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 shalls@duvalschools.org.

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