Thursday, May 31, 2012

What Parents Do... (among other things) - EDITED

In preparation for the parents reflection & planning meeting on June 5th (1 - 3,  talk to your point parent for directions and details!) I'm trying to create a list of genuine and quasi "traditions" -- please consider using comments to share your thoughts on what should be added, deleted or changed!  These are NOT school sponsored events (like potlucks and plays) but instead are parent initiated events.

Would it help to have a sense of classroom based traditions/parent involvement expectations too?

Monthly/Variable : Parent Forums, Chaperoning Field Trips, Movie Nights, Assemblies

Summer - Playdates & Parties
Families Invited : garden club, stories by the garden, camp 

August - Class based parties, back to school picnic/meet the teacher

September :  Curriculum Night, 7/8 camping trip, possible OC fall trip
Parents Invited : Potluck & Contradance

October :  Wolfe's Neck Trip (largely 2nd grade and younger) & Teacher Appreciation Lunch on
In-Service Days;  Parenting for Peace, Outing Club Harvest Dinner

November : Close Buy

December :  Hat Sale (not this year), Middle School Dance, Winter Solstice (8th & preschool)

January : Middle School started weekly skating, sometimes
Parents Invited to Winter Concert and Potluck

February :  Love Swap, Lasagna Sale (8th grade)

March :   Auction (heavily parent dependent),  Teacher Appreciation Lunch
Parents invited : 7/8 play and dessert potluck

April :

May : New Family Reception, Parenting for Peace, 8th grade trip
Families invited : Grandfriends Day

June : Teacher Appreciation Lunches

Any ideas for raising $, raising fun, raising the roof?


Leisa Collins said...

Hi All!

Thanks, Kim, for this great brainstormed list! I think it would be an important exercise to also overlay this set of parent traditions onto the school calendar of activities as well. That would give a very clear picture of how much our community accomplishes in a year, what we might want to leave in or leave out, and where dates of some activities might be changed to ease some time pressure...

In addition to the things that you mention on your calendar here, parents also volunteer in-class on a daily basis, chaperone on field trips, attend class celebrations, do workshops (in Katie's class), serve as after school activity volunteers, serve on the FSP Board of Directors and do other special committee work (ex. hiring committees). I'm sure there are other things that I've missed, but your list inspired me and may inspire others to add to it also.

I would be really interested in working with others on organizing and promoting the idea of increasing collaborative peer-to-peer exchanges within our greater community - of space/goods/skills/services/etc... And this concept might also be used in fundraising for the school. For example, a FSP family has a garage space/garden plot/rototiller/whatever it can rent out and donates the earned money to the school. There are electronic tools to help with coordinating this kind of thing too...

I can't make the Tuesday Point Parent meeting, but I know I speak on behalf of many when I say please share our thanks with them for their service during the year!


Maya said...

1. Love Swap - if we've done it once, is it a tradition?

2. OC dinner is usually October.

3. 7/8 art walks

4. School art walk

5. Even if you have reservations about it, the 8th grade trip (May) is a dearly-loved tradition that has happened four years in a row. And the lasagna sale, which you do list, is a direct result and enabler of the existence of the trip.

6. Middle school dances.

7. Band!! and string ensemble! There would be no instrumental music programs at the school without one parent - ahem - being an incessant pain about it.

8. How about changing the intro to say parent- and student-initiated events, because that's what some of them are, especially at the middle school level. It's always hard to draw boundaries - are we after traditions, or are we after parents?

9. There should be something like a School Traditions tab on the website with this list so it gets wider distribution than the five people who read the blog. It is good for parents of all grades (and prospectives as well) to know what goes on in other grades and know what to look forward to.

Kimberly Simmons said...

I agree about the challenge of the boundaries. I didn't put anything that was classroom specific (like the 8th grade trip or field trips in general) because that seemed overwhelming, but of course that is where parents do the most. Hmmm... we need a good visual graphic!

Maya said...

Our school district tracks all the parent and community volunteer hours put in at/on behalf of the schools each year. They then use that to leverage grant funding from various sources, as it shows commitment and support from a strong community. FSP should do this as a matter of course. Of course, it would mean that everyone would need to record their hours each time they volunteer, which could be like herding cats...