Parent Association Guidelines
The Parent Association is a volunteer organization that supports French American International School and International High School in the education of our children by working collaboratively with school leadership to engage parents and promote community, cooperation, and involvement.
The involvement of all families is essential to the health and success of French American International School and International High School. Every parent or guardian with a child enrolled at the school automatically becomes a member of the Parent Association. The Parent Association relies on active parent and guardian participation in all of its activities.
If you have questions or would like to get involved, please reach out to our Advancement liaison Clare Dougan at clared@frencham
The Executive Committee ensures strong inclusive volunteer community through regular and effective communication and succession planning; helps coordinate events with academic, admission and advancement calendars; serves in identifying, soliciting, coordinating and supporting volunteer leadership.
Main focal point for all parent volunteer activities. Leads identification, solicitation, coordination, and support of grade representatives, room parents and event chairs. Serves as lead liaison between administration and parent body; meets regularly with Head of School, as well as Advancement and Admissions teams. Plans and presides over PA meetings and monthly Executive Committee meetings. Communicates duties to Events Chairs. Represents PA at events.
Attends all PA Executive Committee Meetings, takes attendance, and takes accurate minutes for the meeting, which are approved at the next Executive Committee meeting. Sends out notices of PA meetings and other events to appropriate school contacts for the Weekly Note. Keeps record of agendas and minutes, maintains calendar. Send acknowledgements as needed.
Maintains financial records, statements, and prepares reports. Works with Business Office and Advancement Office to craft annual budget for activities. Tracks PA revenues and expenditures, reviews reimbursement requests from room parents and event chairs, and reconciles PA budget. Collaborates closely with Business Office and Advancement teams to ensure best practices. Provides monthly financial reports to the Business Office and prepares financial updates for PA Executive Committee and PA meetings. Assists with the budget process with respect to the PA and provides supporting information as necessary. Reports regularly at Executive Committee meetings.
Section Vice President
Primary representative at their section level: Maternelle, Lower School, Middle School or High School. Work closely with the PA Executive Committee and the Advancement Office. Meet regularly one-on-one with section Principal to foster collaboration between academic and parent communities. Meet regularly with Grade Representatives in their section to discuss section-level matters –– serve as liaison between the Executive Committee and Grade Representatives.
Primary PA representative at their respective grade levels. Take active part in all grade-level events and serve as primary parent contact for all parents in their grade. Assist in coordination of parent volunteers. Meet regularly with respective Section Vice Presidents to inform them of any upcoming grade-specific events or needs.
Plan and execute parent community events by working with parent volunteers. Work within budget; report as needed to President, Treasurer, and Executive Committee. EXAMPLES: Moveable Feast, Kermesse, Graduation Nights, etc.
Terms of Office
The Co-Presidents, Section Vice-Presidents, Secretary, and Treasurer (“Executive officers”) shall serve one year terms, and may serve more than one year at the request and invitation of the head of school. Committee Chairs may serve for more than one year. Any officer may be invited for an additional term, not to exceed three consecutive years in any one position. If an executive officer vacancy occurs, the position will be filled by the President and the Executive Committee; it may be for an “interim” one-year term. Effort will be made to stagger the terms of service of the Vice-Presidents so that only one elementary and one high school chair is completing their service in any one school year.
Nomination for Executive Committee
Any parent who is interested in an Executive Committee role may submit their name to the acting Executive Committee at any time during a given school year in order to be considered for the following year. Each Spring, the Executive Committee shall submit the full slate to the Head of School, Section Principals, and Advancement department via the Advancement liaison. Executive Committee members are invited to serve by the Head of School. California Association of Independent Schools: “The head of school should be closely involved in the association nominating process. Cooperation and teamwork between the head of school and the officers of the parent association are crucial to the health of the school community.
Nomination for Non-Executive Committee Roles
Any parent interested in becoming a Grade Representative or Event Chair may submit their name to the acting Executive Committee at any time during a given school year in order to be considered for the following year. Section VPs, Co-Presidents and any members of the Executive Committee may also nominate candidates for Grade Representative or Event Chair. All nominations at the Grade Representative and Event Chair levels will be submitted to the Head of School, Section Principals, and Advancement department via the Advancement liaison. Grade Representatives and Event Chairs will be invited to join the following year’s PA team in the spring of the preceding year either by the Head of School, the Director of Advancement, or their Section Principal.
The Executive Committee shall meet regularly to discuss matters specific to the whole-school community and to remain informed on the broader picture of section-specific events. The Head of School, Section Principals, Director of Admissions, Director of Advancement, and Business Office may be invited to give updates on various matters throughout the year. The Advancement liaison will attend all meetings as a representative of the school administration.
Section Level Meetings
Section VPs, Grade Representatives, and Event Chairs shall meet regularly to address section-specific matters. These meetings may be committee-only, or may be open to the general parent body. Minutes from these meetings shall be made available online after the fact. Other members of the administration may be invited to attend these meetings to give schoolwide or section-specific updates.
California Association of Independent Schools includes the following in their recommendation of good practice for parent associations: “The finances of the parent association should be supervised and regularly monitored by the school and should be part of the school’s annual audit process.”
The Association shall be entitled to maintain an account, the balance of which shall, at the beginning of the fiscal year, be budgeted to finance the Association’s activities on behalf of the School. All monies of the Association shall be held in a dedicated account managed by the School’s Business Manager. Deposits to this account with the School shall be approved by the Association’s Treasurer. Withdrawals and disbursements from the Parents’ Association’s account with the School shall be approved by the Co-Presidents and Treasurer, so long as such disbursement is within the approved budget. If a disbursement exceeds the approved budget, then approval of the School’s Business Manager is required.
The Parent Association shall maintain a close collaborative relationship with the Advancement office so as to ensure any fundraising efforts remain within the mission and direction of the school’s development plan. All fundraising initiatives should be approved by the Head of School, as well as the Advancement and Business offices.