Alone,
we can do so little;
together,
we can do so much.
— Helen Keller

THE CHARLOTTESVILLE WALDORF PARENT ASSOCIATION enhances communication, cooperation, and community building within the school; to provide opportunities for parent education; to coordinate volunteers; and to show appreciation for faculty and staff. The PA sponsors numerous events and activities at the school. Upon enrollment in the school, every parent becomes a member of the CWS Parent Association (PA). The PA Co-Chairs are the parent liaisons to the Leadership Council. In this role, the PA Chairs meet regularly with the administrative, faculty, College and Board chairs to communicate about the various aspects of school life and thereby serve as a liaison between the school and the parents at large. For the 2017-18 school year, the PA Co-Chairs are Michelle Corbett and Beth Ike.

The Charlottesville Waldorf School was founded as a parent initiative and has benefitted ever since from the energy and dedication of parents. Parents participate in the life of the school through the gift of their time to numerous volunteer efforts—driving for field trips, helping prepare for festivals, serving on committees, painting sets for plays, taking photos, serving as class parents, organizing, and fundraising. Parents also lend their time and insight into leadership roles on the Board of Trustees and the Parent Association.

PARENT ASSOCIATION ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE:

HEAD, HEART & HANDS

The Parent Association structures itself under three areas: Head, Heart & Hands. The PA Chairs meet regularly with the administrative, faculty, College, and Board chairs to communicate about the various aspects of school life and thereby serve as a liaison between the school and the parents.

The Head committee focuses on the communications aspects of the PA and school at large. This branch also helps with the fundraising and development functions of the school, and also works with the Parent Ed Committee to organize community nights held throughout the year to support parent education about our school, Waldorf education, and community.

Roles in this branch include:

  • PA-HEAD Co-chairs, Secretary, and Treasurer.

  • Development Volunteer Coordinator: recruits and manages volunteers for Development support, per the Development Director
  • Marketing Volunteer Coordinator: recruits and manages volunteers for Marketing support, per the Marketing Chair
  • PA Social Media Coordinator
  • Parent Education Committee Member
  • Parent Association Board Member

HEART

The Heart Committee has been long associated with baking and feeding people and their souls in time of need. Hearts reach out, joining families together during their time at CWS. Hearts also help celebrate faculty and staff birthdays and provide nurshing food during parent-teacher conferences.

Roles in this realm include:

  • PA-HEART Co-chairs

  • Class Parents
  • PA Hospitality Coordinator
  • PA Mentorship Coordinator
  • Enrollment Volunteer Coordinator: recruits and manages volunteers for Enrollment support, per the Enrollment Director

HANDS

Handwork is an important element in Waldorf Education, being understood as critical to the intellectual, emotional, and volitional development of the child. The Hand Committee contributes direct physical outreach to our school, including labor for campus needs like gardening or site beautification, as well as providing support to the Parent body who may engage in handwork for themselves or for the benefit of the school.

Roles in this realm include:

  • PA-HEAD Co-chairs

  • Buildings & Grounds Volunteer Coordinator
  • Handwork Coordinator

CLASS PARENTS

The PA leadership includes a Class Parents from each class, who support the work of the PA and help out as needed in their specific classes. The volunteer parents from each class are vital to the function of the PA and to the classroom. The group of Class Parents meet during monthly coffee hours to discuss goals, share their experiences, and help set the events agenda for the following year. The Parent Association Co-Chairs serve as a leaders of the class parents, representing them in meetings with the Leadership Council, facilitating meetings of class parents throughout the year.

The school asks that each class host one or two events each year. Host responsibilities include helping to set-up and clean-up for the event, serving as a greeter, giving out programs, and providing donations of refreshments. The class parent informs the other parents in the class of upcoming PA events, and recruits volunteers, as needed, from their respective classrooms.

In addition, the class parents:

  • Communicate with other parents about upcoming events that affect their class

  • Support the class teacher with requests for help during festivals or field trips
  • Manage individual class fundraising events in conjunction with the development director
  • Encourage class camaraderie with class get-togethers and parties
  • Help to organize class gifts to teachers
  • Supervise the class activity for the Holiday Bazaar

The class parents work closely with the Class Parent Coordinator (Heart) throughout the year to coordinate class volunteers for, and to disseminate information about, community events.  Class parents are encouraged to bring ideas and feedback regularly to the Parent Association Co-Chairs.

VOLUNTEERING

As seasoned CWS parents know, there is no shortage of opportunities for volunteer involvement during the school year. Parents are needed to serve as drivers on field trips, to act as class parents, to help with events, provide refreshments, and greet visitors, among many other tasks. To support the school in its mission, each parent is encouraged to commit to at least 15 hours of volunteer work toward all-school events (festivals, admissions events, or the three major fundraisers) – 30 hours total for two-parent families through the course of the year. Of prime importance is that all parents give their best to the school’s three major fundraisers: the Holiday Bazaar, Annual Giving, and the Spring Fundraiser, as tuition alone does not sustain the financial well-being of the school. These efforts, taken together, offer opportunity for community and are essential to both the short-term and long-range health of the school.