Jie Ming PTA Newsletter
Dec 2018 / Jan 2019
Happy holiday season, Jie Ming families! With half the school year in the books and winter break upon us, we can look back at what we've accomplished and what we have ahead. I'm grateful for all the energy, ideas, and service from and for our families--they are what makes our school strong, even through this transition to our new building. In this newsletter, we have things to celebrate, things to ask, and an exciting new service available.
Happy December / January!
Adam, PTA President
Questions / comments? email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Upcoming events
- Next PTA meeting, with Councilmember Tolbert
- Please complete: Chinese New Year Survey
- Volunteer opportunity: School Choice Fair
- Fundraiser and Social Gathering results
- New service - Compostable Everything materials available
- Playground update
- PTA-purchased recess equipment
- Volunteer Spotlight
- Host Families needed for Spring
- Breakfast and lunch volunteer opportunity
- PTA Committee Reports
12/21 - 1/1/2019 -- Winter Break (no school)
1/12 -- PTA board meeting (Sat)
1/12 -- School Choice Fair (Sat)
1/19 -- PTA meeting (Sat) - all are welcome!
1/24 -- Jie Ming Open House
1/27 – Sledding at Como Meetup
2/8 -- Chinese New Year (Fri)
2/24 – Winter Hike Meetup (location TBD)
early March: Read-a-Thon Fundraiser
Do you want events on your Google or Outlook calendar? View/subscribe to digital calendars:
NEXT PTA MEETING - Saturday
When: Saturday, Jan 19, at 10 am
Where: Highland Park Library Community Room
Topic: A visit from Councilmember Chris Tolbert
Have trouble making it to weekday evening PTA meetings? Please join us for January's meeting on Saturday, 1/19, at 10am, at the Highland Park Library Community Room. We'd love to see new faces! We'll be hosting a conversation with St. Paul City Councilmember Chris Tolbert, who represents Ward 3, home to Jie Ming. Come prepared with questions, or send them in advance to email@example.com.
There will not be childcare provided at this meeting, but there will be doughnuts. (And your kids can hang out at the library!)
WE NEED YOUR INPUT! PLEASE TAKE THIS QUICK CHINESE NEW YEAR SURVEY
The Chinese New Year is a special holiday to celebrate family, community, and culture. At Jie Ming, it is our biggest event of the year, with fabulous performances by every student in every grade.
With the later school end time, we would like to make some adjustments to the timing of this year's Chinese New Year event. We are also considering a social gathering with food before the event.
We need your input on these decisions! Please fill out this 2-minute survey by December 24. Thank you!
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: SCHOOL CHOICE FAIR
What better way to show your love for Jie Ming than sharing your experiences with prospective families at St. Paul Public Schools' School Choice Fair (Sat., 1/12, 9:30am-2pm, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre)? Families of incoming students attend the fair to explore their options and hear from parents like you. Sign up for a 1.5 hour slot on Konstella.
FUNDRAISER AND SOCIAL GATHERING RESULTS
Thank you to all the families that attended our 1st annual Silent Auction and Social Gathering. It was an amazing event. Preliminary figures show that we were not only able to meet our $4,000 goal, but we exceeded it. We raised over $6,000!
Several of the events that were up for auction still have openings. Check them out in Fundraising.
COMPOSTABLE EVERYTHING SERVICE AVAILABLE
Our school is working hard to be a Zero Waste school. As part of this initiative, our Zero Waste Committee is partnering with Macalester Plymouth United Church on the Compostable Everything program. The PTA provides these materials for free to teachers and for school events.
What does this mean for you? You can use this form to order compostable materials for your own events and use! More details are available on the form.
PLAYGROUND UPDATE & NEW RECESS EQUIPMENT
Our school's playground needs resurfacing. Our Health and Wellness Committee has been working hard to make this happen, and they will have time with the Highland District Council to determine their support and make the case that this is urgently needed for 2019. Jie Ming parentsare welcome to attend this meeting on Tuesday, January 15 from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at the Highland Park Community Center. Voice your support!
NEW RECESS EQUIPMENT PURCHASED BY PTA
Each newsletter we will highlight an awesome volunteer from our community. It takes a village!
In this newsletter, we are highlighting the great service of Hue Soo. Hue is a well-known face at many events. She helps plan and coordinate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival and Chinese New Year. We are also grateful for her time and ideas on the Executive Board. Whenever a helping hand is needed, she's there, from face-painting to loading up extra materials after an event. Thank you for all you do for Jie Ming, Hue!
Help thank Hue for her service by giving some of your time and energy to volunteering at the Chinese New Year event. See Konstella for details.
HOST FAMILIES NEEDED
Next spring we may have the pleasure of hosting about 20 student teachers from China as they study at Jie Ming for a month. Whether they can come will depend on if they can secure a visa. If you have a spare room or two and can offer your home for a student teacher, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put your name on the list to follow up later as we get more information.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
Do you have some time free during the school day? Please consider helping with breakfast and lunch! We are very low on staff and parent volunteers are needed to keep the breakfast and lunch lines moving smoothly and to help sort breakfast items to make our school Zero Waste. See Konstella (click on Jie Ming, then Calendar). Many shifts are available, 1/2 hour each. Email email@example.com with questions.
Chinese New Year
2019 is the Year of the Boar and the kids have started practicing their dances for the Chinese New Year performance on February 8th. We have about 100 more students than last year and we will be performing with the middle and high school immersion programs again this year. Our Chinese New Year Committee helps coordinate this important event. Please consider joining our committee. No matter how much time you have, we can use you! Below are descriptions of the subcommittees required to put this event together. Please visit Konstella and join the Chinese New Year Committee, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Hue, Chinese New Year Committee Chair
Artwork / Print: Create displays, flyers, postcards, invitations, CD artwork, setup of the school display. Print and display needed posters before the event.
Communication with Parents: Work with teachers to inform parents of event needs.
Costumes: work with dance teacher and classroom teachers to design, sew, repair, and organize costumes for students.
Decorations: Prepare, transport, and set up decorations.
Co- Chair / Facilities: Coordinate logistics of facilities day-of the event with staff on location.
Media: Arrange for videographers and help make DVDs of the performances. Work with teachers to get their performance quality songs. Prepare powerpoint slides to project information during the performance.
Refreshment / Food: Order needed refreshments. Arrange for transportation and setup. Organize, prepare, arrange for needed items for food serving: tables, disposables, waste handling, tables, etc. Lead volunteers to help serve and cleanup.
Volunteer: Recruit and coordinate volunteers from Jie Ming and Highland Park Communities . Work with teachers to understand their needs.
Zero Waste School
There are some easy, effective ways to combat waste in our school:
- ColorCycle - recycle old markers in a bin in hallway next to Box Top collection. Learn more here
- Trex - We are doing the Trex challenge in November! Help us by collecting plastic films and bags and recycling them at the designated bin at school. See what we're collecting here.
- We're also working on getting signs and a bin to collect Crayons for Cancer. Learn more here.
No updates this month:
Chinese Sister School
FUNdraising / Grants
Health and Wellness
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
School Supplies Bundling
WHAT / WHO IS THE PTA?
The Parent Teacher Association of Jie Ming is a community of passionate, involved parents and Jie Ming staff that want to make our school even better for our students. The PTA is involved and organizes many things throughout the year:
- Mid-Autumn Moon Festival
- Chinese New Year performance
- Spring Carnival
- Movie Nights
- Fundraiser and Silent Auction
- Box Tops for Education
- Classroom grants for materials that the school can't provide
- Volunteer organizing
- Tools for communication and collaboration including our Facebook group, Konstella, website, and regular meetings
- Spirit Wear and branded items
- Health and Wellness Initiatives
- Zero Waste school initiative
- Promotion of our school
Most importantly, we provide places and opportunities for all families to engage with each other. This helps us work together to find and implement the best solutions for our kids. It takes all of us to make this possible. Thank you for your energy, time, and support!
Support Our School
BOX TOPS FOR EDUCATION
Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn cash for our school with purchases you already make. Drop off your BoxTops in the marked collection tub on a table in the main entry hallway. Clip those pink Box Tops and send them to school with your student throughout the year, before their expiration date! You can multiply your impact from the same purchases by downloading the free app for Apple or Google.
We have raised $80 in the first 2 months this year. Since our goal is $500, we really would benefit from more parents using the apps to accelerate our earnings without even making any additional purchases. Thanks for helping our 5th graders lead this drive to raise money directly for the end of this school year!