Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Meeting Minutes for Tuesday November 2, 2021

In attendance: Janel Chin, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Pam Wright, Molly Bradford, Sara Lee

8:15 a.m. – Welcome,  Intros and Call for other items 

8:20 a.m. – Principal and Teacher Updates

  • More employees needed at lunch (10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.), during the school day (i.e. substitute teachers) and after school crossing guard- please consider applying to work part-time at our school. Just hired another noon duty. Still need substitute teachers! Sign up is at the bottom of the employment opportunities on MCPS. Can share this link on facebook. Need afternoon crossing guard 3:15 to 3:45
    • Please welcome our new crossing guard if you have a chance and thank her for helping students safely cross Rattlesnake Drive in the mornings.

– Questions about the 2022-23 school year calendar as many working parents are needing to request any needed time off now.

8:25 a.m. Committee Updates/Reports

  • Direct Donate (Melody) – schoolwide email and paper letter via BOOM folders went out last week… Let us know if you would like to help us promote this fundraiser (make a video for us to post on Facebook?)
  • Swag (Dana) – Sale on Monday the 13th of this month (help us spread the word please!), we will start selling in the lobby of the school at 2:30 and hope to be wrapped up by 5:30 p.m.  
    • New sweatshirts were ordered but we are out of beanie hats and low on many other items…
    • Sales this year have netted our PTA ~$800

– Book Fair (Dana) – We are waiting until the busyness of the holiday season winds down to hear our total funds earned from Fact and Fiction but big thanks to everyone who helped with set-up, selling and take-down and to everyone who purchased books.  Molly Bradford can screenshare online shopping/making wishlists to share

– Battle of the Books (Dana) – first competition will take place December 16th. RE has multiple 4th and 5th grade teams competing. Big thanks to coaches and other volunteers for making this possible!

– Theater Enrichment (Dana) 

– Worden & Thane is once again sponsoring MCT coming to RE to work with our students. Every class will do a workshop this winter with an MCT employee

– Our Leadership Board voted to fund “Montana Shakes” which is Montana Shakespeare in the Parks elementary school program coming to RE on March 15th to do an age appropriate performance (interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss) followed by nine workshops for students to work with our actor-educators ($800 cost).  Pam may be working with this actors to see if they could do two different shows instead of workshops

– ROC Discussion of top priorities to keep the space usable in 2022 – We are still accepting donations for future enhancements to that space such as picnic tables, bird boxes, elk spotting binoculars and/or native plant displays. Janel will discuss with Jen Oakland if we need to get another volunteer involved.  

– Teacher Appreciation (Lauren / Jen S. )- stock the fridge/FCC event last month was well received: HUGE thanks to everyone who donated!!!

– School garden is hoping for a new, larger shed if anyone wants to support this, let us know.  There is funding available. Jen Oakland and Molly Bradford need to get together ? Hellgate high school make one?

8:35 a.m. – Future Fundraising/Events – 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 – we hope to hold an on-line auction again in April but we need volunteers to make that possible. Possible tasks include:
    • Coordinating the solicitation of donations
    • Creating and managing the on-line auction website
    • Organizing and distributing the donations before and after the auction
    • Bike Rodeo (tentatively planned for Friday April 29th) – past Bike Rodeos have been held in conjunction with Parks n’ Rec, Missoula In Motion and other community partners so a coordinator is really all that was needed to put on this fun event.
    • Running Club (tentatively planned for May 2021) – in past years (prior to 2019 & 20 COVID cancellations) running club was held on Tuesday and Thursdays in May both before school and during afternoon recesses. 
      • Past coordinators have lead students through some warm-up drills followed by a short run/walk on the trails out by the PEAS farm and/or around the school yard 
      • In the past, running club has culminated in a school-wide Fun Run at the end of the school yar (tentatively planned  for June 9th or 10th)

– Focused giving. Please let us know if you are someone you know would be interested in giving to specific projects/efforts in our school community. For instance, the school garden could use a new shed, landscaping and maintenance needs exist south of the school and there are opportunities to increase arts enrichment at RE. The improvements made last summer to seating in the ROC improvements were largely funded by one RE family. 

8:45 a.m. – Health and Safety Discussion Items:

  • COVID numbers remain high in Missoula and hospitals remain quite full especially with unvaccinated individuals.
    • How can we support increased vaccination rates in our school community?
  1. In the meantime how can we continue to minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID? 
    1. For instance, can seating arrangements be kept more consistent between the classroom/lunch and specials?
  2. Overhead coverings seem to be logistically difficult and expensive but do we want to pursue tables to hopefully allow outdoor lunches to resume for at least a portion of students?
  • Please note: Teachers and staff have indicated that picnic tables would be helpful towards extending their ability to use that area as the weather gets colder and the ground remains wet more of the time.
  • Things RE families can do to help:
    • Check students for symptoms and make sure their face covering is clean and well fitting before sending them to school each morning and keep students home even if symptoms are only mild
    • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission
    • Keep our social circles small
    • Keep gatherings outside as much as possible
    • Encourage others to get vaccinated
    • Isolate after potential exposures
    • Report questionable situations related to the school day such as buses without windows cracked

8:50 a.m. – Announcements

  • If you see out-of-date information on our website, please let us know!
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday January 4th at 8:15 a.m. ish
  • Our Board is starting the process of recruiting new members, please consider reaching out to learn more. We are in the most dire need of a Treasurer to shadow Shannon and take-over the treasury in May.

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