Mrs Lourens welcomed parents to the AGM of the Parent Forum for 2014 and the Meet the Teacher Evening. She introduced Tanya Burness as Chair of the 2015 Parent Forum who gave the following report:
Report on Parent Forum Activities 2014 and our plans for 2015
In 2014, the former PTSA changed its structure and was renamed the Parent Forum in an effort to be more effective at involving all parents in the school in its fundraising and school improvement efforts.
A group of parent volunteers form the Core Parent Forum Group who meet once a month (or as necessary) with Mr Dingley, a member of the School Governing Body, a Staff representative and an RCL representative. Members of this Core group take responsibility for organising communication with parents in the different grades, through volunteer Helpers for each Grade. In 2014, a Grade 8 Parent Forum sub- group was formed and active and we would like to see this repeated in 2015. This group communicates mainly through whats app and email rather than regular meetings and they work with the Core Parent Forum to run events, as well as organising a few Grade-specific improvement projects.
The Parent Forum has a few simple objectives:-
- Building Fairmont Student and Parent Spirit and togetherness
- Supporting the school and its Staff and providing practical help and organising improvement projects
- Assisting to build the school’s brand and positive image in the community
Among other efforts in 2014, the Parent Forum revamped the Grade 8 quad, making it a far more pleasant place for the children. Many new wooden bench tables were built and the gardens were redone. Our sincere thanks to all the families who helped in these workparties. Our first workparty/braai of 2015, organised for the Grade 8 parents, took place on 31 January and involved some much needed maintenance round our Astro and Basketball and Tennis courts. The next Workparty, for ALL Fairmont Families, will be on 14 March when we will be building more bench-tables for the Quads. Please come and join us.
Many of you will be aware of the Fairmont Festival that was organised annually by PTSA members at the school and which has gradually grown into a community event of significant size. The sheer quantity of work involved in this event, meant that over the last few years it became the main fund-raising effort of the PTSA. Organisation of such an event is a mammoth task which falls on the shoulders of a small number of parents, many of whom hold full-time jobs. In addition, the unavoidably high costs attached to a large public event held at a public school, such as security, municipal, traffic, marketing, licensing costs etc and the difficulties of attracting adequate sponsorship, make the profit margins unrewarding. This led to a review of the viability of this Festival after 2013 and it did not take place in 2014. The newly elected Parent Forum Executive of 2015 has made a decision that, in its current format, at the school, the Festival is not a viable major fund-raiser. We are currently considering alternative ways of a) generating funds for the school, b) providing our learners with some fun and c) continuing the positive branding and school and community spirit that the event generated. We would value your input and any proposals for sponsorship opportunities.
The Matric Dance Expo (MD-X) was a new initiative of the Parent Forum in 2014 and, given its success, will become an annual tradition. We are currently in discussions about exciting possibilities to extend and improve it. It will take place in mid-May – watch the Focus and Website for more details. The Car Boot sales of 2014 were popular when the weather was kind and our Christmas Fun Day on 29th November 2014 was a success contributing a much -needed R16 000 to our school.
My School Cards continue to provide a VERY valuable source of income for the School and there is GREAT potential for growth here. In December the school received almost R10 000 from My School and not all our parents even have one card. This is such simple, painless fundraising. If you don’t have a card, PLEASE see one of the Parent Forum members at the back of the Hall when we finish tonight to complete your application – it’ll take just a minute and if you do have a card, please check that Fairmont is a beneficiary and perhaps you could apply for a second or third card for other family members – every bit counts!
This month, we have run a small fundraiser for a Ratanga Valentine’s Day and we are now running a competition to win 4 sets of 2 K-day tickets. Entries are R10 and we hope that the learners will be excited about this opportunity.
Another very important event for Parents this year is the election of a new School Governing Body. This will take place on the evening of Tuesday 10 March. PLEASE make sure that you come along to this vitally important meeting as the school needs a quorum for the election which is 1/3 of the school’s parent body.
We have been blessed in the PTSA/Parent Forum to have had long-term, committed and competent organisers and fund-raisers and at the end of 2014 we had to say goodbye to a number of these parents when their children left the school. Our HEARTFELT thanks and acknowledgement for their enormous contribution to our school go to Juliet Hoenck, Sharon Hendrickse, Helen Kempton-Jones, Jenny Hunt, Michael Hodges and Dalene Smit. Our thanks also go to Audrey Dolpire who as a long-serving PTSA member, led the Parent Forum for the last two years and who is fortunately still a member of this year’s Parent Forum
Let me now introduce the current members of the Main Parent Forum who could be here this evening....Ian Dunleavy, Colleen Wilson, Liza May, Thane Maseurik, Audrey Dolpire, Lee-Anne Faulkner, Chelayne Meaker, Shannon-Rose –Innes, Ilze Makin, Daneil Wolmarans, Amanda Elton, Jonathan Harries, Rene Herbst, Jon Mantel, Joe du Buy and Ashwin Krishna.
We, as a committed group of parents who work to help make our children’s school experience the best it can be, have fun working together. PLEASE contact any one of us to find out how you can be involved or just to give us your input or ideas. Our contact details are on the website. We really encourage you to be involved – in your child’s school life and in the school. ANY help is welcome, whether you just want to offer to work a shift at a fund-raiser or be a Parent Forum Helper for your Grade or whether you would like to join the Core group or the Grade 8 sub-group. Make sure we have your contact details by filling out a form on your seat. We promise you will make new friends and have fun, while doing something worthwhile for your children. Together let’s help to make Fairmont an awesome place for our children.
Acceptance of the AGM Minutes of 2013 which were available on the Website:
Mrs Lourens then thanked parents for attending and parents were then able to meet their children’s teachers round the sides of the Hall.