When a family enrolls, it isn’t just the student who joins CAIS. Parents, guardians, and even grandparents also become part of a warm, tight-knit community with a myriad of ways to be involved and get connected.
Family School Alliance
The Family School Alliance includes all CAIS parents and guardians of students and is focused on supporting the school’s mission, values and programs through volunteer service, community building and events. All parents and guardians of students as well as all faculty and staff are automatically members of the CAIS FSA and are invited to attend general meetings.
As Co-chairs Melanyann Garvin and Jaime Hersh wrote to families in their recap of the school year 2021-2022, “Thank you to our community for a wonderful year of fun events! We thank you for your patience as we have been transitioning back to in-person events and are hopeful for more during the 2022-23 school year. Your support throughout the year has allowed the FSA to host Mid Autumn Moon Festival, There with Care Community Service Project, On Lok Recital, Pomeroy Community Service, Community Hikes, Beach Clean Ups, DnD learning/play sessions, 40th Anniversary T-shirt Contest, Holiday Faire/Gingerbread Houses, Teacher/Staff Winter Appreciation Breakfast, Lunar New Year Card Making session, Monthly Teacher Treats, Preschool Kite Day, Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, Olema Spring Camping, and The End of Year Picnic Potluck! We also continuously run our Lost and Found Program, Lunar New Year outfit recycling program, CAIS Spiritwear Boutique and SchoolFoodies Hot Lunch Program! All of this requires parent volunteers and community involvement and we so appreciate your partnership! If you’d like to get involved, we’d love to have you! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Preschool Family Alliance
PFSA (formerly PAECE) shares the same goal as the FSA of supporting the school’s mission, values, and programs through volunteer service and community building events and activities. PFSA group members meet monthly during the school year and all Preschool parents are welcome to attend.
Families of African Heritage Affinity Group
Since 2016, a group of self-identified families of African heritage has met monthly with members of CAIS’s administration to work towards shared goals of equity and inclusion. Community engagement is an important component of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work. The CAIS community group known as Families of African Heritage (FAH) partners with the school to benefit students of African heritage as well as the larger CAIS community.
Contact Trustee Bryant Jenkins if you are interested in learning more about or participating in FAH.
Serving as a Room Parent is a fun and rewarding volunteer position helped to organize the many classroom activities, field trips, and luncheons throughout the school year. In 2021-2022 an astounding 106 parents volunteered as Room Parents from Preschool through eighth grade (representing an especially impressive one quarter of CAIS’s family households). Room Parent Coordinators Eleanor Chen and Lidiya Lukashova are looking forward to working with another fantastic crew of volunteers in 2022-2023!
CAIS is a member of Speakers for Parent Educators and Knowledge (SPEAK), a coalition of San Francisco K-8 schools that have joined together to enhance parent education. The group’s goal is to enrich the education and learning experience of our families, our children and our communities. Examples of the events hosted in 2021-2022 include presentations and discussions by experts such as:
Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist from the University of Washington and author of the New York Times bestseller Brain Rules and the national bestseller Brain Rules for Baby. Drawing from his latest research, he spoke about how to foster resilience in our children at this stage of the pandemic.
Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race, led a candid discussion about race and racism in the United States. She shared the importance of self-care and provided practical tips for continuing these important conversations in our communities and homes.
Dr. Kristin Neff, acclaimed psychologist, author, and speaker, discussed why practicing self-compassion is a necessary precursor to happiness for all of us. During the presentation, she taught a practice to help parents and educators to be self-compassionate while maintaining a sense of balance in challenging interactions with our kids.
Dr. Sarah-SoonLing Blackburn, Learning for Justice Educator, and KPIX journalist and broadcaster Betty Yu held a discussion on the topic of “Building Upstanders and Resilience: How-tos for Parents to Address Anti-Asian Sentiment”