Thank you for being patient (as it took me almost a week to share this). Wedding season is in full swing - and my work week is more like Friday-Monday, but better later than never!
We had our first meeting last Thursday for the 2022-2023 school year and had SUCH a great turn-out. So many more volunteers than last year already that I kept getting nervous talking to everyone because I expected four or five familiar faces. Which is great news! & There were a few others who wanted to come but couldn't (and they are the reason I decided it would be a good idea to publish the meeting minutes every month).
Some information (like last names) will be redacted since this post is public, but if anyone would like to see it in its entirety, please request it via email.
August 11th Nest Meeting Minutes
Location: ----------- Classroom
Victoria -----------: President
Traci -----------: Secretary
Katilin-----------: Teacher Liaison
Aleksandra -----------: Treasurer
Nest Meeting called to order at 5:58pm by President Victoria -----------.
● Mr. Morgan, our school principal, started the meeting off with a thank you to NEST volunteers and members for all the work NEST has been doing over the summer and to start the school year. NEST has already had a great start of the 2022-23 year with the uniform sale, assisting with the logo social, organizing and holding a teacher back to school breakfast, the kindergarten parent breakfasts (two days of them), being present at the meet the teacher, and the first twenty days gifts for students. We are excited about the number of people coming out and contributing to the NEST Parent Teacher Organization.
● Mr. Morgan then gave us the exciting news that the SRCA family is growing fast. This is our largest enrollment year with our current number of students sitting at 604. Our new school has granted such wonderful opportunities for SRCA and the families that SRCA serves. Our beautiful new school is currently being leased to SRCA by investors that helped make a larger campus a reality. Mr. Morgan actually had an investor meeting today. Although initially phase two plans were hoped to be set in motion for this year, with the rising interest rates and cost of building material the school has decided to put a pause on phase two. SRCA wants to focus on making the most financially responsible decision for our school. So, we may still be missing some of those wish list items such as lockers (a parent reached out to ask about them) but growing organically has helped shape Shining Rock from the beginning. It is amazing how far our school has come and what great things have been accomplished since its conception. Other options in place of lockers are being considered by admin for the upper grades.
● Mr. Morgan gave us a great contact that NEST will be reaching out to, to help with a program called Book Buddies. We will be reaching out in hopes of creating a program where older kids volunteer to read to younger kids.
● Mr. Morgan then gave NEST the floor to ask him questions and get some input from our SRCA office. NEST talked to Mr. Morgan about how we would love to get more teachers involved with NEST to help us grow and better assist the school. Katilin -----------, elementary Teacher Liaison has been a quintessential teacher relationship for our PTO. She has helped our almost all new PTO volunteer group with direction, traditions, and fun new ways to make PTO better than ever.
We also discussed the possibility of having a caretaker/parent social night. As we are heading out of a very strange and isolating few years we discussed the social and emotional health of not only our students and teachers but of our caretakers/parents as well. NEST is looking into the possibility of holding a social gathering for caretakers/parents to discuss different topics in breakout sessions and hopefully help the SRCA family feel more connected. Another topic we discussed that is laying heavy on caregiver/parent and faculty/staff minds is internet safety. We discussed potentially looking into hosting an event to talk about internet safety at home and in the classroom. NEST also asked Mr. Morgan to look into a location for our fall book fair, September 19-23. Last year the book fair was held on the stage in the gym, this year the school lunch line is on the gym stage.
● NEST was so excited that Mr. Morgan was able to join us for our first meeting of the year and that we were able to learn a little more about what is going on at SRCA and the future plans.
Because we have so many new faces to SRCA and NEST (I myself (Traci) am a new parent at SRCA and new to NEST) let’s introduce ourselves properly. We had a lot of great questions at tonight's meeting and I think it is best we answer them for everyone before switching gears to new ideas for fundraising.
What is Nest?
NEST is the Parent Teacher Organization at Shining Rock Classical Academy. We are an organization that nurtures our Student/Falcons educational experience.
What are Nest's Goals for 2022-2023?
● We hope to grow NEST. We are an essential part of the school volunteer team. We help with fostering great parent/teacher relationships. NEST is responsible for volunteering at important events throughout the year such as the book fairs, teacher appreciation, Christmas/Holiday parade and prom. After the pandemic, we are trying to build a strong volunteer team of parents, teachers, and community. If you are looking to become a part of the school, please consider joining us September 8th for our next meeting or contacting us to find out ways you can volunteer.
● We also hope to build a “NEST Egg”. After two years of limited fundraising opportunities, beginning our year with a small treasury for our largest student body is challenging. We are looking for fresh new fundraising ideas to get people excited about NEST and to build a treasury so that the 2023-24 school year can start with ample funds to get beginning of the year gifts. We will start our first fundraising event in September. September 1-15: The Nest Egg Fundraiser spare change challenge. Our first major NEST fundraising goal is to get our teachers a back to school appreciation gift.
*Adding into the minutes, our initial goal is $1850. The NEST Egg Fundraiser going to the teacher gifts as well. If we reach it quickly, our next goal would be $2850. Anything raised up to $3000 will be applied to teacher gifts, and anything above that set aside for future projects. - Victoria
●Our third major goal is to become more visible for both parents and teachers. We all understand everyone is busy. Nest wants to be more available as an easy way to both support your school and an avenue for learning about your school. Nest President Victoria ----------- has created a new website, Facebook and Instagram page for caregivers/parents and teachers to follow and engage with Nest.
As Secretary, I plan to attend each meeting and create meeting minutes so that topics discussed are accessible to anyone interested in what is going on with Nest. Being transparent and informative to potential members and members alike, we believe is the fast avenue of growth for Nest.
What do SRCA Teachers need from Nest?
We discussed that probably the most important thing that Nest can do for teachers is give them time. We discussed looking into setting up a couple of Duty-free lunch days (we will need plenty of volunteers to make this possible). Nest hopes that all our members, volunteers, and potential volunteers will also consider asking teachers and SRCA office staff for other opportunities to help volunteer time. Nest will also be looking for special projects and equipment opportunities that we can hopefully purchase with fundraiser money to help our teachers in the classroom.
Does Nest have specific/ special committees?
We are starting Nest this year with a lot of first-time members and officers. Although ideally it would be great to have a special committee to focus on specific events, fundraisers, or parent/ community outreach, we are currently struggling to have consistent volunteers. So far we have only had a few officers showing up to every single event. We hope as Nest grows, so will our ability to focus specific members and volunteers to events but right now we need all members to pitch in to all the calendar of events.
Business Casual is our goal for Nest Volunteers during school events (or SRCA shirts/hoodies).
Questions/ Want to find out more?
The best way to find out more about Nest is to attend a meeting. Our next meeting dates: September 8, October 13 and November 3 at 6:00pm. We take a break from meetings during December but will still have a full calendar of volunteer events in December. You can also reach out to Nest on Facebook, Instagram, or via email.
We continued our meeting with fundraising ideas.
Discussed in June meeting arranging a drive in movie night at Smoky Mountain Cinemas, we need to get with owners and work out a date and movie.
Potentially setting up concessions for home games. Doing some raffles at games as well
Coffee and paint/ Art After Dark
SRCA merchandise sale (have Victoria look into site)
pre-sale holiday scented candles or coffee roasts (get local businesses involved) beginning at the start of the next school year, and finalizing plans at the end of this one
We discussed changing up uniform sales doing two different sales: the first summer sale raising money for Nest and the second sale becoming a swap. Most agreed we need to go up on uniform prices for sale.
Chick-fil-a Nest night
a giveaway on Instagram to boost SEO
Nest is asking that any and all additional fundraising ideas be emailed to Nest to be reviewed at the next meeting.
Nest will finish out our August calendar of events with passing out first twenty day treat bags to students August 12 and 19. Please meet at 8:15 by the mural to help pass them out if you've done a background check already.
September 1-15 will start our Nest Egg Fundraiser spare change challenge. We still need gallon sized empty bottles (clean ones with lids like milk jugs, juice jugs, etc) by the 1st.
The September 8th Nest meeting will focus on nailing down details about the book fair September 19-23 and dates for other upcoming fundraising and holiday activities.
School wide and community effort is underway to collect donations for a SRCA family that has experienced a home fire. We are asking people to check donation sheets on facebook and instagram for more information. Donations can be left at the front office.
Our Meeting Minutes concluded around 7:45.
Thank you for reading through this.
Be sure you're following the new social media pages on Instagram and Facebook - and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. Even though we largely post school related things, we often post community related efforts as well. - Victoria