Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wow! It's October already and we've completed 2 fundraisers, a Pancake Breakfast, a Bingo Night and we're working hard on our upcoming Fall Carnival.

The Pancake Breakfast was on 9/17 and was a huge success, just beating out last year's score but with a lot less commotion since we ran 2 times for the breakfast. One at 7:45 helped eliminate the overwhelming crush of people between 8:30 and 9 and made everything work out so well.

We completed the Bingo Night just after Pancake Breakfast and outsold last year's tickets almost by double. The kids and parents had a great time and everyone enjoyed getting their prizes from Mrs. Phillips. One of our parents donated a terrific Coffee/cookies basket as our Grand Prize that night. Thank you!

Our fundraisers including, Enjoy the City books and Mixed Bags, which just ended this week, helped raise over $10,000 for our school programs already!

Fall Carnival preparations are in full swing. This year we will have train rides, hay rides, tons of games & rock climbing walls for everyone's enjoyment. Don't forget - Carnival runs rain or shine!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

It's May 5, 2010 and the holiday, Cinco de Mayo, is being celebrated to commemorate The Battle of Puebla when the Mexican militia defeating the French army. As you can see in the photograph, the table is set for the celebration, but instead of honoring the holiday, the PTA is gathering in fellowship to honor teachers.

Teacher Appreciation Week is special to the PTA, because each member likes to give thanks to their children's teachers for their passion, hard work, and dedication to their craft. We know that working at Chets Creek takes heart and we want to say thank you. Thank you for loving our children. Thank you for taking care of their emotional needs. Thank you for taking care of their academic gifts and talents. And, thank you for helping them when they struggle. Thank you for believing in them. And, thank you for making them believe in themselves. We owe you.

We all know that too often the 30 minute duty free lunch teachers enjoy, really is more like 15 minutes after drop off and pick up, and checking email. And, that the bagged lunch has to get old. So, if only for this one day, we say thank you to teachers by providing them with a real hot lunch- soup and salad from the Olive Garden. The teachers look forward to this treat and gather in the conference room with anticipation to find smiling PTA members from our Hospitality Committee. They get a nice hot lunch from yummy Olive Garden and spend time in sheer bliss enjoying the upbeat conversation.

Thank you Linda, Cathy, and crew who made this another unforgettable Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. I know you hit a home run with the CCE crew!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May Meeting

The monthly meeting was held on Monday, May 3, 2010. We were excited to see so many new faces in the crowd and spent the first few minutes introducing ourselves.

Our first topic of business was an update from the Nominating Committee on their recommendations for the 2010-2011 Board. The committee tapped into the general membership volunteers that showed an interest in becoming part of the Board. We were excited to put them in a position based on their interests and our needs. We are confident that the recommendations give us a solid Board for the upcoming school year that will allow the PTA to continue to thrive at Chets Creek. In case anyone is wondering, we are still looking for a PTA President. Any takers?

Old Business

Volunteer Appreciation Update
Last Tuesday, our Volunteer Coordinators hosted our annual Volunteer Reception. All volunteers that dedicated ten or more hours were invited to attend. The PTA Board provided desserts for our fellowship gathering, and door prizes were drawn. About 50 volunteers joined us for the evening and due to the low attendance, we discussed recognizing volunteers in some other manner next year. We proposed having a Board member that would write hand written notes throughout the year to volunteers as they gave of their time and talents. A Board member has been nominated for the position and graciously agreed to thank volunteers as we go next school year.

Arts Extravaganza Update
Arts Extravaganza was a grand success this year. The Arts Baskets put together by the teachers and the Room Parents were put out three days for bidding prior to the Friday Family Night. The baskets raised over $2,000 for PTA which they recommitted to the Arts fund at CCE. The Family Night which included artists, musicians, and art stations were vital in making the night such a success. Our recommendation for next year is to again set up baskets in advance.

New Business

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
PTA is saying thank you to teachers on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 by hosting a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. PTA in partnership with Olive Garden is having a soup and salad luncheon from 11 am to 2 pm in the Conference Room.

PTA Night with the Suns (May 11)
On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, all PTA members showing their PTA card when purchasing tickts, will receive 1/2 price tickets at $4.25 in our Special Reserved Section. Children ages 4-14 will get in for only $1.50 each. As an added bonus, anyone who has volunteered 50 hours or more, will get in FREE when they show verification. On slate for May 11th are the Birmingham Barons. Gates open at 6 pm and game time starts at 7:05 pm. Hot dogs, peanuts, and ice cream will cost fifty cents.

DCC Spring Leadership Workshops (Monday, May 17)
We highly recommend all incoming and current CCE Board members to attend Duval County Councils of PTAs annual Spring Leadership Workshop on Monday, May 17, 2010 at the Schultz Center. Registration is on-going, beginning at 9 am and no pre-registration is required. The workshops are free to all PTA members. Classes include:
--So Now You're President Part I
--So Now You're President Part II
--Building a PTA website
--Money Matters-What a Treasurer Really Needs to Know
--Fundraising-How to Make the Best Choice
--Growing Your PTA-Your Membership Campaign
--Recruiting and Retaining Volunteers
--Working with Business Partners
--Getting the Recognition You Deserve-Awards
--Developing Successful Programs
--Secretaries & Newsletters
--Building Your Financial Resources Through Grants
--Keys to Increasing Male Involvement
--Rebuilding Your PTA
--Bylaws & Parliamentary Procedures
--Conflict Resolution

P & P Luncheon (May 27 @ 11 am)
On May 27 interested and available Board members will be attending the P & P luncheon where Awards will be announced. In attendance will be Sue W., Romy, Karen M, Renee, Theresa, Deb O, Maria G, Lourdes, Suzanne, Stanley, Julie, Susan, Kernan Principal, Angela, Linda, Tim M.

5-5-10 Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
5-7-10 BUDs Club Mother’s Day Cake Decorations
5-10-10 Chick-fil-A Night, Grade 4
5-11-10 PTA Night with the Suns
5-12-10 Early Release
5-22-10 Campus Clean-Up
5-27-10 P & P Luncheon
5-28-10 Schools Closed
5-31-10 Schools Closed
6-07-10 PTA Meeting

Other Tentative Dates of Interest:
June 1 & 3 Third Grade Performances
June 7 K/1 Field Days
June 8 2/3 Field Days
June 9 4/5 Field Days
June 11 Last Day for Students

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Celebrating the Arts

Walking into our front lobby, last week, you could feel a school that had come alive! It was Arts Extravaganza week, one of my favorite times of the whole school year. Our nearly 1,300 children created beautiful artwork that adorned our hallway walls and their framed work hung on display in the lobby ready for sale to their parents during our two night Art Show.

The Cultural Arts Committee, led by master art teacher, Jennifer Snead, put together an incredible week for students that was highlighted each morning with an assembly. Students were drawn in by a puppeteer, dance and music ensemble, storyteller, Bluegrass performance, and Jacksonville Symphony drummers.

In addition, Arts Extravaganza Baskets assembled by our Room Moms and teachers were on display in the front lobby to be auctioned off Friday evening with funds going to the PTA to support next year's Arts Week.

As the culminating activity on Friday evening, Arts Extravaganza Family Night was hosted by our Cultural Arts Team and PTA. Throughout the lobby and Dining Room children found artists and musicians displaying their talents, and art stations were set up for students to produce their own small treasures. I don't know of any school that celebrates the arts quite like ours, and I am ecstatic that our students have this enriching experience each year. I extend special thanks to each and every teacher, parent, and PTA member who made this year's Arts Extravaganza better than ever!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April PTA Meeting

Our monthly PTA Meeting was held on Monday, April 12 in the administrative conference room at Chets Creek Elementary. The meeting was called to order at 5 pm.

Financial Report
Our current balance is $10,970.12. Renee is seeking about $500 in returned checks. We received another Chick-fil-A check of about $230 from our Spirit Night that is not included in this amount. The BUDs Club receipts have not been turned in yet. The Bingo Night made over $500 and the Cookie Dough fundraiser for Patrols brought in a profit of $7,542. After Arts Extravaganza, we will be able to better estimate the Summer Contingency Funds which have been about $11,000 in past years.

Principal’s Report

Chets has received its budget for next year and budgetary decisions are currently being made. It appears that the budget will be tight but the school will do the best it can to preserve its people. The majority of the budget goes to salaries and benefits. The school has very small overhead otherwise and there will not be much extra in the budget. Susan urges everyone as parents and voters to become educated about Florida's school funding. Because of the class size law, we receive a supplemental budget of nearly $1.8 million to cover class sizes. This covers some of the costs but not all. Like last year, the district will fund Art, Music, and PE, and only half time Media and Guidance. To keep the necessary services of Media and Guidance, the rest of the salary will need to be paid from the budget. There will not be much money for any types of supplies or resources.

Teachers are highly concerned about the possible passing of SB6. Susan asks that PTA stay informed about the bill and its implications.

School Board
Two prospective School Board members have visited Chets for a school tour. Please read about the candidates and make informed voter decisions based on your beliefs.

PTA Board for 2010-2011
Susan thanked everyone for their service this year on the PTA Board and asked that everyone please stay involved. The PTA makes our school what it is as a school family. Susan said that she couldn't do it without the Boards support. She asked for everyone to help groom someone else, too, because one day, sadly, involved members would move onto other endeavours as their children moved into other schools.

Upcoming Dates
Susan shared upcoming dates (listed at the bottom of the post) including Book Fair, Picture Day, Arts Extravaganza, and report card distribution.

Old Business:
Board Positions for 2010-2011
Last month, we collected information from members about whether they were planning to serve in a similar role for the upcoming school year. I made adjustments to the form and uploaded it to the wiki for your review. We put together a nominating committee to present nominations to the Board. We are seeking stakeholders that would like to become involved on PTA Board. If anyone is interested, they can email me at

Business Partnership Update
Karen Morris gave an update on the Committee Meeting. Notes that she covered have been uploaded to the wiki for your review. Karen put together an interest form based on the discussion that could be distributed to businesses seeking partnership with us. The form outlines areas where we seek support and gives businesses the chance to report to us what they could do to assist. In addition, there is a Family Night proposal that would be distributed to businesses who wished to partner with us for our dinners. We agreed that we needed a Business Partner Liaison that was part of the Board. Pam Witt volunteered. The idea would be to have one contact and that everyone who planned PTA events would consult with Pam to see which businesses would best be able to meet our needs. (Thank you, Karen for leading the charge.)

Volunteer Appreciation
We discussed a major overhaul of Volunteer Appreciation, however the reception event has already been scheduled and advertised. We are scaling back considerably and all PTA Board members are being asked to make and provide a dessert. Desserts will be dropped off in the Dining Room at 5:30 on 4-20-10. 250 volunteers serving over 10 hours have been invited. Normally, about 75 people attend the event.

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

PTA is purchasing salad and soup from Olive Garden for teachers on Wednesday, May 5 for Teacher Appreciation. Lunch will be served in the administrative conference room from 11-2.

SB 6
Teachers state-wide are highly concerned over SB 6. The bill will have major implications to our children's education. I have emailed all Board members the Florida PTA's stance on the bill and urge all parents to read about the bill, watch the news, and stay informed about the implications of the bills passing. SB 6 is sitting on the desk of Governor Charlie Crist.

4-12-10 to 4-15-10 Book Fair
4-12-10 to 4-15-10 Corporate Contributions Contest
4-13-10 Kindergarten Round Up 6:30 pm
4-14-10 Early Release
4-16-10 Spring Pictures
4-19-10 to 4-26-10 Arts Extravaganza
4-19-10 Kids Art Fair 6 pm
4-20-10 Kids Art Fair 6 pm
Volunteer Appreciation
Report Cards Go Home
4-23-10 Flag Raising
Arts Extravaganza Night
4-24-10 Campus Clean Up
4-24-10 Relay for Life
4-26-10 9:15 Awards for K/3
2:15 Awards for 2/5
4-27-10 9:15 Awards for ¼
4-28-10 Early Release
5-3-10 PTA Board

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Message from the Florida PTA

From the Desk of the Florida PTA...

Florida PTA Rally in Tallahassee
March 25th, 11:30AM to 1:30 PM
At Waller Park
The date is set and the site secured for PTA members to let their voices be heard once again in Tallahassee. You were loud and clear last year with your rallying cry of “NO MORE CUTS.” You made a difference—the proposed cuts were restored.

This year your task is to not only persuade legislators to restore the previous cuts, but to make provisions for an adequate, stable source of funding for education when the stimulus dollars run out in 2010. Recognizing the challenge this presents, as well as the distance many of you will be travelling, we will provide an orientation and advocacy training on March 24th, from 3:30PM to 6:30PM in the Florida Education Association (FEA) conference room, 213 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.

We encourage you to arrive in Tallahassee sometime on March 24th to visit your legislators and attend the orientation. A link to Tallahassee hotels is provided for your convenience. You will also have time to visit the Capitol on the morning of March 25th and after the rally.
Please check the Florida PTA website ( for additional information.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Common Core Standards

A draft of the K-12 Common Core Standards developed through the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, was released for public input. The national standards have been written to ensure that all American students graduate from our high schools, regardless of where they live, with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in college and the workforce. Right now all states operate under their own state standards, these standards are exploring a national frame work to provide consistent standards.

For the next twenty days, the public is invited to read and comment on the Common Core State Standards at To have your voice heard, please take the time to be part of this process.

Make Our Voices Heard

From the Desk of our DCC Representative...

As you are probably aware, we are facing a huge deficit in Duval County schools (and Florida schools in general) in the upcoming year. At one Duval County PTA meeting I attended, it was said that, "we are part of the disconnect" - i.e. the parents and concerned citizens are not speaking up against the budget cuts. They said that "the legislators simply are not hearing that there is a problem in the schools." One way that we can all help is to make our voices heard. Please take a moment to access the following web page and either print and mail the letter template (you may, and are encouraged to, send multiple letters,) directly to our legislator at:

Representative Ronald (Doc) Renuart
402 South Monroe Street
317 House Office Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

OR email the letter to Representative Renuart at

OR contact for drop-off locations, and the organization will hand-deliver your letter to the legislators, who are in Tallahassee currently.

Web site for letter template:!.aspx

Of course, you can also compose your own letter to send as well!

Another way to make our voices heard is to attend the Rally in Tallahassee on Thursday, March 25 from 11:30am - 1:30pm.

Thank you so much for your support in this. United, we CAN make a difference!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Seeking PTA Board Members and Volunteers!

The PTA is currently seeking volunteers who would like to be actively involved on the PTA Board next school year. We need your help so we can continue to offer the many rich experiences that have been such an integral part of our Chets Creek culture. We are seeking members who would like to help on the Volunteer Committee, assist with our Membership drive at the beginning of the year, lend a hand with our Corporate Contributions Box Top drives, support initiatives with Business Partners, and provide support for our Programs including our Fall Carnival event. If you are interested in participating in any of these roles on our PTA next year, please contact Suzanne Shall at 992-6390 ext 119 or We appreciate your commitment to assisting with these vital roles and look forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Meeting

March 1, 2010


Approval of Minutes

In February, we celebrated the birthdays of Board members Maria Graham and Patricia Wallace, and sent birthday cards to CCE teachers, Dee Dee Tamburrino, Heather Wickert, Nikki Hall, dayle timmons, Carrie McLeod, Melanie Holtsman, and Shea Beaudreau. In March, we will recognize the birthdays of teachers, Beth Roberts and Lauren Werch, and Dining Room manager Connie Collins.

Financial Report
Our balance is currently at $17,327.23. We received a $215 check for February's Chick-fil-A Spirit Night and a check for ink cartridges of about $32. The Valentine's dance brought in $3000 with an outgo of $1300. This was an $800 positive difference from what was included on the budget sheet, currently leaving us at a $2700 deficit for what we'd like to carry over in summer contingency.

Principal’s Report
FCAT week is fast approaching and our third, fourth, and fifth graders are prepared for success. A special thanks not only our intermediate families that have donated items to support classrooms, but also to our K, 1st, and 2nd grade parents who have donated FCAT treats as their classes have adopted intermediate classrooms. These special supports are of great significance to the school community.

Principal Phillips will be working on the CCE budget around March 15th. The district is currently projecting a $100 million deficit. The federal stimulus dollars significantly helped last year and will assist some this year, however we are being urged to attend the Superintendent's Community Meetings to learn more about our current and upcoming financial situation. And, we are invited to the Rally in Tally on March 25th to show our support of public school education funding on the steps of the Capitol. We don't yet know how the Chets' budget will look for the upcoming year.

The School Advisory Council is set to meet at 6:30 pm and will be involved in this year's Stakeholders' Assessment of the School Improvement Plan. All PTA members are invited to attend.

Mrs. Phillips is grateful for all the support that everyone has shown her over the past few months.


Business Partnership Update (Karen)
The subcommittee to discuss business partnership opportunities is meeting tomorrow (3-2-10) from 3:45 pm to 4:45 pm in the administrative conference room. The committee is being chaired by teacher & Board member, Karen Morris. The committee intends on meeting several times and bringing a recommendation back to the Board for the 2010-2011 school year.

Fundraiser Possibilities
The fundraiser possibilities that were emailed have been compiled. The Board spent time discussing the following suggestions:

Build a Bear Gift Cards
We can pre-buy 100 $20 gift cards from Laquetta at Avenue’s Build a Bear. For every 100 cards, we earn 15% ($300).

Spaghetti Dinner
PTA prepares and serves a "free" spaghetti family dinner in the dining room with hopes of securing donations from families. Instead of paying for dinner, families make checks payable to Chets Creek as donations. Susan can make a plea presenting how desperate we are for funding and what we stand to lose next year. This plea can be clearly explained on the flyer prior to the dinner.

Rent a Teacher
If teachers are willing they can be rented out for a creative purpose. Teacher buy in is essential - Susan would have to recruit teachers to participate. Teachers can be auctioned and bid for including everything from a craft class after school (stamp cards or have art time with Jennifer), to a Saturday afternoon movie and lunch, to some physical fitness time after school one day... maybe a cooking class at a teacher's house and dinner.... I'm sure creative minds can come up with better ideas.

Parent’s night out
Board members and patrols would work it. Charge: $12 for first student, $10 for additional students. It would be a 2-hour service. Advanced reservation required. The children will be fed pizza and drinks. The patrols will supervise the activities that will be provided, such as crafts, movies, and relay races. We can put a limit on the amount and age of students that attend.

Birthday wishes on the marquee
$10 fee to have your child’s name on the marquee to wish them Happy Birthday! Have a limit of approx. 4 names on a first come first serve basis. We can have either a patrol or a board member/PTA member put the names on the board.

Karaoke night
We can charge a fee for those wishing to enter the contest, and another fee for the audience. Possibly even have a concession stand.

Chili/Hot Sauce/Spaghetti/Bar-b-q cook off
Again, have a "registration fee" for those willing to cook. Charge the tasters. Crown a winner.

People form teams and we have goofy events like the dizzy bat contest. I have plenty of game ideas if you're interested. There is NO cost to us. People can come up with team name, team shirts (home-made), and we'd be promoting exercise and community, all for bragging rights (maybe a word in The Connections of the CCE news).

B-day announcements on CCE news or in the Connection

Biggest Loser
People can pledge $1 for every lb you lose. Again, great way to promote health.

Hat day/Flip Flop day
Students must pay $1 to be allowed to wear whatever crazy thing you let them.

Walk A Day with PTA
I don't know how we would go about collecting money but I was thinking each family could pay a entry fee to walk and maybe we could get some of our business partners to set up booths. I have not really tried to work out any details because I don't know where to start.

Pennies for PTA
My friend read about this in Family Fun. Basically, we have a contest to see which classroom can raise the most pennies for our PTA. This idea seems simple to me. We would have prizes for the winning classroom(s) and the rest goes to PTA. I was thinking if we don't want to spend money on prizes, we could give the winners an extra long recess or a special day named after their class. I think the biggest thing is to get the kids(and parents) into the competitive spirit. I am sure there is an economics lesson in there somewhere. We could also start this one very soon, if it is approved. I know I don't have very many details to offer, I just wanted to let you know what I have.

Parking Pass

IF Chets has any problems, it's parking. I propose to raffle off a reserved parking spot. In order to draw more of a crowd, I think the parking spot should not be awarded for the year, but rather on a monthly, weekly, or event basis (ie: Pow-Wow, 1st grade sleep over, award ceremony, Family Nights, Valentine's Dance, etc). In addition, I believe selling raffle tickets for $1 (or no more than $5), would create more funds. Auctioning the parking may only deter people when the bidding becomes too high.

We decided that many of these fundraising ideas had promise, although the one we came back to most was for the Birthday announcements on the marquee. The process would be somewhat time consuming on a daily basis and no one, at this time, was willing to take that on. Pam is checking in to what other schools do to make it happen, and Lourdes is contacting sign stores to see if we could rent an electronic sign for ease in posting names. We will discuss their findings at our next meeting. We also discussed combining the Cook Off with a night event like Arts Extravaganza and will also discuss this option at our next meeting.

We are not too concerned with making up the $2700, at this point, because Sue W. has made an order sheet and we will be selling bag tags. The cost will be $5 per tag and we will make them here. We should be able to generate the additional dollars through this sale.

Mrs. Phillips mentioned that it is time for us to think outside the box for next year and prepare to do fundraising that is not catalog sales. The Board agreed that it is time to think about other ways to bring in money to fund the events/programs/academic support that we believe so strongly in. The Ways and Means committee will meet to discuss and provide recommendations to the Board.

Board Positions for 2010-2011
To look ahead and anticipate needs for the 2010-2011 school year, we passed around a sign in sheet that asked for your name, your current position, whether you were willing to serve in your Board role next school year, or whether you were seeking to serve in a new role. The needs will be anticipated and presented to the Board at the April meeting. We may need to recruit new members to help us fulfill the responsibilities of the Board.


BUD’s Club Movie Night
All families are cordially invited to bring their sleeping bags and pillows, and join the BUD's Club for their annual Movie Night this Friday, March 5th at 7 pm. The feature presentation is ICE AGE 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs. The cost is $1 for students and $2 for adults. The concession stand will be open and popcorn, candy, and drinks will be sold for $1. All children need to be accompanied by an adult. Order forms for the purchase of tickets were sent home Friday.

If any Board members are willing to volunteer, they can help with the concession stand. We also would like a Board member to run the PTA store for the event.

Letter to Parents
A letter has been drafted to send home to all CCE parents next Monday to inform them about the district's financial situation, invite them to the Superintendent's Community meetings, urge them to write letters to the Legislature to secure funding, participate in the Rally in Tally, and to keep them informed during the Legislative Session that begins today.

This is a draft of the content of the letter to be sent:

Duval County is facing a possible $125 million shortfall for the 2010-2011 school year. To
discuss our current and upcoming financial situation, available revenue and the district’s plans to meet its mission of providing all students with high quality educational opportunities, please join Superintendent Pratt Dannals at 6 pm at one of his community meetings.
Thursday, March 11 Sandalwood High School, 2750 John Prom Blvd, 32246
Tuesday, March 16 Peterson Academies of Technology, 7450 Wilson Blvd, 32210
Thursday, March 18 Ribault High School, 3701 Winton Dr., 32208
Tuesday, March 23 Mandarin High School, 4831 Greenland Rd., 32258

In addition, our Florida Legislature will convene for the 2010 Legislative Session on March 2, 2010. The regular nine week session is scheduled to end on April 30, 2010. Once again, the budget, or lack of it, is expected to dominate the conversation during this session. Education was funded on federal stimulus dollars last year and will continue to be funded by the same source this year. However, as this program sunsets in one year, it is critical that the legislature makes provisions for a permanent and stable funding source for the future needs of education. We need your help to make it happen.

The Legislature must find a way to generate new revenues, to fund education and other children’s services. This will be our message throughout session and we hope you will join us, in person, as we Rally In Tally, on March 25th, to bring this home to our legislators. For more information go to You may also meet directly with your Legislator at his/her local office. Information regarding this may be found at under “Meeting with Legislators.”

If you are unable to Rally with us, we need you to write a letter or an email to urge the Legislature to find a new way to generate revenues. We need you to ask the Legislature to provide flexibility on the class size amendment, textbooks, and for them to permit additional shifting of Capital Millage to Operating Revenue. We the Legislature to increase public education funding, and we need them to prioritize existing resources including reprioritizing the state budget and capping growth of Corporate or McKay Vouchers.
Letters can be written to our delegate, Representative Ronald (Doc) Renuart, and sent to 402 South Monroe Street, 317 House Office Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300, or you can send an email to Representative Renuart at

There is a grassroots non partisan advocacy effort,, that is focused on getting the Florida Legislature to provide funding for a high quality public education.
Save Duval Schools is advocating for a dedicated, sustainable source of funding for public education and local control over how dollars are spent. They are calling for lawmakers to live up to the responsibility of our state constitution which states

Florida Constitution, Article 9: SECTION 1. Public education.
(a) The education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require.

Please visit the website to learn more about their efforts.

It is more critical than ever for us, as parents and community members, to stay informed. You can visit to get a list of bills that PTA is actively working on. The lists will be updated at the end of every week reflecting any action that was taken and new bills will be added as they are filed. If there is a PTA position corresponding to the bill, it will be shown under public comments.

Your voice is the most important one and we hear this constantly as we meet with policy makers. They want to hear from you. Thank you, in advance, for your advocacy efforts, to help your child, and all Florida’s children, to receive a high quality education.

If you have any changes to the content or would like to add something in addition to what is listed, please let Suzanne know.

For the Good of the Order
The Sunshine Math luncheon is going to be held this Friday, March 5th under the pavilion. If you are able to volunteer, please let Deb know. She is seeking additional assistance from 11:00-12:30 pm.

Meeting Adjourned

3-02-10 Night Spanish Parent Night
3-03-10 Early Release
3-05-10 BUDs Club Movie Night
3-08-10 Chick-fil-A Family Night
3-09-10 FCAT Begins
3-26-10 Family Bingo Night
3-27-10 PTA Campus Clean Up
3-29-10 3rd Grade Period Begins
4-01-10 Planning Day
4-02-10 Spring Holiday Begins

Monday, March 1, 2010

BUD's Club Movie Night

Bring your sleeping bags and pillows, and join the Chets Creek BUD's Club for this year's Movie Night on Friday, March 5th, 2010. The feature presentation is ICE AGE 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Doors will open at 7 pm. Flyers were sent home with children on Friday, February 26th for the purchase of tickets. Tickest cost $1 for students and $2 for adults. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Order forms with payment can be sent in an envelope marked Movie Night to your child's teacher.

The concession stand will be open for business. Candy, popcorn, and drinks will be sold for $1. We hope you join us for this fun filled family event.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine's Dance

The pink, red, and white balloons bejeweled the ceiling, the lights were dimmed, and the beat of the music had you tapping your foot. You guess it! The annual Chets Creek Valentine's Dance was ready to get in full swing!

This year nearly 1,000 young students and their parents bought pre-sale tickets. Students, some adorned in dress slacks and bowties and others in stunning dresses, crowded to the doors of the dining hall turned dance floor to dance the night away.

Due to its popularity, two dances were offered, one from 6:00 – 7:30 pm and a second from 8:00 – 9:30 pm. A professional DJ provided the entertainment, and PTA sold concessions including pizza, drinks, and candy. The CCE PTA store was open for business. However, the greatest hit was the sale of roses.

Though the dances were packed, the students didn't seem to mind. Like I was, the chaperoning parents seemed equally as impressed with the young dancing talent. They snapped pictures and captured priceless video. They visited, on the sidelines, with other parents captivated by the entertainment.

The entire evening from ticket sales to tear down was organized by Programs Chair, Pam Witt. The evening was a grand success thanks to her leadership, and I want to extend a special thank you, too, to all the volunteers who pitched in. Their service helped make this a memorable experience for all of our young dancers. I'm sure our students had a very happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February Meeting

February 1, 2010

Approval of Minutes

Julie sent out thank you notes to Mr. Graham for gathering boxes for our Giving Tree project and to Target for sending gift cards to help those effected by it the Links fire. Birthday cards were sent to Angela, Maria, and Patricia, and staff birthdays were celebrated. Thank you notes will be sent for the January Family Night Dinner.

Financial Report
We went over each line item on the budget to report what has been spent and what has not. We need to raise about $3,500 to have the funds to support the items we've agreed to pay for this school year, and to have $11,000 in summer contingency. Fundraising will occur with hotdogs at the Bingo Night and pizza at BUD's Movie Night. Other fundraisers will be considered at the March Board Meeting. If sufficient funds are not raised, fewer dollars will be allocated in Summer Contingency, something we hope to avoid.

Principal’s Report
Susan shared the calendar dates (listed under Dates to Remember), and spoke about the process for doing CCE's mid year School Improvement Plan update and getting started on the budget process for next school year.

January Family Night

Next Year’s Family Nights: Business Partnerships
Many local businesses have been in contact with us about building partnerships similar to what we've established with Chick-Fil-A. As reported last month, most of their requests have come in the form of Spirit Nights to be conducted at their establishments. A sub committee will meet to discuss these Spirit Nights, however we also discussed the idea of having our Business Partner liaison create an application form for our Family Night Dinners. The businesses would have the opportunity to submit the application to be considered to host, on our campus, a family night dinner. All applications would be considered based on price point and offerings, and we would book next year's Family Night Dinners with these businesses. This would give local businesses the opportunity to begin their partnership with us, and would then leave the door open for other opportunities.

A sub committee to discuss other Business Partner opportunities will convene in April and present to the Board in May. Committee members include Pam, Julie, Jackie, Lisa M, Romy, and PTA Faculty Representatives. If you would like to participate, please let Suzanne know.

Volunteer Orientation –March 1st at 6:30 pm

Due to demand, an additional Volunteer Orientation has been added to the calendar for March 1st at 6:30.

Board Positions for 2010-2011
Board Position Descriptions were handed out. Board Members were asked to read the descriptions and think about the role they would like to hold in the 2010-2011 school year. At our March 1st meeting, we will let the Board know whether or not we want to continue in the role we are currently serving in or not. This way, we will know whether we should be actively recruiting for additional assistance.

Corporate Contributions Contests
Thanks to the hard work of Romy and Maria for running our Corporate Contribution Contest by grade levels this year, in December, we received checks from box tops for $1,942.00, Publix Rewards for $116.00, ink/cell phone returns for $899.00, and Tyson's for $189.36. We've also accumulated points from Campbell's of 15,587 points, and from Coke Rewards of 19,962 points. The Board decided to spend the points by having the Music, PE, and Character Education teachers look through the catalog and submit their requests. Because so many students have asked, Maria & Romy have decided to hold one more contest this year. The contest will be held the week of April 12th for K-5, and the winner will be announced based on a ratio of points tallied for each student in the homeroom.

The fourth and fifth grade contests were a grand success and over 7 boxes full of labels were mailed. Ms. Rice's class took gold in fourth grade and Mrs. Shannon's class in fifth grade.

Programs: Valentine’s Dance
Fitting this year’s theme, Orchestrating a Symphony of Student Success, we've asked the students to come enjoy the music with their friends during Chets Creeks’ Valentine dance on Friday, February 12th! Due to its popularity, PTA will host two dances that evening. Students can choose to come from 6:00 – 7:30pm OR 8:00 – 9:30pm. A professional DJ will be at both dances! PTA will sell pizza, drinks, candy and flowers!

Please remember, all students must be accompanied by an adult. The dance has a $3.00 charge for all students coming to the dance. Parents are free, but must have a ticket. No child will be admitted without an adult and no adult will be admitted without a child. Tickets may only be purchased in advance. To order tickets, students needed to return a form that was sent home last Monday indicating their time preference. There will be 350 tickets per dance sold.

If you have any questions, please contact Pam Witt @ 821-8172. Order forms are due by February 8th. Tickets will be sent home with children by Thursday, February 11th.

Ways and Means: Fundraiser
PTA is assisting with the Cookie Dough fundraiser for patrols currently being held. Angela requested help on the day of delivery and will let the Board know when that will be.

As we reviewed the Financial Report, we were reminded that we have a $3,500 gap between the funds we have earmarked for items and the amount we took in. We expected our Sally Foster fundraiser to take in about $25,000 based on historical data, but this year we only took in $11,000. The school picked up the Academic Support items and we took that off the budget. After readjusting, we still have the $3,500 gap. The Board discussed many fundraisers ideas, some were typical but others were way outside the box. Therefore, we decided to sell Orange Tree hotdogs at our Bingo night and Pizza at our BUD's Club Movie Night. We'll see how much money that brings in. In addition, each member was invited to email Suzanne their other ideas. Suzanne will put them all in one document and add it to the March 1st agenda where all the ideas will be discussed. If you have an idea, please get it to her by February 16. Susan will be checking on the legalities of each idea before the next meeting.

If you would like to volunteer to assist with the Valentine's Dance please let Lourdes, Deb, or Kathi know. We need at least three Board members at each dance and other chaperones are welcome to help with the dance.

2-03-10 Early Release
2-08-10 Chick-fil-A Night --Sponsored by Grade 3
2-09-10 Florida Writes
2-12-10 Valentine’s Dance
2-15-10 Presidents’ Day-No School
2-17-10 Early Release
2-26-10 FCAT Formal 5 -- 196 Level 5 students have been invited.
2-27-10 Campus Clean Up
3-01-10 PTA Board Meeting & Volunteer Orientation

Sunday, January 31, 2010

January Family Night

Each month, Chets Creek Elementary hosts a Family Night. This month's Family Night began with a dinner hosted by PTA including Moore's BBQ Pork or Chicken Sandwiches. The dinners are advertised to each CCE family in a flyer about two weeks before the event in order for tickets to be sold. Believe it or not, we pre-sold approximately 300 tickets and had each person served in a record 25 minutes! These Family Night dinners are not held as a fundraiser, rather just as a convenience for families, so we pre-sell tickets according to the cost of each dinner. This month's dinner met rave reviews!

After the dinner, our first grade parents and students met outside under the stars for our First Sleepover Under the Stars Movie Night. With goodie bags dispersed, blankets spread, coats pulled tight, and the big screen blown up, the movie began and held a captive audience. In the background, an Astronomy Club had a huge telescope set up for little ones to get a closer look at our cratered moon. I'm not sure who enjoyed this treat more, the children or the adults!

Our third grade parents convened in the Media Center to learn more about our upcoming state standardized testing for an FCAT Information Night. The third grade parents learned about the types of reading questions their children would encounter, the school preparation that was occurring to get the students ready, and they gave suggestions on what the parents could do to ensure students' success. The math team offered several types of problems to show parents what the students would encounter, how students are taught to think through the problems, and invited parents to watch the upcoming homework sheets which would concentrate on the FCAT question stems and concepts.

Overall, like always, the evening was a grand success and a great way to bring families together. We thank everyone who showed up to help set up, serve, organize, and clean up. And, a special round of applause to our fearless Family Night leader, Lori Haas.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chets Creek Family Night

On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, PTA invites you to join us for family night! We’ll enjoy an old fashioned smoked barbeque dinner; delicious comfort food for a cold winter night. After dinner, join your child’s first grade class for Sleepover Under the Stars OR your child’s third grade class for FCAT Information Night.

Dinner will be served from 6:00 -7:00 p.m. Dinner will include a large BBQ sandwich (your choice of BBQ pulled pork or BBQ pulled/boneless chicken), molasses BBQ baked beans, home-style mac & cheese, dessert and drink.

The cost is $6.00 per adult and $4.00 per child. You must preorder your tickets for either the BBQ PORK dinner or the BBQ CHICKEN dinner.

Order forms were sent home on Monday, January 11, 2010 with the Chets Creek Connection. Orders are due back to your child's teacher in a sealed envelope marked "Family Night Dinner" by Friday, January 22, 2010. Checks can be made payable to Chets Creek PTA. (Tickets will not be sold at the door so make sure you get your pre-sale tickets by January 22nd.) Tickets will be sent home by Monday, January 25th.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January Meeting

I know you won't believe it, unless you were there, but our January Meeting was called to order at 5 pm and we were done before 6 pm!

Approval of Minutes
Julie shared birthday wishes and then mentioned that PTA received many thank you cards from appreciative faculty members for their Starbucks gift cards.

Old Business:

Season of Giving Project
To read more see

New Business:

January Family Night
The Family Night dinner sponsored by Moore's Catering will be held on the evening of January 26, 2010. Following dinner, Grade 1 parents and students are invited to join their classrooms for Sleepover Under the Stars, and Third Grade parents are invited to an FCAT information session being held by the Third Grade teachers. We need volunteers to help set up and serve dinner in the dining room.

Sunshine Math Luncheon
Any student completing 8 of the Sunshine Math sheets so far this year are invited to a celebration luncheon on Jan 14th or Jan 15th. Volunteers are needed at 11:20 on Jan 14 and 12:00 on Jan 15 to assist with the celebration. If you are able to volunteer, please let Deb, Lourdes, or Kathi know. Thanks!

Volunteer Orientation
Our next Volunteer Orientation is scheduled for January 12th at 10 am. Any parent or community member wishing to volunteer in classrooms, eat lunch with their children, or attend a field trip, must go through Volunteer Orientation to receive a volunteer badge. 5 PTA volunteers are needed to assist with the Orientation.

Business Partnerships
We are fortunate to have over 15 local businesses who have contacted us within the past several months that are seeking to partner with the school. Melissa Kicklighter has been in contact with the businesses and has set up the partnerships. We are continuing to collect information from each of the businesses about what they would like to offer to the school, and what we can offer them. Most of them would like to hold some kind of Spirit Night with some of the proceeds being donated back to Chets. Currently, the Board and the school agree that we can't fit any other dates on the calendar for this year, because we made previous commitments. However, the Board continues to look at options for next year and ways to honor each of the partnerships. We agreed at the meeting to form a committee with a few members from PTA Board and a few teachers from PIC to explore all options, because so many of the businesses would like to see teachers at the events. The subcommittee will make a recommendation to the Board at the May meeting so we can contact each of the businesses with next year's plan.

Executive Committee Reports

Theresa mentioned holding a Blood Drive and sought Board recommendations for a date to host the drive. We considered doing it in conjunction with our January Family Night but worried that parents would not be able to donate because they would have their children with them. If you have a suggestion on a date that would draw in a crowd, please let us know.

Please let Pam know if you have a recommendation for a DJ for the Valentine's Dance which is being held on February 12th. She will be contacting DJ's soon to book the music, and will begin arranging the specifics for the dance.

Ways and Means
PTA to assist the Safety Patrols will be selling Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough from February 8-22. Delivery of the Cookie Dough will be the morning of March 22. The dough is delivered by flavor and volunteers are needed to then fill the orders. Pick up will likely be from 2 pm to 8 pm to accommodate all parents. If dough is not picked up by 7 pm, Angela will begin calling to remind families.

Standing Committee Reports

Needed for Volunteer Orientation (5), Sunshine Math Luncheon (5 each day), January Family Night.

School Grounds Beautification
Next beautification day will be held on January 30. If Brownie Troops seek to help, please let Dianne know so she can buy flowers and be prepared. Individuals are also always welcome to help with the clean up.

Corporate Contributions
Maria and Romy are currently holding the Grade 4 and Grade 5 CC Contest. They are also considering holding a whole school contest before the February 28th cut off date.

The check from Box Tops arrived from the October deadline and was a whopping $1,942.00!! :)

If you wish to have items added to the newsletter, please let Lisa Durkin know, because she will be updating the quarterly newsletter.

Dates to Remember:
1-12-10 Volunteer Orientation
1-18-10 Martin Luther King holiday
1-22-10 Teacher Planning Day
1-26-10 Family Night
1-30-10 Campus Clean Up
2-01-10 PTA Board Meeting
2-09-10 FCAT Florida Writes
2-12-10 Valentine's Dance

Season of Giving Projects

One of our schools expected Learner Outcomes for students is that they learn to become Community Contributors. In the past, it has been tradition for the school, in conjunction with PTA, to hold a Holiday Auction. Classes created a holiday decoration that was silently auctioned off with the proceeds given back to the classroom. However, in this time of hardship for so many, we decided to give back to others during this year's holiday season. We offered a new twist on our old classic. Students discussed then chose how they were going to participate in our new program the "Season of Giving Project."

Some classes chose to participate in the Holiday Auction but instead of proceeds going back to the classroom, the classrooms instead donated their proceeds to a charitable cause. Other classes elected to complete a community service project (example, making cards for the troops, donating time, etc...) or participated in a drive to collect items to donate (example, food, clothing, pet supplies, toys, etc...). As always, participation was optional, but most classrooms joined us in giving back to their community! And, this year's Season of Giving Projects were hugely successful! Thank you to every stakeholder that lovingly donated and taught students to become community contributors!