Parent Participation Explained
Why parent participation?
Our school is built on the premise that parents, teachers and students are all members of the Orion Community that work together for the betterment of our community. This means we want parents involved. There are so many different ways for you to become involved.
All parent volunteers must have a current parent participation contract on file. Parent participation requirements are: 72 hours a school year, 8 hours per month, or 102 hours per year for a family with two or more children enrolled. Parents may participate in the classroom, school or on leadership levels. Each classroom has a room coordinator that can help you find your niche and fulfill your hours.
Parents are encouraged to share baby-sitting so that you may come to the classroom without your younger children. Bringing in children with you to work can take away from the class focus. Of course, some children are extremely well behaved and are fine in the classroom. If you cannot secure baby sitting for the younger ones, please check with your teacher in advance to make sure it's ok.
How to get hours
There are many, many ways to put in hours. While many are during school hours in the classrooms, you can participate during off hours in many different ways. A lot of preparation for classroom activities can be done at any time and committees are always looking for people to help with their special activities.
Child Care hours? Yes! This is how it works: if you provide child care for an Orion parent that allows them to put in hours for Orion, the two of you can add the hours. For example: parent A needs to work for 2 hours in their child's classroom but there is a younger sibling that needs child care during that period. Parent B provides the child care. Both parents, A and B, can count those 2 hours towards their parent participation.
Buying out your hours. You can also buy up to 49% of your hours at a rate of 10 dollars per hour.
The Mechanics of Parent Participation
Parent Participation is based on an honor system. Each parent is required to report his/her own hours. Parents are expected to keep a count of their own hours and report back three times a year.
At those times. the parent participation committee will come together, review the hours submitted by families and produce a set of reports. Families that are falling behind their expected hours will be contacted by the school and we'll suggest ways in which you can remedy the situations. It is not acceptable to avoid your parent participation commitment.
Prior to each reporting deadline, complete the parent participation form and submit it via email or in printed form to your classroom coordinator.
Note: the form requires the free Acrobat Reader. You can also use the form to keep track of your hours over time. Just download it and choose "save as" to save your own copy that you can submit at a later point in time. Dates can be entered as individual dates or date ranges, which allows you to aggregate hours for a specific activity type. Alternatively, you can use this Microsoft Excel worksheet as a template to track and/or submit your hours.
As a general guideline, you should be targeting to earn 24, 48 and 72 hours along the three reporting deadlines (or 36, 72 and 108 hours for two or more children at Orion).
Questions and Answers
I did a bunch of hours in the summer. What can I do? Just write them into the first section of the form. They count for this year.
Have any other questions you'd like answered? Email the overall classroom coordinator!