Community is at the core of Pacific Ridge’s mission and parental engagement plays an important role in bringing the mission to life. Who makes much of it happen? The Parents Association.
All Pacific Ridge parents are members of the Parents Association (PA). Within that group is an energetic corps of volunteers that provides essential support for the school as well as valuable programming for the entire parent body.
According to PA Executive Director, Laura Basanese, the PA is a fun and welcoming crew.
“I can’t say enough about the people I get to work with. There’s a great synergy. They have an enormous amount of intelligence and skill and, most importantly, they have heart.”
Programming for parents ranges from grade-level functions and interest-oriented activities such as the book club, to a speaker series that addresses topics relevant to parents of teens.
“Knowing what issues parents are tackling and how we can deliver programs and services that support their growth and well-being is part of our mission,” said Basanese.
For example, surveys administered in the fall indicated that vaping was a topic of concern for parents. In response, the PA organized a successful January workshop with Student Support Specialist Juan Trevino about vaping, its health risks, and how parents can access helpful resources. Other speaker events have addressed teen financial literacy and advice for parenting adolescents.
Along with attending social events, informational workshops and spirit celebrations like tailgates, parents can get involved with the PA by volunteering. As Parent Association programming has expanded, so has the need for more people to help implement it.
For example, the annual Gingerbread Breakfast, a beloved school tradition, now feeds over 800 students, faculty and alumni. Anyone who stopped by campus on December 20 found the school transformed into a magical winterscape, with glittering snowflakes hung from trees, artificial snow showering students and an army of volunteers scurrying to and fro with platters of treats.
“Our volunteers are amazing,” said Basanese, “We just always need more!”
According to Dr. Ogle, the school values every volunteer and welcomes parents to engage in the smorgasboard of offered PA activities.
“From the moment your child enters Pacific Ridge, you become part of a dynamic community. The Parents Association is a true partner with the school. Together, we keep our community connected and strong."