Dear MCDS Families,
Thanks so much for your interest in being a volunteer at MCDS! Family involvement is a key reason that MCDS is such a special place for students, families and all community members. We know that COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty and volunteering in the upcoming school year continues to be no exception. We thank you in advance for your flexibility, as volunteers will definitely be needed for the 2021-22 school year, but the opportunities may evolve as we keep adapting to the ever changing landscape. The Family Association (FA) and the School will make decisions about events and volunteer opportunities in early August based on guidance provided by public health officials. Until then, we will proceed with optimism and ask you to indicate your interest in volunteering.
To that end, the following form provides a list of volunteer opportunities at MCDS. If you are interested in a volunteer position, please fill out this form by the June 8, 2021 deadline (the day before Step-Up). In addition, there will be a website to manage and update volunteer opportunities and assignments throughout the school year.
Please email me with any questions and I will be more than happy to help. If you are interested in more details about a volunteer position, feel free to contact the appropriate FA chair. (Please see the full list of 2021-22 FA chairs).
Many thanks for your ongoing commitment to MCDS and our children’s education!
Mom to Sophia ‘24
2021-22 Family Association
Volunteer Recruitment Manager
Volunteer Hour Reporting (Current Year)
Please report the volunteer hours you have worked during the current school year (include estimated number of additional hours between now and Step-Up Day). Don't forget to include all of your MCDS volunteer activities—from serving as a Room Parent or running a special event to baking cookies or reading a book to your child’s class ... every hour counts!
Two key reasons why it's important to tally your hours:
1. We want to appropriately acknowledge the tremendous efforts expended by MCDS parents.
2. We use the data to illustrate our strong culture of volunteerism to prospective MCDS parents.
A few general notes about this form:
- Grade level questions refer to the 2021-22 school year.
- You may make multiple grade level selections for some activities; for example, you can volunteer for Lunch/Playground duty for both K and 1st grades.
- This form does not ensure that you will be assigned a particular job, nor does it commit you to a role for which you indicate your interest; it simply communicates your interest/intent so that we can include your name on the appropriate volunteer list. As stated above, there will be a website to manage and update ongoing volunteering opportunities throughout the school year, but it is very important for MCDS staff and FA chairs to understand your volunteering preferences at this time, for planning purposes.
- For additional information about the requirements of a particular job, please contact the appropriate FA chair.
One-Time Volunteer Opportunities
If you would like to volunteer, but you have a schedule that makes it difficult to commit to dates ahead of time, you can select "Done in a Day" Volunteer Opportunities. These are one-day volunteer opportunities that would fill a discrete need related to one of the categories listed in this survey. The work might also be administrative in nature, such as mailings, data entry, etc.
I would like to volunteer for a one-time need:
Year-Long Volunteer Opportunities
The following essential positions make significant contributions to the school overall; many also offer the chance to be part of your child’s school life.
Lunch and Playground Volunteer
Lunch/Playground Volunteers assist with food service in the lunchroom and help supervise recess on the playground. Volunteers may choose as many (or as few) shifts as they like, or they may opt to serve as a substitute instead. The Lunch Duty Chair will solicit volunteers periodically throughout the school year. Guidance from public health officials will dictate what our lunch duty will look like next school year, so you are just showing interest in being contacted to help with lunch and playground duty if the School will need parent volunteers to assist.
Volunteers are required to attend a training meeting in the Fall (date TBD).
Volunteers are needed for the following shifts:
- Kindergarten Lunch & Recess
- 1st Grade Lunch only
- 2nd grade Recess & Lunch
For more information, please contact the Lunch Duty Coordinator.
Librarian Erica welcomes volunteers to help run the library. We are offering a different model this year by allowing people to sign up for an hour-long shift. You may sign up for one or multiple shifts per month. Due to the training time involved, we would suggest at least two shifts per month. Another option is for you to be trained in shelving books and drop in when we put out an email request for shelving help if you are available. Responsibilities include checking books in and out to students and shelving books. Volunteers are required to watch a training video in early September.
Volunteering in the library is a great way to get to know kids, see the new books, and be more involved in the community. For more information, please contact Erica Harney (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Art Class Assistance (K-2)
From time to time art teachers need assistance, either during class or preparing materials or sorting artwork. Volunteer opportunities range from 1-2 hours, and sign-ups will typically go out a few weeks in advance. There will also be occasional opportunities to take work home to prepare. Volunteers will need to preview guidelines and training videos and will be required to complete a short survey in order to sign up for opportunities. For more information, please contact Adra Valentine (email@example.com).
Kite Day • Fall
Kite Day is an all-school picnic celebration held on a Sunday in the Fall. Activities include kite flying, games and relaxed socializing. This casual and fun event is one of the School's oldest traditions and a wonderful way to kick off the new school year. For more information, please contact the Kite Day chairs. Guidance from public health officials will dictate whether we can hold this event in the Fall. Possible Kite Day roles might include:
- Set-up & Decorations
- Booths & Activities
- Donations for Activities (lawn games, coolers for ice, etc.)
- Break-down & Clean-up
Grandparents and Special Friends Day • November
Each November, we welcome grandparents and special friends to our campus for classroom visits and a lively musical performance by students. Volunteers assist with registration and function as roving photographers. This event is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, November 23rd. For more information, please contact Jenny Adlam Gonzalez (firstname.lastname@example.org). Guidance from public health officials will dictate whether we can hold this event in the Fall.
Book Fair • November
Begun in 1958, the Book Fair is a week-long, multi-faceted event that celebrates our community’s love of books and reading. The Book Fair has many opportunities for participation and volunteering, from selecting and selling the books that will be offered, to cooking for the Friday Night Preview Party, to helping with cashiering, set-up and break-down. The success of the Book Fair depends on a lot of volunteers!
Possible Book Fair roles might include (click here for detailed descriptions of each role):
- Preview Party Team (decorating, serving, bartending or clean-up)
- Marketing and Communications Team (help get the word out to MCDS and larger community)
- Book Fair Cashiers
- Book Fair Weekend Activities Team
- Weekend Baked Goods Team/Bus Stop Muffin Monday Team (bake/distribute muffins at your bus stop to spread the word about the Book Fair)
- Book Fair Luncheon Team
- Used Books Team
One additional Book Fair role is:
Book Selector - selecting books as part of a committee (e.g., Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction, etc.) - Please note that for this role only, volunteers will be contacted in May and over the summer to join selection committees.
Please note: for those interested in Book Fair leadership, the path to Book Fair leadership begins with 1-2 years of volunteering with one or more of the many groups that contribute to the Book Fair (i.e., any of the roles listed above).
Home Sweet Home Gingerbread House Party • December
This family event features gingerbread house decorating and raises funds for MCDS Indexed Tuition as well as for Homeward Bound of Marin, which supports homeless families in Marin. Home Sweet Home usually takes place the first weekend of December. Guidance from public health officials will dictate whether we can hold this event.
Possible Home Sweet Home roles might include:
- Candy Solicitor
- Candy Drive and Sorters
- Student Volunteer Management
- Event Set-up
- Event Staff
- Event Break-down
The Hospitality team needs volunteers for the following events:
- The Back-to-School Welcome Coffee (first day of school)
- New Families Welcome Reception (May)
Each of these events provides a special opportunity to work with other parents, to connect with other families in our community, and to recognize and celebrate our wonderful teachers and staff. These events are filled with warmth and enthusiasm - we promise volunteers a very fun experience!
Volunteer opportunities include making or donating food, helping with set-up, bartending at the welcome reception, helping to greet new families, and clean-up after events conclude.
Please note that your choice to sign up for this volunteer opportunity will put your name on a list to be contacted for each event, but whether or not you staff or contribute to each event is optional, depending on your schedule and availability.
Staff Treats organizes two food-centered appreciation events that occur during the school year to honor MCDS teachers/staff. These events, one held in the Fall and the other in the Spring, are simply referred to as “Staff Treats.”
Volunteer opportunities include helping to collect food donations from families during morning drop-off, setting up the event, replenishing food during the event, and cleaning up when the event is complete. These events are highly anticipated by the MCDS teachers/staff. Parents are encouraged to volunteer for one or both of the events as their schedules allow. For more information, please contact the Staff Treats chairs.
Faculty and Staff Take-Home Dinner and Tenure Tea
Faculty and Staff Take-Home Dinner and Tenure Tea appreciation events occur in September and February to honor MCDS teachers/staff.
Volunteer opportunities for Take-Home Dinner include compiling gift bags with a take-home dinner for the faculty and staff to enjoy the first week of school.
Volunteer opportunities for Tenure Tea include helping to collect food donations from families during morning drop-off, setting up the event, replenishing food during the event, and cleaning up when the event is complete.
These events are highly anticipated by the MCDS teachers/staff. Parents are encouraged to volunteer for one or both of the events as their schedules allow. For more information, please contact the Faculty/Staff Appreciation chairs.
Each year the Admission Office hosts a variety of events for prospective parents. The events are organized by parent liaisons and the Admission team. Please indicate for what types of events you would be interested in volunteering. For more information, please contact the Admission Office (email@example.com).
Work with the admission team by being a contact for families as they apply to MCDS. This work may involve making phone calls or being on a contact list for families who have specific questions about the MCDS experience. Common topics are commute, family structure, DEI, socio-economics, academic experience and community culture. The main reason we have this volunteer opportunity is to provide prospective families access to current parents who can answer questions about our community. We have found that parents can be a powerful force when speaking to applicant families about our school culture and curriculum. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet prospective families, share MCDS values, and help build our community. Time commitment is dependent on volunteer preference. For more information, please contact the Admission Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Indexed Tuition Fundraising Events
"Make IT Happen" is the umbrella term for multiple fundraising events throughout the year that support the Indexed Tuition Program, including the K-5 Walkathon, Online Auction and Community Dinner Dance. For more information, please contact the VP of Events and Fundraising.
Spring Community Dinner Dance
The Community Dinner Dance takes place each spring. A fun and festive celebration of our very special community, this event raises significant funds for Indexed Tuition. Click here for more details on each role. For more information, please contact the Community Dinner Dance chair or Jenny Adlam Gonzalez (email@example.com).
Walkathon • April or May
Students K through 5 solicit pledges from family, friends and neighbors for each lap completed in the annual Walkathon. Guidance from public health officials will dictate whether we can have this event in the Spring. This is a fun and spirited event supporting Indexed Tuition!
Other Fundraising Opportunities
Annual Fund Parents/Guardians Committee
Annual Fund Parents/Guardians Committee volunteers play a crucial role in helping MCDS both balance its operating budget each year and carry on the strong school tradition of 100% parent participation. Parent/guardian volunteers (35-40) are each responsible for reaching out to 5 to 10 assigned families to encourage their annual fund pledge or contribution during the fall, and then following up if necessary later in the school year. There is a single mandatory meeting each year (in the Fall, with multiple date/time options). This low-time commitment, high-impact volunteer opportunity is a great fit for working parents/guardians!
Each year, the Spirit Wear committee creates a new assortment of fun and fashionable MCDS apparel and novelty items to promote school spirit and pride. Items are sold online and at select school events (such as conference days, the New Family Reception and the Back-to-School Coffee) throughout the year, and proceeds benefit the FA. Volunteers help set up sale day product tables, answer product questions, and process purchases. Volunteer shifts average two hours in length. Don’t miss one of the best opportunities to build and connect with the community on campus!
If you sign up to be a Spirit Wear Sales Volunteer, we will contact you before each sales event. At that time, you can sign up to assist with the sales event if your schedule allows.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
Community Care Assistance
Community Care offers support and assistance to MCDS families, faculty and staff that are recovering from surgery, serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or who require short-term emotional support. Community Care also works closely with Darcy Ellsworth Yow to partner with local organizations for community engagements opportunities. Examples include meal prep at Glide Memorial Church, watershed restoration for salmon habitat in Olema, and making bagged lunches for St. Vincent de Paul's. Please note that signing up will put you on a volunteer list to contact when these types of situations arise, but it does not obligate you to provide this assistance every time it is needed.
For more information about Community Care assistance, please contact the Community Care Liaison.
Chaperone Thank-You Baskets
Parent volunteers are needed to put together dinner gift baskets for the teacher chaperones on the overnight ed trips. This job entails soliciting basket items from other parents, as well as shopping for, assembling and delivering the baskets to school for the chaperones to take home the evening the class returns from the trip. The FA reimburses all expenses. For more information, please contact the Room Parent Coordinators. Please note that the timing for all of these trips is TBD.
Language Skills and Support
We are looking for volunteers who are fluent in languages other than English to provide language/cultural support as needed to MCDS families. Volunteers will make regular phone call check-ins with the family to help with any questions/concerns and might expect to attend various MCDS events with the family (e.g., a school athletic event, FA meeting, Admission event, Back to School Night, etc.). Volunteers for this community-building program provide a valuable service and help promote inclusivity and cultural diversity at MCDS.
Lost and Found
Volunteers help the Sustainability chairs manage the school's Lost & Found. Tasks include sorting and helping with the donation process for unclaimed and unlabeled items. The donation process consists of washing, folding and organizing delivery of the items to a charity organization.
Bike/Walk to School Day Chaperones • May
Volunteers walk or bike to school with students from their neighborhood on the designated Bike/Walk to School Day, which usually takes place early in May.
Individual School Photos • Second Week of School
Volunteers will escort students to and from the photo site, helping them stay calm and looking their best while awaiting their turn! Day schedule is as follows: Wed (6-8 grade) Thu (3-5 Grade) Fri (K-2 Grade). Pictures are taken in the mornings, finishing up each day by 1 pm. Annie Stuart will contact you to schedule your preferred day/time. For more information, contact Annie Stuart (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are looking for parent volunteers to attend our community education events and provide a written summary afterward. The summaries are then posted on the MCDS website for the benefit of parents unable to attend. There are approximately 10 events during the school year, which are held both during the day (between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.) and in the evening (between 7:30-9:30 p.m.).
Please note that your choice to sign up for this volunteer opportunity will put your name on a list to be contacted for each event, but whether or not you take notes at any given event is optional, depending on your schedule and availability. A volunteer can sign up to take notes at a single event -- this role does not obligate you to take notes at all of the events.
For more information, please contact Margie Schwartz (email@example.com).
Upper School Volunteer Opportunities
Step-Up Décor and Set-Up • June
Step-Up Decor Chair chooses decor for the Step-Up reception for graduates & their families, and orders sunflowers for graduates. Step-Up volunteers will help with setup for the reception that follows Step-Up and assist with sunflowers. For more details, click here, and/or contact Susan Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Joshua Tree T-shirts • March/April
Volunteer(s) needed to create and manage distribution of Joshua Tree t-shirts to 7th grade students when they come back from Joshua Tree trip (an MCDS tradition!). For more information, please contact the VP of Volunteers.
8th Grade Graduation Activities (Farewell Feast & K/8th Grade Photos)
For information about any of the activities listed below, please click here for more information, or contact the 8th grade liaison.
Skills and Talents
Parents with expertise and special skills provide valuable services to the school. Please select as many skills as apply to you and/or tell us about another area of expertise in the "Other" section below.
Please let us know if you or someone you know can help with wholesale pricing for food, wine, flowers, paper goods, printing, restaurants or event facilities.
You can help expand Community Engagement opportunities for kids by sharing your community activities/affiliations with MCDS (e.g., Marin Audubon Society, local libraries, Sierra Club, Homeward Bound, GGNRA, etc.). Teachers often need a contact person at these organizations to facilitate a student service project. Please be specific:
Likewise, do you have a professional background or interest in an area where you might be willing to be a resource to teachers and kids on a limited basis? Please be specific:
Finally, please let us know if you work in the tech field and would be interested in teaching students about your work or if you have access to interesting tech tools that the tech department could possibly pilot with students and/or teachers.