Jie Ming PTA Newsletter

February 2020

February is a big month, even as we all hope for the snow to melt soon and the sun to shine. We celebrated the Lunar New Year with an amazing set of performances by our students in our annual Lunar New Year performance at Highland (great job!!) February is Black History Month, with students focusing research on the many black pioneers we have to celebrate.

In this second half of the year, I have to make another plea for some more help. We need people to help plan our Read-A-Thon and STEAM/Spring Carnival. We also have 2 unique challenges ahead of us.

1. Our school is preparing to update our uniforms and the uniform policy. To make it a good transition, we need your help to help plan, and communicate it out.

2. Our State PTA purchased Memberhub, which could replace Konstella, our private social network. Could be much better! We are looking for someone to learn the system, help us implement it right, and help people make the transition next year.

Can I count on your help for any of these? Please email us at info@jiemingpta.org! Many hands make light work, but with no hands... well, I suppose you know what happens.

Thank you for your support of Jie Ming, the PTA, and our students!

Adam Jass, PTA President, president@jiemingpta.org

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

Want to help?

Go to Volunteer Needs to see a current list of needs.

Contents

Upcoming Events

  • 2/6 -- PTA Executive Board meeting
  • 2/13 -- PTA meeting
  • 2/23 -- February meetup
  • 3/5 -- PTA Executive Board meeting
  • 3/12 -- PTA meeting
  • 3/17 -- conferences
  • 3/19 -- conferences

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

Next PTA Meeting

When: Thursday, February 13 from 6-7 PM

Where: Jie Ming Cafeteria

Our February meeting is on iPads and technology. Come with questions about how to monitor our students' usage and ensure a proper balance between using technology and other ways to learn and have fun. Childcare and snacks will be provided!

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Volunteers Needed!

Jie Ming PTA volunteers LITERALLY make the school go 'round. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far this year, making magic happen by planning events, volunteering at events, helping at lunch/breakfast, volunteering in the library, decorating, and using your voice to advocate for our kids. And yet there is MORE to do!

This month, I challenge YOU to find a way to step up and serve. I updated our Volunteer Needs page with current needs (Read-A-Thon, STEAM/Spring Carnival, Uniform Communication, Memberhub are top of the list). We are also beginning our search for the next slate of Executive Board Officers for next year. If you want to serve, but have questions, please reach out to me at president@jiemingpta.org. Or, encourage that friend of yours that totally should be on the board, but just needs a little encouragement :)

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Thank you for an awesome Lunar New Year!

What a night! Thank you to the families that came out to see our annual Lunar New Year performance, our staff for their hard work with the kids, the students for their amazing dedication and performance skills, and the volunteers for planning and making the whole thing happen!

Our school is growing (can you tell??) and whole-school performances like this are getting harder and harder. Thank you for everyone's grace and cooperation as we tried out this new method of handling the performances - split performances, one after the other. In many conversations, it seems like this worked great for the most part! We want to hear your feedback too. Email us at info@jiemingpta.org with your thoughts.

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Box Tops for Education - make money for Jie Ming!

Box Tops are still an easy way to make money for your school. Now, using the Box Tops app, it's even easier. All you have to do is download the app, scan your receipts, and the app will automatically find any purchases that give Box Tops. All the money earned goes to support Jie Ming directly! Check out this PDF for more detail on how to sign up, but most importantly, SCAN THOSE RECEIPTS!

Box Tops informational PDF

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Parking at Jie Ming for pick-up, drop-off

Reminder: our school has many families... but almost no parking. It's a major problem, and one we are hoping transportation and the district will solve soon. In the meantime...

Please see the map above for parking zones for AM drop-off and PM pick-up. Note the blue bus areas all along the front of the school on Sheridan Ave and Sue St. Do not park there! Our staff watching kids as they get on and off buses have seen numerous instances of cars parking and driving along these areas dangerously, which makes it very unsafe for our kids. Plan enough time, and park in the appropriate areas please!

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Have photos? Contact the Yearbook Committee!

We need your photos for the yearbook! Especially events from this year like the Mid Autumn Moon Festival, Chinese New Year, Lego League, etc. Email yearbook@jiemingpta.org. Only YOU can make this yearbook great :)

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Volunteer Spotlight

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This is a recurring section where we highlight volunteers that are making our school and PTA tick. This month we are celebrating our volunteer librarians, A Platt, Julie Maanum, Molly Kiebel, Michelle Zhao, Yoko Connelly, and Kay Wasyliszyn.

What is your favorite thing to experience while volunteering?

A Platt: Getting to see the great collection of books the kids get to have at the school.

Julie Maanum: My favorite thing about volunteering is simply watching the kids engage in class. I love the ease they seem to feel in school and with their teachers.

Molly Kiebel: It's fun to volunteer in the library because I get to see the students’ excitement when they come in to choose their books. Even though Jie Ming lost its full-time librarian, it feels good knowing we can help fill the gap.

Michelle Zhao: It’s always fun to see a class come into the library and watch the kids make their selections and then sit down to page through their books with friends.

Yoko Connelly: While volunteering, I learn. I learn and my work is helping other people, that makes me happy.

Kay Wasyliszyn: It is great when kids ask us to help find books for them! Just the other day a child asked me to find a book about otters. It was great! We know a great deal about the library, and we are happy to help navigate!

What keeps you coming back?

A Platt: I really like being able to contribute to the school, even if it's something little.

Julie Maanum: I keep coming back to see how the kids can change from week to week! Especially with reading-it’s amazing how quickly the learn.

Molly Kiebel: This year as a library volunteer is my first, but I would love to continue for as long as there is a need. I really appreciate that Jie Ming makes it possible for us to show our support in many different ways.

Michelle Zhao: I love reading, and by helping make sure the library is running smoothly I hope to support all of the students at Jie Ming as they develop their love of reading, too.

Yoko Connelly: My son likes when I am at school, even I am not seen.

Kay Wasyliszyn: The fear of returned book avalanche. It always looks better at the end of a shift, and it feels as if we are really needed. Most of all, it is great to witness children excited about reading. We read like crazy at our house, and we love to see the joy it brings to others as well!

What is your favorite Jie Ming experience?

A Platt: Seeing how excited my child gets about school!

Julie Maanum: My favorite Jie Ming experience is always the Chinese New Year celebration. To see the hard work of all the students, teachers, PTA and volunteers is just stunning. It also reiterates what a great community we are a part of.

Molly Kiebel: I think my favorite experience is just this sense of joy and awe I feel every time I step back and think about how much our daughter and her classmates have grown: Here are these little kids working so hard and learning so much each day! I love hearing her speak Chinese with her teachers and friends.

Michelle Zhao: My favorite Jie Ming experience is seeing my daughter’s enthusiasm about going to school.

Yoko Connelly: I like listening to my son's stories what happened at school. I am very happy that the school is helping him grow. Also everyone is friendly!

Kay Wasyliszyn: I’m delighted to be mocked by my three children in Chinese. Very gratifying.

Who will we spotlight next time? Could it be you? If you have a suggested volunteer to highlight, email Adam at president@jiemingpta.org!

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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!

Box Tops for Education

Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn cash for our school with purchases you already make - and now it's even easier with the online app! Go here for links: boxtops4education.com Then start scanning those receipts!

Reach out to Marsha Trainer, our Box Tops Coordinator at Jie Ming, with questions: marshatrainer@gmail.com

Drop off your physical BoxTops in the marked collection tub on a table in the main entry hallway.

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!

Compostable Materials 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.

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

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!