FAQ's - Laurel PTO
Laurel School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) is a volunteer organization that works to promote and support the education and welfare of the Laurel School students, kindergarten through fifth grade, by:
When you become a PTO member, you become a part of a Laurel family, a committed group of teachers, staff and parents who work together to create a nurturing, supportive environment where our students can shine - academically, socially, and emotionally.Funds to support all PTO-sponsored programs and purchases are generated through membership dues and through parent-coordinated fundraisers.Working closely with Principal Linda Creighton, Laurel’s PTO-supported programs are identified to help support key school programs and activities. These include:
- Further strengthening our students' learning environment by providing enrichment programs that support general curriculum requirements, as well as social and grade-level activities.
- Volunteering time in classrooms and on campus to aid teachers and staff and to support students' academic opportunities.
- Celebrating the Laurel community, campus and curriculum with activities that are inclusive and honor the spirit of Laurel School.
CURRICULUM & CLASSROOM ENRICHMENT
- Academic enrichment, including assemblies, bus transportation and fees for field trips, instructional materials, and computer-learning subscriptions
- Literacy promotion through the support of library programs, book fair events, library book needs, and Pop! Pop! Read a Lot! Challenge fundraising event
- Science programs, such as the STEAM Fair
- Arts promotion through the music program, art supplies, Art in Action, Annual Laurel Art Show and the Spring Fling
- Teacher/Parent coordination and support through our Head Room Parents
- Classroom supplies and teacher resources
- Lunchtime programs, including Riekes sports supervision
- After-School Programs coordination
- Student safety and welfare through disaster safety, hot lunch coordination, Life Skills support, Lost & Found services, and Walk & Bike Week and safety information
- Transportation coordination
- School pictures and yearbook coordination
- Staff support and appreciation
COMMUNICATIONS: Weekly newsletter, blue folders, campus communication, Laurel website, and district directory delivery for each familyThe annual PTO Membership Drive aims to have 100% family participation. During this drive, we raise funds to support our PTO programs and resources that benefit the entire Laurel student body, as well as teachers and staff. The cost of providing these programs is approximately $250 per student. We ask that each family contribute to the PTO as they are able – to support your own child, additional children, or to just defray part of the costs for your own child. We want EVERY Laurel family to be part of the Laurel PTO and encourage families to give what you are able.Families interested in supporting additional students - please consider scholarships for additional children. Your gift is greatly appreciated.All donations to Laurel School PTO are tax deductible and may be eligible for corporate contribution with employee matching funds available through your employer. Please inquire with your human resources department for information and forms.Click here for a list of the Board members.For specific information about Board responsibilities, please click here to review the PTO Board roles and click here to review Bylaws and Standing Rules.How can I donate or contribute my time and resources to programs, events, or a class? Whom do I need to contact?Anyone interested in donating time or assistance in a classroom, on campus, or with community-building programs can volunteer during school hours and/or after school. Click here for more information.In classrooms, volunteering may include providing food and/or supplies for classroom parties, assisting students, helping with class projects, assisting the teachers in many ways, or helping with reading, in art class, or in the library. Each classroom has a volunteer Head Room Parent(s) (HRP) who helps coordinate all volunteer activities. To become an HRP, please contact HRP@laurelpto.org.In addition, each school’s PTO has many committees that work on a variety of programs focused on campus activities and community programs. These include for example, serving hot lunch to students, providing front office support, as well as organizing and staffing our school events, including book fair, Fall Family Picnic, and much more. Click here for more information.Interested parents should contact the student’s teacher, Head Room Parent (HRP), PTO President at firstname.lastname@example.org, and/or the PTO Committee Chair. Committees are always looking for more help! If you think you would like to do something but don’t know where to start, click here for more information and contact the PTO President. The president will be happy to inform you of the activities and types of help they might need. In addition, attend the Back-to-School Coffee, watch for announcements, read the newsletter, and review the website for other requests for help throughout the year. To volunteer, please send an email to email@example.com.Click here to view Laurel's PTO meeting dates. You can get involved by simply calling or emailing any of the board members or committee chairs. Whatever time you have available, we will be able to find something that interests you and fits your schedule.Some PTO committee positions require a substantial time commitment, but others can be done in less time and during off-hours such as might be ideal for working parents and family members. A committee sometimes consists of only one or two volunteers; others necessarily require more people. For more information, click here.Each school’s PTO's success is based on the strength of its volunteers. Parents are welcome in the school and their support and assistance are sought in a variety of ways. When parents volunteer, both families and schools reap benefits that come in few other ways. Getting involved at any level is also a great way for parents to get to know other parents and staff.As much or as little as you are able. Laurel PTO consists of parents who work full-time inside and outside of the home. Some folks commit significant amounts of time to fundraising or other committee work while others get involved for a few hours on a discreet project, such as collecting and counting Box Tops for your child’s classroom. Any amount of time you can give is welcome and appreciated! Click here to find ways to volunteer that fit in with your schedule.You are one of many working parents at Laurel school, many of whom are involved in the PTO. There are still many opportunities to support the programs we have.
- Family events – Fall Family Picnic, Grade Level Sing, Week of the Family, and Spring Fling
- Parent community hospitality
- Caring & Sharing support
- Spirit Wear coordination
- Kinder and new family welcome
- Talk to your child's teacher to see if they have projects you can take home (cutting out shapes, sorting, assembling etc.).
- Volunteer to chaperone a field trip. We always need parents for this type of event.
- The annual STEAM Fair is a popular event for working parents. It requires taking a few hours off in the morning. Put your time-off request in months in advance!
- Library volunteers - Do you have an hour some time during the week to help shelve and cover books during your child’s library visit? Our librarian is always in need of help.
- Volunteer for the special events. Many of these events take place on weeknights or weekends and a lot of help is needed.
- Shop MPAEF. Click here to find participating merchants who make contributions to the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation (MPAEF) based on your purchases, just by shopping at sites you already do.
For a complete list of ways working parents can get involved, please refer to our Volunteer Opportunities list.The PTO raises money each year to provide vital and valuable programs and support services for students at our school. For example, funds are provided to the library and to teachers for classroom supplies, instructional materials and computer learning subscriptions that may be used to enrich the regular curriculum. The majority of PTO funds are raised in the fall in the Annual Membership Drive, but it does not cover all the funding areas. Three additional fundraising events are necessary and include the Book Fair, and Pop! Pop! Read a Lot! Challenge.The annual budget is proposed by the PTO Board and approved by the PTO general membership. Discussions take place at the scheduled PTO meetings. General membership votes on the budget at the Fall General Meeting. Please come and share your ideas about what the money should be doing for our school.No! While fundraising is an important part of what the PTO does, it is simply a means to an end. The PTO has significantly reduced the focus on fundraising to only the Annual Membership Drive in the Fall and three fundraising events. The PTO spends the majority of its time providing curriculum and classroom enrichment, campus needs, school communications, and community-building events. None of these would be possible without its fundraising programs.While each organization aims to supplement what the District is able to provide, each organization has a different goal. Each school's PTO funds specific school-based programs, supplies, and events. The Foundation (MPAEF) funds crucial staffing, an engaging curriculum, and innovation in the classroom – all on a district-wide basis. Please give to both organizations as your family is able. Together, the PTOs and MPAEF provide crucial enriching and educational needs that are essential to creating a more full and robust educational experience for your children.Click here to donate to the Foundation.