Programs and Events

Here is a list and short description of the many programs and events that go on at Exploris during the year.

Want to know how you can make a difference at Exploris?

…. Volunteer to help on one of the following committees!

Please use the information below to help you fill out your Parent Involvement Form.

8th Grade Graduation Reception – 6th/7th grade parents are needed to assist the chairperson in organizing, setting-up, serving, and cleaning up of light refreshments during the 8th grade graduation reception in the morning, on the last day of school. Some light decorating and table setup occurs the afternoon before, typically after Expressions Day so we have built-in labor (i.e. students).

Adult Social –  In October, we organize an adult social. This is a time for parents, teachers, and board members to get together and socialize. There are no children allowed at this event. Volunteers are needed to help with all aspects: hiring food trucks, renting tables, decorations, beverages, etc. Last year’s event was successful and great way for parents to get a chance to spend time together outside of carpool pickup! 

Back to School Meet the Teacher – Many parents and a few students are needed to answer questions about carpooling, drop-off/pickup, fundraising, exchange programs, clubs, sports, yearbook, Outward Bound, Spirit Wear, and supervise the Kona Ice social at the annual Back to School Meet the Teacher Day, typically hend a day or two before classes start. The PTO President chairs this event.

Building and Grounds – Handyman Workdays are hosted on Saturday mornings 3 times per year by our VP of Buildings and Grounds. Projects typically include repainting, organizing, and general cleanup and maintenance work. Perfect for families who are unable to volunteer during the school day!

Carpooling – The PTO helps coordinate carpooling for Exploris families. If you are interested in carpooling and would like help finding families who live near you, please fill out the Carpool Form

Dances – Our chairperson needs many volunteers to work the check-in/check-out area and to chaperone school dances. Dances are held off-site.  Dances cost $15 which covers the rental, DJ, food, and drinks for the evening. Most area middle schools charge $10 for admission (to cover DJ and janitorial services) and have cash concessions, so really our dances are a pretty good deal. This is another opportunity for families who are unable to volunteer during the school day!

De-clutter & Organization Helpers – A list of volunteers willing to help the teachers and staff with their de-cluttering and organizational needs. This occurs on an as-needed basis and as the jobs are small in nature, it is preferred to take place during school hours.

Expressions Day – Actually a school organized function, this event is held twice per year to showcase the many talents of our students. Teachers announce requirements to the students and select MC’s. All parents are invited to attend this much honored tradition at Exploris which takes place at The Church of The Good Shepherd. No formal volunteers needed.

Fall Picnic – An annual whole family event held under the picnic shelters at Pullen Park each September to see old friends and meet new families. Families bring their own main dish and drinks and a dessert to share. Other items you may want to bring are chairs, balls, and outdoor games. Our chairperson handles all the logistics and just asks that families clean up after themselves.

Spring Family Day – This is held on a Sunday in May. There will be food trucks for lunch, various field games, water play, and many other activities. Volunteers are needed! This is another great way to get in some volunteer hours on weekends.

Grants – Volunteers assist chairperson in searching for, proposing, and coordinating the application for various grants.

Hospitality – Volunteers assist chairperson by fulfilling requests for food donations for 3 or 4 Staff Luncheons and/or Breakfasts for 43 people. An additional volunteer or 2 are needed the morning or day of the event to help setup, serve, and clean-up. We hope to have enough volunteers to put together a list of people we can pull from for these needs. By signing up, you are not committing to the event, but instead agreeing to be contacted.

Last Day of School Kona Ice Treat – A last day of school tradition! All Kona Ice flavors are dairy-free, gluten-free, and peanut-free. Sugar-free and dye-free are available upon request. After graduation, the 6th and 7th grade teachers walk the students to Nash Square for some outside fun and (optional) Kona Ice. Kona Ice also returns 20% of proceeds to the PTO.

Lunch Program – This is an optional program for students to sign up for lunch provided by outside vendors. The volunteers need to work with My Hot Lunch Box to get the vendors approved, the menus approved, and make sure lunch program is communicated to the parents.  

Office Coverage – Volunteers are needed to cover the office when our administration is out. We hope to put together a list of volunteers to contact when the need arises. The need for coverage is usually known in advance although occasionally, help is needed at the last minute. By signing up, you are not committing to the event, but instead agreeing to be contacted.

Passive Fundraising – Corporations provide various opportunities for schools to earn money or points through everyday shopping. Help is needed to administer

  • Grocery Programs (Harris Teeter TIE, Kroger Plus Card for Education, Kroger Cares, Food Lion MVP Classroom Rewards)
  • Packaging Programs (Box Tops, Labels for Education, Tyson’s Project A+)
  • Terra Cycle
  • Shopping Programs (Target, GoodShopping, OfficeDepot).

See Passive Fundraising Checklist for more information.

PTO Blog/Website – Hosted on WordPress, this is our only PTO-controlled resource to communicate information school-wide. If you would like to automatically receive information on School Lunches, School Dances, Changes to Event Dates or Times, Yearbooks, Spirit Wear, Teacher Appreciation, Soap Sales, and all other PTO events, you will need to subscribe to the PTO Blog by clicking on “follow” on the right hand side of the home page under the menu bar located here: http://explorispto.org/ As our blogging volunteers graduate, new blogging volunteers (and a webmaster) will be needed. Please contact exploris.pto.webmaster@gmail.com if you are interested in site administration.

Soap SalesThe Annual Soap Sale is a unique fundraiser of high quality products featuring student artwork. Held each fall, products are delivered in time for holiday gift-giving. Started in 2001, this fundraiser’s goal is to raise $3,500. The chairperson may need assistance in picking up the soap from the vendor. Volunteers will also be needed to help sort and deliver soap to the classrooms. Please note: 2015-16 school year will be the last year of the soap sales program.  

Spirit Wear – Volunteers are needed to help with the distribution of spiritwear orders. Orders will be done online with the products being shipped to school 2 times a year. When the order arrives, volunteers will need to distribute to the classrooms. The chair will also need to order school stickers/magnets for sale at school events.

Sunshine – Our chairperson spreads sunshine among our teachers and staff by coordinating a small PTO sponsored gift card on birthdays, weddings, and the birth of future Exploris students.

Teacher Appreciation Week – We love to show our teachers and staff how much they are appreciated! Our chairperson will communicate exact needs via a PTO Blog email, but typically involve a Signup Genius request for Meals (each teacher receives an entrée/side dish to take home for dinner one night), breakfast food donation (a breakfast is held for the staff one morning before school starts), and some kind of “love your teacher” gift or card. The PTO sponsors a catered lunch one afternoon and a sweet treat on a different afternoon. This event is held in the February or March time frame.

Teacher Gifts Parent Collection – Another long standing tradition at Exploris is our Teacher Gifts Parent Collection which takes place in December (Winter Thanks) and May (End of Year). Although coordinated by the PTO, this is a non-PTO funded activity. As our children have many teachers on a regular basis at Exploris, we offer the completely optional opportunity for you to contribute towards a grade level cash gift, 90% of which is evenly divided among your grade’s teachers and 10% divided among the specialists and staff.  Timely emails with collection information will be sent to members of the PTO Blog.

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