General PTA meeting Minutes 9/7/21

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association

Tuesday September 7, 2021

In Attendance: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Lauren Sheetz, Jessica Carter, Molly Cattrell, Jen Oakland, Judson Corn, Sara Lee, Pam Wright, Gloria Cahill

Committee updates

Teacher Appreciation Committee: Flowers for teachers went well

Garden Committee: 54 families adopted the garden with 74 garden visits. Good engagement. Daily sign up was popular. Will likely stick with that. Working with century link regarding soil remediation and plum tree replacement after chemicals were sprayed. Planning two distributions of harvest to the kids. Looking for a few more parent volunteers for the 2nd distribution October 1, 2021. 1st grade and 4th grade will do the harvesting prior to Oct 1.  If teachers have needs for pumpkins, let us know so we can get the pumpkins from the pumpkin tunnel to those teachers. 

Teacher updates: 

-A lot of new staff, particularly kindergarten. Maybe reach out to that team to ask if they have needs.  

-Families need to avoid using playground until 3:40 because some buses are arriving after dismissal and they need the playground to supervise that group safely. 

-Reminder to walk bikes on school grounds. Some close calls in terms of riding through parking lot and riding through buses. 

Health and Safety Updates

  • Delta variant is presumably transmitting even amongst vaccinated populations and thus the requirement that face coverings be worn indoors at this time.
  • Outside of school hours, we ask that RE families do their part by avoiding un-masked indoor settings as much as possible for those who have contact with not yet vaccinated individuals. AND if your student is exhibiting any symptoms and/or you know of any potential exposures, keep them isolated.
  • The school is looking for a couple of noon duties to support teachers and staff with outdoor lunches, please consider applying if you have time between the hours of 10:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
  • RE could also use more substitute teachers for those who have availability during the school day to work.
  • If you would like to donate cloth face coverings to our school community, please let us know. 
  • If you would like to contribute to enhancements to outdoor learning at R.E., please let us know as plans for the Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom (ROC) are underway. ROC is in its last stages now and should be completed this week.  The amphitheater should accommodate an entire grade.  Next step is enhancements. ? Signage on local birds ? Bird boxes ? Elk spotting binoculars to point at Mount Jumbo? Native plant garden (maybe partnering with local nursery or landscaping company)
  • There will likely be maintenance needed twice per year and PTA can coordinate volunteers. 
  • ? Animal wonders for kick off ROC event 10/14/21 or 10/15/21?
  • Outdoor lunch- discussed tents for rain or snow.  Kids will be inside for cold temperatures.  Max of 5 close contacts b/c of assigned seating. Some families may take kids out of school for lunch during indoor eating days. Need to sort out how this will be communicated with parents.  Could utilize ROC to reduce numbers of kids in the cafeteria when weather permits.

Fundraising Updates

  • We have many items of swag that are available for sale, we are looking for volunteers to assist with potential future swag sales.
  • We are looking for volunteers to help create a yearbook.
  • We hope to hold a salmon sale again at some point this fall (TBA) but without some of the complications that contactless delivery created.
  • We plan to hold an in-person book fair in November but will need volunteers to staff it.
  • We plan to hold our annual Direct Donate fundraiser in December.
  • We plan to hold an on-line auction again in April but will need volunteers to make that possible.

Approve our proposed 2021-22 Budget

  • The proposed budget includes:
    • $9,000 for $300 classroom grants as well as an additional $6,000 in Academic Enrichment funds that can be awarded on an individual basis throughout the school year.
      • $1,000 has been committed to the Montana Natural History Center so that the 4th graders can once again learn from visiting naturalists
      • Funds have also been committed to boom folders, the school garden, battle of the books and the Missoula Writing Collaborative in the past
    • We plan to fund teacher appreciation efforts at a similar level to past school years.
    • We will continue to support early literacy via funding for a paraprofessional to assist kindergarten teachers and support for families in transition via the FRC. 
    • Our budget also continues to allow for administrative costs such as recycling, dues, insurance, etc.
  • Fundraising was down last year but we are hopeful that with increased vaccinations availability the economics in our community will support robust future fundraising efforts.
  • Jen Oakland made motion to approve the budget. Dana Hupp seconded the motion. APPROVED. Discussion about being more transparent with parents about what PTA is funding
  • Recommendation about direct donate- make smaller donations mean something (i.e. suggest that a 10 dollar donation would provide 10 boom folders, etc.. maybe take out the suggested donation of 50 dollars per student)

Funding updates

  • In addition to the funds for the 4th grade to have visiting naturalists mentioned above, the Board approved $241 for a magnetic dry erase easel with wheels and storage for 1P– the current whiteboard in 1P will be offered to other teachers
  • Several teachers have used their classroom grants for items such as books and supplies for their classrooms. It has not always been clear whether teachers are requesting their classroom grant versus extra academic enrichment funds– discussion of how we might clarify this distinction better in the future.

Announcements

  • Please join us in reading the Wizard of Oz in anticipation of our movie night at Ogren ballpark on Wednesday September 22nd at 5:30 p.m. Free event except for concessions. If weather is bad, decision will be made that morning b/c they are allowing to reschedule. Swag will be available.
  • Rattlesnake Creek’s Watershed Group is looking for creative/artistic individuals to assist them in creating a banner for their fall festival on Sunday September 26th from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at Ten Spoon Winery the event involves food, music, activities, art and games. Bring apples if you would like to press cider and let us know if you would like to be part of the banner decorating in advance of the event.
  • Battle of the Books is on the horizon for 4th and 5th grade students, please let us know if you have lunchtime availability and could volunteer to help them prepare for this engaging literacy competition.  Looking for two 5th grade parents: Jen Oakland volunteered and she will contact Becky as well.
  • The following events are in need of volunteer committees in order to occur, please let us know if you might be willing to help out with the:
    • Spring Auction April 2022, planning online.
    • Bike Rodeo late April 2022,
    • Running Club May 2022
    • Fun Run late May 2022
  • Book fair- Nov 9-11, 2021. Same week as parent teacher conferences
  • Direct donate December 2021
  • Fall Picture Day has been scheduled for Monday October 4th
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday October 5th at 8:20 a.m.

PTA Leadership meetings are generally held the first Thursday of each month from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Please let us know if you have a topic that you would like to present to the leadership board at one of our meetings. 

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