MSD is most successful when parents make a commitment, at whatever level they can, to participate in the school experience. Commitment can vary greatly from parent to parent: for some it may mean being a class parent to coordinate support for the Teachers, to others it may mean service on the Board of Trustees or participation in Parents’ Association projects, and to others it may mean making a financial contribution. We encourage everyone to learn about the many opportunities for participation available to you, and to choose those that fit best with your personal interests and your available time and resources.
The overall mission of the Montessori School of Durham Parents Association (PA) is to support the MSD community in a variety of ways, in keeping with the Montessori philosophy. The PA’s primary purpose is to build and support a sense of community within MSD. We aim to do this by encouraging parental involvement in community activities, by providing social and educational opportunities for all members of the community, by supporting the Teachers and staff in their daily work, and by fostering communication among all members of the MSD family. In addition, the PA acts as an advocate for the school and for the Montessori method of education.
All parents and guardians of students currently enrolled at MSD are automatically considered members of the MSD Parents’ Association. The PA is led by a Steering Committee, with input from anyone within the MSD Community. The PA Steering Committee consists of a Chair or two Co-Chairs, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, a Parent Representative to the MSD Board of Trustees, and a Staff Representative from MSD staff. Steering Committee meetings are held typically once per month during the school year and over the summer. Meeting times are publicized in advance and are open to the entire MSD Community.
In keeping with their mission, PA activities are designed to be community-building or provide Teacher and staff support. The PA accepts Event Proposal Applications (available through the office) for the following school year with a February 25th deadline. Proposals are reviewed by the PA Steering Committee, and approved events are announced by April 15th. The PA partially offsets the costs of these activities by funds raised through school merchandise (T-shirts, tote bags), yearbook sales, and the School Rewards programs sponsored by various local stores.
Programs and activities currently sponsored by the PA include: Class Parents, Fall Picnic, Tomorrow’s Child Montessori Magazine, Spring Fling, Spring Picnic, Staff Appreciation Week, School Pictures, and Yearbook.
Parent ServiceParent service is vital in a small school such as ours. We need every MSD family to take an active role in the work and fun of the PA. The minimum suggested contribution is that each family take responsibility for coordinating one event, or working on three events. We would not be able to sponsor all the events and programs we do, if many parents did not contribute over and above this minimum.
Parent service is coordinated by our Director of Community Engagement, the Volunteer Coordinator, and the Steering Committee of the PA. Over the summer, every family receives information and a volunteer sign-up form. Additionally, volunteers will be recruited throughout the year as needed. Working on a PA event is an excellent opportunity to get to know other families and become actively involved in your child’s educational experience. Please feel free to contact any PA Steering Committee Member with any questions, comments, or suggestions.