The PTSA - MCE Handbook
Parent participation is a mainstay of the MCE school community. Parents may become involved in innumerable ways—from joining their child at lunchtime to helping out in the library, giving a presentation on a particular subject to a class, representing parents’ concerns at school or district-wide meetings, or attending meetings of the district’s Board of Education.
The MCE PTSA
One of the best ways to become involved at MCE is through participating in the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). The MCE PTSA is an extremely active part of the larger Pittsford District PTSA, and provides abundant opportunities for one-time, year-long, or ongoing service. Its primary goal is to bring the home and school into close relationship, so that parents, teachers, and students may cooperate productively and effectively in all aspects of education for the community’s youth. Specifically, through a variety of activities, they strive
• to provide quality programs that enrich the school experience for all MCE students
• to involve parents in their child’s school experience
• to provide effective representation of parents’ ideas and concerns
• to function as a source of learning and support for parents.
Parents may join the PTSA at the Fall Open House, or at any time during the year. Membership is district—not building—based (i.e., a family with students in more than one school would join once). Members and non-members alike are welcome at the group’s monthly meetings (times noted on the Pittsford Schools Calendar), where such issues as building policies, parental concerns, educational trends, and district-wide developments are discussed with the Principal, a teacher representative, and invited guests. As information is shared about PTSA and school activities, the goal, always, is to advocate for and on behalf of children.
Parents may learn about PTSA and school activities through a variety of mediums, including the District PTSA website: www.pittsfordptsa.net; and the MCExpress, a MCE PTSA newsletter that is distributed each Friday via email (See also Staying in Touch).
Much could be written about the many MCE PTSA programs, each of which is aimed at enriching students’ lives in different ways. However, for your convenience, a brief synopsis of each appears below. We hope you will choose to become involved in and/or chair those programs that fit with your interests and skills. You can communicate your interest by filling out the MCE PTSA Volunteer Form. This can be found on our MCE PTSA website and information will be given to you in the Back to School August mailing.
The MCE PTSA website can be found by going to www.pittsfordptsa.net , clinking on the Elementary tab at the top and selecting Mendon Center Elementary.
MCE PTSA Volunteer Opportunities
Volunteers help organize and run a variety of after-school activities (e.g., chess club, drama classes) during the year.
Elementary art appreciation program presented by parents in the Kindergarten through 5th grade classrooms (no art ability needed and materials are already prepared).
Program designed to give students a variety of presentations throughout school year in art, music, drama, dance, etc. Includes Field trips.
One-day event to celebrate cultures of the world (held alternate years)
Junior Literary Club
Fourth and fifth graders meet with parent volunteer(s) regularly, to discuss a book.
Library Reading Programs
Volunteers work with the Librarians to organize reading enjoyment programs for each class.
Volunteers supervise students during recess as they walk or run a specified course.
Hands-on science program for grades K-3 conducted by parent volunteers in the classrooms three times a year (no science ability needed—materials prepared).
Hands-on science projects conducted by parent volunteers for 4th and 5th grade students on one half day (held alternate years)
Box Tops for Education
Volunteers organize program to collect box tops from MCE families. Funds received support activities sponsored by the MCE PTSA.
Grade level coordinators and volunteers organize community service and Helping Hands projects with students and serve as liaisons with the Pittsford School District Community Service Program Advisory Board.
Fifth Grade Transition Coordinators
Parent volunteers assist Barker Road Middle School, Calkins Road Middle School and their respective PTSA with programs to help students prepare for moving to middle school. Events include a gym/swim night and a “Sneak Preview” of their new school. Volunteers also work with teachers to plan a “Moving Up” ceremony for 5th graders.
Parent volunteer works with Student Council members and teacher representatives to coordinate such council activities as roller skating parties and community service opportunities.
MCE PTSA Building Programs
A volunteer keeps the school bulletin boards and calendar up to date to keep students informed of things going on in MCE.
Volunteer coordinates purchase of books with funds donated by parents to be given to MCE library in honor of children’s birthday or special accomplishment/event.
Health and Safety
Volunteer(s) coordinate health and safety related programs and activities relevant to promoting positive development of children’s physical and emotional health (e.g., Drug Awareness Resistance Education Program and Poster Contest) and Nurse Appreciation Day. Attends Pittsford District PTSA Health and Safety meetings and Pittsford School District Health Education Advisory Committee meetings.
Volunteer(s) participate in planning and coordinating hospitality for PTSA meetings during the year.
Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) Representative
ILT is a committee comprised of a MCE school administrator, teacher representatives for all grade levels and special areas, and parents. The PTSA Co-Chairs serve on the committee. Monthly meetings are held to make site-based management decisions.
Parents On the Playground (POP)
Volunteers help Cafeteria/Recess Aides supervise students on the playground. Parents may participate as their own schedules allow.
PTSA Executive Board
Volunteers serve as MCE PTSA’s Chairperson (2-year term); Vice-chairperson (1-year term, succeeds to position of chair the following year); Secretary (2-year term), and Treasurer (2-year term).
Red Ribbon Week
Volunteers help plan and participate in a variety of activities during a one-week session designed to keep students thinking about staying drug-free.
Room Parent Coordinators
Assigns volunteers to be room parents for each classroom teacher. Enables quick communication to parents for district-level information through room parents.
Assigned by Room Parent Coordinators, these volunteers facilitate parent communication with PTSA and teachers. They also assist teachers and PTSA with Open House activities (PTSA membership, classroom activity sign-ups, etc.). May be asked to call parents to encourage them to participate in school district budget and/or referendum votes.
Staff Recognition Day Luncheon
Luncheon in spring provided by Pittsford Central School district and organized and served by parent volunteers.
Coordinator of all volunteers for MCE PTSA activities and committees. A volunteer form is distributed near the beginning of the school year and is the resource used to staff committees and programs. The coordinator disseminates the information to all chairs and staff in need of volunteer assistance.
School-wide family event held soon after the school year begins (usually in the early evening). The Welcome Back Picnic is held outside on the basketball courts and playground. Pizza and snacks are served and a DJ and carnival games provide for a fun and festive evening.
Parent volunteers coordinate all aspects of publishing, including design to produce a book, which is sold in the fall to be published in the spring. Traditionally, many students wish to purchase this keepsake. PTSA does not use this as a fundraiser—the books are sold at cost.
MCE PTSA Fundraisers
Weeklong sale of books; held in school auditorium in fall; profits go to all PTSA enrichment programs.
Parent volunteer(s) coordinate fall membership drive.
Individual (optional) and class portraits (for yearbook) are taken. All students have the option to participate.
Volunteers work with teachers of the school to donate items that are silently auctioned off during the Welcome Back Picnic in the Fall.
MCE clothing items are available for sale in the spring to MCE families.
Your child’s artwork is made into items such as luggage tags, coffee mugs, tiles, etc. This fundraiser occurs in the fall so that products are sent back to families in time for the holidays.
Each child that sends in the assigned Square1 Art bar coded paper will be sent a free set of stickers of their artwork.
Volunteers help prepare for, staff, and run a 4-day District PTSA clothing, toy, and household sale held during the fall of each year.
Directory of students and teachers created, assembled, and distributed by parent volunteer(s) in the fall.
Volunteer coordinates and produces weekly newsletter distributed to parents via e-mail to communicate information in a timely and effective fashion.
Volunteer works with Principal and school staff to update Handbook as needed.
Web Site Coordinator
Volunteer is responsible for information in the MCE PTSA section of the Pittsford District PTSA web site.
Learning Needs Liaisons
Representatives/liaisons between the school and the district PTSA Learning Needs Committee. Volunteers provide a resource to families with children who have learning differences. Volunteers attend a monthly meeting at the Teacher Center, share information on the PTSA website, and provide contact for/information on variety of Learning Needs Programs—e.g., PASS (Pittsford Advocates for Special Students); QUEST (Quality Education Support it Today).
Volunteer(s) coordinates and staffs newcomer functions and provides information about our PTSA and school to new MCE families during the school year.
The Pittsford District PTSA
The Pittsford District PTSA is the larger organization of which the MCE PTSA is a part. The organization is “dedicated to understanding, representing, and advocating for the needs of parents, teachers and students within the Pittsford school community and to promoting a partnership that ensures all students a successful education within a safe and nurturing environment.”
The Pittsford District PTSA is a local unit organized under the authority of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teacher, Inc. (PTA). PTA Districts are geographic divisions of New York State. Our PTA District is Genesee Valley.
Officers, including the PTSA chairperson of each Pittsford school, and the chairpersons of more than 25 standing committees combine to oversee the activities and involvement of parents at the district level.
Pittsford District PTSA members represent parents on many school district committees, achieving partnerships that benefit all Pittsford students. Some of these include the District Planning Team, District Budget Review Committee, District Instructional Leadership Council, as well as committees involving the interview process at the district level. Many of the organization’s activities are detailed on their web site: www.pittsfordptsa.net. Other PTSA communication vehicles include the Pittsford District PTSA Strategic Plan; the Pittsford PTSA Handbook: A Guide to Parental Involvement; The Pittsford PTSA Directory; the Pittsford Schools Calendar; and the weekly PTSA E-news Updates.
All parents are encouraged and invited to participate in the District PTSA and to attend the group’s monthly meetings, which are noted on the Pittsford Schools Calendar. Additionally, parents may join the PTSA during the Fall Membership Drive or at anytime throughout the year. Membership fees support invaluable programs throughout the year and parents’ membership, time, and commitment are highly appreciated. If you would like additional information about the District PTSA, contact the MCE PTSA Chair, whose number is available through the Main Office.