An independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, DC

 

 

For almost two decades, the Parent Association (PA) has been an integral part of The Potomac School. As outlined in our mission statement, the PA works with and on behalf of all parents in an effort to build and support the Potomac community. All parents are members.

Through the 17 committees that make up the Parent Association, we provide many opportunities to become involved in the life of the school. Fall Frolics, the Scholarship Auction, Class Representatives, and the Cultural Competence Committee are just a few of the key events and programs that rely on the creativity and energy of parent volunteers.

Visit the Parent Association pages on CampusNET for in-depth information on committees, activities, and volunteer opportunities.

Questions? Please contact the Advancement Office at (703) 749-6329. We will be glad to assist you.

Leadership

Parent Association Executive Committee 2018-19

Christine Labrecque, Chair

Prentiss Lay, Chair-Elect

Diane Halpin, Secretary

Noha Abdalla, Treasurer

Lina Richardson, Nominating Chair

Committees

Around the World

Around the World is the Potomac community's annual celebration of the diverse ethnic interests and heritages of the school's students, families, faculty, and staff. Last spring, members of the community put together exhibits showcasing the food, arts, languages, and history of many countries. Event highlights included a percussion group, a Bollywood dance troupe, and Potomac students performing native dances from a variety of countries.

Learn more about Around the World

Scholarship Auction

The Scholarship Auction is a festive evening that raises critical funds for student scholarships and faculty professional development. On auction night, the Potomac community joins together to enjoy fun and friendship while supporting a great cause. The auction also serves as a community builder, and working on this event provides an excellent opportunity to meet other parents and become part of a vibrant team. Every member of the Potomac community has a talent or skill to offer. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful, and we need you to get involved. Watch Paw Prints for information on this much-anticipated annual celebration.

Click here for the auction web page.

Book Fair

A treasured annual event, Book Fair is a huge sale of used children's and adult fiction books collected from the Potomac community. Funds raised through the sale support Potomac’s libraries. During two weeks in November, we host a book collection drive, sort the books, and set up and run the sale. Book Fair succeeds because of our dedicated volunteers! We welcome all families to play a part in this Potomac tradition, which fosters our shared love of reading.

Click here for the Book Fair webpage.

Cultural Competence Committee

This committee works to ensure that parents are active partners in fulfilling the school's goals as they relate to diversity and inclusion. The committee helps to foster an inclusive environment for all social and ethnic groups at Potomac by arranging discussions, readings, and dialogues among faculty, students, and families. The committee also supports initiatives associated with welcoming new and prospective families to Potomac.

Click here for the Cultural Competence Committee webpage.

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Committee

This PA committee coordinates and oversees opportunities for parents and students to recognize and show their appreciation for Potomac School faculty and staff. Volunteers work with the PA Officers to host the Faculty Appreciation Luncheon in the spring and help to coordinate and streamline existing celebrations and gifts so that our faculty and staff know how much families appreciate their hard work!

Fall Frolics

Fall Frolics has been a beloved Potomac tradition for over 40 years. Fall Frolics events include a family carnival, student raffle, and the Nearly New clothing boutique. This great event supports student scholarships and faculty professional development. Hundreds of volunteers are needed each October to make this week of festivities a success! This year, the carnival will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018.

Click here for the Fall Frolics web page.

Fathers Association of Potomac School - FAPS

FAPS members include all fathers and male guardians of Potomac School students, and FAPS meetings are open to all Potomac parents -- both moms and dads. The organization’s mission is to sponsor educational, cultural, and recreational activities for students and their families, to further enrich the Potomac experience for everyone and promote the sense of community for which our school is known. Past activities have included the Welcome Back Cookout; the fall campout for Lower and Middle School students and their families; the winter skating party; the Upper School homecoming bonfire; team tailgate parties; hikes; outings to local sporting events and theater performances; and volunteer efforts for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Stewardship Day, and Earth Day. FAPS members also man the grills for the Panther Pit and various school cookouts throughout the year.

Click here for the FAPS webpage.

Grandparents and Special Friends Day

This committee works with the school to coordinate Grandparents and Special Friends Day, held each May. Volunteers serve as welcoming ambassadors, hosts at the opening breakfast, and guides to and from the various assemblies.

Library Volunteers

Parent volunteers support the library staff, faculty, and students who use our three libraries: Granger Family Library in the LS; Arundel Family Library in the MS and IS; and, the Engelhard Family Library in the US.

Granger Family Library (LS)

Arundel Family Library (MS, IS)

Engelhard Family Library (US)

New Parent Mentoring

Volunteers for this committee serve as mentors to families new to the Potomac School. Current families are paired with new families in the spring and stay in touch over the summer and during the following school year.

Click here to access the New Parent Resource web page.

Panther Pride

Potomac's athletic booster club runs the concession stand known as the Panther Pit. The Pit is open daily during the school year from 2:30 to 4:00 pm, as well as for many home games. The committee also helps to organize and host several events throughout the year, including the Welcome Back Cookout, Homecoming and the accompanying bonfire, Winter Sports Weekend, and Spring Sports Day.

Parent Forums

Parent Forums are a great way for parents to engage in conversations with other parents in their child’s grade about important non-academic issues. This committee organizes the parent forums and trains the facilitators.

Parents Council of Washington

The Parents Council of Washington (PCW) is a consortium of approximately 60 independent schools in the Washington metro area that provides networking, resources, and information for parents, school administrators, and students to help navigate the challenges and opportunities of education and childhood/young adult development while building a strong community. Potomac is a PCW member and has two parent representatives that communicate to our community.

Click here for the Parents Council of Washington webpage.

Parents for Environmental Action

The Parents for Environmental Action (PEA) Committee works with student and faculty environmental groups to help students experience the natural resources of our 90-acre campus in purposeful and sustainable ways. Parents work on outdoor-related programs such as the yearly Farmer's Market, Spring and Fall Stewardship Days, tours of Potomac's woods, Earth Day environmental initiatives, and our campus vegetable-gardening programs.

Click here for the Parents for Environmental Action webpage.

Service Learning

Service learning at The Potomac School brings academics to life by creating meaningful and transformative experiences that empower students to think critically, use their creativity, and integrate their learning with action. This committee assists with Potomac’s two-decade long tradition of monthly sandwich making in partnership with Martha’s Table, organizes several family service activities each year, and helps to integrate service learning into such beloved traditions as Book Fair, May Day, and Grandparents Day.

Sunshine Committee

This committee provides much-needed support to families going through a difficult time, as well as celebrates weddings, births and special occasions. Volunteers may be asked to make a meal for a family, provide carpooling or play dates, or just offer support.

Trading Post

The Trading Post collects, organizes, and resells gently used uniforms at Potomac. Volunteers are needed once a month to help organize and set up the Trading Post and sell uniforms.

Welcoming Committee

This committee works closely with the Admission Office to welcome prospective families to the Potomac community. The members of this committee greet families at the all-school Open House and the Newly Admitted Families reception. It also works with other committees throughout the year in an effort to welcome new families into our community.

Strategic Goals

1. Foster a sense of community throughout the School.

2. Encourage and promote volunteerism.

3. Welcome new families to our community.

4. Facilitate communication between the School and parents.

5. Raise funds through activities such as the Annual Fund, Fall Frolics, Book Fair and Panther Pride.

6. Support the School’s educational programs through the Service Learning and the Cultural Competence Committee.

Membership

All parents and guardians of students attending The Potomac School are automatically members of the Parent Association, and are encouraged to attend general Parent Association meetings.

Meetings

The Parent Association holds three to four Potomac Community general meetings throughout the year. One of these meetings is held jointly with the Board of Trustees. Meeting dates are posted on the School’s calendar on CampusNET.

Organization

1. Governing Documents. By-Laws of The Parent Association are posted on CampusNET.

2. Governance. Officers and at-large members of the Parent Association Executive Committee are chosen by a Nominating Committee and serve a one or two-year term.

3. The Parent Association Executive Committee.

a. Purpose. The Parent Association Executive Committee is responsible for implementing the strategic goals of the Parent Association.

b. Membership. The Parent Association Executive Committee consists of 15 members: Chair, Chair-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, two head parent representatives from each division, the nominating committee and one liaison from the Board of Trustees.

c. Meetings. The Parent Association Executive Committee shall meet monthly throughout the school year (September-June) to discuss financial and organizational matters.

Nominating Committee

1. Purpose. The Nominating Committee is responsible for making recommendations to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee and Committee Chairs.

2. Membership.

The Nominating Committee shall consist of the current Vice Chair of the Parents Association, one representative from the School’s administration, and two members of the School’s community that have been chosen by the Nominating Committee. Any member of The Potomac School community that desires to serve on the Nominating Committee may nominate himself or herself by completing a Parent Association volunteer form.

3. Procedures Relating to Nominations.

a. Executive Committee. The Nominating Committee is responsible for making recommendations to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee for the following year. Recommendations will be submitted to the Head of School for final approval.

Scholarship Auction

Our annual auction raises funds to support faculty professional development and student scholarships. Learn more.

Fall Frolics

Food, games and fun on the quad. This annual October event brings out the entire community. Learn more.

Book Fair

Thousands of books – a beloved community event. Learn more.

 

Mission Statement

The Parent Association strives to create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive of the entire Potomac community. We are an association that understands and embraces the school’s mission statement, and we work collectively to support all aspects of the our educational, athletic, artistic, and fundraising endeavors.

We facilitate open communication and serve as liaisons between the parents and the school’s administration. As a group, we are committed to maintaining a strong community by uniting and supporting the many volunteer organizations at the school.

The Parent Association is comprised wholly of parent volunteers; it is this strong tradition of parent involvement that reflects the core values of the Potomac community.

How do parents get involved and meet other parents?

Parents can make friends easily by becoming involved in the life of the School. There are lots of Parent Association committees that need volunteers—from environmental stewardship to Book Fair to promoting understanding of diversity to the Panther Pit snack bar—something for everybody! –Sara D.J., Parent

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Where do Potomac students live?

We draw from more than 100 zip codes throughout the metro area. Students join us from more than 50 different schools. –Katy B., Associate Director of Admission

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How and when do parents hear from teachers?

Whether in the formal setting of a scheduled conference or in casual conversation, parents and teachers have many opportunities to foster cooperative working partnerships. We host grade-level coffees and divisional parents’ nights. We also have parent-teacher conferences and send out written reports multiple times a year. Potomac prides itself on the individual connection teachers make with families; teachers reach out often to share information about their students, both when a concern arises or simply to share a celebratory moment. —John M., Head of Middle School

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Why do some students wear uniforms?

The Middle and Intermediate Schools are the two divisions at Potomac with a required uniform. We believe this long-standing uniform policy helps equalize the learning environment. –Nancy P., Head of Lower School

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What resources are available for new parents?

The Potomac community embraces new families quickly. Our Parent Mentoring Program matches each new family with a current one, providing a warm welcome and a crucial parent-to-parent resource. Early in the school year, new parents attend grade-level coffees, Parent Association meetings and an evening reception, in addition to a host of school activities. –Erin R., Parent

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How does the bus system work?

Every child in grades 1-10 is required to take the bus to and from school. We offer free shuttle bus service and fee-based neighborhood bus service. Juniors may drive to a specified shuttle stop. The bus is a great way to make friends of all ages. —Perry S., Facilities Administrator

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Where do Potomac students go to college?

In the last five years, Potomac graduates enrolled in about 150 colleges and universities across North America and overseas. You can see the list of specific schools on our "Quick Facts" page. –Mike O., Director of College Counseling

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What do Potomac graduates go on to do?

Check out our Exemplary Lives page to see some of the careers our graduates choose. –Laura M., Director of Alumni Relations

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Do you have before- and after-care?

Extended Day is a fun program for the kids. Students enjoy playing with their friends and they also get their homework done! We offer after-school care only. –Crystal S.W., Director of Extended Day Program

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What kinds of special arts opportunities do you offer?

Creative programs abound throughout the School. In Upper School serious art students can choose a Visual and Performing Arts concentration. –Cort M., Upper School Art Teacher

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Does everyone play sports?

In Upper School nine seasons of sports are required during four years of high school. A range of activities from yoga to weight training to outdoor education count towards the credits. —Cas B., Director of Girls Athletics

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Your campus is amazing. How do you use it in the curriculum?

We consider our grounds a 90-acre classroom. From ninth graders using the stream corridor to explore early civilizations; to sixth graders making an inventory of life in our ponds; to third graders experiencing a little bit of westward expansion on a hike through our woods, our students enjoy learning across the campus. —Bern H., Environmental Sustainability Coordinator

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How do parents get news about what’s going on at school?

Every Friday Potomac sends out an electronic newsletter, Paw Prints, that is chock full of news from every corner of the School. Additionally, there are daily events, calendars, etc. on the password-protected side of the School’s website. —Sara D.J., Parent

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Do students have time for clubs and activities?

Yes, students not only have time for clubs and activities, but are strongly encouraged to participate in them. Sports and other offerings are considered after-school activities, while clubs are held weekly during the school day and are available to all students. Clubs are generally started by the students for the students and cover a breadth of topics. –Patty K., Parent

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Do you offer after-school enrichment classes?

Our Etcetera program offers a wide choice of educational and fun classes. —Mimsy S., Director of Auxiliary Programs

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What kinds of performance spaces do you have?

Our students have opportunities to perform in every division. We have spaces across the campus including a traditional proscenium theatre, a black box theatre, a choral room and a multipurpose assembly space. —Michael B., Upper School Theater Teacher

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