Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Meeting Minutes ~ January PTA Meeting

Below are the minutes from the PTA meeting held on January 20th. 

As a reminder, everyone is invited to attend PTA meetings! It's a great way to hear from Principal Cassidy and also to learn about upcoming PTA events. We hope to see you at our next meeting on Tuesday, February 17th. We meet in the Media Center at 6:30pm.

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board
Meeting Minutes

January 20, 2015


Daniel MacLagan, Jennifer Cassidy, Becky Anderson, Shari Perkins, Tia MacLagan, Paige Janco, Leslie Greindl, Cheryl Maloch, Andrea Grieco


EJ Media Center
Next meeting:
February 10th, 2015, EJ Media Center

Call to Order – Dan MacLagan, 6:35pm

Old Business

·         Last Meeting’s Minutes Approved
·         Teacher Appreciation Breakfast was good, lots of food provided for the teachers as they returned to school for the teacher workday after Winter Break.  Thank you to Shari Perkins and Lisa Newara for co-chairing and stepping in at the last minute!

Principal’s Address – Jennifer Cassidy

·         Ms. Cassidy gave a shout out to Lisa Stamey.  With Lisa’s help, the school was able to obtain an $8300 grant from the Thurber Family Foundation that will be used to fund the Destination Imagination after school program for the rest of the year. 
o    Mr. James will be heading up the Destination Imagination program.
·         The school will be hosting a parent information session on the Georgia Milestones Assessment.  She would like all 3rd, 4th and 5th grade parents to attend, but it would be beneficial for all parents, even if your student will not be taking the Georgia Milestones this year.
o    They released the Assessment Guide in December so they can share factual info with parents now.
o    She would like the PTAs help in spreading the word:
§  Georgia Milestones: Parent Workshop
In April 2015, GA Milestones will replace the CRCT for Grades 3-5. All parents K-5 are invited to join us for a parent workshop.
There will be two identical sessions: Thursday, February 12 at 6:30-7:30 and Wednesday, February 18 at 8:00-9am. Both sessions will be held in the Media Center and translation will be available.
Topics will include: general testing information, new ways students will respond in writing: extended and constructed responses, sample test questions for grades 3- 5, strategies for best supporting your child with the increased testing expectations, connection between curriculum and testing.
·         In December the state released the new CCRPI results.
o    EJ’s overall score went down 1.7 points.
o    Content mastery levels stayed about the same.
o    There was a bigger drop in the ELL areas.
o    Across the board, no significant declines.
o    Ms. Cassidy would be happy to discuss the results in more detail with parents, but last year when she had a parent meeting about the CCRPI results, only one parent attended.  She asked for feedback on whether we thought there was a need for a meeting this year.
§  Several people mentioned that they were more interested in their children’s individual results than in this kind of statistic.
§  This led to a discussion on Progress Reports, Report Cards, Teacher Communication, etc…
·         Ms. Cassidy said her expectation is that teachers should be sending out something (e-mail or paper) at least once a month about what is coming up.
·         The Report Cards and Progress Reports are done on a schedule.
·         Outside of that, the amount of communication with the teachers is different for each student.
·         Home Access Center was also mentioned as a way of keeping up with your student’s results on a timely basis.  Ms. Cassidy said that the teachers should be entering scores within 5 to 10 days of an assignment.

Budget/Annual Fund Update
·         Tia stated that she has made another deposit for the Annual Fund, but did not have the amount available.

New Business
·         Open Board Positions – two Vice Presidents have had to resign from their roles recently, and need to be replaced. 
o    VP of Communications
o    VP of Fundraising
o    Becky has a meeting scheduled with Tara Barooah this week to come up with job descriptions for this and a few other open positions. (Yearbook and Spring Carnival Co-Chair.)
o    Ms. Cassidy offered to help by sending out a school wide e-blast when we have information so that it goes to all families, not just those in the PTA.
o    Dan and Shannol will continue to try and recruit!
·         Bingo Night – Friday 2/6
o    Ms. Cassidy let us know that we are good for the date even though it is a Friday.  Fun Time Live will be cancelled that night.
o    The letter to the GBI to get the Bingo license has been sent. (Lisa Stamey)
o    Katie is working on the prizes.
·         Fun Time Live
o    Flyers will be sent soon,
o    Just need to show up.
o    Question was then brought up about capacity, and whether they would be staffed enough to handle any amount of students, or if at a certain amount, some would be turned away because of no pre-registering system.  It seems that they have planned for a large number of attendees so this doesn’t look like it will be a problem.
·         Spirit Night
o    Next Spirit Night is Feb 11th at Sky Zone
·         Directory
o    Shannol has gotten the data file from Dora.  Is working on getting it into PTAvenue and getting an electronic copy.
·         Yearbook
o    Need Chair
o    Dan was asked if he could get with Shannol about creating instructions on how to upload photos to Picaboo.  Many teachers and event chairs have photos that need to be uploaded and don’t want to wait until last minute.
·         Spirit Wear
o    Need Chair
o    Shannol would like to see a school design competition next year/have student designs available.  It was asked if the art teacher could assist with this and Ms. Cassidy said that could be arranged.
·         Survey
o    Shannol and Dan would like to do a survey for the parents about the PTA to get their feedback.
·         Atlanta Hawks Fundraiser
o    Tia would like to head up a PTA fundraiser (GA PTA Family Fun Night at the Hawks)
o    Every ticket sold is $5 for our PTA
o    Game is March 27th
o    This was approved, she will work on flyer and get them out to students

Committee Reports

·         Membership
o    Lisa N is currently working on the envelope drive.
·         Volunteers
o    Tara will work on creating job descriptions for the most needed positions.
·         Science Expo
o    Kick-off was on 1/16.  Ms. Merkle and Ms. Williamson helped to create a video showing experiments for the kick-off to run during announcements. 
o    Forms are available in the office and online and are due 2/12.
o    We have applied for a grant to fund the Science Expo, but will not know if we have received it until late February.
·         Leslie asked if there was anything special we could do to say goodbye to the building.  There was a discussion about students using paint (making a mural) or markers during room parties. Ms. Cassidy was ok with this as long as building was being demolished.
·         Reading for Education – was very successful.  The goal was 130, and they received 155 booklets back.  Several families sent money in with a note declining participating. Teachers received the prizes for their classrooms today. Ms. Cassidy noted that Dan and Shannol did a good job with the communication for the program.
·         Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up Feb 17-20.  Shari Perkins and Jodi Kaplan are co-chairing.  Someone mentioned that Katie had ideas for the breakfast for this one, so they should be in contact with her.
·         Tia mentioned that she had received a letter from SunTrust regarding fees, including a per transfer fee ($14) that would make our PayPal transfers unaffordable.  She contacted the manager and the fees should be waived. It may have been sent to us (as a non-profit) by mistake. She will need to watch to make sure they don’t charge us.

Meeting Adjourned by Dan MacLagan at 8:20pm

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Science Expo ~ Entry Packet Due Next Week!

Have a budding scientist in your house? Then your student is probably interested in signing up for the EJE Science Expo!

Anyone who would like to participate needs to complete an entry packet by Thursday, February 12th. Packets can be picked up in the front office or are accessible on the EJE website. (Spanish version)

Need help coming up with an idea for the expo? Head to the Media Center and check out the Science Expo Experimentation Investigation Station. The entry packet also contains a list of websites which are helpful when coming up with an idea for the expo.

The Science Expo will be held on Thursday, March 12th at 6pm.

Friday, January 30, 2015

February Happenings!

February is a very busy month for the PTA!

Bingo Night is coming on Friday, February 6th! Bingo Night is always well attended and everyone has a blast. Mark your calendar for next Friday night at 6pm. More details to come!

The PTA will meet in the Media Center on February 10th CORRECTED: February 17th at 6:30pm.

It's also time for Spirit Night at Sky Zone again! This month's spirit night will be held on Wednesday, February 11th from 4pm-8pm. 

February is also when we take time to appreciate our hardworking teachers. Teacher Appreciation Week will be held February 17th - 20th. Don't worry...you won't have to take over a classroom for your child's favorite teacher. But you can stand outside and help with carpool duty! Check out the volunteer opportunities on PT Avenue. Enter organization code 'ejepta' to get started.

Esther Jackson is also the host of Fun Time Live North Fulton. The Grand Launch was held on Friday, January 23rd. Fun Time Live will host a parent's night out every Friday night from 7pm-10:30pm. The only exceptions will be when there is a school event (like Bingo Night) held on the same night. This event is for grades K-5th and is open to everyone (not just EJE students).

These are just some of the events going on in February. Like our Facebook page to stay in the know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

PTA Meeting Minutes

Below are the PTA Meeting Minutes from the December meeting held on Tuesday, December 16th.

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board
Meeting Minutes

December 16, 2014


Daniel MacLagan, Shannol Grant, Jennifer Cassidy, Becky Anderson, Lisa Newara, Paige Janco, Cheryl Maloch, Lisa Stamey


EJ Media Center
Next meeting:
January 20, 2015, EJ Media Center

Call to Order – Dan MacLagan, 6:30pm

Old Business

·         Grandparent’s Day – Lisa Stamey
o    Lisa stated that Grandparent’s Day went fine, other than a miscommunication around lunch times. 
·         Multicultural Night - Dan
o    Multicultural Night was well attended (estimated 200 people)
o    The food lines were very long, up to 45 minutes to get food
o    The staff eventually ended up just letting people in without paying due to long lines
o    Less donations than in previous years
o    Ideas were brainstormed on how to prevent this next year.
§  Go back to a larger space
§  Invite business partners to attend, provide food. (Dan made a note to talk to whoever is VP of Fundraising next year about this.)
§  More advertising around the fact that if you bring food, you get free meals.

Principal’s Address – Jennifer Cassidy

·         Ms. Cassidy wanted to let everyone know that there was no hard feelings around the Holiday Shop pocket knife incident.
·         The communication that went out was written/planned with help from the district.
·         They have received 3 out of 4.
·         Parents were supportive and responsible.

New Business

·         Holiday Shop – Lisa
o    Brought in about $3000, of that about $200 was profit. 
o    Successful, but not as a fund raiser, as a service to the students
o    Had some donations of gift wrap
o    Have made notes about the pocket knife incident to avoid a situation like this in the future.
·         Budget was approved
·         Have deposited between $200 and $300 since the secondary Annual Fund push began.  (Need more of an update from Tia.)
·         Back to School from Winter Break Teacher Breakfast will be on 1/5.  This will be a grab and go style – bagels, yogurts, etc…  Paige will be out of town, so need someone to head up.
·         SkyZone Spirit Night is 12/18.
·         Bingo Night is 2/6.  Ms. Cassidy reminded us that we need to get permit ASAP.  Co-Chair is Rosalva Hernandez.
·         Monterrey’s Spirit Night had low turn out.
·         Spirit Wear
o    Shannol printed posters and they are up now.
o    Shannol mentioned that we should get students involved in the designs next year.
·         Fun Time Live
o    Ready to go in January
o    Flyers will be coming soon and will go to other schools as well.
o    Will occur every Friday night during school year. (Unless there is a conflicting school event.)
o    Activities are geared to different age levels
o    % of profits go to the PTA
o    There is a Bingo Night conflict
·         Class Winter Parties are all scheduled and happening this week.
·         Reading for Education Fundraiser
o    School will get packets on 1/7
o    Fundraiser active on 1/12
o    Classrooms will have DVD’s to watch
o    Program has students fill out postcards with family member’s addresses to send them brochures for catalog sales.  Every postcard filled out is $ for the PTA.
·         Yearbook – we still don’t have a yearbook chair.  Need one ASAP.  Tara needs to put out a blurb with an eblast for a volunteer.
·         Directory – Shannol to talk with Dora about data asap.

Committee Reports

·         Membership – Lisa Newara will work on envelope drive in Jan/Feb.
·         STEM Day
o    Teacher’s consensus was that the Science demonstration (Dr. Watt – Big Thinkers) was a bit harsh, so not to use again.
o    Class projects worked out well and students had a great day.
o    Parents would have liked more info about how they could participate.
o    Next year let’s try to get teachers a budget from the PTA well in advance so they can better plan lessons.
·         Book Fair
o    Went well
o    Question was asked if the Teacher Wish List for Books was done this year because no one noticed it.  If it was, should be better advertised.
·         EJ Foundation
o    Needs a leader
·         Science Expo
o    Kick-Off is 1/16
o    Co-Chairs are Becky Anderson and Monica Hernandez

Meeting Adjourned by Dan MacLagan at 8:30pm

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Spirit Night at Monterrey ~ Tuesday, Dec 9th

Join us for Spirit Night at Monterrey Mexican Restaurant! Monterrey is conveniently located at 2300 Holcomb Bridge Rd (next to Kroger). 

Come anytime between 4pm - 9pm!

Grab a table and stay for dinner or order take out...either way, tell your server that you are there for Esther Jackson!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Holiday Shop ~ Dec 10th - 12th

Although it's hard to believe that it's December, it's time to start that holiday shopping! The PTA always has fun setting up the holiday store for the students so that they can buy gifts for family and friends.

EJE PTA’s annual Holiday Shop is coming to town! 

It’s a fun shop where students will be able to get into the holiday spirit by finding gifts for the entire family priced at $0.25-$1 each. The shop will be open Wed-Fri (Dec. 10-12), 7:15am-3pm.

If you would like to join in the fun of this event, you can sign up on PTAvenue.com, organization code: EJEPTA. If you can’t make it in to the shop, our wrapping elves can make good use of your extra wrapping supplies. We are looking for gift wrap, gift tags, gift bags of all sizes, tape, tissue paper, and gift bows. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Grandparents/Loved Ones Luncheon

Dear EJ Families,

This Friday we will celebrate our annual Grandparents' Day. Grandparents and other family members are invited to join us for lunch with your child. Adult meals can be purchased for $3.25. The cafeteria is only able to accept cash or checks. The menu will include all the traditional Thanksgiving meal dishes, except for the turkey. Due to a nationwide turkey shortage with our vendors, we will instead enjoy southern-inspired chicken dishes for our meal. Our school nutrition staff always makes this a special event, so we know it will be delicious!

Our classes will be on a modified lunch schedule on November 21. Please see the chart below to find the lunch time for your child's homeroom. After lunch, PTA volunteers will be taking family photos in the conference room. We also invite families to visit our school book fair in the media center before or after lunch. We look forward to welcoming families to this annual EJ tradition!

Jennifer Cassidy, Principal

Grandparent’s Day Lunch Schedule 2014 – 2015

10:15 – 10:45
Walker, M.
10:15 – 10:45

10:20 – 10:50
10:20 – 10:50
10:25 – 10:55
10:25 – 10:55
10:31 – 11:01

10:40 – 11:10
10:45 – 11:15
10:45 – 11:15
10:50 – 11:20
10:50 – 11:20
10:55 – 11:25

11:00 – 11:30
11:00 – 11:30
11:05 – 11:35
11:05 – 11:35
11:10 – 11:40

11:20 – 11:50
11:20 – 11:50
11:25 – 11:55
11:25 – 11:55

11:30 – 12:00
11:30 – 12:00
11:35 – 12:05
11:40 – 12:10
11:40 – 12:10

11:55 – 12:25
Walker, L.
11:55 – 12:25
12:00 – 12:30
12:00 – 12:30