with the following advice: encourage your student to read her email every day, manage her responsibilities, and ask for help when needed.
Part of a Tech education is helping students learn to manage their deadlines and responsibilities on their own, but also to not be afraid to ask for assistance. As a parent, you can help your student by reminding him to check email and set reminders for himself on upcoming deadlines. We have found Tech teachers and administrators to be very generous with their energy and time when students have asked for help.
The PA will help you with information that you can use in discussions with your student. But encouraging and supporting your student to become independent and responsible will help immensely at Tech and beyond.