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WISPA Structure & Roles

WISPA Constitution

(Revised May 24, 1994; June 3, 2003; April 4, 2011; May 15, 2013)

Article One - Name

The name of this association shall be Washington International School Parents Association, referred to herein as WISPA.

Article Two - Status

WISPA shall be a non-profit, voluntary association of parents of students attending Washington International School, referred to herein as WIS.

Article Three - Purpose & Mission Statement

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.

Article Four - Membership & Dues

Parents and guardians of students attending WIS are members of WISPA and have the right to vote at general meetings. All members are encouraged to contribute to the cost of running WISPA through an annual fee determined by the Board of Directors.

Article Five - Directors, Officers, Division Representatives & At-Large Members

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.
Division Representatives
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
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.

Article Six - Finances

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.

Article Seven - Meetings

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.

Article Eight - Election Procedures

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.

Article Nine - Amendments

This Constitution may be amended by the vote of two-thirds of those members present at a general meeting held no less than ten days after notice of the meeting and the text of the proposed amendment have been mailed, or made readily available, to members.

Article Ten - Dissolution

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.

Article Eleven - Procedural Rules

Robert’s Rules of Order shall be followed if a question of procedure not covered by this Constitution shall arise.


WISPA is the umbrella organization for all volunteer activities within the school. There would be no International Dinner in the fall or field trips at the Primary School without parent volunteers. Volunteering can be an especially rewarding experience for new parents. The best way to find out what your child experiences at school is to come and take a look yourself. When you volunteer at school you will not only meet the parents of the classmates your child is talking about and experience the campus and teachers yourself, but volunteering will give you insight into the way WIS works. 
CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up to volunteer.


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.

Grill Teams

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

Pizza Teams

Parents sell slices of pizza, cold drinks, and desserts during lunch hour at Tregaron on Thursdays. This fundraising activity supports the whole school. Teams work alternate weeks. September to May

Book Fair & Book Sale

Each fall the Primary School hosts a French and Spanish New Book Fair during the week of Parent Teacher Conferences. This is an opportunity for families to stock up on French and Spanish books, with proceeds benefiting the PS Library. In the spring, the Multilingual Used Book Sale takes place at the Primary School.



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

WIS Welcome

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

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

Peer Groups

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 Assistance

Volunteers are needed to assist various departments at peak times throughout the year. Various times throughout the year


Tregaron Campus


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

Primary School

Library Help

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

Sports Days

Volunteers are asked to give support for the Sports and Field Days in the fall at the Primary School. Fall

Fundraising Activities

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.

Grill and Pizza

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.

Grade-Level Photos

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.

Board Members & Meetings

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: wispaboard@gmail.com

Welcome to the WIS Parents Association—WISPA. Every WIS father, mother and guardian is a member of WISPA. WIS cannot do all that it is doing for its students without the help of parents. WISPA aims to promote communication among parents and between parents and the school, to enhance the educational experience of our children and to strengthen the school community.

Useful Information

Attendance Contact Information

If your Primary School child will be absent, please contact Tony Fletcher at the front desk (tony.fletcher@wis.edu 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 colleen.hackett@wis.edu).

To report a Middle School student's absence contact Carmen Lluch (carmen.lluch@wis.edu or 202.243.1893) and to report an Upper School student's absence contact Astride Ossey-Brou (astride.osseybrou@wis.edu or 202.243.1890). If a Middle or Upper School student will be absent due to illness, please also inform Nurse Molly Foa (molly.foa@wis.edu or 202.495.7301).

Changes in Pickup Arrangements

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 (carmen.lluch@wis.edu 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.

Who can answer my question?

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 (202.243.1708/tony.fletcher@wis.edu), Carmen Lluch at the Middle School (202.243.1893/carmen.lluch@wis.edu) and Astride Ossey-Brou at the Upper School (202.243.1890/astride.osseybrou@wis.edu).

Any health-related issue should be addressed with the nurse: Colleen Hackett for Primary School (202.243.1709/colleen.hackett@wis.edu) and Molly Foa (molly.foa@wis.edu) or Courtenay Begert  (courtenay.begert@wis.edu) 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.

For more information, please click the appropriate links below:

Who Can Help Me? Upper School
Who Can Help Me? Middle School
Who Can Help Me? Primary School

How do I update my family's contact information?

If you move, or need to let WIS know about a new email or phone number for any member of your family, please email the information to updates@wis.edu.

What happens when it snows?

A little snow creates a whole lot of chaos in Washington, DC. Click here to learn more about how we spread the news about snow-related closures and our Virtual Learning Policy.

Health Information

All current parents must submit forms and information to our Magnus Health student records system. For an overview of required forms and general health information, click here.

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