Month: September 2017

TAGGing opportunities you don’t want to miss

Getting a new roof, making home repairs or buying a car?

Our fundraising partner TAGG has a new batch of businesses that will donate a portion of your bill for things like home repairs, vehicle purchases, landscaping projects, etc. Click here and select the services category to review participating businesses. If you are using one of the businesses listed and not signed up to TAGG, just email us and we’ll be there to help.

And if that wasn’t enough, one of our very own Harrison parents and LuLaroe merchant Samantha Davis is also a TAGG vendor! Shop with Sam and she’ll donate 5% of your purchase to Harrison!

Bocce Ball Tournament | Sept 30

Submitted by Dr. Andrea Haynes, Principal

As many of you know, last year we had our very first Harrison Elementary Disney musical! Around 30 students in grades 3-5 worked hard for seventeen weeks on our production of Disney’s The Jungle Book. (Along with Miss Prieksat, Miss Goodrich, Mrs. Herzog, Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Davey and Mrs. Rivedal.)  It was months of after-school rehearsals, set-building, costume-making and relentless dedication to produce an amazing show for our entire school community to enjoy.

This year, however, our musical is in jeopardy. Although we received the license to perform another production from Disney (a $5,000 fee that is waived), we were not given any other funds. The PTA has generously allocated funds towards our costumes and sets, but we need everyone’s help in order to make our production happen!

So…

We are throwing the first ever HARRISON BOCCE BALL TOURNAMENT…with all the proceeds going to the Disney musical!

Our very own Mrs. Herzog (Harrison’s guidance counselor) and her husband run a bocce league called ‘Big O Bocce’ at Midtown Crossing and have graciously offered to spearhead the event. They have offered to do this at no cost to the school.

Bocce ball is a low-key game of lawn bowling. No previous experience is needed – they will review how to play before we start! Maybe you don’t want to play… but you want to come and watch! Bring a lawn chair and join the fun! This event is targeted at Harrison Staff, Harrison Parents and past/present Friends of Harrison.

Saturday, September 30  |  1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
The lower field at Harrison
For safety purposes, this event is for adults only (over the age of 18)

$25 per person  |  Includes the fee to play, popcorn, lemonade and a chance to win the prize of a regulation bocce set, trophy and ultimate bragging rights!

The deadline to register is Friday, September 22. To register, complete the form. You may register:

1.  as a team of 4
2. as a pair, and you’ll be paired with another duo
3. as an individual and you’ll be placed on a team.

This was a last minute addition to the Harrison calendar – because we are desperate to keep our Disney production going! The production is such a joy for the students, families and staff involved – as well as a source of pride for our Harrison school community.

I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Andrea

Dr. Andrea Haynes
Principal
Harrison Elementary

Campfire Classroom

Submitted by guest blogger Mrs. Danielle Herzog, Harrison school counselor


Hello Harrison families! I’m so thrilled to be the new school counselor here at Harrison. But it’s not just me who is new! This is the first year that our school has a guidance classroom. Called the “campfire classroom” because of it’s large center rug of a campsite, complete with images of logs, boulders and even a depiction of a campfire in the middle, it’s a great place for students to come gather and experience a new approach to guidance lessons. A curriculum that includes Mindfulness, as well as the Second Step foundation of lessons, each student enters the classroom on fresh and positive note.The Second Step curriculum was adopted by OPS in the past few years and focused on social skills and whole-child development. We cover everything from friendship issues to goal setting to making positive choices. Additionally, I believe in the power of positive relationships and starting the day on the right foot, so I created a unique handshake for each grade level that students give me when they enter the classroom. So no two grade levels have the same handshake!

But the classroom isn’t just for hands-on learning activities focused around personal/social skills, academic strategies and career and goal-oriented lessons, it’s also a place where I meet with students one-on-one for individual counseling. They can plop down on her bean bag chairs or sit around the campfire rug, whatever makes them feel comfortable. I focus on strength-based solutions and make my priority to get them back in the classroom as focused and involved students. And starting September 7, I’ll be holding lunch bunch groups where students are invited in groups of four to share lunch with me and talk about their day. Every student throughout the year will get invited!

Any student can request to see the counselor, but as a parent, you can also request that I speak with your child. You can email me directly at Danielle.herzog@ops.org or fill out the online referral form which goes only to me. That form can be found on Harrison’s school website.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with your students and I look forward to an exciting year ahead!

Best,
Danielle Herzog
School Counselor, Harrison Elementary
(402) 554-8535 ext. 1017, danielle.herzog@ops.org

August Meeting Minutes

Harrison Elementary School PTA Meeting Minutes
Monday, August 28th, 2017, 6:00 P.M.

Topics Covered in this month’s meeting:

  • Introduction of Board
  • 4 Important To Do’s
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Principal’s Report
  • Outdoor Classroom Status Report
  • Yearbook Pictures
  • New Online Volunteer Application Process
  • Fundraising Approach for this year
  • Star Grant/Teacher Reimbursement Process
  • Upcoming Events
  • Stock the Closet
  • Program: Elementary U

Meeting is called to order at 6:05pm by Nicole Brown, President.

Introduction of Board: Nicole Brown

Nicole Brown, President; Molly Colling, Vice President; Lex Morrison, Treasurer; Katherine Fischer, Secretary.

Important To-Do’s: Nicole Brown

1 – Complete forms (PTA membership/directory info, PTA volunteer, apparel order) by September 8

2 – Volunteer to help!
We have plenty of opportunities, and especially need some more hands for BASH, Carnival, the Sponsorship Committee (details later in the notes), & room parents!

3 – Subscribe to the PTA calendar:
Make it easy to see all the Harrison events at a glance! Go to harrisonelementarypta.org and under “Updates,” click on Harrison PTA Calendar. There are instructions at the bottom of the page for adding it to your own google calendar. Or just click here to go straight to the calendar page.

4 – Meet someone new!
We have new faces at Harrison this year, and we want to get to know one another. Connecting with other parents is one way we build the community that makes Harrison a great school!

Treasurer’s Report: Lex Morrison

Click here to view the full report.

As of August 1, we had a total of $7506.10 in the bank. We’re down a little because of the weather we had last year on the golf tournament day. Here is an infographic that shows how our money is used throughout the year. We desire total transparency, so if you have any questions at all regarding the budgets or finances, please ask!

Principal’s Report: Mrs. Spurgeon

Dr. Haynes really wanted to be at the meeting, but unfortunately it was scheduled by the board months before we knew about her previous commitment, so she was sad not to be able to attend this one. Mrs. Spurgeon gave the principal’s report.

We’ve had a very smooth beginning of the year! Thank you so much for being here! At Harrison, we have a uniquely strong parent participation, and it contributes so much to the strength of our school. We were recently notified that Harrison won the Gold Award this year. After NeSa testing, only 12 out of 95 received the Gold Award. Although state testing is merely a snapshot, our scores do display a measure of academic success for our students, and this is a truly remarkable achievement for our school.

New staff to introduce:

6th Grade teacher: Mr. Trey Stuthman
Guidance Counselor: Mrs. Danielle Herzog
Art Teacher: Mrs. Cindy Rickard
Head Custodian: Mr. Tim Brown

Staff members in attendance:

Ms. Preiksat
Mrs. Rivedal
Mrs. Wilcox
Mrs. Copenharve

This year, we’ll be sending home newsletters on the last Friday of every month for the upcoming month. Since the first Friday of the month often fell almost a week later than the first day of the month, newsletters were often getting to parents after a week of the month had already transpired. Moving it to the last Friday of the month will get the info to parents out in advance. Next Monday is Labor Day, so remember there is no school. September 15th-18th is teacher inservice, so students have no school those days. This Thursday, Mrs. Herzog arranged for a local theater group to do a presentation on anti-bullying and relationships. K-2nd grade will go see the presentation separately from the 3rd-6th graders.

Some important dates:

Open House Curriculum Night // September 14th, from 6-7:15pm
Progress Reports go home September 22nd
Picture Day (individuals, not classes) // September 26th *more info will be sent home.

Testing changes:

This year, the MAP testing will replace the acuity tests that 3rd-6th graders took last year. Every grade, K-6 will be tested in the fall, winter, & spring. Grades 1-6 will take the first test in early September, and the Kindergarten classes will take the first test in October. MAP is an adaptive test that the students take on a computer.

We will be partnering with Waypoint Church to provide a Book Club this year. More info to come on that.

Many parents have had questions about the Disney musical. Mrs. Rivedal gave some info on that:

We don’t have a schedule yet, but we think it’ll look a little different this year. Hoping to start rehearsals 2nd semester and have a spring program. We have a meeting coming up this month where we’ll select the musical. It will be for grades 3-6. Nicole Brown relayed the parent feedback that after school gets very busy, and many parents have asked if before school rehearsals would be an option.

Outdoor Classroom Status Report: Angela Smith

The outdoor classroom is on the north side of the Kindergarten exit. It’s a space for the whole school to utilize, and to memorialize Mrs. Beers. During her 2nd year at Harrison, Mrs. Beers was diagnosed with lung cancer. She passed away a year ago in June, and since she made such a big impact on the staff & kids, Dr. Haynes wanted to memorialize her in a special way. Thank you so much to the 12 or so families who helped maintain that space over the hot summer. We’ll have a fall cleanup, which is a great activity to do with your family. We are partnering with the cub scout pack to clean up around the rest of the school. Cub scouts will also help as we seal benches and do mulch. Dr. Haynes set up a sign up so teachers can reserve the space.

Yearbook Pictures: Annie Johnson, Chair of the Yearbook Committee

We are in need of pictures of kids from both parents and teachers. They don’t have to be fancy camera pictures, phone pictures are great. We usually get more pictures of the big events, so we especially appreciate pictures of the day-to-day, or just on the playground or lunchtime. If you’re interested in yearbook or have questions please email Annie.

New School Volunteer Application Process: Nicole Brown

The district requires ALL volunteers during school hours (including field trip chaperones) to fill out a volunteer application. The form must be complete BEFORE the individual is allowed to volunteer, and it must be filled out every year. Once it’s filled out, it takes time for the district to process it, so it’s best to fill out the form as soon as possible if you ever plan on volunteering at school. This year, the district moved the volunteer application process to online, making it much quicker. You can find a link to the form on the PTA website under forms, or by clicking here. If you don’t have a computer there is a laptop in the school office you can use.

Fundraising Approach This Year: Nicole Brown

  • Sponsorships (Lex Morrison): We’re going to try something new in an effort to reach into untapped resources in our community. The plan is to reach out to area businesses (more service-related industries: pediatrician, roofers, dry cleaners, etc.) who might be willing to sponsor things at Harrison in exchange for exposure. We will do tiered donation system, with different exposure for each tier. Some examples might be sponsoring the dunk tank at Carnival, ads in the PTA newsletter, etc. If you know of businesses who might donate, please share them with us! If your corporation does a matching program, please email us and let us know. Try and keep it to businesses in the Harrison area. If you have any fundraising experience, we’d love for you to be a part of the effort. Email us if you have interest in being a part of the sponsorship committee!
  • Penny War Week: Week of Sept 25-29. It’s quick & easy, and fun for the kids. Kids bring in change to put in their class tub. Pennies add points to your own tub, and you can put silver coins in other classrooms’ tubs and it deducts their points. We don’t have a specific threshold, we’re just seeing how much we can raise.
  • We cancelled the Golf Outing for this year, due to very little success with it last year. There was great difficulty in finding golfers, so the hope is that other sources of revenue will be able to cover the revenue that would normally come in from that event.
  • Sock Hop: Instead of providing an evening event, we decided an event during school hours would benefit more kids, and there would be more widespread participation. Last year, we funded a DJ for one of the citizenship assemblies and the kids really enjoyed having their sock hop at that time. We plan to do the same this year.
  • Carnival: through sponsorships and food truck revenue, we plan to make Carnival a fundraiser this year.
  • TAGG: download the TAGG app on your smartphone, and TAGG your purchases! After you’ve downloaded the app, simply click “TAGG purchase” and then enter the amount, take a picture of your receipt, and choose Harrison Elementary PTA as your organization. It’s the easiest way to get free money for our school! We did a TAGG challenge over the summer, and our results showed that only 13 people regularly tagged, and we got over a hundred dollars in only 2 and a half months. Imagine the impact if we all were Tagging! If there’s somewhere you spend a lot of money, go online and request them to be TAGG vendors. The TAGG businesses will donate 5% of our purchases to us, and every nickel helps!
  • HyVee receipts: This money goes directly to the school, not the PTA, but we want to collect as many as possible! Save your HyVee receipts from September 1-December 31, and send them to school. HyVee will donate $1 for every $200 in receipts.

Star Grants/Teacher Reimbursement

Star Grant Process: Teachers all received star grant forms in the welcome packet. We set aside money in our budget ($2000 this year) and we ask teachers to apply for a grant to fulfill a need in their classroom. A committee votes on it, and awards money accordingly.

Teacher Reimbursement: We set aside $150 per classroom for teacher reimbursement on supplies. We know teachers spend out of their own pocket to provide for their classrooms, and we want to support our awesome teachers and help cover some of that. The teacher reimbursement forms can be found on the PTA website under “forms.”

Upcoming Events:

  • September 4th // No School
  • September 14th // Curriculum Night
  • September 15 – 18th // No School
  • September 25-29 // Penny War Week
  • September 26th // School Picture Day

Stock the Closet

The Clothing Closet is a supply of new and gently used clothing, shoes, backpacks, Halloween costumes, and winter gear. It is run by our ESL teachers, and is available to any student in need. The current needs are backpacks, winter coats, and hats/gloves. There is a blue recycling bin in the hallway where you can drop off donations. The list is always changing but you can look on the website under “get involved, stock the closet”.

The current needs for classroom supplies: tissues, hand sanitizer, post it notes, clorox wipes, notebooks. We’d rather our teachers not have to buy these out of their own pockets. Teachers, let us know if you have needs. Don’t be shy!

Attendees:

Lisa Vignolo
Kristin Rasmussen
Wynetta Jones
Jennifer Woolf
Alice Goodwin
Barb Lightner
Trish Mitchell
Lexi Sawyer
Bill Colling
Frank Luceri
Angela Smith
Debbie Goebel
Leo Acosta
Charlotte Shafer
Ruth Farrington
Alysen Casaccio
Zach & Emily Winterwood
Sarah Wynn
Annie Johnson
Rebecca Firestone
Cecil Hicks
Carrie Copenharve
Esther Fischer
Deb Heimes
Meredith Gardner
Catalina Munoz
Belinda Daniels
Cristián Doña
Nicole Brown
Lex Morrison
Molly Colling
Katherine Fischer
Mrs. Preiksat
Mrs. Rivedal
Mrs. Wilcox
Mrs. Copenharve
Mrs. Spurgeon