We get them every year – the frantic “what am I supposed to be doing now??” emails, phone calls and visits. Trust us, you’re not the first parents to ask these questions, and you will definitely not be the last! Hopefully we can help with a few pointers:
- Ask questions! Really! You can email Mrs. West, the director, or Mrs. Stabile, the president of the GSBPA anytime.
- Make sure we have your email address. If you haven’t been getting emails from us, chances are that we need an updated address. Send an email to Beth Stabile and she will fix it right away! We send a LOT of updates via email, and we won’t sell your address to anyone.
- Check this website often! We try to have as much information online as possible, including the band calendar (it’s a LIVE Google calendar, so you know it’s as accurate and up-to-date as it gets), forms (like the transportation, medical and weekly athletic schedule forms, along with the band handbook), sound files so your son or daughter can practice their marching music at home, and even the points spreadsheet – so that you know how much you still need to fundraise for the fall season or spring trip.
- Go to the Band Parent meetings! They are held the second Monday of each month in the HS Band Room at 7:30 PM. Go! Ask questions!
- Become a chaperone. When we ask veteran band parents what helped them the MOST, they always say “being a chaperone!” You will get to know the kids very quickly this way, and it is not difficult. You will have lots of other parents with you, and it’s a lot of fun!
- Subscribe to text updates by sending a text to 484-577-8229 with “@gshsm” as the message (no quotes). We won’t spam you, and we do not have access to your phone numbers. We will send texts to let you know important updates as well as pickup times for performances.
Here are some of the most recent questions we have gotten – and their answers. If you have anything to add, please comment below!
Q: Do the kids have practices going on now? When are they?
A: Check the calendar. Right now, the students have band camp so they should be at the school every weekday!
Q: Do we owe money right now? How much? How do we pay it? Are there fundraisers? Can I just pay cash?
A: Each student in the band needs to participate in mandatory fundraising, amounting to 100 points, to help pay for some of the activities that the district doesn’t cover. They pay for transportation to all of our football games, our sheet music, our staff and some equipment, but everything else has to be covered by the GSBPA.
- 50 points were deducted from each student’s account at the beginning of August, and the other 50 points will be deducted from their accounts at the beginning of September.
- After the first 100 points, EVERYTHING deposited into their points accounts or earned through fundraising can be used to pay for spring trips, equipment, supplies, camps, etc.
Fundraiser materials are always on the piano in the band room, and you can contact Danita Theis, our Ways and Means chair, for more information. More fundraisers are listed on the band parent page of this site. You may also choose to write a check to add funds to your student’s account. Make all checks out to “GSBPA”, add the student’s name in the memo line, and bring it to school. Mrs. West will make sure it gets sent home with the right person.
We also have an online system available to use for depositing points into student accounts. It can be accessed here. You do not need to have a PayPal account or GSBands.org account to use this system. It is also a great idea to give that person who says “I don’t want another sub — can’t I just donate money??” or who wants a gift idea. There is a place to put a student’s name in the system so that it is credited to their account, and it is not just available to parents!
Q: My daughter needs to miss a practice. Who do I tell?
A: Send Mrs. West an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a written note. Excuses given verbally (or through text message!) are not counted as formal excuses. They need to be in writing. A doctor’s note is only needed when a performance is missed.
Q: I am so excited to be a band parent! How can I help?
A: We are excited to have you join us! Contact Beth Stabile, the band parent president, and she can connect you with a parent who needs help.
Again, welcome to the band family!! This is going to be a great year!