HM Parents Association
The organization through which parents contribute to the life of the School is the Horace Mann Parents Association. All parents and/or guardians of current Horace Mann students are members of the HMPA, and the organization is governed by a constitution. The Parents Association President is a member of the Horace Mann Board of Trustees who communicates the concerns of parents to the Board while also helping to keep families informed of School activities. The HMPA benefits from the avid support it receives from the Head of School, Division Heads, faculty, administrators, and staff. At the same time, the Parents Association is not an independent fund-raising organization.
The mission of the HMPA is to support the School through community building and fundraising. Community building is fostered by more than seventy-five events each year that bring together various constituencies in the School. The majority of these activities break even financially, which emphasizes attendance and community-building over fundraising. Fundraising is conducted through five major efforts: the Annual Benefit, which raises unrestricted funds and funds targeted for financial aid and the Student Assistance Fund; book fairs and bake sales that raise funds for the libraries; theatre benefits that contribute to financial aid and the Student Assistance Fund; the sale of Horace Mann merchandise with the School’s logo at the Nursery and Lower Divisions; and the Holiday Gift Fund drive that raises funds for holiday gifts for faculty members, administrators, and staff.
The Horace Mann Parents Association is led by six Executive Officers: President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. Each division has its own board in addition to the HMPA Executive Board. The boards are staffed by committee chairs in each division. The financial records of the Horace Mann Parents Association are maintained by the School’s Business Office. The PA is financed through the assessment of a $80 fee per child, which forms a starting capital base for the organization. HMPA fundraising efforts led to a net contribution that averages $500,000, not including the Holiday Gift Fund in the past year.
The principal means of communication with our constituents is via email and the Horace Mann website. Each week every family receives an e-blast from the HMPA or an edition of Across the Divisions, an electronic newsletter from the School. Administrators and members of the faculty and staff also receive the PA e-blasts and are welcome to attend any event sponsored by the Association. The HMPA co-sponsors the annual Horace Mann Directory and co-produces the Horace Mann Bulletin in collaboration with the Office of Inter-Campus Activities. The Directory and the Bulletin are included in the Supplementary Materials Inventory.
In addition to the active outreach for volunteers, the HMPA reaches out to diverse members of the community via several committees: The Black Parents Union Committee, The Korean Parents League Committee, The South Asian Families Committee, the Riverdale Community Representative and the Office of Diversity Liaison Committee.
The PA Presidents of NYC Independent Schools meet three times a year to compare experiences, discuss issues, and share best practices.
The goal of the HMPA at the Nursery Division is to build community within the Nursery Division and, working closely with the administration, to help facilitate school events and foster communication between the Nursery parents and the administration. Twenty-three Parents Association committees work in the Nursery Division, including library parent volunteers and class parent volunteers. A wellness committee now facilitates healthy changes in the School environment. Goals include enhancing the recycling program in the division and suggesting “greener and healthier” strategies. Each year, the NDPA holds one or two division-wide PA meetings for all parents in the division.
The Lower Division PA supports the division through community-building and other activities. The parent body comes together through twenty-nine committees to participate in a variety of charitable and community-based activities throughout the year such as our annual Book Fair and Caring-in-Action Day. The Community Service Committee also holds drives in which Halloween costumes, toys, coats, coins and sporting goods are collected and donated to local charities. Officers of the Lower Division Parents Association work closely with the Head of Lower Division to promote her monthly coffee hours. Each year, the Lower Division PA holds one or two division-wide meetings on topics of interest to parents.
The Middle Division PA sponsors coffees and seminars in which faculty members inform parents on topical issues. The organization sponsors bake sales to support “Middle Mania,” a year-long competition that involves every Middle Division student and culminates in a field day in the spring. The Middle Division Parents Association also sponsors an international food festival that includes culinary examples from the cultures of our families. Parents from the Middle Division sit on the Athletic, Benefit, Holiday Gift Fund, Bulletin, Parents for New Parents, Homecoming and Community Service Committees.
The Upper Division PA builds community through twenty-five committees, including Benefit, Bulletin, Donate-a-Book, Friends of the Performing Arts, and, Holiday Gift Fund. Each year the Upper Division Parents Association holds one to two division-wide parent meetings, frequently in conjunction with the Middle Division. In addition, the group helps to facilitate the organization of and publicity for the Division Head’s monthly coffee hours.