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.

Announcements

  • 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

PTA Leadership Meeting Minutes – November 4, 2021

Attendees: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Sarah Smith

Welcome, Call for other items and Principal/Teacher Updates 

Committee Updates Reports

  • Book Fair (Dana) – Still needing volunteers? Yes. Lucia is loaning ipads. Dana’s phone and Molly Cottrell’s phone will be used for swag. Robin is helping with wish lists on Tuesday
  • Battle of the Books (Dana) – Schedule adjustments to allow more time for students to practice. Some meetings will be after school to allow more time
  • ROC Discussion of top priorities to keep the space useable as we approach winter. Janel will talk with Jen Oakland about how many ROC funds are still available.

Funding Request Updates: Do we want to install an air quality monitor like we approved funds for last year so that we could have local outdoor air quality measures readily available to help inform decisions about students going outside on smokey days? Discussed using the funds for this that the school has for us for the 4th grade class. Tabling the issue for now. May consider contacting “purple air” later.

Health and Safety Discussion Items: 

  1. How can we minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID? Are seating arrangements consistent between the classroom, lunch and specials?
  2. Do we want to pursue overhead coverings and/or picnic tables to hopefully allow outdoor lunches to resume for at least a portion of students?

Upcoming Meetings: 

  • Next Leadership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday December 2nd at 4:30 p.m.
    • Does that work for everyone?
  • Next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday December 7th at 8:15 a.m. ish

Discussed gaga ball pit.  60% of teachers think it’s a good idea. Some concerns about safety and adult supervision. Heritage timber was going to be donating the lumber. Decided to table this because the yard is split now and staff to supervise is limited right now in midst of COVID.

Want to approve a tether ball purchase for the tether ball that is missing a ball

Need more small foam footballs, durable four square ball. APPROVED 300 DOLLARS FOR PURCHASE OF NEW BALLS.

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

Attendees: Janel Chin, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Molly Cottrell, Gillian Glaes, Mark Steelquist, Jen Sheldon, Lauren Sheetz, Molly Bradford, Pam Wright

Welcome,  Intros and Call for other items 

Committee Updates Reports

  • Book Fair (Dana)
    • Please support our school by shopping on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday (November 9th – 11th) for books and/or swag (new hoodies). 
      • Tuesday 3:15 – 6pm 
      • Wednesday 7:30- 8:30 and 3:15 – 6pm 
      • Thursday 7:30 -8:30 and then 11:05 to 12:05
    • Look for ‘wish lists’ that students and teachers will have the opportunity to complete during the school day Tuesday. 
  • Books will also be available online for purchase at http://www.factandfictionbooks.com and use the coupon/promo code “Rattlesnake” so that PTA receives a percentage of the sale. This is available for the month of November.
  • For 4th and 5th Grade families participating in Battle of the Books, the books on the reading list will be available for purchase or to order
  • Battle of the Books (Dana) – record numbers of students are participating, in the future an informational meeting should be held to make sure that we know how many students are committing and how many need assistance with obtaining books. Discussed a battle of the books informational meeting for parents prior to commitment.  Participants (~70 students) will meet weekly until the first Battle on Dec 16. Given limited time available during lunch, considering some after school time.
  • ROC (Jen O.)Thanks to everyone who attended the celebration with Animal Wonders. We are still accepting donations for future enhancements to that space such as bird boxes, elk spotting binoculars and/or native plant displays.  Discussed maybe partnering with animal wonders for future educational events.
    • 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.  Talked about prioritizing tables over a cover over the ROC
  • Teacher Appreciation (Lauren / Jen S. )- Because conferences are being held via zoom this fall, we are stocking the fridge with easy to grab snacks on Monday November 8th to keep teachers fueled for the busy days ahead. Will post this signup on facebook.
    • If you would like to contribute to the effort please see the signup genius and leave your donated items at the front desk with Julie and Erin by Monday, November 8th or coordinate with Jen/Lauren in advance (jenrsheldon@gmail.com or laurencav@msn.com)

– Dana/Kim have offered extra funds raised for Halloween to be used for teacher appreciation

  • School garden is hoping for a new, larger shed if anyone wants to support this, let us know.  Janel will get Lori to connect with Molly Bradford to check with Hellgate High School Shop class or facebook sale page/craigslist.

Principal and Teacher Updates

  • Supply chain issues have caused some disruptions in the cafeteria
  • More employees needed at lunch (10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.), during the school day (i.e. substitute teachers) and before and after school helping students safely cross Rattlesnake Drive at the crosswalk. (grandparents/grandfriends could be a good resource.)

Future Fundraising

  • Yearbook – we are looking for pictures and help assembling and distributing in the spring. Molly Bradford and Jessica Carver may be working on this? Consider google drive for photos to organize them so there is one person who can collect and categorize photos.  Molly Bradford can organize this. Social media person, Melody Nelsen, can be involved with this too.
  • Swag – we need volunteers to assist with potential future swag sales.
  • Salmon Sale- Ash is interested in partnering again but I am waiting to hear back on details of when the salmon could be available and if we could offer the same pricing as last year with an added discount for folks who purchased an entire 25lb box
  • Direct Donate – once again planned for December but we accept donations throughout the year. Melody Nelsen
  • Spring Auction – we hope to hold an on-line auction again in April but will need volunteers to make that possible.

Funding Request Updates

  1. Big thanks to those who donated to support Halloween treat bags for every student. The PTA is not planning to fund this in future years but does want to support inclusive non-food based celebrations in the future.  An idea of a communal art project has been proposed.
  2. The board approved funding up to $700 for a visiting poet through the Missoula Writing Collaborative so that each 4th grade class can have a poet work with students as they have in past years. Pam is exploring additional funding sources to fully fund this as the cost is $1,330.
  3. The board approved $500 for resources for the library. Robin Nygren is hoping that building sets, listening centers, audio books and licenses for apps will allow her to offer STEM and literacy based learning centers to student’s library time.
  4. The board approved $130 for the Special Education teachers to purchase an air purifier for the windowless space that they use to educate students.
  5. Pam was going to try and follow-up with RN Lisa Flanagan regarding the air quality monitor the PTA approved funds for last year so that we could have local outdoor air quality measures readily available to decide about students going outside on smokey days. Last we heard Lisa was trying to figure out what was compatible with the MCPS’s internet firewalls. Leigh has suggested that we move forward and install the monitor at a private residence nearby the school as we have a few who have volunteered to allow this.

Health and Safety Updates

  • Hospitals remain quite full in our community. Discussion of what we can do to help:
    • Check our students for symptoms before sending them to school each morning
    • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission
    • Keep our social circles small
    • Keep gatherings outside as much as possible
    • Encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated to do so
    • Isolate after potential exposures
    • Report questionable situations related to the school day such as buses without windows cracked
    • Make sure our students have clean, well fitting face coverings
      • There is a still a need for cloth face coverings that fit small faces, please consider making and donating to our school

– Discussion Items: 

  1. How can we minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID? Are seating arrangements consistent between the classroom, lunch and specials?
  2. Would overhead coverings and/or picnic tables allow an extension of outdoor lunches further into the fall/winter?

Announcements

  • 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:
    • We need help identifying outdated pages on our website (rattlensnakepta.org) 
    • Bike Rodeo (tentatively planned for Friday April 29th) 
    • Running Club (tentatively planned for May 2021)
    • Fun Run (tentatively planned for June 9th or 10th)
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday December 7th at 8:15 a.m. is
  • Our Board is starting the process of recruiting new members, please consider reaching out to learn more
  • Desire for a cub scout troop at RE as the closest option right now is at Lewis and Clark Elementary school and Mark Steelquist is willing to spearhead a group

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association – Meeting Minutes for Monday October 18, 2021

Attendees: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Pam Wright, Sarah Smith, Lucia Thorness

  • Welcome and call for other items 
  • Principal and Teacher Updates- staffing remains difficult, supply chain issues are problematic in the cafeteria. Some parent volunteers available, but more employees needed. 
  • Committee Updates
    • Battle of the Books (Dana)
      • Discussed a battle of the books informational meeting for parents prior to commitment.  70 kids have signed up so far. Kid will meet weekly until first Battle on Dec 16. 
    • Halloween (Dana) 
      • Treat bags: Big thanks to Kim Shappee for coordinating donations and to everyone who donated. Bags are assembled and ready to distribute.  
      • Discussion around minimizing disappointment for students who hoped to wear costumes to school but whose classes are doing a pajama day instead.  No costumes this year b/c disruptive and if they wore costumes for a portion of the day it is hard to have them all change and be covid safe. 
      • Probably going to not fund this year after year, and maybe work towards celebrating without treats and funding more activities like an art project.
  • Book Fair (Dana) 
    • Will be held in school library Tuesday through Thursday, November 9-11
    • Tuesday 3:15 – 6pm 
    • Wednesday 7:30- 8:30 and 3:15 – 6pm 
    • Thursday 7:30 -8:30 and then 11:00 to 12:00
    • Students and teachers will have the opportunity to complete book “wish lists” during the school day Tuesday. 
    • Rattlesnake swag, including new zip-up hoodies, will be available for sale. 
    • For 4th and 5th Grade families participating in Battle of the Books, the books on the reading list will be available for purchase or to order during Book Fair.
    • Molly Cottrell and Jen Lakatua will be helping Dana Hupp most days and other volunteers involved as well.
  • Garden – produce distributed, still need for a shed?
  • ROC Celebration Event re-cap: 
    • Have sponsors/donors/community partners been properly thanked?
    • Do we have funds available for future collaborations with area nonprofits and/or things like bird boxes, elk spotting binoculars, native plant displays, etc.?
  • Teacher Appreciation 
    • Jen S. is planning to stock the fridge/lounge for conferences 
    • Kim Shappee offered care packages to the teachers at some point 
    • Dana/Kim have offered extra funds raised for Halloween to be used for teacher appreciation
  • Recycling – Sam Boyd from Republic Services mentioned that as part of Missoula’s Zero waste by 2050 goal, they are offering a pilot program to schools this year for organic waste disposal. The program is free and allows for composting of cafeteria waste.It includes training, signage and 64 gallon carts with lids to place in the cafeteria for collection every Monday. Garden City Compost is handling the composting process. 

Health and Safety Updates

  • Hospitals remain quite full in our community. Discussion of what we can do to help:
    • Is there still a need for cloth face coverings that fit small faces?
    • Are students arriving symptom free and with clean face coverings?
    • How can we minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID?
      • Parents have been asking about whether students can sit with the same people at specials like art as they do in the classroom
    • Is help still needed at lunch? yes
    • Are more substitute teachers still needed? yes
    • Would overhead coverings and/or picnic tables allow an extension of outdoor lunches further into the fall/winter? Pam will check regarding square tables at Mt. Jumbo.
    • Hannah Hilley and Kim Shappee would like to communicate with others in the school community about a “FeedtheFrontline” gift card drive they hope to do for healthcare workers this fall. They are hoping to send a message asking for gift card donations and then set-up a table outside the school to collect the gift cards. Discussion of how this can be catered to fit within the PTA’s Mission. Pam will get back to Janel regarding setting up a table at school pick up time. 
    • Kim has presented the idea of privately funding rapid tests to be used weekly to test students as a risk mitigation strategy. Sensitivity and specificity of these tests not good enough for screening purposes. 

Funding Requests

  • The 4th grade team has requested up to $1,330 “as we deem appropriate” for an additional visiting poet so that each class has one as in years past through the Missoula Writing Collaborative. Discussed funding half of this cost and requesting other funds from writers collaborative.  Approved $700
    • The poet will introduce poetry through reading, writing, creating a book of class poetry and holding poetry readings.
    • Pam is willing to look for additional funding sources.
  • Robin Nygren is hoping for some additional funds beyond her classroom grant to help her adjust to the new schedule for specialists this year.  Approved $500
    • She believes that the new schedule is conducive to incorporating STEM and literacy based learning centers into library time.
      • She would like to purchase building sets and apps for the ipads (30 licenses), some listening center equipment and audio books and some think fun games
      • She is happy to offer more specifics but asked for an idea of what kind of budget she could expect.

– SPED request for air purifier for windowless classroom they use. approved

  • Pam was going to try and follow-up with RN Lisa Flanagan regarding the air quality monitor the PTA approved funds for last year so that we could have local outdoor air quality measures readily available to decide about students going outside on smokey days. Last we heard Lisa was trying to figure out what was compatible with the MCPS’s internet firewalls. Leigh has suggested that we move forward and install the monitor at a private residence nearby the school as we have a few who have volunteered to allow this.
  • Check-in on funds approved but that were not yet issued due to lack of receipts

Discussion of website and long term plan for future needed updates etc. It costs less than $20 per year to reserve rattlesnakepta.org as a domain name we can use but the larger question is if we should adjust web hosting to fit our current volunteer base.

Fundraising Updates

  • Salmon – Pope Ashworth indicated that Ash is interested in partnering again but I am waiting to hear back on details of when the salmon could be available and if we could offer the same pricing as last year with an added discount for folks who purchased an entire 25lb box
  • Book Fair – time adjustments needed based on most conferences being virtual? more volunteers needed?
  • Swag – will be for sale at the book fair and Dana is considering an additional sale date in December.
  • 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. Do we want to set a date for this?
  • We have a couple of volunteers but it would be good to have more folks taking pictures at events and someone to lead the editorial process for a yearbook. Can someone create a place where teachers/families could upload pictures?

Announcements

  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday November 2nd at 8:15 a.m. ish – How do we feel about meeting in the FCC? We could also brave the weather and use the ROC and/or move onto Zoom again…
  • Bike Rodeo is tentatively planned for Friday April 29th
  • Running Club is tentatively planned for May 2021
  • Fun Run is tentatively planned for June 9th or 10th

PTA Book Fair

This year’s PTA Book Fair will be held in the school library Tuesday through Thursday, November 9-11. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to complete book “wish lists” during the school day Tuesday. Books will also be available online for purchase at http://www.factandfictionbooks.com between now and the end of November. Please use coupon/promo code “Rattlesnake” when making purchases online so that PTA receives a percentage of the sale.

In-person Book Fair hours have been modified from past years due to COVID-19. This year books will be available for sale in the library:

Tuesday, November 9: 3:15 pm to 6 pm

Wednesday, November 10: 7:30 am to 8:30 am / 3:15 pm to 6 pm

Thursday, November 11: 7:30 am to 8:30 am / 11:05 am to 12:05 pm

Rattlesnake swag, including new zip-up hoodies, will be also available for purchase in person. Additionally, books for the Battle of the Books program will be available for purchase in person or online for 4th and 5th grade families who may be needing to purchase those books.

Please join us in thanking Fact and Fiction for assisting us with this event and providing PTA a percentage of the sales. Money from the Book Fair sales helps PTA support the school community, such as: paying for the school’s reading specialist, funding educational opportunities like field trips and visiting naturalists and poets, and providing $300 to every classroom teacher and specialist. PTA funds fun, educational events like this year’s Wizard of Oz movie night and the Animal Wonders presentation.  PTA  also organizes, and helps to fund, Battle of the Books and the Missoula Children’s Theater residency week.

If you would like to volunteer at the Book Fair, please sign up below.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-2021

General Meeting Minutes 10/5/21

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association

Meeting Minutes for Tuesday October 5, 2021 from 8:15 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Virtually Attended by Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Christy Cheviron, Jennifer Oakland, Carrie Sweatland, Eliza Clayton, Molly Cottrell, Jen Sheldon, Hanna Lewis, Kim Shappee, Lee Martin, Molly Bradford

Welcome and Intros

  • Call for other items 
  • Principal and Teacher Updates
  • Committee Updates Reports
    • Battle of the Books (Dana): starts this week for 4th and 5th graders. Encourages reading and reading comprehension. Students read 12 books over the year. Once weekly meeting with a parent volunteer at 2nd half of lunchtime and through recess. Then in April, a student from Rattlesnake will be eligible to compete in full MCPS BOB.
    • Garden (Jessica)
      • Produce distribution on October 1st some volunteers reported that it was a lot of fun. Molly Cottrell said it was a big hit and all the vegetables were taken except for a few tomatoes.
    • ROC (Jen O.)
      • Celebration planned for Friday October 15th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Animal Wonders has  been invited to attend
        • Celebration and thank-yous for the first ½ hour – we hope to raise money to support future collaborations to install bird boxes, elk spotting binoculars and/or native plants or other outdoor education displays. Carrie Sweatland will work with some students to make thank you poster.
        • Animal Wonders’ live animal presentation scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
          • Masks will be required to protect those not eligible for vaccination yet which includes RE students and Animal Wonders’ animals!
        • Swag will not be available unless a volunteer is available to set-up, sell and take-down.
  • Teacher Appreciation (Lauren / Jen S.)
    • Jo Boyle donated scones which were distributed during the 3rd week of September– thank-you already done
    • Voted for using swag mugs for teacher appreciation this year, 40-50 mugs approved.
    • Lauren, Jen and Heidi assisted Sarah Smith with Picture Day yesterday — how’d it go?

Health and Safety Updates

  • Hospitals remain quite full in our community. Discussion of what we can do to help:
    • Make sure our students have clean, well fitting face coverings
      • There is a still a need for cloth face coverings that fit small faces, please consider making and donating to our school
    • Check our students for symptoms before sending them to school each morning
    • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission
    • Keep our social circles small
    • Keep gatherings outside as much as possible
    • Encourage those who are eligible to get vaccinated to do so
    • Isolate after potential exposures
    • Report questionable situations related to the school day such as buses without windows cracked
    • 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.
    • Discussion about lunch outside over winter. Comparison to MIS and Sussex. Our larger student population poses a significant challenge and we need to consider inclusion in terms of students who may not consistently come to school with appropriate clothing for outdoor lunch.
    • RE could also use more substitute teachers for those who have availability during the school day to work.
    • We are looking for a volunteer to coordinate communication regarding an outside, volunteer supervised option for students whose families may not want their students eating lunch indoors.
    • How else can we show appreciation for healthcare workers? Hannah Lewis working on gift card drive for CMC and St. Pats

Fundraising Updates

  • We are looking for volunteers to take pictures at events and help create a yearbook.
  • We have many items of swag that are available for sale, we are looking for volunteers to assist with potential future swag sales.
  • Sign-up genius is live for the Book Fair (November 9th-11th), please consider volunteering! Schedule may be adjusted b/c parent teacher conferences will be mostly virtual.
  • 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 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.

New Funding Requests

  1. Halloween Celebratory Funding.
    1. Last year Dana Hupp donated a healthy snack and small Halloween themed trinket to every RE student to minimize the pressure on teachers to celebrate during the unprecedented October we all experienced last school year. Principal Wright has asked if the PTA could do this again as it was VERY well received but more financial support is needed as our PTA does not budget for holiday celebrations.
      1. Dana estimates that with increased enrollment it will cost close to $800 to provide this once again (~$300 for popcorn, ~$264 for gummies, ~$200 for trinkets like the ‘color-yourself’ bracelet the 1st – 3rd graders received last year and/or the mechanical pencils the 4th & 5th graders received. We have raised around $200 so far.
    2. Dana has graciously offered to once again order and distribute in advance of Halloween. If parents want to contribute, they can drop off a check with secretary at entrance of the school to be placed in the PTA box. In memo write “for Halloween treats”. funding goal is 800 dollars. After discussion, PTA voted to cover this expense.
  2. Robin Nygren is hoping for some additional funds beyond her classroom grant to help her adjust to the new schedule for specialists this year. 
    1. She believes that the new schedule is conducive to incorporating STEM and literacy based learning centers into library time.
      1. She would like to purchase building sets and apps for the ipads (30 licenses), some listening center equipment and audio books and some think fun games
      2. She is happy to offer more specifics but asked for an idea of what kind of budget she could expect.

Funding Requests Granted:

  1. New kindergarten teacher Clarke McGibbens was granted $299 in academic enrichment funds for an area rug. These academic enrichment funds can not be reimbursed until Shannon receives receipt.
  2. Sara Ibis was granted $60 in academic enrichment funds for science related Professional Development
  3. The board approved a request for an additional $399 classroom grant for special educators at RE.
    1. Taylor Sanchez and Michelle Louquet have each requested $300 classroom grants. We only budgeted $300 to be split between special ed teachers but because they teach different grades (Michelle teaches 3rd – 5th graders and Taylor teaches K – 2nd graders). 
  4. Shannon asked but we had not yet heard back about Nicole Luther and if funds would be shared beyond the two special education teachers who have made this request.
  5. Many teachers have been using their $300 classroom grants to purchase books and other supplies for their classrooms.

Announcements

  • 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
    • Bike Rodeo (tentatively planned for Friday April 29th) 
    • Running Club (tentatively planned for May 2021)
    • Fun Run (tentatively planned for June 9th or 10th)
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday November 2nd at 8:15 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 Celebration!

10/15/21

5:30 to 7pm

Located just west of the school building on school grounds.

Animal Wonders will be doing an exciting educational presentation with live animals to celebrate the Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom (ROC).


The ROC has turned out beautifully! This was a collaborative effort with help from the Rattlesnake PTA, parent volunteers, Missoula Neighborhoods Grant, and many business and private donors.


We are so appreciative of the businesses who assisted and donated to this project; WGM Group (site design), Native Yards, Mutual Materials, Grant Creek Excavation, and Wild Rockies Landscaping.

Battle of the Books 2021/2022

Rattlesnake PTA, in conjunction with Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), is bringing Battle of the Books (BOB) to Rattlesnake Elementary School this school year.

BOB is a volunteer reading program for Rattlesnake Elementary 4th and 5th graders. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to read and help increase their reading comprehension. Participating students meet weekly and also participate in reading comprehension “Battles” in teams of three every two months. The program takes place during school hours. The goal is to make reading fun!

See below for the invite letter, the handbook, and the sign up sheet.

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.

Announcements

  • 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.