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.