Rattlesnake Fun Run 2022!

PTA is very excited to announce that Rattlesnake Fun Run will take place Friday, May 20th. The Fun Run will look different than in years past. This year PTA has teamed with Boosterthon to put on a fitness-based fundraiser. Students will have the opportunity to get pledges for the number of laps they will complete. Boosterthon anticipates most students will complete 35 laps. Thus, a pledge of $1 per lap would come out to $35. However, students can also receive flat donations. All students will have the opportunity to participate in the Fun Run whether or not they choose to get pledges.

Families will be able to register to participate in the fundraiser and enter donations at mybooster.com. Tracking donations, collections, and rewards will all occur online. Additional information regarding how parents can volunteer and participate in the event will be available on the PTA website in the upcoming weeks.  Additionally, your child will receive a “Giving Guide” on May 9th which explains the program further and how to register. The PTA’s goal is to raise $20,000. Chief Charlo and Jeannette Rankin schools each raised over $30,000 with this same fundraiser. The money raised will be put towards funding PTA’s annual budget items, including classroom teacher’s annual grants, teacher appreciation, and the school’s reading specialist.

Here is a quick video regarding the program:

 Support Program Overview For Families Outdoor.mp4

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Meeting Minutes for Tuesday March 1, 2022

Attendees: Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Pam Wright, Sarah Lee, Lauren Sheetz, Molly Bradford, Jen Oakland

8:15 a.m. – Welcome,  Intros and Call for other items 

8:20 a.m. Presentation of Standing Rules for adoption, approved

8:25 a.m. – Principal and Teacher Updates

  • Funding Request: At our last meeting, Pam informed us that one of the slides needs to be replaced and has  requested that the PTA grant $831.43 towards this expense. This was approved.
    • Pam has requested the same amount from the district as she was quoted $1,662.85 as the replacement cost from the district’s maintenance fund/building reserve. There are concerns about this fund as it hasn’t been replenished since 2016 when MCPS ran the bond levy for SMARTSchools and let the maintenance levy go…
    • Funding request for bus  to film festival for 5th grade field trip. Approved up to $225 funding.

8:30 a.m. – Fundraising

  • Direct Donate was a huge success but more funds are needed before we can fully fund our budget for next year and continent to support things like the FCC, school garden, early literacy intervention, recycling and academic enrichment like MCT and Montana Shakes
  • Plans are underway to turn the running club and/or fun run traditionally held in each spring into a fundraiser
    • Dana and Janel met with Jessica Fowler from Boosterthon and learned about possibilities to use their on-line platform and formula that has raised over $30,000 at other area schools. Will need adult volunteers May 20th.
    • Planning on May 20 for fun run/fundraiser. Kids will do 35 laps and try to raise a certain amount of money per lap. Run or walk okay.  35 laps = 2 miles. The site opens for donations 2 weeks prior to the event. Kids watch a 10 min video in their classroom.  
  • Our community’s generous anonymous donor has committed several thousand dollars in funding on a matching basis for an in-person event this spring.
  • Jen Sheldon is looking into the idea of packaging and distributing school supplies as a fundraiser/service to families who do not enjoy shopping for school supplies. 
  • Discussion about commuter challenge this spring with Shawn. Dana will reach out to him.  Discussed bike rodeo in the fall and getting rattlesnake alum involved with bike repair, bike skills, etc. 

8:40 a.m. – Committee Updates/Reports

  • Teacher Appreciation
  • Outdoor Education
    • Garden
      • $2,000 in funding was approved last meeting for a new shed because the existing shed is too small to hold the garden cart, sink or trellising material to protect them during the winter month. Plans are underway to re-use building materials to build a shed that will allow hand tools, irrigation equipment, shovels and rakes to be better organized and allow communal teaching supplies and subby spaces and/or shelves for the teachers to use. The hope is that the garden will be more welcoming for teachers as well as students who could start being in the shed with the adult weighing their harvested produce.
      • Farmer Lori is working with 2nd graders today to learn about honey bees, food and farming.
      • Garden Committee is meeting on Monday March 7th at 3:30 p.m. is Ms. Thomas’ classroom
      • Jen oakland has reached out to heritage timbers, epic steel and the builder, Damian. Garage door company in Missoula will contribute the door system. Jen Oakland will also apply for the “whole kids grant”
  • ROC 
    • We are looking for a volunteer to spearhead communications with teachers and staff about how to best spend the $2,284 in ‘Neighborhood’ grant funds that the City of Missoula gave to the ROC as those funds must be spent by June 1st
      • Picnic tables to increase the seating for outdoor lunch and learning has been what is most commonly shared with us but other ideas were for things like a podium/lectern for teachers at the front of the amphitheater, bird boxes, binoculars to spot elk and other wildlife on Mount Jumbo and/or native plant displays. 
        • Becky Douglas has expressed willingness for Heritage Timber to donate wood for the table tops if we move forward with purchasing the table bases
  • Jen Oakland has been in touch with the Audubon society regarding bird boxes and Heritage Timber has donated bird box kits to our spring auction in the past.
  • Art Educations
    • The kiln at RE is in a state of disrepair (has been since a near fire 4 years ago), a series of band-aid fixes have kept it limping along but art teacher Monica Thompson is hoping to secure $3,000 in funding to replace it.
      • Pam is checking with the district to ask if there is any funding available for this. 
      • Monica is working with Elizabeth Willy to apply for a grant from the Montana Arts Council for this.
      • If we aren’t able to fully fund this request Monica is open to the idea of a specific capital campaign like selling cards of kids artwork, or something like that…  

– MCT directors worked with all RE students earlier this year. Big thanks to Dana for coordinating this and Worden and Thane for sponsoring it financially.

– “Montana Shakes,” Montana’s Shakespeare in the Parks’ elementary school program is coming to do a 35 minute performance (interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss) + 15-20 minutes Q&A and up to 9 workshops for all grade levels will be held on Tuesday March 15th 

– Battle of the Books update (Dana)

– There has been interest in forming a Lego Robotics club at RE, SpectrUM is interested in supporting this and some ATG employees may be interested as part of their community volunteer program as well. 

– There would be costs for a coach (unless a volunteer is found) and for the lego sets.

– Pam is checking to see if any of the teachers or staff would like to coach

– For more information on Lego Robotics visit: https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/fll/what-is-first-lego-league

– Any interest in a bike rodeo? In the past it was held in conjunction with Parks n’ Rec/Missoula In Motion

8:50 a.m. – RE saw unprecedented levels of COVID this winter and we are pleased that numbers are now falling throughout our community. Please continue to do your part to keep vulnerable members of our community safe by:

  • Getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same. The Missoula Education Foundation is offering prizes to Missoula youth who have received their vaccinations against COVID, click HERE for more information and let us know if you need assistance scheduling your family’s vaccinations.
  • Check students for symptoms and keep students home even if symptoms are only mild.
  • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission. If your student needs a reusable cloth face covering, let us know as we received another recent donation.
  • Keep our social circles small and outside.
  • When your students are healthy and able to attend school, be consistent with attendance as non-COVID related absences are creating extra work for teachers in terms of preparation and planning. Please be respectful of our teachers’ time and grateful for the extra work they put in to catch students up when they miss school. 

9:00 a.m. – Announcements

  • If you see out-of-date information on our website, please let us know!
  • Big thanks to ATG for granting our school $2,000 for a smart board. 
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday April 5th after drop-off (8:15 a.m. ish) and we will be accepting nominations for new board members as President Janel Chin and Treasurer Shannon Murphy are both at the end of their terms.

Rattlesnake Elementary School Parent Teacher Association Meeting Minutes for Tuesday November 2, 2021

In attendance: Janel Chin, Shannon Murphy, Melody Nelsen, Pam Wright, Molly Bradford, Sara Lee

8:15 a.m. – Welcome,  Intros and Call for other items 

8:20 a.m. – Principal and Teacher Updates

  • More employees needed at lunch (10:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.), during the school day (i.e. substitute teachers) and after school crossing guard- please consider applying to work part-time at our school. Just hired another noon duty. Still need substitute teachers! Sign up is at the bottom of the employment opportunities on MCPS. Can share this link on facebook. Need afternoon crossing guard 3:15 to 3:45
    • Please welcome our new crossing guard if you have a chance and thank her for helping students safely cross Rattlesnake Drive in the mornings.

– Questions about the 2022-23 school year calendar as many working parents are needing to request any needed time off now.

8:25 a.m. Committee Updates/Reports

  • Direct Donate (Melody) – schoolwide email and paper letter via BOOM folders went out last week… Let us know if you would like to help us promote this fundraiser (make a video for us to post on Facebook?)
  • Swag (Dana) – Sale on Monday the 13th of this month (help us spread the word please!), we will start selling in the lobby of the school at 2:30 and hope to be wrapped up by 5:30 p.m.  
    • New sweatshirts were ordered but we are out of beanie hats and low on many other items…
    • Sales this year have netted our PTA ~$800

– Book Fair (Dana) – We are waiting until the busyness of the holiday season winds down to hear our total funds earned from Fact and Fiction but big thanks to everyone who helped with set-up, selling and take-down and to everyone who purchased books.  Molly Bradford can screenshare online shopping/making wishlists to share

– Battle of the Books (Dana) – first competition will take place December 16th. RE has multiple 4th and 5th grade teams competing. Big thanks to coaches and other volunteers for making this possible!

– Theater Enrichment (Dana) 

– Worden & Thane is once again sponsoring MCT coming to RE to work with our students. Every class will do a workshop this winter with an MCT employee

– Our Leadership Board voted to fund “Montana Shakes” which is Montana Shakespeare in the Parks elementary school program coming to RE on March 15th to do an age appropriate performance (interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss) followed by nine workshops for students to work with our actor-educators ($800 cost).  Pam may be working with this actors to see if they could do two different shows instead of workshops

– ROC Discussion of top priorities to keep the space usable in 2022 – We are still accepting donations for future enhancements to that space such as picnic tables, bird boxes, elk spotting binoculars and/or native plant displays. Janel will discuss with Jen Oakland if we need to get another volunteer involved.  

– Teacher Appreciation (Lauren / Jen S. )- stock the fridge/FCC event last month was well received: HUGE thanks to everyone who donated!!!

– School garden is hoping for a new, larger shed if anyone wants to support this, let us know.  There is funding available. Jen Oakland and Molly Bradford need to get together ? Hellgate high school make one?

8:35 a.m. – Future Fundraising/Events – The following events are in need of volunteer committees in order to occur, please let us know if you might be willing to help out with the:

  • Spring Auction – we hope to hold an on-line auction again in April but we need volunteers to make that possible. Possible tasks include:
    • Coordinating the solicitation of donations
    • Creating and managing the on-line auction website
    • Organizing and distributing the donations before and after the auction
    • Bike Rodeo (tentatively planned for Friday April 29th) – past Bike Rodeos have been held in conjunction with Parks n’ Rec, Missoula In Motion and other community partners so a coordinator is really all that was needed to put on this fun event.
    • Running Club (tentatively planned for May 2021) – in past years (prior to 2019 & 20 COVID cancellations) running club was held on Tuesday and Thursdays in May both before school and during afternoon recesses. 
      • Past coordinators have lead students through some warm-up drills followed by a short run/walk on the trails out by the PEAS farm and/or around the school yard 
      • In the past, running club has culminated in a school-wide Fun Run at the end of the school yar (tentatively planned  for June 9th or 10th)

– Focused giving. Please let us know if you are someone you know would be interested in giving to specific projects/efforts in our school community. For instance, the school garden could use a new shed, landscaping and maintenance needs exist south of the school and there are opportunities to increase arts enrichment at RE. The improvements made last summer to seating in the ROC improvements were largely funded by one RE family. 

8:45 a.m. – Health and Safety Discussion Items:

  • COVID numbers remain high in Missoula and hospitals remain quite full especially with unvaccinated individuals.
    • How can we support increased vaccination rates in our school community?
  1. In the meantime how can we continue to minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID? 
    1. For instance, can seating arrangements be kept more consistent between the classroom/lunch and specials?
  2. Overhead coverings seem to be logistically difficult and expensive but do we want to pursue tables to hopefully allow outdoor lunches to resume for at least a portion of students?
  • Please note: Teachers and staff have indicated that picnic tables would be helpful towards extending their ability to use that area as the weather gets colder and the ground remains wet more of the time.
  • Things RE families can do to help:
    • Check students for symptoms and make sure their face covering is clean and well fitting before sending them to school each morning and keep students home even if symptoms are only mild
    • Use face coverings in settings with the potential for transmission
    • Keep our social circles small
    • Keep gatherings outside as much as possible
    • Encourage others to get vaccinated
    • Isolate after potential exposures
    • Report questionable situations related to the school day such as buses without windows cracked

8:50 a.m. – Announcements

  • If you see out-of-date information on our website, please let us know!
  • The next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday January 4th at 8:15 a.m. ish
  • Our Board is starting the process of recruiting new members, please consider reaching out to learn more. We are in the most dire need of a Treasurer to shadow Shannon and take-over the treasury in May.

PTA Leadership Meeting Minutes – December 2, 2021

In attendance: Pam Wright, Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Melody Nelsen, Sara Smith

4:30 p.m. – Welcome, Call for other items and Principal/Teacher Updates 

4:35 p.m. Committee Updates Reports

  • Swag (Dana) – Sale on the 13th of this month (help us spread the word please!). Probably from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the RE lobby.  Melody will put on facebook, Janel will send out emails x 2, Dana will get in news and notes
    • New sweatshirts were ordered but we are out of beanie hats and low on many other items…
    • Sales this year have netted our PTA $800 
  • MCT Update (Dana) – Workshops will be offered to all students at RE this year but no public performance due to high COVID numbers. Up to five workshops per day with all grade levels in the classroom. Pam will work on a schedule with the different workshops and determine grade appropriateness. Funded by Warden Thane. Dana will email Stacy Jehle about not needing gym at night.  Sara Smith will take the hold off of band and orchestra room
  • Book Fair (Dana). 1200 in swag, 3-4K in books estimated
  • Battle of the Books (Dana) – Schedule adjustments to allow more time for students to practice
  • ROC Discussion of top priorities to keep the space useable in 2022, didn’t address this at this meeting.

4:45 p.m. Discussion of leadership recruitment efforts: Janel (President) and Shannon (Treasurer) positions will be up for re-election in May and neither plans to run for a second term. Dana would consider running for President but we need to recruit a  competent Treasurer for her to feel okay about taking the presidency on. We also would need to recruit a Vice President to fill the end of her term if she were to do that…

4:50 p.m. – Health and Safety Discussion Items: 

  1. How can we support increased vaccination rates in our school community? Melody will do facebook post
  2. In the meantime how can we continue to minimize ‘close contacts’ when a student does attend school with COVID? 
    1. For instance, can seating arrangements be kept more consistent between the classroom/lunch and specials?
  3. Overhead coverings seem to be logistically difficult and expensive but do we want to pursue tables to hopefully allow outdoor lunches to resume for at least a portion of students?

4:55 p.m. Funding Requests

  • Pam/Dana have requested up to $800 for Montana Shakespeare in the Parks elementary school program “Montana Shakes” so that Worden and Thane isn’t sponsoring both MCT and Montana Shakes. PTA will cover this expense. Motion passes.
    • The fee includes a performance (age appropriate interpretation of the classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream called Bottom’s Dream by Matt Foss) followed by nine workshop slots for students to work with our actor-educators. Each of the following three themes has K-2nd and 3rd-5th grade workshop iterations: 
    • Will try to do this at the outdoor classroom, but may need to do indoors, weather dependent

1.  LANGUAGE: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say. Using Shakespeare’s text, students will explore how context and subtext can change the meaning of words. They will explore tone of voice, body language, and social cues to determine meaning and make new stories.

2. PHYSICAL: March to the Beat of Your Own Drummer. Students will create original characters using physical theatre techniques and games. They will create a space where all these characters can co-exist as expressions of “their full selves”.

3. CRAFT: One Person’s Trash. By giving value to items that are often discarded, we can make art out of unusual objects and even some “garbage”.  Students will explore what the voice in their head sounds like and give it shape and meaning with this hands-on workshop. 

  • Jen Oakland has been connecting with the anonymous donor who funded renovations at the ROC about possibly funding more hours for Sarah or another individual to do reading intervention with 1st and possibly 2nd graders as well as other possibilities such as support for a shed for the school garden, landscaping maintenance south of the school and/or increased arts enrichment for students through programs like MCT and/or Montana Shakes.

5:00 p.m. Fundraising

  • Direct Donate Update (Melody) – schoolwide email and paper letter via BOOM folders went out this week…
  • Spring Auction has been tentatively planned for April but we need a coordinator. Discussed some ideas and Janel will reach out

5:15 p.m. Announcements

  • Next PTA General Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday December 7th at 8:15 a.m. ish
  • Next Leadership Meeting is scheduled for Thursday January 6th at 4:30 p.m.
    • Does that work for everyone? yes

PTA Book Fair

This year’s PTA Book Fair will be held in the school library Tuesday through Thursday, November 9-11. Students and teachers will have the opportunity to complete book “wish lists” during the school day Tuesday. Books will also be available online for purchase at http://www.factandfictionbooks.com between now and the end of November. Please use coupon/promo code “Rattlesnake” when making purchases online so that PTA receives a percentage of the sale.

In-person Book Fair hours have been modified from past years due to COVID-19. This year books will be available for sale in the library:

Tuesday, November 9: 3:15 pm to 6 pm

Wednesday, November 10: 7:30 am to 8:30 am / 3:15 pm to 6 pm

Thursday, November 11: 7:30 am to 8:30 am / 11:05 am to 12:05 pm

Rattlesnake swag, including new zip-up hoodies, will be also available for purchase in person. Additionally, books for the Battle of the Books program will be available for purchase in person or online for 4th and 5th grade families who may be needing to purchase those books.

Please join us in thanking Fact and Fiction for assisting us with this event and providing PTA a percentage of the sales. Money from the Book Fair sales helps PTA support the school community, such as: paying for the school’s reading specialist, funding educational opportunities like field trips and visiting naturalists and poets, and providing $300 to every classroom teacher and specialist. PTA funds fun, educational events like this year’s Wizard of Oz movie night and the Animal Wonders presentation.  PTA  also organizes, and helps to fund, Battle of the Books and the Missoula Children’s Theater residency week.

If you would like to volunteer at the Book Fair, please sign up below.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-2021

Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom Celebration!

10/15/21

5:30 to 7pm

Located just west of the school building on school grounds.

Animal Wonders will be doing an exciting educational presentation with live animals to celebrate the Rattlesnake Outdoor Classroom (ROC).


The ROC has turned out beautifully! This was a collaborative effort with help from the Rattlesnake PTA, parent volunteers, Missoula Neighborhoods Grant, and many business and private donors.


We are so appreciative of the businesses who assisted and donated to this project; WGM Group (site design), Native Yards, Mutual Materials, Grant Creek Excavation, and Wild Rockies Landscaping.

Battle of the Books 2021/2022

Rattlesnake PTA, in conjunction with Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS), is bringing Battle of the Books (BOB) to Rattlesnake Elementary School this school year.

BOB is a volunteer reading program for Rattlesnake Elementary 4th and 5th graders. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to read and help increase their reading comprehension. Participating students meet weekly and also participate in reading comprehension “Battles” in teams of three every two months. The program takes place during school hours. The goal is to make reading fun!

See below for the invite letter, the handbook, and the sign up sheet.