September 2017 General PTA Minutes

September 6th, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Maggie Ward (P), Anne T (VP), Alex Stokman (T), Jen Jencso (FCC) + 24 parents and guardians

Items as Discussed

What brought you here today:

Attendees were asked to fill out cards to explain why they were at the PTA meeting, and what was most important to them. Most of the cards indicated that attendees wanted greater connection, a sense of community, knowledge on things that were going on, and opportunities that might arise to help the school. A few people also mentioned a desire to help directly with fundraising and grant writing. These ideas were discussed. Staying connected was explored: a combination of the PTA website, PTA Facebook profiles, handouts in Boom Folders, emails, and meetings was suggested. Greater connection was explored: annual community events, classroom volunteering starts generally in October, become part of the Garden committee, go on field trips with your child’s classroom.

PTA Basics:

Maggie shared how the PTA aims to (1) foster a sense of community; (2) support our teachers/staff; (3) support the safety/welfare of our kids; and (4) enrich our kids’ academic experience.  She also covered the basic school year schedule, detailing that the PTA covers both fundraising events, and community events, and one event that is both (the Spring Fling). The current PTA budget for this school year (2017-2018), is $32,000. Money raised during this school year becomes the budget for next year (2018-2019). Our fundraising goal for this year is $35,000.  The PTA has elected officers, some of which are up for election this winter, and some this spring, due to the term limits in the charter. Lastly, the PTA is a member of the state PTA and the national PTA, and it was mentioned that it might make sense to create connections with other MCPS elementary school PTAs if they are willing/able, for growth and community.

How you can help!:

The PTA has a busy September and October with brief volunteer needs for many single-day events. Events discussed are as follows:

  • Sept 15: SPARK Arts School Garden Party will be from 3:30-5:30. No volunteers needed for this party, this is a community event.
  • Sept 20: Beef Jerky fundraising forms due to teachers. Volunteers will be needed in October to support this fundraiser, see below.
  • Sept 20: Individual School Pictures. 1- 2 volunteers needed to usher kids to their spots.
  • Sept 22: Hearing Screening: 1- 2 volunteers needed to help keep screening running smoothly.
  • Sept 28: Open House from 5-6pm. PTA will have an info table and apparel for sale.
  • Oct 10+11: Beef Jerky Fundraiser. 1-2 volunteers needed to help sort and collate beef jerky orders for distribution.
  • November (exact date TBD): Book Fair!  2-4 volunteers to help our librarian with the annual book fair.

To volunteer for any of these opportunities, please email

Other business as discussed:

The school garden has a lot of produce to give away. It will be given away to students at the end of a school day once a week (originally Thursday, was shifted to Wednesday) by parent volunteers, until the produce is done- around mid October depending on the weather. The schedule of giveaway will rotate to ensure it covers most classes/days/schedules. To volunteer to help with produce giveaways, see:

Funding Requests:

No new funding requests brought up at this meeting.

Adjourned at 9:00am

Thank You to Hygge Coffee for hot delicious coffee for our meeting!

The next PTA meeting will be at 8:30am October 4th in the Family Connections Center (near the old gym).


May 2017 General PTA Minutes

May 3rd, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Maggie Ward (P), Anne T (VP), Laura Fellin (S), Alex Stokman (T), Jen Jencso (FCC), Lisa Thomas (Teacher), Pamela Wright (Principal) + parents Eric and Leah

Items as Discussed

Principal’s Update:
Principal Wright thanked the PTA for its assistance in getting out the word of the upcoming vote. With only a 20% voter turn out, the school levy passed.  Secondly, again in 2017-2018 the PTA will provide financial support for two Rattlesnake School positions: Family Connections Center staff and the Para Educator. The PTA funds a portion of these two salaries, in conjunction with the school district.

Upcoming Events & Activities:
Fun Run – This year’s volunteer event coordinator reports that things are running smoothly to date. Volunteers have been numerous, consistent and very helpful! Outstanding in our preparations for this event is delivery of a copy of the PTA’s insurance policy. Alex Stokman agreed to deliver it to Parks and Rec this week.

Many inquiries have been made regarding the t-shirts typically purchased for the event. These have included a winning design on the front from those submitted by students. During the initial planning phase of the 2017 Fun Run the decision was made that we need to simplify the event at least this year due to the lack of volunteer capacity in the area of coordination. In lieu of t-shirts, the PTA has purchased water bottles that will be given to every child at the school in celebration of the event.

It was also reported that donors interested in sponsoring the event have approached the PTA.  Many will do so if recognition is available.  In past years, the t-shirts included local sponsor advertising on the back.  In lieu of t-shirts this year, we will develop a banner that can be hung along Rattlesnake Drive during and after the event.  It will include a thank you to this year’s sponsors.

Missoula Gives:  Rattlesnake PTA has signed up as a participating Nonprofit and is eligible to receive donations through the effort.  $50 sign up fee, approved by PTA. This is the first year of participation in this event, as an exploratory effort.

Kindergarten Roundup:  Dates for this year’s roundup include

  • Thursday 5/18 from 5-6pm
  • Friday 5/19 from 8:45 – 9:45am, 10 – 11 am and 11:15 – 12:15.

PTA reps will be present for the first 30 minutes. PTA parent sign-up sheet will be available. Reminder: Current kindergartners have no school on Friday 5/19 due to this event.

Volunteer Celebration: An event is in the works.  Janel is organizing and will update the PTA when her plans are in order.

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 8- 12: The PTA will coordinate daily recognition activity for the teachers and staff.  Suggestions include the purchasing of a Keurig coffee maker for the teacher’s lounge, artwork for the teacher’s lounge, chair massages,  pictures, cards/notes, etc…  Jen Jenso will lead the effort to plan for this year.  $150 will be donated by the PTA from the Teacher Appreciation fund. In addition, the PTA will pay for the purchase of the Keurig machine.

Other Business:

The PTA has a few projects in the works for the 2017-2018 school year:
•      2017 – 2018 Fundraising and events calendar will be available online in May.
•      2017 – 2018 Meeting calendar will be available in May. New for the coming school year will be introduction of parent-focused special topics, such as school nutrition, summer camp planning, afterschool sports and activity planning, etc.  The first 30 minutes of each monthly meeting will focus on this special topic. The balance of each meeting will focus on PTA business items.
•      2017 – 2018 Parent volunteer positions will be introduced in May.  The PTA aims to create project specific volunteer leadership positions will allow parents to get involved in a more targeted way and with clear expectations for time commitment.

Funding Request: The school garden will be adding a tasting garden and requests $200 to cover this project. More information is forthcoming.  The garden team also plans to offer an opportunity for families to “adopt” the garden on a weekly basis throughout the summer.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30pm

April 2017 General PTA Minutes

April 5th, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Maggie Ward (P), Anne T (VP), Laura Fellin (S), Alex Stokman (T), Jen Jencso (FCC), Pamela Wright (Principal) + parents Eric, Leah, Emily, Alex, and Michelle

Items as Discussed

Fun Run and Running Club: Emily Linton

  • Event Date: June 6th 2017
  • Kindergarten – 1 mile, all other grades – 1 or 2 mile
  • Jen will host a cheering club if any children prefer/need to not run
  • Water bottle and popcicles at finish line,  no T-shirts this year
  • Running Club starts April 18th on Tuesdays and Fridays, two options: (1) 8am and (2) during afternoon recess. Running Club meeting details: (1) Memorial on bus p/u side of the school; parent must accompany kindergarteners; volunteers needed to run with kids. (2) school will assign meeting spot.
  • Volunteers are needed.
  • Considered a school field trip.
  • Reservation fee for Pineview Park is $150
  • Runner’s Edge supports the run for free with winners gate, speakers, etc

MCPS Elementary (K-8) Operations Levy Ballot Item: Pam Wright

  • In response to the State Legislature’s budget reduction for K-12 schools, MCPS has added this initiative to the May ballot. It is a $804,861 Levy for school district operation costs: salaries and benefits, books, training, coaches, instructional programs and materials.
  • No transportation or building/maintenance costs included. Ballots will be mailed to voters in mid-April and are due by May 2nd.
  • PTA’s role: Communicate the importance of voting; messaging; promote a Yes vote
  • Suggestion made to offer a in-person Q&A for Rattlesnake residents. Pam Wright will pursue it.
  • Maggie proposed voting to message/promote the levy on the ballot, Anne seconded the vote, all attendees voted yes in favor of the vote

Carnival: Maggie

  • $5,400 income to date
  • Square outstanding
  • Unclaimed merchandise not yet purchased (may increase net income)
  • $1,750 expenses
  • Carnival volunteers and committee celebration night in the works. Jen suggested making it a school wide volunteer celebration. Maggie is working on it!

PTA Positions/Themes: Maggie

Planned themes will allow parents to plan for meetings with topics of interest to them. Specific positions will allow parents to choose how to be involved.

Upcoming Family Events:

  • April 12th Class Photos: Michelle and Carrie have graciously volunteered to help out with the event.
  • April 20th Family Fun Night at the school gym, 5:30 – 7pm at the school
    • Theme: Potluck and Portraits (digital photos) (family, friends, selfies, the options are unlimited)
  • May 19th Folk Dance family event
  • May 25th Bike Rodeo
  • June 6th Fun Run, as mentioned above
  • June TBD Garden art installation celebration/open house

Next Month’s General PTA Meeting is scheduled for May 3rd at 6:30pm in the Family Connection Center

March 2017 General PTA Minutes

March 1st, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Maggie Ward (P), Laura Fellin (S), Alex Stokman (T), Jen Jencso (FCC), Pamela Wright (Principal) + parents Eric, Leah, and Erin

Items as discussed:

Carnival Friday, March 10th from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Activities & Music: Whiz Pops 6 – 7:30pm, free entry and participation. Reading activity in library, food served in kitchen and a few activities in the cafeteria along with the auction. 3 face painters…animal themes. MC to announce auction times and highlight items.

Auction: Auction runs 5:30 – 7:15pm. Items are pouring in! Michelle and Maggie are working on displays and table set up. Bid sheets will require $5 increments this year. Adding a raffle option for those that elect to “buy it now”. Auction supply needs include poster boards, pens (Erin will get donated from her employer), roll print paper (Alex will ask Missoulian for donation), glue sticks, cash box and 4 card chip readers. Helium balloons for tables and entrance.

Food: whole fruit, pizza, hotdogs, wrap sandwiches, hummus and carrots, soda, juice. Popcorn machine and chaffing dish for $50.

Swag Table: T-shirts, hoodies, hats, water bottles, tote bags, tattoos and key chains. Table will be stationed near the auction.

Outreach: small signs at Rattlesnake Market, sign on the fence on Van Buren, flyers out in boomerang folder, teacher emails. Sticker reminders for kids to wear home!

Volunteers: online and in person sign-up (in person at front desk of school). Incentivize volunteering by way of raffle tickets. Use some of the auction items for raffle items.

February 2017 General PTA Minutes

February 1st, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Maggie Ward (P), Anne T. (VP), Laura Fellin (S), Alex Stokman (T), Jen Jencso (FCC), Pamela Wright (Principal), Lisa Thomas (Teacher) + 6 additional parents

Welcome and introduction of attendees

1) PTA Overview
Mission & Goals: handout shared and attendees reminded this can be reviewed on our website

2) Budget:
– 2015-16 Academic Year (AY): $40-45,000 expenditures
– 2016-17 AY budget goal will be $40-45,000 raised in total

3) Projects and Updates:

MCT Snow Queen afterschool production at Rattlesnake School Feb. 13 – 17
– Volunteer needs: 2-3 parents daily to supply/host snacks and supervise kids from 3-3:45pm; playbill production and potential fundraising opportunity by soliciting sponsors for the playbill
– Audition announcement to come out this week
– Ms. Thomas suggested that teachers could assist with parent volunteer recruitment
– See MCT Snow Queen blog here 

Rattlesnake PTA website is launched!
It is a work in progress, but is stocked with some information already. Direct donate will be available. Molly asked if it is possible to sell swag on the site. The site is not set up for sales yet, may explore in the future. Blog is current and will have the option to subscribe to get announcements or you can go to the site and read the blog at your leisure. The site will be launched with a formal announcement mid February.

Garden project:  Art installation will happen in May. Volunteers will be needed. Ricky, an eagle scout, will assist the artist.

Drama program from previous years: the instructors are wondering if they will be needed this year. Pam Wright announced that the drama program of past years did not integrate into academic programs, so the school is working with MCT this year. Teachers can still request the previous drama teachers, who serve through the Spark Arts program, can request them for individual projects.

School Policy Change: When dropping items by for students, please leave them in the front entrance (table and note paper available) as opposed to taking them to your child’s locker or class. The intention is to reduce interruption to teaching and learning time. Please support the school’s effort to support teachers.

4) Spring Carnival – PTA’s largest fundraiser – See Spring Carnival blog here
– Friday, March 10th from 5:30 – 7:30
– Activities & Music: The Whiz Pops will perform from 6 – 7:30 pm; library reading area or other casual activities will also be available
– Auction: the PTA hosts a spreadsheet of businesses that are being solicited for donations. We are always looking for new businesses to pursue, so please let us know if you know business owners that may be interested in donating to our cause. For access to the spreadsheet (solicitation sign-up) or to suggest businesses, please email the PTA.
– Food: Cash sale of food and beverages will be available. Food will include pizza slices, hot dogs, yogurt tubes, drinks, etc.
– School sweatshirts will be available for sale at the carnival

5) Next Month’s General PTA Meeting is scheduled for March 1st at 6:30pm in the Rattlesnake Library

Minutes taken by Laura Fellin, proofread by Leigh Greenwood

January 2017 General PTA Minutes

January 11, 2017 Rattlesnake Elementary School PTA Meeting minutes

Meeting attendance: Erik Farnham, Leigh Greenwood, Maggie Ward (P), Molly Cottrell, Sarah Lee (Teacher), Anne T. (VP), Erin Berryman, Rachel Robinson, Maggie Angle, Janel Chin, Anne Guess, Jen Jencso (FCC), and Alex Stokman (T).

Intention of the day

The intention of today’s meeting was to cover event and fundraising updates, and create a plan to coordinate the March 10th carnival auction and activities.

Event and Fundraising updates

PTA Survey: A feedback survey was conducted mainly online, through Facebook, and email distribution in December. There were 48 responses.

  • 54% of participants selected moving the general meeting to a Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Given the survey results, the board moved the February meeting to Feb. 1, 2017, from 6:30– 7:30 p.m. in the Family Connection Center (FCC) at Rattlesnake Elementary.
  • 60% of participants said childcare did not affect their ability to attend.
  • 21% of participants said they wanted the PTA to focus on assisting teachers and staff.  The board will follow-up with teachers to discern where there is a need, to ensure this focus is fulfilled.

Direct Donate Campaign:  Leigh shared the results from the direct ask event which took place from November 21st – Jan 3rd. The more concentrated effort led to more funds being collected this school year compared to last school year.

  • 120 individuals/families donated directly to the PTA in November and December of 2016. The project involved five volunteers (~12 hours total) and raised $7620 to support the PTA projects.
  • The $7620 breakdown: Checks/cash donated totaled $5450, Crowdrise (online platform) was $2635, and expenses were $465. Leigh would like to see us maintain both check/cash and online avenues for giving in 2017/2018, given the breakdown of how funds came in. Leigh also stated it was worth exploring PayPal versus Crowdrise as an online payment option next time, as there is a tradeoff in card fees vs convenience that should be at least considered.
  • Thank you’s to all volunteers on this campaign were extended, included: Leigh Greenwood (project lead), Sarah Millar (writing and advising on promotions), Alex Stokman (lead bookkeeping), Maggie Angle (assisting with bookkeeping), Janel Chin (volunteer recruitment), Stacey Jehle (backpack charm giveaway), and Jen Jencso (backpack charm giveaway).

Carnival: MARCH 10, 2017—-Save the Date —-

The largest fundraiser of the year that the PTA conducts is the Spring Carnival and Silent Auction.  This year there will be concessions, silent auction items, and free kid activities may include either live music or a DJ, and also a more calm/quiet movie area. Volunteers will be needed on the following teams as well as the night of March 10th. Teams were formed to coordinate all aspects of the Spring Carnival:

  • Auction – Maggie W, Janel, Anne T, and Michelle
  • Concessions – Erik and Alex
  • Music and Activities – Anne T, Anne G, and Erin
  • Swag – Molly C

Principal’s report (delivered by Maggie Ward on behalf of Principal Wright):  Missoula Children’s Theater will produce “Snow Queen” with RSE students Feb. 13-17, with a performance on Feb. 18. Principle Wright would like parents to provide snacks for afterschool practices and assist with the performance. More information to follow.

Family Connection Center (FCC) Report:  Jen Jencso

  • Announced the beginning of the Box Top collection contest Jan. 23- Feb. 6, where classrooms compete to collect the most Box Tops. Prizes awarded for first, second and third place.
  • Plan to send out an all-school survey called Parent Voice to gather opinions and information to help plan for the 2017-18 school year.
  • On Feb. 1st the FCC will host “Helping Children Cope with Divorce,” a program presented by Families First in the RSE Library. Childcare provided.
  • The FCC is starting a monthly Book Club on Feb. 22 from 2-3 p.m. This month’s book is “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen,” and copies will be provided.

Contact Jen Jencso via contact information on her staff page.

Next PTA meeting:  Wednesday, February 1st 2017 at 6:30pm in the FCC*

*Note that February meeting will be in FCC due to a separate event in the Library at the same time. Future meetings will be in the Library unless other conflicts arise.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

Minutes taken by Alex Stokman and proofread by Leigh Greenwood