Planning an Event?
These event resources and references below are available to make your job easier. If you have additional questions (including about any of our technology tools), contact VP of Parent Resourcing.
Style Guide and Graphic Standards
How do I schedule my event or to book a conference room?
First, check with your Grade-Level Team Leader or one of the MSPA Presidents to get approval for the event. Then, email email@example.com to book a venue and post your community event on the Menlo online calendar. Here is some information to note when making venue and calendar entry requests:
- Private small committee meetings should not be displayed on the online calendar
- Include time for setup and teardown, and be clear on the event start/end times that should be displayed on the online calendar
- Note whether the event is specific to a grade-level, Middle or Upper School, or school-wide, so that an entry could be inserted in the correct target constituent’s calendar(s)
- Be aware that if you are using Spieker Ballroom or Davis Conference Room, someone might be using the other, and there could be noise or accessibility problems getting into Davis.
What if my previously announced event date needs to be changed?
Please first work with the MSPA Presidents to get approval for the new date. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to update the online calendar. If your pre-scheduled event was already published in one or more mass communications (e.g. invitation, zip/eNotes, newsletter, e-blast), please work with the VP of Communications to plan for new date announcement.
How do I arrange for event needs like equipment and facilities support?
Send your entire facilities request to email@example.com . They will review the list, provide what they have, and order the rest directly from a rental company for you. Your requests can include:
- Tables, chairs, and other furniture (see below)
- Audiovisual needs, microphones, projectors
- Set up and clean up
- Parking assistance
- Transportation assistance
- Security assistance
- Direction signs for day of event
Loop entrance A-frames
Please give them plenty of advance notice and indicate if the event is on-site or off-site. For off-site use, you must arrange pickup and return of the items yourself, as they cannot do off-site delivery.
Facilities has the following items available for our use:
- 265 - white folding chairs
- 18 - 8 ft. tables
- 10 - 6 ft. tables
- 21 - round tables
- 10 - white pop-up canopies
- 8 - propane heat lamps
MSPA has several items in storage, including tablecloths and decorations that you can check out. Please see this Instructions and Q&A document to learn how to visit the Cage to see what is available and check out items for your Grade Level Team or MSPA-sponsored event. Please sign up here to check availability and reserve items for checkout prior to taking them from the Cage.
Contact the Technology Department at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with:
- Providing laptops and iPads
- Using Martin Family Hall projection equipment
Volunteer Recruitment & Sign Ups
How do I coordinate asking for volunteers to help with my event or to bring supplies or food to the event?
You can put a request for volunteers in zip/eNotes and/or in your Grade-Level News webpage , where there can be a link for a sign-up sheet you create (see below).
Parents coordinating volunteers for an event should create an instance of signup.com (free version) using the parent class e-mail as the account name. This tool works well for multi-day and/or multi-task volunteer needs. If you send out both a Paperless Post and a signup.com, note that you can’t link to the Paperless Post from the signup.com site (as each Paperless Post has a unique URL for each recipient), however your Paperless Post invitation can (and probably should) include a link the signup.com form.
Be mindful and aware of security issues: no parent contact information should be visible from public view or without a login on our webpage.
How do I get e-mail addresses for invitations or letters?
Read these instructions and submit a request for email addresses. Our team will pull the latest information from our database and can create a list for you.
How do I create and send online invitations?
MSPA volunteers should use paperlesspost.com ; click here for instructions. Use one of their free templates in the flyer section. Be sure to let the VP of Communications review and approve your invitation before you send it out.
How do I set up online ticketing to collect payment in advance?
Most event ticketing may be set up online with paperless ticketing. Advance notice and planning is required. To collect money for an entry to an event (e.g. Mom’s Night, Sports Banquet), contact Esther Cheung who can setup an online credit card purchase menu on the Campus Store. Event organizers should start with this online request form to request the ticketing item on the menu.
How do I publicize my event?
There are two main audiences for publicity: the internal Menlo community and the external community/media. Not all events and programs will be appropriate for all audiences, and the Communications Department can help you strategize the best approach.
Internal Publicity for MSPA Events:
eNotes (Upper School parents): email eNotes@menloschool.org
See full submission guidelines.
zipNotes (Middle School parents): email zipNotes@menloschool.org
See full submission guidelines.
- Grade-level News pages on the Menlo website: grade-level team leader
- Upper School Student eNewsletter: email@example.com (entries should be directly relevant to US students)
- Menloschool.org homepage: Shayne Olson (the school website’s homepage is reserved for items relevant to BOTH internal and external audiences)
- Menlo School’s Facebook page: Shayne Olson
- US Quad electronic board: Maren Jinnett
- Loop electronic board: Lucie McGrath (message should be up to 4 lines, 25 characters per line)
- Alumni eNotes : firstname.lastname@example.org (items should be relevant to all alumni, local and non-local)
- The Coat of Arms (student newspaper): Miles Bennett-Smith
External Publicity for MSPA Events
- All MSPA requests for publicity outside of the Menlo community should be submitted to Shayne Olson. He will bring your request to the Communications Editorial Board, which reviews and considers all possible stories for the press.
- All communication with the media will be handled on behalf of the School by Shayne Olson. The School has built relationships with local and national journalists.
- Please understand that we cannot publicize all school news, and trust that our professionals in this area are making good decisions based on thoughtful and rigorous criteria.
Can I use social media for my event or group?
Menlo School has an active Facebook page and many tools to help groups organize and promote events. Please contact Shayne Olson before creating a separate Facebook page (or something similar) for your event or group. We want to help you strategize and make sure that we’re not providing the same kind of information in one of our many other venues. If it’s decided that social media is a good tool for your group or event, the Communications team will help you with its development.
I’m thinking about making a poster, banner or brochure. What should I do?
Contact Shayne Olson who will work with you and the Communications Team to strategize the best vehicle for your purposes. The team can help you plan the layout, edit the text and choose a vendor.
How do I share photos after the event?
We recommend that you submit your best photos to Menlo’s photo archive on Flickr by emailing them to Kevin Chan. Parents are able to view and download photos from this site. In addition, grade-level communication leads can add photo galleries to the grade-level pages.
How do I plan the budget for my event?
The MSPA Treasurer should have allocated the budget for your event based on past years’ expenses. Go to the MSPA Forms & Files webpage to download budget and expense tracking forms.
How do I get reimbursed for myself or for a vendor?
Go to the MSPA Forms & Files webpage to download a reimbursement request form and follow the instructions on the form. Submit this form with the receipts to the MSPA Treasurer.
What if there were donations to cover some of the expenses?
Even if you or your committee members do not seek reimbursement, it is important to still file the form to the Treasurer to help monitor the event cost and provide a reference for future budgeting. The donor acknowledgment letter will be issued to the appropriate people.
Are there some expenses that the school pays from their budget?
There are some expenses that fall under the Menlo School budget rather than the MSPA budget, even though MSPA volunteers are the organizers. Examples include First Day of School decorations and spirit activities, Special Olympics, and the Parent Education Conference. Take your receipts to Jen Ortiz (MS) or Maren Jinnett (US or school-wide), and he/she will give you a Menlo reimbursement form to fill out. If you are not sure whether your event budget is covered by the School or not, please consult the MSPA Treasurer.
What should I do if I’d like to make sure Than Healy attends the event?
Contact Eleanor Enfield. She’ll check Than’s calendar and let you know if he can attend.
What if I’d like John Schafer to attend?
Contact Courtney Tyler. She’ll check John’s calendar and let you know if he can attend.
What if I’d like La Vina Lowery to attend?
Contact Jen Ortiz. She’ll check La Vina’s calendar and let you know if she can attend.
What about sports team event management?
Upper School sports team parents should visit Upper School Sports Team Parent Resources webpage for more information on how to coordinate and support your sports team.