Month: September 2016

Disney Musical Announced

On behalf of the school, we are thrilled to share this information with you:  

Harrison Elementary has been chosen for the Disney Musical in Schools program! Ms. Goodrich, Mrs. Rivedal, Ms. Prieksat, Mrs. Davey, Dr. Haynes & parent volunteer, Danielle Herzog, will be working with the Omaha Performing Arts & Disney Teaching Artists to produce and perform a 30-minute adapted production of THE JUNGLE BOOK this spring! All students in grades 3-6 are invited to participate.

Rehearsals will be on Mondays and Thursdays after-school from 4:15 pm – 5:45 p.m. Snacks will be provided. Rehearsals will run for 17 weeks from October until late-February.

The premier will be on Friday, February 24 at 6pm, stay tuned for more information!

To learn more or sign up to participate, download the information sheet and permission slip here.

Ever wonder where all that PTA money goes?

Submitted by guest blogger Nicole Brown

Ever wonder where all that PTA money goes? I did. Not because I didn’t trust the people in charge but because there’s not always enough time during a meeting to get the whole picture.

Prior to becoming a board member, I was a parent, just like you, sitting in a PTA meeting, listening to the treasurer’s report. I remember being impressed at the budget numbers. . . PTA really raises a lot of money each year. But I have to admit, I was confused when someone made a suggestion to spend money on something that felt worthwhile. The message I heard was there wasn’t really money for it. Huh? Surely there was $500 somewhere, right?

Fast forward to today. I am a new board member with a better understanding of how it all works, where the money goes and just how quickly it gets put to use. What I’ve learned is that every dollar has a purpose directly tied to PTA’s mission.

My guess was that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t understand so I set out to find a way to explain it. I am a visual learner by nature (and a graphic designer by trade) so an infographic made sense to me. The attached is my way of helping you understand all that the PTA supports and just how much money is allocated to each category.

2016_17ptagraphic

A few things I hope you’ll notice:

  • The list of things that the PTA supports was longer than I expected
  • The largest portion of our budget is allocated to those programs that benefit the kids directly
  • The dollars raised come primarily from our own pockets; we currently don’t have corporate sponsors or enlist your children to sell things door to door

 

This was an enlightening exercise and I have a much better appreciation for all that goes into keeping this ship we call the ‘PTA’ afloat. Because a graphic can’t explain everything, you may have questions so feel free to email anytime. Or if you’re a spreadsheet kind of person and want to dive into the details, here’s the budget for the 2016/17 school year. The PTA board believes in transparency and is always happy to answer any questions you have.

 

 

Meeting Minutes for August 29, 2016

Harrison Elementary School PTA Meeting Minutes
Monday, August 29th, 2016, 6:00 P.M.

Topics Covered in this month’s meeting

  • Introduction of Board
  • New meeting format & 3 important to-do’s
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Principal’s’ Report
  • PTA Daniel Wiese Citizenship Award
  • Outdoor classroom Status Report
  • PTA Website launch
  • Involvement opportunities
  • BASH update
  • Special Presentation: Understanding Harrison’s Refugee Population

Meeting is called to order at 6:00 P.M. by Ruth Farrington, President

Introduction of Board

Introductions of the 2016-2017 PTA board; Ruth Farrington, President; Nicole Brown, Vice President; Angela Smith, Treasurer; Trish Mitchell, Secretary.

New Meeting Format / 3 Important to-do’s

Per the survey in the spring of 2016, there is a change in time and frequency of our meetings from monthly to quarterly and extending the time in order to accommodate discussions surrounding special topics of interest. Our next meeting is in October and there will be two in the winter.

Three things to do:

1 – return all forms by September 9th

2 – please volunteer to help

3 – we have launched a new website where events, additional information and forms can be found: harrisonelementarypta.org

The Dundee day parade was a huge success.

Thank you  to the Kreber family for organizing the back to school picnic.

Treasurer’s report

Click here to view the full report.

Status of accounts—we consolidated our accounts to just a checking account. $19,227.41, and this amount does include all the money for big projects, and we still have unpaid bills from last school year.

We will report on that every meeting.

How we ended the year, budget is posted. Hoped to raise $24,000 but raised $23,000. Expenses, some unpaid bills. Attached is an infographic to help you further understand where PTA funds go. We host a few big fundraisers each year that are fun family events in lieu of asking your children to sell items.

Principal’s Report

Introduce the staff in attendance: Mrs. Behrens, Mrs. Bowden, Mrs. Fischer, Ms. Barnes, Mrs. Davey, Mrs. Schaefer, Mrs. Barsness. This summer we lost Mrs. Beers and are planning a memorial for her.

New staff; Mrs. Barber 6th grade, Harkness BSP, Para Mrs. Jorgensen, Mr. Garvet, new gifted and talented facilitator Laura Beeghly.

Thursday, September 1st  is Curriculum night and the program is different for older grades. 4th grader/6th graders, have presentations /  intermediate grades host open house time.

State testing, we keep it where it belongs. Acuity pre-screen assessment gauges eventual performance on NeSA and gives teachers information for planning.

Progress reports will go home for grades 3-6 only.

No school September 16th and 19th.

School photos on Monday, September 26th.

Student council, art club, robotics ongoing programs.

Disney Musicals in Schools grant! Grades 2-5 only, 2 as chorus only, k-1 can’t participate but thinking of ways for them to get involved.

Question regarding grading email, only 4th grade math piloting the new grading system.

PTA Daniel Wiese Citizenship Award

Wiese scholarship – This is a $500 scholarship awarded to a 6th grade student and actually given upon the student’s completion of high school and enrollment in college. The winner is ranked by a committee of Harrison staff and members of the Wiese family. Last spring we voted to withhold the monetary award for future awards and to make it a merit award only. When we presented this vote to the membership last year, we erroneously stated that continuing the award would jeopardize our 501 c 3 status. One PTA guideline states that PTA funds are not to benefit any individual, so we thought continuing to award money to one scholarship winner would put our status in jeopardy. However, other PTAs and PTOs  do offer scholarships, and most are run through TAC and awarded to high school seniors. Angela Smith moved to rescind that vote based on new information learned and Deb Heimes moved to second the vote to rescind. We held discussion. 18 voted to rescind, 5 voted not to rescind. The vote was rescinded. We still have the option to change the scholarship, and will discuss it at a later date, once the Board has researched the processes by which we could offer the scholarship in a manner consistent with other local PTAs.

Outdoor classroom status report

Garden vote won, after discussion w/ TAC and administration about how close the garden could be to the school we will move forward with the idea of the outdoor classroom. Work with teachers to incorporate a memorial for Mrs. Beers in the outdoor classroom. Hope to break ground by the end of October, location just to the north of the kindergarten exit.

PTA Website launch

We have launched a new website where events, additional information and forms can be found, visit harrisonelementarypta.org frequently for the most current news and event details. Quarterly meeting minutes will be posted there.

Involvement opportunities

We need are in need of new leadership for next year and would like to engage willing volunteers this year to learn the ropes. If you are interested, please let a board member know.  

BASH update

BASH is one of our annual fundraising events for the year and is set for November 18th. We are currently looking for volunteers to plan the event. Begin thinking now about who you might be able to solicit for donation for the silent auction. More details to come.

Special Presentation: Understanding Harrison’s Refugee Population

Based on information received from the PTA survey sent out at the end of last year, our membership requested that the PTA provide cultural programming and wanted to understand the needs and challenges of Harrison’s refugee population. We invited Alana Schriver, Refugee Specialist with OPS to educate our membership on how we can better serve these families.

We learned some amazing things and you can too! Alana was kind enough to share her presentation and a volunteer guide. See the blog post on the website for links to this information.

Additionally, we invited Beth Behrens, ESL Teacher and Laura Bowden, ESL Para to share with us ways we can assist Harrison’s refugee families. Already in place is a clothing closet that provides any child in need with clothing and shoes. In December, Dad’s Night Out is an opportunity for fathers to purchase gifts for students who might not otherwise receive them. And lastly, several families have already formed partnerships with refugee families and built lasting friendships. To further initiative, we are forming a committee of dedicated volunteers to continue these efforts and strengthen our relationship with Harrison’s refugee population.

Here are a few ways to help:

  • Volunteer to work on this initiative by emailing harrisonelementarypta@gmail.com
  • Attend Dad’s Night Out on Wednesday, December 21, 2016
  • Donate new or gently used clothing & shoes to the Harrison clothing closet
    • Girl’s and boy’s youth shoes in sizes 11, 12, 13, 1, 3
    • Men’s and women’s adult shoes in sizes 6, 7, 9, 10
    • Boy’s elastic waist shorts and pants in sizes 5, 6, 7

Upcoming Events

  • September 1st – Curriculum Night
  • September 5th – No School
  • September 16 – 19th – No School
  • September 26th – Picture Day
  • October 17th – Next PTA Meeting
  • October 27th – 28th – No School
  • October 31st – Halloween Parade and Class Parties
  • November 18th – BASH

Members in Attendance

Reilly Rettele

Wynetta Jones

Deb heimes

Annie Johnson

Esther Fischer

Joel Fischer

Abby Barnes

Jenn Cerio

Katie Coughran

Jamie Frost

Molly Colling

Michele Merrill

Lindsey Kreber

Laura Bowden

Sarah Wynn

Emily Winterwood

Lisa Vignolo

Charlotte Shafer

John Mitchell

Kelly Little

Jennifer Woolf

Kristin Rasmussen

Mary Ann McDonald

Casey Logan

Katherine Fischer

Ben Fischer

Ruth Farrington

Nicole Brown

Angela Smith

Trish Mitchell

Linda Davey

Cecil HIcks

Leo Acosta

Cub Scouts Sign Up for Scouting Night

Investigate the Fun–Join Pack 365’s Sign Up for Scouting Night! This Thursday, September 8th, 6:30pm at Harrison. For more information, please contact Corey McCallan at 402-980-9459 or corey_mccallan@yahoo.com

Understanding Harrison’s Refugee Population

Based on information received from the PTA survey sent out at the end of last year, our membership requested that the PTA provide cultural programming and wanted to understand the needs and challenges of Harrison’s refugee population. At the first PTA meeting on August 29, we invited Alana Schriver, Refugee Specialist with OPS to educate our membership on how we can better serve these families.

We learned some amazing things and you can too! Alana was kind enough to share her presentation and a volunteer guide. We encourage you to take a peek.

Additionally, we invited Beth Behrens, ESL Teacher and Laura Bowden, ESL Para to share with us ways we can assist Harrison’s refugee families. Already in place is a clothing closet that provides any child in need with clothing and shoes. In December, Dad’s Night Out is an opportunity for fathers to purchase gifts for students who might not otherwise receive them. And lastly, several families have already formed partnerships with refugee families and built lasting friendships. To further initiative, we are forming a committee of dedicated volunteers to continue these efforts and strengthen our relationship with Harrison’s refugee population.

Here are a few ways to help:

  • Volunteer to work on this initiative by emailing harrisonelementarypta@gmail.com
  • Attend Dad’s Night Out on Wednesday, December 21, 2016
  • Donate new or gently used clothing & shoes to the Harrison clothing closet
    • Girl’s and boy’s youth shoes in sizes 11, 12, 13, 1, 3
    • Men’s and women’s adult shoes in sizes 6, 7, 9, 10
    • Boy’s elastic waist shorts and pants in sizes 5, 6, 7