Parent Council is open to all parents at The Denver Waldorf School. Whether you feel you would make a good class representative or you just want to attend when you can, Parent Council is always looking for the input of parents.
The following is why one parent has been an active participant of Parent Council for three of the five years her children have been at DWS:
Daily, we gain a stronger understanding and appreciation of the school, when our kids come home and retell stories and excitedly share favorite moments of the day. Or when we experience the magic first-hand helping in handwork class or attending class meetings. This understanding and appreciation of the big picture has grown considerably for me through Parent Council. I never know what morsel of incite I will take home from a meeting, but I always learn something new, something inspiring. It may be when Michael Baker speaks so eloquently about Rudolf Steiner and the deeper meaning behind the various components of the curriculum — why our children are doing what they’re doing. It may be when a High School parent shares the amazing accomplishments of the older students. I have never questioned whether the school was a good fit for us, but I always seem to leave Parent Council meetings with a clearer picture of how my children spend their day — feeling just a little more at peace with the world that surrounds them. I come to Parent Council meetings for the collective gratitude, community and even to strengthen my self awareness when it comes to what I value about my children’s education. I have greater respect and appreciation as I learn more about the thoughtful behind-the-scenes organization and structure that is the form and foundation allowing this all to happen. Overall, it simply deepens my connection to the school as a whole, beyond my children’s individual experiences. – Suzie Shapiro
The Parent Council meets once a month on Friday mornings. All parents are always invited. Please check our online calendar for upcoming meeting dates.
Upcoming Meeting Agenda
In advance of the monthly Parent Council meetings, co-chairs create the Parent Council Meeting Agenda detailing who will be speaking and what will be discussed. The agendas are sent to parents by their parent council representative through their class email list.
Past Meeting Minutes
After each Parent Council meeting, the minutes are distributed to the class email lists, and put online. Check these for important information about the school and ways you can get involved and make your voice heard.
Parent Council Mandate
Parent Council is a Board of Trustees-mandated committee, as defined by the Bylaws of The Denver Waldorf School Association. The purpose of Parent Council is to serve the Mission and Vision of The Denver Waldorf School by providing parents with access to the greater school community and governing bodies through the information, planning and communication shared in Parent Council meetings and activities. Parent Council generates enthusiastic participation in the life of the school and creates opportunities for parents to enrich their own lives. Parent Council reports directly to the Board of Trustees and the College of Teachers and collaborates with the Board, the College and the Administration of the school to achieve our goals.
Parent Council is open to all interested parents and all parents are members Parents may choose to make a higher level of commitment and serve as Class Representatives. Class Representatives have the following responsibilities:
- Attend all meetings or arrange for a substitute from your class
- Forward meeting minutes to class
- Bring class input to Parent Council
- Be knowledgeable about school policies as defined by the Parent Handbook
- Welcome new families to our community and guide them to the New Parent Guide
- Serve the interests and represent the opinions of the parents in your class
- Participate in community events
All members have a voice at Parent Council and may vote when making decisions.
Parent Council is facilitated by two parent Co-Chairs, who set meeting agendas and calendar and act as resources and support to Parent Council members working on ongoing projects. Co-Chairs may speak on Parent Council’s behalf at Back-to-School Night and may present our work to the Board, the College, the Faculty or the Administration when necessary.
For the 2012-2013 school year, Representatives of the Parent Council are the following:
- Mary Salfi, parent Co-Chair
- Jenny Thompson, parent Co-Chair
- Michael Baker, College Representative
- Christa Gustafson & Jennifer Parker, Administration Representatives
- Krista Douglass, Board Representative
- Dan Opyd, Board Representative
- Starflower: Suzie Shapiro
- Larkspur: Jennifer Cheers and Ching Weng
- Morning Glory: Gwen Pollara
- Woodrose: Nicole Reinan and Kelly Church
- 1st Grade: Sara Ross and Kristen Volk
- 2nd Grade: Angelique Rodriguez and Sadie Metter
- 3rd Grade: Brooke Camfield
- 4th Grade: Jenny Thompson and Mary Salfi
- 5th Grade: Leah Secrest and Iris Rodriguez
- 6th Grade: Julie Jordan
- 7th Grade: Krista Douglass
- 8th Grade: Renee McMichael
- High School: Elizabeth Harden
Quorum and Powers of Decision
For decision-making processes, Parent Council adheres to The Denver Waldorf School consensus-based model. Members agree to maintain a positive attitude toward colleagues even if there is disagreement and to feel free to disagree respectfully in order to present an opposing perspective. Parent Council will conduct its business in the spirit of collaboration and strive for transparency in its processes and consensus decision-making. Decisions and budget expenditures require a quorum which is reached when:
- the Board, Administration and College are represented by at least one member;
- each school is represented by a parent: kindergarten, grades school, middle school, and high school; and
- at least one Parent Council co-chair is present.
Decisions should be adopted by the Board and/or College unless new information becomes available which indicates a necessity for Parent Council to reconsider. Questions regarding a decision or recommendation should go first to Parent Council Co-Chairs. Concerns or questions about Parent Council Co-Chairs should go to Parent Council Board Representatives.
- Facilitate communication
- Develop community through social events
- Provide a forum for parent education
- Develop a process for selection of Parent Council Co-Chairs
Monthly meetings are generally scheduled for the first Friday of the month at 8:45 am in the Aftercare Room. Parent Council Co-Chairs are responsible for setting the agenda, taking minutes or assigning that task to another Member, and distributing the minutes to Representatives. Agenda items may be submitted to Parent Council Co-Chairs for consideration.
Class, Board and College Representatives consent to entrust Parent Council with its responsibilities as outlined in this Mandate, and further agree to support its decisions and recommendations.