Parents at Masters
Welcome to The Masters School Parent Association! Our main goal is to create a positive and welcoming environment for all parents while working in partnership with faculty, staff and administrators to support the goals, needs and mission of the School.
Masters parents give of themselves in a big way, contributing to the life of the School invaluably as volunteers, supporters and ambassadors. Parent involvement is vital to maintaining the vibrancy of our community and helps to make Masters such a special place for its students.
Parent representatives help to facilitate open and constructive communication between the parent body and the School and work in tandem with the Administration to encourage structured parent involvement and volunteerism for the benefit of the Masters community. The Parent Association also plays an important role creating regular opportunities for parents to engage with faculty and administrators.
But it’s not all work! At Masters, we believe that parents should get to have their fair share of fun! Throughout the year, the Parent Association plans special programs, events, educational evenings, “field trips,” social gatherings, and performances just for parents, providing you with an opportunity to meet and connect with other families.
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The Parent Association wants you! Masters knows that great parents make great leaders and offers many opportunities for parent leadership through the Parent Association Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee, comprised of PA officers, committee chairs and class representatives, meets in the evening three times per year. At these working sessions, the Heads of School share important news, updates and information on upcoming projects with members of the Executive Committee. Executive Committee meetings give Parent Association representatives the opportunity to share their perspectives with the Administration, to brainstorm new programs and initiatives, and to actively engage in planning for the coming months.
In addition to these three annual meetings, all Executive Committee members are also asked to attend monthly meetings of the Parent Association, to participate in other Parent Association events and activities as often as possible, and to be a part of school mentoring and volunteer efforts.
Janet Pietsch P'09, '20
Co-Vice Presidents, Upper School
Leslie Rusoff P'17, '17, '18, '21, '22
Robin Scheuer P'18, '20
Co-Vice Presidents, Middle School
Marie Fabian P'22
Gabrielle Rosenfeld P'24
Parents regularly serve on committees that support Admissions, the Annual Fund, parent programs and residential life. Parents also serve on ad hoc committees, when appropriate, to aid in the organization of special events, such as the School's gala. Committee chairs help lead the efforts of parent volunteers in each of these areas, while also providing direct support to and maintaining ongoing communication with the School.
Class representatives help to organize and disseminate information about grade level projects and events, serve as an informational resource for other class parents, and work closely with the PA President, Co-VPs for their division, and the Office of Parent Engagement on both division-specific and school-wide special activities and initiatives.
All parents are automatically members of the Parent Association and are always welcome at PA meetings and events.
Parent Association Meetings
The Parent Association hosts monthly meetings on the first Thursday of every month, from October through May. Join fellow parents for coffee and conversation at these informal meetings, which are a great way to keep up-to-date on what is going on at school, get to know other parents, and find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities and parent-led initiatives.
Parents are frequently joined by faculty and administration presenters, who share knowledge about their individual areas of concentration as well as by key members of the administration, on hand to answer your questions and provide information about important campus issues and school priorities.
Jeans Night is the PA’s signature event, celebrating the start of the school year. Just as students do on their Friday “Jeans Days,” parents wear jeans — or simply “dress down” — and donate a dollar to the worthy cause the School supports for that day. This event draws parents from both the Middle and Upper Schools for an evening of camaraderie.
Grade Level Coffees
Connect with other parents in your child’s year at these grade-specific discussions. Facilitated by the Dean’s Office and class representatives, grade level coffees provide an open forum for talking about common parenting concerns, allowing you to swap stories and strategies with your peers.
Pick up a good book and settle in at the Parent Association Book Club! The PA Book Club meets on select mornings throughout the year in the school library to discuss works ranging from poetry to non-fiction. These lively gatherings often feature faculty members as special guests, engaging and engrossing parents in animated Harkness-style conversations, as they do every day in the classroom with students.
At Masters, parents take field trips too! Explore local artistic, cultural, and educations sites with fellow parents and spend the day learning, laughing, and meeting new people. Recent parent field trip groups have visited Lyndhust Mansion, DIA Beacon, The Philip Johnson Glass House, Wave Hill, the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens at PepsiCo, Lincoln Center, The Hispanic Society of America, and Arthur Avenue.
Noted authors from the Masters community share stories and the spotlight at PA Literary Evening, an educational evening for parents and local residents which takes place in historic Estherwood Mansion.
Wine and Cheese Party
The Parent Association’s end-of-year Wine and Cheese Party brings together parents, administrators and faculty for one last relaxing evening of music, food and friendship before summer vacation begins. Bid farewell to “graduating” senior parents as we toast the end of another great year!
There are lots of ways to volunteer with the PA!
Do you want to be involved? Please let us know! Contact any volunteer — your own or any other class representative, your president, your co-vice presidents, or any committee chair — or the Parent Engagement Office. Call, email, flag us down in the halls, or catch us in the parking lot.
Parent Association Mentor Program
The PA’s Mentor Program facilitates a smooth transition for new families through parent-to-parent outreach. By volunteering to be a new parent mentor, you can make big impact with even the smallest of gestures — a friendly phone call or a welcoming e-mail are usually all it takes to make a new family feel at ease. The Mentor Program gives you a chance to share your knowledge and enthusiasm by serving as a go-to person for informal questions and information during the summer and beyond!
Volunteering on campus is a great way to get to know other parents while supporting Masters and its students in a very direct way. Many of our most important events are parent-driven, so sharing your time and talents makes an invaluable difference to the entire school community. Here are just a few of the opportunities to help out on campus:
Welcome families and show your Panther pride at the Parent Association Spirit Tent during the Upper School’s Opening Days, Middle School Meet Your Advisor Day and Family Weekend.
Design a life-sized Monopoly board for Middle School Game Night, or share smiles and stories with visiting grandparents at the Middle School’s annual Grandparents and Special Friends Day.
Bring muffins, brew coffee, and share smiles with grateful faculty and staff at the Parent Association’s annual Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day breakfast buffet, held every spring.
Serve as an Admission Ambassador by volunteering to your time to talk with prospective families at open house events and revisit days throughout the year.
The Annual Fund is our single most important fundraising activity and one of the easiest and most meaningful ways parents can make a difference. In addition to making a gift, parents can also support the Annual Fund effort by volunteering an hour or two of time to make calls during our Annual Fund Parent Phonathons and by serving as class volunteers, helping to boost parent participation levels among peers in their grade.
Volunteer Your Thoughts
Masters strives to foster and maintain open lines of constructive communication between parents and the School. You bring a wealth of knowledge to the table by virtue of your diverse experiences at Masters and elsewhere. We hope you will share your perspectives and experiences with us. Whether you have a question about course selection, an idea for a parent event, or a suggestion for how we can make something even better, we want to hear from you! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Office of Parent Engagement at 914-479-6449.