PTSA Wish List

Electives (Interest Class) Volunteers and Coordinators

posted Sep 14, 2017, 6:11 PM by Admin at Winterhaven   [ updated Sep 15, 2017, 11:36 AM ]

Dear Parents - 

Middle School and Elementary Electives are a huge undertaking at Winterhaven. For anyone unfamiliar with this program, the PTSA funds three 5-week, in-school sessions for Elementary grades (K-5) and five 5-week, in-school sessions for Middle Schoolers (6-8). 

Classes are typically a break from standard PPS curriculum, but are still educational and a lot of fun. Some recent (and upcoming) offerings include:
  • Ceramics & Pottery 
  • Flight Simulator training 
  • Sword fighting / Fencing
  •  Hip Hop dance
  •  Yoga / Meditation
  •  CPR / First Aid Response
  •  Songwriting / Ukulele
  •  Theater / Musical Theater
  •  Javascript programming  
  •  Circus gymnastics
  • Math games
  •  A huge variety of crafts & art
  •  Creative writing
  •  Capoeira (Brazilian martial art)
  •  and so many more...
Both faculty and students really value the gift of the Electives experience--students for the pleasure of learning new concepts, skills, and opportunities to learn things outside of the mainstream curriculum, and teachers for the extra planning time they receive each week that our community provides this service.

Elective planning is a volunteer job run with a small budget. The coordinators do a tremendous amount of community outreach to find qualified, varied teachers to offer useful, interesting, and new classes each term for the students. 

We always are sending out outreach letters to find more community partners both within the school and all around Portland. 

But what we REALLY need is YOU!

Interest Classes can only thrive with solid, continuous engagement from parents within our community who volunteer, assist with finding teachers, and who spend some time supporting their students. 

At this time, we are recruiting a new Elementary Interest Class Coordinator and Middle School Interest Class Coordinator (this job is currently shared by 2 parents--why not consider sharing this job with a friend?!?!) We encourage the next coordinators to decide early enough in the year that they can shadow the current coordinators, all of whom are stepping down at the end of this year. Typically this is a two-year commitment. 

We also need more Parent Helpers. These can be people who co-teach a class, are parent assistants, or who "float" between some of the classrooms on Fridays (mornings 8:45-10:25 for Middle Schoolers, 2-3pm for Elementary grades) helping teachers with whatever they might need or to quell or distract wiggly students as needed. 

Lastly, we are ALWAYS seeking new Teachers. While we do recruit quite a bit outside of Winterhaven, our budget is small. Not everyone wants the small amount we can pay them to share their talents and skills with our students. However, we are rich in parents and family members with an enormous variety of talents. 

If you have a skill, art, talent, craft, or qualification you believe you could turn into a 5-week course for upper or lower grades, or both, PLEASE reach out to the Coordinators. Without volunteers, we cannot make this program last all year, and while the students appreciate our guest teachers, they are MUCH MORE impressed when it's their own family member (or parent of one of their peers) teaching them something they didn't know before. 

Please consider sharing your gifts with our students!!

As always, thank you for all you do for our school,

Erin Taylor ( - Elementary Grades Electives Coordinator
Barb Fisher ( - co-Middle School Electives Coordinator
Rebekah Folsom ( - co-Middle School Electives Coordinator

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