Holiday Book Fair 2019

The annual Rattlesnake School Holiday Book Fair will be held November 12th-14th 2019 at Rattlesnake School.


  • Nov 12th: 8am to 7pm
  • Nov 13th: 8am to 7pm
  • Nov 14th: 8am to noon

Where: Rattlesnake School Library.
Who: All community members are invited.

Overview: Each year, the Rattlesnake School librarian coordinates with school staff, PTA volunteers, and local downtown bookseller Fact & Fiction to offer an amazing selection of books to families for purchase just in time for the holidays. This book fair is a PTA fundraiser – the majority of the proceeds directly support the school library’s needs.

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED: THANK YOU to the parents that volunteer to plan and run the Holiday Book Fair! Want to help out? Sign up here >>

More Book Fair Details: Students will create and then bring home their own book wish lists to allow you to preview what you might want to purchase. Teachers will have their own wish lists at the Book Fair if you’d like to purchase a book for your child’s classroom. Fact & Fiction gift cards will also be available for purchase.

Rattlesnake spirit gear will be for sale as well, and we hope to have a gift wrapping station available, too!





October General PTA Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary General Monthly PTA Meeting

October 1, 2019 8:30am FCC

In attendance: Leigh, Michelle N, Jen O, Janel, Judith, Jessica, Kirsten, Carrie, Stacey, Dana, Kate D, Molly C, Matt N, Shannon M, Shannon O, Kristie, Lucia, Pam.

General Notes:

Teacher Update: Carrie Sweatland had questions re: gmail contact list, PTA email system: Need to update teacher and parent list to reflect current teachers for 2019-2020

FCC Update: Volunteer slots for picture day are taken.


Re: Bike Rodeo, still no event coordinator has been found to lead bike rodeo- delegation. Kirsten and Shannon will meet with Leigh will meet re: delegating tasks. (NOTE: after this meeting adjourned, a decision was made to move Bike Rodeo to Spring 2020)

Welcome Caitlyn Scholle! Our new school counselor.

Volunteer needs: people to sort beef jerky once it arrives. Reach out to Lucia, if interested. Sorting may need to occur over the 4-day weekend.

Family fun night with Animal Wonders- 10/24 in school gym from 6-7:30pm: greeters needed.

Spirit Gear Sorting- volunteers needed in early December, ~1-2 hours needed to sort. Reach out to Brittney if you can help.

Book Fair Nov 12-14. Will need volunteers to work the fair. Ali will coordinate.

Discussion of budget and voting. General Budget was approved for 2019-20 school year. If anyone wants to participate in budget building, anyone is welcome. It happens in May-July for the coming year.

Idea of boomerang folder and school supply return/re-use/recycling. Will revisit in April when it is more relevant and we can make a plan.

MCT production update:

No try-outs, grade 1-5. Names are drawn and those who are not drawn, are added to a list for future programs. Would be a Mon-Fri after-school program. Lots of supervision help would be needed from volunteer parents. Parent supervision would be available for the 3:05-3:30 time gap, via volunteers.

Funding from school or PTA would not be necessary: ~$3000 total cost will be covered via other funds. Washington Corporation is willing to provide funding, at Lewis and Clark School there is a $40/student cost with scholarships available. And local business is willing to provide backup funding. Dana is willing to be event coordinator. Timing would be between Jan-March. Available dates and programs:  Feb 3-8 Peter and Wendy. 60 kids can be in the performance. (NOTE: after the meeting, these dates were confirmed)

Brainstormed ideas to make it a fundraiser opportunity: sell flowers at event and/or actor/actress photos?

Michele N: 8 parent volunteers part of “teacher/liaison team;” one assigned to each grades.  Team’s focus is communicating with teachers and identifying classroom/grade “needs” such as supplies or field trips, and then working on meeting those needs through applying for grants, asking for local donations, PTA support, ect.  

Update on Amazon Smile: each teacher can create their own “wish list” where parents can go on and purchase supplies needed for classrooms, and PTA can benefit from some fundraisers.  Anne G is going to create accounts for each teacher. A majority have discussed needing book sets. Keep Pam in the loop re: what types of items are on the list.

There is an account at Book Exchange for parents who want to donate books, the credit then builds up and the PTA gives it to teachers upon request.

PE (Delaney) may request funds for a mindfulness program.

Discussed grants available and to be applied for- Garden Grant and Bee Grant are a few, of many.  

ADJOURN 9am.  


September General PTA Meeting Minutes

Rattlesnake Elementary General Monthly PTA Meeting

September 3, 2019 8:30am FCC

In attendance: Leigh G, Judith B, Molly C, Shannon M, Jen O, Stacy J, Lucia T, Dana H, Matthew N, Heidi and Ryan K, Erin B, Janelle C, Carissa B.

In need of a volunteer coordinator: Mostly home-based and sending emails and entering in  Reach out to someone on exec if interested. It’s a good way to get to get to know parent community😊  It’s also possible that PTA can directly reach out to recruit volunteers if we cannot identify a VC. (note: this position now filled, 9/27, by Alison D, thank you Alison!)

Beef Jerky fundraiser: Erin and Heidi will work with Alex to get forms, etc. And will recruit volunteers to help sort and collect forms. Lucia will assist as well.  “Reward” for top fundraisers will be a limo ride to the Carousel and Dragon’s Hollow with Pam Wright.

Bike Rodeo: date TBD in mid-October. Parks and Rec will set up a mobile bike park and volunteers set up other aspects. 

  • Helmet-fitting station and bike flare station- Stacy said that we have a supply of helmets and bike flare supplies available from last year. 
  • Matthew indicated that Montana Brain Injury Alliance can offer helmet-fitting station. Also idea of hosting several Bike tuning stations.
  • Reminder from Stacy to communicate to families that parent supervision is required at this event and Stacey will look into requirements for parent volunteers need for background check.
  • The Cycling House possible sponsor and assistants?

Teeshirts and Swag: Judith has worked with Andy S to create a t shirt logo design that is super rad. Stacy asked if it might be possible to get Rattlesnake School t-shirts for staff?  Will look into possibility of getting those for staff…

New Parent-Grade PTA Liaison position: discussed that Michele N will be leading and has a group of interested parents identified.

Fundraising committee: In the works. A spreadsheet with grant opportunities has been created in google docs to track and monitor grant opportunities.

Dana and Jen presented idea of MCT after-school “play in a week:”  50-60 kids selected to participate and after-school practices. Afternoon performance for school, one in evening for parents.

  • Questions: Do we have the volunteer power for this? And way to address exclusivity issue with kids getting “cut.”
  • Move forward by Dana discussing idea with Principal Pam and move forward with gaining more information on costs, grants, etc. To share at next PTA meeting.

September Leadership Meeting Minutes

September 18, 2019 PTA Leadership Meeting

In attendance:  Leigh G, Judith B, Jen O, Shannon M, Stacy J, Pam W, Brittany, Carissa

Treasurer’s Update, Shannon:

  • A few items where costs came in lower than expected: library
  • Total income 2018= $38,000 (to be used for 2019-20 budget), total costs $32,000 (from budget meeting). Currently at $33,600 in budgeted expenses as of meeting date due to some miscalculation in initial budget. FCC budget $7,400 with $250 EMpower (grants available?), $6,900 for Stacy’s position budgeted, will not be all spent this year (most likely). 
  • Money from district= Stacy purchases Gas cards, Albertsons cards ($300 in gift cards).
  • Student support= instrument rental, class pictures, etc.
  • According to MT PTA state rules, entire PTA is supposed to vote on the budget.  Propose to update budget on website and re-vote at October PTA general meeting.

Discussed T-Shirts for staff and students:

  • Decided to sell a “limited edition” number of tee shirts for kids at $20 each, with proceeds benefiting staff spirit tee shirts (approx. 60 x $5 from Garage Tees, with a donation on the printing costs). Agree to order tee shirts for staff as part of initial teacher appreciation. (Stacy will get sizes from staff, and will share with Jen O to order from GT)

Carissa: Smarter Lunchroom and related efforts:

  • Work-order for new paint was denied by MCPS. When we need new items (tables), etc does funding come from MCPS or school? MCPS- issue is that it is a multi-use room (gym AND lunchroom). Question for trustees or district: primary use should be for students to enjoy lunch vs renting out facility for other uses (after-school hours gym rental). Change color, hang nutrition posters, limited in part due to multiuse.
  • Pam: things we can do= mural, round tables, bulletin board, nutrition posters.
  • New nutrition workgroup, revised nutrition and physical activity guidelines: per Pam, will be rolled out to Principals>Teachers/Staff>Parents. This is a later rollout than initially planned due to district based delay.

Stacy J, Family Fun Night update:

  • Animal Wonders community activity will be Oct 24th 6-7:30pm at Rattlesnake.

Question on PTA-sponsored assemblies/events: 

  • Suggestion to go with interactive assembly, rather than a “show”. Interactive might be SpectrUM, G Wiz (?) Science Display, MT Natural Hist, Wild Rockies Birds of Prey. 

Bike Sale benefit idea, related to Bike Rodeo too: 

  • Teacher Char S’s husband owns/manages(?) Big Sky Bikes, and discussed selling used kids’ bikes from their inventory- possibly at the Bike Rodeo, with a donation of $15/bike to the PTA. 
  • Still need someone to run the Bike Rodeo! Ideas= Missoula Mammoths, MT Alpha?

Beef Jerky team: 

  • Going well so far. Sales run thru Oct 1st, volunteers will be needed to sort and bag in mid October. Three volunteers this year running it, maybe one or two needed to bag.

School Pictures:

  • Volunteers will be needed for school pictures on Oct 3. Volunteers get a free premium photo package in exchange for volunteering!

Book Fair: 

  • Potential dates are 20-22 Nov. or days of parent/teacher conferences (Nov 12, 13, ½ day 14th).  Need to confirm that Laurie is able to do this year and if those dates work for her and for Fact and Fiction.


  • 5/0 vote to pay garden committee for new garden beds for school garden.
  • Discussion of teacher grants that are open. Decision to wait on second $150 for Louquet and Luther until Pam has had a chance to find out if district materials can cover this need.
  • Brittany will open a new fall spirit gear order- need to figure out when is the best time for both scheduling and getting it all done prior to winter break.

Spirit Week – Sept 30 – Oct 4


We hope you will show your school spirit and join in on the fun next week!

  • Monday, September 30: Dress Like a Teacher
  • Tuesday, October 1: Dress Like A Superhero/Villain
  • Wednesday, October 2: Wacky Wednesday – wear crazy patterns or mismatched clothing
  • Thursday, October 3: Dress Fancy/Formal (note that this is also school picture day)
  • Friday, October 4: Griz Day – wear your Griz gear or maroon


Beef Jerky Fundraiser 2019

Welcome to the first fundraiser of 2019 – BEEF JERKY

The beef jerky comes in one package that contain three flavors (Original, Peppered, & Teriyaki). The company that makes the beef jerky is owned by a Rattlesnake resident whose kids attended Rattlesnake Elementary- so we are able to “keep it local” by selecting this product for our only sales-based fundraiser of the year. It is a natural product that is low fat, high in protein, and contains:

  • NO artificial ingredients, nitrites, preservatives, or erythorbate
  • NO added MSG (except that which naturally occurs in soy sauce)
  • TWO flavors are gluten free – Original and Peppered

The profits from the sale will go toward funding our FAMILY CONNECTION CENTER (FCC). The FCC provides services for Families in Transition, parenting classes, Family Fun Nights, child care during conferences, and provides short-term emergency food and clothing for anyone who needs it within our school community. 

  • Each 6oz package of jerky (2oz of each flavor) is sold for $20
  • It’s important to please COLLECT MONEY AT THE TIME OF THE SALE
  • Please make checks payable to RATTLESNAKE PTA.  

During the sale, please help your students to sell packages of jerky to friends, neighbors, and family. In addition to the gratification of helping to support FCC’s valuable services, any student who sells 15 packages will earn a LIMO ride to the Carousel with Principal Wright! She looks forward each year to this annual adventure!

Please put students name, phone number, and teacher’s name on the order forms. Return completed forms and all funds by September 30, to your student’s teacher. 

Your beef jerky will be available in your teacher’s homeroom around October 21-22, for pick up. Thank you for your help – we are hoping for great results!


Missoula Climate Strike – Superintendent Watson’s message for parents of middle and high school students

Note from the Rattlesnake PTA: On September 15, 2019, Superintendent Watson sent out an email message to parents of middle and high school aged students regarding the Climate Strike. It was NOT sent out to elementary aged students’ families. We have copied and pasted the original email below for your general reference and information.

From: Rob Watson, MCPS Superintendent

To: MCPS Middle and High School families:

Our school district is aware of the Missoula Climate Strike and associated activities planned for Friday, September 20-27, 2019. We would like to provide students and their families with factual information to guide their decisions around participation in these events.

Our teachers, support staff, and administrators won’t discourage or resist student efforts to participate in the climate strike events. We also can’t encourage student participation in such events. School Board policy and state law prohibits employees of public organizations from participating in political speech while at work.

The school district can, and does, engage in the academic pursuit of knowledge about climate change as well as practical, implementable solutions to the problems connected with climate change. We know that climate change is real and we are committed to doing our part to create solutions to stop its devastating impact on our planet.  As a District, we have adopted Zero by Fifty goals aligned with the city of Missoula’s Zero by Fifty plan. We have actions connected to those goals across the district, including the solar installations being completed at four of our urban high school campuses which allow for student research; the recycling and composting pilot at Jeannette Rankin Elementary; and the 5th grade Zero Waste Ambassadors Program (ZWAP) conducted at all nine of our elementary schools in coordination with Home ReSource. We teach about climate change in our science classes following the Next Generation Science Standards. There are also inspiring instances of student leadership within the S.A.V.E. club at Hellgate and the Eco Club at Sentinel. These represent just a few examples of what we are doing to demonstrate our commitment to this issue, but as a District we know we can do more.  In the coming months, District administration has committed to engaging student leadership on this important issue in an effort to create future actionable steps.

Within our school environments, our first priority is to create safe learning spaces for our students.  This includes providing a safe environment that allows students to learn about controversial issues and develop and express educated opinions on these issues.  It is reasonable that students may discuss the strike in the normal course of classroom conversation on current events or in connection with other elements of District curriculum.  Civil discourse of controversial issues is an important part of our democratic process and as such should be practiced and encouraged in our educational environments. This practice is also supported by school district policy.

Procedures for the upcoming climate strike:

As we do each day, we will follow existing school-based procedures for reporting and managing absences during the period of climate strike events.

High school students who choose to leave campus on their own must be excused by parents. Students who are not excused by parents will be marked absent and the school will follow normal procedures for unexcused absences.

Middle school students must be signed out by a parent or an approved guardian. These students will not be allowed to leave campus without consent and the presence of a parent or approved guardian. If you plan to allow your child to leave campus with someone other than yourself, please provide notice at least 24 hours in advance to allow school staff time to process your request in our record keeping systems.

Students in any grade who miss class due to an excused absence will be afforded the opportunity to make up work.

We are asking students who choose to participate conduct themselves with respect, responsibility, safety, and to adhere to school policies and the law.  In addition, we expect that students participating in the event will not disrupt the school environment as classes will continue as normal. Thank you for your help in sharing these expectations with your student(s).

We are committed to working together with student and community leaders to support the exercise of their First Amendment rights and engagement in this important issue. We realize that our primary responsibility is to provide a safe and productive learning environment and our schools will all function on a normal schedule.


Rob Watson

Rattlesnake Garden: Fall Produce

The Rattlesnake School Garden is overflowing with produce, and it’s time to get as much of these goodies into your homes as possible!

Our produce giveaways will happen on 4 Fridays:

September 6, 13, 20 & 27

Our Garden Coordinator, Lori Blumenthal, is looking for volunteers who know the garden and can harvest veggies and/or help at the giveaway table. Volunteer shifts last about an hour. For those of you who are interested, the sheet to sign up is HERE.

Harvesting Volunteers:

  • Will need to arrive to the garden around 2:00pm
  • Harvest all available tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, and beans, and a portion of carrots and tomatillos
  • Weigh and log amounts in shed
  • Wash anything that needs it
  • Place compostables (carrot tops, etc) in garden cart
  • Deliver veggies to giveaway table
  • Sign up here

Giveaway Volunteers:

  • Give produce to kiddos and families
  • If you’re signed up for a bus giveaway, tell kiddos how much they can take
  • There will be some grocery bags in the garden shed, but bring extras if you have them
  • Sign up here