Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)
On behalf of the PJA Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), we welcome—and welcome you back—to PJA for the 2012-13 school year! We would like to take this opportunity explain what the PTO is all about and, as its co-chairs, to share our objectives for the PTO this year.
What is the PTO and who can be a member?
The PJA PTO is an informal parent group that works closely with PJA staff to support the educational programs and activities of the school, encourage parent involvement in their individual children’s education, classroom(s) and school, and provide feedback and suggestions for school programs. Every PJA parent is automatically a member of the PTO. Your level of involvement is up to YOU and we invite you to be an active participant in the PTO! Participation through volunteering allows you to be “hands on” with your child’s education and gives you a voice. Our children love to see us in this environment where they spend more than seven hours each day. You will get to know your children’s teachers, make friends and become acquainted with other PJA families. The Preschool Parent Committee (PPC) is part of the PTO but is focused specifically on the needs of the preschool
What are the PTO’s goals and objectives?
Our primary objectives for this year include:
- Recruit volunteers and coordinate volunteer efforts for programs and projects that support or enrich the curriculum or educational goals of PJA. The PTO assists the school by helping to coordinate programs such as room parents, healthy kids, used book sale, family arts night, and staff appreciation.
- Foster communication between school administration and teachers and parents. We host regular PTO meetings to which all parents are invited. Meetings will be a forum for planning the events and programs for which the PTO is responsible and for soliciting feedback and suggestions on new activities. We invite representation and input from administration and teacher representatives at our meetings as well.
- Create and cultivate a sense of community among families. We plan events that cultivate a sense of community and inclusion at our school. Examples include a monthly bagels & schmooze breakfast morning in the lobby and a series of meetings for the room parents to offer support and a forum for sharing ideas.
What are some of the events that the PTO helps to plan?
We’re glad you asked! This is not an exhaustive list. Do you have an idea for an event, program or activity that’s not on this list? Please let us know.
Room Parent - Room parents act as a liaison between the school, your child’s teacher and the parents in your child’s class by encouraging others to participate in school events and by helping your child’s teacher find parents who can assist her/him with classroom activities as needed. Taking on this role will automatically fulfill your Fair Share requirement. Contrary to what the name suggests, being a room parent does not necessarily require that you spend time in the classroom! Many aspects of this role can be done from a computer or telephone on your own time. Important functions served by the room parent include: passing on information from the PTO and administration to the parents in your child’s class or grade, helping the teacher find parent volunteers for the classroom or with special projects, planning social events to help bond the class. Room parent volunteers will be well supported by the PTO co-chairs and your child’s teacher, and are invited to attend PTO meetings and meetings with other room parents. This role can be filled by one or two parents from each class or grade.
Healthy Kids - This group organizes several physically active and fun programs for the school each year emphasizing the need and ways to be healthy including: the PJA Fitness Challenge –the Presidential Fitness Challenge sponsored by the Federal Government, Tirkadoo—the PJA annual family dance with live music and games for the whole family, and the Jog-a-thon which is a fundraiser for special projects. Volunteer committees are needed to help organize and advertise these events, procure prizes for contests, procure healthy snacks and a table to sell them, a photographer, etc. Volunteers are also needed to help set up and break down rooms for these events.
Used Book Sale - This annual event raises money for the school library. Volunteers assist with collecting, storing and sorting books, marketing the event and staffing the sale.
Staff Appreciation - Each year we recognize our wonderful and dedicated teachers and staff at PJA. Past efforts have included gift bags and staff-wide brunches. Volunteers help plan, organize and distribute gifts or host events.
Fostering Community - The PTO plans events during the school year to foster a sense of community among parents. If you are available to help staff one of our bagels & schmooze breakfasts or if you like to plan social events or have an idea, please let us know!
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There will be many opportunities in the fall and throughout the school year to get involved in the PTO. The PTO welcomes all PJA parents. Please feel free to reach out to us now or at any time if you have any questions or if you would like to be a part of the PTO.
Deborah Choyne Jennifer Zeidman
Co-Chair PTO, 2012 – 2013 Co-Chair PTO, 2012 - 2013