- WISPA Structure & Roles
- WISPA Constitution
- Fundraising Activities
- Board Members & Meetings
(Revised May 24, 1994; June 3, 2003; April 4, 2011; May 15, 2013)
- Article One - Name
- Article Two - Status
- Article Three - Purpose & Mission Statement
- Article Four - Membership & Dues
- Article Five - Directors, Officers, Division Representatives & At-Large Members
- Article Six - Finances
- Article Seven - Meetings
- Article Eight - Election Procedures
- Article Nine - Amendments
- Article Ten - Dissolution
- Article Eleven - Procedural Rules
The Washington International School Parents Association (WISPA) recognizes that the active participation of parents working closely with faculty and administrators of a school is essential to good education. WISPA works to enhance the educational experience of their children by:
- Providing a forum for discussion among parents concerning issues related to the development of their children and of common interest;
- Representing the views of the parents before the WIS administration and Board of Trustees;
- Facilitating communication and cooperation between WIS and parents and building a sense of community;
- Serving as the umbrella organization for parent volunteer activities, working in close cooperation with the appropriate members of the administration, faculty and staff.
Board of Directors
WIS is divided for administrative purposes into the Primary School, the Middle School, and the Upper School, each of which is referred to herein as a “school” and which are referred to collectively herein as “WIS”. The WISPA Board of Directors shall consist of the Officers, Chairpersons, and Vice-Chairpersons from each of the schools. The immediate WISPA Past-President is a non-voting member of the WISPA Board.
The officers of WISPA’s Board of Directors shall be the President, Vice-President (who shall be the President-Elect), Secretary, and Treasurer – each of whom may serve up to three one-year terms. The Secretary and Treasurer may be re-elected for up to a total of two consecutive one-year terms. These positions may be shared by two people if approved during the election. Each officer shall have one vote, and hold only one position at a time. Officers may vote by proxy if they are unable to attend a meeting. The officers shall have the following responsibilities:
- The President shall be the spokesperson for WISPA, shall convene and preside at the WISPA meetings and shall be responsible for overseeing the coordination of WISPA activities with WIS. The President shall also be available to serve as a member ex officio of the Board of Trustees at the invitation of the President of the Board of Trustees. The President shall be the person who was Vice President the year before. If the previous year’s Vice President is unable or unwilling to serve as President, then a new President shall be elected at the general election.
- The Vice President (who shall be the President-Elect) shall assume the duties and responsibilities of the President in the absence of the President and shall be available to undertake special assignments at the request of the President. The Vice-President shall be familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order.
- The Secretary shall arrange the location of WISPA meetings with the WIS administration, keep the minutes of the meetings, ensure the timely distribution of meeting notices and minutes, and maintain WISPA’s files. The Secretary shall be familiar with all articles of the WISPA Constitution.
- The Treasurer shall collect membership dues or verify the WIS Business Office collection of dues, manage WISPA’s funds, and keep track of WISPA-generated funds deposited in WIS accounts for the benefit of WISPA, and regularly report on sources and uses of WISPA funds. The Treasurer shall also deal with any tax matters and account for receipts and expenditures to WISPA members and auditors.
Each Division shall appoint one Representative to serve on the WISPA Board, with the exception of the Primary School, which shall appoint two Representatives. These positions are responsible for assisting with, or coordinating, activities of interest to parents of their respective school division. The WISPA Board Representative may also serve as a Class Parent Coordinator. Class Parent Coordinators for each school shall be the liaison with the division’s Principal and Assistant Principal and class parent organization. Division Representatives and Class Parent Coordinators, in coordination with each other, shall:
- Attend meetings of both the class parent organization and WISPA to ensure good communication; and
- Act as spokesperson for the parents to WISPA; and Represent WISPA to the Division Heads and the class parent organization.
At-Large Members, identified by the President and/or Board, are non-voting members who coordinate specific events, organize specific tasks, take on various duties and support activities such as school representatives, or other tasks as deemed necessary by the President.
WISPA’s fiscal year is July 1st to June 30th. None of WISPA’s funds shall be used for the personal benefit of or to remunerate the services of a member. WISPA’s accounts shall be reviewed and revenues/expenses verified annually, by auditors or by a Verification Committee selected by the President. Beginning in 1998, WISPA revenues and expenditures accounts have been maintained by WIS staff accountants, utilizing WIS computer systems and similar control framework, which will facilitate the task of the Verification Committee (or WISPA Treasurer) to review accounts to ensure funds were used appropriately. WIS Auditors perform a full accounting audit on all WIS accounts, which include WISPA, in August of every year. This report may be requested from the business office for review by treasurer/WISPA Board.
The President shall call general meetings of members at least twice a year, one of which shall be held in the Spring and include on its agenda the election of the Board of Directors for the following year. The President shall also call a general meeting upon petition of at least forty members of WISPA.
The President shall call such meetings of the Board of Directors as necessary for the efficient conduct of WISPA’s affairs. In order to facilitate the flow of information between the administration and WISPA, the Head of School, the Deputy Head of School, and a representative of the Advancement Office (Parent Liaison) are generally invited to participate in WISPA meetings and activities.
The President shall also call a meeting of the Board of Directors upon petition of at least three of its members. Notice of at least one week shall be given for meetings.
WISPA Board of Directors shall appoint a nominating committee and shall solicit candidates for various WISPA elective positions (Officers and Chairpersons). Any member of WISPA may stand for election to any WISPA Board position, subject to the consecutive term limitations and the restrictions set forth in Article 5 hereof. Nominations shall be published at least two weeks before elections are held in the Spring, preferably in May, to allow sufficient transition time during final meetings of the year. Votes may be by secret ballot, and no proxies shall be accepted.
Each member of the Board of Directors shall serve until (a) term expiration, (b) resignation by written notice to the Secretary, or (c) removal – either by a vote of the majority of members present at a general meeting, or by petition by a majority of members. The term of office shall begin on July 1 and end on June 30. In the event of a Board vacancy during the year, the Board of Directors may appoint a replacement by majority vote.
WISPA shall cease to exist upon the vote to that effect of two-thirds of those members present at a general meeting held no less than fifteen days after notice of the meeting and the proposal of dissolution have been mailed to members. In the event of dissolution, WISPA’s net assets shall be donated (a) to its successor organization, if any, (b) in the absence of any successor organization, to WIS, or, (c) in the absence of a successor organization and, in the event that donation to WIS is not possible, to another charitable organization which has been determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from federal taxation.
The Welcome Back Picnic
This event is a great way to greet old friends and meet new ones in an informal setting. Help is needed to organize activities, set up the picnic, grill food, and clean up. Event weekend
Primary School Teacher Lunch
Parents help organize a sit-down lunch during fall Parent-Teacher conferences at the Primary School. Help receive dishes, set up the lunch, serve, and organize clean up.
The International Dinner
Parents gather for a lively and festive evening, each bringing a dish from their native country to share. There are many ways to become involved in planning the dinner and working on the day of the event. September-November
The WIS Bazaar
This all-day event for WIS families and friends is scheduled for Sunday, April 28, 2019. The Bazaar features games, crafts, international food, and vendors from the area. Workers are needed throughout the day for a variety of jobs. February-April
Grade 11 parents assist with decorations and food for this event each May.
Holiday Recognition for Faculty/Staff
Parents organize a luncheon reception, including a token of appreciation, for faculty and staff during the holiday season. December
Annual WIS Auction
Each year WIS parents and friends gather to celebrate the School and raise money in support of Annual Giving for Financial Aid. There are many ways to become involved in the Auction, from planning the event to organizing various aspects of the evening. Ongoing throughout the year
Annual Giving for Washington International School
To keep tuition affordable, WIS, like other independent schools, must supplement tuition income with annual giving to balance its operating budget. Volunteers will make new friends and benefit the school at the same time.
Help spread the word about partnerships with retailers who give a portion of proceeds to WIS.
Each Friday, parents grill traditional picnic fare, as well as fish and vegetarian alternatives, to sell during lunch hour for Middle and Upper School students. This is a fundraiser for the school. Several teams work on alternating weeks. September to May
Book Fair & Book Sale
The WIS Parent Association is the umbrella organization for volunteer activities within the school. It aims to promote communication among parents and between parents and the school to enhance our children's educational experience and to strengthen the school community. WISPA meetings are held regularly throughout the year and are open to all parents. September to May
Current parents greet new families to help parents and children become familiar with the WIS community. Volunteers participate in welcome receptions, special play activities, and more. September to May
Class parents work directly with division principals and faculty to provide support for classroom and field trip activities and special events occurring in each school division. Class parents serve as liaisons between parents and the school. They are an important channel for communicating with faculty, division principals, and other administrators. Look for meetings times posted in school communications. September to May
Parent peer groups provide a forum for discussion of topics of interest to their child’s grade level. Parents host the meetings and determine the subject matter. Volunteers notify parents, host gatherings, and lead discussions. Contact your class parent if you are interested in participating. Various times throughout the year
Administrative Support and Office AssistanceVolunteers are needed to assist various departments at peak times throughout the year. Various times throughout the year
Volunteers are needed to build sets, design and create costumes, and lend a hand with other tasks for Upper and Middle School productions. Various times throughout the year
Volunteers are asked to work with the librarians to shelve books and process new materials. Assistance with bulletin boards, flyers and specific projects is also needed. September to May
Volunteers are asked to give support for the Sports and Field Days in the fall at the Primary School. Fall
WISPA works with the WIS Advancement Office and administration to prioritize and focus expenditures on those deemed highest priority by WIS and WISPA.
The goal is to provide the greatest support and impact to the broadest areas of the school. Below are fundraising categories with a brief description of history, purpose and expenditures.
Spring Bazaar is a WIS tradition organized by parents for the whole community, featuring international food (crepes, empanadas, high tea) as well as an international used book sale, attic treasures and games for the kids. Traditionally, Spring Bazaar has been an undertaking by multiple teams of volunteers and as a result, is WISPA’s top fundraiser, raising nearly $20,000 per year. Parents enjoy food and connecting with other families while children enjoy exciting games for all ages, from moonbounce to bubble ball.
For more than a decade, parents have been preparing and serving a fabulous weekly lunchtime feast for the Tregaron Campus (Middle School, Upper School and the whole staff). All proceeds from Grill go to WISPA. Grill is the second largest WISPA fundraiser, after the Spring Bazaar, and in recent years has made approximately $20,000 a year. This money is accumulated with other WISPA funds, and at the end of each school year the WISPA Board, together with all parents present at the WISPA meeting, agree on the allocation of funds toward Primary, Middle and Upper School projects. A portion of the funds are earmarked for the Grade 10 trip, which is why Grade 10 parents are asked to contribute desserts to Grill every week, and to help at the Spring Bazaar.
Likewise, parents at Tregaron organize and serve a weekly lunch of pizza, drinks and desserts, complemented by a salad bar served by WIS's food service provider. As with Grill, revenues from pizza sales support WISPA's gifts to the school.
Photo Sales on the Tregaron campus have been a fundraiser for several years. A volunteer parent photographer coordinates with the administration to take group grade and homeroom photos during the months of September and October. Proofs are displayed and orders taken for photos during Parent-Teacher conferences in mid-November. Orders are filled and distributed before Christmas.
WISPA uses the annual dues that families pay with their initial billing (currently $75 per family) for holiday gift cards for all teachers and staff as well as to host the Welcome Back picnic. All other gifts from WISPA to the school come from parent-run fundraisers, such as grill, pizza, class photos at Tregaron, Spring Bazaar, Original Artworks at the Primary School, and grocery and Amazon Smile rewards. WISPA provides funds for projects in each of the three school divisions (Primary, Middle and Upper) as well as donating to financial aid and school renovation projects.
WISPA Board members are listed below.
Presidents: Ben Getahun, Fenohasina Rakotondrazaka Maret
Vice Presidents: Yamrot Ezineh, Jimmy Gushner
Treasurer: Patricia Garffer
Secretaries: Carolyn Simpkins, Rachel Lerman
Upper School Representative: Luisa Caro
Middle School Representative: Josephine Escalante
Primary School Representatives: Lisa Bodager, Nikita Sokolov
Contact WISPA by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Attendance Contact Information
- Changes in Pickup Arrangements
- Who can answer my question?
- How do I update my family's contact information?
- What happens when it snows?
- Health Information
If your Primary School child will be absent, please contact Tony Fletcher at the front desk (email@example.com or 202.243.1700) before 9:00 AM; if your child is sick, please also inform the Primary School Nurse Colleen Hackett (202.243.1709 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
To report a Middle School student's absence contact Carmen Lluch (email@example.com or 202.243.1893) and to report an Upper School student's absence contact Victoria Nomdedeu (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.243.1890). If a Middle or Upper School student will be absent due to illness, please also inform Nurse Molly Foa (email@example.com or 202.495.7301).
If your Primary School child's afternoon pick-up arrangements change, please email Tony Fletcher (before 2:00 PM) and your child's teachers to let them know the new arrangements.
To report a Middle School student's change in dismissal contact Carmen Lluch (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.243.1893). Upper School students who leave WIS before the end of the school day must check in with the Upper School office.
If you need to contact any other member of the staff, you'll find the information in the Staff Directory.
Here are the people to contact/call if you have a question:
Any logistical question—e.g. drop-off/pick-up times, need to get a message to a child mid-day—should be directed to Tony Fletcher at the Primary School (email@example.com), Carmen Lluch at the Middle School (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Victoria Nomdedeu at the Upper School (email@example.com).
Any health-related issue should be addressed with the nurse: Colleen Hackett for Primary School (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Molly Foa (email@example.com) or Courtenay Begert (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Middle/Upper Schools. Both the Tregaron nurses can be reached by calling 202.495.7301.
Academic questions should most often be directed to a child's teacher (at least that's the best place to start). You can find all teachers' email addresses on the Staff Directory. As teachers do not answer their phones during the day, email is typically the best method of communication.