Thursday, April 13, 2017

PTO and Classroom Assistants

Hopefully by now you’ve seen the fact that the Conant PTO has reached their fundraising goal for the year. This doesn’t mean they can’t raise more but they have hit an important goal. I want to thank the PTO board for all of their hard work and the Conant community for their generous support. The PTO supports the school by bringing in amazing enrichment activities, helping teachers buy classroom materials, funding student scholarships for field trips, running community events to bring us all together and a large portion of their fundraising also goes towards paying for assistants in the classrooms.

Parents have been asking why there is a need for classroom assistants and what they do. We have many types of assistants at Conant. Some work with students with IEP’s helping students meet their academic goals and access the curriculum; some monitor our lunchroom and playgrounds and others (the assistants funded by the PTO) assist teachers in classrooms. While the work done by our Special Education assistants and Lunch/Recess monitors are widely understood, I’d like to inform the community about how our classroom assistants help in the learning process.

A very small portion of classroom assistant time is dedicated to helping teachers with class preparation like copying papers. A majority of their time is spent with students. Classroom assistants help with reading groups and class projects. They sometimes help struggling students develop conceptual ideas or work with a large portion of the class so teachers can reteach topics to students who need more direct instruction to understand a topic. Classroom assistants also cover classrooms so teachers may attend meetings about students. Their presence allows teachers to better differentiate instruction to meet the needs of the many types of learners present in the classroom. We all know that the one-size fits all approach to teaching is not effective and the presence of assistants helps classroom teachers offer the curriculum in a variety of ways to smaller groups within the classroom to ensure an opportunity for success for all children.

The school district does provide funding for assistants every year but without our PTO support, the number of assistant hours available would drop significantly. This is why support of the PTO both financially and with your time is so important. This cannot happen without people! Currently, there are many open positions on committees that run our most successful events. For example, the largest fundraiser, the annual Conant Craft Fair needs a chair or several co-chairs. Without someone stepping in, the event could be lost and other Acton PTO’s would love to take this event over. Is it a lot of work? Yes…but many hands make light work and much of it can be fun if you work with a group. In the simplest terms I can use; we need people to step up.

Below is a list of the PTO positions that are open. Please remember, no one job requires a person to work alone, chair positions can be held by a group to make it more fun and share the work.

1.-Craft Fair- Many openings. We are sending physical copies, using news flash and our web site as well.

2.-Grants committee

3.-Cultural Enrichment- 2 positions

4.-Games night- co team leader with Mrs. Wilcox

5.- Kidstuff Coupon Books

6.-Secretary


Please consider getting involved. If you have questions contact the PTO or better yet, come to a meeting and meet thee wonderful people involved and ask questions. You’ll be glad you did!

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