Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walking School Bus: Monday, Aug 26

Monday, August 26th is our first Walking School Bus this year. Can you believe it?

Just like last year, the walk will begin promptly at 8:30am on the corner of Broad and Center Streets.

Visit for a detailed map with estimated arrival times as well as up to informative, updated information on walking, biking, and scooting to school! There will always be at least one adult on the route and more are always welcome. Thank you for supporting this effort and our kids this school year. See you Monday!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Welcome back to Scrip!

Welcome back to school!

After the exciting first days of school, it's time to buckle down, get that morning routine in order and start thinking about the school year.  Teach is the special experience it is because of all the great projects, opportunities and trips our children get to participate in.  And none of that is cheap.  For the past few years, Teach Elementary has participated in two scrip programs (Great Lakes Scrip aka GL Scrip, and eScrip) that have brought in significant money for our educational programs, supplies and equipment through rebates and promotional credits.  Both Scrip programs are so very easy to participate in, that you can start earning money for Teach after taking just a few minutes on-line to sign up!

Please take a moment to find out about our scrip programs here.

There is a detailed description of the programs, including instructions on enrollment, FAQ for both GL Scrip and eScrip, and our chairperson's phone number if you need help.  GL Scrip can really earn lots of money for us, and eScrip earns money for us even when we don't know it and aren't paying attention!

If you buy gas, groceries, or gifts, or you travel, you could earn money for Teach by buying GL Scrip gift cards - at home and on the go! You can use the eScrip mobile dining app to earn money for Teach while you are dining out.  If you're an online shopper, you can use the online eMall or the widget to earn cash money for Teach while you shop online.  If you buy your groceries at Von's or Ralph's, you can earn money for Teach by using your regular rewards card, if it is registered with eScrip.   Teach benefits no matter which programs you participate in.

Do you do your best shopping at night, or on weekends? Do you ever think, "If I only had time to plan ahead . . ."? If you sign up for PrestoPay to pay for your scrip gift cards, ScripNow! and Reloads, you'll never have to drop off checks or order forms at school again, and you could even purchase Scrip to pay for your purchase while you are at the store.  Yay!


Get a PrestoPay Account!

Get ScripNow! without even leaving your computer!

Awesome!  What kinds of reloadable cards can I fill with PrestoPay?

Create an eScrip account right now!

Create a ShopWithScrip account right now!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Charles E Teach Booster Board meeting

August 14, 2013
Home of Helen Sipsas
 Board Members
Randi Barros – Vice President
Dan Block – Principal/Teach School Rep (Absent)
Mignon Jones – Treasurer
Lori Shields – Secretary
Helen Sipsas – President

Other Guests In Attendance
Erin Clausen – Ice Cream Social/Pancake Breakfast Chair
Vanessa Rizzo – 4th Grade rep
Morgan Robertson – 6th Grade rep

        I.            Call to order 6:25 pm

      II.            Board Member nominations – Nominations for the two remaining open Board member “at-large” positions were made by Helen Sipsas.  Helen made a motion to nominate Morgan Robertson and Vanessa Rizzo.  The motion was seconded, and carried.

    III.            Update on Task Force – Helen, Morgan and Lori all shared the proceedings of the most recent Task Force meeting that was held on July 30, 2013, as all were in attendance.  The primary focus of that meeting was around the concept of GATE programs, and discussion regarding whether or not something like that could be a better model for the SLCUSD, over the Teach program currently.  One of the Task Force members did some research, and found that Santa Maria has a GATE program, and one of the Central Coast representatives for the State organization for GATE education works at one of the Santa Maria schools. The Task Force agreed to have three of the members meet with this representative to learn more about how Santa Maria tests their kids, and runs their program. There continues to be much disagreement between all members of the task force as to what is the best approach, and there is still uncertainty about the definition of accelerated learning, and what Teach offers that is different than the other schools in the District. During the Public comment session, Helen made a presentation regarding same school scores for all schools in the district.   It was recommended that the Booster Board make efforts to get more parents to attend the Task Force meetings, once school is back in session.  Helen noted that someone from the Task Force commented about how important it is to bring supporters to the meetings, and recommended the parents come and talk about the school and show that there is support for moving Teach forward.

    IV.            Finance Update – Mignon

Helen and Mignon need to get more information to the bank to become signors on the accounts at Coast Hills. The Secretary, Treasurer and President apparently need to be signors, so Lori will also get to the bank to give them her information.  Mignon shared that Ms. Bailey sent her estimates for the 5th & 6th grade field trip.  Ms Bailey will also need a check from the Boosters for the CIMI "store" which is part of the 6th grade trip.    Mignon also notified the Board that the Boosters need to sign up for Square in order to accept credit cards for payments on any events/items that we sell.   Mignon says the Boosters can purchase one of the readers, but an account needs to be set up to accept the swipes. Mignon will follow up on that and try to get that set up shortly.

      V.            Ice Cream Social - Erin Clausen is the Chair of this event.  Erin has a previous engagement the day of the social, and will have to leave early, and Randi won't be able to attend at all.  Randi recommended having parent sign-up sheets out for various events throughout the year. Discussion was held regarding games for the kids to encourage interaction and socialization for the new kids.  Possibilities include a “organize yourselves by birth month game” to get things started, followed by a “Who am I game.”  Activities will include a presentation of Board members, a welcome from Dan Block, and an introduction of the teachers.  Erin and Mignon will put together the event schedule, and Erin will purchase ice cream and other items.

    VI.            Pancake Breakfast - Erin Clausen is the Chair of this event.  The focus of the breakfast is to be a fundraiser, but also to use the breakfast as a showcase for the new Innovation and Exploration Initiative that Mr Crabb has been working on over the summer.  Lori recommended that we work with the Elks Lodge to offer a minibar for attendees to be able to advertise the purchase of Bloody Mary's & Mimosas during the breakfast.  As we understand it, the Boosters are responsible for bringing all food materials, but we are not sure about plates, napkins, etc.  Erin will contact the Elk's Lodge to get an idea of what we need to supply and what they offer.  Another meeting will be need to be held to review, and talk about pricing for tickets, etc. A 8:30 am start time for the breakfast is preferred, and it was recognized that soccer will be in full swing on that day, so it may be difficult to get families to attend.

  VII.            Genevieve/Mrs. Fields cookies - Aug 30th - Sept 16th. Pia Laurie is the Chair for the event.  Randi shared that she tried to ask someone from the Mac Superstore for a donation of a prize for the top seller of Genevieve's, such as an iPod touch, but she has not heard back yet from anyone.  Vanessa offered lunch at Cafe Roma with Mr. Block and/or Mr Crabb as a possible prize - maybe the top three sellers from each grade could be winners of that. Helen showed everyone grocery bags that could be offered for sale, and noted that they could have Teach Elementary School’s name on them.  Due to the price of the bags, it was decided not to participate in the grocery bag sales.

VIII.            Innovation and Exploration Initiative – Helen reported that Mr. Crabb was not able to attend the meeting to give any more information on the project he has been trying to develop.  There was some uncertainty on Helen’s part as to whether or not he was going to be able to move forward with the idea this year.

    IX.            GL Scrip – Lori talked to the Board about what she considered to be the value of the program, to get their agreement to continue with the program in the 2013-2014 school year.  Lori noted that she found that the rebates that the Boosters get from the purchases of the Scrip cards can be considered a taxable deduction for the individuals purchasing the Scrip, which she believes could be an additional selling point for the program.  The group agreed to continue to the program, and Lori will work with Sunshine Cowgill to get flyers posted on the Teach Booster website, and Lori will have flyers and other information posted at the Ice Cream social to try to gather additional interest.

      X.            Board meeting schedule – Lori informed the Board that due to work conflicts, if meetings continue to be held on the first Friday of every month, she will have to leave the meetings by 9:40 am.  As Secretary, that can be problematic, and she asked the Board to consider the possibility of moving the day of the meetings.  Morgan informed the Board that morning meetings are going to be difficult for her as well. Discussion was held about when meetings could be held, and whether or not a change to the meeting schedule could improve regular attendance at meetings.  Helen was hesitant to change the meeting time, and felt that it would be better to try to have meetings end by 9:40 am, or have someone else take minutes after Lori has left.

    XI.            Survey Monkey – Helen and Lori had a draft of possible questions to send out to Teach parents for a survey about their skills and what they may be able to offer to the Innovation and Exploration initiative.  Helen had not been able to talk to Mr. Crabb about the initiative, so no more could be done with the survey draft.

  XII.            Open 5th Grade Booster rep position – Helen stated that she still does not have any solid leads on a 5th grade rep for the Boosters.  She has one name, but has not been able to speak to that person about possible interest.

XIII.            Open Forum -

Book Fair - Helen noted that the Scholastic Book Fair needs a commitment from the Boosters as to the date of the Fair, and other decisions regarding the offerings, etc.  Mignon has experience with the Fair from working at the Sinsheimer Book Fair over the last couple of years.  She recommended we get the other items for sale along with the books, as they sell well.

Helen wants to start a Facebook page for the Boosters.  She would like to use it to advertise various events, post minutes, etc., to further push accessibility for parents to view events and activities.

Helen noted that Janet Crabb needs helpers to put together the back to school flyers at the end of the week.  A Friday workgroup has been formed with Randi, Helen, and Morgan.

XIV.            Adjourned at 8:30 pm.