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: https://rattlesnakepta.org/2019/02/22/rattlesnake-parent-boundary-study-meeting-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
      • https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-spring1
  • 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.


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)