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.
Parent Association Executive Committee 2019-20
Prentiss Lay '85, Chair
Hunter Weimer, Chair-Elect
Noha Abdalla, Treasurer
Eily Raman, Secretary
Vanessa Barbee, Nominating Chair
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 19, 2019.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Parent Association Service Learning Committee (PASLC) stewards family service experiences and parent service learning volunteering that strengthen Potomac’s commitment to service, including hosting events for parents and their children to serve our local community together. Annual family service events include a Feed a Family event making meals for families across Northern Virginia experiencing food insecurity and assembling care pages for wounded military members with older adults in the McLean community in an Intergenerational Valentines’ Day event. In addition, the PASLC plays an integral role in Potomac’s 25-year Sandwich Day tradition of making sandwiches monthly for Martha’s Table.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1. Purpose. The Nominating Committee is responsible for making recommendations to fill vacancies on the Executive Committee and Committee Chairs.
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.
Our annual auction raises funds to support faculty professional development and student scholarships. Learn more.
Food, games and fun on the quad. This annual October event brings out the entire community. Learn more.
Thousands of books – a beloved community event. Learn more.
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.