A note on fundraising

Why fundraising is so important at Oregon Trail Academy and where our money goes…

Fall is a very busy time and we are in the midst of the crazy fundraising season. As we move from one to the next, I thought it would be a good idea to give you all a little extra info about fundraising, the Parent Teacher Club and our school. I know this is long, please bear with me.

We all know that OTA is a special place. We love our small class sizes, community of families, amazing teachers and super staff, right? But there are other things that make us special too- being our districts only Charter School, our International Baccalaureate (IB) Accreditation and curriculum, and Mandarin instruction with teachers from China, just to name a few!

Did you know that since we are a Charter School, we fall into a special category with the Oregon Trail School District? We are a public school and we do receive money for students that are enrolled at OTA. But we have expenses unlike any other school in the district. For most schools in OTSD, their general expenses are covered (like building usage, monthly bills and even busses to and from school), but we have to pay for our own! The district also buys curriculum (math, language arts, etc.) for the other schools, but we have to purchase ours and it’s not cheap! The new math curriculum alone was around $1,500 per grade!

In addition to all of that, we are an International Baccalaureate Accredited school and to maintain that status costs us roughly $30,000+ yearly. Part of IB is learning a foreign language and that comes at a cost as well.

The money that we receive per student is not enough to cover these expenses. Therefore we rely heavily on fundraising to stay operational and cover our schools basic needs.

A typical school PTA has their own bank account and is in charge of where their money is spent. They raise funds for extra things like assemblies, field trips, t-shirts, bounce houses, etc. While all of that is fun, we currently don’t have that luxury. (Our only exception is our playground fund, which has been building slowly over the years with donations from the Auction paddle raise).

Our Parent Teacher Club works hard to reach our fundraising goal each year and the money we raise goes directly back into OTA. We don’t even have our own bank account!  All money goes into the school account, which is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization. Our goal this year is $75,000! This cannot be reached without participation from all grades; from kindergarten through 12th grade (our first graduating DP class!). Your contributions are essential to reaching this amount.

We fundraise so that our school stays open and because Oregon Trail Academy is a great place to be!

Thank You

Lauren Smith

OTA Parent Teacher Club President


Upcoming Fundraisers:

  • Harvest Festival
    • October 20th- a fun family & community event. Purchase bracelets to play unlimited carnival games. Grab snacks at the concession stand. Sit, relax and get a chance to socialize with other OTA Families
  • MooTown Plop Down
    • A favorite OTA FUNdraiser! Kids sell tickets to a plot of land in a pasture. If your plot is where MooTown Mabel decides to “plop” you win the jackpot! Great prizes available for the students to win for ticket sales as well!
  • Jingle & Mingle
    • End of November.  Our version of a Holiday Bazaar. Vendors with handmade and other goods come together for a shopping night. A percentage of sales from each vendor  is donated to OTA. Booths are available, priority goes to handmade items and student booths. Contact us for more info!
  • Mt Hood Roasters & Timberline Meats (both special fundraisers for the playground!)
    • November/December. New this year! We have decided to add a couple fundraisers to go directly towards building up our playground fund! Students can sell coffee & meat and it will be delivered in time for Christmas. Our goal is to break ground next summer!
  • Penny Wars
    • March 11-15. Classes battle daily to see who can win the Penny War! Pennies and bills are positive points and silver coins go to opposing grades to subtract points! We introduced this last year and it immediately became a student favorite!
  • Spring Auction
    • April 6th. The annual Spring Auction is our biggest fundraiser of the year! Held at the beautiful Mt Hood Oregon Resort in Welches. Months of planning and seeking donations turns into an amazing event.
  • Monthly dine-out nights
    • Scheduled at different restaurants throughout our local area. Each one offers a different percentage of sales to be donated directly to OTA.
  • Ongoing Fundraisers
    • Spirit Wear- order through the office. OTA earns a small kickback with each sale.
    • Fred Meyers Community Rewards- link your rewards card to Oregon Trail Academy. You still receive your rewards and everytime you shop OTA earns a donation.
    • AmazonSmile- Link your Amazon Prime account to OTA through smile.amazon.com and a donation is earned each time you shop.

PTC Officers for 2018/2019

Can you believe that school starts next week?!?!?

Summer sure went by fast!

As a new year starts, I’m happy to introduce you to our Parent Teacher Club officers for this year. We have already been meeting this summer and had a great time at the Ice Cream Social tonight!

Smiths 2018Lauren Smith is our PTC President and is raising 3 boys. Between family, school, PTC, businesses, football and baseball she runs laps around us all. We don’t think Lauren ever actually sleeps and we are a little freaked out about it. She leads us with laughter and smiles. Heck, even when she is laughing at us it’s still nice. Plus, she makes a beautifully perfect sugar cookie.

Schroeders 2018

Jami Schroeder recently left her job with the school district to be a full time mommy of two little girls, so we welcomed her onto the PTC (welcomed/forced/strong armed? However she worded it) as Vice President. She loves family time and anxiously awaits Dan’s artistic interpretation of each theme and holiday. With this fun family all can agree that their oldest daughter is the most serious and mature of the household.

Forquers 2018

Lesley Forquer is mother to two children Carson & Adalynn and one husband Rj.  Along with working at OnPoint CU she is a wonderful Co-Volunteer Coordinator and keeps our parents informed through Help Counter. To improve the co-volunteer coordinators’ communication this year Rebecca and Lesley became back fence neighbors.  A bit overkill, but anything for the PTC. Along with Lauren, she is a 3 year PTC veteran which, yes, makes her crazy.

Rebecca Pedersen Fam

Rebecca Pedersen has one daughter and is one of our Co-Volunteer Coordinators. Which is weird because she is not very good with actually talking to people. She spends a lot of time at school to avoid doing housework. If she wasn’t in PTC we fear she would be pushing the crazy cat lady thing a wee bit too far, so we let her stay to give the cats some sanity.

Mackeys 2018

Kimberly Mackey has a son at OTA and is joining the PTC as our new Treasurer. She is usually recognized as our friendly Fred Meyer mom and puts the fun back in shopping at Freddies!  Last year when she came into OTA as a new kindergartener mom, we instantly loved her and made many plans for her future here (never make eye contact with the PTC, Rookie move!!!). She is a wonderful new addition to our crazy PTC Tribe!

And Last but not Least… (but for some reason not pictured)

Shelly Syring and husband Travis have 3 daughters at OTA this year, run their own construction company, volunteer with Sandy Fire and are building their new home. Even rolling her eyes at her jokester husbands antics is a full-time job! Clearly, this is the best time for her to serve as our PTC Secretary… She is our Southern Belle and is known to be an amazing cook (seriously, she doesn’t even need boxed foods to make a meal!).


We are looking forward to a wonderful year with all of our OTA families! Please feel free to reach out and get involved whenever you can. Thanks!

Spring Auction 2018

We are overjoyed to announce that our annual Spring Auction raised $51,000!!!

This is our net profit, which makes this year our most profitable auction to date! A big thank you to everyone that was in attendance. Your support makes a big impact on our school and we are so grateful.


Additionally we would like to say thank you to the auction committee: Chantelle Ball, Sarah Becker, Jeanney Bloomer, Genelle Tilden, Shannon Givens, Kelsey Boyd, Lauren Smith, Rebecca Pedersen, Becky Scott, Amber Philips, Kim Turin, Lesley Forquer,  and Jennifer Lei. This event would not be possible without their hard work


The class projects were a hit! Thank you to the volunteers and all of the teachers who helped ensure the projects came together. The projects alone brought in over $4000!

Auction Projects 2018

We had a fantastic time at the Auction, everyone seemed to really enjoy all the items and fun things that we had planned. Thank you again to everyone for coming out to support our school!!

Auction 2018.jpg

Photos by Studio 623 Photography

May PTC Meeting Minutes

PTC Minutes (May 2nd, 2018)
Introductions – participants in attendance:

Lauren Jenalee O.
Lesley Debbie J
Kim T. Jodie
Kim M.


Auction (Lauren)

Made approx. 51k this year!


Dineout nights (Rebecca)

-Baskin Robbins Tomorrow night, May 3rd(3-6)

-Discussion about a summertime option (bowling,movies)

-Shannon may work on this during the summer


Staff Appreciation (Lesley)
1.)Monday – France, donuts and lottery ticket

2.)Tuesday – Great Britain, carwash, appreciation set up in cafeteria where kids can make thank you.

3.)Wednesday – Italy, lunch from Olive Garden for staff, set up on MYP side.

4.)Thursday-  China- Students can bring gifts from home

5.) Friday- Flight Home- snacks and schoolwide gifts


Rebecca (Bookfair May 21)

-Get your paws on a book!

-Decorating May 15th to start

-Donuts and coffee will only cost $18 a day

-Cat 22nd Dog 23rd, morning drop off events with donuts and coffee

-Volunteer needs will be posted online.


Debbie J (Right brain & changes next year)

-Ken Edwards will donate ⅓ of the cost of a right brain teacher for next year.

-It costs $15 a student.

-We should consider donating the boxtop profits towards a specific cause (i.e. right brain)

-Mrs. Blaesing will be taking the PYP coordinator position, the K position open and posted.

-Interviews for new director this week.


Field Day June 13th (Wednesday)

-Theme discussion (going with sports theme)

– Jen L. will coordinate staff game (Soccer?)

-Kim M. will get all the popsicles

-Noon until end of day

-Parachute, Tug-of-War, Potatoe Sac, Hungry Hippo, Scooters,  

-May 30th after drop-off, field day meeting to figure out details & Weather.


2018/2019 PTC Officers

-Lauren will be President, all other positions are filled!


Next PTC Meeting: June 3rd @ 3pm, Evening PTC Meeting: May 14th @ 6pm

OTA Board Meeting: May 10th @ 5:30

Important Dates: Staff Appreciation 5/7-11, Bookfair 5/21-25, No School 5/28, Last ER 5/30, Last Day of School/Field Day 6/13


Staff appreciation week begins this coming Monday, May 7th. We are planning a week packed with special surprises and treats for the staff. We are asking that each family send in $3 to contribute to the cost of the week.

The students will be coming home with two special papers to fill out. They will fill out one for their teacher and one for a staff member of their choice. If you would like additional copies please let us know and we will be sure to get them to you. We are also sending a list of all staff names to help with this project. When you’re child has completed their papers please have them return them to the office no later than Wednesday the 11th. We will be making a book for each staff member with these papers.

Please be on the lookout for an email, papers in the backpack and another Facebook post coming soon with sign ups for the appreciation station, car wash and snacks. We will need volunteers Tuesday from 8-12 and Wednesday from 10:50-11:45. If you cannot help the whole time that’s ok, any amount of time helps!

If you have any questions or you would like to volunteer please email us at: otaparentclub@gmail.com

The theme for Teacher Appreciation will be: You make a WORLD of Difference!

Following is an agenda for the week:

Monday – France

Staff will have donuts, and will receive a lottery ticket.

Tuesday- Great Britain

Volunteers will wash staff members cars. There will also be an appreciation station set up in the cafeteria where students can fill out out special thank yous for our teachers and staff.


An Italian lunch from Olive Garden will be provided for staff to enjoy. There will also be an appreciation station set up in the cafeteria where students can fill out out special thank yous for our teachers and staff.

Thursday- China

Each student can bring a small gift. Handmade card, flowers, a special craft or something store bought. Also available to purchase from the front office, will be Scholastic Gift dollars for teachers to make purchases for the upcoming Book Fair.

Friday- Flight Home

Snacks will be provided and staff will receive a school wide gift.

PTC Officers for 2018/2019

Do you have what it takes__

Calling all Parents & Teachers!

It’s that time of year again- The PTC is looking for some awesome new officers! Are you ready to dive in and help make our kids school a great place for them to learn and have fun?

If so, we would love to have you help us out next year!

All positions are posted on a sign-up sheet in the office. It will be up until the end of this month. At our May meeting on the 2nd, we will vote on officers for 2018/2019. And next years officers will be announced at the PTC Meeting in June.

Positions are: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and two Volunteer Coordinators.

If you have any questions, please contact Lauren at otaparentclub@gmail.com

2018 PTC Recruiting2018 PTC Recruiting (1)

April PTC Minutes

PTC Minutes April 3rd, 2018

Introductions – participants in attendance:

Lauren Jeanney
Jennifer Jenalee
Kasshawna Robyn

MYP students- Emergency Prep Kit

-For their service project they would like to put together an updated emergency prep kit that has items that will sustain students past the immediate time frame.

-The PTC does not have allocated funds to contribute, but many suggestions were given for fundraiser ideas that we can help support them in.

-Les Schwab carwash for instance.

-Free MRE resource given by Jen L.

-The estimated expense is $200-250


Lauren Penny Wars and YTD fundraising update

-Brought in $2,711.72. Expenses $33.11. Profit $2,678.61.

-Second Grade won with most points-Popcorn Bar Party.

-Great feedback from parents/kids/staff.


Fundraising YTD: $22,638.83

-Goal $70,000 YTD

-Feel encouraged as this is more than we usually have at this point in the year. Yay!!!



-April 14th! Still accepting auction items, wine, desserts. Need volunteers still-must have auction ticket.

-Rebecca needs about 5 more desserts for dessert dash

-Lauren still needs more red/white wines

-Lesley reports that we still need item runners for the end of the night, see online volunteer signup if interested.


Lesley  (Staff Appreciation)

-Around the world Theme

-May 7-11

-After the auction we will have a detailed planning meeting for the staff appreciation week of events.


Rebecca (Dineout nights)

-Dine-Out Nights – Red Shed March 20th – 10% profits to us

-Made $50

-May 3rd Baskin Robbins Dineout night


Jen (Bookfair May 21-25)

-Theme will be “Paws for Pets”

-One evening and one morning open for parents/sig. others.

-Tuesday morning, Thursday night 24th Bingo NIght?

-Jen L will make final call on whether to do Thursday night or not, busy time of      year with sports etc.


Field Day June 13th

-Jen will help out with 5th vs staff game and field day.

-Taking opinions on ideas for a theme

-Lauren would like somebody to step up and coordinate this as a point person (no takers yet).

-Discussion about having the shaved ice food cart come to field day. It was decided that it was not cost effective or time effective for them to be able to make that much shaved ice in a short timeframe.


MYP Report (Kass Knoll)

-Yearbooks are now open for pre-orders

-Open until May 1st

-Info coming through in tomorrow’s newsletter

-High school info night April 24th, 6-8pm.



-PTC officers up for re-election next year and all positions will be posted both in the office and online


*Next PTC Meeting:  May 2nd at 2pm, Evening PTC Meeting: May 14th at 6pm

*OTA Board Meeting: April 3rd at 5:30

*Important Dates:  Auction 4/14, No School 4/30, Staff Appreciation 5/7-11, Bookfair & Bingo for Books 5/21-25, No School 5/28, Last ER 5/30, Last Day of School/Field Day 6/13.

March 2018 PTC Minutes

PTC Minutes  March 7th, 2018

Introductions – participants in attendance:

Lauren Kim M.



  • Lauren: Penny wars started today, through next Wednesday, end of day wednesday around 1:30 the winning class will be announced.
  • The kids are super pumped up about this!
  • Need help Friday, Monday and Tuesday      (7:30-8) (10:45-11:45) Count at Noon. Check FB PTC page to sign up.
  • Staff Appreciation “Around the World” Coming up in May.
  • Mark is retiring April 2nd (we will work on a schoolwide thank you).

Lesley (Staff Appreciation)


-Around the world Theme

-Looking for help on what to call each day

-Asked Debbie for suggestion for schoolwide gift, and discussion about how much to ask each family to contribute. ($3-5)

-Debbie will see if staff has input on a gift that would benefit both PYP and MYP sides.

Shannon (Auction)


For next year should teachers split the profits with their class auction project?

Would be motivator for them to attend and build up their class projects.

The money could be set aside, and used in their planner.

They would keep track of the stubs to make sure it is to benefit their class.

Input was all positive

3 Tables at the auction this year, the new table will include “experiences” which is being pulled together by Amber.

Principle for a day with Debbie, expires end of 2018 school year. Debbie agrees 🙂

Timber choir will be doing a performance in May for parents (one in the evening, one during the day). Child could announce the choir etc.

For teacher excursions they need to not be alone with students

Lunch with Robyn/Finley YES

Fire Marshall for the Day (PULL the alarm on the next scheduled fire drill). YES

Extra recess for a class YES

NO button (parents get an out of volunteering). YES

Playground video needs to have help

The auction needs adult volunteers, but they need to buy a ticket to have entrance

We need more wine, dessert donations

Rebecca (Dineout nights)


Dine-Out Nights – Red Shed March 20th – 10% profits to us

Chipotle made $87 Feb 26th (maybe the snow deterred families from going out?)

Smokey Hearth? We will be asking for the future. Everyone would like to see this.

Jodie (Box Tops)


Box Tops $130 for this submission, total for the year so far $539.20!!!

Director’s report Debbie J


National Mom’s Walkout

March 14th – Wednesday Recess 9:59-10:20 to avoid the children being impacted on PYP side.

The school is taking a very neutral stance on this.

Older children choosing to leave MYP side will have a phone call home to notify parents of their absence.

Hoping for a peaceful day, if there are any heated discussions inside the building, they will be directed outside.


Next PTC meeting: April 4th @ 2pm

OTA Board Meeting: April 3td @ 5:30


Important Dates: Spring Pictures 3/22, Spring Break 3/26-30, Auction 4/14, No School 4/30, Staff Appreciation 5/7-11, Book fair 5/21-25, No School 5/28, Last ER 5/30, Last Day of School/Field Day 6/15.

Penny Wars are Coming!!!

We are so excited to introduce you all to our newest fundraiser!!!

Penny Wars is a friendly class competition to see who can earn the most points.

Each class with have their own pot for collecting “gold!” Pennies & bills ADD to your class total, while silver coins SUBTRACT points from other classes.

Points will be tallied everyday and the leader will be announced. Kids will know if their class needs to bring in extra Pennies or if they need Silver to sabotage other classes!!

At the end, the winning class will get their choice of either a Pizza Party or a Popcorn Bar!

Flyers were sent home last week and all grades K-11 are encouraged to participate.


Penny Wars Final