SRV PARENT-RUN EVENTS
The PCO, SRV's parent organization, is responsible for managing several school events that are long time traditions. Each event is paired with and supported by parents from one classroom or Circle. The Parents in the classroom promote the event, and inspire and invite community participation.
Community Meetings and Discussions
The PCO aims to provide several opportunities for the community to discuss topics of interests throughout the academic year. Often drawing on the expertise and passions of our own staff and parents, we present speaker programs free of charge to the community. Representative topics of recent years include: fostering good sleep habits; implementing family-friendly nutrition; improving parent-child communication and reducing nagging. We also offer book discussion groups focused on parenting selections recommended by community members.
The PCO also partners with the SRV Board of Trustees and the Administrative Team to offer educative programs and discussion opportunities.
Most important, the PCO is committed to offering programs and discussion groups that interest the community. We welcome suggestions throughout the year and maintain flexibility in planning to accommodate as many of them as possible.
Family Picnic/Parent Orientation
The Family Picnic is the first all-school gathering of the year. It takes place during the first week of school. It is a great time for parents to meet staff members, the Board, and to meet each other and learn more about navigating the school. Families should bring dinner for their family as well as a blanket or chairs to sit on.
Some of the regular care of the school buildings and campus is done by parents. On one Sunday in the fall, and a Saturday in the spring, parents come together to paint, garden, mulch, do small repairs, etc. These are really fun events. Parents are given a choice of projects to work on and get to work with crews. Older children are encouraged to help out. A group of parents provide free lunch and child care. Everybody has a good time, and lots of hard work that the school would otherwise have to pay for out of tuition revenue gets accomplished.
Fall Community Event
Each fall, parents plan a family event for fun and community building. Most recently, this event has been a brunch with activities such as crafts and storytelling. Parents, board and staff members prepare and serve a fabulous all-you-can-eat brunch. The Brunch raises a little money for the school, but the main purpose is to enjoy this time with the SRV community.
The Book Fair is held each fall to raise money for the Library. The books are supplied by an area retailer, and the Library gets a percentage of each sale. The Book Fair is open during and after school, as well as during Parent Conference Day, so everybody has a chance to drop by.
The Winter Festival is generally held on a Sunday in January or early February. It is a family oriented event that often includes a bake sale, live music, crafts, a pot-luck supper, and a good wishes ceremony. Parents are invited to help plan the event and to donate refreshments.
The May Fair is on the first Saturday of May; it is the major family/community event and the highlight of the year. It is a time for the community to celebrate spring and to have fun. The Fair is often planned around a theme, such as medieval times, math, or favorite children’s books. The festivities include dance performances by each age group, including a sword dance and Maypole dance done by the oldest children. Through the day there are booth and field games, pony rides, face painting, and other activities. Plants, SRV T-shirts and a variety of snack and dinner foods are sold. Towards evening there is usually a barbecue.
The May Fair is planned by parents and virtually every member of the community helps in one way or another. At a minimum, parents should plan to set aside an hour or two to volunteer on that day.
The Annual Fund is another way of providing necessary additional financial resources to the operating budget. Tuition alone only covers 66% of the budget, and we count on the Annual Fund to help to “bridge” the gap in expenses. The Annual Fund provides support for expenses such as salaries and benefits to attract and retain excellent teachers, financial aid for tuition, educational materials, as well as the costs of professional development for the staff, technology updates, and library resources – all key to SRV’s institutional health.
The Annual Fund consists of voluntary, tax-deductible contributions given on a yearly basis. All members of the community are asked to join in the common mission of supporting the school, the students and the faculty through participation at any level in the Annual Fund. In this way, parents share in the responsibility of meeting the school’s educational goals and ensuring a financially sound institution. Other contributors include alumni, parents of alumni, board members, grandparents, friends, staff and former staff.
The Annual Fund is managed by the Board, the Development Committee of the Board and the administration. Each year a goal is set as part of the school budget.
Special Fundraising Events are raise resources for the Annual Fund and/or for enrichment programs outside of the normal operating budget.
In the fall SRV holds a community gathering for good company, good spirits, and to kick off the Annual Fund.
Arts for All
Each spring SRV holds a major fundraising event, which in recent years has been called Arts for All. This is an evening event. There is always great food and libations, good music, and great times. There is usually an auction, as well, featuring superb works of art as well as great services, tickets, and gift certificates. Arts for All is organized primarily by the Development Committee and the school administration, with parent help.
Apple Day is held on a school day, and generally begins with small mixed-age groups of children working together to harvest the edible apples and clear the rotten ones from the school grounds. The apples are divided among the classes to be used in cooking projects, and some may be used to press cider. Sometimes, special activities such as woodcarving and making apple-head dolls also take place. Towards the end of the day, there may be an all-school Apple Assembly. Finally, the children get together in group pairings to share the apple treats that they have prepared. Parent help is welcomed on this day.
On a weekend day every fall, young alumni (under 24 or so) are invited to return to SRV to play SRV recess games with old friends. The alumni love the opportunity to reconnect with each other and some favorite teachers, and to play “all-out” in the school's fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Winter and Spring Concerts
The Spring and Winter Concerts occur in the evening, and feature performances by children from most if not all of the classroom groups, as well as the SRV Chorus. The concerts are charming, entertaining, and impressive. All are welcome.
Candle Making Week
Children have been making hand-dipped candles at SRV for decades. Candle Making Week is usually scheduled to take place in mid-January during the week preceding our Winter Festival. During this week the wood shop is turned into a candle studio. Parents and teachers provide the children with many colors of melted wax, and the children hand-dip their wicks. The youngest children may be heard quietly reciting the litany "Wax, water, wipe!" as they concentrate on making the wonderfully crooked, blobby and often ultimately brown candles. Older children become more skilled and creative, often using the time to mold beautiful and clever candles or wax sculptures.
Grandparent/Special Friend Sing
Each year SRV provides an opportunity for students to invite their grandparents and special friends to the school. In recent years we have held a coffee reception and a special Sing for these special friends.
Track & Field Days
Late each spring, the sports teacher holds a track and field meet for all of the children in the Middle Circle and Oldest Group classes (3rd through 6th grades). Children who wish may choose to participate in one or more running, jumping and throwing events that are held during two or three mornings. This event is relaxed and fun, and the children are encouraged to strive for their personal best performances rather than to compete with others. Parents are welcome to attend.
Classroom Closing Ceremonies
The teachers at SRV work hard to create strong, caring classroom communities throughout the year. Ending the year and saying goodbye are important rites, and the teachers plan these events equally carefully. The closing ceremonies are as individual as the groups are; teachers will inform parents towards the end of the year what to expect. In most cases, parents are kindly requested to respect that the group closings are for the children and teachers rather than public events.
Children who are leaving SRV are usually given special recognition at the end of each school year, often during the groups’ closing ceremonies. Children from the Oldest Group who are leaving are honored and are presented with hand-made books in which teachers and staff members have written personal messages and goodbyes. Blank pages are left for the children to fill as they wish. Parents and friends are welcome to attend the Oldest Group closing.
On the last day of school, in an all-school ceremony, every child is given a bead to represent their year at SRV and the qualities that are special about them. The teachers present the beads one at a time to each child, announcing to the assemblage the words or phrase chosen for each. The children are encouraged to save their beads so that when they leave SRV they will have a tangible symbol of themselves and their experiences here.
The ceremony is quiet and serious. Parents are welcome to attend. Preschool students go first and then are dismissed so that they may go and play quietly while the ceremony continues for kindergarten through sixth grade students.