Schedule and plan events – The following events for the start of the school year should be scheduled over the summer in coordination with the school:
- PreK and Kindergarten playdates – There have traditionally been two for each grade in August. In the past, these were held on the Murch playground, but due to impending construction you may want a new location. Forest Hills may work. Ron Eckstein organized in 2015 and has offered to organize again for 2016.
- Any school Open Houses – These are scheduled by the school. In 2015, the HSA provided lemonade and an information table at the Open House. The lemonade, cups and napkins were paid for from the President’s Fund (although now the Renovation Set Aside would be an option for funding). We borrowed a large cooler from Mr. Johnson (PE) to serve the lemonade. HSA Board and SIT members were asked to help staff the information table. At the table we provided:
- School Beautification Day – DCPS has discontinued this as an official city-wide event, but individual schools can organize if there is a need.
- Coffee on the Playground for first day of school
- New Parent Breakfast – This has traditionally been held on Friday morning of the second week of school (September 4 in 2015). The HSA Executive Board, Principal and Vice Principal are all invited to participate. After time to mingle, typically the Principal and the HSA President(s) give a brief introduction and the Principal may do a Q&A. In some years the breakfast was held from 8-8:45 am with child care provided. This was complicated for staff and child care. In 2015, it was held at 8:35 (just after students entered the building) and younger siblings were welcome).
- Initial HSA Executive Board meeting
- Also begin trying to schedule: Movie Night, the Fall Fair and any other events for the year
Order school supplies – The 2016-2017 HSA budget includes $5000 for the school to order start up supplies. In 2015, Ms. Gibson ordered these and submitted the invoices for payment. The 2016-2017 budget also includes funds for “grocery” school supplies. Maggie Gumbinner volunteered to set up those purchases in coordination with lists provided by Mary Eckstein and the staff.
End of Summer mailing to families – Each summer the HSA typically provides the school with information to be sent as part of the Back to School mailing in the first week of August. The timing for that items to put in that mailing should be worked out with Mary Eckstein. In 2015, the HSA sent one page (front and back) that included:
- information on the website and a list of helpful information to be found there
- a description of the HSA, and
- a calendar of back to school events.
Jenny Frink (email@example.com) formatted the documents for the HSA in the past. (As of Summer 2016, the HSA has a supply of colored paper that can be used for these copies.)
Website Updates – The website should be updated with Back to School information as needed. In 2015, we had one post in the featured section that linked to all the information parents would need:
- school supply lists
- the updated Parent Handbook
- PreK and Kindergarten play date information
- information on the HSA new parent breakfast
- how to sign up for the newsletter and the Murch Forum
- the sign up sheet for parent volunteers
The HSA information pages, staff listings, LSAT listings, and other pages need to be updated as well. (This can be done in conjunction with preparing for the Directory front section. Mary Eckstein should now be able to update the staff pages.) Elizabeth Mettler (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been the primary contact for issue with the website set up.
Staff greeting, information and stipends – The week that staff return to school, the HSA typically provides a back to school lunch one day. The HSA President or Co-President also does a short greeting and welcome for staff. At that presentation to staff:
- The President introduces herself or himself,
- explains what the HSA is and reminds the staff that they are all members,
- introduces the Staff Representative to the HSA,
- briefly explains the Teacher Directed Classroom Enhancement Grant Program and provides application materials (see separate “How To” post), and
- gives out staff startup stipends.
A copy of the letter to staff about stipends and grants can be found here (in Word).
Friday Folders the first week of school – In 2015, the HSA sent a packet in Friday folders the first week of school. A copy of each page went home in each child’s folder. There is currently a supply of colored paper that could be used for this. Jenny Frink (email@example.com) has helped to lay out these documents in the past. As of Summer 2016, the HSA has a supply of colored paper that can be used for these copies. The 2015 packet included:
- a letter from the Co-Presidents, (here is the 2014 letter for reference, still looking for the 2015 one)
- the Volunteer form, and
- a “Stay Informed” page.
More information on the process for sending things out in Friday Folders can be found on a separate “How To” page.
Directory – Begin preparations for producing the directory.