September 2020: Committees at Finn Hill Middle School

As we are starting a new school year, it seems a great time to let you know about some key committees in the Finn Hill MS PTSA. Whether you are in your first year at FHMS, or you have lost count, we would love to have you join us in our mission to strengthen the learning environment for every student.

Whether school happens in a building or remotely, your FHMS PTSA is fully committed to supporting all our students, families, teachers and staff. As this year will not start out with the usual in-person events, we shift our focus to virtual opportunities for connection. That is where we can use your help! None of these will require a tremendous amount of your time.

Here are our key committees for 2020-2021:

  • Reflections - Assist our Reflections chair in helping to publicize this outstanding arts program funded by national PTA at our school, as well as managing student submissions and getting them to our area council for judging. You can support the arts among our growing student body by serving on the Reflections committee.
  • Ways and Means (Fundraising) - First things first, do not let the word fundraising raise your blood pressure! Our FHMS PTSA runs just ONE fundraiser during the school year, Pass the Hat, and it does not involve selling anything. You read that right – no cookie dough, wrapping paper, popcorn – just asking school families for a donation to help fund PTSA programs and activities. Our board is currently working on ideas for making this fundraiser online friendly and we would welcome additional hands (and minds) to assist.
  • Awards - We have historically honored our staff, students and volunteers with Outstanding Educator, Golden Acorn and Falcon PRIDE awards. The submission period for nominations is generally 4-6 weeks, with awards given out in late May/early June. This is a wonderful way to acknowledge some amazing FHMS community members by giving a small amount of your time.
  • Family and Community Engagement (FACE) - Volunteers on the FACE committee help find opportunities for parent education as well as create events to connect school families with one another. This is a terrific opportunity for someone who has a pulse on what speakers are available to present relevant information to school families at a stand-alone event or in tandem with a PTSA meeting. This is additionally a great fit for someone who enjoys planning parties, as it is our dream as a PTSA to come up with a fun family social event.
  • Financial Review - As PTSA is a non-profit, we need member oversight to ensure our finances are in compliance with regulations. As part of this committee, you will meet for a mid-year review in January and for a final review in July to review our financials and provide feedback on how we can improve.
  • Gratitude Committee - New for 2020!! Inspired by our state’s teacher of the year -Amy Campbell - PTSA is starting up a much-needed committee to thank all our volunteers and school staff for all they do and all they are. Get in on this amazing ground-floor opportunity to give thanks and show appreciation for all the goodness that surrounds and enriches us.
  • Scholarships - Typically, we get in touch with the high schools FHMS alumni attend in late March in order to open up the application process to eligible students. Once application receipt closes, the committee reviews all submissions and decides on recipients for the 3 scholarships we provide. This is a great way to serve our school by helping us award some amazing alumni as they head off to college careers.
  • Special Services Liaison - It is another of our dreams this year to have the parent or guardian of a special services student join our board as a liaison. Our PTSA is committed to supporting every student at FHMS. As special services liaison, you can give voice to an underrepresented group at our school and help ensure we are not overlooking any opportunities to be more inclusive.
  • Staff Appreciation - In years past, this committee has held staff potluck meals every other month as a means of showing our appreciation for all they do. With remote schooling in place, we are planning to pivot the work of this group this year. We are thinking of a monthly gesture, whether it is handwritten notes or a small treat to show we are thinking of staff members, as well as a catered meal or two if that becomes possible later in the year. Much like the gratitude committee, this is a great way to get involved and shower our incredible FHMS school staff with our thanks!
  • As a board, we know this year’s incoming 6th grade parents and families new to FHMS have not had the opportunity to see the school building and meet school administrators and staff. Please know we are working hard to make sure every family, new and returning, feels welcome and a part of our FHMS community.

We can attest to the magic of joining the PTSA and getting involved with a committee. It is a terrific way to meet others, whether it is parents or teachers and administrators. We all need connection in our extended isolation, and this is a safe and fun way to fill that need. We cannot promise you what will happen in terms of events this year as it is uncharted territory even for some of the 8th grade parents. What we can promise to you is we will work to ensure you feel supported in your committee work, we will answer any of your questions to the best of our ability and we will have fun (at the very least some laughs) while we volunteer together.

Please join us this year in our mission to support every one of our over 700 students at Finn Hill Middle School. If you have any questions at all about the committees, what we do or who we are, please reach out via email to  fhmsPTSApresident@gmail.com.
Stay well, Falcons!