Leadership Meeting Minutes 9/2/21

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association

Thursday September 2, 2021

In attendance:  Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Sarah Smith, Pam Wright

  • Principal and Teacher Update
  • School needs two noon duty positions filled (paid positions 10:45 to 1:15 pm M-F), needs crossing guard, needs substitute teachers (parents who are interested need to go through formal process through MCPSMT)
  • Health and Safety Updates
  • How can we continue to support school outside?
  • Yoga mats for outdoor sit spots were donated at the Open House event. No additional sit spots needed.
  • Can we do anything to encourage unmasked times like lunch to be outdoors? Right now kids are eating outside.  When colder months come, indoor seating will be assigned so close contacts can be identified (would be max of 5 close contacts). May consider outdoor tent in colder/rainier months to come, but staffing for this (two open noon duty positions) and outdoor exposure may be obstacles.   Another option is to allow parents who choose to take their child home during lunch on cold days.

Funding Requests

  • 4th grade team has requested $1,000 to bring visiting Naturalists from Montana Natural History Center to do monthly outdoor lessons (hopefully in the new ROC). They will spend part of their classroom grants for busses to the field trip to Travelers Rest State Park and the rest on supplies for their classrooms. APPROVED
  • First grade teacher Amy Petrini has requested $241 for a magnetic dry erase easel with wheels and storage. APPROVED
  • Several teachers have used their classroom grants for items such as books and supplies for their classrooms.
  • A funding request was proposed and approved for RN Lisa Flanagan to purchase an air quality monitor last year so that she could have local outdoor air quality measures readily available to decide about students going outside on smokey days. Lisa ended up returning the monitor due to incompatibility with MCPS’s internet. We may have volunteers willing to install this on their residences near the school.  Pam will discuss further with Lisa Flanagan.

Discussed changes needed to the $26,600 Budget for the upcoming school year:

  • Janel and Dana would like to invite Animal Wonders (https://www.animalwonders.org/presentations.html#/) to present at the RE at some-point during the school year. Stacy is interested in partnering as a FCC/PTA co-event. We discussed Thursday or Friday October 14th or 15th as potential dates for an evening presentation which we hope to hold in the ROC if weather permits and in the gym if not. We believe this event will cost approximately $500.  May be a good event to celebrate the ROC. Pam may contact the Missoulian for the event. 
  • Discussion of additional hours needed to assist Dana with MCT in February.  Dana requests 12 hours of Sarah’s time to assist with MCT during the week of January 31st. (auditions 1/31/22 and 2/4/22 11am to 8pm) Sarah thinks this will work and Pam will try to get coverage as we get closer to that time to cover the 1st grade team and Sarah’s noon duty. 

Fundraising Updates

  • We have many items of swag that are available for sale.  Dana is ordering more kid and adult sweatshirts that can be available at Movie Night.  Approved 2000.00 in purchases.
  • We have a credit with Lifetouch for the yearbook that a deposit was made for during the 2019-20 school year but that we delayed due to COVID complications during the 2020-21 school year. Janel will reach out to Michelle Knowles.
  • We hope to hold a salmon sale again at some point this fall (TBA) but without some of the complications that contactless delivery created.  Janel will discuss with Ash.
  • We plan to hold an in-person book fair in the library November 8-11.  Dana has discussed with Robin Nygren. Sounds like Dana has volunteers lined up. Set up Monday. Tuesday student preview and wish lists.  Tuesday evening- open for sales. Thursday noon closes down.
  • We plan to hold our annual Direct Donate fundraiser in December.
  • We plan to hold an on-line auction again in April (Spring Fling) but will need volunteers to make that possible.


  • Please join us in reading the Wizard of Oz in anticipation of our movie night at Ogren ballpark on Wednesday September 22nd
  • 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.
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday September 7th at 8:20 a.m.
  • Fall Picture Day has been scheduled for Tuesday October 4th

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.


  • 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. 

Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom

Completion plans are in place for the Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom (ROC) happening in the amphitheater area west of the school. BUT in order for students and staff of Rattlesnake to have an opportunity to use the ROC space this fall, we need strong, capable, helping hands that can lift 80-pound pavers to assist the landscaping team from Wild Rockies Landscaping. Ideally, there will be two volunteers at a time working in 3-4 hour blocks with the talented landscaping team, starting August 23rd week and continuing until the project is complete. Please reach out if you think you may be able to help. Doug from Wild Rockies Landscaping is available via text at 406-250-1171 to schedule volunteers.

Movie Night at Ogren Park

Rattlesnake PTA is excited to kickoff the school year with a community movie night! Please join us for a showing of The Wizard of Oz, Wednesday evening, September 22nd at Ogren Park. The movie is free and concessions will be available for purchase. This is an alcohol-free event. Thanks to our sponsor, Worden Thane P.C., for helping to make the event possible.

 The Wizard of Oz Movie (Classic Version), 101 Minutes

When: Wednesday, September 22nd, Doors Open at 5:00 pm, Movie Begins at 5:30 pm

Where: Ogren Park, 700 Cregg Ln (Outside)

Cost: Movie is Free, Concessions Available for Purchase (Alcohol-Free Event)

Questions: Contact Dana Hupp at huppdana@gmail.com

Financial Assistance: Contact Stacy Jehle at sjehle@mcps.k12.mt.us (after 8/30/21)

Many Hearts Project – Spring 2021

Collaborative Art for ALL Rattlesnake Kids & Staff

We will work together to create a collage of hundreds (maybe even 1000) tiny heart art “squares” and hang it in Rattlesnake School!


  1. MATERIALS: Get your packet of art materials from your teacher or the FCC (MOA families can pick up in the front vestibule at school during school hours starting April 9)
  2. CREATE: Create 2 – 3 individual art pieces. Each should include at least one heart (cutout, stamp, drawing, stickers etc).
  3. RETURN: Bring your pieces back to school (drop them in the front vestibule or bring to your teacher) by April 30. Keep any extra papers for yourself to use at home in your own future projects!


  1. Each piece you turn in should be a 2″ square. You have some pre-cut 2″ square paper pieces in your packet to use or you can make your own with other papers.
  2. You can just use the papers in your packet or also use materials you have at home (papers, paints, stamps, color pencils, markers, punches, etc.)! Some ideas include drawing or painting a heart on a colorful paper background or cutting mini hearts out of different papers and gluing them to a square paper background. See below for more examples.
  3. Don’t be afraid to mix colors and patterns. Be creative!
  4. Create at least one piece but we’d love for you to make 2-3 and we will include as many as possible in the final art collage hung at school.
  5. HAVE FUN!


Please reach out to Stacy Jehle in the FCC with questions or if you need additional materials: sjehle@mcps.k12.mt.us




Spring Auction 2021

Our Spring Auction will be all online again this year!

The online auction starts on Sunday, April 11 at 8am and ends on Sunday, April 18 at 7pm and will be hosted by the betterworld fundraising tools.


We’re raising money to fund classroom grants for each teacher at Rattlesnake Elementary to spend on the most needed supplies or experiences. It’s been a tough year for fundraising and the needs have only increased. 

Check back here for more information on available items and more!

Info on donating items:

Donation Form: https://rattlesnakepta.betterworld.org/donate-an-item

Direct Donate 2020

The Rattlesnake PTA works with the teachers, staff, and community of our school to provide both funding and in-person support for special events, field trips, students and families in need, classroom materials, and educational enrichment. By donating to the Rattlesnake PTA this holiday season, your dollars directly support the programs that matter most to our students, staff, and community.

  • Donate between December 1st and December 31st 2020 to ensure your donation is counted towards meeting our annual goal. Donations received after the deadline are very much still welcome- it is just harder to keep track of our progress after that!
  • The suggested donation is $50 per child – this amount is approximately how much the PTA needs in donations, per child per year, to support our programs.
  • To donate online, visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/RattlesnakePTA
  • To donate with cash or check: Use the pre-addressed green envelope that came home with your child if he/she is going to school (you can send the envelope back in your child’s classroom folder). For MOA families, using an envelope from home works too – just mail to the address shown below! Donations over winter break should be mailed to either of the addresses below. Checks should be made out to “Rattlesnake PTA.”

Mail to: 

Rattlesnake PTA, P.O. Box 7211, Missoula MT 59807

– or –

Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802

Track our overall progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RattlesnakePTA/

Thank you for considering a donation today!

A Thank You Note from one of our MOA Teachers

More Details on the Direct Donate Fundraiser

Background: The PTA’s Direct Donate Drive started in 2015 to allow families to give money to the PTA without having to buy or sell items they may not want or need. The Direct Donate fundraiser has since become the biggest annual fundraiser run by the Rattlesnake PTA.  Learn more about the Rattlesnake PTA’s major fundraising and event schedule here.

Goals: The net funds raised during the Direct Donation event in 2018 and 2019 were over $10,000. The goal for 2020 is $10,000, so that we can stay on track with the PTA’s support of school programs despite all the challenges this year has brought.

Get the Word Out: We are committed to minimizing waste during this fundraising event by minimizing paper handouts so watch for email and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RattlesnakePTA) reminders that you can share with others. You can also share the Crowdrise link with grandparents, family & friends who might want to support Rattlesnake Elementary.

Please feel free to return any unused green envelopes to your child’s teacher for reuse next year.

Online Fees: Anyone can donate by check, cash, or online — but you might want to know that donations by cash or check “go a little farther” because there are no transaction fees. Donations online via Crowdrise include two fees:

  • a 6% (of total donation) fee to use the online platform
  • separate credit card processing fee of 3- 4%, depending on size of donation

If you wish to maximize every penny of your donation, please consider sending a check instead. Make the check out to “Rattlesnake PTA” and send to Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802.

Tax Info: The PTA’s legal name as defined by the IRS may show up on your receipt for donating on Crowdrise- that name is the “MONTANA CONGRESS OF PARENTS TEACHERS STUDENTS.” We are sorry for any confusion that might cause. Your donation will reach us!

The Rattlesnake PTA is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, tax ID #81-0448185.

If you have further questions about this fundraiser, please email the PTA at RattlesnakePTA@gmail.com

Community Resources: Winter 2020

During the week off from school, there are many food, support & counseling resources available to our community. See the full list:

>> Winter Resources <<

Message from Ms. Scholle:

Hello Rattlesnake Families! As the holidays approach during this difficult time, it is completely normal to feel stressed and tight financially.

I wanted to share resources in the Missoula community dedicated to supporting you during this time. Attached here is a list of resources for Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with Counseling resources you may find helpful. You can access the list of resources here and on my website.

Please reach out if you need any support, I am here for you!

Love, Ms. Scholle