PreK and Kinder Playdate is this Saturday! Harvard T-Shirts will be on sale

Parents of incoming Kindergarten and Prekindergarten students: Our final summer playdate is this Saturday, July 8 from 9-11 am at Procter Park! Bring you kiddos to meet future classmates and friends. This is a great time to meet other parents as well and let your kids get to know each other. Rita's will be on site serving complimentary delicious Italian Ices.

Also - Harvard T-shirts will be available for sale!  T-Shirts cost $15 and you may pay cash, credit, or check.

See you at Procter Park!

Whitney Stoebner, Community Building VP

whitstoebner@gmail.com

 

 

Sign your child up for Summer Garden Lessons at Harvard!

Summer Gardening Lessons with Urban Harvest are back!

This is a great opportunity for the children of Harvard to get moving outdoors before the afternoon heat kicks in & Ms. Priya makes it educational too! 

Drop off is allowed, however, Ms. Priya requests at least one Parent Volunteer per 10 children to provide the most fun and rewarding experience possible to our young gardeners.  All parents are welcome!

Please send children wearing clothing that may get dirty and with plenty of water.  Since we are striving to be as sustainable as possible, reusable water bottles are highly recommended and can be refilled at the water fountains if need be.  

Summer garden classes are open to all Harvard students so sign up early to ensure your spot!

*In case of rain, Please meet Ms. Priya inside the school in the hallway in front of the office.  She will have an indoor garden craft or activity for the children

School Supply Orders: Here's what you need to know!

Dear Harvard Families,

As I hope you have seen in recent communications, school supply ordering is now open through Sprout School Supplies.  I wanted to provide some background on the Harvard PTA's decision to change vendors for the 2017-18 school year.  We considered several factors:  availability of products and packaging options to meet our faculty's and students' needs, ease of on campus delivery logistics and price.  Sprout met our initial criteria, in providing our teachers the exact supplies they wanted at prices in line with last year's vendor for the same supply list.  With Sprout, Harvard gets the additional benefits:

  • Delivery of supply kits directly to the classroom, reducing the need for parent volunteers to sort and deliver supplies
  • Longer ordering window -- deadline is July 31 rather than in early June (better for new families!)
  • Grade levels were able to select their preferred packaging (grade level in bulk or per student kits), which saves the Harvard faculty time unboxing individually packaged supplies and significantly reduces packaging waste

If you have clicked through to purchase supplies, you may notice that the prices seem higher than last year.  In reviewing the line item details of each grade, the price increases are generally due to two factors: (1) additional supplies requested by our teachers and (2) opting for branded products over generic.  Additional supplies include printer paper, EXPO dry erase markers and headphones for each student to use in the upstairs computer lab, which will improve learning through better performance and hopefully will reduce some of the hygiene (i.e., lice) problems Harvard faced this year.

 Online ordering is open now at School Supply Kits - Harvard Elementary School Supply Kits - Sprout School Supplies

 If you have questions or feedback about the program, please do not hesitate to contact me at fundraising@harvardelementarypta.org.

Kind regards,

Lorri White

VP, Fundraising - Harvard PTA

Save the Date: Harvard Heath and Wellness Fair!

Saturday, May 6 from 9 am - noon

Join us on campus for activities, games, and presentations designed to help Harvard families live healthy, happy lives! Activities will be happening across campus in the garden, under the pavilion, cafeteria and Harvard Park.

    • Plant your own seedlings
    • Sample fruits and vegetables
    • Yoga and meditation
    • Hurricane preparation
    • Sign a health pledge
    • Student presentations
    • Summer safety
    • Exercise demonstrations
    • Water safety
    • Healthy eating
    • First aid information
    • Hula hoop and basketball competitions
    • And much more!!

If you are interested in volunteering or participating as a presenter or leading an activity, contact Rhetta Detrich; rhettadetrich@gmail.com

Help us show our appreciation for Harvard Faculty and Staff!

Help celebrate our outstanding Harvard educators.

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up and the PTA is organizing breakfast and dessert days to applaud our Harvard faculty and staff for their hard work. Help us by bringing an item!

Sign up here!

Breakfast is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd. Please bring items to the teacher's lounge by 7:15 am. On Wednesday, May 3rd we will have a dessert buffet. Please bring dessert items to the teacher's lounge by 10:00 am.    

We need your help in making this a special event to show our wonderful teachers how much we appreciate them!  

Thank you,

Geetika Moore and Laurie Moreland,  Teacher Appreciation Leads

School Supply Orders start May 1 !

Harvard Elementary PTA presents….
Our Sprout School Supply Sale for 2017-18!
May 1st – July 31st

Save time and money driving from store-to-store and “go green” by ordering online this year. Your child’s supply kit includes the exact teacher requested supplies and ships directly to the school before the first day of class!


Ordering Instructions:

1. Click here (or cut and paste this link): sproutsupplies.com/school-supply-kits/harvard-elementary-school-supply-kits/ 

2. Select the appropriate grade pack. Be sure to choose next year’s grade level.

3. Pay with a debit or credit card. You will receive an email confirmation once you purchase your child’s kit.

4. Order dates: May 1st – July 31st

5. Every kit includes all the exact teacher requested supplies, viewable online.

6. Your kit will be delivered directly to Harvard Elementary School in August!

7. Questions? Contact Sprout at help@sproutsupplies.com or call 571-403-0899

Order before May 31st and like Sprout on Facebook to be entered into a drawing to win your supply kit FREE!

Help us win Earth Month Challenge by stopping by the HISD Booth at tomorrow's Eastside Farmer's Market!

During the month of April, Harvard has registered to compete in the HISD Energy & Sustainability Department's Earth Month 2017 Challenge!  If we win, Harvard will receive a Sustainable Schoolyard outdoor classroom sponsored by Volunteer Houston.

Here are some of the things you can do right now to help us earn points:

  • Tweet your pics and from our Earth Day celebration including our school name and #HISDGoGreen. Each tweet will earn us 5 points.
  • Make plans to attend the Urban Harvest Eastside Farmer's Market, 3000 Richmond Ave, on Saturday, April 15 from 8:00am-12:00pm and check-in at the HISD booth during your visit. Each person who says they are from Harvard will earn us 5 points.
  • Participate in the Book Drive next week benefitting Books Between Kids. This book drive will earn us 50 points. More information to follow - please check LivingTree or Home Comm Folders!

Why you should vote FOR "purchasing attendance credits" on May 6th:

This is a tough subject to understand, but your voice and vote are important because the loss of millions of dollars for our Houston Public Schools is at stake. Let me explain this to you as I understand it:

Houston ISD owes the state money because we are considered property rich and property tax incomes have crossed a threshold that puts us into a status called “recapture” that takes this “excess” and gives it to poorer districts. This is based on a complicated calculation of property values that does not consider our urban and generally less-affluent student population across our public schools. This vote does not change the fact that Austin is coming at us for their money and they will get it.

The question right now is HOW we pay the state this money. 

As it stands, we voted against “purchasing attendance credits” in November, which means we refused to “cut them a check” for the amount they are owed from our excess in property values. This means they are going to come and get it by detaching valuable properties and their tax revenue (properties that also serve as collateral in some of our other school financing and bonds). Once these properties are detached, WE NEVER GET THEM BACK. The revenue from these detached properties goes to another district (Aldine), which will likely tax them at a higher rate. 

We have a second chance to undo this and simply write the state a check. The check is going to be considerably LESS than we thought in November because the amount is now being based upon TAXABLE values (ie. what we actually pay based on our homestead exemptions) vs appraised values. And, as school finance in Texas is eventually FINALLY reformed, we will still have those properties generating revenue for us into the future. Remember, once we lose them, we NEVER GET THEM BACK. Let’s make sure we don’t lose them now!

Please trust me and vote FOR “purchasing attendance credits,” the better option for us in the long run. Get out and vote May 6! 

TMI? Or not enough? If you want to learn more, please join our District I trustee, Anna Eastman, at a community meeting about this on Monday, April 24 at 6p at Waltrip High School to learn more.

PTA Leadership Info Coffee

We are looking for Harvard community members who are interested in taking on a PTA leadership role now or in the future. 

Please join us on Friday, March 24 from drop-off until 9 am to learn about PTA leadership roles and how you might get involved.

If you have any questions email Gaby Ramirez - gabyaramirez@yahoo.com, Amanda Paige amandapaigestiles@gmail.com, or Kristin Dawson kdawson1021@gmail.com

Classroom Donation Drive Ends Today!

Today is the last day for Totally Harvard Classroom Donation Drive! Funds raised this year will help the PTA continue educational programming for next year, as well as campus improvements and teacher support. We are so close to reaching our $110,0000 goal and need your help in this final push! THANK YOU for your generosity and commitment to your children's education! Click here to donate!

Harvard PTA Proposed By-Law Changes

Dear Parents, 

At our last General Meeting February 8, 2017 I mentioned and attempted to explain the proposed by-law changes we will need you to vote on and approve at our final General Meeting on Friday, April 21st (right after drop-off at 7:50 am).

Here again those changes for your perusal along with links to our current by-laws.

  • We are officially adding the following roles to our PTA Executive Board:
    • 5th VP - Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
    • Continuity Advisor (one role that can either be past-president, president elect or another advisor, depending upon our needs)
    • Teacher Reps upon availability and desire to serve, we seek to have one classroom and one specialty teacher on the board each year, serving a one or two-year term. 
  • We are eliminating local dues, currently set at $2 annually. State and national dues will remain at $2.25 each = $4.50 because we cannot change this. This change will allow us to use online membership enrollment upon final approval by the Texas PTA this summer.

Click here to view our current by-laws.

Click here to view the Local PTA Bylaws Snapshot Worksheet with our proposed changes.

The proposed changes Snapshot Worksheet and a copy of the full by-laws can also be viewed in paper form on our PTA Bulletin Board near the front office.