Rattlesnake Garden: Summer Programs

Did you know Rattlesnake School’s garden has had the highest number of summer volunteers, and the largest quantities of produce donated to families of any other school garden for the last 2 years?
Here are the numbers:
  • 2017: 660 lbs produce, 138 Open Garden Visits,
  • 2018: 561 lbs produce (Charlo had 556), 98 Open Garden Visits (Chief Charlo had 112!), 20 families adopt-the-garden (ten more families than any other school)
Let’s keep our garden going and growing this summer! Here are some fun opportunities for your family to participate in our school garden throughout the summer break:


Thursdays, 9am-12pm / June 27 – August 15

Garden City Harvest will be in the garden every Thursday morning this summer. Come visit, help out, learn about gardening, and take home some fresh fruits and vegetables!


Be an ambassador for the garden! Volunteer to weed, harvest ripe produce, and welcome visitors in the garden for a few hours one week of the summer.

Email School Gardens Manager Lori Blumenthal at lori@gardencityharvest.org or sign up online: https://secure.everyaction.com/Z75PFEJWmUWwz1ZZqxsZ6A2



Wednesday, August 7, 5:30-7:30pm

Join Garden City Harvest staff for a fun and family-friendly cooking class in your school garden. Only $5 for the whole family! Together we will make four garden-fresh recipes and eat together as a community.

Sign up at least 48 hours in advance online at  https://secure.everyaction.com/PIToxit2v02NJ655niOzkQ2 or  by contacting School Gardens Manager Lori Blumenthal at lori@gardencityharvest.org

Family Fun Night: June 6!

We hope to see everyone at our final Family Fun Night of the year on June 6!

This FREE event is a Summer Kick-off BBQ and will be held in East Missoula from 6:00 – 7:30pm at East Missoula Lions Park (by Mt Jumbo School).

Join us for food, a bouncy house, and games to kick-off summer! Food and activities will be provided by the Feed the Need food truck. This is a free family event so come check it

** Thank you to the Feed the Need food truck for making this event possible! **


Kindergarten 2019/2020

Do you have an incoming Kindergarten student next year?

Please attend a parent/guardian meeting for registered students on May 29!

  • Wednesday, May 29, 2019
  • Rattlesnake School
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.

This meeting is for parents and guardians only.  Our staff will have lots of information to prepare you and your child for kindergarten at Rattlesnake School.  We will also let you know about the scheduled day in August that students will be able to come and tour our school.

We hope to meet you soon!



Rattlesnake Spirit Wear!

Show your school spirit and order your Rattlesnake Elementary gear online at https://rattlesnakespiritwear18.itemorder.com/  from now until May 21!

Hats, mugs, shirts, hoodies and more are all available with the super-fun snake logo. 5% of each sale go to our PTA fund for classroom and school enrichments.

The sale ends May 21 so that the orders can be ready before the end of school. All orders will ship to school for easy pick up (and no shipping costs)!


Spring Garden Club

Farmer Hannah (Farm to School Assistant with Garden City Harvest) is continuing the after school Garden Club in the Rattlesnake garden this spring! During Garden Club students will help with garden work like weeding, watering, and planting, and projects like installing new garden beds. We will also do one special gardening related activity each week and read garden and farming books. Below are the dates and activities for each Spring 2019 Garden Club meeting:

Wednesday May 15th: Popcorn – We will remove popcorn kernels off cured ears of popping corn grown in the garden last season. We will then pop and eat the homegrown popcorn in the garden!

Wednesday May 22th: Seed Collage – We will use expired fruit and veggie seeds to make a seed collage! [We might also eat popcorn if there is any left over from Week 1]

Wednesday May 29th: Planting – Students will plant a seed or transplant a sprout to bring home.

Wednesday June 5th: Seed balls – Students will make clay balls filled with native flower seeds. These little seed capsules can be planted in gardens or public spaces to fill them with polinator-friendly plants!

Students may sign up for ONE of the four sessions to ensure that as many kids as possible get to participate. Capacity is 15 students per session. Parents are welcome to join their students, but do not have to attend.

SIGN UP: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050c49a5ac28a4f49-rattlesnake

Garden Club will meet immediately after school (3:00 pm for K-3rd graders and 3:30 pm for 4th and 5th graders) and goes until 4:30 pm.

Teacher Appreciation Week

May 6-10 is Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week!

Last year was a great success and we need your help showing our teachers and staff how much we appreciate them!  We will provide food for them each day of the week and also  gather donations for a teacher raffle. We will draw names each day so that each staff member can be a winner by the end of the week.

  • Monday – Coffee and Breakfast Items
  • Tuesday – “Stock the Fridge” 
  • Wednesday – Sweet Treat Wednesday
  • Thursday – Make Your Own Sandwich Bar
  • Friday- Green Source Smoothies

You can help us make this week a success! Ways to Help:

  • Provide food/treats using the sign-up genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0d49a8a92ea31-rattlesnake   (Please drop items off at the front office around 8am the day of)
  • Donating goods for the raffle. Do you own a local business or know someone who does who would be willing to donate either food or goods? Do you have gift cards that you could donate (any amount is fine!), or do you have gift items that you can donate?
  • Donate cash – if you are finding your spring to be too hectic, a monetary donation is much appreciated to help cover costs!
Please follow the sign up genius link to sign up for a food slot or contact us directly for raffle and cash donations.


As always, thank you for helping us show our teachers how much we love them. Happy Spring!

Teacher Appreciation Team:
Jacqui Lloyd – jacquis23@yahoo.com
Elisabeth Laatsch – elaatsch@gmail.com
Jen Sheldon – jenrsheldon@gmail.com




April 2019 Leadership Meeting Minutes

PTA Leadership meetings are open to anyone that is interested in contributing to the hard work of the PTA’s board, teachers, event leaders, volunteers, and various team leads! 


Leadership Meeting Minutes for April 23th 2019 from 7-9pm in the FCC


Becky K: Wellness

Name for the cafeteria, contest for idea submission. There will be some naming criteria and the board and/or Principal Wright will limit to several suggestions. Timing of process needs to be incorporated into other commitments in the end of the school year. The Fun Run fliers go out by the end of this week (4/23) and so the Cafeteria fliers should Tuesday of next week (4/30) with a return deadline of 2 weeks. The cafeteria naming process is currently being introduced by Principal Wright and a subset of the PTA.

There was some discussion of making it (cafeteria naming) a sponsorship of the Wellness committee, but decision was to not pursue that due to the Wellness Committee not yet being an official committee of the school nor PTA.

Pam: Yearbooks

Yearbooks will be distributed close to end of the year. Online orders ended April 22nd but cash orders are still accepted. We’ll need to figure out a deadline for cash and check orders to make the process run smoothly.

Currently 200 yearbooks have been ordered but more could be made available if more orders come in. This is the first year and it turns out the yearbook process was very time intensive for Stacy. Next year it will need to be a parent volunteer project. Needs to be led by one or two people so as to have efficiency and continuity. Approx 40 volunteer hours estimated for next year. Big thanks to Stacy and Michelle N for leading up the first year of yearbook!

Leadership General Business

Elections and Expected Vacancies 2019-2020:

Regularly scheduled elections (VP and Treasurer) will be conducted at the 7 MAY general meeting. VP will be open to staying (as a new VP was elected in on an “off” year), but may be open to having another candidate. Treasurer and VP are the two that are open as per the charter.  Shannon M is currently the only candidate for Treasurer and has been expressing clear interest in the position. It is possible that secretary may be changing as well, that would be at the discretion of the Secretary (term formally ends May 2020). Molly C will also be resigning as Co-president. Teacher appreciation coordinator and the volunteer coordinator will also be open at the end of the year- these are not elected positions and can be filled/changed at any time as needed.

Board Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities:

Secretary has had some question regarding duties and responsibilities. Treasurer beyond the tracking of funding has a few additional requirements. VP also has not been well defined for specific areas. The roles are written down in the charter but are currently not closely followed.  Previously focus sessions have been focused on what the organization wants to accomplish, but not as to who specifically does what. A specific meeting ideally should be dedicated after the election so as to define those responsibilities with the new board members plus new leads (i.e. volunteer coordinator). More about board roles here.

Montana PTA Day on May 18th (Saturday) at Missoula Public Library:

Open house held by the Montana PTA overarching organization for all PTA members in the Missoula area.  Timing: 10:30-11:30 Training Session, 11:30-12:30 Open Networking. It would be good to have all old and new Rattlesnake PTA’ers attend if available and willing.

Standing Rules Revisions Note:

Revisions don’t necessarily need to be made, but a statement needs to be submitted regarding no changes if that’s the case. Leigh will be looking through standing rules to see what is relevant and realistic to keep or change. Process is that then the board will sign off on and then the submission will be made to the state PTA to hold on record. Required by State PTA to be done annually for best practices.

Process and Schedule for 2019-2020 Budget building:

Discussion on how to conduct this process. Last year, was a 3+ hour meeting which was not completely effective, it proved too complex to tackle productively in a single meeting. Proposal to set a series of task focused shorter meetings and session. Idea was to focus on what we want to accomplish (what are PTA and Teacher Priorities) and then work to allocate funding to those categories and programs. This will then drive what is necessary for fundraising and spending. Concept is to make sure we let priorities drive the budget. This process is conducted with both incoming and outgoing leadership.

Break down as proposed: One meeting to discuss and set priorities (suggestion to be during May Leadership was put forth and agreed upon). Second meeting to assess anticipated cash position and allocate funding across those priorities. Secondary sub meetings to share those outwards (to parents and teachers) prior to formalizing and voting. Then formalize and vote on budget. Fiscal year turns over 1 July.  We do want to get approx 90% complete and voted on by the fiscal turnover, and ideally prior to end of school year for simple logistics (i.e. personal vacations). Third (conceptual) final meeting to determine fundraising events and requirements for the coming year, fundraising works as step three since it funds the following year. Fundraising takes up most of the time, effort, and energy of officer time- discussion as to how effective that is.

May Meetings:

May Leadership meeting Scheduled 28 MAY 6:30-8:30: Proposal to use at least half the time to set priorities with both incoming and outgoing leadership. Other items to be placed on agenda in a rolling document.

Set Agenda items for May general meeting (7 May 8:30am FCC): Need for Elections: VP, Treasurer, possibly secretary (TBD). Announcement that Molly is no longer going to co-president. Other items TBD.

June General Meeting:

Decide if we will hold a June general meeting: Decision- yes- will be primarily used to announce priorities for the next year and then touch bases with the teachers to ensure coordination of efforts with the teachers. Could also use the time to look at whether or not the hoedown is desired again for the next year. Any last minute Fun Run needs can also be addressed at this meeting. June 4, 830am in FCC.

Academic Enrichment Votes

Mr. Z’s Speaker:

Finish up discussion and decision re: Mr Z’s speaker cost: Pam- the PTA was looking at splitting with the school. There are some funds available in the Academic enrichment budget, but the cost was $600 so a big ask. The school will be looking at and deeply believes in the value of the request. Acad Enrichment budget level is currently $2,977 however there are commitments already on parts of that funding. The board voted unanimously to fund half- $300- for the speakers, on the assumption that the school will cover the other half or more. In the event that the school cannot fund $300 or more, we will need to revisit. Vote yes, 7:0:0.

K Team for Buses:

Discussed the requests, the funds were confirmed to be from the teachers’ discretionary classroom budgets. Does not require a vote. The various bus bills will be billed to PTA as a single invoice per event and then parsed out to classroom budgets for PTA accounting needs.

Dombrowski Request:

$74 for May 21st field trip bus. Parents are leading the field trip opportunity. According to Pam it is to go to the trail at the end of Duncan Drive for bird watching field trip. Some discussion on bear spray, wildlife precautions will be taken. Vote taken 7:0:0, in favor to fund bus request.

Available Funding:

Discussion on funding available in Academic Enrichment (current balance $2977).  Some set commitments are in motion and not yet subtracted from that total; trip to Butte $500, Band speakers $300, other programs and requests. It is clear that some funding is still available for additional needs as/if they arise.


Fun Run and Running Club:

Running club will begin next week (week of 29APR – 3MAY) pending final logistics (sidenote: now finalized starting May 2nd!). Emily has talked with Pam and cleared all major dates and ideas. Flier will go out at the end of the week with all details and asking for volunteers. Anticipated to be a replay of last year format wise. Glitterpops are not an option this year (family that made them has moved). Course will have a new starting point to avoid tripping hazard that was a problem in past years. Need to explore food possibilities for the end of the race, i.e. see what Emily has planned for fruit, bagels, water, milk, etc. Sponsors for Fun Run – currently have $350. Idea is to have have a picture area for the event for the kids that has sponsors logos beyond it as their recognition. Dye free Otter Pops are available at Costco to replace the glitter pops, Judith will look into this or other choices to simplify end of race options. See Fun Run webpage for full details and volunteer signups, https://rattlesnakepta.org/2019/04/26/fun-run-and-running-club-2019/ 

Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10:

Jacqui is managing. Will need to call for many volunteers. Signups are available https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D49A8A92EA31-rattlesnake 

Additional Updates

Crisis Buckets for the Classrooms, Pam’s Request:

These are literal buckets for lock down drills, to facilitate hygiene, food, and water in emergencies. Idea to ask parents for items and funding, vs PTA straight funding. Discussion to have PTA fund directly so as to not induce extra anxiety with the larger parent population. Request to have Pam create a budget request for cost of all items that the district cannot provide on school funds, and then PTA will vote on it at May Leadership meeting. Pam was comfortable with that method.

Spring Fling:

Cost benefit analysis brief overview. Idea to buy baskets on sale now that Easter is over, to save money. Judith or Molly will ask the project leads from last year so as to have a number to procure.

Raised $8400 in gross income, Molly reviewed budget $1300 was unspent in what was allocated for expenses. Therefore, net $7700 plus estimated $500 in income still to come plus $1300 in reserved budget roll over (Estimated effective total raised therefore $9,500). The event does raise substantial funding however is very high in its commitment for volunteers hours and resources. The in kind donations decreased direct costs, but the time commitments are extensive.

Swag Updates:

Reuable lunch bag update- unfortunately have been returned for credit.  They were of poor quality. Full refund was given, new (hopefully better) things are being purchased instead.

We now have trucker hats for sale. Also would like to initiate the next online school spirit order period. With the recent folks missing the yearbook sales, they will likely miss this with the other announcement. Prior online sale did prove efficient as no inventory is on hand, low minimums and for purchases. Easy to initiate. Board approves another spring online sale. Discussion to set up table for sales at events (Fun Run, K Parent Night, other?)

Box Top Funding:

Check cannot come to the PTA for funds, Box top has changed the rules and can only be received by the school. Could also fund Mr Z., Recycle, and Crisis buckets.

Recycling Bills and Schedule:

Discussion on if box tops be used to fund the bill as the PTA is covering classrooms. Yes it is a shell game, but allows that to be funded by the school as we are funding support to the classrooms. $604 has been paid so far this year and box tops can cover that. Tabled with the need to engage with Pam and Stacy (Pam departed prior to this item).



kid shoes with foot shaped beads

Fun Run and Running Club 2019

It is time to get ready for our Spring Running Club and Annual Fun Run!

2019 Important Dates to Know:

  • Running Club starts Thursday, May 2nd and the last day is Monday, June 10th.
  • The Annual Rattlesnake Fun Run/Walk will take place Tuesday, JUNE 11th 2019 12:55 PM-2:30 PM

Rattlesnake Running Club Information:

The running club meets at two different times during the week: Monday and Thursday
mornings, and Tuesdays during afternoon recess.

Morning Running club meets at 8:00 am on Monday and Thursday mornings on the north side of the building. All Rattlesnake students are invited to join, but Kindergartners need to bring a parent to participate in morning running club. In the event of bad weather, running club may be cancelled the evening before, and this will be announced via all school Connect5 email. We run the same loop gradually working our way up in distance. Please note that if your child rides the bus or eats breakfast at school they will arrive too late to participate in the morning run.

Afternoon recess running club meets on Tuesdays in the main playground field. Kindergarten through 3rd grade recess runners will stay on school property, 4th and 5th
graders will be able to run off campus with our running club volunteers.

Fun Run Information:

We are encouraging runners to show school spirit by wearing green and yellow for the run.   There will be a 1-mile out and back for kindergartners, walkers, and anyone not up for 2 miles.  This route will take you through the neighborhood, across the creek, up the hill, and back.  There is also a 2-mile loop open to 1st-5th graders.  This loop will take you through the neighborhoods, across the creek, up the hill and around the PEAS farm loop.  Both the 1-mile and the 2-mile course will end on the playground.  It is an uphill finish!  Everyone crosses the same finish line.  This is not a timed event. Your child will need to decide prior to the start of the Fun Run, which route they would like to run.  We are doing this strictly for fun.  If your child wants to know their time we encourage them to wear a watch and time themselves.

We will hold the run rain or shine, so please send your child to school wearing proper running shoes (no flip flops or open toe shoes) and dressed for the weather.  The runners will congregate and play/snack on the playground after their run.  If you are taking your child home after the run please let your teacher know.  We are in still in NEED of lots of volunteers to make this event happen.  If you are able to donate fruit please send to school with your child the morning of June 11th and they can take it to the FCC.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have already signed up to help!  We still need more help. You can sign up HERE.

If you do not want your child to participate in the fun run, please inform your child’s teacher before Friday, June 7th.


We need parent helpers on Monday & Thursday mornings from 8:00-8:25am, Tuesday recess 2:00-2:30pm, and before, during, and after the Fun Run itself on June 11th (volunteers needed anytime between 8:15am-2:30pm on June 11th). You do NOT need to be a runner to help out! We need walkers, sweepers, and organizers as well as runners. As a parent, if you are willing to volunteer for Running Club and/or the Fun Run please sign up via SignUpGenius:

Running Club sign up–  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0A49AAA82DA5FC1-rattlesnake2
Fun Run sign up–  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F0A49AAA82DA5FC1-rattlesnake1

Questions? Contact Emily Linton eylinton@gmail.com or 406.214.1555

April 2019 General PTA Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association

General Meeting Minutes for April 2 2019 from 830-9am in the FCC

SPECIAL NOTE: This is a busy time of year so here’s the quick list of upcoming dates for reference:

  • April 9th: PTA Fundraiser at the Dram Shop from 5-9pm
  • April 10th: Classroom Photos and spring individual photos
  • April 10th: District Boundary Study Open House from 6-8pm at Russell School
  • April 12th: Last official day of Kindergarten Registration (reg is ongoing for families that move, etc, but best to get it done before the 12th!)
  • April 22nd: No School, Teacher Education Day and also Earth Day
  • Late April (exact date TBD): Running Club begins
  • May 6 – 10: Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 27th: No School, Memorial Day
  • May 29, 5:30-6:30pm: Kindergarten Parent Orientation
  • June 11th: Fun Run!
  • June 13th: Last Day of School
  • August 28: First Day of School, K-5th. See Start of School info below.

Attendance: Leigh (CoP),  Molly (CoP), Judith (VP), Alex (T), Matthew (S), Pam (Principal), Maureen (Teacher Rep), Kristie (Boundary Study Rep), + 5 additional parents 

Items as Discussed:

  • Welcome and Intros
  • Call for other items
  • Carissa B brought a new community event idea. Concept that community events should be more participatory, less just watching a movie. Storytelling idea like “Tell Us Something” for kids, teachers, staff. Focus of communication based on stories with more interaction.  Approx $300 for a workshop same as movie night, but could be more educational. Mark Moss is the coordinator, can help with focus for stories. He is promoting workshops. Would be for next fall at the earliest. Workshop could be in or out of school hours, using as an assembly suggested, but unlikely to be effective for his expertise. Carissa will meet with Mark to further research how this might work for the fall, what Mark can and cannot do, and will report back.
  • Positions: VP and Treasurer positions are up for May election: Leigh introduced the process in the recent changes for 2 year terms as well as how we have had some off year turnover. If anyone is interested in becoming VP or Treasurer, or take on any other job or event within the PTA, they are encouraged to reach out to the PTA to discuss via our main email, rattlesnakepta@gmail.com      
  • Principal’s Updates
    • All schools are currently conducting Kindergarten registration.
    • Dates have been posted for Smarter Balance (SBAC) for grades 3,4, and 5.  Technology has provided the ability to be complete in a few days rather than over the course of 2 months.  Parents, please check the schedule and avoid trips, appointments, and out of school events to allow for the most efficient use of time to get all the testing done. Learn more about SBAC schedule for Rattlesnake here: https://www.mcpsmt.org/rattlesnake and the testing itself here: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/11547
    • Kindergarten Round up Update: This spring schools will be doing a “Parent Orientation” in the evening in late May (May 29, 5:30-6:30pm for Rattlesnake, other schools may have other dates/times) instead of a school day kid-centric Roundup event. Schools will not be sending the current Kindergarteners home for a day, wanting to keep the day of instruction. There will also be a kid orientation the day prior to K starting (Aug 27th) during the day, to allow kids to see their classrooms and meet their teacher.
    • Start of School Year Addendum (not directly covered in PTA Meeting due to time constraints, but instead covered due to parent interest at a quick meeting with Principal Wright and PTA Co President Leigh): There will not be Kindergarten home visits this August, that program is not being run for year 2019-2020. For this coming school year, the school start schedule is being planned as follows:
      • Wednesday, May 29, 5:30-6:30: Kindergarten Parent Orientation (this is a new parent focused event, formerly Kindergarten Roundup was a more kid focused event). Free childcare will be available by reservation through PTA and FCC.
      • Mid to late August: Newly registered 1st-5th Families Tour (date TBD, likely mid afternoon, 2:00-3:00)
      • August 27th, scheduled times throughout the day: Kindergarten Student Orientation. Small groups of students w/ their parents will be scheduled to visit the classroom and meet the teacher.. Classrooms for 1st-5th will not be available for visits during this time, to allow for prep. Registered K families will receive an email with their scheduled time.
      • August 27th, 5:00-6:00: 1st-5th All Families Back to School Night. K Classrooms will not be available for visits during this time, as K will have had a separate morning orientation earlier in the same day.
      • August 28th: First Day of School for full school, K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a full standard day schedule and regular busing.
      • August 29th: Second Day of School K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a typical Thursday Early Out day schedule and regular busing.
      • August 30th: Third Day of School K – 5th. K will end after lunch, will have separate buses, precise time TBD but rough guess is 12:30ish. 1st-5th will have a full standard day schedule and regular busing.


  • Teacher’s Reps Updates – Maureen Loewenwarter
    • Garden –  there are 6 beds in the garden that will need to be replaced due to age and natural decay. The wood boxes are wearing out and looking at a tiered replacement of two per year.  Will anticipate using the $500 allocated in the budget to enhance the garden. Becky D stated that her family business may be able to donate wood to defray cost- Maureen and Becky will follow up.
    • Garden Cleanup week of 22 April.  Kindergarten will be in the garden starting in May. This will also be a student job listed on the Meaningful Work board by the FCC.
    • Garden City Harvest will invoice the PTA directly for costs. They buy compost, tools, gloves, etc.
    • District has in the past paid for some aspects of garden with some of their own available budget, for instance, the garden path improvements to make it ADA accessible was covered by the district.
    • 23 April is scheduled for some garden clean up. Additional volunteer opportunities will be available. Shannon, volunteer coordinator, will reach out to volunteer core to reflect these events. Ain’t no party like a working party!
  • FCC Related Updates
    • Classroom School Photos coming up on April 10th! Volunteers needed, reach out to Shannon at rattlesnakepta@gmail.com to volunteer. We will be making a yearbook as well this year which will be for sale as an additional fundraiser.
    • Book Gift Certificates and process
      • We were planning to do a drawing due to more demand than certificates. Becky D offered to make a donation to cover additional demand and an additional ask was made to contribute. Carissa explained the process as part of the exchange and had built up credit.  Does seem there will be some donation to cover additional expenses to get gift certs to all teachers that were interested. Some will come from the PTA and Molly, Matthew, Alex, and Judith all agreed to allocate additional funds to cover deficit of demand.
      • An announcement will be made via FB and teacher newsletters to have the parents if they are clearing out some of their old children’s books (or any books) in their homes can drop them off at the book exchange and credit to Rattlesnake PTA. This is open year-round.
  • Events Past and Upcoming, Updates and Summaries
    • Spring Fling Summary – Almost $8k in profits at this time (some money still incoming from auction items being picked up post-event).
      • Face painting was the largest single “donation can” income at the event, bringing in $70, as well it was positive feedback to have the older kids (5th graders) doing the painting.
      • Thank yous are going out, more are needed to finish up.
  • Running Club, Fun Run, and Fun Run Sponsorships
    • Emily Linton will be running it again this year!
    • Date is now set, June 11th. Many volunteers will be needed on that date.
    • Running Club will be starting in late April, exact date TBD.
    • For the actual run event, we will be soliciting sponsors. Currently we have $300 in sponsorships, hopeful to bring in more.
    • Not doing T Shirts, but will be doing popsicles again as well a local pediatric dentistry office will be handing out toothbrushes after the event.
    • There are leftover carousel tokens that will be turned over to the PTA for prizes and other events.
  • District Boundary Study Update
    • Still a lot of information available on the website. Commentary and maps are available, another commentary period is open until April 10th meeting, which will be 6-8pm at Russell School. Next committee meeting will be this coming Thursday.
    • Committee is currently working on three different options. Some significant change options and some more modest options. The planners and committee determined that more time was necessary to make a thoughtful change regarding the boundaries, hence the end dates later this spring rather than planned end that was in April originally.
    • Rattlesnake school is projected to have declining population over the next ten year span. There are some discussions as part of the boundary study process regarding whether to not to move either Lower Rattlesnake or E Msla to Lowell to ease some of the current crowding at Rattlesnake.
    • There has been neighborhood support to open Mount Jumbo in E Msla which does better align with the guidance to make neighborhood schools and safe routes.  The intention however to move kids only once does complicate that possibility. Also Grandfathering would negate a lot of the intention of possibly building a community for the Mt Jumbo school.
    • Committee meeting this Thursday will be available to the public.  Public involvement has been helpful and has had an effect on the process.
    • Currently Mount Jumbo does not have enough students in area, but may grow to have enough within 3 years depending on how the neighborhood changes.
    • Cost impact of reopening Mount Jumbo the school will be significant, but the school structure is good.  Will need some tech and HVAC upgrades. We have enough teachers within the district but will have to hire all new administrative and support staff.  If a school is opened it may drive more population and young family growth.
    • Overall for Boundary Study there are 17 total option areas that may be adjusted, 4 are seriously considered, but will possibly end up combining options.  Please see the Boundary Page for more details on the proposed options. https://www.mcpsmt.org/elementaryschoolboundarystudy

PTA General Meeting for May will be 8:30am on May 7th. This meeting will include voting for VP and Treasurer for 2019-2020 and beyond.

March 2019 General PTA Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association

General Meeting Minutes for March 5 2019 from 830-9am in the FCC


Leigh (CoP),  Molly (CoP), Judith (VP), Stacy (FCC), Pam (Principal), Maureen (Teacher Rep), Carrie (Teacher Rep), Kristie (Boundary Study Rep), + 5 additional parents

Items as Discussed

    • Welcome and intros
    • Call for other items
      • No additional items to be added to the agenda
    • Teacher Rep Updates
      • Touched briefly on donations for the baskets/auctions and how the teachers felt that process was going
        • Becky was not available for an update as she was consolidating donations.
        • Also had some monetary donations come in for baskets, used mainly to cover costs of basket materials.
      • Parent teacher conferences have been going smoothly, although sticking to 15 min has some difficulty.  
        • Question was raised of what to expect when your student is part of the conference (3rd grade and up, optional).
        • Dinners have been changed to offer also fresh fruit, salad, and salad in addition to some donations.
        • Volunteers have been slower this year to fill up the roster.
        • 40 staff members are the goal for bringing enough food.  Market on Front will offer some donations.
        • Consider saving the gift card donations for teacher appreciation week in May.
        • Next years sign up will be sent to the broader public for sign ups (suggestion to encourage Teacher Appreciation Committee signups twice a year)
    • FCC updates
      • Boxtops came in just over 9000 so we raised just over $900.
      • Yearbooks will be offered this year as part of the school photo process.  Will be part of a fund raising effort with the PTA. We do have a new vendor for individual and classroom photos that will hopefully make the process easier and better.  Each class will get their own page for candid and activities.
      • There was some discussion as to are we allowed to include photos for all kids and what would the process be to add that.
      • Stacy will ensure students with a “no photo” note on file will have that need respected in the yearbooks
      • Open to parents to include broader pictures, there will be a call for photos later in the spring
    • Principal’s update
      • Boundary meeting has several more meetings (see: https://www.mcpsmt.org/elementaryschoolboundarystudy)
      • Also has begun a search for a new superintendent.  Will be having several meetings regarding the search and requirements for that position. Mark Thane is departing at the end of this school year.
      • Kindergarten Round Up has been delayed due to the boundary study and possible changes.  Registration in years past has been conducted in conjunction with Parent Teacher Conferences and Round up will be in the evening this year.
      • Kindergarten Registration is delayed due to the boundary study (NOTE: K Registration is NOW open, see: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/9045)
    • Boundary Study (Kristie)
      • The next open house will be March 21st 6-8pm at Russell School. The committee met last Thursday.  Demographic study was farmed out to a group out of state. They did produce some maps and all are now available online-  it breaks down all the schools and forecasts for the next 10 years. See: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/13833
      • Demographic study indicates Rattlesnake is currently peaking in population and will decline in future years.  Currently all options are on the table as for as decisions and recommendations.
      • Walking and busing routes are part of the process and conversations currently.  There will be some changes in at least some parts of the district, and inevitably some people will be unhappy.  Some changes may be deemed unnecessary. Rattlesnake’s high populations may resolve naturally according to the demographic projections.
      • Other neighborhoods are starting to present their opinions, ideas, and feelings.  Parents from every neighborhoods were represented which provided the cross section of worries and thoughts.
      • On the 21st  (Russell Elementary 6-8pm, Open House format so all are welcome to come and go) the initial proposals for the boundaries will be presented.
      • The comment and interactive map is now closed.  The Open House is now the best way to present and write down thoughts and ideas.
      • There is a lot of process, there are parents  involved but experts too.
      • Some of the issues regarding safe routes and busing.  Busing as far as schedules and releases needs to be brought up in comments and proposals.  
    • Spring Fling Planning (Judith/Molly)
      • Promotions – The first flier has gone home.  
      • A follow up promotions with schedule will be sent out shortly
      • The morning of the Spring Fling, Pam will send out additional announcements with Erik’s help.
      • Vinyl banner is ready, will be hung with balloons.  We will start to see fliers around town.
      • Decorations will be simplified and more cost efficient this year.  Students will paint the majority of them as well as some decorations recycled and donated.  Hay bales are needed, will be supplied by a volunteer’s family.
      • A Saddle may be made available for the photo booth and will need to be finalized.
      • Activities (funds will go to PTA in a donation format for activites, or via traditional means for raffle and auction)
        • Face painting
        • Prize walk – Not just cake this year, instead it will be a mix of small prizes and cupcakes
        • Country dancing – with instruction
        • Wooden toys
        • Raffle
        • Photo booth


  • In need of Volunteers – in particular set up/clean up.  Has been sent out to the whole school.  Kids can run around during set up, kid friendly.


    • A lot of pizza has been donated along with Albertsons and Costco. We do need coolers to be volunteered.
  • Quick Update
    • Treasurer Status Report – Not available
    • Fun Run – Emily has stated she will run the event again.  Although she cannot do both the before school, and the recess, running clubs.  Will go one or the other or we need some additional volunteers. Starts in April, FCC may be able to coordinate for volunteers.
      • Will not do T shirts, cost prohibitive.
      • 3 rivers dentistry will have a hand out for tooth brushes to go along with popsicles
      • Other sponsorships may come through- PTA will finalize those in early April
      • May do a drawing contest to be included in the final graphics for the Sponsor acknowledgement, design TBD.
    • Wellness Committee Updates – Carissa
      • There have been some tineline changes that will be discussed at the leadership meeting.
      • Will ask Pam to make some changes  to see what we can affect and the district may or may not be in position to perhaps implement on a larger scale. And will be implemented in the fall in the earliest.  
      • Will have some desire for painting the cafeteria and may have a mural as part of the process.  Test paint runs approx. $5 and may be a request to the PTA to fund.
      • May include a contest to name the cafeteria
    • Spirit Gear Updates – Brittany has ordered some smaller items.
    • Dates of Note and Open Discussion
      • All are welcome to attend Leadership meetings
      • March/April Leadership will be after April 2nd due to Spring Fling and Spring Break schedules- likely mid-month in April.
      • PTA General meeting for April will be April 2nd. 8:30 in the FCC