Congratulations to you.
Your child attends Neuse Charter School…that’s a big deal!
Just a year ago, my family was part of a wait list that had a couple hundred names on it. By grace, luck, chance or whatever you call it we got the call in late January that we had been accepted if we were willing to move immediately. Of course it was a no-brainer, but I was still an emotional wreck moving my daughter from a teacher we both loved to an entirely new school with new friends, new educators and new challenges. She and I both cried a lot for a week.
So why do it?
Well, like most of you I was not happy with our traditional public school experience. We came from a school where the teachers tried hard, but parental involvement was lacking and it showed in everything from classroom discipline to standardized tests scores.
From the outside Neuse Charter was exactly what I was looking for for my family. I wanted a program that would challenge them educationally while ensuring the teachers and administration had the ability to be creative in how they taught them.
I wanted an experience that ensured a better classroom environment.
Most importantly, I wanted an experience where a majority of the parents, instead of a minority, took an active role in their child’s education.
In just our short time at NCS it is easy to see that we have all these things and more, but recently Dr. Julie Jailall, NCS executive director, wrote in a Cougar Connection that only 11 percent of NCS families are members of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).
The truth is it is less than that! Right now, only 47 families, out of the more than 500 that attend NCS, are members.
My heart sank when I read this statistic about OUR school. How could this be?
Granted I’m not the model PTO member. I’ll be truthful that this is my first rodeo with PTO. In the past I worked 60+ hours a week at a high stress, high travel job. Parent involvement to me was ensuring homework was done, checking folders, supporting my teachers and making sure my kids behaved in class. Things have changed for me, but it is still hard to attend meetings since we live in the next town. Due to crazy kid, life, work schedules we may not volunteer as often or attend as many functions as I’d like. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
But the ONE THING I could do was JOIN.
Membership is only $10 a year.
Did you know OUR PTO buys new technology for ALL the classrooms? Those Chromebooks aren’t free and all grade levels use them. Updated technology is key in our NCS educational environment.
Did you know OUR PTO raises money that goes to the purchase of books to meet the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation? We need 10 books per child at NCS. Currently we have three books per child.
Did you know OUR PTO helps fund Earth Day events and thank you events for ALL our teachers? Personal teacher appreciation gifts/cards/mementos drops off around 7th grade. Obviously it isn’t the ‘cool thing’ to do by taking your teacher a gift in late middle/high school. (Honestly I never remember taking any of my high school teachers anything even though many of them shaped who I am today and I have some great memories of how and what they taught.)
Did you know our PTO raises and gives back close to $15,000 each year?
Did you know a strong PTO is a key factor in attracting and obtaining quality teachers?
PTO isn’t just a K-5 thing (thanks Mrs. Lisa Morgan for pointing this out!)
OUR PTO helps all of our children and all of our teachers. Yet only 60 families think it is important enough to join.
Did you know if we could increase membership we could possibly fund our kids going to the Odyssey of the Mind competition or the National Spelling Bee…impacting our elementary and middle schoolers? We could support teachers by purchasing microscopes or other educational items that teachers shouldn’t have to fund themselves.
I have heard that people think PTO is for the elementary parents and the Athletic Boosters is for middle and high school parents, but in actuality both of these organizations are for ALL OF US. These organizations only make for a stronger school. They provide a sense of community and camaraderie for everyone at NCS. Isn’t that why you applied to NCS…you wanted something more for your child and your family?
I realize you might not have time to attend a meeting or chair a committee, that’s ok. But you can show your support by joining. Your $10 a year says you support the existence of a PTO. It says you support your school and your teachers. It says you want to continue to ensure that an attribute of NCS is its parental involvement.
Imagine no PTO.
That would be a very bad thing for our school.
No matter how you slice it, PTO membership is failing. We can do better.
You have a voice. You can make a difference. From one parent to another please join today. It might not seem like a lot or that it makes a difference, but I can assure you it does.
(A mid-year membership drive will be held on Thursday, Dec 3 and Friday Dec 4 during afternoon carpool. You can join for the remainder of the 2015/2016 school year for $5 and join for the 2016/2017 school year for another $10. Checks should be made payable to NCS PTO. Credit cards will be accepted during the membership drive using Square technology. See the front office or ask your teacher for a membership form. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)