New spring enrichment option for middle school

Creekside Service Learning Enrichment: 6th-8th Grade

We’re really excited to offer this Service Learning Enrichment program to any 6th-8th grader this spring. We think it will be a great opportunity for our students to volunteer in a meaningful way, connect to their community and understand that they have the power to illuminate the world around them!

When: Fridays beginning after Spring Break, April 24th- May 30th @9-2 pm

Organizations: Bear League, Truckee Bike Park, FoRiver, Sierra Community House, Tahoe Institute of Science (TINS), US Forest Service, Humane Society

Parents welcome! Cost: $25 per student which will go towards costs for a Service Learning notebook that each student will receive at the beginning of the program. Notebook includes reading material, space for observations, as well as pre/post reflection.

Registration: If your child would like to participate, please register on the Creekside PTO website by MARCH 31st. In order for the program to have its biggest impact, it’s important that your child attend at least 5 out of the 6 days, so please keep that in mind when signing up!

Volunteers: We will need volunteers to make this happen! Please let Kathleen Ruffle know if you’re interested in helping out:

Spring Enrichment sign ups start now!

Spring Enrichment


  • Who- TK-5th
  • When – May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and June 5th (9am-2pm)
  • Where- Truckee Donner Recreation center
  • How much – $240

Important info

  1. Classes- Swimming,  Rock Climbing, FitKids, Magic and Discovery, Science  and more
  2. Volunteers- We can’t do it without you! Come for an hour,  or a day, or the whole time. We have fun too!
  3. Must register before March 20th- we are asking families to sign up early so we can plan accordingly.  Go to to pay and sign up


Please contact with any question

K-5 Spring 2017 Enrichment

Spring Enrichment for TK – 5th Grade begins April 21st

Only $175 per child for participation in any or all of the Friday sessions 9am – 2pm at Rideout Community Center.

Reserve your space today by paying online or bring a check to school made out to Creekside PTO.

Read our flyer for more information about Spring enrichment structure spring 2017 creekside enrichment



Save Mart Shares

SaveMart Shares new partnership with eScrip is a fabulous, improved donation plan – our school can earn up to 3% of qualified purchases with no annual limit!

They recently revamped the program, so even if you registered your card last year, PLEASE take a moment to re-register your card or we may not be earning the money.   And, there are two older accounts still listed on the escrip page that may not be directing the money appropriately (legacy from our school’s leadership and location changes).

Once you have a Save Mart Shares card, you will also need  Escrip and register:

Make sure to select our school’s current account –  500138772 (Creekside Charter School PTO).

Anyone can participate if their card is registered to our school.  Enlist grandparents, business partners, friends and neighbors if you can.

This is a multistep process – if you can’t figure out how to register, please email with your SaveMart Shares number, your email address, phone number and zip code – and I will register your card for you.


The Creekside PTO coordinates several fundraising activities throughout the year to help fund enrichment activities, specific school initiatives, and donate the the Creekside CCM general fund as needed.

Obviously, major fundraising events such as the Spring Gala! and annual giving campaigns are very important and bring in the bulk of our funds – but there are some simple, ongoing ways to help the school raise funds that do not cost our parents or community sponsors a dime!


April Update!   There are 2 months left in the Classroom Challenge and 1st grade is IN THE LEAD. 

1st Grade is in the lead with 1540 points!    Their significant contribution with Truckee Tahoe Propane Receipts has already earned the school over $1,000 !    Please don’t toss your propane receipts away, we could still earn another 1K donation from Truckee Tahoe Propane.  Don’t use much propane? Ask an employer or local businesses you patronize if they will give you the receipts! (The bulk of those receipts came from a parent who got them from her employer….)   Please read below for new point structure beginning this month and updated ways to earn your child’s class even more points!

Box Tops – There’s an APP for that !     If you use a smart phone – use the “Box Top App for Education!” – improved way to increase the money we can earn from box tops…   Search for Creekside PTO (School ID 958378) PO Box 2891 Olympic Valley, CA 96146.   NEW – Special bonus of 50 points for your child’s class if you send in proof that you have downloaded the APP!   You can use your phone to scan the receipt instead of clipping and saving.   Click here for more information on how to Click, Scan and Earn! 

Here are the points per class as of April 1st:

1st Grade – 1540 points

6th Grade – 950 points

4th Grade – 800 points

5th Grade – 650 points

3rd Grade – 400 points

2nd Grade – 350 points

TK/K – 350 points

7/8th  – 280 points


SaveMart SharesIf you shop at Save Mart, sign up for a Save Mart Rewards Card.  Once you have a rewards card, you need to register your Savemart Shares card with Escrip, designating Creekside PTO as the beneficiary.  It takes a few minutes to set this up – but once you do, every time you shop at Savemart, Creekside will get 3% of the money you are already spending!  Your child’s class gets 50 bonus points if you send in proof that your SaveMart Shares card is registered with the new eSCRIP program!

Amazon Smile – Click the big amazon logo from our PTO home page or type and  designate Creekside PTO Inc. as the beneficiary of qualified Amazon purchases! Use EVERY time you shop to make sure we get the credit from the money you are already spending.  Bring proof of SMILE enrollment to school for a 50 point bonus!

Used Printer Inkjet and Toner Cartridges – Click here for a list of cartridges that we can recycle for $!  Each qualifying cartridge is worth anywhere from 60 cents to $9.00.  Ask your friends, family and business partners if they use any of these cartridges and help them recycle their empties.  (PLEASE check the list of acceptable cartridges – before sending  them in with your child – almost half of the cartridges turned in do not qualify for the Funding Factory drive.)  The class will get ten points for each QUALIFYING cartridge sent in.

AmeriGas or Tahoe Truckee Propane Receipts – Simply send the last page of any propane bill dated August 2016 or sooner (The page has “Community/School Days Receipt” printed on it). Your child knows where to turn it in – and we will do the rest.   You can also collect receipts from any friend, business, or family member that is a customer of Truckee Tahoe Propane!  We get 2 cents per gallon of all receipts turned in up to $2000!  Help us reach that $2,000 goal!   Ten points per receipt! 

Box Tops – Click here  for a list of participating products.  Just tear off the box top and send it in with your child!  50 bonus points for proof you have downloaded the app, and one point every clipped box top submitted!!!!


If you have any questions, please email carahunt.2016 at gmail dot com




Winter Enrichment

The winter season is approaching and we are gearing up for another winter – with that starts our Ski Enrichment program on  January 13th.

The forms will be sent home this week in your child’s backpack, and you can view or download them here:

Intro Letter

Student Waiver

Squaw Waiver

Nordic Waiver

PTO Parent Waiver

The program will be the same as last year: 6 Alpine days at Squaw, 3 Nordic days at the Tahoe Nordic Center, 2 ice skating days at HighCamp. (Ice Skating is new this year)

Important:  We need payment and all four waivers sent back by December 15th in order to participate in the Ski Enrichment program. Please leave a check for $150.00 per child made out to Creekside PTO in the school office along with each of the four waivers found above. There is a box labeled PTO Winter Ski Enrichment in the office!

If you prefer to pay online by credit card: click here!

We are planning on having a quick ski enrichment meeting on Wednesday November 9th at 8:30 after drop off for any new families that have questions or concerns about the program.  Please read the Intro Letter for more information, and if you still have questions and can’t make the meeting – don’t hesitate to contact Kristen or Sarah (Their contact info is located in the Intro Letter.)

PTO Meeting Minutes October 4, 2016

Creekside Cooperative Charter School PTO

October 4, 2016 Board Meeting

Date, Time, Location: 10/4/2016, 8:40 am, school office

Meeting called to order by: Jill Milne, PTO President at 8:50 am

Attendance: Jill Milne, Nicolle Sloane, Melissa Panico, Holly Colpitts, Kirsten Richenbach, Karin Curtis, Alissa Morganti, Bill Kelly, Jen Kelly, Lisa Castro-Waldorf, Jeff Kraunz, Cara Hunt, Kim Kerrigan

Business Discussed and Action Items


  • Fall Fest is an event that will be similar to but will replace The Feast. Looking at venues where we can create more of a social atmosphere. Will be a buffet style potluck with student performances. Working on dates. Will be sometime in November. Will not be a fundraiser but rather a social gathering of families and friends of the school.
  • Initially, we had planned to completely cancel Souper Bowl in favor of Fall Fest but due to some parent concerns, we have decided to continue the tradition of Souper Bowl. The Souper Bowl will be considered a student fundraiser. Still deciding on venue and date, but will be held in either February or March of 2017.

GALA: Group Discussion

  • Have secured Tainted Love for the night’s performance.
  • Still working on dates. Will be sometime in May 2017.
  • Will be very similar to last year’s event.
  • As we are starting our planning of the gala much earlier this year, we hope to secure more sponsorships and auction items early on.
  • Currently putting together the gala committee. We already have six parents signed up for it.

LIBRARY FUNDING: Alissa Morganti

  • The Creekside Library is an “enrichment” program. Years ago both music and Spanish were funded as enrichment programs by the PTO (along with the Friday Enrichment). We now pay (through CCM mostly) for a full-time Spanish teacher/program.
  • Alissa and Nicolle Sloane who are currently both stocking and running the library (the have purchased books for the library but there have also been many book donations) want the library to be sustainable and are hoping the PTO will consider funding a portion of the library in the next year or so.
  • There is an option for Alissa and Nicolle to trade Friday enrichment costs for their children for a certain amount of volunteer work they do in the library.

CCM Board Update: Sean Whelan

  • Need to fix our short term deficit by November 1, 2016.
  • Asking parents to pledge money to support the school and help eradicate the deficit. So far, it seems to be making headway.
  • There will be a Town Hall meeting in the next few days to let parents know why we need their financial support.
  • Cara Hunt suggested tasking class parent reps to have a class contest. First class where every family makes a financial donation to the school gets a pizza party?
  • Alissa Morganti suggested passing an e-mail on from parents to grandparents, aunts, uncles who could also help contribute financially to the school.
  • Enrollment is going up. Lots of confidence in Jeff. Enrollment is key to government funding of the school.
  • Idea of having both the CCM fundraising committee and the PTO fundraising committee work together as one fundraising entity.
  • Objective is $1,000 pledge per family per year.

FALL ENRICHMENT k-5th: Holly Colpitts

  • Trying to figure out a way to have the enrichment programs qualify for core so teachers do not have to also send home extensive IS work for student on Fridays. Some teachers send more than others. For example, Physical Education is covered at Friday Enrichment. Need to get together with the teachers so both teachers and Holly understand which core requirements need to be met and how they are being met at Friday enrichment.
  • Still need MORE parent volunteers. The parents need to help deal with the behavioral issues in the Friday Enrichment classrooms.
  • Cara Hunt suggested having the students who have the behavioral issues to help some of the younger students in their classes. Maybe that would help them engage more so they are not pulling focus in their own classes with their classmates.
  • Alissa suggested putting an easel out in front of the office during the week so parents can sign up in big bold letters to volunteer for Friday Enrichment.
  • Make it possible for parents to volunteer for just half of the day.

WINTER ENRICHMENT: Kirsten Richenbach

  • Same price as last year. Two days of skating up top will be added this year. Tram ride will be included.


  • Fundraising opportunity. Identify something students are doing that has a positive effect on the environment. Can be at school or at Squaw. Four cash prizes of between $4,000-$10,000.
  • Other schools that have won in the past have done things like: sewed sandwich bags, sold them to students at their schools, instituted Meatless Mondays.
  • Schools from all across the country participate in this.
  • The idea needs to have been developed and must be in use prior to participating submitting idea in January.
  • Cara said three middle school kids are going to a conference for an eco challenge so perhaps there is a collaboration that can happen with them.

ESCRIP: Karin Curtis

  • Escrip is another small way (like Amazon Smile) that we can easily raise funds for the school.
  • Up to 3 percent of the money we spend at Save Mart when using our Escrip card goes to the school.
  • Parents need to re-register their cards for the money to go to Creekside, however.
  • Also discussed on this same topic of small fundraising efforts: Amazon Smile, Mountain Hardware Tahoe Truckee Propane Receipt program, Box Tops. Need to get the word to parents that these are all programs they can easily participate in that directly help fund Creekside.
  • Melissa asked if we can create a PTO drop box for checks and so forth in the library. Yes!! It needs to be fairly secure, however. Alissa said she’d figure it out ;>

Treasurer’s Report: Melissa Panico

  • PTO is giving the school as much as possible. PTO has a very small budget right now.
  • Need a policy in place for Friday Enrichment scholarships. There are a couple families who send their children but do not pay and then other families who do not send their children because they cannot afford it.
  • Holly emphasized that volunteering and scholarships should definitely not go hand in hand. Volunteering one or two days at Enrichment does not qualify a family for scholarship.
  • Jill thinks if they can volunteer six full weeks at Enrichment then maybe then they can receive the scholarship.

Jeff’s Report: Jeff Kraunz, Executive Director

  • Learning is at a really high rate. We also have really high test scores.
  • There is a much smoother transition at Creekside from 5thgrade into middle school.
  • If you get your children into Creekside we have a middle school environment that is different and better. Children aren’t exposed to the drama and stress that students are other larger middle schools have to deal with, which detracts from learning.
  • We have two teachers for 7th/8th where other schools have five.
  • There is the top-down approach. If our middle school is full, then it trickles down into our younger grades.
  • Our most recent CCM board meeting was the best board meeting we’ve had since I’ve been here. Board is really working toward solutions and is open to outside ideas. It’s not a closed board anymore. We now have transparency.
  • Jill suggested having open houses in Truckee and Tahoe City at restaurants where we can talk to other families looking for schools for their children.

Meeting adjourned at 11 am.

Minutes compiled by Nicolle Sloane, Secretary

Creekside Students Attend Monterey Bay Teen Leadership Summit

Three teams (ten students, pictured above) from Squaw Valley’s Creekside Charter School were selected to participate in the Monterey Bay Aquarium Teen Leadership Summit October 22-23rd, 2016. This conference educates, inspires, and empowers students to become conservation leaders in their own communities. The children from Creekside were one of only two middle school groups selected to participate. Most of the attendees were from high schools across California.

The students attended sessions including project management, planning and goal setting, as well as completing hands-on projects, and collaborating with other student teams from as far away as Texas.

Inspirational keynote speakers included 25-year old eco-activist Erin Schrode, Co-founder of Turning Green, and David Dennis, Co-Founder of Ventana Surfboards & Supplies – an ecologically sound company transforming trash into functional art, such as hand crafted surf-boards and accessories.

After this training, the students are expected to plan and execute a conservation project within their own communities during the academic year, and present their results back to the conference organizers using social media.

It is no surprise so many young conservation leaders would come from Creekside Charter school, physically located on the grounds of Squaw Valley Ski Resort, an internationally renowned outdoor recreation area.  Not only does the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort support many local non-profits, including our own Creekside Cooperative Charter School, they were the first major resort community to ban the sale of single-use plastic bottles and install free electric car changing stations. (You can learn more about Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows commendable history of community giving and environmental stewardship on their website.)

Along with all the other teams at the summit, our Creekside teams are now tasked with planning and executing their own measurable conservation project and we can’t wait to see what they launch in our community.