Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Back to School Bash: A guest post by Emerson Student Event Correspondent, Stancie Holder

It's quite a treat to welcome this guest post from an Emerson Student Event Correspondent who covered the 3rd annual Back to School Bash.

Emerson Back to School Bash
By: Stancie Holder
Emerson’s PTA held a back to school bash on September 21. They did it to celebrate the start of school and so you could look at cool stuff, play games with friends and family, eat yummy burgers and ice cream, and watch a movie. 

It was hot, but that didn’t ruin the night. Everyone set up chairs and blankets and relaxed. They were playing games and some of the most popular ones were the three legged races and the chewing gum contest. 

Molly Manlow, second grader, in room 24, said,” I loved it because of the movie and I saw all of my friends.” 

Kathryn, third grader, in room 15, said,” I liked it, it was fun.” 

Chris, second grader, in room 25, said,” I liked the chewing gum contest" 

What a great event to kickoff the school year! 

Stancie is a 5th grader at Emerson Parkside Academy Charter School and a girl scout. She wants to be an actress when she grows up, loves Project Runway, long walks on the beach and tropical sunsets. She is the first Emerson Student Event Correspondent.

M.E. Project September 14, 2012: Free to Be Me Drum Circle

Your Emerson PTA presents the M.E. Project. 
M.E. stands for Mind Exercise. The M.E. Project is designed to promote music, art, dance, science and fitness as part of a well rounded educational experience at Emerson! 

Free events are held monthly with different themes. Student participants receive a "passport" and collect Mine Exercise stickers and signatures as they attend each event. Once they have accrued 5 stickers (and attended 5 different events) they will have an opportunity to win a new bicycle at the end of the year!

Our first event was a drum circle. Students experienced music, rhythm, movement, and were encouraged to BE FREE! What a success as we had almost 250 participants even though the day was sweltering hot, beating on drums in the shade proved to be an awesome experience and sight on a Friday afternoon.

Various craft projects are also made available at each M.E. Project!

 Future M.E. Project events will be held on the 2nd Friday of each month.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Association Meeting 09/11/12

Were you totally overwhelmed at this jam packed back to school week? Were you stuck at soccer practice? Did you not realize that there was a PTA meeting tonight and are so bummed that you missed it? 
It's cool. I gotcha ;)

(warning: it was a long one. to attend, to type, to read... brace yourselves! lol)

Meeting called to order by president Paula Nathan at 6:09pm. 

Slide show of various Emerson events by Kryssie Booth. (it was rad. i'm biased. cuz it's me. side note: didn't realize the word d*mn is in the song I'm Yours [even though i sing it all the time] until I put it in my slideshow at a PTA meeting. sorry.)

Pledge of allegiance. Moment of silence remembering September 11, 2001.

Guest speaker, Kendra of the Jazz Angels,  a non profit music organization. Jazz angels have been invited back to Emerson to provide a fee based music program for Emerson students. There are two choirs, brass, string, and woodwind instruments. Sign up sheets will go out.  Jazz Angels offer choir and instrument instruction to students in grades 3-5. Music is also extended to grades K-2 for choir. Each session is 8 weeks and included 8 rehearsals and 2 performances (one for peers and one for parents). The Jazz Angels are hoping to have 3 separate sessions. 
Rehearsals are held either in the morning or afternoon, outside of school time and typically last 45 minutes to 1 hour. Costs are still being figured out but will stand somewhere between $65-$75 for choir and $95-$115 for instrumental instruction. The Jazz Angels do have limited grants available, there is an application process and decisions regarding recipients will be made by the Jazz Angels Board of Directors. 

Treasurer, Mrs. Jeanna Luzzi, presented the 2012-2013 budget to the association line by line. (See Attached)

Jeanna Luzzi moved to approve the Emerson PTA 2012-2013 budget. Cynthia Antonette seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Mrs. Maggie Kerns moved to approve the Emerson PTA programs for the 2012-2013 school year as outlined in the budget. Tamara Burke seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Former Auditor, Mrs. Michelle Worden, completed the last audit for her term. Treasurer, Mrs. Jeanna Luzzi presented the audit to the association. The audit was for March 1, 2012 through June 30, 2012. It was reviewed and no discrepancies were found.

Roberto Curiel moved to approve the audit. Pam Harmon seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Mrs. Tamara Burke, Financial Secretary, presented the deposits for June , July, and August ($0). See attached. The report will be filed with the treasurer.

President’s report.
Welcome to the new members. An outline of the organization is given. PTA is not a fundraising organization, rather it is an advocacy organization that advocates for children’s rights at every level. Important programs have been instituted throughout education’s history thanks to the PTA. We try to increase numbers to act as a collective whole, it gives us a powerful voice when it comes to our advocacy efforts. At the unit level, we provide and support programs that benefit children and help to provide a well rounded educational experience.
5th grade speakers from last year’s promoting class fondly recalled program after program that was offered and or supported by the PTA. Moved by that, we are trying to add more activities and community building events. The PTA has specific rules and guidelines at the unit, council, district, state, and national levels that must be observed in order to maintain our charitable trust status. It is unable to directly pay teacher or staff salaries like a foundation can. Emerson PTA will continue to work with and support the efforts of Emerson Foundation to provide the best educational experience possible for our children.
Nominations were made to fill vacant board positions after the election process concluded last year. They included: Kelle Erwin for VP of Fundraising, Paula Barrow for VP of Membership, Yvonne Santos for Corresponding Secretary, Felice Sparks for Parliamentarian, and Peggy Walker for Hospitality.

Jeanna Luzzi moved to ratify the nominations. Erin Moland seconded the motion. The motion carries.

Introductions of the PTA Board followed:
President, Mrs. Paula Nathan. Mother to 5th grader that has attended special day classes at Emerson since Kindergarten. This is her last year at Emerson.
Executive Vice President, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette. 2nd grader and a daughter that graduated from Emerson last year and has started middle school. Was the former treasurer for two years.
VP of Fundraising, Mrs. Kelle Erwin. Has a 3rd grader and a 10th grader at St. John Bosco.
VP of Activities, Mrs. Stacie Cardena. Has two girls at Emerson
VP Teacher Liaison, Mrs. Pam Harmon. Has a 1st grader and a 9th grader at Milikan.
Treasurer, Mrs. Jeanna Luzzi. New to Emerson, kindergartener in Mrs. Sees class.
Financial Secretary, Mrs. Tamara Burke. Has 1st grader at Emerson, a just graduated from Emerson son who is in middle school and a 3 year old who will attend Emerson in the future. Total expected years at Emerson = 14!
Recording Secretary, Mrs. Kryssie Booth. 2nd grader in Ms. Norko’s class. 
Parliamentarian, Ms. Felice Sparks, was not present at the meeting but has a 2nd grader at Emerson.
Hospitality, Mrs. Peggy Walker. 5th grader and 8th grader
Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. Yvonne Santos, has a 3rd grader.
Auditor, Mr. Rene Justin, was not present at the meeting but has a 2nd grader at Emerson.

Membership Report
VP of Membership, Mrs. Paula Barrow and Membership Chair, Mrs. Erin Moland have tallied more than 340 memberships already. Past membership expires in October, please renew. Emerson was one of 3 schools in the council to receive a 100% membership award last year. Membership does not require attendance, it is a show of support for the things that the PTA organization advocates for and provide to the students at our school. For membership questions, please email membership@emersonpta.com

Teacher Liaison, Mrs. Pam Harmon reported that a luncheon for teachers and staff was provided from Portos (yum) on the Tuesday before school started to welcome them back and thank them for all the hard work that they do!

VP of Activities, Mrs. Stacie Cardena and President, Mrs. Paula Nathan outlined the new ME Project. ME stands for Mind Exercise. It is a free of charge program for Emerson students to promote mind exercise through art, science, music and fitness. Monthly activities will take place after school on the 2nd friday of each month after school at Emerson. After attending the event, students will receive a ME Project sticker and a “passport”. When they have collected at least 5 stickers, having participated in 5 events, they may turn in their passport and be entered to win a bicycle at the end of the year.
The ME projects will be as follows:
09/14 Drum Circle
10/12 Hip Hop Dancing
11/09 Aquarium on wheels
12/14 Chalk murals and chalk artists
01/11 Mad Scientist science experiments
02/08 Sculpting with different mediums (marshmallows, play dough, etc.)
03/08 Two parts. Week 1 ceramic creating. Week 2 painting projects after they have been fired
04/12 Animal Encounter
05/10 Mobile Planetarium

Principals Report
Mrs Kerns would like volunteers to attend and report on various district forums and committees. It is a great opportunity to get involved and will give a grander picture on the situation we find ourselves in at the school and district level. For each committee/forum there are approximately 6 meetings a year and they typically last an hour and most are held at the Board Building. Please contact Mrs. Kerns if you are interested in becoming involved this way, your time is truly appreciated.
This Wednesday’s packet will include the first of “Waldo’s Words” and principal to parent communication letter that will come home at least once a month that talks about the goings on of the school. This week’s Waldo’s Words will have the new bell schedule on the back.
Back to School night is this Thursday, 09/13. It is a chance for parents to meet their children’s teacher. You are encouraged to attend this event without your child, they will get the opportunity to show you what they have worked on at Open House in the Spring. 
Traffic safety is an issue. Due to our increase in enrollment (approximately 720 students), please allow extra time to find parking and walking children to the school. Please DO NOT drop children off in the center of the street. If you would like to drop off, utilize the coned off valet area in front of the school on Josie Ave. We will look into having volunteers help to streamline the valet process and will also look into potentially setting up an additional valet on the small, one way, inner section of Willow.
We have a new secretary in the office. She has been working very hard to bring the website/calendar/roster up to date, the office appreciates the patience of parents as they continue their efforts.
The grassy area will only be available for lunch picnics on Fridays. Blankets or sheets should be sent with your student if they would like to picnic on the grass. The cafeteria is also now open for students to have their lunches there.
The staff parking lot should be reserved for staff during school hours.

Committee Reports
Back to school bash will be Friday, 09/21 from 4pm-9pm (or at the conclusion of the movie). There will be booths by Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, the Emerson Market, and the Bee Authentic Fundraiser. The featured movie, “The Lorax” will begin approximately at 7:15, around sunset. Bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the movie on the grass with your old and new Emerson Friends. Please be mindful of picking up the trash around you.
Reflections Art Program has begun. It is a national program sponsored by the PTA. Entries in any of the following categories will be accepted by October 19, 2012: Film Production, Visual Art, Photography, Literature, Dance Choreography and Music Composition. The 2012 Reflections theme is “The Magic of a Moment”.
Family dinner nights will begin with Panda Express on September 26, 2012. The fundraiser will run from 10am-10pm. Please refer to the flyer that was sent home in your Back to School Packet.
Tuesday Recycling started today, 09/11. Our first day we made over $100. Volunteers are ALWAYS needed. It is not a glamourous job but Emerson raised $1500 last year doing something good for the environment. We collect #1 plastic bottles (please rinse and remove caps), aluminum cans, and foil juice pouches. Consider gathering the aluminum cans and plastic bottles at your weekend sporting events.
Fresh and Easy Shop for Schools program kicks off tomorrow 09/12 and will run though 12/31. Receipt totals need to exceed $20 after discounts and coupons. Receipts can be turned in and Emerson will receive $1 for every increment of $20 on a single receipt.
School Cents at the Center Malls (Stonewood Center Mall in Downey, Lakewood Center Mall and Los Cerritos Center) begins Saturday 09/15. Turn in original receipts (they can be returned to you if you choose) from any of the stores on the mall property (including Costco, Costco gas and all establishments on “Restaurant Row”, the stores on Candlewood between Clark and Lakewood) and Emerson will receive points. 100 local schools participate in the program that ends on May 15, 2013. Based on the amount of points we collect, we will receive a portion of $50,000. Last year we were 8th out of 100 and received $954. Please visit shoppingpartnership.com and sign up to receive communication from the program (less than 1 email per month) and Emerson will receive 1,000 points for each email signed up.

The Book Exchange cart will begin on Friday, 09/14 after school. Brina a book and get a book. 

No new business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:49pm.

Next meeting: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 
6:00pm in the Auditorium.

Oh my goodness... that was a crazy long meeting. Come next time, it won't be this long! ;)

and if there are typos, my bad. lemme know and I'll edit. It's late.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome back Eagles!

School has officially started. How about that wacky humid rain right?

When the kiddos got home today did you grill them?

How was your day?
Did you know many of the kids in your class?
Did you make new friends?
Was your teacher awesome?
Did you eat all of your lunch?
Were you kind and a good example to your classmates?
What did you do at recess?
Have you decided on what you are going to major in when you get to college?

you know... the usuals ;)

After that, you set down to the explosion of papers waiting in your child's backpack and wasn't it AWESOME to see just that one big brown envelope?

We've got your back! In an attempt to streamline the back to school craziness, Emerson PTA assembled the rad back to school packet. Everything in one spot. Make sure you fill out your paperwork and send it back with your child as soon as possible!

Put your PTA calendar somewhere accessible. Not only does it list all the events for the year, you've got plenty of important numbers on there too!

Our PTA website has gotten a LOVELY makeover! 

Follow our blog, I do my best to keep it up to date. Even when my hand is cramping from all those emergency cards

See you at school!
Kryssie B

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Association Meeting 06/12/12

The last association meeting of the year was well attended!

Members from the Emerson Student Council led the association in the pledge of allegiance.

Awesome slideshow :)

Secretary Mrs. Michelle Arslan, presented last months minutes to be review by a committee of three. (Last month, honorary service awards were presented... sorry no post, busy gal drops a ball on occasion)

President, Mrs. Paula Nathan, thanked the outgoing board members for their service during the President's report. The incoming board members were announced as well.

Two board positions are open, VP of fundraising and corresponding secretary. Please contact if you are interested!!

A few points about the PTA as an organization were reviewed.

"The mission of the California State PTA is to positively impact the lives of all children and families by representing our members, and empowering and supporting them with skills in advocacy, leadership and communications."

PTA is and organization that advocates for children and fundraising is not the primary goal. We are a registered Non Profit 501C3. PTA units are now required to become registered charitable trusts and required to file an RRF-1 form annually. The Bylaws are revisited and reviewed every 3 years. Emerson PTA filed bylaw changes this year that were reviewed and approved by the state parliamentarian. Emerson PTA is a unit that is part of the Long Beach Council that is part of the 33rd district that is part of the California State PTA that is part of the national PTA. 
PTA members and leaders are required and encouraged to attend training. PTA may donate to other charitable organizations. 

Your PTA, your time and your membership, positively impacted Emerson children with these awesome things this year (to name a few):
Back to School Packets, RIF (reading is fundamental, where your student chooses a book to keep), ELMOS for every classroom, recycling, beautification, box tops, back to school bash, silent auction, kindergarten tea, and Reading at Home...
Go You!

This upcoming school year, PTA will be supporting the Our Children, Our Future initiative. Please read more about that here. You may search our school in particular and see that if the initiative in November passes, Emerson will receive approx $525,000.00

Membership expires each year in October. Membership is open to everyone, parents, teachers, students and members of the community. Education is a shared responsibility, please consider renewing your membership.

Secretary, Mrs. Michelle Arslan read a motion proposed by the PTA board. "The PTA moves to donate $15,000.00 to the Emerson Foundation" The motion carried. (yay!!) A (fake) check was presented to Emerson Students.

Treasurer, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette presented the treasurers report. She moved to ratify checks #3178-3209. Kryssie Booth seconded the motion, it carried.
Mrs. Antonette moved to approve a preliminary budget for summer, Executive VP Mrs. Peggy Walker seconded the motion, it carried.

Financial Secretary, Mrs. Bridgette Jones presented the Financial Report listing the deposits that were made for the month of May.

Corresponding Secretary, Mrs. CJ Holder presented in VP of Membership, Mrs. Kris Williamson's absence... School Cents brought us $954!! We were 8th place of all participating schools. Thank you for your participation! 
When you sign up for your PTA membership, you are entered into an opportunity drawing held at the end of the year. Congratulations to Mr. Tony Sees for winning a $50 American Express gift card!

Carnival Report: After expenses, we cleared about $12,500.00! Wow. The position of Carnival Chair for next year is open.

Helene Ansel, from the office of State Senator Alan Lowenthal visited our association meeting to bring the Senator's congratulations to students, parents, educators and administrators on their hard work in earning the Distinguished School Award. A California state resolution was presented to Emerson.

Mrs. Maggie Kerns gave the principals report. She thanked PTA for an amazing year and gave thanks to so many who have been supporting the Emerson Foundation. Kudos were given to Jen White and Michelle Worden for heading the Emerson Foundation and to the wonderful supporters. Waldo's words had been written and already the news was old. In the last 3 weeks, at the time of this report, we have raised $45,000.00. Mrs. Kerns stated that if we can make it to $60,000.00 we would be able to save our science and PE programs and our block schedule. The $15,000.00 donation has helped us reach that mark!!

We will continue to raise the additional money as we will need to supply many things to our increasing school population like text books, chairs and desks, and many other necessities. Mrs. Kerns added that School Site Council and a Board of Directors will govern the funds from the foundation. She addressed concerns that had been raised regarding the recent Kinder play area construction and tree root maintenance. The tree roots were to be shaved down and the asphalt replaced. At the request of our school, grass will be put down instead. This is at not cost to us. 6-7 years ago, a fund was started to raise money for a soccer field. To reach that goal, approximately $300,000.00 was needed. It raised $28,000.00. As the money had been allotted to a Student Recreation fund, we were limited in the ways we were allowed to spend it. Extending the kinder playground is appropriate usage of said funds and will be largely necessary and welcome as we increase our kinder population by an additional 1.5 classes next year.

Classroom assignments will be handed out differently this year due to Student Right to Privacy. On a specific date, you will be able to pick up your child's class assignment in a confidential envelope.

We will continue to have full GATE and PALS classes as well as combo classes at every grade level. 

Student council members that were present, were thanked again for their service. 4th graders received certificates for their hard work and 5th graders will be presented with theirs at their promotional ceremony.

Mrs. Jen White and Mrs. Michelle Worden, representatives from the Emerson Foundation presented their report.  The foundation will be run under the School Site Council. A Foundation chair will sit on the committee. We can continue to fundraise throughout the year. The foundation is in need of a treasurer, secretary, an Emerson Store chair, an Art Auction chair, a banner real estate chair among other positions. We have 4 small businesses already committed to the banner program. We have a webmaster in place to help build a website where information regarding the foundation will be largely available and accessible. We are hoping to have the website live by September. We welcome volunteers, there are many jobs to be done and a job for all who are willing. Please contact helpemersonnow@yahoo.com and many thanks to those who have already given in any way they have given.

The Foundation thanked the PTA as the largest benefactor to date. Mrs. Michelle Worden explained the process of receiving the donations... Checks are made to the LBEF (Long Beach Education Foundation) for Emerson Parkside Academy. When they are turned in to the office, they are logged into a spread sheet. The checks are then walked into the LBEF office where they are logged, checked and cross referenced with the logs at the school site. As they are logged, a thank you letter is printed and held with the check until it is deposited. When LBEF deposits the monies, the thank you letters are then sent to the donors. The money we have collected thus far is specifically earmarked for PE and Science programs.

Fundraising efforts will continue. Pastry sales are still taking place in front of the school in the morning and have helped to raise $500.00. There will be a "Gold Party" in front of the auditorium on Wednesday 06/13 at 8:30am where you can bring your old unwanted jewelry. Emerson will receive 10% of the amount paid to you and you may chose to keep or donate your payment. Amy Word, a Cabi representative will be donating a portion of clothing sales from a 06/16 event. We will have an opportunity to celebrate Emerson and mingle with friends and neighbors at the Emerson Stroll that will take place from 6:30pm-9:00pm on June 30th. Six host houses in the plaza neighborhood will host snacks, drinks and cocktails. Maps will be provided and participants will "Stroll" from house to house. All proceeds from the $25 wristbands will go to the Foundation.

Questions may be directed to helpemersonnow@yahoo.com

No unfinished business announced. 

Under new business, questions regarding the $21,000.00 PTA technology donation were raised. Previously, at the unanimous recommendation of technology committee, which is made up of parents, teachers and administrators, PTA was going to fund the purchase of 30-31 PC computers. Much has happened and continues to happen with regard to district and state guidelines for computers in the school and compliance with national "Common Core Standard". Unsure of the specifics, it has been said that beginning in the spring of 2015, standardized testing will be computerized. Rumors suggest that the district will be providing Mac Labs for each school. As we are in the unique position of being a Charter School, funding for the computer lab would, as of this moment, not be provided for our school.  

With the help of Mrs. Kerns an active discussion was held regarding the allocation of those funds, the technology needs of the school and the desire for transparency and efficient communication as we all strive to give our school and our students the necessary tools to succeed. 

Due to the recent changing and unknowns, the spending of funds in the technology budget will be put on hold until more information can be attained, reviewed and made available to the association. 

Under announcements: there are a few year books still available, please see the office. Each 5th grader was given a year book compliments of the PTA. The Reflections Art program theme for 2012-2013 is The Magic of a Moment. Students may begin working on their submissions this summer! 
Emerson PTA won several awards at the Annual Long Beach Council In and Out Breakfast (no, not animal style burgers and chocolate shakes... for the incoming and outgoing boards) Thanks to the hard work of our many volunteers. Let's keep this train going!

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30

Side Note: This has been a wonderful and amazing year at Emerson. I've enjoyed hosting this blog and hope you don't mind my tendency to ramble a bit. I try to give you as accurate an account as I can but I too make mistakes... I also got pretty caught up with work/school/life, you all know, and dropped the ball on some posts. Many apologies. That being said, I like to keep the blog as sort of a journal for the Emerson PTA. At the end of the each year, I plan to print it and store it. If you EVER would like to contribute, PLEASE don't hesitate to contact me. I'd love your help. We try to remain very neutral and drop a little something to draw a chuckle so that readers don't feel like their eyeballs are going to pop out of their head by the time they FINALLY get here to the bottom... Are you still reading? Really? I'm impressed, and blushing just a teeny bit.
Thank you for a great year. Have a great summer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Association Meeting 04/17/12

In case you were filing those last minute taxes and thus could not make it to the PTA meeting tonight... We missed your company, file earlier next time and... Here ya go:

Emerson Students let the association in the Pledge of Allegiance.
We viewed a short (but still awesome) slideshow.

Recording Secretary, Mrs. Michelle Arslan, presented last month's association meeting minutes to be reviewed by a committee of three and submitted for approval. She also presented to the association a board recommendation to increase the Cheesecake/Cookie Dough budget by $7557.50. We sold more cheesecake that we originally budgeted for! It was approved by the association without discussion, nays or abstentions.

President, Mrs. Paula Nathan, updated that Fitness Day raised approximately $13,000 in donations. Thank you for your generosity and support. Prizes have been ordered and will be distributed mid May.
The Limo ride prize (for the Cheesecake/Cookie Dough Fundraiser) will also be taking place mid May.

Spring Book Fair profited $2975.00. Thank you again for your support and a special shout out to Auditor and Book Fair Chair, Mrs. Michelle Worden and all the wonderful volunteers who continue to make this possible for our children.

The Emerson Wild West Carnival will be held on June 2nd. Pre-paid tri-tip, bbq chicken and potato dinner plates will be available. This year we will also be hosting a Crafter's Corner. 10'x10' booths are available for $40.

Mrs. Nathan also had the opportunity to attend the Sacramento Safari, an event for the 33rd district held in the State Capital. The 33rd district is comprised of PTA's from southern California, the majority of Los Angeles county with the exception of LAUSD. 69 people were in attendance with about half being high school students learning about advocacy. She prepared a powerpoint presentation to share her experience. Boldly decorating the wall of a meeting room was the quote:  "Participation in the rights of citizenship presumes participation in the duties of citizenship".

PTA supported legislation can be viewed in depth HERE on CAPTA.org

Here are the realities of California Education:
- 47th in per student spending
- 50th in class size
- In 3 years we've seen over $20 BILLION cut from education
- Over $9 BILLION in deferred payments owed to schools
- Over 40,000 educators cut
- $2500 less per student spending than the national average
- Only 2% of lottery money goes to schools in a one time lump sum
- Schools are told to plan for worst case scenario
- Schools forced to run with fiscal uncertainty.

Here are the Governor's proposed changes:
- Proposes reshuffling of how money is distributed to schools. 2/3 Unrestricted, 1/3 specific programs.
- Proposed ELIMINATION of second science course requirement for graduation, yet Universities REQUIRE it for admission.
- Proposes to eliminate Due Process before a student is expelled
- Proposed elimination of transitional kindergarten
- Governor proposing a constitutional change to prop 98 to pay for debt services. (I would link this for you but couldn't find anything objective. Please consider doing the research)
- If some legislation does not pass, it will trigger additional cuts of approximately $368 per student.
- Additional cuts could trigger a school year that is THREE weeks shorter, the SHORTEST school year in the WORLD.

California PTA endorses Our Children, Our Future

Executive Vice President, Mrs. Peggy Walker said we will be hosting the E-Waste Recycling Event at Emerson on Saturday, April 21 from 9am-2pm. Volunteers are welcome.

Treasurer's report and Financial Secretary's report were presented by Treasurer, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette. The difference between the beginning balance and ending balance was significant due to the check written to fulfill the commitment of providing ELMOS for every classroom. They have been ordered!
It was moved, seconded and passed to ratify checks 3143-3164. There were 6 deposits made last month.

Vice Presidents Teacher Liaison, Mrs. Nicole Halvorson, presented information regarding our school's winner of the Council PTA District Teacher's Contest. Congratulations are extended to Mrs. Sees! She and her nominating letter will move to the district level where the winner receives a grant for his or her classroom.

Information regarding the Honorary Service awards will come out tomorrow. Nominations will be accepted until April 27th. Teachers, Parents, Staff, anyone who is helping the school can be nominated. Please encourage your student to take the time to nominate someone. More details will be available in tomorrow's packet.

National Teacher Appreciation week is during the first week of May. That is the time that we will be testing so as a school, we will be celebrating our teachers during the week beginning May 14th.

Principal, Mrs. Maggie Kerns presented the State Of The School Address with an accompanying power point. Graphs featured English Language Arts Standards by grade level, Benchmark Book Assessments, Mathematics, Math Facts, and Writing Goals and achievements by trimester.
Campus Improvements include:
- Painted handball backstops
- Replaced kickball backstop
- New PTA storage container
- Repainting of trim and flagpole
- Removal of broken furniture
- Repairing of leaks in staff restrooms
- Replacing patched front windows
- Rewired computer lab
- New project to extend the Kinder Playground

We have received the 2012 Distinguished Schools Award, the LBUSD Growth Award and PTA Recognition for Innovative Projects with the Friday Book Cart Exchange.

Communications Representative, Omar Sekhri from the office of 5th District Councilwoman, Gerrie Schipske, shared several undertakings of the Councilwoman including:
Expansion of the successful fishing line recycling tubes to salt water areas.
Solar Grand Prix held on Sunday, 04/22
The Library Round Up
The 5th Annual Community Baby Shower

Special thanks to Mr. Sekhri for sharing community new with us.

A student asked why computers were still not working even after the lab has been rewired.
A service ticket has been requested to come look at/fix the computers that are not working still.

350 Yearbooks have been ordered and will soon be going on sale for $20. Order Early, we will sell out.

With that, we were adjourned.

Hope to see you next month :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Association Meeting 03/13/12

Tuesday night we were welcomed to the March Association meeting, also the PTA 2012-2013 Board Elections, with yummy treats from the Cheesecake and Cookie Dough fundraiser that we just wrapped up. As members arrived, they signed in and were marked off as current when given their voting paddle and a multi colored cluster of ballot papers.

The meeting was called to order and an awesome group of students let the large audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. There was a slideshow featuring photos from Emerson Events. (Little Shout out to Mrs. Ashlie Lindstrom, Mr. Ron Antonette, and Mrs. Anni Sees for the use of their photos). The minutes from last month's association meeting were presented to the association by Recording Secretary, Mrs. Michelle Arslan.

President, Mrs. Paula Nathan shared the president's report. The technology committee met last month and their recommendations were reiterated to the association at this meeting. They decided to fulfill the initial technology commitment a year and a half early, all classrooms will be receiving ELMOS by the end of the year. The teachers are coming up with a technology vision so that we may proceed with a clear plan. Other technology needs were addressed, like ongoing maintenance (elmo bulbs) and printing capabilities.

Secretary, Mrs. Michelle Arslan read the board recommendation... The Board proposed that we fund the purchase of 11 ELMOS at a cost of $12,985. Mrs. Cynthia Antonette seconded the motion and it passed without any discussion or abstentions.

Treasurer, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette presented the treasurers report (which is available at any time for viewing by any current member). A motion was made to ratify check numbers 3134-3142 for the month of February. Mrs. Kryssie Booth seconded the motion and it was passed without discussion or abstentions.

Financial Secretary, Mrs. Bridgette Jones, presented the Financial Secretary's report. A copy of the report was filed with the auditor.

Parliamentarian, Mrs. Tamara Burke shared that the amended bylaws were submitted to the district on 10/26/11, then submitted to the state on 12/20/11. We received the approved bylaws signed by the state parliamentarian on 01/20/12. The bylaws were approved and adopted by the executive board. Tamara Burke moved that the new bylaws be adopted by the association. Mrs. CJ Holder seconded the motions. It was passed without discussion or abstentions. The changes that were made have been posted and are available for review by and current member by contacting Mrs. Tamara Burke.

VP of Membership, Mrs. Kris Williamson shared that we met our goal of 609 members last month. We are currently at 626 members. We have had 100% of teachers participation!

VP of Fundraising, Mrs. Wendy Cuellar gave an update on Fitness Day. Next Thursday, March 22, students will be participating in a fitness course, class by class over the course of the entire day. Schedules have been made and will be coming home soon. Your support is greatly appreciated! We are also in desperate NEED of Volunteers on that day. Any time that you can spare will be helpful! We are utilizing the whole school and are in need of people to direct the students to their next station.
Students are welcome to wear previous Fitness Day t-shirts to school that day. Kinder students are invited to wear athletic themed shirts as well as part of their uniform.
The next Family Dinner Night Fundraiser will be at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries at the Marketplace in Long Beach, near Mimi's Cafe on 03/29, all day.

Thank you to Mrs. Sally Wuchner, our Cheesecake and Cookie Dough Fundraiser Chairperson. We have just wrapped the event and it was the most successful yet! We cleared $9500! Way to GO!

Principal, Mrs. Maggie Kerns shared that the we just had a visit from the Distinguished Schools Committee. Emerson was one of three schools that were qualified to submit an application for the award. We were visited by a committee who came to validate our claims from the application process. The team visited all the classrooms, met with students, teachers, parents, faculty, specialists and school site council. They were very complimentary in their findings and offered such opinions as
"There is a clear progression of writing that is easy to see and follow" 
"Kindergarten launches the culture of the school" 
"Data is very collaborative" 
"Great Communication" 
"Emerson sets priorities based on what is best for kids"

As there was no unfinished business, we moved on to the election process.

Formalities needed to be observed. Parliamentarian, Mrs. Tamara Burke read a list of important rules and qualifications.  The positions of President, Executive VP, VP Membership, VP Fundraising, VP Activities, VP Teacher Liaison, Recording Secretary, Auditor, Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Historian are elected by vote. The positions of Corresponding Secretary and Parliamentarian are appointed by the board and subject to ratification by the association. 

If a position is left vacant it shall be filled by the board elect.

Mrs. Felice Spark, chairman of the nominating committee, presented the findings and recommendations of the nominating committee. The considered candidates were presented to the association at the last meeting. President, Mrs. Paula Nathan re-read the slated nominees.

Nominations for the 2012-2013 PTA Board were accepted from the floor.

For the positions of President, there were no slated nominees.
Mrs. Peggy Walker nominated Mrs. Paula Nathan and she accepted. There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Executive VP, there were no slated nominees.
Mrs. Kris Williamson nominated Mrs. Cynthia Antonette and she accepted.
Mrs. Bridgette Jones nominated Mrs. Felice Sparks and she accepted.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the positions of VP of Membership, there were no slated nominees.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed. That position was left as vacant.

For the position of VP of Fundraising, there were no slated nominees. 
Mrs. Wendy Cuellar gave a brief description of the position.
Mrs. Maggie Kerns nominated Mrs. CJ Holder and she accepted.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of VP of Activities, Mrs. Rose Jackman was a slated nominee.
Mrs. Jackman vacated the nomination with respect.
Mrs. Paula Nathan nominated Mrs. Stacie Cardena and she accepted.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of VP, Teacher Liaison, Mrs. Pam Harmon was a slated nominee.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Recording Secretary, Mrs. Kryssie Booth was a slated nominee.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Treasurer, Mrs. Bridgette Jones was a slated nominee.
Mrs. Karen Jordan nominated Mrs. Jeana Luzzi and she accepted.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Financial Secretary, Mrs. Tamara Burke was a slated nominee.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Auditor, Mr. Rene Justin was a slated nominee.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

For the position of Historian, there were no slated nominees. 
Mrs. Cynthia Antonette nominated Mrs. Kris Williamson and she accepted.
There were no other nominations from the floor and then nominations for that position were now closed.

The association has no dispute to holding a voice vote for the positions where there was only one nominee. For the positions in which there were more than one nominee, written ballot votes were cast. A Teller committee responsible for gathering and counting the ballot votes was appointed. Visiting Long Beach Council PTA members were appointed for the committee. Mr. Michael Morgan, LBCPTA President served as chairman. Mrs. Sandy Shewchuck, LBCPTA Director of Leadership served on the Teller committee along with Mrs. Linda Haines, LBCPTA Parliamentarian.

Voters were counted at 61. A ballot portion was done first to give the committee ample time to count the votes. Members tore a yellow sheet marked Executive Vice President from their cluster of ballots given at the beginning of the meeting. They wrote their choice on the paper and folded it in half. Raising the ballots in the air, they were collected by the Teller Committee. The Committee opted to gather and count the votes for the Executive Vice President position before proceeding with the second ballot vote.

The votes for treasurer were cast in the same manner. Voters tore from their cluster of ballots a sheet marked Treasurer and wrote their choice. The Teller Committee collected the folded ballots and proceeded to count them.

Voice voting continued for the remaining positions and the results are as follows:

President, Paula Nathan. Ayes have it.
VP of Fundraising, CJ Holder. Ayes have it
VP of Activities, Stacie Cardena. Ayes have it.
VP Teacher Liaison, Pam Harmon. Ayes have it.
Recording Secretary, Kryssie Booth. Ayes have it.
Financial Secretary, Tamara Burke. Ayes have it.
Auditor, Rene Justin. Ayes have it.
Historian, Kris Williamson. Ayes have it.

The voice portion was concluded. The ballots counting was complete and the results were as follows:
Executive Vice President, Cynthia Antonette by ballot majority.
Treasurer, Jeana Luzzi by ballot majority.

Following a suggested formality by Long Beach Council PTA, Parliamentarian, Mrs. Tamara Burke made a motion to destroy ballots immediately following the association meeting. Mrs. Wendy Cuellar seconded the motion and it passed without discussion or abstentions. The ballots only viewed by the Teller Committee were destroyed immediately following the association meeting.

The next association meeting will be on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:00pm in the auditorium. There will be a drawing held at the meeting next month for all current PTA members!! Come see if you win!

Wednesday packet distribution may be delayed due to a broken copier. 

Yearbook photo submissions are due by Monday, March 19. Please turn them in to the office or send them via email.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:13pm.

WOW! That was a lot of reading! Thanks! Even if you just scrolled down here to see the election results ;)
See you next month!

ps. email me if I have some terrible spelling mistakes. i blame it on the late hour. and if i spelled your name wrong... sorry, let me know and i'll fix it.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Emerson Family Sweetheart Dance

Emerson Sweetheart Dance kicked off this year. What an amazing event for families to enjoy together! Everyone who attended had a great time! Food Trucks, Dancing, Family Portrait Photographer, Candy Bar, and FUN!

Thank you to Mrs. Cindy Emami for presenting this idea and taking charge of such a successful and enjoyable Emerson Event!

 Here are some of the wonderful things people had to say:

"Big props to Cindy Emami for her tireless efforts that made last night's Sweetheart dance a BLAST! We all had so much fun! And Cindy...you were like the Energizer Bunny!!!!! You deserve a spa weekend--thank you! You Rock!"

"Thank you Cindy and all your helpers for a great event last night. It was wonderful watching the joy and excitement on the children's faces as they danced, danced, danced! Thanks to the PTA for the new events this year. The Skate Depot and the dance last night has been a great way to bring Emerson families together to cultivate our friendships and connect as a community."

"Great sweetheart dance Cindy Emami!! Thanks for all your imagination and hard work in making this a special night for students and families!"

"Cindy, THANK YOU for all the hard work and love you put into the dance. The kids obviously had a great time and all the additional activities -- plus the dances you taught them! -- really added to the evening. I know this dance is something the kids and parents will remember for years to come!!"

"A great new Emerson tradition!"

"I'm in, too...already looking forward to it next year!"

"Cindy, THANK YOU for all the hard work and love you put into the dance. The kids obviously had a great time and all the additional activities -- plus the dances you taught them! -- really added to the evening. I know this dance is something the kids and parents will remember for years to come!!"

* Photo Rights to Ashley Lindstrom and Ron Antonette via Facebook. Thank You!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Association Meeting 02/15/12

Did you miss the PTA meeting tonight? It was pretty cold out and we had an unusual Wednesday meeting...

Here's what happened:

6:04 the meeting was called to order by Executive Vice President, Mrs. Peggy Walker who was filling in for President, Mrs. Paula Nathan. After the Pledge of Allegiance the minutes from the January association meeting were presented for approval. Historian, Mrs. Kryssie Booth (me! Hi!) motioned to approve those minutes. The motion was seconded by Principal, Mrs. Maggie Kerns. The motion passed without any objections or abstentions.

The slideshow was missed due to the absence of the projector. Bummer... extra slideshow next month!

Cadet Girl Scout troop #1003 were here as our guest speakers. They are working toward their Silver Award, which is the highest award a cadet girl scout can earn. Troop #1003 offered a well spoken presentation about PHYSICAL, VERBAL and CYBER BULLYING. They recognized that all are painful and said that many people have witnessed bullying in their lifetime. Here are a few of the points they mentioned: 1. Bullying Situations can generally be diffused if one person stands up to the bully. 2. We should ourselves and teach our children to Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated. 3. They pledge to step in against bullying and encourage parents to teach their children about the harmful effects of bullying.

Executive VP, Mrs. Peggy Walker presented the audit on behalf of Auditor, Mrs. Michelle Worden. It was conducted on January 1, 2012 for the fiscal year 2011-2012. Beginning balance, receipts, disbursements and reconciliation reports along with files, bylaws, ledger, and check book registers. All financial records and membership totals were present. All appropriate reports were filed correctly and there were no audit recommendations were made. Mrs. Kerns made the motion to approve the audit, Mrs. Kryssie Booth (Hi again) seconded the motion. It passed without any objections or abstentions.

There was a problem with the shredding company coming on the planned date of 04/22 which was going to be held in conjunction with another E-waste event. The shredding portion has now been moved to June but the E-waste event will still take place as part of the Earth Day Celebration.

Treasurer, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette presented the Treasurer's Report. Financial Reports were available at the meeting to all in attendance. VP of Fundraising, Mrs. Wendy Cuellar made a motion to ratify checks #3121-3133. The motion was seconded by VP of Membership, Mrs. Kris Williamson. The motion passed without any objections or abstentions. This month the executive board made 3 adjustments to the budget , each falling under the $500 limit that the executive board has authority and permission to authorize under our bylaws. The Holiday Silent Auction expense line was adjusted to reflect an increase of $260.34. The Sparkle Jewelry Sale expense line was adjusted to reflect an increase of $241.51 and the School Uniforms expense line was adjusted to reflect an increase of $378.04.

Treasurer, Mrs. Cynthia Antonette also presented the Financial Secretary's Report in the absence of Financial Secretary, Mrs. Bridgette Jones. The total deposits (including, silent auction, membership drive and sparkle jewelry sale) for the month of January were presented and Hospitality Chair, Ms. Felice Sparks motioned to approve the Financial Secretary's report. Executive VP, Mrs. Peggy Walker seconded the motion. The motion passed without any objections or abstentions.

Parliamentarian, Mrs. Tamara Burke shared the the Executive Board has updated our bylaws this year. Most changes mere made due to changes at the state level. Our revised bylaws were sent in and have been signed and approved by the State Parliamentarian. It is very important that we operate within our bylaws and so Executive Board meetings have been moved to the 4th Monday of the month to be in accordance with them.
The nominating committee made up of Chairman, Felice Sparks, Kryssie Booth, Cheryl Justin, Kris Williamson, and Tamara Burke. The Slate was announced tonight:

President: VACANT
Executive VP: VACANT
VP of Membership: VACANT
VP of Fundraising: VACANT
VP of Activities: Rose Jackman
VP, Teacher Liaison: Pam Harmon
Treasurer: Bridgette Jones
Financial Secretary: Tamara Burke
Auditor: Rene Justin
Recording Secretary: Kryssie Booth
Historian: VACANT

Elections will take place at the March 13 association meeting at which time, nominations for any board position will be taken from the floor. If you or someone you know would like to serve on the board in any of the positions listed above, please be present at the March 13th association meeting to make a floor nomination immediately prior to the election.

VP of Membership, Mrs. Kris Williamson updated that we are ONLY 34 memberships away from meeting the goal set for us by PTA Council! If you're not a member yet, $5.50 covers the base membership! Students, parents, community members and businesses can all be members! Join today! We also have 100% of Emerson Teachers now members of the PTA. As a reward for reaching that particular award, Emerson PTA will be granted one free PTA Convention admission.

VP, Teacher Liaison, Mrs. Nicole Halvorson said the Teacher of the Year award nomination submissions deadline is 02/29. Your submission form NEEDs to be accompanied by an essay. It can be written by parent or student. There is still time to nominate!

VP of Fundraising, Mrs. Wendy Cuellar announced Family Dinner Night for February. It will be at CPK at the Marketplace in Long Beach on 02/23. It's an all day event.
Fitness day updates: Fitness day will take place on Thursday, March 22, 2012. The Event will take place ALL DAY. 4-5 classrooms will come out at directed times (throughout the day) and participate in fitness activities for 20-30 minutes. The children will have a great time, but at the same time, be experiencing a fun workout. we will have a hula-hoop section, base running, monkey bars/slide, jump ropes and much much more to get the children excited about exercise.
Donations to Fitness Day will take place from March 1- March 30. We are setting a goal for every student to raise at least $40 for Emerson. If 650 students bring in at least $40 then the school will have raised over $25,000 for the next school year 2012-2013
All Classrooms with 100% participation will get an ice cream party.
The classroom that raises the most amount of money will get a GRAND ice cream party.
The student that raises the most amount of money for Emerson will win a $50 Target Gift card and an iFLY indoor skydiving (4 visits!)
Fitness Day items for 2012 areL New oval Emerson magnet, Emerson Pennant, Emerson Beanie and Emerson Beach Cooler (12pk).
Our theme this year (voted on by Emerson PTA Executive Board) is: "WITNESS THE FITNESS". Ray Mc Neil won a $50 gift card to Sports Authority. Thank you to the 12 students who participated. The Grand Prize this year will be a Kindle Fire!!

Principal's Report was given by Mrs. Kerns. She said that sadly there are many districts in worse financial shape than LBUSD. We will still be facing budget cutbacks. School Site Council and Lead Teams are meeting to try and figure out how to prioritize when we find out what kind of cutbacks we will be facing exactly. We will be requesting input from parents in the form of a survey soon.
Good news, we were one of 6 schools that got their flag pole painted and our backstops have also been finished.
As part  of a Microsoft Settlement, all teachers will be receiving a new computer and they have decided to move to the Mac platform. The technology committee has had it's first meeting and is full of innovative ideas. They have chosen to finish out a previous 6 year commitment to get projectors and document cameras in every classroom and will be coming out from that 1 full year ahead of schedule. They will continue to meet to discuss how to best meet the technology needs of Emerson students.
School tours are now over and we have a large interest as a School of Choice which is wonderful. A big Thank you to Cindy Emami for a wildly successful Sweet Heart Dance! It was amazing and overwhelmingly enjoyed.

Kris Williamson, School Cents Committee Chair, says we are still collecting receipts from the Center Malls, Lakewood, Cerritos, and Stonewood, until mid May.  If you have a Facebook, we can also get School Cents points by "Liking" the Lakewood Center, Cerritos Center and Stonewood Center malls. I'm not sure how they will know which school to give the points to, you may need to comment or something. When I find out, I'll let you know... Please consider signing up at the Shopping Partnership link to the right. You get VERY occasional emails (I've gotten maybe 5 since August) and we get points for that too. Each point we get gets us closer to our portion of $50,000!

Meeting adjourned at 6:45. Just like that. Short and sweet.

The next meeting will be on MARCH 13. Mark you calendars and PLEASE come to Election night. We will be taking nominations from the floor and should we require a ballot vote to determine the winner if there are more than two people nominated for a position we will definitely need your vote and your help. Plus you'll get to see extra slide shows!  (That's me, kind of plugging myself...) We would LOVE to see you there! Seriously.

March 13th folks.