Ascension Episcopal School

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Parent Organization (AESOP)

Ascension Episcopal School Organization of Parents

The mission of AESOP is to support the school through our events and programs.  We focus on building the community and fundraising for improvements to the school. We meet the first Saturday of the month. Come and join us!

The AES parent community makes AES a special school. The energy and enthusiasm of the parents defines us and creates a welcome and warm environment. A true community exists when both freedom and security exist for our children to flourish.

The primary school fundraiser is our spring Social and Silent Auction.  Annual Fund begins in September and is used to help upgrade areas within the school, teacher training, classroom needs, and co-curricular items.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people, make friends, and help your children's school be an even better place.

We are always available to answer your questions.

2016-2017 Parent Guild Officers:

 
2016 Positions TBD
 
Nick Chauvin, Co-Chair
Father to a 1st Grade Student
Click here to email Nick
 
Cyprus Walters, Co-Chair

FAQs and Tips for a GREAT school year! 2016-2017

 

AESOP is the organization of the parents at the school.  We focus on building the community, supporting the school and fundraising for improvements to the school.  We also like to just get together and share stories about our lives, kids, and careers. The parents of your children’s friends often become your friends.  We meet the first Saturday of the month.  Come and join us!

The AES Parent community makes AES a special school.  The energy and enthusiasm of the parents defines AES and creates a welcome and warm environment. A true community exists when both freedom and security exist for our children to flourish. In a world where we may not live near our extended families, the community of the school provides an environment of caring, teaching and supporting each other in good times and bad.

We put together this document to help parents, both new and returning with FAQs and our favorite tips. 

 

Parent Tips

Sign up for the Sports Programs – even if you don’t think your child is sporty this is a great way for both you and your kids to make more friends.  It’s a true community and cheering on your kids and helping them improve is a wonderful way to spend your Saturday. In our league everyone plays.   Soccer in the fall, Basketball over the winter and baseball/softball in the spring.

Buy used uniforms in the office. Never buy the white polo shirts unless you have the time to bleach them.

Put labels on your sweaters, lunch kits, water bottles, shoes, books, and folders, or anything they can take off and leave.  (AES has a fundraising program with Mabel’s Labels; the school receives a percentage of label purchases.)

Pay for all of your pizza up front for Spirit Day. Check with your child to make sure that they are getting what you ordered for them. 

The after school program is flexible. You can work with the administration to make it work for you and if you have unexpected needs it’s easy enough to email or call the office and ask to have your child taken to after school for that afternoon.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what could help you!

Volunteer!! Ascension Episcopal School is characterized by the strength of the parent community. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, make friends, and help your children’s school be an even better place.

How does the school communicate with parents?

www.aeshouston.org.

In Pre-K 3, Pre-K 4 and Kindergarten the children bring a folder back and forth to school every day.  Check the folder every day for communications from the teacher. At Parent Orientation/Convocation the teacher should give you a good idea if they are going to primarily use Living Tree or the folder to communicate or both.

The school uses an application called Living Tree to communicate. Within Living Tree groups are setup for your children’s class rooms, sports teams and clubs and the co-curricular like science.   Photos can be posted by teachers or parents to Living Tree to share with the other parents. 

Homework and newsletters from the teachers are often distributed in Living Tree.  Please don’t ignore it!

Find current news, announcements, and calendars on the website.  www.aeshouston.org

Color coded calendars for the School, ELP, and Sports.

Quick links to Living Tree and HeadMaster “Parent Login”, and FACTS on the website.

HeadMaster provides access to an online directory and homework assignments; it also allows you to update your contact information.

 

 

What does it mean to be a room parent?

That depends on the teacher and the age of the children involved. For most of the classes you help organize the Christmas party, the Auction class artwork, Auction class basket, and the end of year party.  Younger classes might also have Valentines and Easter parties where the room parents are involved. In younger classes the teacher will also ask you to help with corralling the kids on Rodeo Day.  

Do I really need to buy all this stuff?

Some things are worth buying:

If your child is between Pre-K 3 to Kindergarten they need a blue bag with their name on it to carry the folder back and forth. Buy these from the school.  First grade on up they use a backpack. Get one you can put a water bottle in.

Get one Spirit Day T-shirt. You can always put a turtleneck under it in the winter.

Most kids wear sneakers with their uniforms. Dark dress shoes should be worn with chapel uniform.

Modesty shorts or leggings you really do need for the girls on chapel day for the jumpers.

Birthday Boosters – yes do this. It’s one less thing to worry about. The kids get cookies or cupcakes but more importantly the big kids do this for the little kids. It’s about caring and celebrating each other. And if you have a summer birthday- do the half year birthday.

Birthday – Pre-K 3 through K will need a bag of pennies with the same age as they will turn on the Chapel Day nearest to their birthday.  For the older kids (1st – 5th) their birthdays are celebrated at the Assemblies not in Chapel. They do not need pennies.

Fundraising

What is the purpose of Fundraising at Ascension? Or why do they keep asking me for money?

Annual Fund begins in September and is used to help upgrade areas within the school, teacher training, classroom needs, technology needs, and co-curricular items.  What’s critical about Annual Fund isn’t how much you donate but that we have 100% participation.  When we go to request grants from Foundations they want to see that 100% participation by the parents.  Remember it’s also Tax deductible. For many folks this is the fall donation and then in the Spring there is the Annual Silent Auction.

The Annual Silent Auction is an event to raise funds for the school and have a great time doing it.  This is for all parents of both the Elementary School and the Early Learning Program.  Everyone can participate in many ways – the children build art work that gets auctioned off, the parents donate items, and the parents, and family and friends attend and bid on items. 

Additional Fundraisers for different areas of the school

Book Fair – To raise money to add books to the library.  Our first Book Fair is in October and our Spring Book Fair is in May.  Each teacher also has a wish list for their classroom.

Student Council – Initiates popcorn sales, lemonade sales, cookie sales to parents and students several times during the school year.  They determine the use of these monies at the end of each year.

AESOP will be fundraising in the 2015-2016 year for specific items we want to contribute to the school.

Effortless Fundraising – in the packets there will be a list of ways to fundraise for the school that are “effortless”.  Includes box tops, recycling, etc.

Box Top$ classroom competitions.

Smile.Amazon.Com – go there and choose the Episcopal Church of the Ascension School and most every purchase you make on Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase to the school.

Mabel’s Labels – great place to get labels to put on everything. There is info in the packet for this.

Spirituality/Community

What is the Church/School connection at Ascension?

Ascension Episcopal School is the major mission and outreach of the church.  The Church through shared expenses underwrites a portion of the school’s budget each year.

What is chapel?

Chapel is held on Tuesday and Friday of each school week.  Classes 1-5 attend chapel at 8:30, and Pre-School to K attends chapel at 9 am.  Parents are always welcome to attend chapel with their children.  We have several chapels for parents:  Grandparent’s Day, All Saints Chapel, Baby in the Manger Chapel, St. Nicholas Chapel, Epiphany Chapel, and Mother’s Day Chapel.   Pastor Todd has chapel on Tuesdays, Nancy Clausey, Head of School, has chapel on Fridays.

How do we teach the children about giving back and being thankful?

It’s very important to us at AES that we teach our children to be respectful, giving and thankful for what they have. We have one school wide activity that we do every November and then we also do more activities throughout the year.

We have a Community Service Day before Thanksgiving benefitting Lord of the Streets, WHAM, CAPS, and Seafarers. The children spend the morning putting together kits for each of these groups and understand what they are doing and why. 

At Christmas time we have an Angel Tree to provide gifts for children, through the Salvation Army, who otherwise may not have gotten gifts. This is also a good activity to do together when the children get older. They can choose a child to receive a gift at Christmas.

AESOP Community involvement

2012-2013: Volunteer Event to Raise Money for one of our families who was trying to adopt a child from the Ukraine and needed additional funds. The AES Community hosted a fundraiser to help make this happen. Today that boy lives in Sugarland and has had life- saving heart surgery.

2013-2014: International Festival last year was planned and executed by parents coming together and wanting to share their countries, culture and knowledge.  An afternoon of pure joy for both parents and children with dancing, music and food.

2014-2015: We had an even better International Festival and held our 1st Annual Chili Cook Off.

Life after Pre-School

Why are the classes kept so small? Why not have one big class of 20?

Ascension Episcopal School (AES) recognizes that in order to build a community and get to know people you have to spend time with them. And that has to do with children as well. Our teachers know your children because of the small class sizes. We can work with them to teach them. Studies have shown that small class sizes in elementary school are the most beneficial in helping children learn how to learn.

What kinds of School Leadership activities are available?

Students in grades 1-5 can participate in AES Student Council.  Class Representatives are elected from each class and officers are elected from grades 4 and 5.  Student Council is led by a Faculty member, performing jobs on campus and raising money.  They vote as to where this money will be spent on the campus.

Why Just Elementary?

In multiple studies it has shown that having a stand-alone elementary school enables children to grow and develop in a safe environment. The children who are Fifth Graders are not over shadowed by the 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The fifth graders are the top of the heap in a stand-alone elementary school and as such grow their confidence and have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, test them out, and refine them.

How do I find an appropriate Middle School for my child?

Our Head of School knows your student and the Houston middle school options available for our students.  We work together to find the best match for your child to further the progress they have made. Trips are made to visit the middle schools and see which one is the best fit for your child. This is a process that is done together between the school and the parents.

Mark Your Calendar

What are the things I should mark on my calendar and absolutely attend?

Start with Open House on AUGUST 15th and meet the teachers. Also there is a fair for the after school activities and you can get a good idea of what is offered. 

Parent Orientation/Convocation Aug 25 is important to understand how the school works.  It starts in the Church and then you go to the classrooms. The teachers discuss how the class is going to run and their expectations. You can also sign up for Room Parent.  Kids do not attend this but childcare is available at the school. 

Back to School Bash– this is a great way to meet the other parents and the teachers in an informal setting. The kids love this!

Spaghetti Dinner /Open House/ Book Fair– what’s important here is your kids show their work to you in their class rooms.  It’s show and tell for your kids. And you get to buy them books!

Come to AESOP meetings

Christmas Pageant:

Elementary Program 1st-5th - A lovely Christmas program that involves all the kids.

Pre-K3, 4, and K have Baby in a Manager - This is really, so cute don’t forget your camera.

School Preview: these allow you time to meet the teachers of the next grade up, understand the curriculum and what you should expect in the next year. 

Kindergarten Roundup

PreK 3 Preview

Elementary Preview

Rodeo Day– Don’t miss Rodeo Day! Volunteer or just go around with your kids’ class. It’s like a giant fair for the kids and everyone loves to dress up western style. A very fun day.

The Annual Silent Auction --This is really fun and a great way to meet people and participate in the community.

Field Day– This is a fun athletic day for the kids to celebrate the end of the standardized testing week.  Great one to volunteer.

Mother’s Day Chapel– In many classes this involves a special parent activity with presents for the Moms. The chapel is lovely.

Spring Program– This is another wonderful evening event.

Award Ceremony – This is the week prior to graduation in the morning. It’s a big part of the end of the school year. Every grade 1st through 5th gives awards. Kindergarten celebrates Awards Day in their classroom.