What is the purpose of the Green School Parent Association (GSPA)?
The overall purpose of the GSPA is to build community and enrich the educational experience of our children through positive collaboration between parents, management, teachers, the Green School Board of Directors and students.
Parent associations generally enrich school environments through:
- Social events to welcome new families and nurture the community
- Opening the lines of communication within the school, particularly in the areas of policy and two-way feedback
- Providing hands-on support for school functions
- Supporting the involvement of parents as partners in their children’s education
- Supporting teacher, student and school management needs
- Fundraising for extra special resources/programs
The immediate priorities for our parent association, the GSPA, will be determined by the GSPA itself. In true democratic style, the GSPA’s agenda will be shaped by the parents in collaboration with the school. Be sure to attend the first few important meetings and have your voice heard!
How was the formation of the GSPA initiated?
Discussion around the need to form a GSPA began with a group of parents. These parents represented a mix of families, from those who had been at Green School for a number of years, through to newly-arrived families. They represented all grade levels, from Early Years through to Grade 12. Parents identified the need and potential benefits to the school of forming a formal parent association at this point in the evolution of Green School.
The school supported further exploration of the initiative via facilitated discussions with interested parents and members of the Board of Directors. A smaller Steering Committee was formed by volunteers who committed to developing a ‘starter-kit’ for the GSPA and to organize election processes to establish the formal structure of the Association. The Steering Committee included a mix of ‘old’ and new parents as well as members of the Board of Directors.
Who is a member of the GSPA?
All parents of currently enrolled Green School students are automatic members. Active involvement in GSPA meetings, committees and initiatives is voluntary, but always encouraged!
What sort of priorities will the GSPA have?
A survey taken by the GSPA Steering Committee revealed that, as parents, we have three main themes around which the GSPA mission could be developed. The themes were around – Community, Socialisation and Communication. Specific priorities for the GSPA will be identified in initial meetings but are expected to focus around these three themes. So be sure to attend these first few important meetings which will set the immediate agenda for the GSPA!
Can I raise complaints via the GSPA?
Concerns regarding our individual children should be pursued through the usual channels. That means that conversations usually start with our child’s classroom teacher, through to the Head of the relevant Learning Neighborhood and finally to the Head of School. (please refer to Sentral for relevant contact details). Concerns or ideas relating to the wider school, or school policies, can be raised in GSPA meetings or a request an agenda item via the agenda application form on the Patent Portal.
Will the views of the GSPA be heard by Management and the Green School Board of Directors?
Green School supports the establishment of the GSPA and recognizes that it is a healthy feature of an evolving school. The GSPA will work in close collaboration with Management to ensure coordination and achieve a shared purpose. The GSPA seeks to establish better lines of communication between parents, Management, the Board, teachers and students. The Green School Board of Directors has demonstrated support for the GSPA by welcoming a regular GSPA report to be tabled at their monthly meetings.
Where will any funds raised by the GSPA go?
The GSPA will maintain a professional treasury function to ensure full disclosure of all financial transactions. In the spirit of transparency and open communication, financial statements will be tabled at every GSPA meeting and will be posted on the GSPA page on the Parent Portal.
You can input into decisions on where any funds raised should be directed. Typically, parent associations would consider expenditure on additional resources that support our community and enhance our children’s learning experience (ie: extra items, above and beyond expected school resources). For example, additional sporting/play equipment, music equipment, resources for new families etc. 100% of funds raised by the GSPA will be used to benefit our children and our community.
It’s up to us! Decisions on expenditure will be taken at GSPA meetings by the members, taking into consideration the various ideas and perspectives we all put forward.
How can I be involved?
The extent to which you become involved is really up to you. Formal roles such as Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer require some clear investment of time. Other roles such as leading or being a member of a GSPA committee, focusing on topics such as enrichment, welcoming new families and parent development and education are a great way to make a contribution in an area of particular interest to you.
Simply attending GSPA meetings, inputting ideas and providing your perspective, is valued and is a great way to connect to your community, make new friends and contribute to your child’s learning experience.
Want to find out more?
Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org to have your questions answered.