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:
      • 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:
    • 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:
      • 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


February 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! 

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association

Leadership Meeting Minutes for Feb 27th from 7-9pm in the FCC


Leigh (CoP),  Molly (CoP), Alex (T), Judith (VP), Stacy (FCC), Pam (Principal), Maureen (Teacher Rep), Kristie (Boundary Study Rep), Carissa, Becky

Items as Discussed

Call for additional items- Check in on the request for $600 for a speaker for the band teacher. PTA is still looking to split that cost and Pam will pursue some other funding.

Votes or Discussion on Open Funding Requests

  • Regular classroom grants (no vote)
    • Three teachers confirmed request for $300/each, no vote needed.
  • Academic Enrichment
    • 5th Grade (via Ibis) $500 for field trip in April
    • Field trip to the Berkeley Pit in Butte, already have $1000 grant from the National Wildlife Federation
    • Current academic enrichment balance= $2977
    • Motion to vote, unanimous vote in favor

FCC General Updates (Stacy)

  • Box Tops – 9000 collected, will be sent in this week = $900
  • Family Fun Nights – Portrait night was good
    • Thinking of doing an internet safety class in the spring
    • Thinking of summer kickoff party at Mt Jumbo again (kickball, Feed the Need Truck, Ice Cream truck)
    • Will clean out lost and found after March 8th – PTA will remind parents again to check the Lost and Found during conferences

Boundary Study (Kristie Scheel, Rattlesnake Parent Representative)

  • Kristie updated the group: There was a committee meeting in January at which guiding principles were set forth. Data is starting to come in which will help inform decisions. Still waiting on demographic projections. Rattlesnake held a special meeting to address rumors, which 35+ parents attended. (see summary: Nothing concrete is on the table yet, all ideas being considered. Comments are welcomed via the website, Kristie or Pam. There is an open house Monday, March 4 at Russell School from 6-8pm. Final recommendations will come in May, some changes may be implemented in Fall of 2019, or later. Ideal school size was deemed to be 450 students, which is why renovations at the fuller schools were not made even bigger.

Quick Report Outs or needs for Events and Fundraisers

  • TOP PRIORITY: Spring Fling Planning (Molly and Judith)
      • Wrapping up silent auction donations
      • Handouts are going out to parents on a regular basis
      • Becky requested a schedule of events- Judith noted and will follow up
      • Erik will do morning message
      • Hired a dance caller to try to engage kids in country dancing
      • Big push now is to recruit volunteers for the event via the Sign Up Genius
  • Wellness (Carissa/Becky)
    • Carissa and Becky updated the group: Things are moving slowly because the district is making some new wellness policies and the school and Pam would like to wait until those are passed down for implementation before forming a committee of teachers and parents. The best time to form new committees is in the fall, but Pam will see what her advisory committee thinks. The cafeteria will be painted this summer as part of lunchroom improvements and they hope to put up a Catch Corner bulletin board in the cafeteria. Catch Corner is a place to reward via acknowledgement of good cafeteria/food choices by students. 
    • It was suggested the Wellness Committee connect with the Garden Committee.

Spring Swag Plans (Erik/Brittany)

  • Brittany has ordered pencils, sandwich bags and mugs that will be ready for Spring Fling
  • The group decided to donate 3 school t-shirts to the 5th graders competing in a district wide competition.

Teacher Updates

  • No major updates, but Pam and Maureen talked a little more about IRLA (Independent Reading Level Assessment) and those implications- allows for more individualized reading plans

General Financial Updates

  • GFS scripts bringing in about $250 a quarter- PTA can push this to parents to possibly earn more
  • Book Fair brought in $2030 net income
  • Approx $18,200 raised in income so far this school year

Administrative Tasks

  • Set agenda for March 5th General Meeting
  • Update that Gail reached out and is willing to volunteer for Chess Club again. Follow up is needed to ensure Gail has what she needs.
  • Decision that due to schedules, no Leadership Meeting will be in March.


Dr. Seuss Week – March 4-8

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday (March 2, 1904) we will celebrate Dr. Seuss next week from March 4-8!

  • Monday – The Lorax – wear GREEN to speak for the environment
  • Tuesday – Fox in Socks – Wear CRAZY SOCKS
  • Wednesday – Wacky Wednesday – Wear STRIPES any way that you can
  • Thursday – Cat in the Hat – Wear a FUN HAT to honor Dr. Seuss
  • Friday – Enjoy the day off!


Rattlesnake Parent Boundary Study Meeting Summary

Rattlesnake Parent Boundary Study Meeting
5:30pm-6:30pm 2/20/2019
PTA representative notes (taken by Leigh G, PTA Co-President)

Attendance: 32 parents (best estimate from a quick count), 5 teachers, Principal Wright
Presentation and Q&A leader: Hatton Littman, MCPS Communications Director

The meeting was a full hour long, plus an additional 30 minutes of one-on-one questions, and therefore full minutes were not feasible. Below is a summary of some of the more important facts that were presented, the dominant themes, and particularly relevant questions, according to our abilities and best judgement.

Background as discussed and presented:

The demographic data already available shows that the population of the district will keep growing at least through 2023, at which time it may level out. It is currently thought that the district is likely to add 1000 elementary kids in the 10 year period from 2013-2023. The new demographic study to be released next week (2/25+/2019) should have more accurate and in depth information.

There are several reasons that Rattlesnake didn’t add lots more classrooms during the renovation from the 2015 bond, but the most simple explanation is that the best school capacity from the student, teacher, and district perspective is just under 500 students. This takes into account things like state accreditation standards, state based limits on individual classroom sizes, and the communities’ stated values in the 2013-2015 process to maintain friendly neighborhood schools, not mega schools.

How to get involved (see also our list on ):

The meeting schedule is available on the district site ( specifically page and is also posted on the PTA update from our school’s parent rep, here: towards the bottom. The next Open House will be Monday, March 4; 6-8 pm at Russell School.

Anyone can comment on the Social Map, which is available here: and you can comment more than once if you’d like. The “pins” are put where you want them- they don’t automatically show up on your house or anything. Anyone can see the comments, but only the district employees can see the emails that are entered as part of the commenting process.

Reach out to principal Pam Wright ( and/or our parent representative ( if you’d prefer to comment that way.

Next steps in the process, in general:

The new demographic data should be released next week (2/25+/2019) and will be put onto the district’s website along with all the other documents.

The next Advisory Committee meeting is 2/28/2019 and our representative Kristie Scheel will be there, as well as our librarian Robyn Nygren (she is also on the committee). At the end of the Advisory Committee meeting there is an opportunity for public comment, if desired, and anyone can attend as an observer and then use that opportunity to make their voice heard.

The next Open House will be Monday, March 4; 6-8 pm at Russell School. You do NOT need to attend for the full two hours, you can just come and look at the posters and talk to people on your own time frame.

After these three things are completed, the various options for the boundaries, and how those boundaries will be rolled out, will be considered by the Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee will also dive into questions like how long currently enrolled kids will be grandfathered into their current schools. For a short list of how these decisions will be formed and framed, see the information from our school’s rep Kristie For the full Framework as written by the district, find that information here:

Towards the end of the process, likely in early to mid April, the Advisory Committee will whittle down all the options and ideas to likely three choices, which they will then work through to produce a final recommendation. They will then present the final recommendation to the elected School Board of Trustees. To learn about the Trustees, please visit:

Comments and Questions by Parents and Teachers at the meeting:

There was a question about what grades at Rattlesnake had the most leveling (which is when later enrolling kids have to go to a different school due to high numbers). Hatton and Pam answered that right now, at Rattlesnake, that is grades 1, 3, and 4. Hatton explained that 1st grade is often a pinch point for schools due to kids that go to private kindergartens, and families moving to new homes while the kids are younger. As a whole, Rattlesnake is one of 4 elementary schools at 95% capacity.

Several parents expressed serious concerns along the theme that the middle school boundaries are not being studied and/or altered simultaneously. The conversation around this included the acknowledgement that it would be a lot more difficult to do these studies all at once because of the tremendous complexity, and that the staff time would be immense if they were undertaken simultaneously.  

The time scale of this process was a concern in several ways. One parent expressed frustration that some documents said the changes could theoretically begin as soon as Fall 2019, but other documents and verbal statements were not as clear and no set timeframe is being discussed right now. There was also concern that the process was too rushed- with the three advisory committee and open houses in three months. At the same time, it was mentioned that as each year goes by, more kids end up attending non-neighborhood schools due to capacity issues (“leveling”), and so keeping the process moving in order to help alleviate that is important.

There was some frustration and confusion regarding one of the older (2013) walk-to-school maps that has been used as a reference in this process (specifically, this map: ) as the circles appear to exclude the Lower Rattlesnake. Parents were unhappy with the visual implications of the map. This seemed to be mostly confusion on the actual professional intent of the map (1 mile is the practical limit for walking to school as depicted on that map) vs what the other impressions of the map may be (for instance: that the circles are the priority areas, or represent actual neighborhoods, or guaranteed attendance, etc). Someone joked that due to the shape of the Rattlesnake Valley, we deserved an oval, not a circle. Jokes aside, this map was considered visually misleading and frustrating by several parents, as this map seemed to confirm the feeling that some parts of the Rattlesnake School attendance area, especially in the Lower Rattlesnake, were being left out of the big picture of the neighborhood.

East Missoula was a big topic of discussion. The question of when and how Mount Jumbo will return to use as an elementary school does not have an answer nor estimate at this time. The demographic study to be released 2/25+/2019 may shed some light on this topic, or may not, it is impossible to say without the study in hand.

The commute and relative isolation of East Missoula was discussed, especially as it relates to buses driving around the base of Mt Jumbo. At least seven people from East Missoula were in attendance (exact count unknown). The fact that the East Missoula neighborhood has been busing kids for more than 20 minutes since 2005- which is one of the values sets that this study seeks to reduce- was mentioned as important to remember.

The need to improve outreach to East Missoula families was brought up by more than one person. Suggestions included more flyers in Boom folders, posting flyers in community hotspots (the River of Life coffee shop, the Oles, etc), using the leaderboard that the fire department manages, giving a quick update at neighborhood council meetings, and other community based approaches.

The Mount Jumbo facility itself was discussed. Improvements to the front entry security will be needed, but the facility and grounds in general is in good serviceable condition. Once Mount Jumbo is determined to be a priority, these final renovations would be brought into discussion and budgeting by the district.

Prescott School was mentioned briefly in the context that the district will definitely not be reopening that school as a school facility. The renovation and rehabilitation needs of that historic structure are beyond the scope of what the district will engage in. It is also well known by the general community that Missoula International School intends to move to their future facility (roughly, near Osprey Stadium), out of Prescott School, in the next few years.

The various scenarios that parents have been independently discussing via private texts and emails were listed and mentioned- including the ideas of a K-2 3-5 split for Rattlesnake and Jumbo, adjusting the boundary somewhere into the Lower Rattlesnake to attend at Lowell, and others. These scenarios have not been discussed by the Advisory Committee or Administration at this point. Hatton reminded the group that in general, all ideas are being opened up as part of the information gathering process, which means it is theoretically possible these ideas and scenarios could be considered among all the options. After all options are determined and discussed, the Advisory Group will apply the values and framework to evaluate them each. This will take place in the next two months (late Feb, all of March, early April). To remind yourself of the framework, visit:

“Grandfathering” of kids into schools was discussed on multiple occasions. There was discussion on how, essentially, the more you grandfather in kids, the slower the transition to new borders and more equal attendance will be. The fact that the Advisory Council has a framework with which to make decisions on this was mentioned.

Whether or not future Mount Jumbo district residents will be given the same grandfathering options to Rattlesnake was a stated concern as submitted to the PTA email- Hatton indicated that the scenario of opening Mount Jumbo and creating a new attendance boundary between Rattlesnake and East Missoula neighborhoods would be held to the same grandfathering standards as all other boundary decisions, and not a special case or different process.

For more information, see the PTA’s prior post on this subject:  or the official district clearinghouse for this study at 

Boundary Study Meeting and Parent Representative Update

NOTE: This page contains two important items on the MCPS Boundary Study- Upcoming Meeting Information and an overall Parent Representative Update. Please read BOTH SECTIONS so that you’ve got all the information you need! 

Upcoming Meeting Information

The Missoula County Public Schools elementary boundary study is underway, and all parents in the district are encouraged to read the available information online and participate in the process. Rattlesnake’s elementary school boundary is somewhat unique in that the two big parts (Rattlesnake Valley and East Missoula) are both bounded by mountains and highways. To facilitate an open and transparent discussion of how this boundary study will be structured, how parents can participate, and what is currently being discussed, everyone is invited to attend the Rattlesnake School Parent Meeting Wednesday, February 20, 2019, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in our library.

 If you are unable to attend the Wednesday meeting, please note:

MCPS Elementary School Boundary Study Update

This update authored by Kristie Scheel, Rattlesnake School parent representative on February 15, 2019


The goal of the Elementary Attendance Boundary Study is to balance building utilization and reduce overcrowding in Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS). An advisory committee made up of parent representatives and MCPS staff was created to generate ideas and recommendations for achieving the study objective. The advisory committee will also receive guidance from professionals in the planning community. The framework for making the recommendations will be based on goals, guiding principles, and boundary criteria.

The Advisory Committee will listen to all public comment and look at data to vet out possible solutions, and then present some options to the community for feedback. This spring, the Advisory Committee will be making a recommendation to the MCPS Board of Trustees on any required adjustments to elementary school attendance boundaries.

Below are Important Dates, Informational Updates, and How to Get Involved.

Important Dates

  • Rattlesnake School Parent Meeting: Wednesday, February 20; 5:30-6:30 pm, Rattlesnake School Library
  • Advisory Committee Meeting #2: Thursday, February 28; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom-915 South Ave.
  • Community Open House #2: Monday, March 4; 6-8 pm, Russell School.
  • Advisory Committee Meeting #3: Thursday, March 14; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom- 915 South Ave.
  • Community Open House #3: Thursday, March 21; 6-8 pm, Location TBD (a flyer will be sent out)
  • Advisory Committee Meeting #4: Thursday, April 4; 6-8 pm, MCPS Business Building Boardroom-915 South Ave.

Informational Updates: what’s happening now?

The first Advisory Council meeting was held on January 30th, 2019. The purpose of this first meeting was to review current enrollment data and agree upon boundary selection criteria. Additional criteria discussed for boundary changes include:

  1. Avoid bussing that takes a student more than 20 minutes one way
  2. Transportation goals/values around bussing logistics and costs
  3. Equity in schools in terms of socioeconomics, student achievement/performance, special programs without excessive bussing or disruption to neighborhood cohesion

In addition, considerations will be given for selection criteria intended to reduce short-term negative effects of boundary changes for special cases that may occur over the next ten years including:

  1. Treatment of grandfathering in current students (and for how long)
  2. Treatment of siblings who haven’t entered school yet (and for how long)
  3. Criteria for access to special programs with a goal of equality of access

It is important to note that specific recommendations have not yet been made. The Committee is currently waiting for more data to come in regarding demographics, population projections, and planned growth + development throughout the district. Any ideas swirling around at this time are not concrete considerations on the table. No official recommendations will be made until the Committee is able to review community feedback and the new data. The public will then have opportunities to comment on the recommendations prior to sending to the Board for review this spring. The elected MCPS school board – not the advisory committee itself- will be responsible for reviewing the findings and making the final decisions.

How to Get Involved: Be informed. Stay involved. Share your thoughts!

Rattlesnake parents are encouraged to:



February 2019 General Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association

Meeting Minutes for February 5 2019 from 8:30am-9:00am


Leigh (CoP),  Molly (CoP), Alex (T), Matthew (S), Judith (VP), Stacy (FCC), Pam (Principal)+ 10 other parents

Items as Discussed

Wellness committee Updates

  • Provided some updates related to the district.
  • The latest meeting included school principals
  • The meeting did establish an estimated timeline for admin/comment this spring

Principal Wright’s Announcements

  • English language and arts curriculum has changed district wide
  • The new curriculum focuses on small group reading and writing.
  • Also provides standards and overview

Teacher announcements (skipped- teachers were unable to attend this month)

FCC updates

  • East Missoula Family Night was successful
    • E Msla families like the proximity
    • Board games always a good time
  • Lost and found will be donated at the end of the month, PTA will announce on FB
  • Box tops so far are approx. 5000 collected, which is about $500
    • Last year amounted to approximately $1100 net, hopefully more will come in

Spring Fling planning

  • We will have the same theme as last year (Hoe Down)
  • Need donations for the action.  Sponsorship financial donations are also being solicited this year.
  • Spreadsheets are available to solicitation volunteers to stay organized
  • Alcohol as a donation
    • Alcohol can be auctioned, however cannot physically be present on school grounds.
    • Donations from bars and restaurant are acceptable so long as they don’t visually promote alcohol
  • Decorations
    • In years past have been time consuming and perhaps not the best use of time- maybe scale back a bit on decorations
    • Kids can volunteer and make posters/decorations
    • There are some decorations from years past on hand in the FCC
    • Teachers like to be kept in the loop on setup of decorations to minimize disruptions
  • Volunteers are needed for set up/operations/cleanup
    • A signup genius will be established for volunteers


District Boundary Study Update by Rattlesnake’s Parent Representative, Kristie S

  • The first official committee meeting noted a lot of concern regarding impacts
  • Involvement and transparency are a key aspect of the current process
  • This effort is meant to create a 10 year plan
    • Attempt to prevent unnecessary transfers of kids to non-neighborhood schools looking forward.
  • Webpage has comments/notes/updates (
  • Rattlesnake is currently at 96% capacity
  • Rattlesnake’s community meeting in January was the best attended of all the elementary school meetings.
  • The discussion does include the concept of Mount Jumbo possibly being reopened- this will be dependent on population and other needs/conditions.
    • The district is currently renting unused space as the population grows
  • Lowell is currently at 62% capacity.
  • Safe Routes to School conversation- noted that the city has some money, but currently improvements in some areas such as sidewalks are the responsibility of homeowners.
  • The Open House meetings will go from start to end as scheduled, but participants can come and go and there is not necessarily a structure or presentation to drive that entire time.
    • 3-4 more meetings are planned this spring

– The PTA’s website will post more information once our rep (Kristie) has written up a summary




Spring Fling : Hoe Down on March 15!

Grab your cowboy hat & boots and join us for an evening of family fun!

When: Friday, March, 15th 2019 from 5:30p-7:30pm
Where: Rattlesnake School in both gyms and the halls. Enter through the old gym doors.
What: This year’s Spring Fling theme is “Hoe Down!” This community event will feature kid and family friendly activities (bingo, face painting, dancing, picture booth, and more) plus a silent auction fundraiser and prize raffles.
Why: The Spring Fling is both the biggest community event, and the biggest fundraiser, of the year at Rattlesnake School. By combining a wide variety of fun and free activities with our Silent Auction, we hope that everyone can enjoy the Spring Fling!

All community members are welcome at the Rattlesnake Spring Fling! Invite your friends, neighbors, and relatives – they need not attend the school to enjoy this great event.



Sign up to volunteer: Many volunteers are needed to make this event happen. Sign up here to help:

Silent Auction: The silent auction features items donated by businesses (both local, and from around the region) as well as baskets created by the Rattlesnake students in each grade. Both cash and credit card accepted for the Silent Auction items.

Basket Themes: We will be collecting items to create gift baskets. Donated items for baskets should be given directly to your child’s teacher.

  • Kindergarten theme is Arts & Crafts! Please consider donating crayons, pencils, paint, coloring books, craft kits, canvases, art class gift cards, etc.
  • First Grade theme is Gardening! Please consider donating seeds, tools, gloves, garden art, watering cans, planters, soil, nursery gift cards, etc.
  • Second Grade theme is Coffee/Tea! Please consider donating coffee, tea, mugs, tea baskets, baked treats that won’t go bad (like biscotti), travel mugs, teapots, etc.
  • Third Grade theme is School Spirit! Please consider donating a Rattlesnake Elementary or UM/Griz item. Ideas include: water bottles, socks, coffee mugs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, Monte items, game tickets, etc.
  • Fourth Grade theme is Family Fun/Game Night! Please consider donating board games, jacks, playing cards, dominos, checker boards, movie passes, DVDs, HUB gift cards, etc.
  • Fifth Grade class Spring Fling Auction Baskets is STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics, Mathematics). Please consider donating circuits, educational books, coding materials, fossils, science build kits etc. 

Items can be sent in with your child to school or dropped off at school anytime from now until February 22nd.  Monetary donations and other auction items are also appreciated.  Email with any questions. Thank you to all who have donated thus far!

Raffle Prizes: A few choice items will be available only through raffle tickets! Tickets will be cash only. We’ll post the raffle items here ASAP!

Food & Apparel Information: Fun food options (both dinner and snacks) will be available for sale, exact menu to be determined soon. There will be a table selling Rattlesnake hoodies, socks, teeshirts, water bottles, etc. as well. Both cash and credit card accepted.

Entry to this community event is free! All the fun activities are free! Hope to see you on March 15th.




2019 Jan 22 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! 


Matthew N (Secretary)
Leigh G (President)
Alex S (Treasurer)
Molly C (President)
Judith B (VP)
Becky K
Carissa B
Stacy J (FCC)
Erik F
Brittany H
Carrie S (Teacher Rep)



Principal’s Updates  (Pam was not present, covered topics conversationally)

  • Boundary Study updates, Kristie Scheel has agreed to be on the committee, there may be an additional slot opening.  There was an East Missoula applicant. There may be some further revision regarding the district updates and representatives, which would make sense for East Missoula.
  • Mt Jumbo Elementary may be reopened in 5-10 years, or longer, but is not actively part of the current study.
  • The district web site has been updated and there is more information available.

FCC General Updates (Stacy- Box Tops, other needs)

  • Box tops officially kicked off today
    • Sorted by 50/bag to be submitted  
    • Ultimately they are counted in class and submitted in envelope. It has been a student job in the past and continues to be popular.
    • Proceeds will go back to the general PTA grant budget as it has in years past with the exception of last year’s funds, which was administered by Pam and Julie.
    • Party will go back to less cost/food oriented and additional recess/activity to keep it simple and inexpensive.

Quick Report Outs / Needs for Events and Fundraisers

  • TOP PRIORITY: Spring Fling Planning (Molly)
    • Need more volunteers and guidance has posted
    • Guidance is available for solicitation of auction and sponsorship.
    • NEED A PROJECT LEAD FOR THE PLAN AS A WHOLE – Judith agreed to talk with Molly about being the event lead
    • Maggie W and Anne T lead one last year, but are taking on a smaller role this year.  Donation phone calls take more time than expected.
    • Carissa mentioned Michelle B may be able to help with event planning
    • Judith will jump in and assist where she can, but has not participated in the event in years past due to being out of town.  Happy to help in a capacity other than tracking the financial aspects of it. Will do mock ups of promotions (Sandwichboard, banners)
    • Erik, food committee report– Famous Daves cannot donate due to rising costs.  We got our request in on time, but pork prices are rising and making impossible. February will be a deadline to know if food can be donated (basket).  We may be able to get a reduced price depending on how prices move. Erik will ask.
    • Differences between sponsorship (business giving money) and Baskets is goods and services (Silent Auction)
    • Discussion that using old school carbon paper might be super useful for the auction process
    • Kate got a whole bunch of carousel tokens for Spring Fling to reduce food rewards
    • Donations need to be more targeted and less 300+ small items.  Maggie W has guidance for this years committee regarding that
    • Lucia or Maggie A have worked with CFS on their auction software but we have not because the cost is prohibitive but it is something to be considered because it happens year over year.  Brittney will follow up.
    • Raffle tickets will fall under Maggie W.


  • Family Fun Nights (Stacy)
    • Family fun night in January will be out of East Missoula and in the Mt Jumbo library pending site inspection by Stacy to ensure that it is in functional condition.
    • No cost to participate
    • Family fun night in February will be on the 13th at the Rattlesnake School
    • 13FEB – Michelle N Photography for the evening for families.
    • Photography has some variations and can be flexible for families/friend groups.


  • Idea for Evening Class on internet safety, in the same way there were parenting classes
    • Detective to come by for a class on internet safety. Detective Katie Peterson date: TBD
    • Might be in coordination with Washington Middle School
    • Parenting nights used to be common but are now on hiatus until a new curriculum is developed. The district was supposed to start this semester, but no further information has posted.


  • Wellness (Carissa/Becky)
    • Kate’s idea for better cereal choices for the lunchroom (healthier selection- less percent calories from sugar) was adopted district wide
    • Walk through was conducted as for a pilot program within the lunch room.
    • Paint color choices for the lunch room are coming up soon.
    • MTF with upcoming dates (thus far, nothing for prior release).
    • Policy review with district administrators and the Principals with a meeting in Feb.
    • Kate got a whole bunch of carousel tokens for Spring Fling to reduce food rewards
  • Spring Swag Plans (Erik/Brittany, hold til B arrives)
    • Need to look at if there are additional things that we would like to sell.  Also want to look at the online sales. We did receive a check from UA for $398.  
    • We were unable to get an itemized list
    • There has been some positive feedback regarding more variety.
    • Do we need to have more on hand for regular events. Cups and inventory available will work for the meantime. Maybe order tote bags, reusable lunch sacks, grocery bags, pencils, ball caps?
    • Bring out the table for concerts and class level events.
    • Let the online sales be available for moments where tables/volunteers/foot traffic is untenable, but events we should stock inventory conducive to a table.



Teacher Updates (in general – Carrie)

  • Teachers got a new Kettle and it is appreciated.
  • Inservice in February (Monday) before President’s Day (determined by the district)  
  • Curriculum to be updated, it is new to teachers so may be the first time most teachers are using the program.
  • We are one of three pilot schools for IRLA K-5, this is part of the new English Language Arts curriculum.

Financial Updates

  • PayPal Giving Fund
    • Got a letter, initially seemed possible as a scam- turns out it is a legit way to receive the funds electronically from our Direct Donate vendor (Crowdrise). Otherwise we’ll just get a paper check.
  • Status of CD Move  – (Alex, Matthew)
    • The CD has moved to an account with Edward Jones Account.  The maturity is July 2020 at 2.7% paying monthly.
    • We did discuss moving the money market over as well as it has a higher interest rate and would allow the interest from the CD that is accumulating monthly will also be at a higher rate (currently 1.7%).
    • Carrie was concerned this would be more confusing, discussed how it is the same banks just a different configuration so it shouldn’t be more confusing that it already is.
    • Alex motioned to move the money market over from First Security to the EJ account.  All in favor, Matthew abstained.
  • Others as needed
    • Votes or Discussion on Open Funding Requests
      • Reviewed teacher classroom grant requests
      • Currently all fall within the grant parameters and do not require discussion or approval.
      • Academic Enrichment
      • Kast’s request canceled (she said they will just use Box Tops money from last year)

Administrative Tasks

  • Schedule Executive Board meeting in the first or second week of February
    • Want to set up a pattern of each month for Leadership (i.e. 3rd week of the month)
    • Leadership meeting to be within Feb 25 – Mar 1st.
  • Treasury and VP will term out at the end of this year. Judith can continue her term rather than hold it as an additional election if desired
  • Set agenda for February 5th General Meeting

2018 Dec 17 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! 



Matthew N (Secretary)
Leigh G (President)
Alex S (Treasurer)
Molly C (President)
Judith B (VP)
Stacy J (FCC)
Kate D
Erik F
Brittany H
Pam Wright (Principal)


  • Discussion on how to make general meeting more inclusive and engaging. Major points of discussion included not making it longer, how the current format gets good attendance in general, how only 4 general meetings are strictly required, perhaps adding Leadership minutes to the blog on a regular basis, making the Leadership meetings more open to additional folks if desired, asking folks “what brought you to the meeting today” as a way to engage better, featuring a topic of the month for further discussion (i.e. like the SPARK Arts person).
  • Welcome new Teacher Reps (if able to attend)
    • Carrie Sweatland and Maureen Loewenwarter were not able to attend, but are our new reps!
  • Quick Report Outs or needs for Events and Fundraisers
    • Direct Donate (Leigh) – going well, final promotions and handouts are planned prior to start of Winter Break. Most donations coming in via checks.
    • Spring Fling Planning (Molly) – Molly and Judith plan to start working on promotional materials (poster, etc) soon. Feedback to swap the Cake Walk for a Swag Walk or other non-treat related prize. Idea to add a structured Contra Dance or square dance or Super Skippers as an activity. Discussion on how past formats were more or less engaging for younger vs older kids, which is always a tough nut to crack.
    • Reschedule on Limo Lunch (Alex/Pam/All) Has been rescheduled to January 10th to start at 11:30 am, one or two parents at Pizza Hut would be great if feasible.
    • Swag Distribution (Erik/Brittany) – sold about 30 items, distribution went well, earnings were good for the amount of effort required but lower than had we handled sales more independently. Discussion on pros and cons of this method. May or may not be something we want to do in the Spring.
    • Wellness – Pam has ordered No Idle signs idea, not clear when they will be arriving. Kate Devino gave an update on handwashing stations. The estimates came back roughly as $800/hot water plumbing, $8950 for the station itself, and $3-5000 for the floor and wall rebuild and repair. Low end amount is thus $12K. Kate also updated on the smarter lunchroom progress- items moving forward slowly, such as painting cafeteria, creating a healthy choices space. The District Committee on Smarter Lunchroom will be doing a meeting at Rattlesnake, date TBD likely January 2019, from 2-3pm at our school. Kate will update us as that moves forward. Kate has been working to improve the quality of breakfast cereal choices by eliminating a few most sugary choices. Pam mentioned this would have positive behavioral impact, as the kids all want to sugary ones so it creates conflicts. This change would come from district level (procurement) and is not particularly controversial- many widely acceptable cereals would remain (i.e. honey nut cheerios would stay, lucky charms would go).
    • YAY for Target Field Trip Grant! $700 for 4th Grade!! Congrats Molly for spearheading!
  • Feedback on Holiday Scheduling
    • Parent confusion on school events – how can PTA help? Discussion on expectations vs reality on this. Pam talked about how they are not permitted to have religious programming, and while that rule has been bent in the past, it is best to modernize approach. Judith and Leigh both mentioned that they appreciate school was moving away from Christmas themed activities since their kids started 4 and 6 years ago. Ideas discussed for 2019-2020 school year include holding the K-1 musical assembly (non-denominational) in December to help parents transition to the public school expectations. Stacy mentioned it might be good to do a Family Fun Night winter themed in December as well. Someone said perhaps it would be good to explain this in brief at K Roundup in the Spring, so that new families better understand.  


  • Votes or Discussion on Open Funding Requests
    • Reviewed 6 teacher classroom grant requests
  • Fundraising Committee Idea
    • General Discussion on how we can proceed – Discussion on how general feel was that we do not need a committee to be formed right now, but it was good to make sure we thought it through
    • Sponsorship of Fun Run by Headwaters – Molly will pursue. Discussion of Spring Fling v Fun Run, and how Fun Run should be a better fit
    • Sponsorship of Fun Run by new dentistry office – idea to have dentists also give out toothbrushes at Fun Run.
    • “Community Hand Up” at the Dram- OK to have a bar sponsored event – this was discussed and agreed that from the PTA position, it is generally acceptable. Molly followed up with Pam after the meeting, Pam has asked the district if there is a policy here. Leigh said she would follow up with Sarah Millar (will cancel the night if Pam says district forbids it)