Amy Frain is the parent of three former University School students, and she is also our Director of Family Engagement. Her role is multi-purpose, from organizing periodic Parent Coffees for engaging with other parents and Jason Kreutner, Head of School, to serving as a resource for parents when they have questions or concerns about their student’s performance. She is a valuable resource for new and long-time families.
We also strive to involve parents in various activities throughout the year so they can enjoy the learning experience with their child. Parents are encouraged to attend special LOTCs (Exit Polling, Day of Caring, Beach Sweep, YALLFest, etc.), join us for guest speakers and performances, attend open houses for prospective families, and participate in various community outreach projects.
USL has committees to assist in various aspects of our community. The value of these committees is manifold:
(A) enabling USL to maintain continuity in important areas and in regards to valued traditions
(B) they will provide help to USL in vital areas as the School grows
(C) they will serve as an important outlet for new and old families to blend and work together for the USL community
(D) allowing all families to donate their time/money/goods according to their own comfort level
(E) they will permit students to understand and witness parent involvement in their education
We ask that all USL families sign up and participate in at least one (1) committee. Please review the list of committees below, and we ask you to list your top 4 preferences when you pick up your packet. We will have at least one continuing family on each committee, and they will be joined by at least one new family (this will help to ensure continuity in overseeing the committee for the next year). Parents who would like to participate on more than one committee are encouraged to do so.
Signing up takes place in August, and we have the chairperson of each committee set by first week of September.
1) Annual Fund – tax-deductible gifts to the School from board members, parents, teachers, and friends of the School comprise 10% of our income. The goal for this year is at least $45,000 and 100% participation among all of the constituencies of USL. The Annual Fund kicks off in October.\
2) Teacher/Staff Appreciation – the goal is to marshal USL families to provide a meal/food treats once per week and at the December Winter break to gather gift cards as a token of thanks to the faculty.
3) Annual Auction – help plan this yearly event that contributes to “extra” items for the School. It will likely be held in February, and the goal this year is to raise $30,000.
4) Socials – assist with planning periodic events for the whole community and for the parent/teacher community. The School seeks to have a “dinner” each month — alternating between potluck at USL and at a family restaurant. The School has a tradition of an evening gathering in November for the Holiday Lights at James Island County Park. An adult gathering every semester would be beneficial. 1-2 Family LOTCs per semester on the weekend would be valuable – these have been fun activities in past years.
5) Monthly Mentor Nights – these evenings give students and mentors a chance to socialize and hang out together. Typically it involves food, movie, and games in the gym on a Friday night, but other activities (bowling) etc. are possible.
6) Local Fundraising – the students do not actively sell the products, but the School has an account and provides a link for families (and their friends) to purchase and support USL. An overseer is necessary to publicize the opportunity and interact with Sally Foster. Another helps with Box Tops. Help is also needed to oversee programs like affinity cards at grocery stores, etc.
7) Supplies – the School welcomes material support from families (teacher supplies, PE equipment, etc). Help is needed to determine needs, solicit them, and store surplus items.
8) Uniform Recycling & Clothing Drive – sharing and swapping outgrown USL uniforms is a shrewd way to save money. Help is needed to wash, organize and store uniform donations and facilitate the trading/acquiring of them. Additional clothing items are welcome, and they will be donated to Hibben UMC, Windwood Farm, or Goodwill.
9) Sunshine – this committee helps with acts of hospitality and care, community wellness, and tapping the strengths of the USL community (i.e. helping put together a list of jobs that our community members are aware of that would host a USL student for a day-long job shadow; taking care of USL community members who are in need because of a medical or family emergency).
10) Outreach – Hibben’s Fall Festival – this committee assists with Hibben UMC’s Fall Festival on a Saturday in October. It runs from 10 AM – 2 PM. Committee members will help with one or both of the following shifts for setting up and cleaning up: AM shift at 8-9:30 AM and the PM shift from1:30-3:00 PM.
11) Outreach – Mt. Pleasant Children’s Festival – The USL community will have a game booth and help with clean-up at the Mount Pleasant Children’s Festival at Park West Recreational Complex (12 PM-5 PM). University School won Best School Booth in 2010, 2013, and 2016! Volunteers are needed to help design the booth, set it up and run it, clean up at the end, and represent USL to interested families at the Festival.
12) Outreach – Open Houses for Prospective Families – this committee assists with projects in which USL needs to be represented to the greater community. This includes open houses for prospective families (2-3 times per year), and members will help with bringing snacks, attending the event and representing USL, and helping with clean-up.
13) Facilities and Grounds – although we are guests of Hibben UMC, our assistance with improving the appearance of classrooms and the grounds is greatly appreciated
14) Photography and Communications – helping document major events and special LOTCs through photography, video, slideshows and other forms of media are vital ways to preserve these special times and to share them with each other and the greater community. Parents with writing gifts can help craft a piece that we can also share!
15) Special Projects – “wild card” tasks can pop up over the course of the year, and assistance with them means a lot.