Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Meeting Minutes for Tuesday April 5, 2022

Attendees: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Pam wright, Lucia Thorness, Erin Krutz, Carrie Sweatland

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

8:20 a.m. – Nomination of candidates to fill upcoming vacancies on the PTA Board

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

  • Montana Shakes (Montana’s Shakespeare in the Parks’ elementary school program) came on March 15th and performed a 35 minute interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss. There was a 15-20 minutes Q&A and  workshops for all grade levels as well? 
  • Placement of the $2,000 smart board ATG funded last winter
  •  $831.43 was approved last meeting towards the $1,662.85 that Pam requested from the district to replace the slide – update from Shannon and/or Pam on whether enough funds remain in the account the school holds PTA funds in to cover this…
  •  $225 was approved for buses so that the 5th graders can attend the Wildlife Film Festival but we later learned that outside funding sources existed for this so we asked that those be first explored – update?
  • Update on teacher funding requests: How many teachers have spent their classroom grants? How many requested funds over their $300 classroom grant?? Discussion Item: Do we need to communicate to remind teachers who haven’t spent their grant that it is available???

8:30 a.m. – Running Club/Fun Run (Dana, Jess, Molly, Kim)

  • Running Club
    • May 9th will be the kickoff day for the fundraising online that kids will manage with their families.  Teachers will show video May 9th and daily videos are optional after that (perseverance, courage, etc.)
    • Begin on Monday April 25th at 7:45 a.m. and will be offered every Monday and Wednesday morning in preparation for  the Fun Run on Friday May 20th (kindergarteners must have an adult accompany them to participate in the a.m. running clubs).
      • If your student would like to participate before school, you will need to return the permission form
    • A Tuesday afternoon Running Club will also be offered during recess (1:20 to 3:10 p.m. April 26th through May 17th) and we are looking for volunteers to help out and support our students
    • Kim is designing and printing hats for volunteers to help students ID helpers as they run (Thank-you Kim!)

– Pam is coming up with a schedule for the Fun Run day so that students are spread out throughout the day and 

families can come watch.

– Families will be encouraged to ask friends and family for pledges in the weeks leading up to the event in 

accordance with the formula Boosterthon is providing along with their on-line fundraising platform we are 

utilizing this year.

– we hope to make $20,000 so that hopefully no additional fundraising will be needed to fund the 2022-23 school 

year’s budget.

  • Discussion Items: 
    • Brainstorming incentive options: popcorn party, no zones recess, PJ and/or kids dress like teachers, teachers dress like kids day, Principal Wright kisses a pig (Lucia has connection to pigs)
    • Our community’s generous anonymous donor has committed several thousand dollars in funding on a matching basis for an in-person event this spring, should that be the Fun Run or another event??? Maybe animal wonders at end of year in the outdoor classroom?

8:40 a.m. – Committee Updates/Reports

  • Art Education
    • Grant was submitted to the Montana Arts Council (thank-you Elizabeth Willy!) to try and get funding for a new kiln per art teacher, Monica Thompson’s request.
      • Update from Pam on the availability of district funding  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…  
  • Teacher Appreciation – Jen and Lauren delivered snack/goodie bags on March 14th for conference week
    • Discussion Item: Families seem eager to donate funds to buy appreciation food/gifts for teachers but less excited to donate funds to the PTA so that we can fund teachers requests for support in their classrooms, why might that be? How do we better communicate/highlight the needs that teachers share with us?
  • Outdoor Education
    • Garden
      • Committee met on Monday March 7th and invites all interested to attend the next meeting on April 11th at 3:30 p.m. in the garden to discuss plans for the 2022 growing season.
      • Farmer Lori will be in 2nd grade classrooms today to review topics such as storage veggies, apples, wheat, cows, honey bees and to celebrate with Montana Superbread tastings.
      • Garden City Harvest Farmer-Educators will teach two sets of lessons this spring and in the fall. 
        • In the spring, Kindergarteners and 3rd graders visit the garden for composting and planting lessons and return as 1st graders and 4th graders in the fall to harvest veggies and put the garden to bed. 
          • Lesson 1- Composting: May 2nd and 3rd
          • Lesson 2- Planting: May 23rd and 24th
        • In the spring, a 30-minute planting activity is offered to other grade levels.

– Teachers are encouraged to use the garden space for learning all year long

  • 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
      • Discussion Item: at our last meeting we decided that Crazy Creek style chairs would provide more versatility than the original plan to purchase 4 picnic table bases and fir 2×8 timber from Heritage Timber to construct 4 tables. 
        • Jen Oakland was looking into whether grant funds could be spent on chairs to be used in the ROC versus picnic style tables…

– A work day has been proposed to prep the school garden for the new shed that is being planned for that space, sand and stain the buddy bench and assemble these tables.

– What day might work well???

8:50 a.m. –  Other Ideas/Events/Fundraisers

  • 5th grade Making A Difference Everyday (M.A.D.E.) club
    • Maggie Ward has volunteered to supervise during Thursday lunch/recess.
    • A no interest loan was approved last meeting for supplies so that they can create crafts to sell. They plan to donate 75% of their profits to charity.
  • Battle of the Books (Dana)
  • Interest in reviving Chess Club – a former sibling of an RE student used to hold a chess club during Friday lunch recess (11:00 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.), we are looking for someone to re-start this (it could be on a different day)
    • The chess boards and maybe even some rules are in the FCC closet so we would just need a coordinator or two each week.
  • Ranger Tom Bicycle Commute Challenge in May? 
  • Bike Rodeo – postponed due to lack of a volunteer coordinator and the board’s need to focus on Running Club/Fun Run this spring. 
    • There is interest in holding it next fall and getting alumni involved with bike repair and bike skills instruction.
    • The FCC, Parks n Rec and Missoula In Motion have partnered with us on past events
    • Molly Bradford expressed interest in potentially planning/sponsoring a movie night / bike rodeo event in conjunction with other grade schools at Ogren Park this fall at our last meeting…
  • Update on idea of packaging and distributing school supplies as a fundraiser/service to families who do not enjoy shopping for school supplies – Jen Sheldon
  • MCT in 2022-23 school year (Dana)
  • Lego Robotics club at RE

8:55 a.m. – Health and Safety

  • Several incidents have been reported/observed of cars hitting or nearly hitting individuals crossing Rattlesnake Drive. Please sign-up to help-out as a crossing guard if you are able: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-morning. 
    • If every family volunteers just one morning, we could cover the rest of this year and next school year as well: What an easy way to give back to our school community and make sure all students get to school safely each day!
  • Lead was detected in some of RE’s drinking fountains. Update from Pam re what has been done?
  • We now know that  COVID comes in waves and the newest variants are affecting regions that have previously peaked ahead of our community so please continue to do your part to keep vulnerable members of our community safe by:
  • Getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Check students for symptoms and keep students home even if symptoms are only mild. Staff and teachers have reported individuals attending school/work with fevers, vomiting etc.
  • 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

  • Next Leadership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday April 7th at 4:30 p.m.
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday May 3rd after drop-off (8:15 a.m. ish) and we will elect new board members as President Janel Chin and Treasurer Shannon Murphy are both at the end of their terms.

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