Ask Chester... FAQs from Chester himself

 
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Please send any new questions to: askchester@chesterbrookpta.org.

Question: Can anyone come to a PTA meeting?

Answer: Yes! We encourage every parent or guardian to come to meetings. We discuss PTA events and Mr. Frattali provides a school update. You can learn a lot at a PTA meeting! Meetings are held on the second Tuesdays of the month at 9am in the school cafeteria. We often have coffee and muffins, so please join us!

Question: If I attend a PTA meeting, will I automatically get "volunteered" to do something?

Answer: No! We promise we will not assign you a job, but you might want one after you hear the exciting things that we’re doing and how much of an impact you can make on the school. We also want to hear voices from all grades, new and old families…everyone!

Question: Why do I have to renew my PTA membership every year?

Answer:  Your PTA membership dues are crucial to maintaining quality educational and enrichment programs at Chesterbrook. PTA dues help fund computer lab purchases, cultural events, field trips, classroom materials, staff development, and many other worthwhile projects. Also, PTA members receive a free copy of the Family Directory. To join the PTA or renew your dues, click here.

Question: I heard that Longfellow and McLean HS get a ton of money just for shopping through Amazon. Why don't we do that?

Answer: We do! Click here or use the Amazon link on the home page of the PTA website, to get to Amazon. Any and every purchase through our PTA Amazon link counts, including books, clothes, music downloads, Kindle purchases, on-demand movies...everything! We earn 4-10 percent of every item sold and shipped, depending on the item and total number shipped each month. This is FREE money for us!

Question: WOW! Fun Fair was awesome! It looks like it takes quite a few people to run it -- how do people get involved in this and other PTA programs, aside from just volunteering to work at events?

Answer: Why, thanks, yes, it is a lot of work, but even more fun! It's the best way to meet and make friends with other parents. The easiest way to get involved is to ask someone who's already involved. You can always contact our PTA board members or the Nominating Committee who are working hard right now to fill some spots for next year. We can find something for every skill and time commitment. PTA jobs range from large to small, with consistent commitments (like this weekly publication) to seasonal commitments (like Auction and Fun Fair) and everything in between.

Question: I heard some parents at the bus stop talking about Summer Quest -- what is that?

Answer: Summer Quest is Chesterbrook's summer day camp program for 4 weeks during the summer. We offer half-day camps covering a huge variety of academic and non-academic subjects, with morning and afternoon sessions and after care...all taught by FCPS teachers (and mostly our own CES staff). Summer Quest is also a big fundraiser for the PTA! It’s another great way to support our school. Registration typically begins in February.

Question: Can I give my child's teacher a gift for the holidays?

Answer: Sure! Teachers love gifts! Some class parents do a class-wide collection for a gift. In some classes small groups of families go in together, some families go it alone, and some just say, "Enjoy your time away from us!" Whatever you do, know that our teachers are grateful...but that it won't change your child’s grades!

Question: My son/daughter came home from school without her jacket. Where is the Lost and Found? 

Answer: The Lost and Found is in the cafeteria and it is usually overflowing! Your son/daughter can check the Lost and Found during lunch (with the Cafeteria Monitor's permission) and take the jacket back to class with her. Or, you can stop by Chesterbrook's cafeteria and check the Lost and Found which is in a rolling closet in the corner. There are sweaters, jackets, books, lunch boxes and more so if your child is missing something, you should check it out! Smaller items such as jewelry, keys, glasses, wallets, phones, etc. are located in the Lost and Found in the school's front office.

Question: Do all parents go to the Thanksgiving lunch?

Answer: Many, many parents will come to school on Friday for our annual Thanksgiving lunch (and many of them will volunteer to set-up, serve, or cleanup), but not all. Don't forget that if parents can't come, other caregivers or family members (lunch with grandma?) can come instead. Students without "dates" can sit with friends' parents or other friends, or sometimes even a teacher!

Question:  What is this Book Fair Wish List my child brought home? Do I have to buy all these books? Can I send in money with my kindergartner?

Answer: Each class has an opportunity to wander through the book fair, and students makes lists of books (and prices) to bring home. Younger students have adult volunteers to help them. Whether you have to buy all of them depends on who you ask--certainly, your child will say "Yes!" Please know that the Book Fair is another big fundraiser for the PTA so while you might be tempted to just buy the books on Amazon, please consider buying straight from the Book Fair so that the PTA receives the money instead. You may send in cash or a check to Chesterbrook PTA (no taxes added), or you may come into the Fair yourself, either during the day, during the evening events Tuesday and Wednesday, or during the teacher conference day next Monday (not Tuesday, that's pack up day). Credit cards are accepted onsite.

Question: Does the PTA have a position on the School Board or State and Federal Elections? Who should I vote for?

Answer: It is a requirement of both National and Virginia PTA bylaws (and the IRS) that PTAs "not participate in or intervene in, directly or indirectly, any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office." While individual members may, as a whole we do not endorse, financially support, or share our contacts with any campaign. We do, however, encourage all families to learn about the candidates and vote on the first Tuesday in November (every year is an election year in Virginia!), because the School Board and other State and Federal Elections do have an impact on our all children.

Question: My kid keeps saying she needs money for the Pencil Sale? Weren't pencils included in my School Supply Kit?

Answer: Technically, yes, your child should have all the pencils she or he "needs" in class. The SCA (Student Council Association) holds a Pencil Sale every Tuesday and Friday outside the library to raise funds for several of their activities. They sell fun or decorative pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, and other novelty items. Items run from $0.50 to $2.

Question: I see Picture Day is coming up, but I'm not sure how it all works -- can you fill me in?

Answer: Yes!  You should have received an order form in your Thursday envelope (if you didn't, check with the front office). All students will have their pictures taken. If you order by Thursday, prices are better, but you are able to order after you see the proofs. If your child is out of school on Thursday, there is a make-up day in November. School pictures come out best when kids wear bright colors without "busy" patterns. Note: Class photos will be taken during the Spring Picture Day.

Question: How do I complete the green slip to notify the school of a change in my child's transportation? In other words, how do I schedule a playdate?

Answer: Our online Green Slip process can be accessed throughout the year through the Green Slip link on Blackboard in our Chesterbrook Specialists course.  

Question: How do I get a family directory? and when?

Answer: The PTA directory gets put together August-October. The PTA partners with AtoZ School Directories (www.atozdirectories.com) to produce our directory. PTA members not only will receive a free copy of the new and improved printed directory, but also access to a secure/password-protected directory app from AtoZ via a smart phone or any web-enabled device – so you can view the directory data where and when you need it! Our goal is to have the printed directory available in October, but we need your help

If you are a returning Chesterbrook family and your family’s information was in last year’s directory, you will receive a “verification” email from chesterbrook@schooldirectoryupdate.com in August or September. The verification email will contain your user name, password, and instructions on how to access and verify your directory information, as well as access the AtoZ School Directory App.  Please follow the directions outlined in this email to update your family data ASAP.  If you do not receive a verification email, please contact us at directory@chesterbrookpta.org as soon as possible and we’ll make sure that it is forwarded to you. 

If your family is new to Chesterbrook this year (or your family’s information did not appear in last year’s directory), please email us at directory@chesterbrookpta.org as soon as possible (please include your full name, your children’s full names, and their grades this fall).  We will then email you information on how to access our directory database (including your own login and password information) so that you can enter and verify your directory information. We will also provide instructions on how to access the AtoZ School Directory App.

This year’s printed directory will be spiral bound with larger print for easy reading and will include a resource guide in the back of the directory listing sponsorships from local businesses that have defrayed the cost to the PTA of this new and improved directory.  Anyone interested in promoting their business in the directory or placing a Kid’s Classified ad can email AtoZ Directories at info@atozdirectories.com for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact the directory team at directory@chesterbrookpta.org.  Thank you for continued help with the directory!

All PTA members receive a free copy of the Directory, but anyone may purchase an additional copy ($5 members, $8 nonmembers).

 

Keep your questions coming!! Chester is standing by to keep you informed at askchester@chesterbrookpta.org.