MSPA Volunteer Opportunities
Get involved with the MSPA!
Be sure to check the online calendar (search by event name) for the latest event dates.
MSPA Committee Descriptions
Listed below are committee descriptions and volunteer needs to help you find what might be of matching interest. Refer to the MSPA Council page to see the responsibility structure. Feel free to contact the respective VPs for any additional questions. THANK YOU!
Admissions Open Houses
Help introduce the wonders of Menlo to prospective students and their families. This committee supports the Admissions Office to host the Open Houses (two each for Middle and Upper Schools). The events are typically held October through December. The committee volunteers also help on the ISEE test days (January) and MS Welcome Day (May).
The Menlo Creative Arts Department needs parent volunteers to support the teachers and activities in each area of the arts, such as costumes, snacks on rehearsal days, refreshments at performances, event logistics, or other help.
- US Creative Arts Department support is coordinated by the Arts Alliance chair who identifies and supports lead volunteers throughout the year (check the school calendar for event dates).
- MS Creative Arts Department support needs are: Annual MS/US Dance Concert (mid-March), Drama Productions (Fall, Winter, and Spring), and Music Concerts (Holiday and Spring).
Auction: Online and Live Auction Dinner Dance
This committee works with the Development Office to plan and host Menlo’s online auction and live auction dinner event, both occurring annually in the spring. The event is for the entire Menlo community, and all funds raised support the Menlo financial aid program. Sub-committees work on different aspects of the effort including decor, food & beverage, live auction packages, and online items. Volunteering on the planning committee is a great way to meet other parents from various grades. Opportunities range from longer-term strategic roles to smaller, easily executed jobs to accommodate all time commitment levels.
Class Historians/Photographers (Grades 6-8; for 3-year commitment)
Collect and organize digital photos of class activities from fellow parents to have the three-year collection ready to share in slideshow form at the Eighth Grade Appreciation Day (June).
The Common Ground Speaker Series features dynamic speakers who are nationally recognized for their expertise in specific areas of parenting, education, and/or health. Volunteers serve as the liaisons to this coalition of Bay Area schools and coordinate and inform our parent community of upcoming events.
Community Cooks (US only)
Host or help a group of 5-10 students cook a dinner in your (or another parent’s) kitchen that will then be served at or delivered to a local shelter. An opportunity to see and learn more about the shelter and its clients is available when the students go there to serve dinner.
The liaison for the Middle School plans and implements the 6-8 grade level community service days in the fall and in the spring; also works on special community service activities throughout the year. The Upper School liaison works with the school’s Director of Service Learning to assist with communications and resources.
Connections Beyond the Classroom - CBC (US only)
CBC runs career exploration programs to benefit Menlo Upper School students and young alumni. Parents can become a CBC Resource (e.g., speak at Career Day, help students with resume writing or interviewing skills) or offer internship or job opportunities to Menlo students or young alumni. Additionally, parents can join the CBC team, which coordinates events such as Career Day and maintains listings of internships and job shadows. Time commitments range from single day to longer, lead roles.
eNotes (US only)
Volunteer editors help review and edit eNotes (our weekly missive to Upper School parents) per guidelines prior to distribution. Editors work online, share and rotate the job in shifts, generally on a monthly basis.
Equity, Inclusivity, and Diversity
This committee works with a faculty liaison and the admissions office to plan activities during the year that support multicultural awareness and encourage inclusiveness in the parent and student community.
Faculty/Staff Children’s Holiday Party
This committee plans and hosts a celebration for the children of Menlo faculty and staff in December. The committee plans activities for the children, decorates the ballroom, and provides refreshments.
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Events
Parents plan and provide the food and decorations for a winter holiday party and a spring luncheon for all Menlo faculty and staff.
Foreign Language Assistants
Translators (especially Spanish) and mentors are needed for a variety of efforts during the course of the year to be a community resource.
Global Expo (formerly International Fair)
Volunteers are needed for this one-day, all-school celebration of the many cultures represented by Menlo students, faculty and staff. This event takes place every three years, and the next one will take place during the 2018-2019 school year.
Global Programs and Studies
The liaison assists Menlo’s Global Programs and Studies (GPS) Coordinator with whatever help is needed for the programs, including finding host families and coordinating activities for the international students. GPS will work at the Global Expo in the year that event takes place.
Grandparents’ Day (MS only)
Organizes a special luncheon, typically in the spring, attended by grandparents and their grandchildren in the Middle School. Grandparents or special elders are also invited to attend morning classes.
Grad Night (Grade 12)
A small committee is needed to plan and execute this top-secret Grad Night event for seniors on the night of graduation. Parents of seniors: consider working on this fun last event before send-off!
Grade Level Teams (Grades 6-12)
Eight to ten members are needed for each grade level team to plan, coordinate, and communicate class level events and activities throughout the year, including fall and spring Parent Socials, coffees, Student Life events, etc.
With the help of Menlo facilities personnel, this committee decorates the campus for the winter holidays during the first week of December and removes the decorations upon return in January.
The hospitality team organizes volunteers who sign-up to bring refreshments for the MSPA meetings scheduled about once a month per campus (or at one of the two joint meetings). Time required is one to three hours per month, depending on how many are on the team.
Throughout the school year, the MSPA thanks the faculty and staff for all their efforts with either a special coffee cart and pastries or breakfast. Parent volunteers provide the food.
Parent volunteers are needed to support the Library staff. Hours are flexible and set up for one semester at a time, to be coordinated with the Head Librarian.
This committee works with school counselors and organizes volunteers who are able to provide meals and other assistance for community members in need. Families’ identities are kept confidential.
Menlo Parent Groups (Grade 9)
Menlo Parent Groups are small groups of parents and guardians that meet several times during the year to help freshman parents better understand their student’s world and navigate Menlo’s resources. Each year we organize eight to ten MPGs for freshmen parents. Experienced Menlo parents who enjoy building community are needed as facilitators for these groups.
Parent Education Brown Bag (MS only)
Works with Middle School counselor to assist with one or more Middle School focused parent education events, including brown bag lunches and parent book club gatherings.
Parent & Faculty Education Conference
This traditional all-school Parent and Faculty Conference is held on Saturday morning in February. Many volunteers are needed to help the day of the event and before with publicity, registration, refreshments, set up, clean up and hospitality.
Senior Appreciation Event
This school-sponsored celebratory event honors our senior class members at the end of the school year, and all families are invited to attend. Parent volunteers from all grade levels are needed to help both before and during the event.
Shop 4 Menlo Retail Fundraising
Committee members help encourage the Menlo community to participate in online and retail shopping/escrip fundraising efforts for the MSPA budget.
Menlo School has the privilege of hosting the Northern California Annual Special Olympics. Menlo students and parents together create an athletic endeavor that celebrates life, effort, achievement, and camaraderie for the hundreds of athletes who come to Menlo’s track field on a weekend day in the spring.
Parent volunteers are needed to help the Menlo coaches optimize the sports team experience for each sport in each season. The major responsibility of the team parents is to facilitate communication regarding practices, games, last-minute changes and team social events (US team parents resource here).
This is a two-year commitment since Menlo and Sacred Heart Prep (SHP) alternate hosting the annual Valpo Bowl football game. The first-year job is to act as Menlo’s liaison while SHP hosts the game, and in the following year, work with the Menlo Athletic Director to plan logistics and to host the event.
Valpo Fun Run
Work on a team with Menlo parents to create a community-building, service event that supports the Peninsula Bridge program. This is a family event on a weekend morning in the fall.
This coordinator collects the volunteer names throughout the year through the online MSPA Volunteer Form and other means, forwards the names and contacts to the respective chairs, and works with MSPA chairs for any on-going volunteer needs.
Welcoming (US only)
This committee plans and hosts a Welcoming Event for incoming freshmen parents and guardians at the beginning of the school year and another for newly admitted students and families in the spring.
Writers’ Week (US only)
Parent volunteers provide refreshments for the Writers’ Week Student/Faculty Café evening or assist with procuring lunches for Upper School students during the lunchtime lectures, to be scheduled in early Spring.