Community & School Life
The Bush School Parent Association News
The Bush School Parent Association
Why We Are Here and What We Do
The Bush School Parent Association (PA) is an organization for and of all parents and guardians of students enrolled in the school. The PA is made up entirely of parent volunteers. We exist to promote a spirit of involvement and community between the school and its families by providing an opportunity to share and explore ideas along with supporting school events and activities. The PA serves as a key channel of communication from the school to parents/guardians and vice versa.
The PA is responsible for the following functions at The Bush School:
serving as a key channel of communication for parent concerns and suggestions to the Board of Trustees and the school administration regarding policies, programs, and operations of the school;
providing parents with information about the school: its philosophy, programs, methods, and operations;
providing parents with educational opportunities related to child development and parenting;
supporting the faculty and staff of the school in their efforts to create the best possible educational environment for students;
establishing and supporting programs that create an inclusive and welcoming climate in the school;
communicating to parents the actions and activities of the PA
managing its budget; and
supporting the fund-raising efforts of the school.
PA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
|Q. ||What is the best way for me to stay informed about activities at the school?|
|A. ||The best way to stay informed is through the Bush website, your room representative, the all-school calendar, student notes home, and e-mail blasts.|
|Q. ||Who is in the Parent Association?|
|A. ||All Bush parents and guardians are members of the Parent Association. The PA is made up entirely of parent volunteers.|
|Q. ||How does the Parent Association fit into the school's operations?|
- In general, the PA is the main communication link between the parent/guardian body and the school. The PA is also the main source/channel for parent volunteers.
The PA was created by the Board of Trustees. The PA President represents the parents and serves on the Board. PA representatives also serve on the Development, Communications, and Educational Programs Committees of the Board of Trustees. A PA representative also serves on the Strategic Planning Committee. A PA representative helps guide the development of the school calendar. This involvement in the governance of the school provides a forum for exchange of ideas and information from and to the Board of Trustees.
- In addition to the role with the Board of Trustees, each PA vice president meets regularly with his/her division director to discuss issues and to get information to share with the division-specific room reps and parents/guardians.
|Q. ||What is the best way to share an idea, express a concern, or have my questions answered by the Parent Association?|
There are many ways in which parents/guardians can be heard by the PA.
- Call or e-mail your room representative(s). Contac the Parent Association here. His/her/their job is to answer your questions or direct you to the person who can. You can also share your ideas or concerns with the room rep to present at the next room-rep meeting.
- Attend your division’s room rep meeting or the all-school PA meeting.
- For parents/guardians of Middle and Upper School students, attend the division directors’ monthly brown bag lunches.
- Middle School parents should refer to the Middle School Handbook, which is distributed at the beginning of the school year. The handbook is filled with useful information that can save you a lot of time.
- Talk to PA reps at school. There are pictures of PA officers and room reps on the PA bulletin board in the Commons. Please stop us any time to ask a question or share your ideas.
- Finally, contact the appropriate Parent Association representative here.
|Q. ||How can I find out about volunteering at the school?|
There are numerous ways to find volunteer opportunities.
- Attend the Volunteer Fair at the beginning of the school year.
- Visit the Volunteer Portal: http://www.bush.edu/volunteering/index.asp.
- Go to the Parent Association Bulletin Board in the Commons for current opportunities.
- For parents of Middle School students, the Middle School Volunteer Coordinator can guide you and has information about volunteer opportunities specific to the middle school.
- Ask your room representative, a PA chair, or a PA officer.
- Contact the Parent Association here.
|Q. ||I am a working parent with very limited time. Are there opportunities for me to get involved?|
|A. ||There are jobs that require a longer commitment of time (i.e., PA secretary) or jobs that are very time-specific (i.e., one morning for Field Day) and every variation in between.|
|Q. ||Who can be a room representative and how are are room reps nominated?|
|A. ||All parents or guardians are eligible to be room representatives. In general, the nomination process is more of a volunteer process. The vice presidents of each division ask the current room representatives for recommendations. Parents are also welcome to volunteer. The vice presidents then consider the candidates and recruit representatives from the pool. The final decision is approved by the Executive Committee of the PA and reviewed by the division directors and the head of school. The process begins in February of the preceding year with positions left open for new families to participate.|
|Q. ||Can a parent be a room representative for more than one year or more than one class?|
|A. ||Yes. The PA recommends that a parent serve no more than two consecutive terms. This gives other parents the opportunity to serve. We recognize that each class is different and request that whenever possible, everyone be given an opportunity to serve as a room representative. We have in the past had parents/guardians who are room reps in two different classes in the same year. We recommend that a parent carefully consider the time commitment required before volunteering as a room rep for two classes.|
|Q. ||What if I can’t be a room representative but I really want to help out in the classroom?|
|A. ||Contact your head room representative to ask what opportunities are available. Teachers at The Bush School know that their resource for classroom volunteers is through the room representatives whose job is to coordinate volunteers. Most teachers will communicate their needs for the entire year to the head room representative.|
|Q. ||When are the room representative meetings and can anyone go?|
- All room representative meetings are posted on the website and on the all-school calendar. Please check those resources for the most current information.
- All parents and guardians are encouraged to go to the room rep meetings. It’s a great way to stay informed, build relationships, and share ideas!
|Q. ||Does the PA have a budget? How does it work?|
- Each grade K-Twelfth receives a budget annually from the Parent Association for various activities throughout the year. How each class spends its budget is entirely up to the parents and the room representatives. The money is used to cover costs for PA-related events. The money is not for field trips or educational items. Parents who are not room reps may submit reimbursement requests but should first get approval from the head room rep.
- In addition to the grade-level budget, other PA-sponsored activities are funded by the overall PA budget, including the following:
- Parent Education
- Fifth, Eighth, and Twelfth Grade Graduations
- Teacher Appreciation
- Summer Camps and Opportunities Fair
- PA Expense Participation (to allow financial support so all families can participate in PA-sponsored events)
- All Other PA Events and Activities
|Q. ||If I have a question related to my student's curriculum subjects (i.e., math, English, science, etc.) to whom do I talk?|
|A. ||The PA does not work with parents in areas related to the school curriculum. We recommend that you talk to your student’s teacher or advisor (for the Middle and Upper Schools) about curriculum-related issues. If you are not satisfied, talk to your division director. If you still feel that there is no resolution, then we recommend that you make an appointment to meet with the head of school.|
|Q. ||If I want to organize a school event, what should I do?|
|A. ||The Parent Association has prepared an outline of the steps required to plan an event for the school. First contact the PA president or your divisional vice presidents to present an idea. If it’s a go, just follow the steps in the outline. You’ll have lots of help. Don’t worry, it’s not hard!|
|Q. ||With whom should I talk if I feel that community expectations are not being followed regarding my student and other students?|
|A. ||The Bush School has a written policy on community expectations and consequences. You can get a copy of this document from your division director. If you feel that your student is being treated unfairly or unkindly by other students (such as bullying), we recommend that you talk to your teacher or your student’s advisor first. If you are not satisfied, talk to your division director and the school counselor. If you still feel that there is no resolution, then we recommend that you make an appointment to meet with the head of school.|
|Q. ||How do we, as a parent association, say “thank you” to our faculty and staff?|
- The Parent Association sponsors the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Committee. This committee promotes appreciation and support for the faculty and staff by coordinating several school-wide lunches, coordinating treats for teachers and staff throughout the year, and recycling unused tickets for events (theater, sports, music events, etc.) donated by parents.
- In the Lower School, room representatives coordinate an end-of-year gift for each teacher.
|Q. ||How do I get something on the school calendar?|
|A. ||Terry Walburn, administrative assistant to the head's office, is the manager of the all-school calendar. The Board of Trustees has a Calendar Committee which meets throughout the year to coordinate the calendar. Once you have approval from either the PA or the appropriate division director, you can ask the administrative assistant to the head's office to check the master calendar for availability. You may also need to complete a form with the Facilities Office to reserve a space on school grounds.|