February 2018 General PTA Minutes

February 7th, 2018 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Attendance: Maggie W (P), Anne T (VP), Alex S (T), Laura F (S), Jen J (FCC), Molly Kast (Teacher Rep) + 8 parents/guardians


  • Funding Updates: January the PTA granted three funding requests- the 5th Grade Roxy/SPARK Arts mystery movie project; the 5th grade book set (The Inuit Thought of It); and the 3rd Grade “Olympic” Field Trip to Glacier Ice Rink.
  • FCC Update: Jen talked about  upcoming Family Jump Rope night on February 15th (see Event Listing). Jen said the Box Tops were going well. Group discussed whether the box tops money goes to each grade as the money is raised, or if it goes to the PTA to later disburse, or what is best. PTA board will discuss at their upcoming meeting.
  • Teacher Update from Molly Kast: Teachers are collecting basket items for Spring Fling thru Feb 23rd. They are sending out reminders via their classroom newsletters. Additional signage to remind folks about Spring Fling baskets may be up soon- sandwich board, posters, etc. They have been very thankful for the teacher appreciation days this year- congrats to Jacqui and her Teacher Appreciation crew!
  • Upcoming Events: Spring Fling is coming up on March 16th (see Event Listing) with theme “Hoe Down!” Planning updates- need about a total of 16 volunteers per hour to make it all work smoothly. Please consider volunteering for an hour! Link to sign up for volunteering is: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-spring The more volunteers the event has, the more potential activities that the Spring Fling can offer. There will be Bingo, hay bales for dance floor, line dancing, cake walk, “snake” walk, face painting, photo booth. Food choices will include fair themed food. Raffle is planned. Remember, this is a free community event. Invite your friends and family!
  • Discussion of forming a new “What’s for lunch” food committee in the PTA dedicated to improving the menu at Rattlesnake in general.
  • Fun Run is planned June 5. PTA will be asking the same person to run it as last year (it was great!). Running practices will likely be Friday before school and recesses on Friday, but that is not yet set in stone.
  • PTA Leadership – please let us know if you are interested in a leadership position with the PTA. The current President (Maggie W) and Secretary (Laura) will complete their 2 year terms this June. We will be looking for nominations from now until the start of April. The in-person voting on positions will be at the April meeting (8:30am, April 4th). In May, the new leadership and former leadership will work to finalize and vote in the annual budget for the 2018-2019 school year. To learn more about this process, or to nominate yourself for an open position, please email rattlesnakePTA@gmail.com

This month featured a new PTA coffee maker, to decrease driving and be more efficient!

Next month’s PTA Meeting will be March 7th 2018, at 8:30am in the FCC. Hope to see you there! 


Rattlesnake’s Jump Rope for Heart 2018

Did you know that in 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary students brought in $9,582 for the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart, making it the top fundraising school in Western Montana? Our amazing P.E. teacher Ms Delaney is again bringing this fun fundraiser to our school- and here at the PTA we are SO PROUD of her successes!

You can help Ms Delaney and the American Heart Association raise money related to heart health (research, training, community education, and more) if you’d like, by encouraging your child to ask family, friends, and neighbors for donations to support heart health. As Ms Delaney says, “Our Rattlesnake community makes a HUGE difference for the state of Montana!”

The packets are due back in the classroom by March 1st 2018.

Please note that all proceeds go to the American Heart Association, not to the PTA. This is just an information posting by the PTA in case you had questions about Ms. Delaney’s Jump Rope for Heart program.

Rattlesnake’s Semi-Annual Food Drive

Our Spring Food Drive is Feb. 26- March 2, 2018

The FCC maintains a food pantry for Rattlesnake families to use when they need it!  We would love your help in keeping it stocked.

At this time, we are asking just the 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades to participate and to donate within specific categories:

  • 3rd grade:  Canned Soup
  • 4th grade: Non perishable protein (ie. canned tuna/chicken, peanut butter, beans, nuts etc).
  • 5th grade: Healthy snacks (low sugar granola bars, applesauce, cereal bars, etc).

We believe the food within these three categories has a high impact on nutritional need, a family’s food budget, and is easy to prepare/eat.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact Jen Jencso (FCC coordinator) at frcres@mcps.k12.mt.us.

Thank you so much for your generosity!

Jen Jencsosale-shelf-old-cans-food-162927.jpeg

February 2018 General PTA Agenda

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association Meeting
Agenda for February 7 2018 from 8:30am-9:00am
Meeting will be held in Family Connections Center

Please enter through the Main Entrance, walk straight down the main hall, and look for the FCC near the end of the hall on your left.


  • Welcome (5 minutes)
  • Funding Updates (5 minutes)
    • January funding requests (granted) – (1) 5th Grade Roxy/SPARK Arts mystery movie project; (2) 5th grade book set (The Inuit Thought of It); and (3) 3rd Grade Field Trip to Glacier Ice Rink
  • Upcoming Events (10 min)
    • Family Jump Rope night — February 15th (see Event Listing)
    • Spring Fling — March 16th (see Event Listing), Auction TEAM & Activities TEAM (Hoe-Down)
    • Fun Run — June 5
  • How you can help! (5 min)
    • Spring Fling “Hoe-Down” on March 16 from 5:30p – 7:30p – join our team!
    • Classroom Basket Team –  Carissa, Maggie A, & Becky
    • Auction Callers / Team – NEED volunteers to help out (maybe
      another power hour at the school?)
    • Hoe-Down Activities Team – Anne G, Becky, Erin, & Maggie W
    • Food Team – Alex and Erik
  • FCC Update (5 min)
  • Adjourn!


2018 Spring Fling Details

IMG_0935When: Friday, March, 16th 2018 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, country western line 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. Please sign up here to volunteer: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-spring

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.

Need a reminder on your child’s grade basket theme? The 2018 grade level themes are: K- School Spirit, 1st- Gardening, 2nd- Coffee and Tea, 3rd – Arts and Crafts, 4th- Family fun and Game night, 5th – Pets. Donated items for baskets should be given directly to your child’s teacher.

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 16th.

Free Family Jump Rope Night

Free Family Jump Rope Night!
Date: February 15, 2018
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Location: Rattlesnake School Gym

You are cordially invited to attend a short demonstration by the Montana Super Skippers.  They will kick the night off and inspire you to get your family jumping!  They will have double dutch, rope skills, timed jump stations and fun music to enjoy.

All ages are welcome.  You may borrow ropes or purchase one.  Wear comfortable clothing, athletic shoes, and bring a water bottle.

This event is sponsored by the Rattlesnake PTA and Family Connection Center.  Thank You!

Parenting Class: The Language of Encouragement

Parenting Class: The Language of Encouragement
Date: Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
Time:  6:15-8:15 p.m.
Location: Paxon Elementary – 101 Evans St., Missoula, MT  59801

Families First will Present “The Language of Encouragement” as this is a powerful strategy that teaches kids to appreciate their own efforts instead of relying only on praise and rewards.  Join us as we discuss ways that encouragement can be used to positively guide behavior and set the tone for life-long optimism and self-control.

Please register online at www.missoulaclasses.com or call (406) 549-8765.  For child care reservations, or detailed information about the class topic, call (406) 721-7690.

Pre-registration is STRONGLY encouraged to meet class minimums and avoid cancellations. FREE CHILD CARE WITH PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY!

Thank you to The Life Long Learning Center and Families First for making this possible!

Box Tops Collection Competition!

Dates:  January 29th-February 9th 2018
How it Works:  Cut and collect current Box Tops (expiration date must be good until at least March 1, 2018) from participating products and send to school with your kiddo during the competition dates.  Each classroom has a collection bin and will be striving to meet their grade goal!

New Goals and Rules This Year!!!!

  • Each grade will work as a team to meet their goal.  Each grade that meets their goal will win a hot cocoa party at Pineview park!
  • All goals are the same: 2,000 Box Tops per grade
  • Each grade keeps their earnings to use towards instructional projects and field trips!

Please visit the following link for a complete listing of participating products: http://www.boxtops4education.com/participating-products

Last year we raised over $1,200.00 for our school!  Let’s do it again!


January 2018 General PTA Minutes

January 3rd 2018 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Attendance: Anne T (VP), Alex S (T), Jen J (FCC), + 6 parents/guardians 

Items as discussed:

New “Everyday Way to Raise Money” Program

Mabel’s Labels is a year round fundraising opportunity that sells sticky and sew-on style personalized clothing and gear labels. Cassidy has set up an account so that we can get a portion of sales as a fundraiser. We’ll be promoting it during key times such as January (after Xmas), May (prep for summer camp, plus Kinder Roundup), and Sept (start of school). The labels help reduce load in the Lost and Found in school, summer camp, etc. Discussion that we need to add link to website page for fundraising. Link to use is  campaigns.mabelslabels.com and select Rattlesnake Elementary from the drop-down school menu, to ensure that funds come back to our school.

Direct Donate Final Tallies

Direct Donate was a successful fundraiser again this year. Total net funds raised was approx $8800. Many thanks to Leigh and Maggie A, plus also Billy P for his awesome thermometer and keeping it up to date even in the snow and rain! We exceeded our goal ($8250), which is excellent. We received fewer number of donations this year, but a greater total value, confirming that the keychains/ giveaways from 2016 were probably not a good use of our time in 2016 and that the 2017 decision to skip it was not damaging to the fundraising total. Janel said the handouts were well written. Leigh said she’d be happy to co-lead it again with someone in 2018, will ask Maggie A if she’s willing for a second year. Janel mentioned it is nice to not need lots of volunteers, as recruiting that time of year is very hard. All agreed it is good to take pressure off the Spring Fling via the direct donation effort plus the successes of Beef Jerky.

SPRING FLING will be March 16th 2018 (this replaces the Spring Carnival)

Spring Fling will be March 16th from 5:30-7:30 and the theme is “Hoe Down!” Event teams are forming and there is lots of need for help with currently in progress teams.

Classroom Baskets Team: Carissa, Maggie A, Becky K- The new classroom basket signup sheet allows teachers in grade level groups to pick a theme and self-assign. They can also pick their own theme if needed. There will be an option to have parent opt out of donating an item and instead donate a small amount of money for a “PTA shopper” to buy stuff for the basket.

Auction Team: Anne T, Molly C, Maggie W, and Alex S, Erin S said she’d help with online donations but would like to skip cold calling, Carissa mentioned that Matthew N would make a great auction power hour worker. This group will have another donation “power hour” on a Tuesday from 2-3 in January, and maybe another one in early Feb (?). Jen O suggested more out of state/region donation requests because local businesses are so tapped out from people asking for donations. Idea also to go to chain stores with local presence, i.e. Cabelas, to help avoid the donation fatigue in local businesses, and also because they have online forms that can make it easy to ask for donations. Idea to ask Logjam Presents / Checota for Golden Ticket to raffle. Idea to avoid Gift Certs because they are not very fun, instead focus on gender and size neutral stuff (like hats, or mugs, or foods). Pitfall mentioned of auctioning single items when a pair is more practical was discussed. Idea to raffle a few fun items was discussed. Pitfall of having the kids really want the raffle items, and then be very disappointed, was discussed and it was agreed that considering only more family/adult kinda things for raffle, rather than toys/etc, might help temper meltdowns. Anne T mentioned last year we thanked donors via Facebook throughout the Spring, which got a bit overwhelming, maybe we can strategize this better this year. On-site Auction Caller still needed, was not discussed.

Hoe Down Activities Team: Maggie W, Anne G, Erin B, Becky K, Martha – This group was not present at the meeting today. Jen J volunteered to join the group. Talked about how the line for face painting was too long next year, could use more face painters and generally better crowd management.

Food Team: Alex S, Eric F – Hoe Down Food Theme was presented, to much amusement. Idea to have corn dogs and other Fair kinda food. Idea to have cotton candy. Erin S mentioned the line for cotton candy at E Msla Egg Hunt is always very very long- suggested we rent several machines and make it cash only. Leigh and Alex mentioned cash only worked well last year, i.e. put cotton candy plus soda cans and LaCroix on the other side of the gym from hot foods for crowd management and make everything $1 or $2 in that line. Discussion that cotton candy obviously isn’t healthy, but at least it is very fun plus doesn’t include any likely allergens.

Box Tops- Classroom Competition in January

Box Tops will be for about 2 weeks – official dates are January 29- February 9. Party themes are not yet decided. The question of whether or not teachers can/should/do collect box tops all year round was brought up; it is up to the teachers to either do this, or not, according to their personal preferences. Reminder that healthy inter-class competition on the Box Tops leads to more money for PTA funded school needs. Find more information at: https://rattlesnakepta.org/2018/01/10/box-tops-collection-competition/ 

Proposed Event – Skippers Night

Super Skippers may donate a Skip Night to the FCC as a Family Fun Night in February. Details to be fleshed out by Jen J, ASAP.  (Note: event date has now been set for Feb. 15th 2018. This event will be free for Rattlesnake families, and designed to learn ways to incorporate skipping into your family life. More info found here: https://rattlesnakepta.org/2018/01/22/free-family-jump-rope-night/ ).

“Science with Mr G” Assembly

This event is now scheduled, but the date is exact date is unknown, probably in late Jan or early Feb. Whether or not the event will include a third, evening, show is still up in the air. (Updated 1/22/2018 to add: No third show is being planned at this time. The date is now set as Feb. 15th 2018: First show is 9:30am-10:15am for grades 3-5, second show is 10:25am-11:05am grade K-2.)

General Q&A

Discussion of a community information board was discussed. Pros/Cons of creating a Rattlesnake Parent group to share community resource leads. PTA board may want to discuss involvement at the next executive board meeting.

A question was posed as how best to contact PTA for general questions.
The PTA email (rattlesnakePTA@gmail.com) is monitored daily. If the question can not be addressed by a member, or is more appropriate for administration, the email will be forwarded to the right person.

Next meeting will be Feb 7 2018, 8:30am in the FCC. 

BIG THANKS TO BERNICE’S BAKERY for the donation of delicious coffee and muffins for this meeting!


January 2018 General PTA Meeting

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association Meeting
Agenda for January 3rd 2018 from 8:30am-9:00am
Meeting will be held in Family Connections Center

Please enter through the Main Entrance, walk straight down the main hall, and look for the FCC near the end of the hall on your left.


  • Welcome (5 minutes)
  • New “Everyday Way to Raise Money” Program (2 min)
    – Mabel’s Labels – Thanks to Cassidy for setting up!
  • Event Updates (5 min)
    – Direct Donate Final Tallies
    – Spring Fling will be March 16th
  • How you can help! (8 min)
    • Spring Fling on March 16 from 5:30p – 7:30p – please join a team!
    • Classroom Basket Team, Carissa, Maggie A & Becky
    • Auction Callers / Team –  NEED more volunteers to help out
    • Hoe-Down Activities Team, Maggie W, Erin, Becky – NEED more
    • Food Team, Alex and Eric
  • FCC Update (5 min)
    – Box Tops Competition in January – dates of deadlines and parties
  • Adjourn!

This month’s hot coffee and baked goods donor will be Bernice’s Bakery!