Co-Chair* — Two Co-Chairs schedule, organize and preside over DHSPA and
Executive Board meetings. The DHSPA Co-Chairs are the primary link between the
DHS Administration and parents, meeting regularly with the principal and
communicating with parents at DHSPA meetings, in the DPN (parent newsletter), and
on the DHSPA website. The Co-Chairs sit on the Appropriations Committee, the
Guidance Advisory Council, and the DHSPA Budget Committee. They also serve on the
Council of Darien School Parents (CDSP), attending Board of Ed meetings, Board of
Finance Public Hearings, and the RTM’s Annual Budget Meeting in this capacity.
Additionally, the Co-Chairs attend DHS Parent Class Coffees, and are invited by
community organizations to participate in various task force and community leadership
meetings throughout the school year. During the summer, the DHSPA Co-Chairs
compile, edit and print the DHS Parents Survival Guide, and distribute copies at the
DHS Freshman Orientation in August. With the Program Chairs, the Co-Chairs help to
arrange some of the DHSPA programs with the Administration, including the first
DHSPA meeting of the school year. Co-Chairs provide year-round support, and if
needed, assistance, to any and all DHSPA Committees and Committee Chairs..
Secretary* — The Secretary takes detailed notes and attendance, and distributes the
minutes for all DHSPA, Executive Board, and other special meetings. The Secretary
coordinates any email voting as directed by the Executive Board, and resolves any
questions relating to points of order and voting procedures for the DHSPA business
meetings and Executive Board meetings. The Secretary works with the Co-Chairs to
update Bylaws with an Executive Board vote every 3 years, or as necessary.
Treasurer* — The Treasurer keeps financial records using QuickBooks and Excel. The
Treasurer is responsible for preparing and dispersing budget letters to committee chairs
at the beginning in the school year. During the year, they will pay bills, issue 1099s,
reconcile bank accounts, prepare monthly financial statements, assist in any audits and
distribute agreed-upon appropriation monies. The Treasurer chairs the Budget
Committee and is responsible for proposing, preparing and presenting the annual DHSPA budget for review and approval. Additionally, the Treasurer is on the Fundraising Committee. As such, they record and deposit individual donations to the DHSPA. The Treasurer is also the Chair of the Appropriations Committee. The Treasurer is responsible for accounting for monies received from the DHSPA PayPal account and sending an Excel spreadsheet with donor information and transaction details to the DHSPA Fundraising Chairs so they can send acknowledgement letters and tax receipts. Lastly, the DHSPA Treasurer works with the CDSP Treasurer by providing any requested financial information.
Back to School Luncheon – This committee organizes a luncheon for the faculty to
kick off the school year. The date is set with the Administrative Assistant.
Responsibilities include arranging food catering, soliciting dessert donations, decorating
the room with plants and other festive decorations, and overseeing the event.
Beautification – The Beautification Committee’s job is to enhance the school’s
appearance by filling, planting and maintaining the 14 outdoor containers. They also
maintain the bushes and plant annuals under the two DHS signs. When possible they
try to “tidy up” other areas of the school. The Beautification Committee may work with
the Director of Facilities to request assistance with the grounds. This committee is in
operation throughout the year.
CDSP (Council of Darien School Parents) Representatives – two CDSP Reps attend
monthly CDSP meetings throughout the school year and are welcome, but not
obligated, to attend DHSPA Executive Board meetings as non-voting members. The
budget portion of the CDSP Reps’ job begins in November and concludes in May, with a
majority of the work falling in the Jan/Feb timeframe. The CDSP Reps work closely with
the DHS Principal and DHSPA Co-Chairs to help prioritize and develop rationale in
support of the DHS budget requests to the Board of Education/Board of Finance for the
upcoming school year. The CDSP Reps are expected to participate in CDSP planning
meetings to discuss overall budget strategy and to help write or give speeches for the
Board of Education and Board of Finance Public Hearings.
College and Career Center Volunteers* — The CCC Chairs train and schedule
College and Career Center volunteers. There are two CCC Co-Chairs and 50
committee members. They maintain the Center (including water and give-aways for the
college reps), publicize the CCC via the DPN, update the bulletin boards/white board,
and organize materials in the CCC. When college reps come to DHS, CCC volunteers
greet and help them with logistics. There is no personal specific interaction with the
college reps. The CCC Chairs work with the Guidance Department on the content,
printing and distribution of the Junior Planning Guide, and provide further support to the
Guidance Department when requested. The Chairs are also responsible for organizing
a spring College Fair for DHS students, which takes place in late March/early April to coincide with regional college fairs. The CCC Chairs, together with the Director of
Guidance, review college trends and application numbers to determine a list of colleges
(about 50) to invite to the fair. The Chairs invite, track and greet the college reps at the
fair, and are responsible for organizing the set up and take down of the fair, lunch,
signage, volunteer schedule and publicity. The CCC chairs sit on the Executive Board
and Guidance Advisory Council.
Communications Chair* — This chair oversees the DPN (parent newsletter), DHSPA
Website, Directory, and DHSPA Social Media. The Communications Chair sits on the
Directory – In the spring, this committee of one or two gathers information on incoming
9th graders and other new students to update the student database, following up with
telephone calls as required. In August, they compile directory information for all four
grades of students, as well as faculty, and update other text in the directory as needed.
The Directory Chairs then arrange for the printing, online publication, and sales of the
directory. This committee also has ongoing responsibility for updating the student
database and publishing changes as needed.
Website and Social Media – This volunteer serves as the Webmaster of the DHSPA
Website and is responsible for updating the site, beginning the summer before the
upcoming school year. The website is updated for the current school year in August and
September, and posting to the website and social media continues throughout the year.
The Webmaster vets the materials forwarded to them and then posts to the website and
DPN Editors – This committee of at least three gathers information and sends out a
weekly email newsletter to parents of students. The DPN is created in Constant
Contact, and editing duties are shared among the editors. This group is responsible for
maintaining and confirming DHS calendar information with the Administrative Assistant,
and including any DHSPA information provided by the Co-Chairs and Program Chairs.
Editors send a DPN Preview to the DHSPA Co-Chairs to review and confirm that all
information, including last-minute date and time changes to DHS and DHSPA events, is
updated and accurate. The DPN Editors also work with the DHS Webmaster to have the
weekly DPN on the DHSPA Website.
Community Council Liaison/Committee (formerly Student Life)* — This committee
supports Community Council social activities chosen by the students, as needed. There are two Co-Chairs, along with committee members representing each grade. Others
may be recruited by the committee, as needed, to help with the various events and
functions the Community Council plans. The Chairs attend Community Council
meetings as needed, and the committee meets twice each year. The Chairs sit on the
Extracurricular Liaison* – This person works with the Co-Chairs, focusing on parent
questions and concerns regarding athletics, extracurricular activities, the student
activities fund, and other non-academic areas, promoting transparency, consistency and
Fair Chair* — This chair oversees all DHSPA Fairs and sits on the Executive Board. The
Fair Chair acts as a liaison between the Activities/Clubs Fair Co-Chairs, the Volunteer
Fair Co-Chairs, the DHSPA Executive Board and DHS Administration.
Activities and Clubs Fair – This committee, working with the DHS Administration and DHSPA Fair Chair, plans and organizes a DHS Activities Fair in the fall of the school year to introduce students to the many clubs and activities at Darien High School. The event is held during lunch periods. Planning begins in early September, and the event is held in late September or early October.
Volunteer Fair – This committee, working with the DHS Administration and DHSPA Fair Chair, plans and organizes a Volunteer Fair to introduce students to the many volunteer opportunities offered through DHS and community organizations. The committee contacts DHS volunteer clubs and various local organizations to invite them to participate.
Fitch Liaison – A parent from Fitch will provide input and participate in planning all
DHSPA activities and programs.
Fundraising Committee* — Their purpose is to design and implement a fundraising
event or a non-fundraising event to raise money for the DHSPA. In recent years this
event has taken place in the fall, and the job has been completed before the end of the
calendar year. The Chairs sit on the Executive Board. This committee consists of two
Graduation Reception – This group’s purpose is to plan and arrange food and
beverage for the graduation reception, held after the graduation ceremony in June. Two
parents of 9th, 10th or 11th graders are in charge of this event.
Holiday Faculty Luncheon – The volunteers’ responsibilities for hosting a mid-
December luncheon for the faculty and staff include arranging food catering, soliciting
dessert donations from parents, decorating the room with plants and other festive
decorations, and overseeing the event. The date is confirmed in October with the
Hospitality – The Hospitality Committee provides refreshments for the DHSPA
meetings and works with the administration to organize and set up refreshments for the
Parent Open House (September). Hospitality Committee members divide the
responsibilities of providing refreshments for the grade-level Class Coffees and 8th-
Grade Open House Night (February).
New Parent Reception – This group of volunteers is responsible for hosting the New
Parent Reception prior to the start of the school year, including purchasing paper goods,
fruit, coffee and refreshments. This group coordinates with the Administrative Assistant.
Nominating * — The job of the Nominating Chairs is to fill the slate of the DHSPA and
present the slate at the DHSPA meeting in March/April to be voted on at the next
meeting. The Chairs sit on the Executive board. Two nominating reps from each grade,
when possible, assist the nominating chairs in identifying the DHSPA slate for the next
year. Nominating Chairs will discuss the proposed slate with the DHSPA Co-Chairs
prior to presentation to the Executive Board. Nominating Chairs may not be nominated
as DHSPA Co-Chair.
Parent Volunteer Coordinator – the coordinator builds and maintains a list of parent
volunteers to be contacted, usually by email, as needs arise. The Parent Volunteer
Coordinator shares information through DHSPA communication channels, as well as
the MPA in the spring, to encourage parents of incoming freshmen to participate.
Program Chairs* — Two program coordinators work with the Co-Chairs and the
Administration to plan and arrange programs (speakers) for DHSPA meetings. The
Program Chairs sit on the Executive Board. They also organize the evening College
Admissions Panel events in October.
Senior Class Picnic – This committee is made up of at least two senior class parents
and two junior class parents, and is responsible for coordinating the food, decorations,
music, and senior tee shirts for the Senior Class Picnic. The picnic date is pre-set,
immediately following graduation rehearsal (usually around noon), and the picnic takes place in the DHS courtyard. The committee may add entertainment, but it is not
required. The event is funded so no fundraising is required.
Senior Send-Off Chair – The SSO Chair manages the annual Senior Send-Off,
coordinates all SSO subcommittees, reports regularly to the DHSPA Co-Chairs, and
prepares written updates for all monthly DHSPA Executive Board meetings. The Chair,
in conjunction with the DHSPA Co-Chairs, chooses the venue and oversees the entire
process. The SSO Chair presides over SSO meetings. The SSO Chair sets the budget
in conjunction with the DHSPA Co-Chairs and Treasurer, as the Senior Send-Off is a
Spirit Wear* — The Spirit Wear Committee orders and sells the DHS spirit wear
clothing and novelty items. They are responsible for maintaining the inventory housed in
a storage closet at the school, and organize specific sale days throughout the school
year. The Co-Chairs of this committee sit on the Executive Board.
Year End Faculty Luncheon – Beginning in May, this committee organizes a luncheon
for the faculty to take place in mid-June. The date is set with the Administrative
Assistant. Responsibilities include arranging food catering, soliciting dessert donations
from parents, decorating the room with plants and other festive decorations, and
overseeing the event.
* denotes Executive Board member
Last update: 6/2020