Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Meeting Minutes for Tuesday March 1, 2022

Attendees: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Pam Wright, Sarah Lee, Lauren Sheetz, Molly Bradford, Jen Oakland

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

8:20 a.m. Presentation of Standing Rules for adoption, approved

8:25 a.m. – Principal and Teacher Updates

  • Funding Request: At our last meeting, Pam informed us that one of the slides needs to be replaced and has  requested that the PTA grant $831.43 towards this expense. This was approved.
    • Pam has requested the same amount from the district as she was quoted $1,662.85 as the replacement cost from the district’s maintenance fund/building reserve. There are concerns about this fund as it hasn’t been replenished since 2016 when MCPS ran the bond levy for SMARTSchools and let the maintenance levy go…
    • Funding request for bus  to film festival for 5th grade field trip. Approved up to $225 funding.

8:30 a.m. – Fundraising

  • Direct Donate was a huge success but more funds are needed before we can fully fund our budget for next year and continent to support things like the FCC, school garden, early literacy intervention, recycling and academic enrichment like MCT and Montana Shakes
  • Plans are underway to turn the running club and/or fun run traditionally held in each spring into a fundraiser
    • Dana and Janel met with Jessica Fowler from Boosterthon and learned about possibilities to use their on-line platform and formula that has raised over $30,000 at other area schools. Will need adult volunteers May 20th.
    • Planning on May 20 for fun run/fundraiser. Kids will do 35 laps and try to raise a certain amount of money per lap. Run or walk okay.  35 laps = 2 miles. The site opens for donations 2 weeks prior to the event. Kids watch a 10 min video in their classroom.  
  • Our community’s generous anonymous donor has committed several thousand dollars in funding on a matching basis for an in-person event this spring.
  • Jen Sheldon is looking into the idea of packaging and distributing school supplies as a fundraiser/service to families who do not enjoy shopping for school supplies. 
  • Discussion about commuter challenge this spring with Shawn. Dana will reach out to him.  Discussed bike rodeo in the fall and getting rattlesnake alum involved with bike repair, bike skills, etc. 

8:40 a.m. – Committee Updates/Reports

  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Outdoor Education
    • Garden
      • $2,000 in funding was approved last meeting for a new shed because the existing shed is too small to hold the garden cart, sink or trellising material to protect them during the winter month. Plans are underway to re-use building materials to build a shed that will allow hand tools, irrigation equipment, shovels and rakes to be better organized and allow communal teaching supplies and subby spaces and/or shelves for the teachers to use. The hope is that the garden will be more welcoming for teachers as well as students who could start being in the shed with the adult weighing their harvested produce.
      • Farmer Lori is working with 2nd graders today to learn about honey bees, food and farming.
      • Garden Committee is meeting on Monday March 7th at 3:30 p.m. is Ms. Thomas’ classroom
      • Jen oakland has reached out to heritage timbers, epic steel and the builder, Damian. Garage door company in Missoula will contribute the door system. Jen Oakland will also apply for the “whole kids grant”
  • ROC 
    • We are looking for a volunteer to spearhead communications with teachers and staff about how to best spend the $2,284 in ‘Neighborhood’ grant funds that the City of Missoula gave to the ROC as those funds must be spent by June 1st
      • Picnic tables to increase the seating for outdoor lunch and learning has been what is most commonly shared with us but other ideas were for things like a podium/lectern for teachers at the front of the amphitheater, bird boxes, binoculars to spot elk and other wildlife on Mount Jumbo and/or native plant displays. 
        • Becky Douglas has expressed willingness for Heritage Timber to donate wood for the table tops if we move forward with purchasing the table bases
  • Jen Oakland has been in touch with the Audubon society regarding bird boxes and Heritage Timber has donated bird box kits to our spring auction in the past.
  • Art Educations
    • The kiln at RE is in a state of disrepair (has been since a near fire 4 years ago), a series of band-aid fixes have kept it limping along but art teacher Monica Thompson is hoping to secure $3,000 in funding to replace it.
      • Pam is checking with the district to ask if there is any funding available for this. 
      • Monica is working with Elizabeth Willy to apply for a grant from the Montana Arts Council for this.
      • If we aren’t able to fully fund this request Monica is open to the idea of a specific capital campaign like selling cards of kids artwork, or something like that…  

– MCT directors worked with all RE students earlier this year. Big thanks to Dana for coordinating this and Worden and Thane for sponsoring it financially.

– “Montana Shakes,” Montana’s Shakespeare in the Parks’ elementary school program is coming to do a 35 minute performance (interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss) + 15-20 minutes Q&A and up to 9 workshops for all grade levels will be held on Tuesday March 15th 

– Battle of the Books update (Dana)

– There has been interest in forming a Lego Robotics club at RE, SpectrUM is interested in supporting this and some ATG employees may be interested as part of their community volunteer program as well. 

– There would be costs for a coach (unless a volunteer is found) and for the lego sets.

– Pam is checking to see if any of the teachers or staff would like to coach

– For more information on Lego Robotics visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll/what-is-first-lego-league

– Any interest in a bike rodeo? In the past it was held in conjunction with Parks n’ Rec/Missoula In Motion

8:50 a.m. – RE saw unprecedented levels of COVID this winter and we are pleased that numbers are now falling throughout our community. Please continue to do your part to keep vulnerable members of our community safe by:

  • Getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same. The Missoula Education Foundation is offering prizes to Missoula youth who have received their vaccinations against COVID, click HERE for more information and let us know if you need assistance scheduling your family’s vaccinations.
  • Check students for symptoms and keep students home even if symptoms are only mild.
  • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission. If your student needs a reusable cloth face covering, let us know as we received another recent donation.
  • Keep our social circles small and outside.
  • When your students are healthy and able to attend school, be consistent with attendance as non-COVID related absences are creating extra work for teachers in terms of preparation and planning. Please be respectful of our teachers’ time and grateful for the extra work they put in to catch students up when they miss school. 

9:00 a.m. – Announcements

  • If you see out-of-date information on our website, please let us know!
  • Big thanks to ATG for granting our school $2,000 for a smart board. 
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday April 5th after drop-off (8:15 a.m. ish) and we will be accepting nominations for new board members as President Janel Chin and Treasurer Shannon Murphy are both at the end of their terms.

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