1-6 Cluster MiniClass Volunteers

September 13, 2016

ello fellow Odyssey parents, 


First, welcome to all the new parents to the school!  And welcome back to all.  


Colleen, our Volunteer Coordinator, put out a great email last week regarding some important volunteer positions that are open this fall.  


I wanted to follow up and give some more detail on one of these positions:  Miniclass Coordinating!!    If you are new to Odyssey, mini-classes (known officially as 'Integrated Learning Blocks') are exciting parent-led classes on Friday afternoons from 12:45 - 1:45pm.  Sessions are usually three or four weeks long, and cover a range of topics, based on parent interest & expertise in areas such as the arts, STEM, crafts, world cultures, life skills, sports, and community service.  You'll hear more about them at the parent meeting at Fort Flagler, and you all will have an opportunity to sign up to lead or assist classes this year!!  


But for now, we are focused on lining up our coordinators!  Each season (fall, winter, and spring) has a separate team of two parents who work together to organize the many details that go into pulling off these classes.  It looks like we have a winter team and one person committed for the spring, but we need two parents to step up and take on the fall season (and less urgently, one person to fill out the spring season.) 


Would you be willing to fill this important role??  If you are considering it, please read on!  I want to give you a clearer idea of what's involved.  


Here are the main tasks, to be divided between the two coordinators: 


* Double checking with parents who signed up to teach to make sure they are still on board to teach, and find an alternate parent if someone needs to drop out.  (I am planning to work with Odyssey parents to get the master ILB calendar for the year set up by the end of September.)  

* Finding parents to assist if a class needs an assistant.

* Getting final class name & description from teachers, along with ideal location, number of students they can take and grade restrictions.
* Making up the 'menus' for students to select their top choices for classes. (I'm hoping to get a new online form going this year!)
* Requesting paraprofessionals (BISD staff) if a class is going off site.
* Getting permission slips to parents for students going off site.
* Dividing students into classes, and communicating class rosters to parents, ILB teachers, and school staff.
* Showing up on Fridays to dismiss kids into classes, and floating among classes or jumping in to assist if any class needs help during class times.


That is the gist!  I would say 90% of this work is done from home, so this would be an excellent job for someone who can't be in the classroom during school hours.  It is a fairly significant time commitment - I would say maybe 6-8 hours a week for the course of the season including 3-4 weeks before the first class begins (Fall classes will run October 28-December 16th and spring classes will be April & May).   


Thank you for reading this far, and for considering this job.  Having coordinated several years myself, I know it is a very rewarding experience to help bring these awesome classes to our kids - for many of them it is a signficant highlight of their Odyssey experience!  


LET ME KNOW if you are interested and I can sign you up, or I can answer any questions you may have.  I will not be at the parent meeting on Thursday, but I am hoping we will be able to nail down our fall coordinators (and hopefully the final spring coordinator too) by the end of that meeting.  Step right up, don't be shy!!!  :)  


Enjoy the rest of your long weekend, and week two of school!  


~Jess Henderson 

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