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.