April 2019 General PTA Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association

General Meeting Minutes for April 2 2019 from 830-9am in the FCC

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a busy time of year so here’s the quick list of upcoming dates for reference:

  • April 9th: PTA Fundraiser at the Dram Shop from 5-9pm
  • April 10th: Classroom Photos and spring individual photos
  • April 10th: District Boundary Study Open House from 6-8pm at Russell School
  • April 12th: Last official day of Kindergarten Registration (reg is ongoing for families that move, etc, but best to get it done before the 12th!)
  • April 22nd: No School, Teacher Education Day and also Earth Day
  • Late April (exact date TBD): Running Club begins
  • May 6 – 10: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 27th: No School, Memorial Day
  • May 29, 5:30-6:30pm: Kindergarten Parent Orientation
  • June 11th: Fun Run!
  • June 13th: Last Day of School
  • August 28: First Day of School, K-5th. See Start of School info below.

Attendance: Leigh (CoP),  Molly (CoP), Judith (VP), Alex (T), Matthew (S), Pam (Principal), Maureen (Teacher Rep), Kristie (Boundary Study Rep), + 5 additional parents 

Items as Discussed:

  • Welcome and Intros
  • Call for other items
  • Carissa B brought a new community event idea. Concept that community events should be more participatory, less just watching a movie. Storytelling idea like “Tell Us Something” for kids, teachers, staff. Focus of communication based on stories with more interaction.  Approx $300 for a workshop same as movie night, but could be more educational. Mark Moss is the coordinator, can help with focus for stories. He is promoting workshops. Would be for next fall at the earliest. Workshop could be in or out of school hours, using as an assembly suggested, but unlikely to be effective for his expertise. Carissa will meet with Mark to further research how this might work for the fall, what Mark can and cannot do, and will report back.
  • Positions: VP and Treasurer positions are up for May election: Leigh introduced the process in the recent changes for 2 year terms as well as how we have had some off year turnover. If anyone is interested in becoming VP or Treasurer, or take on any other job or event within the PTA, they are encouraged to reach out to the PTA to discuss via our main email, rattlesnakepta@gmail.com      
  • Principal’s Updates
    • All schools are currently conducting Kindergarten registration.
    • Dates have been posted for Smarter Balance (SBAC) for grades 3,4, and 5.  Technology has provided the ability to be complete in a few days rather than over the course of 2 months.  Parents, please check the schedule and avoid trips, appointments, and out of school events to allow for the most efficient use of time to get all the testing done. Learn more about SBAC schedule for Rattlesnake here: https://www.mcpsmt.org/rattlesnake and the testing itself here: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/11547
    • Kindergarten Round up Update: This spring schools will be doing a “Parent Orientation” in the evening in late May (May 29, 5:30-6:30pm for Rattlesnake, other schools may have other dates/times) instead of a school day kid-centric Roundup event. Schools will not be sending the current Kindergarteners home for a day, wanting to keep the day of instruction. There will also be a kid orientation the day prior to K starting (Aug 27th) during the day, to allow kids to see their classrooms and meet their teacher.
    • Start of School Year Addendum (not directly covered in PTA Meeting due to time constraints, but instead covered due to parent interest at a quick meeting with Principal Wright and PTA Co President Leigh): There will not be Kindergarten home visits this August, that program is not being run for year 2019-2020. For this coming school year, the school start schedule is being planned as follows:
      • Wednesday, May 29, 5:30-6:30: Kindergarten Parent Orientation (this is a new parent focused event, formerly Kindergarten Roundup was a more kid focused event). Free childcare will be available by reservation through PTA and FCC.
      • Mid to late August: Newly registered 1st-5th Families Tour (date TBD, likely mid afternoon, 2:00-3:00)
      • August 27th, scheduled times throughout the day: Kindergarten Student Orientation. Small groups of students w/ their parents will be scheduled to visit the classroom and meet the teacher.. Classrooms for 1st-5th will not be available for visits during this time, to allow for prep. Registered K families will receive an email with their scheduled time.
      • August 27th, 5:00-6:00: 1st-5th All Families Back to School Night. K Classrooms will not be available for visits during this time, as K will have had a separate morning orientation earlier in the same day.
      • August 28th: First Day of School for full school, K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a full standard day schedule and regular busing.
      • August 29th: Second Day of School K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a typical Thursday Early Out day schedule and regular busing.
      • August 30th: Third Day of School K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a full standard day schedule and regular busing.


  • Teacher’s Reps Updates – Maureen Loewenwarter
    • Garden –  there are 6 beds in the garden that will need to be replaced due to age and natural decay. The wood boxes are wearing out and looking at a tiered replacement of two per year.  Will anticipate using the $500 allocated in the budget to enhance the garden. Becky D stated that her family business may be able to donate wood to defray cost- Maureen and Becky will follow up.
    • Garden Cleanup week of 22 April.  Kindergarten will be in the garden starting in May. This will also be a student job listed on the Meaningful Work board by the FCC.
    • Garden City Harvest will invoice the PTA directly for costs. They buy compost, tools, gloves, etc.
    • District has in the past paid for some aspects of garden with some of their own available budget, for instance, the garden path improvements to make it ADA accessible was covered by the district.
    • 23 April is scheduled for some garden clean up. Additional volunteer opportunities will be available. Shannon, volunteer coordinator, will reach out to volunteer core to reflect these events. Ain’t no party like a working party!
  • FCC Related Updates
    • Classroom School Photos coming up on April 10th! Volunteers needed, reach out to Shannon at rattlesnakepta@gmail.com to volunteer. We will be making a yearbook as well this year which will be for sale as an additional fundraiser.
    • Book Gift Certificates and process
      • We were planning to do a drawing due to more demand than certificates. Becky D offered to make a donation to cover additional demand and an additional ask was made to contribute. Carissa explained the process as part of the exchange and had built up credit.  Does seem there will be some donation to cover additional expenses to get gift certs to all teachers that were interested. Some will come from the PTA and Molly, Matthew, Alex, and Judith all agreed to allocate additional funds to cover deficit of demand.
      • An announcement will be made via FB and teacher newsletters to have the parents if they are clearing out some of their old children’s books (or any books) in their homes can drop them off at the book exchange and credit to Rattlesnake PTA. This is open year-round.
  • Events Past and Upcoming, Updates and Summaries
    • Spring Fling Summary – Almost $8k in profits at this time (some money still incoming from auction items being picked up post-event).
      • Face painting was the largest single “donation can” income at the event, bringing in $70, as well it was positive feedback to have the older kids (5th graders) doing the painting.
      • Thank yous are going out, more are needed to finish up.
  • Running Club, Fun Run, and Fun Run Sponsorships
    • Emily Linton will be running it again this year!
    • Date is now set, June 11th. Many volunteers will be needed on that date.
    • Running Club will be starting in late April, exact date TBD.
    • For the actual run event, we will be soliciting sponsors. Currently we have $300 in sponsorships, hopeful to bring in more.
    • Not doing T Shirts, but will be doing popsicles again as well a local pediatric dentistry office will be handing out toothbrushes after the event.
    • There are leftover carousel tokens that will be turned over to the PTA for prizes and other events.
  • District Boundary Study Update
    • Still a lot of information available on the website. Commentary and maps are available, another commentary period is open until April 10th meeting, which will be 6-8pm at Russell School. Next committee meeting will be this coming Thursday.
    • Committee is currently working on three different options. Some significant change options and some more modest options. The planners and committee determined that more time was necessary to make a thoughtful change regarding the boundaries, hence the end dates later this spring rather than planned end that was in April originally.
    • Rattlesnake school is projected to have declining population over the next ten year span. There are some discussions as part of the boundary study process regarding whether to not to move either Lower Rattlesnake or E Msla to Lowell to ease some of the current crowding at Rattlesnake.
    • There has been neighborhood support to open Mount Jumbo in E Msla which does better align with the guidance to make neighborhood schools and safe routes.  The intention however to move kids only once does complicate that possibility. Also Grandfathering would negate a lot of the intention of possibly building a community for the Mt Jumbo school.
    • Committee meeting this Thursday will be available to the public.  Public involvement has been helpful and has had an effect on the process.
    • Currently Mount Jumbo does not have enough students in area, but may grow to have enough within 3 years depending on how the neighborhood changes.
    • Cost impact of reopening Mount Jumbo the school will be significant, but the school structure is good.  Will need some tech and HVAC upgrades. We have enough teachers within the district but will have to hire all new administrative and support staff.  If a school is opened it may drive more population and young family growth.
    • Overall for Boundary Study there are 17 total option areas that may be adjusted, 4 are seriously considered, but will possibly end up combining options.  Please see the Boundary Page for more details on the proposed options. https://www.mcpsmt.org/elementaryschoolboundarystudy

PTA General Meeting for May will be 8:30am on May 7th. This meeting will include voting for VP and Treasurer for 2019-2020 and beyond.

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