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