Hickory Hills PTA

every Child; one Voice

Friday Folder Check

by Lori - August 22nd, 2014
In this week’s Friday folders, PTA placed a flier thanking shirt sponsors. Please take notice of those businesses who helped us with this effort.On the back of that flier is an announcement for Board openings for 2014. Since the flier was printed, our Homeroom Parent Coordinator, Spirit Night Coordinator, and Spring Fling Chair/Co-Chair positions have been filled. Yea! We still need a Reflections Chair. Reflections is a national PTA Arts in Education program. This person can attend training in early September to learn how to promote this worthy program at HH.

Kindergarten parents received a flyer last weekend promoting Monday evening’s Play Date. This annual event is sponsored by PTA and provides an opportunity for parents and children to meet and get to know each other. Refreshments will be provided from 6-7 pm on the HH Playground. Kindergarten teachers, parents, students and kindergarten siblings are invited to attend.

Have a great weekend. Stay cool and safe in these hot temps.

Board and Membership Minutes – August 2014

by Lori - August 21st, 2014

Hickory Hills Elementary Board and Membership Meeting/ August 18, 2014

In Attendance: Andrea Baldwin, Michelle Benzen, Nicole Bonnarens, Abby Biggers, Alexis Brown, Lori Chisholm, Dana DeBlanc, Sarah Dorrel, Michele Douglas, Carissa Estes, Tonya Fisher, Brandy Hickman, Abby Kleiboeker, Maggie Krogh, Jana Lewis, Alan Lockhart, Angel Matthews, Kim Mayer, Kayla Nel, Cung Ngun, Sarah Odom, Jami Quick, Barb Ray, Beki Rhein, Kristen Rohrer, Emily Russell, Dino Savvenas, Lauren Sawyer, Jody Schaad, Amanda Squires, Sara Swaim, Fom Thuang, Laura Twenter, Susan Twenter, Hillary West.

Lori Chisholm, PTA President, called the meeting to order at 6:37 PM.

Lori welcomed everyone in attendance and introduced the other members of the 2014-15 Executive Committee:  Maggie Krogh (Vice President,) Michele Douglas  (Treasurer) and Emily Russell (Secretary). 

The May 2014 minutes were approved as written.

Mrs. Odom, Principal’s Report:

  • iPads – Each classroom has 4 iPads (64 total) with cases.  Teachers are busy downloading apps to prepare them for classroom use.
  • Copy Machine in Library Resource Room – This new copier is available for parent volunteer use during teacher lunchtime or when other machines are busy.
  • Birthday Celebrations – As part of the SPS updates to nutrition and wellness, children are no longer allowed to bring birthday treats to the classroom.  Instead of birthday treats, the school along with PTA is providing a drawstring bag, which includes a color-changing “mood” cup (provided by PTA) to each child on their birthday.  Mrs. Odom also does a birthday celebration in the little gym in the morning before school to recognize children on their birthdays.  She announces their birthdays, everyone sings happy birthday, and they are given the drawstring goody bag.
  • Pledge of Allegiance – the school is saying the Pledge of Allegiance every day this year as opposed to once a week.
  • Fundraising Nights – we are no longer allowed to market directly to students (i.e. teachers wearing Domino’s pizza night t-shirts to school, putting Domino’s pizza night stickers on children to wear home) for fundraising nights.  We may only market directly to parents.
  • Lunchroom Aide – The lunchroom is in need of an aide.  Pay is about $8.30/hour with a 2 hour commitment.  See Mrs. Odom if interested.
  • Car Line – The car line seems to be making progress after the procedure changes were introduced to parents.
  • Construction – The building addition budget is $1.1 million.  Bids came in between $1.65/$1.66 million.  Several changes have been made to plans to decrease cost. Hoping to go to bid this fall with construction starting in January and then move students into the new addition next year.  Changes to plans include:-Shrunk footprint and removed the middle of the building collaborative space.

    -Changed the exterior of the structure from a hardened structure (stronger material for storms) to a pre-cast exterior.

 Lori Chisholm, President’s Report:

  • Lori, and on behalf of Sarah Langston (immediate past President), thanked Tonya Fisher, Russ Winterberg and Christine Slayden for a successful Field Day last May.  Tonya and Russ will lead Field Day 2015.
  • PTA provided spelling dictionaries for 1st and 2nd grade and student planners for 4th and 5th grade this year.
  • PTA officers met in June and July to plan and organize for the school year.
  • PTA secured 14 business sponsors for the 2014-2015 “We are Spartans” t-shirts.  Each business paid $200 to have their logo placed on the back.  These sponsorships provided a free shirt for every student, teacher, staff and PTA committee chair.
  • The 2014-2015 proposed budget was discussed and drafted in the summer officer meetings.
  • Teachers and staff were given their shirts on August 7.  PTA and PTSA provided a breakfast to teachers and staff at their back to school meeting with Mrs. Odom.  Thank you to the new hospitality chairs, Tamara Scully and Amanda Squires for feeding our teachers/staff.
  • PTA purchased 400 “mood” tumblers with the new logo for student birthday celebrations.
  • Officers met twice with the Spartan Sprint Committee to help with their event.
  • Thanks to a business donor, PTA provided 500 color Friday folder inserts.
  • Students were given their “We are Spartans” shirts at Meet the Teacher along with the new PTA brochure.  Thanks to Michele Douglas, Maggie Krogh, Emily Russell and Sarah Langston who helped prepare over 500 shirts for distribution.
  • PTA Survey – A PTA survey is in the works to be ready in the 1st quarter.
  • Major Fundraisers – Major Fundraiser goal amounts are:
    • Spartan Sprint – $3,000 minimum
    • Letter Campaign – $3,500 (if necessary, dependent on Spartan Sprint Results)
    • Spring Fling – $3,500
    • All three fundraisers total $10,000
  • Chair Positions are open:
    • Spirit Nights
    • Homeroom Parent Coordinator
    • Reflections
    • Cultural Arts
  • Spring Fling – 2 individuals needed
  • PAC Representatives this year are Barb Ray and Jody Schaad.  They will attend the Superintendent’s meeting four times a year, and will report back at the PTA meetings.
  • Lori Chisholm and/or Maggie Krogh will be attending the SCPTA meetings and will report back at the PTA meetings.
  • Stay connected and involved with PTA.  Like and share our Facebook page.  Let Lori know of anything that needs to be posted.  Committee chairs should contact her about reporting at meetings.

Michele Douglas, PTA Treasurer: Michele reported that the ending balance for 2013-2014 was $17,212.48.  May and June activity not reported at the May meeting include a Box Top check and Spirit Night checks received, Scrip funds that were received for gift cards sold, and Spring Fling had a few deposits in May and also expenses in June.  Spring Fling income was $9,109.24 with $6,000 going towards the iPad project.  Expenses for May and June included a few teacher acquisitions, Field Day expenses, field trips, and hospitality for teacher appreciation week.  Planners and dictionaries for 2014-2015 were purchased at the end of the year.  Final yearbook payments were also made.  Teacher Appreciation money was not paid at the end of 2013-2014. The process changed so that these funds will be paid at the beginning of each school year.  In 2014-2015, teachers will be paid the funds for 2013-2014 and also 2014-2015.  2013-2014 will come from the reserve fund.  In addition to $9,841.61 in expense on the budget, PTA spent $10,000 from the reserve that went towards the iPad project.  

Michele presented the 2014-2015 proposed budget .The starting balance for 2014-2015 is $17,212.48.  Several income accounts raised more money than expected, but to be conservative, adjustments were not made to all.  On-going fundraising was increased to reflect the increase in income, but Spring Fling was decreased, as it will no longer be our major fundraiser.  Several expenses were over in 2013-2014 so the amounts have been increased accordingly for Chat and Chew, Field Day, Hospitality and Teacher Appreciation.  Several expenses were not used or minimally used in 2013-2014 so they have been removed or decreased in the proposed budget.  Acquisitions, All Pro Dads, Cultural Arts, Directory, and Teacher Appreciation Banquet (Shared with middle school) were reduced.  Miscellaneous gifts and Watch D.O.G.S were removed.  The amounts can be absorbed in other categories if needed.

Michele made a motion to approve the budget.  There was a second and the motion carried with discussion. 

Maggie Krogh, Membership: PTA Membership forms are available tonight if needed.

Maggie Krogh, Volunteer Opportunities and SPS Policy: Volunteer Opportunities are still available, and sign-up forms are on top of the library bookshelves.  The SPS Policy this year states that all parent volunteers need to complete a volunteer form online through hhpta.org or the SPS site so that a background check can be done. SPS pays up to $1,000 school system wide for background checks.  Each background check will be $17.50 once the money runs out.  You are encouraged to get it done quickly to meet the requirement and to avoid extra cost.  Every volunteer has to re-apply every year. 

Maggie Krogh, Fall Fundraiser (THE SPARTAN SPRINT): This event/fundraiser is replacing Fall Fun Night.  The Spartan Sprint will be a 5K/10K on October 18th at 9:00am.  Ridge Runner Sports will be facilitating the run.  Sign up on the Ridge Runner website or on runsignup.com.  Scholarships are available and will be provided privately and anonymously.  The run will begin at High Street Baptist Church on Eastgate and the loop will lap for the 10K.  Bounce houses, face painting and hopefully music will be provided.  Appropriate Spartan costume dress-up is encouraged.  There will be awards based on age/gender.  For the kids, awards will be per grade with a spread in the yearbook for the winners.  Sponsorships both monetary and in-kind are still needed.

Maggie Krogh, Homeroom Parent Report: Homeroom parent help is still needed. A meeting with homeroom parents will be scheduled soon to discuss the plans and procedures for the year.

Hillary West (Box Tops/Amazon Smile), Brandy Hickman (Scrip), Lisa Hyde  - Maggie Krogh on behalf of Lisa (Target RED Card), Lori Chisholm (Spirit Nights), Ongoing Fundraising:

  • Target RED debit /credit card – Shoppers receive a 5% discount for their total purchases and 1% of total purchases is donated back to the school.  You must specify Hickory Hills as the recipient school on your RED Card account.
  • Box Tops – Box Top collections will be in October and February with contests between the classes for the most Box Tops collected.  Sam’s has a special promotion – if three eligible items with Box Tops are purchased at one time then they will give 70 eBox Tops.  You may sign-up on BTFE.com to keep up with Box Top information/news.  Help with Box Top counting at collection time is needed.
  • Amazon Smile – This is a new fundraising program for our school this year.   Shoppers that shop through smile.amazon.com will be able to give ½ of a percent of their total purchases to HHPTA.  Amazon shoppers have to shop through smile.amazon.com, and do a one-time selection of PTA Missouri Congress Hickory Hills Elementary PTA as the charitable organization recipient on their account in order for the school to get the donation.
  • Scrip – A wide variety of businesses have Scrip gift cards available at face value and then the businesses donate a certain percentage of the purchase back to HHPTA.  Amounts donated per business vary.  The more popular gift cards are kept in stock with Brandy for immediate purchase.  The easiest way to purchase Scrip cards is to order online with shopwithscrip.com.  Orders placed online can be left in the office for pick-up or sent home in children’s backpacks.  There are also some Scrip cards available online that you can print instantly or use electronically.  Several parents with ties to local businesses make large gift cards purchases for their businesses through our Scrip program, which is our largest moneymaker for Scrip.
  • Spirit Nights – 9/30 Texas Roadhouse, 10/21 Culvers, 11/18 Chuck E Cheese, 1/27 Wendy’s

Emily Russell, Spartan Spirit Wear: We are ordering spirit wear earlier this year than past years so that students have a longer portion of the year to wear their items.  Samples are available so you can see what is available before ordering.  Order forms went home in Friday folders.  Orders will be taken until September 26th.  Items ordered should go home students in October.  Proceeds go to HHPTA.

Alan Lockhart, All Pro Dads: All Pro Dads is a program started by Tony Dungy as a way to get fatherly figures more involved in their kid’s lives.  All Pro Dads provides a breakfast for children and their fatherly figure (or mother or anyone else they would like to bring) to attend so they can spend time together having fun and discussing important topics.  Paperwork with information will be going home in Friday Folders.  Chick-Fil-A will provide one breakfast, and they will provide the remaining breakfasts at a discount.  Alan is working to find out if a Chick-Fil-A breakfast before school works in the new SPS Nutrition Guidelines.  Breakfasts begin at 7:00 am and will be held once a quarter.

Jana Lewis, Health and Safety: The Health Fair will be held on September 24th from 8-11:30 and she could use help if interested. 

Michele Douglas, Spirit Days: There will not be a spirit day every Friday this year since participation seems to be less when there are more days.  She is looking into doing some Fridays and some weeklong themes like a Glendale Spirit Week during their Homecoming week.  Kids are encouraged to wear their green “We are Spartans” shirts on Fridays when there is not a designated spirit day.   

Abby Biggers, Yearbook: Abby and Rick Adair will be working with Lifetouch on yearbook layout, and someone else handles the financial portion.  Yearbooks are typically available on the last Friday before school gets out (depending on how the calendar falls).  She is looking for volunteers to help with the yearbook and to take pictures at Spirit Nights and in the classrooms.  Some work can be done from home and not a big time commitment.  iPhone photos generally work if they are close up.  When taking pictures, please try to get 3 or more kids in a picture. 

Tonya Fisher on behalf of Lisa Ebisch, Charitable Giving:

  • The Clothing Drive will take place September 29th -October 10th.  The Clothing Drive is an opportunity for families to donate new or gently used coats, jeans, socks and underwear to the Springfield PTA Clothing Bank, which serves students who qualify for free or reduced lunches.
  • PTA Clothing Bank, located at Study Alternative Center, utilizes volunteers from the public schools to help sort and hang donated clothing.  Hickory Hills designated volunteer afternoons to choose from are: 9/11, 10/16, 11/20, 2/12, 3/26 and 4/30 from 2:30-5:00 PM.
  • Holiday Food Baskets are our way of helping 10 needy families during the holidays with food and hygiene items.  Volunteers help by sorting donated goods and delivering baskets to the homes. Collection Dates: Dec. 1st -12th.  Sort and Delivery Date: Dec. 16th 9 AM – Noon.

New Business:  Maggie Krogh – The Greenhouse is in need of weekly volunteers and a person to coordinate classroom visits.  A sign-up sheet is available.   

Lori Chisholm adjourned the meeting at 7:56 PM.

Emily Russell, PTA Secretary

Thank you Shirt Sponsors

by Lori - August 19th, 2014

Thank you to the following sponsors for underwriting the cost of this year’s “We are Spartans” 2014-2015 t-shirts. Every student, teacher, and staff person received a shirt due to the generosity of these community partners.















Box Tops and Sam’s Club Special Offer

by Lori - August 18th, 2014
Check out this current Box Tops special at Sam’s Club. This offer started in August and will continue all school-year.

Be True to Your School at Sam’s Club! You can earn 70 eBox Tops for your school when you purchase 3 participating Box Tops for Education items at Sam’s Club, then text or email your receipt to samsclub@btfereceipts.com or submit online atwww.BeTrueToYourSchool.com.

Visit http://www.betruetoyourschool.com/ for eligible products, submission requirements and offer details. You will receive 2 text replies. Msg & Data rates may apply. Must be 18+.

Meeting Tonight!

by Lori - August 18th, 2014

We hope you will all make an effort to come to tonight’s PTA meeting.  The goals for our first meeting are to adopt our budget, inform you about our programs and committees, and create an opportunity for parents to meet and connect.

Beginning at 6:15, we will be selling PTA memberships and spirit wear.  Samples will be displayed to give you an idea of the items available this year.  Please join PTA if you haven’t already.  Individual memberships $5 / Business memberships $10.

The meeting will begin at 6:30.

Board Openings for 2014

by Lori - August 17th, 2014

PTA is searching for dependable and willing individuals to fill some chair positions on committees and/or be program coordinators.  Please email Lori at lorichisholm@att.net for more information.

SPIRIT NIGHTS–Food or activity event nights are planned with various school partners (restaurants and other businesses) throughout the year to help raise money for Hickory Hills.  For 2014-2015 spirit nights have been planned for September, October, November, January, and February (traditionally this is McTeacher night at McDonalds).   A person who can organize and help spread the word to parents about these events is needed.   (Due to new district policies, the spirit night coordinator will need to become familiar with the parameters of how to promote these events.  PTA Executive Team can help with this).  Our Spirit Night goal for 2014 is to raise $1000.

CULTURAL ARTS CHAIRPERSON:  This individual schedules 3 elementary school assemblies for elementary students on various cultural and educational subjects.   This person will work with a budget to secure and plan these 3 assemblies.

REFLECTIONS:  A person is needed who can promote this year’s National PTA Reflections theme to the student body through fliers.  Training for Reflections volunteers can attend either September 8 (6:30-8:30 pm) OR September 9 (9:00-11:00) at Brentwood Library to find out how to promote this Arts in Education program.  This year’s theme is “The World Would Be a Better Place If  . . . “  Students are encouraged to submit works of art in 6 categories:  Visual Arts, Dance Choreography, Literature, Photography, Film Production, and Musical Composition.  Go to http://www.PTA.org/Reflections to learn about this valuable program.

Ongoing Fundraising Announcement

by Lori - August 16th, 2014

Hickory Hills PTA is happy to announce a new way to support HHPTA: Shopping at AmazonSmile. This link will take you directly to smile.amazon.com in support of HHPTA. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Hickory Hills Elementary PTA whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.


Friday Folders

by Lori - August 15th, 2014

PTA regularly uses purple folders, aka “Friday Folders”, to communicate with you–>

Parents, be on the lookout for some PTA papers in your child’s Friday folders. There is an invitation for Monday’s meeting in the library. There is also a stapled packet of this year’s membership form, a “save the date” for our Spartan Sprint/sponsorship opportunities, and this year’s spirit wear order form. Check them all out and stay informed!

From the School Counselor

by Lori - August 15th, 2014

Mrs. Hughes, Elementary Counselor, with the help of STUCO, will be promoting the Civility Project this year.  Each month features a specific concept.


AugustBe Attentive
Live with awareness toward others and your surroundings.

SeptemberAcknowledge Others
Greet people, ideas and values with respect.

OctoberBe Inclusive
Recognize and welcome all people every day.

November – Listen
Seek to understand by concentrating on what people say.

DecemberRespect Other Views
Respond to different opinions with a fair and open mind.

JanuarySpeak Out With Courage
Express yourself with honor and conviction.

FebruaryAct with Compassion
Treat others with kindness and honesty.

MarchGive and Accept Constructive Feedback
Consider criticism thoughtfully and factually.

April - Treat Your Environment with Respect
Show regard for nature, resources and shared spaces.

MayBe Accountable
Acknowledge mistakes and take responsibility for your actions.

Welcome Back!

by Lori - August 13th, 2014

It is my privilege to welcome new and returning families to Hickory Hills Elementary for 2014-2015. I am honored to serve as President of PTA.  I hope to meet those of you who are new to our school.  We have a great community at HH and I’m proud to be a part.

This is my 8th year with Hickory Hills Elementary PTA. Over the years, I have met many wonderful people and gained friends through my volunteer work with PTA.  I highly encourage you to get involved through PTA and make a positive difference for our school.  Our PTA exists to support our students and teachers. Be on the lookout for opportunities to help.

I am happy to present our PTA officers.  Maggie, Michele, and Emily all bring to PTA their ideas, creativity, and dedication to make our organization strong.

Make sure you join PTA.  We need you as we begin another year. Membership information and a form can be found on this website under the tab MEMBERSHIP.  If you are on Facebook, like us to get regular updates (facebook.com/hhpta).

One new event that you will hear a lot about is the 2014 Spartan Sprint.  This 5K/10K will serve as a fundraiser for our elementary students and teachers.  Plan to be a part of the fun and share the information with those you know.

If you have questions about PTA, please contact us.  Thank you for your support and here’s to a successful year.  Go Spartans!

Lori Chisholm