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«Thank you for volunteering to be a class rep – we greatly appreciate your support. The main role of the class rep is to support the class teacher ...»

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Thank you for volunteering to be a class rep – we greatly appreciate your support. The main role of the

class rep is to support the class teacher – it is not as a point of contact for parents’ concerns about

educational issues. Parents’ first point of contact for these should be the class teacher. If a parent

contacts you about an educational issue, please refer them to the relevant person.

We ask all our class reps to be a point of contact should the school close for an emergency – such as a typhoon. If we do close, you will receive a message from your class teacher, and should then pass it on to each of the families in your class. We have a separate SMS system in place, so the class rep contact is as a backup system.

Making a start As soon as possible, get a list of students and contact details of parents from Donna in our admissions department. Please regard these as confidential to your own parents as in the past they have been used for marketing purposes.

Distribute the list to all parents in your class with a short note introducing yourself. The school can assist with photocopying if required, although a list of all families and contact details is included in the Family Handbook.

You will be informed of any new families by our admissions department, and these are also printed in the Lion’s Roar. Please be sure to up-date and redistribute your list if anyone joins or leaves your class - you are the start of the communication trail.

Saying hello A good start would be to set up a ‘parent’s group in an e-mail address book and introduce yourself to your class parents and ask if they have any questions or need any help. Let them know that you will be in touch throughout the year to give them information about class, school or PTA events.

If they are new, really ask them if they need any help. Let them know about any newcomer meetings coming up and remind them of the importance of reading the Lion’s Roar and other year group communications! It may be helpful to try to put yourself in the position of a new parent – or any parent. What would you like a Class rep to do for you?

If there is a language or cultural barrier to overcome ask your PTA Class rep Coordinator to see if they can find someone to help.

When chatting to parents make notes on any talents or offers of assistance. They will come in useful as the year progresses!! They may even one day regret telling you they had such expertise!

12-Sept-2012 Easy guide to a year as a primary school class rep Page 1 You and the class teacher The teachers here at BSM are a friendly and committed group of professionals. However they are very busy with their teaching commitments. As soon as possible, book a short meeting with your class teacher to discuss how you will approach the year’s schedule for the year group. Ask the teacher what is expected of you; he/she will appreciate your interest in their needs. This is probably best done as a year group with the reps from the other classes in the same year group.

The PTA Committee will send out a calendar of PTA events through the Lion’s Roar. Together you may like to discuss adding any events that are particular to your class, like assemblies, special days or productions before sending them out. This is a great reminder list to have on your refrigerator.

Coffee Mornings

Parents usually like to meet other parents, but many are also very busy people. Many parents work, others have smaller children at home and of course there is actually life outside our school. The easiest way to get parents together is by having a coffee morning, which are usually held straight after the 7:40am drop off or after a year group event such as an assembly. The PTA provides complimentary TEA AND COFFEE for these events, and has budgeted peso 3,000 per class to cover this.

If you are planning a coffee morning, please inform your year group teachers – and it helps to invite them along, although their teaching commitments may prevent them from attending.

Once that date is agreed, let your parents know the date and that you will meet in the refectory.

However, you will need to vacate the refectory by 9am as break starts for primary children.

If you want to entice more parents, you may like to ask a few people to bring in biscuits or a cake. You only need 1-2 plates of food. (Although if your meeting goes on until 9.00am you will find the children appear to finish off any leftovers).

Please make sure the refectory is tidy afterwards, we should always try to lead by example!

Events There are many events throughout the school year and they are all published in the school calendar and Lion’s Roar. We are a very busy school and the calendar is the result of many hours of discussion.

Most school events are organised entirely by the teachers. However you can be sure that they will need your assistance on occasions to motivate other parents to become involved.

End of term parties On the last morning at the end of each term, an hour or so is set aside for class parties. Parents are encouraged to send in food for these, but these should be in line with the School’s healthy eating guidelines and should not include fast food or other commercial deliveries. Simple finger foods tend to

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Always arrange for a clean up afterwards. Any leftovers can be taken to the staff room and the janitors / other support staff will ensure nothing goes to waste.

Funds Occasional Primary class activities require modest funding from parents for their children’s participation. These include costumes for productions, and year group assembly costs amongst possible others. For ease of administration, Class reps should agree an annual cash contribution with form teachers before collecting those contributions from all class parents and administering them in liaison with the class teacher. At the end of each term, Class reps should provide other parents in their classes with a brief summary of what funds were collected or brought forward from the previous term, what was spent during the term, and what remains at the end of that term. The appendices to this document give sample emails.

If any funds remain at the end of the school year, in conjunction with the class teacher Class reps should propose to other parents how to dispose of such surpluses, which may include donating the funds to a school supported charity or returning the surplus pro-rata to the parents who contributed them.

PTA events

One of the aims of the PTA (of which we are all automatically members on paying our school fees), is to raise funds. These funds are used to purchase items or support projects which enhance the education offered at the school but are beyond the school’s normal budgetary expectations.

The PTA achieves this by holding events throughout the year. These have the dual purpose of not only raising funds but just as importantly, promoting friendships and relations within and outside the school community. As a Class rep your role in supporting these events is to mobilise the parent body to help organise, sometimes run and of course to attend appropriate events.

Large events are Bonfire Night and the Fete. Smaller events include assisting at Christmas parties & the Christmas shop, and running the production bars. The PTA Committee will pass on information about the event. Additionally you can rely on your PTA Class rep Coordinator to contact you all and bring you together for a briefing.

A PTA event list will be distributed at the start of the year. Your Class rep Coordinator may add notes as to what you can expect to have to contribute to these events and will go through this at your first Class rep gathering.

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One member of the PTA committee acts as the class rep coordinator, with the following


 Encouraging parents to take on the class rep role, for classes where there is no immediate volunteer  Liaising with class reps to support the main PTA events in the year – (e.g. year group stands at the fete) Gifts for teachers Christmas – Gifts at Christmas are a personal choice and there is not usually a collection for a Christmas gift. Please advise parents that they can send in a small gift for the form tutor or any of the teachers if they want to. However, teachers often appreciate just a card – the right message of appreciation can often mean more than a gift.

End of year – It is usual that the Class rep organises a collection and goes shopping for a suitable end of year gift for the class teacher; gifts for other teachers are at individual parents’ discretion. Buying gifts is sometimes difficult. You could always ask another teacher that your teacher seems close to for an idea of likes, interests, etc. if a teacher is leaving the school at the end of the year, spare a thought for their packing allowance in the size of your gift.

Contacting parents Always try to be friendly and light-hearted in your approaches to parents even though you may not be feeling that way when you are trying to get something done and parents are always out when you call!

When you need to organise rosters, send it out for completion. It will come back with a few entries. Fill in the gaps with the names of parents who have not replied. Send this out again with a light-hearted, friendly note asking parents to get in touch with you if there is a problem with their time. You may have to still confirm closer to whatever date the event is you are to roster, but this might get you further than waiting for replies.

Finally… BSM has a great school community - for most of us it forms a strong foundation to our lives in Manila;

however our community spirit does not end when the school bell rings.

Being involved with the school, in its activities and in the promotion of this spirit will bring you many rewards. These will be in the form of great friends, great memories and surprisingly for some, in personal growth.

We are by nature a very diverse bunch, the school consists of over 40 nationalities and as many, if not more cultures. You will experience the differences in many of them and this will bring new situations for you to deal with. Volunteering for this role means that you are up to this challenge and at the end of 12-Sept-2012 Easy guide to a year as a primary school class rep Page 4 the year whilst indeed tired, you will feel you are very much a part of the success the school has enjoyed. (Although granted, you may not feel this until after a good rest in the summer holiday!)

Just try to remember:

Keep things simple and stay calm Respect others: People with different opinions to ours are not necessarily wrong Know your stuff: Read the Parent Handbook and the Lion’s Roar, many answers lie inside!

You will not please all the people all the time, but if you do your best and please some of the people some of the time, you will have been a great class rep. Thank you for taking on this demanding role.

12-Sept-2012 Easy guide to a year as a primary school class rep Page 5 Appendix – Examples of standard communications

A) Initiation email from primary head Sample email to be sent by primary head, before class reps start collecting funds Subject: Collecting class rep funds Subject: Collecting class rep funds Dear Primary parents, Each of your classes now has a volunteer class rep (and for some classes, more than one). Many thanks to those parents who have volunteered time to take on this role. BSM believes that involving parents in school life enriches the education of the children, and the children certainly always appreciate it.

By tradition, the class reps help (in conjunction with the teachers) to organize many school related activities for the children (and parents) during the year, for which they request funds from all parents in the class at the start of the year. These funds cover class related

costs, including:

 Costumes for school productions  Costs of year group assemblies  Parties for the children during the year (e.g. Christmas lunch, end of year)  Social gatherings for the parents in the year group for example at Christmas(the funds may be used to pay for teacher consumption at these parties)  Christmas or year end presents for the teachers and assistants (this is completely optional, and should not be high value – a card signed by all the children, or a scrap book with contributions from each child, is highly appreciated)  Other expenses related to the whole class The contribution is normally in the range PHP1,500 to PHP2,500 per child, and the class reps are asked to report back to you at the end of the year how the money was spent. If any funds remain at the end of the school year, in conjunction with the class teacher, Class reps should propose to other parents how to dispose of such surpluses, which may include donating the funds to a school supported charity or returning the surplus pro-rata to the parents who contributed them.

This email is to request your support of the class reps in their work with your children. The class reps will be in contact shortly to ask for this contribution.

Thank you and regards,

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Primary Head

B) Request for funds from class reps Sample email to be sent by class rep requesting funds (generally more effective, if the amount has already been discussed and agreed with several parents in the class, before sending out the email) Subject: Y4JG – class rep funds

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During the school year, the class reps incur expenses for items such as costumes for the school production, Christmas/ birthday presents for the teachers/ assistants, and the meal provided to the children on their theme day (Tudor day this year).

The consensus at the coffee morning earlier today was to raise a general fund of peso 1,000 per child, rather than collecting for each item separately. I have now received payments for 9 out of the 20 children.

This email is addressed to those who I think have not yet paid, and to request you to give peso 1,000 to your class rep within the next week (if you think you have paid, please let me know).

I will give a breakdown of how the money was spent at the end of the year.

Many thanks in advance,

–  –  –

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