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September 13, 2011 > Weibel leads the way

Weibel leads the way

Submitted By Shilpa Verma

"My friend is not in my class! I got the best teacher; she even gives us homework passes!" While the first day of school is full of excitement and cheer for the kids, parents are often anxious and scrambling to find time to fill out PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) and district required paperwork. The school office and PTO are hoping all the forms will be returned on time and new volunteers will come forward.

Weibel Elementary School, in partnership with its PTO, decided to change the rules and tackle all challenges with a simple solution: MAZE day (class scheduling) and online volunteer system.

PTO members took leadership and searched around. They found that it could be done; Pleasanton's school district has taken it online and eliminated the need for repeated paperwork. Weibel Elementary has gone green and every step is being taken to eliminate the need for paper. So, it seems only natural that as a school, it should go forward toward eliminating paper, too! Two different volunteer management systems were looked at, and the one selected is a web-based software program called The PTO Manager. The system will allow parents to create a unique login ID and password, choose events they want to volunteer in and also clock their hours. The PTO is requesting eight hours of volunteering per child per school year. Much to the school's surprise, it's been very well received and many parents have applauded the effort.

To give parents ample opportunity to complete the process, a decision was made to have three main MAZE days, followed by a make-up day. The PTO worked over the summer to plan traffic flow, organizing forms and entering all the parent information onto their new online volunteer system.

With an average turnaround time of 15 minutes, by the end of the third MAZE Day, Weibel had signed on 560 students out of a total 750 students. This was amazing! The school was hoping for a 50 percent turnaround and was surprised by the results. On his visit August 26, during the third MAZE day, FUSD Superintendent Dr. James Morris said he was very happy to witness the process and observe parent dedication. It is hoped that this will encourage FUSD to expand this efficient and earth friendly process.

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