Jie Ming PTA Newsletter

March 2019

Our record-breaking snow is melting, we are hoping we won't have corresponding record-breaking flooding, and through it all our record-breaking school is shining. Read on for the most recent updates about Jie Ming and its PTA!

Adam, PTA President

Questions / comments? email us: info@jiemingpta.org

UPCOMING EVENTS

early April -- Read-a-Thon Fundraiser

3/6 -- Board meeting (Wed)

3/8 -- Movie Night (Fri)

3/13 -- PTA meeting (Wed)

*updated* 4/11 -- Board meeting (Thurs)

*updated* 4/18 -- PTA meeting (Thurs)

5/8 -- Board mtg (Wed)

5/10 -- Spring Festival (Fri)

5/15 -- PTA meeting (Wed)

5/16 -- Kindergarten Roundup

5/16 -- STEAM Night

Do you want events on your Google or Outlook calendar? View/subscribe to digital calendars:

Resources

What / who is the PTA?

Support Our School

Stay connected!

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NEXT PTA MEETING - Saturday

When: Wednesday, March 13, at 6 pm

Where: Jie Ming Cafeteria

Topic: Finishing the year out strong + free Jimmy Johns sandwiches

Welcome to March! We have a few more awesome events planned for the year, and some very important help needed to make them work. Items we will accomplish at this meeting:

  • Share an update on the Read-A-Thon
  • Find solutions to volunteer needs in the school
  • Decide on allocation of a donation we received
  • Find a nominating committee for recruiting next year's executive board
  • Hear committee updates
  • And more!

Bring your ideas and passion, and enjoy free Jimmy Johns for you and your kiddos!

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CHINESE NEW YEAR PERFORMANCE VIDEO

Our Chinese New Year 2019 performance was held last month on Feb 15 after being rescheduled for the snow and cold (first in our history!). It was a magical night, and it was so great to see everyone's hard work pay off in a spectacle showing off our kids' abilities.

This year, the PTA sponsored the video recording of the performance. You can view it here (https://youtu.be/MNeVmlw3wOg) for free! Please remember that this is a private performance for friends and family members of our community. Do not share it outside of our Jie Ming and Highland Park community members.

If you want to support our ability to provide these services for the community, please consider a donation here. Our work is only possible through your support. Thank you!

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We need your help! The PTA and all its events and initiatives are started and managed by Jie Ming's family and community members, just like you! Here are some big and small ways you can support our children's experience here:

READ-A-THON

The Read-a-Thon is one of Jie Ming's oldest traditions. Our students pledge to read more than usual, and ask their friends and families to support their reading by pledging a financial gift to the PTA. In past years, that money has gone on to do amazing things, like build our bilingual library.

This year, the Read-a-Thon will happen in April. We are looking for a coordinator(s) for this effort. Sign up for the FUNdraising committee on Konstella here, or contact Joanne Cryer at joanne.cryer@live.com.

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH HELPERS

Our school staff and teachers work hard every day, but unfortunately we have been understaffed all year because of budget issues in the school district. There are not enough staff available to help manage the lunch room and help our younger students correctly sort their trash (but they are getting better!). We are all so grateful for the few parents that have time during lunch to help out, but there aren't enough volunteers to consistently serve this need.

If you have time from 11:50 to 1:10 during school days, please consider coming by to help out. Sign up for a shift on Konstella. It's a great opportunity to interact with the kids as well!

ZERO-WASTE SCHOOL UPDATE

The Zero-waste committee would like to report that the zero-waste breakfasts are going great even with all the bus delays and snow days complicating things.

Most days the only item going into the trash are the plastic spoons.

We are looking to get our trash pick-up to every-other-week as we still are not coming anywhere close to filling it weekly. This should save the district another $200 or so a month.

We are hoping to have a schoolwide zero-waste challenge later this month and have the students do a 7-10 day zero-waste challenge at home later this month or next.

We are starting to develop some STEAM videos on zero-waste and hope to start recording later this month.

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PLAYGROUND UPDATE FROM HEALTH & WELLNESS COMMITTEE

As we all know, Jie Ming's playground is dated, full of uniform- and floor-tarnishing sand, and isn't ideal for many of our younger students. Thanks to the efforts of fellow parent Tim Kidder and the members of the Health & Wellness Committee, we are moving towards a solution!

Tim presented our concerns about the need for resurfacing and improved playground equipment at the Community Development Committee of the Highland District Council in January. The result was a resolution approved by the Council's Board of Directors that they recommend the City of St. Paul's Parks & Recreation Department conduct an assessment in a timely manner, which was sent by the Highland District Council's Executive Director Kathy Carruth directly to those leadership that can move this forward.

Without PTA advocacy on this issue, it is likely there would be no motion towards improvements in the foreseeable future. Thank you, Health & Wellness Committee!

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VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

Each newsletter we will highlight an awesome volunteer from our community. It takes a village!

Today, let's thank Georgie Slade for all she does for Jie Ming. Georgie has served for 2 years as the PTA's treasurer, volunteers almost daily at lunch and in the library, and has helped out at events throughout the years. In her words: "[Hue and I] both identified needs that the school has - through our own lens - after spending a little time there, and finding our own comfort level with what we can do. My point is, I guess, that you won't know what is out there for you to do unless you venture forward."

We asked Georgie a couple of questions about her time at Jie Ming.

What is your favorite thing to experience while volunteering?

My favorite thing is the small interactions with all the individual personalities. Many kids love sharing thoughts and stories with me.

What keeps you coming back?

What keeps me coming back is knowing how hectic lunchtime can be and seeing how having extra hands on deck has a real impact.

What is your favorite Jie Ming experience?

My favorite Jie Ming experience has consistently been Chinese New Year. The kids get to showcase their hard work and learning. On a personal level, we love bringing extended family to see Declan in action!

Thank you for being available, finding opportunities to serve, and taking some time to make our school great, Georgie! While Georgie has been able to find quite a bit of time to serve the Jie Ming community, every small amount of time helps. If you're able to come to lunch to help out even once, it makes our community stronger.

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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 Zero-Waste Materials page, or on the form.

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Resources

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:

Events: Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, Chinese New Year performance, Spring Carnival, Meet-ups, Movie Nights

Fundraisers: Fundraiser and Silent Auction, Read-A-Thon, Box Tops for Education

Services:

    • 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
    • Yearbook
    • 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!

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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. Cut and save those pink Box Tops clips 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.

ARE BOX TOPS CLIPS GOING AWAY?

Eventually, yes, the physical clips are going away, and the Box Tops program will become digital-only. Over the summer you’ll see some participating brands begin to change their packaging from a physical Box Tops clip to the new Box Tops icon recently launched on Blueberry Cheerios. Box Tops will continue to honor all physical clips until the printed expiration dates, so we expect to continue sending in valid clips.

Amazon shopper?

Up to 2% of all your purchases can go to Jie Ming PTA.

  1. Set Jie Ming Mandarin Academy as your charity for smile.amazon.com
  2. Whenever you shop on Amazon, type smile.amazon.com into the browser, and all your purchases will qualify!

SPIRIT WEAR

Spirit wear can be purchased at PTA events and on the PTA website. On Fridays ONLY, Spirit wear can be worn in place of the school uniform. Youth and adult sizes available. Order Spirit Wear today


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Get Connected, Stay Connected

Most Jie Ming families are on Konstella, using it to join groups and committees, create playdates, ask questions, and more. To join Jie Ming's Konstella site, click here

The PTA manages a closed parent group on Facebook that some parents use to share information with and pose questions to the larger Jie Ming parent community. Search for: Jie Míng Mandarin Immersion Academy and request to join.

The Jie Ming PTA website www.jiemingpta.org is a resource for parents. Think of it as the hub to connect you to everything else.

Being a PTA member is a simple way to show your support for the many parent volunteers that work hard to build a strong, vibrant school community. Become a member by clicking here today!


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