Repost: School organizations help parents get involved

by susan on September 4, 2012

[Ed. note: I posted this list of parent organizations at the start of school last year, and it seemed like a good idea to share it again this year. They are all great organizations worthy of your time.]

Getting involved in your kid’s education is one of the most important things a parent can do. Helping them with homework is one thing, but if you’re looking to go even further, consider joining one of the many parent organizations that support Southborough schools.

Check out this list of the parent organizations in town. Descriptions are taken from each organization’s website, which you can visit for more information.

Southborough Organization for Schools (SOS)
The Southborough Organization for Schools is a non-profit organization made up of dedicated parents of children enrolled in the Southborough K-8 schools. SOS is committed to working along with the staff and community to enhance the learning experience of our children and promote teacher/parent and home/school/community relations and communications. The first SOS meeting of the year will be Friday, September 9 at 8:30 am at Finn School. (www.southborough-sos.com)

Southborough Education Foundation (SEF)
The mission of the Southborough Education Foundation (SEF) is to offer private funding through community support for creative and challenging programs that enhance the educational excellence of the Southborough public schools. SEF seeks to foster academic excellence in our public schools by awarding grants for innovative and creative programs which support the goals and ongoing priorities of the district. Programs such as these would not normally be funded via traditional school budgets. (southboroughed.org)

Algonquin Parent Teacher Organization (APTO)
Parents even though your son and/or daughter now attends high school, you are still needed! The goal for the APTO is to bring the families and students of Algonquin, and the administration together. APTO meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month. (web.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/apto/)

Northborough Southborough Music Association (NSMA)
The NSMA is a parent volunteer organization dedicated to supporting our talented music students, faculty and programs. Our funds are used for music enrichment awards and senior scholarships, as well as supporting un-budgeted special projects and for the purchase recognition trophies and plaques. We also coordinate volunteers for concerts, festival hospitality and special events. We work to promote the success of our music programs by raising awareness in our community through our website and publicity. (www.nsma.info)

Algonquin Boosters Club
The Algonquin Boosters Club is comprised of parents who are interested in supporting the sports teams of the school. Each team is represented by a parent who communicates the needs and updates regarding that team. The Executive Board along with the Athletic Director and Club Parents meet once a month. (web.nsboro.k12.ma.us/algonquin/sports/boosters/)

Northborough/Southborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council
NSPAC is a volunteer organization serving as a resource to parents and guardians of children in the Northborough/Southborough district with special needs and learning differences. Our membership is open to parents and guardians of children who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), 504s or anyone interested in special education within the Northborough/ Southborough School District. We work closely with the district administration and educators to identify areas of need and act in an advisory role to the school committee and the administration. (www.nspac.org)

{ 2 comments }

1 resident September 4, 2012 at 12:25 PM

The unfortunate think is that the SOS is holding meetings in the morning. I think it is important to remember that not all mothers are stay at home these days. I am not sure when the Algonquin PTO is as they did not specify the time they hold the meetings. Can we get that. I have a Freshman now and would be interested. Also, do you know if there is a cost to belong to the PTO at the high school? It seems odd that I have to pay to volunteer to help. I would think they would welcome the help.

2 eileen cozzolino September 4, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Thank you for reposting this article Susan. The more information we can get out to local parents the better!

Our first meeting for this year for the APTO is on Thursday, September 13th at 7pm. Regardless of your membership status all parents are welcome to attend our monthly meetings. Generally they are held the second or third Thursday of the month and will be posted on the website calendar. We hope you find theses meetings as another way to keep informed of the ‘happenings’ around school. Principal Mead attends monthly and his updates are extremely helpful. Also, additional current events are discussed by everyone including any volunteer opportunities for parents. At this point we only have a few volunteer opportunities that we need parental assistance with: teacher appreciation breakfast & lunch; student ice cream social; and some minor administration requests.

APTO does have a “joining fee”. The membership dues are our only means of finance. (unlike SOS when fundraising events occur throughout the year). We utilize the family dues for the ARHS community in a variety of ways: guest speakers for parents; our annual senior scholarships; support for the Junior Post Prom; and other possible teacher requests. The NEW membership fee structure for this coming academic year is as follows: A family can join for 4 years for $100; 3 years $75; 2 years for $50 or $30 for one year.

Each year we hope that we can increase our membership numbers. Last year was one of our highest: 120 families. Considering there are 1400 students at ARHS the % of families that actually join are very low. But we hope with the new fee structure, we will have the opportunity to bring in some guest speakers that our parents will find useful and enjoy! This will help give the APTO more exposure and draw more members and then a beneficial cycle can begin!

Resident, check out our Freshman Newsletter (August 2012) on the APTO website. (instructions on how to join are listed as well). Our newsletter is the only monthly communication from the high school available to all parents. Mr. Mead sends out a One-Call to all ARHS parents once it is posted. It can be extremely helpful in keeping up-to-date on the variety of ‘news’ that happens at ARHS. (Also keep an eye on the homepage of the ARHS site as well…even plan on reading the morning announcements …another way to keep informed…you can read what the students are hearing!)

We hope this helps!

Eileen Cozzolino & Nancy Shatz
Co-Chairs APTO

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