BFS
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Class Parent

What Does A Class Parent Do?

Class Parents play a vital role at BFS. As representatives of the PAT, they are the link between each grade and the larger BFS community. They work together to make all families feel welcome. They stay abreast of and communicate issues affecting the class and the larger community, reach out to families to encourage participation in school events, and foster communication. Ideally, each class has three class parents who share the responsibilities outlined below:

  • Scheduling beginning of the year potluck dinners or initial gatherings and initiating other, periodic social events
  • Creating parent contact lists for their respective classes and determining what form of communication works best for families
  • Talking with parents to understand issues and concerns and communicating those to the Division Heads and division VPs
  • Working with the New Families Committee to manage any issues that may arise and to help integrate new families into the community; and making welcome phone calls to incoming families entering your grade level the following year
  • Reporting significant student and/or family news, both good and bad, to the PAT, through the division VPs, for appropriate action
  • Attending Class Parent Meetings with Division Heads, approximately three to five times per year, depending on the division, and distributing the minutes of those meetings to their respective classes
  • Sharing by email, requests for volunteers, and information about significant school events
  • Encouraging families to volunteer for PAT events and helping parents to find ways to support BFS with their skills
  • Being knowledgeable about and supporting development initiatives, such as capital campaigns, the Brooklyn Friends Fund, and the Spring Gala, which may include facilitating class support through advertisements
  • Planning and executing efforts to give class gifts to teachers at the end of each semester, where such a decision has been made
  • Contacting families if an emergency phone chain is initiated

Suggested Timeline for Class Parent Duties

These are suggested general guidelines to help class parents think about and understand their role over the span of the school year.

  • Recruit new class parents, where necessary.
  • Attend class parent reception orientation and orientation meeting.
  • Start planning potluck parties or initial gatherings.
  • Divide up responsibilities between class parents in your classroom.
  • Share the dates with the other CPs for the meetings with Division Head. All CPs do not have to attend, but at least one per class is appreciated at each meeting. There are normally 5 scheduled throughout the academic year.

  • Email parents to introduce yourselves and explain your role.
  • Create a comprehensive contact list with updated e-mail addresses and phone numbers, using the class lists as a base.
  • Send updated lists to PAT VPs for each class.
  • Coordinate with the New Families Committee to check in with new families–how are they feeling, any questions or concerns, ways in which current families can help with transition to BFS. One CP per class should volunteer to be the liaison for new families and the NF Committee.
  • Help generate interest in informal meetings to socialize and/or discuss the children.
  • Continue to plan the class/grade potluck dinner or initial gathering to be held between October and November: Discuss with parents if teachers will be invited, find host, organize who brings what, whether the event will be class-wide or grade-wise, etc. In the case of PS, LS and MS, teachers are invited in a way that doesn’t make them feel pressured to attend. The US policy is not to invite teachers to these class events.
  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, including the general PAT meeting, and speaker series, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for upcoming events, such as the Winter Festival.
    Become aware of key aspects of the Brooklyn Friends Fund school-wide fundraising effort.

  • Where not already celebrated, continue to plan potluck dinner or initial gathering, and encourage families to attend.
  • Make decision about whether the class will get a holiday or end-of-first-semester gift for the teachers, what you will give the teachers, and how you will collect money to get the gifts, where applicable. Classroom gifts to teachers are generally given in the PS and LS.
  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, including speaker series, the Toy Drive, and the Annual Fall Cleanup at the Quaker Cemetery in Prospect Park, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for upcoming events, such as the Winter Festival.
  • Continue to coordinate with the New Families Committee to check in with new families–how are they feeling, any questions or concerns, ways in which current families can help with transition to BFS.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Finalize plans to give class gifts to teachers, where such a decision has been made.
  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for PAT events, such as the Winter Festival, the Family Folk Dance and the Black History Month celebration.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, such as the PAT General Meeting, the speaker series, the Black History Celebration, and the Spring Gala, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for these and other efforts.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, such as the PAT general meeting, the speaker series, the Black History Month Celebration, Embracing Diversity, the Family Day of Service, and the Spring Gala, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for these and other efforts.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings among parents where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, such as Embracing Diversity, the Family Day of Service, and the Spring Gala, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for these and other efforts.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings among parents where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, such as the Spring Gala, the PAT General Meeting, the Family Day of Service, the Carousel Party and the Block Party, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for these and other efforts.
  • Make decision about whether the class will get an end-of-school-year gift for the teachers, what you will give the teachers, and how you will collect money to get the gifts, where applicable. Classroom gifts to teachers are generally given in the PS and LS.
  • Hold informal meetings or gatherings among parents where such an initiative has been put in place.

  • Forward e-mails to parents with information designed to publicize upcoming PAT and school events, such as the Block Party, as well as information designed to recruit volunteers and in kind support for these and other efforts.
  • Assist the New Families Committee and New Parent Dinner organizers by making welcome calls to incoming families for the following year.
  • Volunteer to become, or recruit class parents, for the following year.
  • Remind families about the Brooklyn Friends Fund, especially in context of parents wishing to show their appreciation to teachers.
  • Finalize end-of-school year teacher gift.

Brooklyn Friends Gift Policy

The following policy was adopted by the school in response to requests for clarity, concerns about inequity in the distribution of gifts, and discomfort expressed by some parents and teachers.

The desire of children, or the desire of parents in the name of their children,to thank school staff with gifts at holiday times and at the end of the year is appreciated. Teachers do work extraordinarily hard to ensure the success of our students. However, gifts are not expected. If they are given, they should preferably be objects of token value, homemade gifts, or something that can be used in the classroom, such as, a book. While gift cards may be considered to the extent that they further the teachers’ well-being and professional development, cash gifts should be avoided.