Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fun Time Live at Esther Jackson!

Check out the April flyer for more information about events held each week when Fun Time Live hosts at Esther Jackson. Kids get a night out and parents get a night off!

Don't forget that you can bring your friends from other schools as well. This is open to all students in K - 5th grade in Fulton County. Parents, get a big group of friends together and head out for a nice dinner!

Cost is just $12/child. Hours are 7pm-10:30pm.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meeting Minutes ~ March PTA Meeting

The March PTA Meeting was held on March 17th. The PTA publishes the minutes soon after the meeting so that everyone is aware of what is discussed and what decisions are made. 

As a reminder...everyone is invited to attend the PTA meetings. 

Esther Jackson Elementary PTA Board
Meeting Minutes

March 17, 2015

Present:

Daniel MacLagan, Jennifer Cassidy, Becky Anderson, Lisa Newara, Shannol Grant, Lisa Stamey, Loren Jackson, Leslie Greindl

Location:

EJ Media Center
Next meeting:
April 21, 2015, EJ Media Center

Call to Order – Dan MacLagan, 6:30pm

Old Business
·         Last Meeting’s Minutes Approved

President’s Address – Dan MacLagan
·         Bingo Update
o    Bingo went well.  Katie Troline was able to get a majority of prizes donated so we made about $200 for the evening. 
o    Becky asked if the relationship with the prize donors was something that was likely to continue with Katie not being at the school next year, or if we would need to budget accordingly for the 2016 Bingo night.
§  Dan responded that the relationship with the donors is with Katie, but she has made sure to document the donation history throughout her time as chair to make it easy for the next chair to request similar donations.
·         Hawks Game Fundraiser
o    Tia MacLagan collected order forms and money, and turned it by deadline only to find that the tickets had sold out.  She then had to issue refunds to disappointed families. 
o    It’s not the first time this has happened with GA PTA sports fundraisers.  They continue to sell tickets online through their website instead of holding them while the schools are selling making it common to sell out. Consensus is that it is probably best to avoid.
·         Reading for Education
o    Prizes have arrived and need to be distributed.  They came prepacked with the student’s names, so distribution will be fairly simple.
Committee Reports
·         5th Grade Party – Lisa Stamey
o    T-shirt is almost ready
o    Looking into booking a photo booth (Groupon)
o    Some 5th grade staff have agreed to get pie in the face during party and are setting up incentives for students to earn a chance at this.
·         Spring Carnival – Lisa Stamey
o    Lisa has solicited business partner funds
o    Kohl’s will donate $500 if 5 of their employees volunteer at an event. 
§  Lisa is working with Tia (who works there) to try and obtain volunteers and secure this.
§  The volunteers will be used to sell the tea that McAlister’s is donating.
o    Fundraiser during carnival: Girl’s Club is planning to make planters and grow plants and sell them.  They are working on getting donations for supplies. 
§  Lisa suggested that money raised should go to the underfunded Girl’s Club.
·         Spirit Nights – Lisa Stamey
o    Sky Zone – 3/19: Class with the most participants gets a Free Choice Day in PE
o    Sky Zone – 4/15: (Great stress reliever during Milestones!) Every jumper will get a free 30 minute pass to use during the summer!
o    McAlister’s – 3/24: Drop your receipt in the basket!
o    Aurora Movie Event – 3/28: Home, $7 per ticket.  Need to sell 100 by the 25th in order to have own theater.
·         Yearbook – Shannol Grant and Leslie Greindl
o    Leslie Greindl and Jodi Kaplan have agreed to be Yearbook co-chairs!
o    They hold meetings every Wednesday and have met with the Picaboo contact
o    Presales are going on now until May (presales are how we get free shipping – need to really promote this!)
o    Discussed photo uploading, naming.  They will work on a process where people can get them the photos.
·         Science Expo – Becky Anderson
o    111 participants entered originally, 89 displayed night of Expo for 80% participation
o    20 no shows, 2 cancelled before Expo
o    78 team/partner projects
o    76 entrants indicated that they did not participate in the 2014 Expo
§  Becky noted that this question should be changed on the entry form as it does not give a true indication of “first time” participants, which is what it is meant to capture. Some students may have participated in a previous year, just not the most recent.
o    The Grant Team obtained a “Bright Ideas” grant for the Expo from Sawnee EMC.  Not all grant funds were used for the Expo, and we have received the grantor’s permission to use them to buy supplies for STEM day classroom projects, or as needed for similar.
o    Becky asked for feedback to help make the Expo even better.
§  More monitors/check in volunteers.  (Only a few of the requested slots were filled.)
§  Rules for dry ice experiments (touching, someone ate a piece, etc…)
§  School assembly to give non-participants and students who are stuck at their displays all night a chance to see the other’s work?
·         Walk & Roll – Leslie Greindl
o    Leslie is working on this, will be in contact with Carissa to get info from last year.
o    Needs to obtain prizes.
·         Membership – Lisa Newara
o    Envelope Drive: Sent 400 envelopes, got 27 new members. 
o    Jennifer suggested making sure that there was a PTA Membership packet available to give out when a new family comes in and registers students in the middle of the school year.  This should be given to Dora, who handles the registrations.
o    Leslie suggested the idea that we have a PTA “hospitality committee” to welcome new families so they could meet someone in their student’s year with experience at the school to answer questions.  This led to a discussion of how this would work.  Ms. Cassidy would be willing to give us the info for all new families so we can contact them once we form a committee.  Something to plan for next year?
·         Volunteers
o    We still need a VP of Fundraising and a Spring Carnival Co-Chair.  Tara Barooah provided a “job description”  for these roles.  Dan and Shannol are to work with Ms. Cassidy to get the info out.
o    Tracey Preslan has stepped up to take the VP of Communications role on a temporary basis until the end of year and may continue next year.

Principal’s Address – Jennifer Cassidy
·         The School Governance Council has begun meeting and is in preliminary phase.
o    They are currently doing a needs assessment survey.
·         Thought the Sceince Expo was fantastic.  Felt like the kids did the work.  Great job!
·         They have been talking a lot about the move and packing up.
o    Everything in the school must be packed up by May 27th.
o    Movers come May 28th.
o    This summer, the EJ office will be temporarily at River Eve’s Elementary.
·         GA Milestone Test: Teachers have been busy preparing their students and they are ready to take the test when they return from Spring Break!


New Business
·         Fun Time Live – Loren Jackson (FTL’s Georgia Region Lead)
o    Attendance has dropped since start.
§  131 kids first night, lowest was 37.  Goal is at least 150.
o    Wanted to get PTA’s feedback on program and what could be done to increase business.
§  A discussion was held on safety, how to overcome some of the issues they are having, and how to clear up the negative impressions that some past incidents may have caused, even after they have been addressed.

Announcements
·         Lisa wanted everyone to know that Martin’s Landing swim team registration is now open.  This is a fun way for kids to stay in contact and have fun over the summer. It is open to everyone, not just those who live in ML. More details at http://www.mldolphins.org/.
·         Becky mentioned that she has gotten feedback from quite a few parents who say that always having the PTA meetings on the same day makes it impossible for them to ever attend, due to work/sports schedules.  Was wondering if a rotating day schedule should be implemented next year?  Dan will take this under advisement.


Meeting Adjourned by Dan MacLagan at 8:25 pm

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pre-order your EJE Yearbook

It's time to pre-order your EJE yearbook! Early birds will get free shipping!*

*Free shipping if order placed online by May 3rd

We are using Picaboo again this year. Picaboo allows the buyer to personalize pages in his/her yearbook. This is a great option if you have pictures of your child that you would like to add to their personal yearbook.

Also, parents and students will be able to purchase friendship notes for $5. More information will come out soon about how to get your pictures and messages to the yearbook committee in order to be included in the yearbook.




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spirit Event at the Movies!

Aurora Cineplex is hosting a private screening* just for Esther Jackson families! We can see the brand new movie Home in our own theater.

* We must sell 100 tickets in order to have a private screening.

The event will be held on Saturday, March 28th at 1:30pm. Tickets are $7!

Even though the movie is a few weeks away, we need to start pre-selling tickets now!

If you are coming to the Science Expo on Thursday, you can pay for your tickets then. You can also pay anytime online or bring a check to the front office (make checks payable to EJE PTA).

This event is for EJE families and friends. So spread the word and invite your friends from your sports team, Cub Scout den or Boy Scout troop, Girl Scout troop, etc. The more the merrier! We 'd love to get 100 tickets sold so we can be guaranteed to have our own theater for this showing!

See the flyer below for more information. Your child will also bring home a flyer this week. 




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

Present:

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

Location:

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.
 Announcements
·         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!