Thursday, December 31, 2009

Giving Tree

In December, we had our annual Giving Tree drive. Canned goods and non-perishable food, as well as clothing, and new unwrapped toys were donated by CCE families. The items collected in the front lobby around the Giving Tree were too plentiful to count thanks to the overflowing generosity of all of our stakeholders.

The drive was led by PTA's Theresa Graham as she took responsibility for organizing the items. Liz Duncan, Betsy McCall, and Romy Wilkening contacted families for distribution. Thanks to a few key volunteers and a days worth of work, all of the items were swiftly distributed, making holiday festivities more plentiful and joyous for families.

I give thanks that I am able to serve in such a caring and generous learning community. Thank you to all who made this season of giving the best yet!

Friday, December 11, 2009

December Meeting

Financial Report: $25, 807.26 balance with outstanding invoices of approximately $1,290.07. Deposits this month included $305 for ink, $500 for Sally Fosters, and $164 from Chick fil A Family Night.

Old Business:

K/5 Family Night November's Family Night dinner from Gourmet Grocery was a great success. There were many celebrations. The only concern was having to turn away individuals at the door, because we did pre-sale tickets only. Thank you to Lori Haas and all the volunteers who made this night possible.

Season of Giving Projects: Jackie and Renee volunteered to be here for the Holiday Auction sale which is to end promptly at 6 pm on Thursday, December 10, 2009. The volunteers will call the winners of the auction to pick up their item and then they will write a check to the classroom teacher. This year, classrooms have decided to donate the funds they generate to charitable organizations.

Wiki Updates: Any word documents that have been emailed to Suzanne for approval have been uploaded to the wiki. Please check the wiki for missing items, if you have items missing under your tab, please email them to Suzanne to upload.

New Business:

January Family Night: January Family Night will be held on January 26, 2010. Dinner will be provided by Moore's Catering and the Grade 1 parents and students will participate in a Sleepover evening, and Grade 3 parents and students in an FCAT night.

Business Partnerships: Much discussion ensued about Business Partnerships because approximately 15 businesses have contacted us wanting to sponsor Spirit Nights. Currently, we are committed to a monthly Chick-fil-A Family Night. Right now, they send home a flier each month advertising this spirit night. Though we want to partner with local businesses, we must decide on the level of commitment we are able to offer. We don't want to inundate parents with business fliers, but we would love to work with the businesses. We discussed putting information down in one location, like on a card, announcing the nights businesses would donate back to the school if our name was mentioned, or working with the businesses as a fundraiser. We also discussed offering opportunities next year for them to participate in our Family Night dinners. We are going to gather more information and carry this discussion into our January Meeting.

Duval County Report: Sue Willingham shared updates including the Souper Bowl of Caring, Parent Programs through FCJJ, Earth Day Application, and ESEAC. She announced that on March 25, 2010 there will be the Rally in Tally and we can gather more information in our DCC Handbook on page 17. We are going to gather more information and encourage CCE parents to join us for a trip to Tally.

Programs: The Valentine's Dance will be held on February 12 and will run the same as last year with two dances.

Hospitality: Cathy and Linda purchased gift cards for holiday faculty recognition. They will put the cards in gift bags and hand them out at the Faculty Breakfast on Friday, December 11.

School Grounds & Beautification: Dianne did an extraordinary job decorating the front lobby and office areas with poinsettias. The board applauds Dianne for her unwavering support at keeping the grounds looking beautiful.

Dates to Remember:
12-8-09 2nd Grade Performances
12-10-09 2nd Grade Performances , Holiday Auction Ends
12-14-09 Chick-fil-A Spirit Night
12-17-09 Holiday Break Begins
1-4-10 First Day Back to School, PTA Board Meeting 5 pm
1-12-10 Volunteer Orientation 10 am
1-26-10 Family Night Dinner, Grade 1 & Grade 3 Academic Nights
1-30-10 Campus Clean Up

Saturday, December 5, 2009

PTA Reflections

The PTA Reflections pieces have been selected, and PTA volunteer, Delores Applebee, has submitted them for competition. Please visit CCE Art Happenings (by clicking on the words Art Happenings) to view the students' artwork and read art teacher, Jennifer Snead's post. Congratulations to these talented students who advanced in the competition. Good Luck!

Annual Mr. Rogers' Sweater Drive

The annual Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood Sweater Drive, led at Chets Creek by Theresa Graham, was a great success this year. Four hundred articles of clothing were collected during the drive including new and gently used sweaters, coats, blankets, pants, and shirts. Collected contributions dropped off in the school's lobby were donated to St. Vincent’s Mobile Outreach, the Clara White Mission, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Thank you to everyone who made contributions to assist in this great time of need. We appreciate you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hearing Screening

Each year our dedicated Chets Creek PTA volunteers provide the valuable service of Hearing Screening for all kindergarten and first graders, and new to Chets Creek students. That means they screened nearly 500 students this year! It took our wonderful volunteers three days of gathering and assessing students but they got the job done! Thank you to everyone who contributed in the creation of the schedule, coordination of the hearing machines, gathering of the students, and completion of the screening. I know this service is greatly appreciated by the faculty and parent community! And, it wouldn't happen without you!

November Family Night

We had a great week leading into our Thanksgiving holiday! On Tuesday evening, all Chets Creek families were invited to join PTA for our November Family Night dinner. Gourmet Grocery and Catering of Jacksonville sponsored the event and adults dined on salad, chicken marsala, pasta, vegetables, roll, and dessert. Children dined on their choice of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti.

After dinner, families joined their child’s kindergarten class for a Native American Pow-Wow Make and Take, or their child’s fifth grade class for Native American Tribe presentations.
All kindergarten classrooms studied a different tribe during their Native American unit of study. During Make and Take night, the Seminoles built chickees, the Sioux and Nez Perce made tipis, and the Hopi tribe made adobe huts. Inuits constructed igloos, the Iroquis made long houses, and plank houses were created by the Nootkas. The Lenape tribe erected wigwams. The families enjoyed creating the structures which were displayed outside each classroom door for the rest of the week.

In addition, fifth grade students added a new connection. As part of their Native American unit of study they constructed dioramas representing how each tribe lived. The dioramas were displayed and families circulating to listen to each presentation. Receiving a stamp on their program as they listened and returning with the completed program to Chief Jumping Frog in the dining room. Chief Jumping Frog gifted each of young learner with a Native American bracelet, and asked students, "What did you learn?"
I am thankful that our learning community has this tradition is place. I know it is an evening of quality time spent with children and their parents. I'm looking forward to the January Family Night dinner and First Grade Sleepover Make and Take. We'll see you there!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

November Meeting

On November 2, 2009, PTA met in the Administrative Conference room to discuss a full agenda of items. After calling the meeting to order and approving last month's minutes, Trena Nesler, owner of The UPS Store on Beach and San Pablo presented. Ms. Nesler and her husband have owned the store for the past seven years and offer competitive prices on copies, binding, laminating, and poster printing, to name just a few of their services. She encouraged PTA, CCE teachers, and community members to use their store for all servicing needs. They are running a Support Your School incentive. For any package shipped via UPS at this location, the UPS Store will donate $.50 to our school. All the sender needs to do is mention Chets Creek Elementary and the donation will be recorded.
Financial Report: Renee presented the Financial Report. The beginning checking balance was $23,404.20 and the ending balance $54,511.08. However, there are many invoices which need paid. Fall Carnival sales were at $17,132.85 without the deduction of the invoices that will run in the neighborhood of $7,000, putting proceeds about the same as last year. We also have to write a check to NEDs in the amount of $2,648.39 from the sales of yo-yos for the Bullying Program. This is not an expenditure on our part, because we collected that sum throughout the month on the sales. To date, the Sally Foster fundraising sales have been much lower than expected. As we discussed our anxiety over this, Mrs. Phillips' shared that she had been able to purchase the $3,300.00 with school funds that we had originally allocated to Academic Support. However, she had been unable to fund the Student Incentives and Awards Programs. She asked that the $2,000 we allocated to cover Book of the Month be spent to buy student A/B Honor Roll medals, reading pins, certificates, and other reading incentives. The board passed the reallocation of these funds. Because of the shortfall on the fundraising funds, the $3,300 was not reallocated for purchases. We did discuss running a Spring fundraiser to make up for the short fall on Sally Foster sales.

Principal's Report: As I mentioned in the paragraph above, Mrs. Phillips explained why Academic Support items had been purchased with school funds and asked for the reallocation of $2,000 toward Student Academic Incentives. Mrs. Phillips' knows that the incentives program is costly so she polled a group of students to find out their feelings. Without fail, the students look forward to each Awards Assembly and work throughout the quarter to be recognized and receive rewards through this program. The compromise the students and Mrs. Phillips were able to make to be fiscally responsible was that a reading pin would be provided each year rather than each quarter, and another small incentive would take the pins place at the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd 9 weeks ceremony. The savings will be about $4,000.

In addition, Mrs. Phillips explained the OnCourse Parent Portal (On-line GradeBook), and explained that parents will be able to come to the school between November 9-27 between 7 am and 6 pm to receive their child's unique log on and password. Parents will need to have photo id with them for security purposes.

Fall Carnival: We briefly discussed the success of the carnival and thanked all the board volunteers, as well as parent volunteers who manned booths. A few suggestions were mentioned, but we decided to table the item until the Committee Chair was in attendance at next month's meeting.

Corporate Contributions: Romy and Maria shared that the Grade 3 contest is currently underway, and the 2nd, 1st, and Kindergarten contests have been a huge success. They discovered a new way to earn 2,000 points through Campbell's Soup labels which they are pursuing. The contests, so far, have generated about $1,100, and ink cartridge collection has generated about $300. The winner, for the most contributions per grade level continue to be recognized with a pizza party. These contests have generated student excitement and we may extend a contest at the end of the year to collect more labels with a K-5 end of the year contest.

Website: Our webmaster, Melanie Holtsman, has been hard at work. Please check out our website at and click on the PTA link. You'll find helpful information and our electronic newsletter.

Vision Screening: Seventy-three wonderful volunteers, in just two days time, vision screened nearly 1,300 CCE students! These volunteers had an organized system and we thank each one of them for giving their time and talents to make this valuable program a great success!

K/5 Family Night: PTA invites you to join us for family night dinner! Gourmet Grocery and Catering of Jacksonville will be providing us with some culinary delights. After dinner, parents will join their child’s kindergarten class for a Native American Pow-Wow craft OR your child’s fifth grade class for Native American Tribe presentations.

Dinner will be served from 6:00 -7:00 p.m. Dinner for adults will include salad, chicken marsala, pasta, vegetable, roll, dessert and drink. Dinner for the children will be a choice of macaroni and cheese or spaghetti with sauce, dessert, and drink. The cost is $6.00 per adult and $4.00 per child. Preordered tickets must be purchased.

Ident-I-Kid: Volunteers were secured to help the Ident-I-Kid program. Any student who had pre-ordered was taken from class to get their picture made for their identification card. The program ran for one day.

Mr. Rogers' Sweater Drive: Chets Creek Elementary is honoring the memory of Mr. Rogers with the annual Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. The drive runs through November 28th and accepts gently used sweaters, coats, blankets, pants, and shirts. Contributions may be dropped off in the lobby of the school. Contributions will be donated to St. Vincent’s Mobile Outreach, the Clara White Mission, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.

Hearing Screening: CCE students will receive hearing screening on either Monday, November 16 or Tuesday, November 17. Volunteers will be set up in the CCE Administrative Conference Room and will be calling classes throughout each day to complete the screening.

Holiday Auction: Volunteers were requested to set up the Holiday Auction items in the lobby on Friday, December 4. The silent auction will run through Dec 10 and end on the night of the last 2nd Grade Holiday Performance. An adequate number of volunteers signed up at the meeting.

Duval Report: We discussed highlights from the meeting including the Right Foot Award application, Mr. Rogers' Sweater Drive, and Florida Kid Care Insurance Program. We also discussed getting a volunteer to work with Kimberly Sheldon to get press releases out to the media for school events and happenings.

Membership: Lisa reported that our final count was 1,148 CCE members qualifying us for the 100% members award. Thank you to all Membership Committee Members for making this year's drive a grand success!

Hospitality: We discussed getting a total count for the purchase of teacher's gift cards for recognition.

Volunteers: Volunteer Coordinators again requested volunteers for Kindergarten resource. Our last scheduled Volunteer Orientation of the year is going to be held on November 12 at 7 pm.

School Grounds: Dianne inquired about this year's Poinsettias for the lobby and common areas. She is in search of competitive pricing and will likely purchase from a local Boy Scout troop.

Dates to Remember:
11-5-09 Ident-I-Kid
11-6-09 Fall Picture Make Ups
11-9-09 Chick-fil-A Night hosted by Grade 5
11-11-09 No School, Veteran's Day
11-12-09 Volunteer Orientation 7 pm
11-17-09 K/5 Family Night, PTA Dinner Night
11-21-09 Campus Clean Up
11-25, 11-26, 11-27 Thanksgiving Break
12-7-09 PTA Board Meeting
12-8-09 2nd Grade Performance
12-10-09 2nd Grade Performance
12-14-09 Chick-fil-A Spirit Night
12-17-09 Holiday Break Begins

Friday, October 30, 2009

Fall Carnival

We had a full house for our annual PTA sponsored Fall Carnival last Friday, and the beautiful weather made it the perfect evening for our fun filled events!

Preparation began months ago as Committee Chair, Pam Witt, organized the event. With assistance from Publix at Windsor Commons, Pizza Hut on Beach Boulevard, Starbucks of Windsor Commons, Tim Moore, and LittleBits, this year’s sponsors led the way for a hugely successful carnival.

Pam sought the help of room parents and teachers to sign up to run booths and food stands, and volunteers came out in the droves to support the school’s event. Pre-sale tickets and wrist bands were available for two weeks leading up to the event, and thanks to Pam and Ms. Julie each child’s pre-order was filled. PTA Board Members graciously ran ticket booths the night of the event for those who had not purchased pre-sale tickets.

In addition, via requests in the Connection and teacher’s newsletters, parents kindly sent in candy as a donation to support our Trick or Treating around our bottom floor. PTA board members organized and distributed the candy so that teachers could run Trick or Treating from 6:00-7:00 pm during Carnival.

A few days leading up to the event supplies were picked up and cotton candy was made, and the morning of Carnival, the PTA board was hard at work stocking 20+ coolers with an assortment of drinks which would later be stationed at each food booth. In addition, prizes that had been purchased and donated where put in bins to be placed at each booth. Rented lights arrived and were set in place, and Mr. Stanley and Mr. JB began preparing for their operation. Space Walk delivered inflatable slides, a velcro wall, and an inflatable obstacle course. All easily put in place because Pam had made a map of where items would be set up.

Next, we hauled coolers to food booths and set up tables, and with the bell signaling the end of the day, teachers and parent volunteers began setting up their booths.

The Carnival, held from 6-9 pm, ran smoothly and the children’s smiles lit up the evening. The PTA board members continued to sell tickets and wristbands throughout the evening, and board member, Renee English collected and counted funds for the evening.

Clean up, from 9-11 pm, wasn't as much fun as the initial set up, but with a hand full of dedicated volunteers, we got the job done. We are looking forward to this continued tradition in the future. Pam, do I see you raising your hand to run next year's event? :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vision Screening

Each year, PTA runs our school's routine vision screening for each student. Routine vision screening is a service that alerts parents if there is an issue, so they can follow up with an eye doctor. (In fact, years ago, this is a service that alerted me that my own child had an issue.)

To serve nearly 1,300 students our Volunteer Coordinators had to set up three days of vision screening this year. They booked volunteers to run six vision stations and called classes down for screening one at a time.

We truly appreciate the willingness of so many folks to volunteer and make sure we could provide this valuable service. Our CCE volunteers are the best!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Picture Day

The kids were dolled up, their colics meticiously tamed, and each one with a bright white smile. It must have been picture day! And, our CCE PTA volunteers were out in full force lining the kids up, helping to keep them reasonably quiet, and assisting students to run the black plastic comb through their hair just one more time.

Thank you to all the volunteers who made this day run smoothly. I know the CCE teachers are grateful.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Room Parent Meeting

The Volunteer Coordinators, Deb, Kathy, and Lourdes hosted a Room Parent Meeting for all room parent volunteers this week. They greeted the dedicated volunteers and began by setting up some general guidelines. They went over the importance of maintaining strict student confidentiality, and the guidelines for correspondence with parents. All letters being sent by parents need to be pre-approved by the principal, Mrs. Phillips, and letters to parents cannot request specific dollar amounts. However, requests for “donations” are permitted. Room parents should keep a log of all money received for classroom/school events, and retain receipts for items purchased with classroom money.

Next, the Volunteer Coordinators discussed upcoming events and the responsibilities of the Room Parents. They encouraged the parents to discuss these events with their child's teacher and make a plan to assist the classroom in any way possible.

Each class decorates a pumpkin (or pumpkins) to represent a literary character, scene, etc... The pumpkins may be painted, items may be glued on, or the pumpkin may be part of a larger display, however pumpkins must not be carved. The pumpkins along with the children's book need to be delivered to the front lobby by 10:00 AM on Monday. They are displayed in the lobby throughout the week.

FALL CARNIVAL: (OCTOBER 23, 2009 from 6:00-9:00PM)
Each class signs up to run a booth or activity the night of Carnival. It is the room parent’s responsibility to contact volunteers to run the booth/activity in half-hour or one-hour increments of time so that the booth is covered the entire evening. PTA will send information describing the booth, its duties, how many volunteers are needed, etc. approximately two weeks before the event. The room parent is also responsible for coordinating the setting up and tearing down of the booth. Classes are encouraged to decorate their booth in conjunction with the school’s theme which, this year, is a musical theme “Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success.” The booths will be judged by several of the PTA and Staff members, and the winning booth will receive a $25.00 gift certificate for the teacher to use toward a party. Candy donations will be requested for Trick-or-Treating in the downstairs hallway of the school between 6:00-7:00 PM.

KINDERGARTEN POW WOW: (November 20, 2009)
Each Kindergarten class studies a specific Native American culture. Room parents are asked to help with making costumes, decorating classrooms, coordinating donations of supplies, etc. The room parent assists in scheduling parent volunteers to help on the POW-WOW day at various craft and activity stations, etc.

Each class creates a holiday item (wreath, basket, cards, tablecloth, tree skirt, craft, etc.) to be auctioned in a silent auction over a two-week period. Auction items should be chosen such that the students can actively participate in its creation. We encourage the room parent to choose an item that will be appealing to anyone in the school and not just to the classroom (this increases the bidding pool). The auction item may be a holiday theme, the school’s theme, etc. The money received from the item goes directly to the classroom that created it.

This is an event offered in the spring where the room parent assists the classes in creating a themed basket for auction. More info to come on additional events after the New Year.

Thank you, Lourdes, Kathy, and Deb for giving an overview of upcoming events. We look forward to the support these wonderful volunteers will bring to classroom teachers.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

September's Family Night

Each month, PTA hosts a Family Night event or activity to give families the opportunity to spend quality time together or to learn more about Chets Creek's academic expectations. Some of these events begin with a family night dinner sponsored by the PTA. On Tuesday, PTA invited all CCE families out for our first family night dinner of the year catered by Salerno's Italian Ristorante. And, after dinner, parents were invited to join their child’s second grade class for Math Night or their child’s fourth grade class for FCAT Writes Night.

Lori Haas chairs the family night dinner committee and is responsible for booking the catering, securing the menu, inviting parents, and collecting funds from a pre-sale. Our Volunteer Coordinators, Deb O'Berry, Kathy Jo Ayers, and Lourdes Smith lend a helping hand and secure volunteers for set up, serving, and clean up.

On Tuesday evening, our volunteers, Estela Santiago, Herb Arteaga, Cami Gomez, and Gina Allmond set up for dinner in the Dining Room from 5:00-6:00 pm and Brandy Williams, Janet White, Annabel Krott, and Tim Moore served families from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Families dined on chicken parmesan, penne pasta, salad, bread, drinks and dessert. Then, at 7:00 pm the clean up crew, Amanda Benson, Tia Peaco, Kelly Moore, and Pam Witt cleaned up as the families joined their teachers who graciously agreed to host an academic session.

With the combined effort of all those involved, the night was a huge success, and we look forward to our next Family Night dinner in November. We are also eagerly awaiting October's Family Night, Fall Carnival, on October 23rd. We hope you join us!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pancake Pigout

Our BUD's Club hosted their annual Pancake Pigout on Friday morning from 8 am to 9 am. Looking around the dining room, I'd say that this year's event was a HUGE success! Families gathered in every corner of the dining room as they enjoyed breakfast together. Our BUDs, Brothers, Uncles, and Dads served pancakes, sausage, fresh fruit and juice to our students and parents. There was a lot of conversation and many laughs. Special thanks to Chip for spearheading this event, to the crew the night before who set up long after Open House, and to all the servers who made the event better than ever! The Chets Creek students and their parents enjoyed every moment.

Open House / Volunteer Orientation

Thursday night was Kindergarten, Second, and Fourth Grade Open House. Ordinarily, Open House is about an hour and offers parents time to meet their child's teachers, learn about their classroom expectations, and see their child's classroom work. This year, there was an added layer, Volunteer Orientation.
Normally, the first Open House begins with a quick parent meeting in the dining room where the budget is voted upon. Then, parents go to their child's classroom. This year, at 6:30 parents went directly to the classroom. Teachers tuned their televisions into our closed circuit system, WCCE, and Mrs. Phillips' conducted the welcome and explained the proposed PTA budget. Classroom teachers conducted the vote in each classroom, and the proposed budget passed. After that, via WCCE, Mrs. Phillips conducted a 15 minute Volunteer Orientation.

From 7 pm - 8 pm teachers gave presentations, visited with parents, and parents explored the classroom with their children. When their child's Open House was over, they went into the dining room to fill out volunteer paperwork and have their picture made. Everyone was on their way by 8:15 pm, quite a feat when you consider there are about 650 Kindergarten, Second, and Fourth Grade students.

A special thank you goes out to our Volunteer Coordinators, Deb, Lourdes, and Kathi for organizing this event and gathering picture takers. We appreciate your gift of time and talent. Also, a round of applause goes out to all of the volunteers who took pictures, collected paperwork, and offered their services. You are all gems!! Get ready for Round 2 this Thursday when we have a repeat performance for our First, Third, and Fifth Grade parents.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September Meeting

Financial Report: The checking amount balances are $12,692.02.

Budget: The budget committee presented a balanced budget with projected expenditures of $98,635.85. The board passed the budget and it will go on for general voting at the September 17, 2009 Open House.

September Family Night: September Family Night will be held on September 29, 2009. All families are invited to pre-order for a catered dinner from Salerno's Ristorante and Pizzeria. The cost per person will be $6.00. We need volunteers to help serve the dinner if anyone is interesting in assisting. Following the 6:00 pm dinner, families are invited to attend a Grade 2 Math Night or Grade 4 Writes Night.

Teacher Appreciation Dinner on Family Nights: We discussed whether or not to provide each teacher a single ticket to eat dinner on their grade level's Family Night. This year's budget was passed by the time we discussed this option and tabled for later discussion. It is a topic of discussion because teachers are not required to attend Family Nights, but their participation is critical for parent involvement.

Babysitting Services for Family Nights: The board discussed whether or not to provide babysitting services, however this item was not placed in the budget for this year. This has not been a service provided in the past and many board members felt that children could attend the Family Night with the parent like they do for Open House. A few members suggested trying to secure high school students wanting to log volunteer hours for free services, because they recognize that it can be difficult on the teachers if young kids are not entertained.

Corporate Contribution Contest, Grade 1 & Grade 2: The collecting of box tops, Tyson's & Campbell's labels, empty ink cartridges, and old cell phones has been a huge success in Grade 1 & Grade 2 during their Corporate Contributions Contest. The classroom winner for First Grade was Mrs. McLeod's homeroom and the Second Grade winners were Mrs. Ross & Miss Russell's co-teach homerooms. The students in the two classrooms will enjoy the grand prize of a pizza party. The next contest, Kindergarten, runs from Oct 1st through Oct 15th.

Volunteers: Help is needed to take pictures and collect paperwork at the Open House Volunteer Orientations on September 17 and September 24th. As well as the 10 am Volunteer Orientations on September 29 and October 5. In addition, volunteers are needed to serve dinner from Salerno's on Grade 2 Math Night and Grade 4 Writes Night.

BUDs Club: The annual BUDs Pancake Breakfast is scheduled for Friday, September 18th at 8 am in the dining room. Families were asked to pre-purchase tickets, but tickets will also be available the morning of the breakfast.

Duval County Report: Julie attended the DCC Meeting and reported about the meeting agenda. She also shared grant information we may be interested in pursuing.

Membership: The membership drive concluded with 1,076 PTA memberships. Mrs. Timmons' Second Grade classroom was the first classroom with 100% PTA membership and won a pizza party and $50 Visa Card. Nineteen other classes reached 100% PTA membership during the drive and won a popcorn parties. The winner of the teacher drawing was Ms. Launey and the staff member winner was Mrs. Thomas.

Dates to Remember:
9-17-09 Open House (K,2,4)
9-18-09 Pancake Pigout sponsored by the BUD's club9-24-09 Open House (1,3,5)
9-26-09 Campus Clean-Up
9-28-09 Sally Foster Sale Begins
9-29-09 10 am Volunteer Orientation
2nd/4th Family Night (Math Night, FCAT Writes Night)
10-1-09 Kindergarten Corporate Contributions Contest
10-5-09 10 am Volunteer Orientation
PTA Board Meeting
10-9-09 Fall Pictures
10-12-09 Book Fair Week
Sally Foster Sale Ends
10-14-09 Vision Screening10-15-09 Vision Screening
10-19-09 Literary Pumpkin Festival Week
10-23-09 Fall Carnival
10-24-09 Campus Clean Up
10-30-09 Report Cards Go Home

Chick-fil-A Night

Guest Blogger: dayle timmons

Chets Creek does so many things to support quality family time. Tonight was just another Chets Creek event for families to enjoy. The local Chick-fil-A supported a Chets Creek night from 6:00-8:00 pm.

Chick-fil-A provided the bounce house, games and activities that included balloons, face painting, clowns, a little dancing in the streets and of course, delicious food. The school, for promoting the night, receives 10% of the proceeds from the two hours. This is such a wholesome and wonderful way for corporate businesses to promote education and family fun. Many of the Chets Creek faculty along with the Administrative and Office Team who sponsored this night, were out and about mingling with the families. The school will support a Family Night at the local Chick-fil-A the second Monday of every month. Each month will be supported by a specific grade levels. And so as the Chick-fil-A cow says, " come join us and eat mor chikin!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Chets Creek Volunteers

Gathering ample volunteers for all the requests at our sprawling elementary school is never an easy task, but one that Deb, Lourdes, and Kathy embrace with a smile.

Volunteer Interest forms went home with each student during Orientation asking stakeholders for contact information, how they would like to volunteer, when they are available, and specifically which volunteer opportunities they would like to embrace. However, the school's requests for volunteers began before the forms could be collected and organized. "No problem," said this steadfast group of volunteer supporters. They gathered volunteers to help on the first day of school, both in the bus and car loop, and for dismissal. And, they gathered volunteers to help resource teachers with all their kindergarten classes. They gathered volunteers to cover the front desk. All this while in the middle of the membership drive and now the Corporate Contributions Contest which also needed volunteers.

They are now booking volunteers for Volunteer Orienation pictures and badges, and for administering vision and hearing tests. Really, there isn't a time when I look around the front lobby when I can't spot hot pink PTA shirt wearing volunteers hard at work. I am always amazed at the truly generous and priceless gifts they give each day, both their time and talents.

Corporate Contributions Contest

Romy and Maria, our Corporate Contributions volunteers, have launched a new idea this year-- A Corporate Contributions Contest. In year's past, we have asked stakeholders to clip box tops, and Campbell's soup labels and send in old ink cartridges and cell phones so the school could turn in the items and receive rewards. However, this year, this eager duo decided that we could get more interest and a bigger focus on the collection of items if we ran a contest at each grade level and added in a little friendly competition.

So, they designed a flyer announcing the grade level contest dates

September 1-15 ~ 1st and 2nd grade
October 1-15 ~ Kindergarten
November 1-15 ~ 3rd grade
January 11-25 ~ 4th and 5th grade

and asking parents, teachers, and students to get their scissors ready and start clipping and saving Box Tops, Campbell’s, and Tyson labels. They also wanted them to hang on to all Coke rewards caps, old cell phones and used ink cartridges. Students will then bring these items in a bag properly marked with their teacher’s name. Each item submitted will earn points. Each box top and Coke reward cap will receive one point, Campbell's and Tyson's labels will be worth 1 point or 5 points based on the label, ink cartridges will earn a classroom 5 points, and old cell phones will each be worth a whopping 10 points. We will announce one classroom winner with the highest points in each grade level at the conclusion of the contest. And, that classroom will win a grand prize.

The flyers went home with each student in the Orientation packet and grade level specific flyers are going home at the start of each contest for the specified grade level(s). We are hopeful that this new approach will wield great rewards. Great idea, Romy & Maria!

Membership Drive 09

The 2009-2010 CCE Membership Drive has been in full swing for the past two weeks. Daily, you will find Lisa, Leslee, and Jackie hard at work collecting the membership envelopes from each classroom, recording the new members, counting the money, and tallying the numbers for posting on our PTA Wall of Fame.

According to a card count based on envelopes received we have collected 1,076 memberships thus far which equates to about 85% stakeholder participation. Depending on our final card count Tuesday, the drive may be extended until Friday, September 11 to ensure 100% participation.

Mrs. Timmons' 2nd grade class was the first classroom to reach 100% participation and won the grand prize, a $50 Visa Card and classroom Pizza Party. Nineteen other classrooms have also received 100% participation during the drive and will be awarded classroom popcorn parties. We are hoping that the number of popcorn parties will increase as the drive continues. In addition, all teachers and staff who joined during the drive had their name entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa Card. We are proud to announce that the winning teacher is Ms. Meli Launey and the winning staff member is Mrs. Pat Thomas. Congratulations to all winners and a special thank you to each PTA member who proudly helps support the vision of 100% stakeholder participation. Chets Creek is what it is because of each parent, teacher, student, business partner, and community supporter.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Opening School Take 1

Our PTA Conductors support our school in priceless ways and the past two days have certainly been no different! Everywhere you looked, outfitted in hot pink Chets Creek t-shirts, the volunteers donated countless hours of their time to assist in making sure the faculty felt valued and appreciated, and the minutia of opening a school for a new year was handled.

Yesterday morning started on a high note with our annual Teacher Appreciation breakfast for faculty and staff. The hospitality committee did an outstanding job setting up and decorating for the event in the Dining Room, and gifting each teacher with their new themed Chets Creek t-shirts and gifts from Sally Foster. Hosting a breakfast as a way to say thank you to the staff is always so greatly appreciated. In addition, thanks to one of our faculty reps, Karen Morris, many of the teachers joined PTA at the breakfast and walked away with a I Joined PTA Today sticker to show their unwavering support. Thank you to each of you who made this tradition a grand performance!

At the conclusion of the breakfast, volunteers gathered in the Dining Room to stuff over 1,300 Orientation Packets! They worked tirelessly, with a smile, creating stacks of packets, and waiting on the UPS man to deliver the folders the packets needed stuffed in. Thank you to each volunteer, adults and children alike, for taking on such a monumental task and easing the work burden for the office staff and teachers. Volunteers like this earn their place on their pedestals!

Membership was hard at work, too. Organizing rosters and setting up for their annual Membership drive, and on Orientation Day collecting hundreds of membership envelopes from our newest PTA members. We know, that with their hard work and dedication, this drive will yield 100% faculty and parent participation. In addition, PTA store was set up in the lobby selling items like t-shirts, license plates, and ribbons to enable people to show their support. And, the Chets Creek Rewards Program was announced and flyers displayed.

Thank you to each of you who whistled in this tune, before the school year even began, to assist in creating this year's grand composition. You are the best and it wouldn't have happened without you.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Correction on the Master Calendar Dates

Due to master calendar conflicts that have arisen, there have been changes made to several dates I gave you at our meeting. Please take note of these changes:

Open House K/2/4 September 17 6:30 pm
Open House 1/3/5 September 24 6:30 pm

Volunteer Orientations:
On the nights of Open House, any volunteer wishing to receive a 2009/2010 badge, will remain in the classroom after Open House. Principal Phillips and I will conduct a volunteer orientation via WCCE (closed circuit tv), and then volunteers will go to the dining room to get their pictures taken. We are doing this to prevent parents from having to come to an Open House, September Family Night, and a Volunteer Orientation. So, we will be needing upwards of about 15 PTA volunteers to be in the dining room to take pictures. If you are interested in assisting, please drop me an email at

Monday, August 10, 2009

August Meeting

The PTA met this morning for our August meeting. The main area of business was the 2009/2010 budget. Committees requested projected budgets to cover this year's costs. The budget will be available for analysis and voted upon on Thursday, September 24, 2009.

Other topics of conversation included:

Principal's Report: Everything to prepare for school opening is in full swing. The building cleaning is almost complete and teachers are beginning to set up their classrooms. KK, Karen, and JB went to pick up three pianos which will be displayed in the front lobby of the school to support this year's theme, Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success. The themed t-shirts have arrived and board members will receive them after the meeting. Open House dates have been set for Thursday, September 24th for Kindergarten, Third, and Fifth grades. The general PTA meeting will be held on Sept 24 before the Open House. Open House for First, Second, and Fourth grade will be held on Thursday, October 1st. Open Houses will begin at 7 pm.

Orientation Packets: Items to be copied for packets include the Volunteer Interest Form, Boo Hoo Breakfast Invitation, Brag Sheet, BUD's Club Flyer, Membership Envelopes, and Corporate Contribution Contest announcement. All items except membership envelopes should be emailed to Suzanne by Thursday afternoon and will be copied on Friday and Monday for stuffing of packets. (The membership committee will print the membership envelopes.) Packets will be stuffed by volunteers on Thursday, August 20th in the Dining Room. Babysitting services will be available from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm. Any high schooler who would like to accumulate service hours is encouraged to volunteer to stuff packets from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm on this day.

Faculty Breakfast: PTA will sponsor a welcome back faculty breakfast for the CCE staff on Thursday, August 20 at 8:30 am. Volunteers are encouraged to help set up from 7:30-8:30, and then stay after clean up for Orientation Packet stuffing.

Family Bingo Night: Family Bingo has been added to the calendar for March 26, 2010.

Holiday Shop: In order to continue the Holiday Shop, we need two or three dedicated volunteers. In the past, we've had the shop open for 5 full days. (Thanks, Valerie!) This is labor intensive on the volunteer side for that week due to keeping inventory and running the shop. If we have someone willing to spearhead this initiative, we can continue to offer the service to students. If not, we will not place the event on this year's calendar. Are there any takers? If so, email Suzanne.

Corporate Contributions: Several contests will be held this year to encourage donation of items including box tops, coke rewards, Campbell labels, Tyson's, ink cartridges, and cell phones. First and Second grades will compete from September 1-15; Kindergarten will compete from Oct 1-15; Third grade will compete from November 1-15; Fourth and Fifth grade will compete from January 11-25. Prizes for winning classes will include either a pizza party or ice cream party based on classroom preference. A letter/flyer, being created by the committee, will be included in the Orientation packet to introduce this contest to parents, students, and teachers. Points will be allocated per donation for the contest to be fairly scored. Teachers are encouraged to announce and gain support for the program through their classroom newsletters. Capri Suns will not be included in this contest, because we do not want sticky containers attracting insects in the classroom. We will however have Capri Sun drop off in the Dining Room recycle containers.

Chick-Fil-A: Chick-Fil-A night to support Chets Creek continues to be held the 2nd Monday of each month at the Hodges Beach location. Mrs. Phillips', via the PIC committee, will be asking each grade level to select a month to come and support this fundraiser.

Support Chets Creek. Com: Chets Creek has a Shop to Earn program set up at By going to the site and ordering from the links, CCE earns dollars for each purchase. We discussed ways to get this information out to all our stakeholders. Publicizing this opportunity could be a great fundraising opportunity.

Orientation: Friday, August 21st. Kindergarten and Second grade will be from 8:00 am to 9:00 am; First and Fourth grade will be from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm; Third and Fifth grade will be from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm. We will have a Membership booth and a PTA Store booth set up in the lobby during these times. The Membership booth will be run by Jackie and Pam for the 8-9 time slot. Diane, Lisa, Kathi, Leslie, and Lisa M will man the booth from 11-12, and Linda, Maria, and Angela will man the booth for the 2-3 time slot. The booth should be open approximately 30 minutes before the Orientation begins. The PTA Store booth will be run for the 8-9 time slot by Laura and Pam, for the 11-12 slot by Kristin, Jackie and Lisa M, and the 2-3 time slot by Deb and Maria.

Volunteer Orientation: Dates and times coming soon.

Dates to Remember:
8-17-09 Teachers’ First Day
8-20-09 Welcome Back Breakfast for Teachers / Orientation Packet Stuffing
8-21-09 Orientation
8-24-09 Students’ First Day
8-31-09 Entertainment Book Sales Begin
9-14-09 PTA Board Meeting; Entertainment Book Sales End
9-18-09 Pancake Pigout sponsored by the BUD's club
9-24-09 Open House (K, 3 ,5)
9-26-09 Campus Clean-Up
9-28-09 Sally Foster Sale Begins
10-1-09 Open House (1, 2, 4)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our Summer Social

Last evening, the 2008/2009 PTA Board and incoming 2009/2010 Board gathered at Principal Phillips' house for an evening of friends and fellowship. The celebration commemorated all the hard work and tireless service hours these dedicated parents and teachers gave to make our Chets Creek journey a great success this past year. The gathering also gave incoming board members the opportunity to meet and get to know the current members setting the tone for a great new year.

We know that a summer gathering, with the principal as the hostess, may not be common place at other schools, but we are grateful for this tradition at Chets Creek. After all, building relationships and long lasting memories are the cornerstone of our work.