Many hands… light work…
The Parent Association (the parent body) in our Waldorf School
The Parent Association at Portland Waldorf School can be understood as the “Hands” or Willing element, while our dear teachers represent the “Heart”/Feeling aspect and the Board of Trustees the “Head”/Thinking. This is a simplified model, but it does help us understand whose work is what–and how each contribution is integral to the health and smooth functioning of the whole.
As the Hands–the Will–parents are the workers, the bodies, the lunch-makers, the carpool-drivers, the event organizers and volunteers, the tuition-payers, the treat-bakers, and in so many ways the action-makers and celebrants. Parent engagement and volunteerism is valued, encouraged and totally necessary to make our school work!
In the Classroom
Of course, all families have one or more classes in which they actively participate as parents of a student in the class. Parent involvement and support of the class teacher is of greatest priority. Additionally, parents in each class volunteer for these roles:
The Class Parent works closely with the class teacher, parent council reps, and the parents in that particular class. They help coordinate volunteers for field trips and festivals, orchestrate teacher cards and gift-giving, help organize classroom activities and events, and in a general way cultivate positive classroom culture. There may be opportunities to collaborate with other Class Parents on section wide or school wide events. The list of our 2018-19 Class Parents can be found here.
New Parent Liaison
One or two parents in each class serve as warm and welcoming resources for new families. The New Parent Liaisons may initiate parent-to-parent communication, organize play dates, and send along invites to teas and other opportunities in which new parents can connect with the school community. Admissions and Parent Council help to hold this initiative. For a listing of current New Parent Liaisons, click here.
Parent Council Representative
Each class chooses two representatives to serve a minimum of two years on the Lower School or High School Parent Council. Ideally each class has two representatives at all times. Class representation at PC meetings is both more likely and more consistent when there are two people to share the work. The reps serve their individual classroom by engaging with the teacher and parents to bring questions, ideas or feedback to Parent Council and to relay information from Parent Council about all-school needs and events. For a list of Parent Council meeting dates for the 2018-19 school year, click here
The parents who serve on PWS Lower School and High School Parent Council work with the mission to:
–Enliven all aspects of community life
–Facilitate communication among faculty, administration, and the parent body
–Build a better understanding of the cultural mission of the school as set forth by the College of Teachers
PC is comprised of 2 parents from each class serving two-year terms as Parent Council Reps; 3 co-chairs serving overlapping three-year terms; and representatives from Faculty, Admin, and Board who facilitate communication among leadership bodies.
Meetings are always open to all parents. Check the Weekly Bulletin and Veracross calendar for upcoming meetings, or ask your class Parent Council rep. Please see the updated PC Mandate for specifics!
Lower School Co-Chairs
Angie Lawless, Dave Renzema
High School Co-Chairs
Stephanie Baartz-Bowman, Rosalea Peters
Parent and Community Activities
Our community offers myriad opportunities for parents to experience Waldorf Education and come together with monthly Parent Teas, regular offerings of Yoga, Watercolor Painting, Community Eurythmy, Crafting, Choir, and more! Stay tuned for more information as this year’s offerings are finalized…
Parent Teas: Dates and Discussion Topics
Join fellow PWS parents and staff for refreshments, conversation and presentations from a variety of Waldorf teachers. These informal gatherings offer a chance to connect with other parents and learn more about Waldorf education.
October 15, 2018: 8:30-10:00am
- Topic: The drama curriculum and theatrical productions at PWS.
- Speaker: High School Drama Teacher, Jeannie Rodgers
November 12, 2018: 8:30-10:00am
- Topic: The holiday season and traditions at PWS.
- Speaker: Handwork Teacher, Mariama Loos-Diallo
January 14, 2019: 8:30-10:00am
- Topic: Foreign language and international international exchange at PWS.
- Speaker: High School German Teacher, Wibke Fretz
February 11, 2019: 8:30-10:00am
- Topic: How Waldorf curriculum meets children where they are.
- Speaker: Science Teacher, Wade Cavin
March 11, 2019: 8:30-10:00am
- Topic: Your child’s preschool-12th grade Waldorf Journey.
- Speaker: High School Humanities Teacher, Bec Blanchard
June 15, 2019
Social Tea for parents on last day of school