The Roedean PTA committee is the active interface between the parent body and staff. Committee members provide their time and expertise to support and further the interests of the school by undertaking fundraising functions and supporting school events to the benefit of the whole Roedean community.
2012 has once again been a busy, productive year for the committee. The first date on our calendar is always the PTA Cocktail Party early in the first term. This is our chance to host all parents and welcome new families to the school, and to express our appreciation to the entire Roedean community for the loyalty and support we get throughout the year for all our activities and projects.
This year’s party was a great success as evidenced by very high attendance and the voluble enthusiasm of all the guests. It is very gratifying to see that the parents are just as engaged and committed to the development and welfare of the school as the staff are.
For this year’s Mother/Daughter event we held a candlelight dinner in the Gymnasium with the theme “Out of Africa” and the dress code “African Elegance”. This is one of our most popular functions of the year when mothers and daughters gather to share some special time and watch the Matric girls model their beautiful gowns. The hall was completely transformed and a great evening was had by all as mothers and daughters in wonderful costumes applauded the elegant Matrics and dined on excellent local food.
The Golf Day, which is the PTA’s most important fundraising event and a highlight of our calendar, was held shortly afterwards. Held this time on the Wanderers course, it was a glorious day for the golfers. The Roedean community donated generously and golfers went home with bulging hampers organized by the Junior School, and raffle prizes including diamonds, bush trips and excellent French wine. Bidding was brisk at the auction for desirable items such as trips to Pafuri and Madikwe, Tanzanite stones, StanLib Equity Funds and South African Reserve wine.
There were also fabulous prizes to be won in the school raffles, including a MacBook Pro, an IPad 2 and various vouchers from Sandton City which motivated the girls to achieve unprecedented ticket sales.
The proceeds of the Golf Day enables the committee to undertake large projects that benefit the whole school and 20 % of the money raised this year – some R 60 000 -has been donated to the Roedean Bursary Fund.
After a short breathing space, the textbook supply service for the Senior School dominates our activities in the final term. It has evolved into an efficient, streamlined process that is the envy of many other schools, and is the second highest fundraiser of the PTA year. This requires meticulous planning and a concerted and complex team effort. This function epitomizes what the Roedean PTA stands for – providing a service to our school and, at the same time, generating funds which will be used to benefit the whole Roedean community.
During the course of the year committee members have helped out at Parents’ Evenings, the annual Yamaha Lovemore Music competition and the Music Picnic. We have organized class Cocktail parties for the LV’s and Matrics, planned Sports Teas for visiting teams, invigilated music exams and assisted at the Junior School’s St. Margaret’s Day, Grade 0 orientation and New Girl’s Tea. In this way we aim to foster community spirit and provide a channel of communication between the school and parent body – and we have enormous fun doing it!
The PTA also raises funds to enhance the facilities and improve the quality of their daughters’ school lives. This year we are delighted to have been able to finalize the installation of the Astroturf floodlights, for which the raising of funds started several years ago.
In August we paid for the installation of a lightning detector system covering the entire sports facilities, a gazebo to provide shade for the girls on the sports field and swimming pool and a commitment to funding the installation and heating of the planned Junior School Pool.
Currently in progress is a project to upgrade the Senior School bathrooms and locker rooms. With new tiles and fresh paint they are already greatly improved, and we are now tackling the windows and lockers.
In October the PTA erected a memorial to Grace Mbele, who was our backbone of strength in carrying out our various events. We unveiled the beautiful armillary sphere in the garden near her home in the grounds, a place where she liked to take a break from her many duties. We hope that others, too, will sit and rest in “her” garden and remember this remarkable woman. We miss her greatly.
We are also in the progress of designing a memorial for Jan du Preez, without whose involvement and hard work none of the PTA events would have been able to be staged. We hope to have finalized this project by the end of this year.
These contributions to the school would not be possible without the wholehearted and generous support of the entire school community. The PTA thanks all those who so willingly gave their time and energy in activities such as the Mother/Daughter event, the Golf Day, and ongoing support through the MySchool Card and Project Club. Please swipe your MySchool Card and help us keep up the good work!
The PTA is responsible for hosting a number of functions, including:
- the Senior School parents’ evenings
- the annual Mother Daughter event
The PTA has a vital role in raising funds for small and large projects for the school. With the new building project due to start soon, the PTA’s fund raising role will be aligned in support of this investment, and our experience in this regard will interface with other fund raising initiatives undertaken by the school.
Fundraising is undertaken in the following ways:
- Senior School textbook sales, the golf day and any profits from PTA functions. These funds are used for larger scale projects not ordinarily covered by the school’s capital budget. One of our largest projects to date has been to install floodlights for the Astroturf hockey field, which, because of its size and the impact of the Gautrain tunnels under the school, has not yet been finally implemented.
- Project ClubMembership is voluntary. The current fee is R100 per term, and this is charged to your school account. Project Club members participate in a draw for one of three cash prizes of R1500 per term.
- MySchool Card Membership is voluntary. The PTA has placMySchool carded renewed emphasis on this painless method of raising revenue for the school through the nationwide network of MySchool supported retailers. We hope to raise more than R100 000 from this source in 2011, and every swipe has an impact.Project Club and MySchool card enable the PTA to fund more immediate, smaller projects. The most recent projects have included the purchase of heaters for Founders’ Hall and selected classrooms, the installation of electronic scoreboards for Waterpolo and Hockey matches and the refurbishment of the Senior School locker rooms.
The formal greetings done at the beginning of our meeting -
I want to start my report by paying tribute to the wonderful group of women who have made their time and skills available, and have helped to make the Roedean PTA a powerhouse of effective, efficient and enjoyable service to the school. Each one has managed to provide their very best input, even though, as volunteers, they are always entitled to put the needs of their families and workplaces first.
So, to my 2011 PTA committee – a huge and heartfelt thank you!
A year ago, I sat in this very meeting accepting the challenge to take over as chairperson. It has been a highly enriching experience getting a more in-depth knowledge of the school, discovering its rich legacy, its vibrant present and its exciting future. It has also been an opportunity to get to know the Roedean staff and parents better and to work with two remarkable women, Mary Williams and Jan Mallen, who are leading Roedean so assuredly into the 21st century.
While all members of staff and parents are members of the PTA, it is the executive committee which runs and manages the organization. The committee comprises of about 20 elected parent members, the executive headmistress, Mary Williams and the Junior School Headmistress Jan Mallen. In addition a member of SAORA is also represented on the committee. We would like to encourage anyone who is interested in serving on the PTA in the future to come and talk to any member of the committee later.
The Roedean PTA committee plays a vital role in the life of the school and is a valuable interface between the parent body and staff. The committee members provide their time and expertise to foster community spirit by organizing and supporting school events and furthering the interests of the school by undertaking fundraising functions for projects that it manages for the benefit of the whole Roedean community.
I WILL NOW OUTLINE THE EVENTS THAT MEET THE PTA’S OBJECTIVE OF “FOSTERING A SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AND FACILITATING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PARENTS AND THE SCHOOL”.
The PTA chairlady addresses new parents at the new girl’s tea held at the senior school just before school opens in January, and at the Grade 0 orientation in October. This is an opportunity to introduce parents to the PTA’s many projects and activities.
During the first term, PTA members are given the task of phoning each new parent to find out how their daughters are settling in, and to direct them to the proper channels if a problem comes to light. We know from their feedback that these calls are much appreciated and help to bring home the school’s caring spirit.
The annual PTA Cocktail Party is held to welcome all parents and especially newcomers to the school, and to express our appreciation to the entire Roedean community for the loyalty and support we get thoughout the year for all our activities and projects. This year’s party was a great success as evidenced by very high attendance and the voluble enthusiasm of all the guests. Around 600 parents, teachers, board members and SAORA representatives jammed Founders to connect and enjoy superb snacks supplied by both Fedics and the PTA Committee, under the guidance of Mariana Katz. It is very gratifying to see that the parents are just as engaged and committed to the development and welfare of the school as the staff are.
The PTA organizes just two class cocktail parties for parents with girls in the same grade – one for Lower V to create an opportunity for parents with daughters entering the Senior school to get to know one another and to share similar experiences and concerns in a more intimate atmosphere, and one for Matric parents, to enable them to get together as their daughters embark on their final year of school.
On Thursday 16 February, the Lower V parents enjoyed a well-attended evening complemented with delicious snacks and drinks. Senior staff and PTA members were present. The PTA looks forward to a similar event with Matric parents on Tuesday 20 March 2012.
The annual Mother/Daughter Breakfast was held on 14 May, when the matric girls modeled their lovely dance dresses, and mothers and daughters were treated to a splendid breakfast in the gymnasium. Our theme “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” celebrated the elegance and coming-of-age of the Matric pupils who dazzled us on a ramp in the middle of the gymnasium. Mariana Katz directed the transformation of the gymnasium into a stylish and refined venue.
Once again, tickets were sold out within hours, and many moms and daughters were unable to secure a booking for the day, even though we managed to accommodate just under 400 people. While the Mother/Daughter breakfast is not considered a fundraising event, we managed, mostly through the raffle income, to generate a profit of R 19’000.
The PTA will again make every effort to ensure that all parents are properly informed of the date of this sought-after event; and the day on which tickets will be sold, through the newsletter, the electronic board, the School Communicator, and by SMS. Tickets are available on a first-come first-served basis with only the matric mothers getting preference. This years’ event is scheduled for Saturday 19 May.
2011 brought a new event to our calendar. The Junior School organized a celebration of Heritage Day involving the entire Junior School. It was a day of festivities and fun organized by the teachers, class mothers and girls. The PTA engaged with them all, helping with decorations, setting up the features and clearing up. We were able to take photographs for a planned recipe book and produced a Heritage Day poster as a momento.
NEXT I WILL DEAL WITH FUNCTIONS FALLING UNDER THE “SUPPORT AND FURTHER THE INTERESTS OF THE SCHOOL”:
Examples of this supportive role are:
Committee members have helped out at Parent Evenings, the Junior School’s St Margaret’s Day and similar school functions by pouring teas for teachers, manning refreshment tables, or by selling drinks and snacks.
We also support the music department with invigilation at practical and theory exams, the annual Yamaha/Lovemore music competition and the Music Picnic, and
we have planned sports Teas for visiting teams throughout the year.
These are humble but vital tasks which are demonstrably part of the PTA’s role as an interface between parents, girls and teachers of the school.
THE PTA ALSO HAS A MANDATE TO RAISE FUNDS IN THE SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY BUILDING THAT BENEFIT THE ENTIRE ROEDEAN COMMUNITY
While we regard fundraising as an important part of our function within the school community, it is always secondary to the two roles I have already listed. The PTA gathers funds through the PTA levy, the MySchool Card and the project club, and most significantly through the Golf Day and the Text Book sales.
The PTA levy is used to defray expenses of events hosted by the PTA on behalf of the school, the cocktail parties, gifts to members of staff, new girls teas and the sports teas.
The annual Golf Day is one of the PTA’s most important fundraising events, and is a highlight of our calendar, attracting many parents and others associated with the school. Our mission is to raise as much money for the school as possible in an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie, touching the whole Roedean community. The funds raised by previous Golf Days have enabled the committee to undertake large projects that benefit the whole school and a significant percentage of the money raised is donated to the Roedean Bursary Fund.
This year we had a bright, clear day for the tournament, held for the first time at Parkview, as the culmination of months of preparation by Pippa Smith, Mingi Mdwaba and Helene van Rhyn and their team who excelled in delivering all the essential ingredients for a superb day.
Additionally the school community rose magnificently to the challenge. There was a splendid array of prizes and auction items that the Roedean community had once again so generously donated. The Junior School class mothers under the leadership of Vida Saayman donated goods to produce hampers of unprecedented style and substance and fabulous prizes were to be won in the school raffles.
All in, we made a profit of R 224,000.00 from this event.
Another key fundraiser for the PTA is our senior school Textbook Distribution Service which has developed into the second highest fundraiser of the PTA.
The Textbook supply service dominates our activities in the final term. It has evolved into an efficient, streamlined system that is the envy of many other schools, much appreciated by both parents and staff. The textbook subcommittee, chaired by Rose Antrobus and ably assisted by our Treasurer Jenny Pinnington, administer the complex undertaking, which requires the meticulous planning, coordinating, negotiating and sourcing of the textbooks. I would like to say that this function epitomizes what the Roedean PTA stands for – providing a service to our school and at the same time, generating funds which will be used to benefit the whole Roedean community.
I have to thank those PTA members who put their lives on hold for a week, and who did such an outstanding job receiving, packing and distributing the final textbook packs for every girl in the high school by the end of the 2011 year.
The PTA also thanks all those parents who helped to cover the daunting stacks of new textbooks during our textbook-covering drive.
The textbook project raised R176,000.00 for the PTA in 2011. This was lower than last year because of the syllabus change of the UV’s. New books had to be bought and there was therefore a considerable shortfall on second hand sales from the 2011 UV’s.
THESE MAJOR FUNDRAISERS ARE SUPPLENTED BY YEAR ROUND INITIATIVES, which include the MySchool Card and Project Club
“Every swipe counts”
By now everyone is familiar with our slogan.
The MySchool card and project club fundraising, originally earmarked for purchases of small items, has grown to a force to be reckon with. Under Tracy Chalwin-Milton’s guidance, the PTA started to implement a range of programs to increase awareness and usage of these cards as well as harnessing all new parents to join the project club.
At the end of 2011, MySchool Roedean supporters had raised R111,214.00 compared to the R87,018.00 raised in 2010. This is a 28% increase! During the same period, we increased our active supporters by 11%, i.e. from 674 to 750.
Together with Project Club funds, this money was put towards paying for the heating of the swimming pool and we expect to be able to have the entire R314,040.00 paid off by the end of this term.
A very big “Thank You” must be extended to each and every Roedean MySchool card supporter, who loyally “swiped” her way to making this very worthwhile project possible; it has certainly benefited the entire school!
I WOULD NOW LIKE TO PRESENT TO YOU HOW WE HAVE ALLOCATED FUNDS RAISED BY PTA INITIATIVES, on both major and minor projects
With finance raised from our various fundraising activities, we have been able to contribute once more to the Bursary Fund with R30,000.00 and complete the installation of the pool heating system for R314,000.00. This amount includes the purchase of the heat pumps, the electrical work undertaken, and the erection of additional safety fencing. The enticing warmth of the pool has been a huge boost for our Aquatics programme. Special thanks must go to Shirley van der Griendt for her tireless effort to drive this complex and work-intensive project and to the Roedean Board which, when presented with our proposal, reacted by immediately accepting it and agreeing to take over the running cost of the pool heating.
We also paid for the swimming pool covers for R 75’000.00
With reference to projects to which the PTA is already committed, we hope to have the Astroturf lighting masts installed at the beginning of April. The Astroturf field is expected to be finished by the first week in May and the installation ready for use at the end of May latest. Due to the delay in this project, additional PTA funds have had to be allocated.
Similarly, the PTA will meet its obligation to provide R 200,000.00 to the Junior Pool when it is constructed in the second half of the year as part of the redevelopment of the lower school grounds. We have also pledged to make some funds available this year to ensure that this pool will have an adequate heating system as well.
In January this year we paid for a rebranded, transportable sports gazebo with the new Roedean logo.
Other projects underway are the upgrading the senior girls’ locker facilities, again a long, complex and expensive undertaking, a suitable contribution to the Anne Lorentz Peace Garden under construction in the memory of Grace Mbele, a pool bubble and the refurbishment of the circle in the Senior school carpark.
All these contributions would not be possible without the wholehearted and generous support of the entire school community. The PTA thanks all those who so willingly gave their time and energy in all our activities. So, thank you!
The PTA AGM is a time when we say goodbye to a number of valuable and committed executive members.
Sadly, tonight we will be bidding farewell to Vanessa Cooper, Shemin Sacranie, Melanie Kuiper, and finally Jenny Pinnington. Of those whom we bid farewell, some have come to the end of their term, and some have daughters who have matriculated. We officially bid farewell to Erica Emdon-Elk today, our secretary, who has generously decided to continue until we can find a suitable replacement. She is stepping down from the committee due to increase work commitments. I take this opportunity of thanking them sincerely for their wonderful contribution to the PTA during their years of service.
A HOST OF THANK YOUS
One of the privileges of working on this committee has been getting to know the team that I have had working with me – its skills range from busy mothers to lawyers, accountants to engineers, anesthetists to journalist – and many members of the team carry out these jobs at the same time as working on the PTA. So to Amma Ogan, Erica Emdon-Elk, Marion Bedford, Dina Maree, Mingi Mdwaba, Mariana Katz, Rosemary Antrobus, Pippa Smith, Jenny Pinninton, Emmie Kruger, Melanie Kuiper, Monica Katrakilis, Amanda Sebolai, Shemin Sacranie, Tracy Chalwin-Milton, Shirley van der Griendt, Helene van Rhyn, Vanessa Cooper, Marita Irvine, Posy Buckland and specially to my deputy Michele Jenkins on whom I have relied for her wise counsel and unfailing sense of fairness and perspective, it has been such a pleasure getting to know you all and we have had so much fun in the course of achieving so much this year. Thank you for all the support you have given me. A volunteer body such as the Roedean PTA could not achieve its goals without the generous and unstinting contribution of all my colleagues on the executive committee.
A big thank you to all those members of the school’s staff and support teams who play an invaluable role in the PTA’s existence. Special mention must be made of Jan du Preez, Roedean’s facilities manager, who on my behalf liaises with all the other teams, to the Fedics team under Henry van Rooyen and Judith Hall, Mrs William’s PA Diana McGurk who is always available to answer questions, Janet Naidoo in Admin and Sylvia Bruins in the junior school.
A further privilege of my role this year has been working more closely with Mary Williams and Jan Mallen, who have offered constant support and guidance. As I learn more about the complexities of running a successful school, so my admiration for them has increased. Thank you, Mary and Jan, for the time which you devote to the PTA matters.