Beginning-of-Year Action Items for Parents

Welcome back to the school year!  Get ready for another year of amazing accomplishments and mind-blowing math. 🙂

If you are a math club parent — new or returning — we’re glad to have your child(ren) aboard!  Here are five things you can do to ensure a smooth start to the year.

1.  Please sign your child up for Math Club! 

Three easy steps:

  • Fill out the registration form.
  • Write a check for the fee amount ($75 for grade 3, $75 for grade 4, $100 for grade 5, $120 for grade 6).  Payable to Meridian Park PTSA; child(ren)’s name on memo line; attach to registration form.
  • Turn in form + check to your teacher or the front office.

2.  Fill out some additional paperwork now, and avoid last-minute headaches.

  • background-check form  Bring completed form to front office.  You will be asked to volunteer, so it’s best to get this paperwork out of the way now.
  • contest permission slips  (click the set that corresponds to your child’s grade).  Bring completed forms to math club.  This is not a firm commitment to go to all contests.  But every year, a number of students change their minds after the first big contest and decide they want to go to more.  If the paperwork is on file, it’s no problem.

3.  Start planning your involvement and family schedule.  As you probably know, all club meetings, and every contest we go to, depend entirely on volunteers.  So like other PTSA clubs and math clubs at most other schools, we need all parents to volunteer in class or at contests.  Preferably both!  We will be bringing out new tools to make this easier.

  • Look at our math-club calendar. It has all the club meeting and contest dates.  (Note:  a couple of contests don’t have firm dates yet, so I have marked those dates as estimates and will update them as needed.)  It’s a google calendar so you can even subscribe to it on your smartphone.
  • Mark your family calendars for the contest dates.
  • Start planning transportation to contests for your kids.  Think about which contests you will volunteer for.  Contest jobs are usually very easy — just work off an answer key or checklist — but they require lots of people pitching in.

4.  Speaking of volunteering, please consider helping out right now.  We need volunteers to do the following jobs:

  • Registration helper  We could use 4 parents to help us process the kids on the first day.
  • Classroom marketer  Willing to do a 5-10 minute pitch of math club to a classroom?  We’ll work out a plan with you and then connect you with a willing teacher.
  • T-shirt coordinator  We have last year’s order details and we will have T-shirt sizes from the registration form.  If you have strong opinions about what the T-shirt should look like, or you think there should be a poll to decide, this job is for you!
  • Did I mention we need coaches? 🙂  Grades 3 and 6 especially, plus help in grade 4.  More info about coaching is here.

5.  Get supplies ready.

  • For the first class, kids should bring 2 pencils and paper in a binder or folder.  That should do it for week 1.  Your coach will have more info for classes going forward.
  • In prior years we’ve handed out folders or binders to the entire class, but they were not often used.  So this year I’m leaving it up to the discretion of the coaches what system they would like to use.  Again, the coach will have more information in the first class.
  • Returning students in 5th and 6th grade should bring their calculators to the first class and be ready to share them with new, calculator-less students if needed.
  • New 5th-grade and 6th-grade students — please don’t go out and spring for a calculator just yet.  Your coach will advise you on what kind of calculator you’ll actually need, and when you’ll actually need it.  Stick to pencil and paper for week 1.

Thanks again, and welcome (back) to Math Club!

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