With furniture being assembled and welcome events scheduled, a group of parents met at Butterfly Ridge Elementary School this week to take the next step in establishing the newly constructed school’s PTA ahead of its opening this fall.
At least 20 parents coming from three schools — Hillcrest, Orchard Grove and Waverley elementary schools — gathered in the auxiliary gym on Monday. An interpreter was present for those parents who do not speak English. For some parents, it was their first time interacting with the parents coming from one of the other schools.
“It was personally my first experience with a meeting that was interpreted, but at both Hillcrest and Waverley, they do that at every event and it went very well,” said Becky Bostian, parent of an incoming fourth-grader at Butterfly Ridge.
Next, attendees hope to broaden the range of parents who will participate in the PTA for the new elementary school located off Butterfly Lane, opposite of McCain Drive, in Frederick.
“We reached out to the people who attended the meeting and encouraged them to seek out neighbors and friends to tell them about the meeting and to let them know we plan on having an interpreter so it’s not just a few people. We want lots and lots of families involved, and we encourage them to come to the block party on the 13th.”
At the meeting, parents unanimously voted to form a PTA instead of a PTO, and they plan to meet again on Aug. 13 at the Butterfly Ridge Block Party for their first official meeting. There, they need to have at least 25 members. Dues will be $8 and there will be four elected officers.
Parents at the meeting also heard from Butterfly Ridge Elementary Principal Patricia Hosfelt.
Hosfelt described the new building’s features and talked about teaching strategies, the size of the school and some key dates coming up. She also described her vision of forming a culture and community at the new school as students familiar with various schools come together at Butterfly Ridge.
“This is the first brand-new school in over 13 years here in Frederick County. We’re a brand-new school, and we can create our own history. This is an exciting journey to be on,” Hosfelt said. “In thinking about the culture of the school, we are working toward including representation from all the schools, making sure our Latino and Hispanic community are welcomed in, that we have interpreters at all of our events, that everyone has a voice at the table.”
In the prior year, Hosfelt said she worked closely with school leadership at each of the schools that students will come from and spent time interacting with students at those schools, aiming to make her face a familiar one before the first day at Butterfly Ridge.
“The whole year is going to be trial and error,” Hosfelt said, “but everyone agreed we are in this for the students and the students are the main focus.”