Bid Like a Grownup for Childlike Fun at the Carnival Silent Auction

It’s always fun to visit the Silent Auction at our annual Spring Carnival. From cool products and services donated by local businesses to the creative themed baskets curated by each grade group, there’s something for everyone to consider bidding on.

A new feature this year among our silent auction items are “Teacher Experiences.” These 17 experiences are sure to see some active bidding on Saturday! Be on the lookout for:

  • Memory Book with Mrs. Vertegen & Mrs. Kempenich
  • A shake with Mrs. Hoskins
  • Face Painting& Crazy Hair with Ms. Xiong
  • Game of “HORSE” with Mr. Gorde
  • Dine with Ms. Foster
  • Rocking Out with Thematic Playtime with Mrs. Aaro
  • Pizza Lunch with Mr. Gorde
  • Read & Bake with Mrs. Wotzka
  • Be a Kid Principal with Mr. Gorde
  • Pontoon Ride on the St. Croix with Mrs. Tibbetts
  • Lunch with Mrs. Cha
  • Pizza Lunch with 3rd Grade Teachers
  • Log Rolling with Mrs. Atkinson
  • Art with Ms. Jackie
  • Pizza & May Day Baskets with Kindergarten Teachers
  • Happenin’ Library Lunch with Mrs. Phillips
  • Pizza Lunch with Mrs. Mock & Ms. Simonet

Remember, the Silent Auction bidding closes before Carnival, so everyone can pick up their winning bids the same day. Check the hours at the Media Center, where products and bidding sheets will be on display.

There’s something for everyone at our Emoji Fun Carnival! Be sure to stop in between 10 am and 2 pm this Saturday, April 8 at the school.

What to Expect at the Book Fair

Our Scholastic Book Fair is coming up next week! bookfair0217small

Be sure to stop by and see what’s new…maybe before or after your Parent-Teacher conference appointment on Thursday, February 23, or if you’re dropping in for Kindergarten orientation on Friday, February 24. There’s a whole store set up in the DAPE Gym each day, from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm on Thursday, and 8:30 am to 3:00 pm on Friday.

If you’ve never been to the Book Fair, what can you expect? Here’s a quick run-down:

  1. Tons of books, sorted by reading level and interest area.
  2. Special collections of favorite story characters – great for those looking for a birthday gift, a reward for great work, or a “no reason, because we love reading” moment.
  3. A few non-reading goodies, like bookmarks, pencils, erasers, posters, and even some crafty kits.
  4. The occasional “wish list” from teachers that families can help fulfill.
  5. Not just for kids, you can find books for grown-ups, too! The selection may not be as wide (this is for the kids, after all), but if you’ve been on the lookout for new recipe ideas, or inspiration for at-home activities with the kiddos, you’ll find them at the Book Fair.
  6. Friendly cashiers that will gladly take cash, checks, or credit/debit cards for payment.
  7. The good feeling you get when you know that each purchase helps build up our “Scholastic Dollars” balance, which provides funds for teachers and our Media Specialist to use when purchasing new books for the school.

The Book Fair also provides one of the easiest volunteering opportunities! We look for help in one-hour shifts during each day, making it easy to squeeze in a little do-good time on a packed schedule. You can check out our shift schedule to find an opening that fits your day.

It’s worth a visit, and even more fun to discover what kids love about their Book Fair experiences. See you next week!

So, What Happens on Movie Night?

Think back to when you were a kid, and chances are  you can remember that one movie you watched that made your brain go “whoah!”

Maybe it was seeing a favorite book brought to life, or the scenery of a far-away land that had you determined to visit a new country some day. Maybe it was connecting with a friend who loved that movie as much as you did, or the first time you saw your parent laugh hard enough to start crying.

We’re not going to promise that all of this will happen at our upcoming Movie Night at school on March 3, but it does help explain why we hold a Movie Night at school.

Our gym may not feature the extra-comfy recliners and digital surround sound that the premium theaters offer, but we’ve got kids who love to hang out, enjoy a good story, and create fun memories surrounded by friends, family, and some comfy blankets and pillows.

Admission is free. Popcorn and snacks will be offered for sale. The doors stay  open, so little ones with shorter attention spans have an outlet, and our chosen movie is one that entertains all ages.

We look forward to seeing you at Movie Night!

Volunteering – do you need to renew your background check?

Volunteering is one of those win-win experiences: not only do you feel good doing something to help out in the school, but the students, teachers and staff feel an incredible boost of support from the simple act of investing a little of your time.

One of the policies guiding volunteer participation in our school district includes a background check. During the 2015-16 school year, the School Board adopted a new background check policy. All background checks for school volunteers must now be renewed every 4 years.

How does this affect you?

First, you will want to check with your school’s secretary to confirm when you will need to file a renewed background check. If you filled out a background check before July 1, 2013, you will need to renew your background check before June 30, 2017 for continued eligibility.

The price to renew remains $15. Volunteers can submit a form with their social security number, or make an appointment to submit a fingerprint. More details are available here.

How long does it take to process?

Most applications are processed within a couple of weeks, but it’s wiser to allow a month in case the system slows up.

What if I have other questions?

The best starting point is the school office. Give them a call with your questions, and they can help you track down the answers.

A Note of Thanks

From the co-Presidents

As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with our loved ones, we would be remiss if we did not take a moment to express our gratitude for your support so far this year.

Thanks to you, our first major fundraiser – Boosterthon for Books – was a success. We beat our goal by nearly $2,000, which helps us continue our mission to support our teachers and students. This fundraiser did more than generate dollars that we use for our school; the Boosterthon organization also donated 81 meals via Feeding America to Second Harvest Heartland in recognition of our students’ excellent work on the field.

One way we support our school is with instructor grants: each teacher and specialist was given a grant at the start of the school year to spend money for their classrooms and programs in the way they thought would benefit their students the most. We distributed a total of $12,000 in grants.

We also have a small amount of budget set aside to consider requests for support that our annual budget cannot anticipate. A couple examples of how this has helped include new sheet music stands for our music department, and a Buddy Bench instructional video.

We are also very thankful for those of you who have raised your hand, offered to help, suggested a new idea for how we can do even better. This is another form of support that is so important to our success. We hope to hear from more of you throughout the year.

We’re excited for what’s on the horizon this year: Carnival, a new community event to help burn some pent-up winter energy, Book Fairs, and more! Thank you again for everything you do to make our community the wonderful place it is.

Won’t You Join Us?

The first day of school is coming up fast! Tonight’s Back to School Night is a powerful reminder of how fast time seems to fly during the summer months.

Last year was the first time I was early to the Back to School event at Lake Elmo Elementary. (I had to set up the PTA table.) That early arrival put me in a prime viewing spot to see how the building “wakes up” as its halls fill with students, teachers, staff, and families. The energy is tangible, moods are bright, and anyone who has a few seconds to pause and witness the vibrancy that echoes throughout the school gets a healthy dose of inspiration.

We’ll be there again tonight — 4:30 to 6:30, if you misplaced your note — with a little information about our plans for the year, some empty BoxTops forms, and an invitation to join the PTA.

Here are some things to know as you consider this invitation:

Joining the PTA does not commit you to volunteering with the PTA. Your membership is a simple gesture of support that helps us do some pretty great things throughout the year. In fact, you do not have to be a PTA member to be a PTA volunteer. You get a little extra shine on your halo if you do, though.

When you join your school’s PTA, you also become a member of the Minnesota and National PTA organizations. With that membership comes parent resources, and a few perks, too.

We make joining as easy as possible. When you’re at school tonight, you can pick up a membership form to fill out at your convenience. Simply bring the form in (with payment) to the front office, or even send it in your child’s daily folder. If paper just isn’t your thing, you can also join online. We’ll send you an invoice for your membership dues via PayPal.

Membership is renewed once a year. If you have joined the PTA in the past, thank you! Your membership was appreciated, and your continued support is greatly valued. Membership dues are as little as $10. Not a bad investment in your school’s community.

We’re excited for the new year, and hope you are too! Please join today, and help us make this one of the best school years yet.

A New School Year

Welcome back, families and teachers!

We’re excited to start the new year with a new website for the Lake Elmo PTA. Be sure to take a look at the different pages, and let us know if there’s anything you’d like to see on this site. Our intention is to make this a resource that helps us all when life gets busy.

Back to School Night: August 24

If you haven’t marked your calendars already, be sure to drop in at school on Wednesday, August 24. Classrooms will be open between 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm for you to meet your students’ teachers, drop off school supplies, and catch up on all that’s new around Lake Elmo Elementary.

There are several changes around Lake Elmo Elementary at the start of this school year:

Sixth Graders at Oak-Land

As the school district shifts over to a Middle School model, Lake Elmo sixth graders are getting a jump start this year and will hold classes at Oak-Land Junior High.

Welcome Preschool Families!

Registration is now open for Preschool at Lake Elmo Elementary. There are partial- and full-day options. You can learn more here.

New Teachers, New Students

With each new year, we have some new teachers as well as new students in the classrooms. Help us warmly welcome them!

Looking for that perfect volunteer opportunity?

There’s lots in store for the year ahead, and more we want to do as a PTA. We always appreciate your support, and would love to know more about where you might have time or talents to lend. Check out this interest form, and let us know if there’s something you’d like to do.

We’re excited for what this new year will bring — stay tuned for more news and events!