Monday, November 9, 2015

Spirit Wear available for a limited time

We have brand new spirit wear (and a new vendor)!

Orders for t-shirts and hoodies can be placed now using the following website:

Spirit Wear website

You can also fill out the order form sent home with your child. Paper orders are due back to the school no later than Wednesday, November 18th. Online orders can be placed up until November 24th. This will ensure delivery in time for Christmas.

Youth t-shirts (Carolina Blue or Gray): Starting at $11
Adult t-shirts (Carolina Blue or Gray): Starting at $15
Pullover hoodies (gray only): Starting at $28

If you would like for your child to receive their spirit wear as a gift, please mark the gift option when ordering. Your child's spirit wear will then by wrapped and delivered to them in their classroom!

Friday, October 2, 2015

September PTA Meeting Minutes

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board Meeting Minutes

September 15, 2015


Dan MacLagan, Jodi Kaplan, Tara Barooah, Paige Janco, Leslie Greindl, Becky Anderson, Shari Perkins, Valerie Saeed, Karen Weatherspoon, Ginny Lim


Esther Jackson Cafeteria
Next meeting:
October 20th, 7:45am, Esther Jackson, Room TBD
Meeting called to order by Dan MacLagan at 6:35pm

Principal Update – Dan
·         Ms. Cassidy is unable to be here tonight due to an emergency, but she gave a few updates:
o    They have received the funding for FLIP instructor and filled position.
o    The foundation is in for new building.

Old Business
·         Donuts for Dads (Tara) – Had about 200 Dads/Important People attend.  They exceeded the number of volunteers needed - thank you!
·         Back to School Bash (Tara) – She has created notes with planning thoughts and updates that can be used for next year’s event.  Taking in the schedule changes, the building layout and such it should be a very similar set-up.
o    There was a ribbon cutting for the new building with the mayor and leaders from Fulton County Schools on the same day that we did not know about ahead of time.
·         Spirit Nights
o    Sky Zone – 1st Spirit Night had 35 people.  The class with the most participants won a popsicle party.  In this case, there was a tie, so two classes won. 
o    The next one is Thursday the 17th and another popsicle party will be awarded. There will be a table with sign in sheets.
o    Sky Zone’s goal is to have at least 50 participants from a school at a Spirit Night.  We will be holding Sky Zone Spirit nights less frequently in the future (not monthly.)
o    A discussion was held on ways to advertise Spirit Nights in the Martin’s Landing neighborhood since the school is not available. Ginny Lim suggested getting in touch with Lisa DeCarbo and providing poster sized sign boards to put in the permanent signs.
o    Tara announced that Debbra Sparks has agreed to be the Spirit Night Chairperson.

New Business    
·         Dan announced that the next PTA Meeting will be on October 20th at 7:45am. This will be the first morning meeting in an effort to see if some people who can’t come at night may be able to attend in the mornings. Dan will find a room to hold the meeting in since the cafeteria will not be available.
·         Science Expo – Tara announced that Christine Amering has agreed to chair the Science Expo.  Becky has spoken with her and passed along the Science Expo information and files.
·         Family Movie Night/Picnic – Dan let us know that because of a scheduling conflict with the vendor, we can’t hold the event as planned.  It is currently postponed and they are looking into alternate options.
·         Open Positions – There are several Executive Board positions open as well as various chairperson positions.  Two members of the Executive Board are moving and one position was not filled from last year. Dan will be sending out information about the Executive Board positions to the school. If you know anyone who may be interested, please let him know.
o    VP of Fundraising
o    VP of Family Relations
o    Secretary
·         Leslie asked about who gets the e-mails with meeting minutes and communications from the PTA, such as volunteer requests.  E-mails are sent through PT-Avenue, which holds the membership database. Tara answered that the volunteer requests go to all the members. Becky said the meeting minutes only go to the leadership, (Exec Board and Chairs) and Dan said most of the other e-mails go to all the members.  We do not e-mail the entire school unless it comes from Ms. Cassidy.  A suggestion was made to e-mail the minutes to the entire PTA instead of just posting on the PTA blog.  This needs to be considered by the Exec Board and decided on, pros and cons. Pros being that more people might see the minutes and be in the know.  Cons could be that if someone didn’t want them and chose to unsubscribe or mark as spam, they wouldn’t get the volunteer requests or other important messages.
·         Room Parents – Shari Perkins
o    Packets to the Room Parents will go out next week.
o    3 classes are not covered.
·         Leslie asked what we were doing for the fund raiser. A discussion was held on fund raising but no concrete plans were set.
·         Membership Update
o    Membership was at 178 after curriculum night.
·         Volunteer Update
o    75% covered for Donuts for Dads Setup
o    100%+ covered for Donuts for Dads Event
o    66% covered for Vision and Hearing
o    Helen Loiacono is interested in being our Business Partner Chair, but she would like more into.  Dan and Jodi need to speak to her.
o    Tracy Ballot has agreed to take on the Grant’s Committee Chair in place of Becky who is leaving.
·         Treasurer
o    Several people mentioned that they had checks they had paid to the PTA that haven’t been cashed and were wondering when they would be cashed.
o    The 2015-2016 Budget will be out soon for review.  Must be out for a month before voting on in November.
·         Becky suggested having a set of things that certain people, such as Treasurer, Volunteer or Membership chairs report on at each meeting.  For example, the Treasurer might give a report that has opening and closing account balances, what any deposits made were for, etc… Membership chair might give up to date membership totals for staff and family, awards status, etc…
·         The PTA had a cake Becky since this was her last meeting as a thank you.  Cake was served and enjoyed!

Meeting adjourned at 7:50 by Dan

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PTA Meeting Minutes ~ August Meeting

See below for meeting minutes from the meeting held on August 18th.

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board
Meeting Minutes (Pre Back to School Executive Board/Council Meeting)

August 18, 2015


Dan MacLagan, Jodi Kaplan, Jennifer Cassidy, Tara Barooah, Paige Janco, Helen Loiacono, Leslie Greindl, Lisa Newara, Nancy Sanabria,


Esther Jackson Cafeteria
Next meeting:
September 15th, 6:30, EJ Cafeteria

Meeting called to order by Dan MacLagan at 6:35pm

Old Business
·         Open House - Really good turn out.  Ms. Cassidy mentioned that it helped with families having paperwork filled out prior to the open house.  
·         Parent Breakfast - Very good turn out.  Jodi heard that many parents were happy because they could watch their kids get on the bus and then they (parents) could go back to bed.    

Principal Update – Jennifer Cassidy
·         Students are doing well.  By day three, it seemed that everyone was adjusting to being new bus riders. 
·         Construction team is doing a good job.  Really only landscaping left.  Everything inside was done prior to the first day of school. 
·         Still waiting on technology issues to be resolved.  We about 60% set up (monitors, computers, etc).  Expecting remaining items to be done by next week. 
·         Enrollment  is in pretty good condition except 2 under in 4th grade, and 6 under in 2nd grade.  She did plan ahead and has funds to "buy" a teacher back if enrollment numbers go down. 
·         She wanted to explain Title 1 status, and why EJE is currently a Title 1 school currently.  She explained benefits, like additional funding.  65% of students get free or reduced meals.  We get lots of extra resources and staffing.  EJE was made a Title 1 Focus school in 2012, based on 2011 data.  At that time, you had to be on the "focus" list for 3 years, which this year that has been removed (not 3 years mandatory any more).  We got on that list because our special needs/disabilities scores are lower than the average.  We are improving, and have each year.  Over the summer, the state had to reapply and changed the criteria on how to rank a school.  Ms. Cassidy provided a document with a lot of information, all that she stressed was factual.  She talked about what was in the media about EJE.  She called her Title 1 representative at Georgia Schools and asked if we are really in the bottom 10% schools, and we are not.  The media didn't give all the facts and it sounded worse than it really is.  She says our standing isn't that bad, and agrees that we do need to improve, which she says we are.  She offered if anyone has any questions, to please contact her.  She'd rather help people understand than risk rumors going around.  A member of the community said what she heard the concern was within the community, and Ms. Cassidy said she was pleased with the communications she saw and appreciative about the positive response.  She is working with the Student Governance council to help strength volunteer-ism from the community with the school.  The data that was reported was from two years ago, because last year's numbers haven't been released yet.  We may be able to exit from the list if this year’s scores are positive.  Ms. Cassidy talked about the change in the annual test (was CRPT now Milestones). 
·         She said that parents can follow the school at @EJjaguars.  And the "Tweet Master" (Ms. Knight) is really on top of it and updates a lot.  Many of the teachers' tweets are retweeted under @EJjaguars.  The school does not have a Facebook page, but the PTA does have a Facebook page, and parents can follow that.  

New Business    
·         Back to School bash - sponsored every year by the PTA.  We do need volunteers, which Tara, our volunteer "master" will speak to later.  The event will be held during lunch/recess.  Ms. Cassidy will get the schedule together and forward to Tara so she can update PT Avenue.
·         SkyZone/Spirit Nights/Business Partners - last year we had a Spirit night once a month.  Dan spoke with them and they are pushing to reduce the number of times a school has Spirit nights, to have a better turn out.  We will continue to have the one this month, and may cut back to every other month for this school year. 
o    SkyZone has some new programs and "prizes".  August 26th 4-8pm.  Special pricing for admission ($9/hour) and special deal on food (pizza meal).  Part of money from Spirit nights goes to the PTA to help support the school. 
o    Spirit nights are not restricted to EJE students only.  Anyone can attend, just say you're with EJE.  
o    Helen made some recommendations about having a way to identify EJE families, like spirit wear or bracelets or something.
o    ML representative said she would be happy to help promote EJE PTA business partners on the ML Facebook page.
o    **  Need to get a list of business partners.  Also need to compile a list of "requirements" to be a business partner with EJE PTA.  Like what  the levels are, what is included within each level, etc.  Dan will have something documented and available for the next PTA meeting.
o    Question was brought up about which night for SkyZone - Dan said it will switch nights of the week.
·         Fun Time Live - Question about FunTime Live - will they be coming back?  Ms. Cassidy said they won't be back this year, due to restrictions to the school alarm and staff she has.  We will revisit it next year to see if they will still do it with us and we can have someone to set the school's alarm.  Dan explained what FunTime Live was, and that they came and approached us (EJE) to host  their events.  We heard a lot of good response from families about the events, so we are hopeful things can work out next year.  We averaged about $200-300 per month.
·         Donuts for Dads - 9/4 at 7:15am.  Need volunteers.  Leslie and another parent said they could help with picking up of donuts and set up.  Dan explained what it was and that dads get an opportunity to go to the classrooms before school starts to have a donut with their student.  Muffins for Moms is in the Spring.  
·         Picnic/Movie night is on the calendar for Sept 25th.  We are still working on details still.  Ms. Cassidy mentioned that we could use the back yard for the picnic outside and maybe do the movie in the cafeteria.
·         Open PTA board positions - 1 VP (of Parent Relations) had to move their family due to a job change.  VP of Fundraising also open.  Job descriptions for VP positions, along with some chairs will be compiled and put on Facebook and Ms. Cassidy offered to email out.  Dan mentioned that PTA Board roles sound scary but from his experience, "our PTA helps each out as much as we can, wherever we can".  We always need volunteers and our PTA members are here to help you.

Committee reports    
·         Membership update - Lisa stated that we had 115 members sign up at Open house, now at 132 members.  Lisa wasn't sure of our goal, and Dan said he thought last year we had about 280 members.  Dan mentioned that the turnout at the Open House was higher than previous years. 
·         Ms. Cassidy said that we had a lot more after school activities available, thanks to Roswell Rec and Fulton Schools.  She said it was helpful that families had their paperwork filled out ahead of time.  Question was brought up as to how the community could help.  Dan said that the PTA board members are working on a document on ways that the community can help.  If they sign up as a member, it will skew our membership requirement numbers for future years, and we could have problems at a state level.  There is a "friends of PTA" option online through PT Avenue.  
·         Volunteers - Tara reported where we needed volunteers in the immediate times/events.  She said she hadn't received forms that were left in the teachers' classrooms at open house.  Ms. Cassidy said she would follow up with them.  Tara mentioned she uses those forms to update PT Avenue and send emails to recruit volunteers.  Ms. Cassidy is going to follow up with the office staff to see where the volunteer forms might be.
o    Ms. Cassidy asked if having a volunteer and membership table at Curriculum night was valuable.  Tara, Lisa and Dan said it was. 
o    Ms. Cassidy explained Curriculum night briefly and that will be Sept. 1st and 2nd.  Tara asked about when a good time to send items to Ms. Cassidy would be to have it included in the monthly school-wide emails. 
o    Ms. Cassidy said she needs things a couple days before the end of the month, so she can send it at the beginning of the month.  She did say that she has a limited number of characters for Spanish, but Dan added that last year she was extremely helpful and willing to send mass emails to the EJE families for the PTA.  Tara asked if the events on the calendar were going to change because she wanted to get volunteer events entered into PT Avenue.  Dan said if it is an event at the school, they will not change on the calendar.  The only things that might change on the calendar would be spirit nights. 
o    It was mentioned that all volunteers, EJE families or ML community, would need to complete the state/county school mandatory volunteer training, which can be done online, prior to volunteering, as you will be around children and there are laws.

Dan asked if there were any questions about the PTA or any events coming up in the year:
·         Spirit Wear - Leslie asked about Spirit Wear.  Dan mentioned that Cafe Press is where we currently have items.  The previous company that supplied us required us to order in bulk, which we then ended up with sizes that were not wanted, and when we needed more, we had to order in bulk again.  Leslie liked the fact of having Spirit Wear available for sale at events.  Dan mentioned he is going to talk to another company that offers Spirit Wear to see if they can help out with a better deal.  We would keep Cafe Press for people that wanted to order online and possibly the other company to offer Spirit Wear for purchase at events, like Open House.    General consensus was that people wanted to see the items and purchase them right then.  Maybe be able to see the item and fill out an order form would help, but ideally would want to buy and walk away with it right then.  Dan suggested that possibly sending out a form to see what people think they would want (sizes, colors, etc) and then ordering from that.
·         STEM Events - Paige mentioned that she needs help with Science Expo and STEM that she needs help and chairs for those events.  If anyone knows someone who likes science and can help her, she would appreciate it.  Paige explained Science Expo and STEM.  She said that there is basically a document outlining everything that needs to be done.
·         Helen mentioned she went to SkyZone last year for a spirit night but had a problem knowing who were EJE families.  She suggested that we sell face tattoos, wrist bands/friendship bracelets, etc.  Also may want to have balloons at tables where EJE parents are sitting to help show we are together and a school-family.  She also asked if the PTA meetings are always on the same day and time.  Jodi mentioned that we do have some meetings scheduled for a mornings.  Dan said that the calendar is set this year, but we could try to switch days of the week (Tuesday one month, Wednesday the next).  
·         Nancy asked about Family Relations and the Hispanic community.  She said the Student Governance Council that it has been talked about.  She noticed that we didn't have a representation of  Hispanic families at PTA meetings.  Dan mentioned that our VP of Family Relations would be an ideal candidate to help bring the Hispanic families into making them feel more involved.  Dan asked if anyone knows someone who could help bring the Hispanic families more involved, please ask them to reach out to any PTA member.  Paige mentioned how we always have a big turnout of Hispanic volunteers for Holiday shop, but it would be great to have them involved in more things.  Ms. Cassidy said she might have someone in mind.  She was going to talk to them.  Dan said that if we could get a small group of Hispanic volunteers to help represent the PTA at events, it would help, because the Hispanic community is a big part of EJE.  Paige mentioned that Mount Pisagh (church) has an arrangement with one of the other elementary schools to pick up Hispanic families from a location and take them to school events.  She said we may want to look into that because we are in a location that is farther away from the apartments, that a taxi can be expensive.  Ms. Cassidy agreed.  

Meeting adjourned by Dan MacLagan at 8:10pm

Note: Secretary Becky Anderson was unable to attend this meeting, so meeting notes were captured by Dan MacLagan.  Thanks, Dan!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

PTA Memberships

There is still time to join the Esther Jackson PTA! 

Complete the form below or sign up online.

To sign up online, go to PT-Avenue. Enter organization code 'ejepta'. Click the button for Online Store. You can then choose either PTA Membership or Friend of Esther Jackson (this is a great option for grandparents or family members who want to support the school but don't need a PTA membership). You can pay via PayPal using your bank account or a credit card.

Monday, May 11, 2015

We need YOU!

Hello Fellow Esther Jackson Elementary Parents,

We are on the cusp of completing our wonderful activities over this next month while preparing for next year.  It is my honor to bring the new slate of PTA officers forward and then post for final voting in May 14th. This needs to be done rather quickly and we still have several major roles to fill. EJ has exciting years ahead of us, with being in a new, temporary location next year, and then returning to our new building the year after.
I know when our family was new to EJ I had so many questions.  I wondered with my job if I even had the time to commit at all.  As a full time IT consultant, I can work 50-60 hours per week.  As a father of two wonderful students, I was able to serve as junior president and participate in many activities and events throughout the years.  PTA is a team of parents who all jump in to help each other and help our school.  We have parents that work full-time, part-time and at home.  We WORK TOGETHER and we are a GREAT TEAM!!

Now is the time to jump in with us.  You have a great TEAM of parents who will be there to help you.  All it takes is the interest to get involved, and for me selfishly, to spend as much time with my children as I could.  It gave me an opportunity to  experience things at the school and interact with all the teachers and I wouldn't change it for the world.  But what I got back was so much more...wonderful experiences, great friends, happy kids, and lots of laughs!  My oldest son is going on to Middle School next year, but my youngest son still has 2 more exciting years and I am thankful for being an involved parent while in an open school environment that welcomed me.  You TOO are welcomed!!  :-)

Please review the highlighted positions currently open below.  Please email me at daniel.maclagan@gmail.comwith any questions or with your interest in a particular position.   I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and I can also put you in contact with one of our board members that can help explain the role that interests you.   

Current Positions
Senior President - Daniel MacLagan 2015-2016
Treasurer - Tia MacLagan 2015-2016
Vice President - School Relations - Paige Janco 2015-2016
Vice President – Communications – Tracey Preslan 2015-2017
Open Positions
·         JR. PRESIDENT: 2015-17 -work closely with Daniel and VPs and roll into the senior position in 2016-17; Gives support to the VPs of School Relations and Family Relations to as they work with their Chairs on various activities for our students and faculty. It’s a great experience and a lot of fun!!
·         SECRETARY: 2015-17 - records minutes for each monthly PTA meeting and various other administrative tasks throughout the school year that help keep the PTA organized and running smoothly.
·         VP-FUNDRAISING 2015-17 -assists the various CHAIRS in charge of events and projects (like Spring Carnival, Spirit Nights, Business Partners).  Helps the board select and implement fundraising opportunities.
·         VP-FAMILY RELATIONS 2015-17 - assists the various CHAIRS in charge of Family Relations, Room Parents, Back to School Bash, Grandparents' Day and Holiday shop. There are great chairs under this VP, many of which interact directly with the teachers and students.  What better way to see all those smiling faces throughout the school year.

Thank you for your thoughtful and prompt response.  PLEASE do not hesitate to ask to contact me, Daniel MacLagan (current Jr. Pres.) at and I will be happy to get you in contact with one of the board members who can help you understand the responsibilities of the roles in detail.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Esther Jackson Elementary PTA

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Purchase a piece of the original Esther Jackson building!

Would You Like To Keep A Piece Of the
OLD Esther Jackson Building?


A BRICK from the Old Esther Jackson Building costs $5 per brick.

You can also get for $6, A BRASS PLAQUE (to attach to the brick) that reads:
Esther Jackson Elementary School
Thanks for the Memories

These bricks will need to be picked up in early June so please make sure to look for the notices (Email, Facebook Page, Website).  The pickup date will set after the project has started, but we will give as much notice as possible.  The order forms are due to the FRONT OFFICE, BY THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

 NAME:  ___________________________________________________

EMAIL:  ___________________________________________________

PHONE NUMBER: ___________________________

Number of Bricks ($5 each) ___________  Number of Plaques ($6 each) _____________

Total Payment Amount __________________    Cash_____   Check (payable to EJ PTA) _____

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Interested in Cub Scouts?

Pack 629 will be holding an informational meeting on Thursday, May 7th, from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The meeting will be held at the Pavilion at East Roswell.

Boys who are rising 1st graders - 5th graders are welcome to join Scouts!

Plan on attending the meeting on the 7th to get more information.