Happy New Year Thunderbirds!
It’s hard to believe the 2019-2020 school year is half over and our auction is only four weeks away! Not only is this our biggest fundraiser of the year, it is also such a fun night and a chance to connect with your Trailwood Community. This year’s theme is 80’s on the 8th and you will not want to miss it! Make sure your calendars are marked for Saturday, February 8th.
Our next PTA meeting is an evening meeting on Tuesday, January 14th. It will be at 7:00pm and I hope you will join us! We have a unique opportunity to hear from three SMSD School Board members. They will be there to answer any questions you may have. If you’d like to submit your question(s) in advance please email them to Melissa.email@example.com. You are also welcome to ask questions during the meeting as well. The board members joining us are, Jessica Hembree, Heather Ousley and Mary Sinclair. We are looking forward to hearing from them.
Our Chiefs tailgate party for the Staff is Friday, January 10th, 2020! If you would like to bring food please check out the sign up genius to see what is still needed or just bring a treat you think the staff will enjoy.
Lunch will start at 10:45 am. Thank you for your support!”
The main Trailwood PTA fundraiser is coming up in less than a month!
80’s on the 8th
DATE: Saturday Feb. 8, 2020
TIME: 6:00pm to 10:00pm.
PLACe: Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center
WHAT TO DO
Want to see your name or business on a banner for all to view at the 95th and Rosewood entrance? Or, maybe you'd like to get your logo on our famous reusable souvenir auction cups? (You know, they're the ones that your kids will insist you keep FOREVER!) Perhaps you'd like to have your name displayed on the bidding paddles to be used during our live auction?
Yes, we still have auction sponsorships available, but they're going quickly! Sponsorship levels range from $300 - $2,500, and all gifts are tax-deductible. More details may be found in the attached documents below. Please contact Cara Peterson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Victoria Savich (email@example.com) for more information.
Do you have maybe one, two or even 4 bottles of wine that you have just sitting around your house that you'd like to donate to the Trailwood Auction?
Thank you all SO much for your help in making this auction the best one yet!
Three Trailwood area members of the Board of Education will join us for our next evening PTA meeting, January 14 at 7pm. Come meet Heather Ousley (At-Large), Mary Sinclair (East area) and Jessica Hembree (South area). Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org so that our guests can be prepared to respond. Remember child care is always provided during PTA meetings.
Save the date for our annual Family Math and Science Night!
Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Join us for amazing exhibits and dinner provided by the PTA.
Here are just a few of the amazing things you’ll want to check out...
Chat and Chew is like a book club for kids 2nd through 6th grade, the kids will meet with a parent/grandparent volunteer to discuss the book over lunch. There are three books per grade level and the parent volunteer will set up one lunch-time discussion per book between January and April. I will send the books list for each grade level after sign up is complete.
Please sign up if you would like your child to participate in Chat and Chew.
If you, or a grandparent, would like to lead a group choose the "parent volunteer" option. This is a great flexible volunteer opportunity! There are 3 meetings (January, February, and March/April) and you get to schedule with your group over a lunch period that works for you. This volunteer opportunity would require you to be an MVP through the district because it is one-on-one with students.
If you have any questions, please contact Clare Snyder - email@example.com
Mark your calendars for our upcoming Indian Woods Open House. This is an opportunity for 6th grade families to visit and see what Indian Woods has to offer.
Information guides/maps about the night’s activities will be available by the school’s main entrances.
Congratulations to the Trailwood winners of the PTA Citizenship Contest this year! Carter Hugunin won for 5th grade essay and Kate Hipp won for 5th grade poetry. Their essay and poem will advance to the district competition later this month. Congratulations Kate and Carter!!
Stacy Doyle and Heidi Erenberg
PTA Citizenship Co-Chairs
Friday, May 15th, 2020 - A “SEAlebration” of a great year aka our Annual Trailwood Carnival!
This year’s Carnival theme is “Under the Sea” and we are looking for your help designing our marketing materials for the carnival. Mrs. Schwab will also be working all students to help create art to decorate our school in our “Sea” theme in preparation for the big night!
We are looking for a creative design from a Trailwood Student and one from a Trailwood parent to use in emails and on social.
Please turn in your submissions to Mrs. North by January 31st. Each winner will receive two free wrist bands for all carnival activities and two wrist bands for dinner.
Here are some details to help with your designs:
Date: Friday, May 15th, 2020
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Trailwood Elementary
Theme: Under the SEA
Activities: Pizza Dinner, Cotton Candy, Cake Walk, Cupcake Walk, Face Painting, Balloon Artist, Tattoo Artist, Infirmary, Face Painting, Rides, Kona Ice, Rides, Games, Prizes, Bounce Houses and more!
The Trailwood PTA Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for next year’s Executive Board. Please let us know if you or someone you know would be a good fit!
January, 9 2020
The Kansas Legislative session is set to begin on January 13. Below are some important issues to watch for throughout the session, and further down you’ll find an update on teacher contract negotiations. And as always, you’ll find a plug for the importance of voting, especially in those lesser known down ballot races.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN TOPEKA
Public education advocacy groups are noticing some concerning chatter among a few legislators regarding at-risk spending in Kansas. This stems from the results of an audit that showed that at-risk funding isn’t always spent directly on at-risk students. There is a concern that this could be part of an attack on public schools in the upcoming legislative session. This excerpt from a Kansas National Education Association (KNEA) article gives a good high level summary of the issue and the nuances involved with at-risk spending.
A new audit of at-risk spending in 20 Kansas school districts noted that “Most of the at-risk funding we reviewed was spent on teachers and programs that serve all students rather than focusing on at-risk students.” This is precisely because we do not isolate or segregate at-risk students from their peers. Every classroom in Kansas has at-risk students; some more than others. If we were to ensure that at-risk funds benefited only at-risk students, such students would need to be isolated from their peers. This is not only morally wrong, but it is also a highly inefficient use of resources and would end up costing more than is being spent today.
More information can be found in the KNEA article, Funding at Risk, as well as in the following article submitted by the Kansas Board of Education to the Kansas City Star. Simplistic Report on Kansas at-risk school spending ignores the reality of teaching
Medicaid Expansion – BREAKING NEWS!
After writing an update about how Medicaid Expansion was going to be one of the big issues in Topeka this session, it was announced that the Governor and the Senate Majority Leader reached a deal to expand Medicaid in 2020. Details on the deal and the resulting Medicaid expansion bill are still to come, but this is big news! Kansas is one of only 14 states that has yet to expand Medicaid, leaving around 150,000 Kansans without healthcare coverage, because they fall into a coverage gap. This means they make too much money to be covered by traditional Medicaid, but not enough money to qualify for a subsidized plan under the Affordable Care Act. 90% of Medicaid Expansion would be paid for by the federal government. This Kansas Healthcare Foundation website has a good explainer of What Expanding Medicaid Means for Kansans.
Medicaid Expansion is an item on the SMSD legislative platform, as it will increase health insurance coverage for a significant number of families in our community, promoting family access to health care, which will increase the opportunities for students to be successful in school.
Gun Sense Legislation
While many states have been passing "red flag laws," which allow guns to be removed from individuals that have proven to be a danger to themselves or others, here in Kansas, two legislators plan to introduce an "anti-red flag act.” This would prohibit Kansas authorities from enforcing "red flag" orders issued against a Kansas resident by another state or from federal authorities, should "red flag laws" be passed at the federal level. Basically, this "anti-red flag act" would ban enforcement of any court order "for which the primary purpose is to reduce the risk of firearm related death or injury."
You can learn more in this AP news article: GOP lawmakers in 2 states seek anti-red flag laws on guns
National PTA supports the Second Amendment and recognizes the right to bear arms, but at the same time supports efforts to protect children and youth from gun violence.
TEACHER CONTRACT NEGOTIATION UPDATE
Contract negotiations between the district and the teachers are in a fact finding stage, in which a neutral party will review the information presented by both sides. You can find the Pre-Hearing Brief and Exhibits submitted by the district on the new Information Central section of the district website and the materials submitted by NEA-Shawnee Mission (teacher’s association) on their website. The hearing will begin at 5:00 pm on Thursday, January 9. After hearing testimony from both the district and NEA-SM, the fact finder will issue a report with recommendations.
VOTE!! – AND DON’T FORGET STATE LEVEL RACES
As always, remember that there is a lot that goes on at the state level that can impact the success of our students and the district as a whole. This is all the more reason to stay informed, keep your friends informed, vote, don’t forget the importance of voting in down ballot state races, and make sure your friends vote! Every state senate and representative office will be on the ballot in November 2020.
SMAC PTA Legislative Coordinator