Our PFA ~ President's Report for 2016

November 2016
PFA President’s Report – Patty Thompson

I am proud to present the PFA President’s Report for 2016.

This year started off with a Bang as the school prepared for an event that would prove to be the most successful one to date... the Funtabulous Fun School fete. This event took many weeks to organize, starting as early as term 3 in 2015. Many hours were spent marketing, advertising, planning, organizing. Parents, teachers, students and office staff came together and worked solidly to make our fete the huge success that it was. And the year rolled on from there..

Successful fundraising and socializing doesn’t happen by accident. It takes time and effort in planning, preparation and delivery and more often than not, requires countless hours and a cast of many (both in-front of and behind the scenes) to bring each event to life.

With much thanks to dedicated Event Coordinators and parent helpers who have kindly volunteered their time and expertise, PFA has been able to deliver an impressive calendar of quality events and activities in 2016 which have generated lots of fun and enjoyment for all students throughout the year.

Other events have included special lunches, icy pole days, a Funtabulous Whole School Fete, a MOJO VIP ladies fashion night, a Walkathon, Outdoor Family Photo Day, Mother’s Stall, Father’s Day Photo Booth Stall, Ladies Movie Night, Footy Day activities, the School Disco, a Family Camp at Healesville, the Mango Drive and of course our upcoming Friday Night Fundraiser at Skaterz and our ever-popular Christmas Raffle.

Along the way, we have successfully raised funds for the school to use on major works and improvements that benefit all students and visitors. Thanks, in part, to fundraising, this year the school has been able to resurface the areas outside the Prep rooms and in the Atrium with sports and child-friendly Tiger Turf, and add new equipment to the Years 3/4 playground. Put simply, improvements such as these would not be possible without the extra support that fundraising provides. This year PFA expect to raise over $40,000 for the school. This is an amazing achievement, and all volunteers should be very proud of this result.

As well as events and fundraising, we have also accomplished much behind the scenes in terms of communication, collaboration and participation by families and faculty.

Good communication and collaboration across all groups in the school.

The Office

The Office Team have been wonderful supporters of all PFA activities. They play a vital role in every event we run. They have helped us with all our marketing needs including Compass posts, alerts, reminders, Trybooking setup, posters, etc. They assist us with the payments, purchase orders, parent queries, keeping track of numbers enabling more accurate ordering and so much more.

This year we have continued to maintain good communication with the Office Team through:

  • -  more structured communication clear instruction and adequate notice with all request

  • -  a single point of entry (via the President) and for all marketing and workflow requests. This has decreased the demand on Staff’s time and eliminated last-minute panics, inadvertent confusion, frustration and doubling-up on requests

  • -  We continue to market events online via Compass but this year we worked hard to consistently deliver a model where most event bookings and payments have been completed online using Compass and Trybooking. Families have become accustomed to, and are confidently using these avenues for making payments. This is a positive move forward and will continue to be encouraged moving forward.

  • -  The only exceptions to this model were the Mother’s Day Stall and Icy Pole Days. We have observed from previous years that, where there are set item for purchase, for example, photo frames for Father’s Day and special lunches, payments work very well. Yet, when there are a variety of items on offer, for example, at the Mother’s Day Stall, asking for pre-payments may not be as feasible. Students, especially those in the higher levels, prefer to see the items before they commit to buy.

    The office team are always eager to help and offer much encouragement and support. I am

very grateful to them for their assistance and guidance and friendly smiles.

Faculty

The Faculty members have always been wonderful supporters of all PFA activities and events. Many volunteer their time to set-up and man stalls, as well as supervise certain events and activities. We continually work to maintained effective communication with Faculty to encourage collaboration to help deliver fundraising events.

Faculty is a valuable contributor to fundraising events and activities rich in experience and resources, as well as thoughtful and (increasingly) eager to assist.

Special thanks go to the Year 5 teachers for their invaluable contribution to the school fete, Nadia Bovalino for coordinating the School Walkathon, Josh Darling for MCing the Footy Day Parade, and to the teachers in the art department for their assistance with the Father’s Day Photo Frames

Class Reps

We have continued to encourage Class Reps to maintain good communication with families in their class groups by sending out emails and PFA notices that they are asked, in turn, to forward onto their class groups. This model worked well in the earlier months of the year but unfortunately, the model doesn’t seem to work as well in the later months with busy work schedules and other commitments. We have observed that fewer class reps and parents in general have been attending PFA meetings and helping in PFA events, and are working to promote PFA and encourage more parents to get involved.

Challenges

2016 also provided other challenges. We have seen support from parents diminish over the year, especially from parents in the lower year levels. Historically, they have been our greatest supporters, but this year, we have seen more support from the parents in the middle years. Unfortunately, many of these parents, after supporting PFA for years beforehand, are ready to move on and focus on other aspects of their lives. This year we have discussed ideas on how to encourage and recruit more members into the PFA, and have created a flyer that will be distributed to all families at the school and to new parents coming to the school, on transition day. We hope that this will give parents have a better understanding of how the PFA works and what is needed to propel it forward into the future.

Moving Forward

Moving forward, I would like to see the good work done by PFA continue to improve by:

  •   Getting more parents involved (across all year levels) to share the workload

  •   Encouraging and welcoming new Event Coordinators to the PFA

  •   Streamlining processes and delivery of events with a strong focus on:

o decreasing hours required for planning and preparation of events o reducing the man-power required to run any given event and
o making thoughtful decisions to maximize fundraising potential.

We would like to continue providing strong communication with the school by: o Posting all event marketing on Compass

o Holding regular, monthly PFA meetings
o Preparing a regular, fortnightly PFA newsletter blog
o Posting regular, fortnightly PFA Facebook updates
o Providing regular assembly announcements by a PFA spokesperson
o Regularly updating notice boards at 6 main points around the school (The Rest-

A-While Shelter, outside Prep 1, outside Prep 4, the Year 1-2 notice board, the Atrium notice board, and the Year 5 notice board)

It is difficult to achieve all this without the hard work, dedication and expertise of many wonderful and generous parents who volunteer much of their time with PFA. It has been my absolute pleasure to work alongside and develop friendships with parents at the school, and in particular, with those involved with PFA.

Thank you to our amazing team of Event Coordinators
Melissa De Jonge for the School Fete - you were the driving force behind the fete. It was

your unwavering commitment and dedication to the event that made it the success that it was.

Hayley Boucher for Subway Special Lunch and Icy pole Days, April Kendall for Father’s Day Staff
Natalie Duffy & Sarah Watson for Mother’s Day Stall
Janine Hartney & Tania Allan for MOJO night,

Janelle Poliness & Meg Barr for the School Disco
Tania Allen for the Footy Day Activities
Natalie Duffy for the Footy Day Special Lunch
Janelle Poliness for the Ladies Movie Night
Simone Cusack & Natalie Duffy for the Pizza Special Lunch

All our coordinators have, have expertly planned and delivered a vast assortment of events. Planning is often a time-consuming and invisible task. I am forever grateful to you for your commitment and support. Thank you for delivering such high-quality wonderful events throughout the year.

Thank you to all our wonderful parent helpers for all the time and effort you have put into supporting our events. Events cannot run without a team of enthusiastic, committed and caring parents to man the stall, pack the lunches, run the activities, engage the students, etc so thank you to everyone who has helped in any way to deliver and support social and fundraising events and activities at the school in 2016.

Thank you to the Executive Team: Simone Cusack, our VP, Steve Bone our Secretary, Zoe McMaster, our Treasurer and Narelle Jones our Marketing and Advertising I would like to thank you all for your unwavering support, friendship and advice. Without you, I would not be nearly as effective in my role nor have as much fun doing it!

In particular, thank you to Melissa, for your continued support throughout the year. You handed over to me the role of PFA President, and you have still been there to support and guide me throughout the year, and help me do the best Job I can do. Thank you!

Patty Thompson.