PTA News

PTA News, November 9th, 2017

Posted by baguirrecortez on November 9, 2017

Nov 6-9: After school Lottery requests

It's time to request which afterschool classes your child would like to attend for the winter quarter.  We have a new signup process available at http://mistral-pta.org/asp.  The top corner contains a pair of buttons "Parent Sign Up" (for first time users) and "Parent Login" (for returning parents).  The signup process will gather contact details, your children's info and interests.  You can return at any time in the future to update any of the info - especially changes to the lottery requests- by using the Login.

 


Another Way to Benefit Mistral

Did you know that you can raise funds for Mistral just by doing your everyday shopping?  

 

Wherever you are, during the school year or over break, Benefit-Mobile is an app that allows you to purchase electronic gift cards at many popular stores and online merchants while giving a percentage of your purchases to Mistral.

 

Before the holidays go into full swing, please consider taking a moment now to get Benefit up and running on your smart phone.  Are you planning to rent a place through Airbnb (5%) or Hotels.com (8%)?  Going camping (REI 8%)?  Trip to Disneyland (5%)?  Flying Southwest Airlines (4%)?  Got a home improvement project (Home Depot 3% or Lowes 4%)?  The percentages shown are the amounts these retailers will give to Mistral when you pay for these things through Benefit and a linked bank account.

 

If you already have a Benefit account please consider making Mistral your new beneficiary.

 

If you already use cash cards purchased from the PTA, please continue doing so, but consider downloading and using Benefit for those times when you run out of cards, while you're traveling or on vacation, or at retailers like Airbnb that are on Benefit, but not available through our existing cash card program.

 

If you are new to Benefit-Mobile, you can use it at over 160 participating retailers, including Amazon and Target.  

 

How do I sign up?

  1. Download the app through iTunes for iPhones or through GooglePlay for your android device.

  2. Choose your beneficiary:  Gabriela Mistral Elementary PTA

  3. Link your payment forms to Benefit using their multi-step verification system.  You can buy Benefit gift cards using either a credit card or a bank account.  Mistral will receive a much higher rebate when you purchase gift cards using a bank account.  If you link both a credit card and a bank account to Benefit, you have the option to switch back and forth between payment methods each time you buy a new gift card.  Please note that it takes about 2 weeks for the multi-step verification system to link a bank account as your payment method to Benefit and allow for bigger purchases.  In the meantime, you can use a credit card to buy Benefit cards.  

 

Benefit is absolutely free to use and raises money for a good cause.  You can use it at the point of sale at many participating retailers and show your phone to the cashier or input your gift card number when shopping online.  You can also manually input and track your remaining gift card balances using the app.  At some retailers, like Whole Foods and Starbucks, the app will refresh your remaining gift card balance with a single button push. (Note that each retailer has its own rules).  *If you are making a very large purchase, please look at the maximum gift card purchase amount allowed and plan ahead to buy enough cards to cover your entire purchase. (If you are buying Benefit cards for the maximum amount allowable with your bank account, Benefit will make you wait for the first purchase to clear before you can buy another card from the same retailer.)

 

Some retailers, like Safeway and Walmart, require you to email your gift card to yourself, print, and bring it to the store.  For these retailers, it could be more convenient to purchase cash cards through our existing cash card program.  The conventional cash card program also offers a much larger number of retailers, so please keep using them for stores not partnered with Benefit.  

 

Friends, extended family, and alumni are all encouraged to sign up and make Mistral their beneficiary.

 

Thank you for all you do for our school!


PTA News Aug 30, 2017

Posted by staleyr5 on August 30, 2017

Class Posting Donations Due

Thank you, Mistral Families, for all of the Class Posting donations we have received to date! We now have around 200 families who have donated. These funds allow us to pay for field trips, classroom aides, recess improvements, library books, and after school activities- none of which would be possible without your help, so we sincerely thank you.

It's not too late to donate. You can pick up a green form in the office, or go online: https://mistral.mvwsd.org/en/pta/donation/

Donations are due by September 1st, 2017.

*Please note, these green and online donation forms are also used for PTA membership. You can select individual ($10/$5 reduced) or family membership ($15/$7.50 reduced.) Don't forget to join the Mistral PTA!

Move kids into classrooms in Konstella

Now that we all know what rooms our kids will be in next year, please move your kids into those rooms in Konstella. This is  how you will be able to get messages from your teacher or communicate with other parents in your class.

It's fast and easy:

- On either the website or the app, click on your profile. (It's your name in the upper left on the website, and in most version of the app it's the gear in the upper left.)
- Click on "Your children" on the website or "My children" in the app
- Click on your child's name, and select the appropriate classroom

Make sure that all of your kids at Mistral are also listed in Konstella. You can add kids and move them into classrooms by clicking on "Add child" in the same menu where you moved kids into classrooms.

If you have any questions or problems, we'll have signs up around campus announcing times when people will be available to help you get registered and moved into classrooms.

Social Groups on Konstella

Social Groups are typically started by regular parents. It’s a great way for parents to mingle and share information.  

Like other groups, parents can

  • message each other
  • create events
  • create sign-ups
  • and share photos and files   

It’s easy to Join or Create Social Groups.

Check out existing Social Groups on Konstella:

  • Safe Non-Motor Routes to/from School
  • Parenting
  • Parent Language Group
  • Running Group
  • Kinder families with older siblings at Mistral 2017/18
  • Drop-in Yoga
  • Second Grade Off-Topic (Class of 2021)
  • Nuestro Pequeño Jardines / Our Little Gardens

Please note:

  • Social Groups are parent led and maintained.
  • Parents need to join the groups by themselves.
  • Social Group leads CANNOT add others to the group.
    • They can only edit the group and remove members from the group.
  • To leave a Social Group
    • Go to the MEMBER List (maybe hiding under the MORE drop down)
    • Scroll to the bottom
    • Click on QUIT GROUP
  • The size of a Social Group is limited at 100.

If you have any questions not addressed here, please feel free to contact Kristin kbailey11@gmail.com by email.


PTA News Aug 23, 2017

Posted by staleyr5 on August 22, 2017

PTA Welcome Letter

Dear Gabriela Mistral Parents,
Welcome to another year at Gabriela Mistral Elementary School!  The 2017-2018 school year is the third in our identity as an independent school for dual immersion and multi-cultural learning.  We look forward to continued growth and success over the coming year, and are excited to have you in the Mistral community!

Parent Participation and Involvement

The most important way to be involved with the school is to show an interest in your child’s education every day, by asking your child how their day went and what they’re studying.  Within the larger school community, we’re fortunate to have high levels of parent participation from many great parent leaders.  Our goal is to support and strengthen the entire Mistral community, which works best with the help of many, rather than the hard work of a few.  There are so many aspects of life at school that I’m certain there is something that suits your interests.  Do you have big ideas on how to serve the Mistral community?  Lead the charge!  Are you not a huge fan of the caterpillars?  Help make sure it’s addressed properly!  Are you passionate about a particular topic?  We need your enthusiasm!  Do you have time to help with event setup and clean up?  Much appreciated!  Every family should participate in a way that works for them, so please consider taking on a task for the ‘Thing-a-Thon’ (our biggest event), and signing up for another volunteer role during the year that fits with your schedule.  You can learn more about volunteer opportunities under the PTA section of Mistral’s website: (https://mistral.mvwsd.org/ ).  

Konstella, Our Communication Platform

Konstella is a very helpful tool, providing an easy way to communicate among parents, track events at the school or in your classrooms, and organize and volunteer for upcoming events.   Our goal this year is to get 100% of our families signed up for Konstella so that we can all stay connected and informed.

Warmly,
Joey Mercer, PTA President
joeymercer@gmail.com

Sara Kopit-Olson, PTA Executive Vice President
sarakopit1@gmail.com

Thank you for coming to Class Posting!

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make Class Posting a success!

So far, 175 Mistral families have made a donation to our school PTA. This money will be used to pay for, (among other things,) field trips, classroom aides, recess improvements, library books and afterschool activities. Thank you!

It's not too late to donate. You can pick up a green form in the office, or go online: https://mistral.mvwsd.org/en/pta/donation/

Move kids into classrooms in Konstella

Now that we all know what rooms our kids will be in next year, please move your kids into those rooms in Konstella. This is  how you will be able to get messages from your teacher or communicate with other parents in your class.

It's fast and easy:

- On either the website or the app, click on your profile. (It's your name in the upper left on the website, and in most version of the app it's the gear in the upper left.)
- Click on "Your children" on the website or "My children" in the app
- Click on your child's name, and select the appropriate classroom

Make sure that all of your kids at Mistral are also listed in Konstella. You can add kids and move them into classrooms by clicking on "Add child" in the same menu where you moved kids into classrooms.

If you have any questions or problems, we'll have signs up around campus announcing times when people will be available to help you get registered and moved into classrooms.


Class Posting and End of Summer Picnic!

Posted by kristenmcguire on July 7, 2017

Friday, August 11, 3-6pm

Class Posting is a fun family event where kids get to see what classroom they’re in, pick up a free backpack, and reconnect with friends. Parents: you’ll attend to important paperwork and donations, learn about school programs and parent participation opportunities, and meet and connect with friends.

  • Donations are voluntary but much appreciated! Your donations cover classroom school supplies and dual immersion learning materials and supplemental staff.  Skip the lines and complete the form Online at,  https://mistral.mvwsd.org/en/pta/donation/ !
  • Bring a picnic blanket and picnic dinner. Tacos, pizza will be available for purchase at the event!

What Do I Do When I Arrive at Class Posting?

  • Look up your child’s classroom on the wall near the office.
  • We will not be handing out packets this year. Everything you need is in this mailer or will be handed out the first week of school
  • Pick up a free backpack for your child in the MUR
  • Learn about school and PTA programs and participation opportunities
  • Enjoy meeting and connecting with friends

PTA News Jun 05 2017

Posted by staleyr5 on June 4, 2017

Help Packing PTA Closet

We need to pack all PTA supplies into boxes to be stored over the summer. Please come out for a while and lend a hand!  Sign Up on Konstella

Recruiting a back up Konstella admin

Next year will be my last at Mistral, and I’m looking for someone to shadow me for a year as Konstella administrator and take over the following year. This is a great job for someone who is comfortable with technology. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but plays an important role in helping our community communicate and organize.

The role involves some work at the beginning and end of the year, helping orient parents, getting classrooms set up, sending how-to emails and archiving the year. Throughout the year, this role serves as a liaison with Konstella and helps make sure parents are able to make use of new features. Our school also translates the app, which is how Konstella is able to offer the app in Spanish. The Konstella admin coordinates with our translators to make sure all new app functionality gets translated.

The admin also helps Kristin Bailey, who does a lot of the training at the beginning of the year for new room parents and committee leads, and along with Kristin helps parents throughout the year make use of Konstella functionality. The admin also works closely with Kristen McGuire-Husky and Stacey Rosenberry to be sure important posts from Konstella are also available on the website and in the newsletter for parents who get their information through those channels.

Please email me separately if you want more information, or are ready to volunteer.

Thanks!
Amy (amykadams@gmail.com)


PTA News May 31, 2017

Posted by staleyr5 on May 31, 2017

Archiving Konstella for next year

As we reach the end of the year I wanted to let everyone know how we will be handling Konstella classrooms for next year. I will be leaving the classrooms as they are for the summer. Parents can continue to communicate with other families, with their classroom, or with the entire school.

In early August I will be archiving this year. That process moves all kids out of classrooms, removes existing classrooms, and removes all fifth grade students from the system. Families who just have exiting fifth graders will be removed from Konstella. Families with additional Mistral children will keep their accounts with their remaining Mistral kids.

You can always search for information from past years even after I have archived, for example emails that were sent or events. In the search box, you will see an option to search the current year or past years.  

After I archive, I will create the new classrooms for the 2017/18 school year. At class posting I’ll have information about how to move your children into the appropriate classrooms, and I’ll send an email reminder.

Thanks and have a great summer!
Amy

Castro Mistral Red de Apoyo Comunitario/Community Support Network (CAMIRAC)

Recent anti-immigration actions have left many parents and children in our community feeling unsafe and helpless. A small group of concerned parents met with families in March to understand how we could help. We formed CAMIRAC to support our immigrant families so they feel safe and empowered. Our three main focus areas are:

  1. Education and emergency preparedness - Families want to know their rights and make sure their children are cared for in the event of an emergency. In April, we connected 25 families with legal support on their immigration status and to start developing emergency childcare plans. We will help another 26 families on June 3rd.

  2. Emotional and mental health support - Parents and children are fearful and anxious. On June 3rd, CHAC - the Community Health and Awareness Council - is presenting a workshop and providing summer support groups to help families feel less isolated and provide them with tools to talk about recent events with their children.

  3. General support - We are helping families fill out forms, like US passport applications, and helping connect them with suitable temporary guardians for their children.

We need your support to raise $12,000 for the legal consultations and mental health support*.

MAKE YOUR CONTRIBUTION TODAY at https://rebrand.ly/camirac

Our larger, long-term goal is to create a comprehensive support network for the entire Castro/Mistral community by breaking down barriers and strengthening individual and community bonds. Later this summer, please look for more details and calls for how you can get involved. It will take participation from all of our families to build a stronger campus-wide community!

 Recruiting a back up Konstella admin

Next year will be my last at Mistral, and I’m looking for someone to shadow me for a year as Konstella administrator and take over the following year. This is a great job for someone who is comfortable with technology. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but plays an important role in helping our community communicate and organize.

The role involves some work at the beginning and end of the year, helping orient parents, getting classrooms set up, sending how-to emails and archiving the year. Throughout the year, this role serves as a liaison with Konstella and helps make sure parents are able to make use of new features. Our school also translates the app, which is how Konstella is able to offer the app in Spanish. The Konstella admin coordinates with our translators to make sure all new app functionality gets translated.

The admin also helps Kristin Bailey, who does a lot of the training at the beginning of the year for new room parents and committee leads, and along with Kristin helps parents throughout the year make use of Konstella functionality. The admin also works closely with Kristen McGuire-Husky and Stacey Rosenberry to be sure important posts from Konstella are also available on the website and in the newsletter for parents who get their information through those channels.

Please email me separately if you want more information, or are ready to volunteer.

Thanks!
Amy (amykadams@gmail.com)

Recess Supervision Help

We invite you to help provide extra adult supervision during lunch recess. Our yard supervisors are wonderful, and during our current construction phase, their job can be difficult with children spread out in different areas. Surely our students could benefit from extra sets of caring eyes and hands! Please sign up for one shift or several! Contact me with any questions.

Thank you,
Sara Kopit-Olson, VP Mistral PTA

Marker Recycling

Instead of tossing markers into the trash, let’s Colorcycle them!  Your classroom and library have Colorcycle boxes for marker drop off.  Our 5th grade Girl Scout Troop 61076 will recycle markers by collecting and shipping used markers to a Crayola facility to convert them into clean fuel.  This fuel can be used to fill vehicles, heat homes, cook meals, and more!  

Please go to http://www.crayola.com/colorcycle.aspx to learn more about Colorcycle!