The PTO sponsors diverse events, activities and programs, all run by parent volunteers. Everyone is encouraged to participate! No matter what your area of interest, or how much or how little time you can spare, we have a role for you!
For questions, or to volunteer, contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
BOKS is the popular before-school fitness program offered at Countryside. BOKS (Building Our Kids’ Success) is a Reebok initiative that provides children with the opportunity to increase their daily physical activity. The program runs Tuesday and Friday mornings from 7:30-8:20. The cost is $50 for the first child and $25 for each additional child. BOKS kicks off September 26th this year.
|Box Tops for Education
This program enables children to make a difference in our school by cutting and saving box tops of commonly purchased products. A parent volunteer coordinates this program as well as “Labels for Education.”
Countryside sponsors a number of initiatives during the year, including the Holiday Gift Drive. During the Gift Drive, Countryside families purchase gifts for local children at the December holidays. Your family can choose a child based on his/her age and interests and shop for the requested gifts together.
|Creative Arts & Sciences
The Creative Arts and Sciences program brings high-quality, curriculum-related enrichment programs to our children’s classrooms. Although it is mandated by the Newton Public Schools, volunteers from the PTO are completely responsible for organizing the program.
|Karen Jacobson- Sive|
|Directory & Database Management
A parent volunteer manages student data for the online directory, print directory and email newsletter. This project begins in the summer and concludes with publication in early fall. Knowledge of Microsoft Access and publishing software is helpful.
|ELL (English Language Learners) Committee
The purpose of this committee is to improve communications between Countryside School and ELL families. This includes smoothing the families’ transition to a new and unfamiliar American school culture. The committee has cultural leaders or translators in seven languages.
Tammy Tong (Cantonese)
Maerav Shahal-Schiffer (Hebrew)
Open Role (Japanese)
Jiyeon Herring (Korean)
Wanling Xie (Mandarin)
Svetlana Egorova (Russian)
Karen Jacobson-Sive, Malena Gargantini & Juan Ortner (Spanish)
Samenta Abraham-Dely (Haitian)
Kawtar Bhih (Arabic)
|Fifth Grade Activities
The 5th grade Co-chairs coordinate all 5th grade events for the graduating class.
|Grounds & Garden Committee
Parent volunteers plan and maintain landscaping and gardens around the school, as well as coordinate planting and clean-up days.
Parent volunteers assist the librarian by re-shelving and checking books in and out. A parent leader organizes the volunteer schedules. Parent volunteers are needed at all grade levels.
|Lost and Found
A parent volunteer periodically cleans up lost and found bins and coordinates donation of unclaimed items to charity. Also occasionally checks school grounds for lost items.
This role would involve being in contact with the METCO families throughout the year (via emails, calls or other types of communication the liaison and families are comfortable with) to see what we can do as a PTO to make sure all Countryside families are connected.
This committee awards small grants to faculty members to fund small programs and initiatives that are not covered by the regular curriculum. The application period begins in the fall of each academic year.
|Sue Johnston, Ginerva Botta, Jill Tucker|
|Outside Message Board
A parent volunteer updates the message board on the outside of the school building.
Playground Committee: This committee assesses playground needs, raises funds, and manages the project when new playground structures are planned and installed.
|Photo Corps & Archivists
Photo Corps & Archivists: A parent volunteer takes photographs at all-school events and maintains a photo archive of images taken throughout the year.
|PTO Bulletin Board
A parent volunteer maintains the PTO bulletin boards inside the school using photos and themed decorations.
|Suspended in 2020 due to COVID|
|PTO Newsletter – The Update
The Newsletter team produces “Update,” the weekly PTO email newsletter. The co-chairs of this committee serve as ex-officio members of the Executive Board.
Monica Shook, Maegan Spontak, Karen Bogard
|Special Education (PAC) Representative
The Parent Advisory Council for Special Education is a district-wide organization comprising mainly of parents of children with disabilities. We meet monthly to learn more about how special education programs, issues, and resources will impact students at Countryside.
The PTO sells spiritwear through an online shop sponsored by Spirit Hero. The shop is open in September, before the December holidays and at the end of the school year. Be sure to read the Update to find out when you can purchase items! The link to the school store is: http://cseschool.itemorder.com.
|Walk to School Advocate
A parent volunteer serves as a liaison to Newton’s Safe Schools Committee. Organizes walking school buses and walk to school events.
The webmaster updates and maintains the PTO website and online calendar.
This committee is a resource for new parents who have questions about the school and the PTO. Creates welcome packets for new families. May host a new parent wine or cheese party or coffee early in the school year.
|Winter Gear Swap
In the fall, Countryside Families are asked to donated gently-used coats, snow pants, boots, hats, etc.
Teacher Grab & Go Lunch [January]
This lunch is set up in the Teacher’s Lounge so they can grab a lunch and eat in their classrooms while they work on report cards.
Email Lori Zinner if interested
The biggest fund raiser of the school year.
|4th Grade Art Contest
Annual art show allows Countryside kids to show off their creations from art class by displaying them around the school.
|Back to School Picnic [September]
This event celebrates the start of the school year. Parent volunteers coordinate the event, sell food, organize games, and staff the event.
|Back to School Breakfast for Faculty and Staff [September]
This is a breakfast for our faculty and staff during one of their first days back to school.
|Class pictures [September/October]
A parent volunteer schedules and coordinates school picture day with our photography company.
|Family Movie Night
Enjoy movie night at Countryside!
|Field Day [June]
Parent volunteers help the Physical Education teachers coordinate this energetic end-of-the-year event.
|First Day Parent Coffee [September]
Parent volunteers set up refreshments for parents during the first two mornings of school.
|Fun RunFundraiser held in the Spring||Sue Johnston|
|Halloween Party [October]
Parent volunteers organize a family-friendly Halloween party held after school.
Volunteers coordinate the annual drive to provide holiday gifts to underpriviledged families in the area.
|Kindergarten Playdates [September]
A parent volunteer coordinates this meet-and-greet for incoming kindergarteners and their families.
|Kindergarten Screening [April]
Parent volunteers greet kindergartners and their parents during screening, provide information, and answer questions about Countryside and the PTO.
|Multicultural Festival [March]
This is one of Countryside’s most popular school-wide events. It consists of information booths and performances showcasing Countryside’s rich cultural diversity. Parent volunteers coordinate this event.
Parent volunteers produce and direct this all-school event. They are responsible for auditions, costumes, set design, props, music arrangement, program, and selling tickets and concessions. Auditions and practices typically start in late fall.
Email email@example.com to volunteer!
|Mystery Dinner (November)
This progressive dinner party is a fun way to meet new people in the Countryside community.
NewtonSERVES is a city-wide community service day. A team of volunteers at Countryside help make improvements to the school building and grounds.
|Parent Party Spring
This parents-only event is held every other year in the spring. Appetizers, dinner, dessert and drinks are served . If you like to devise menus, decorate or plan parties, this is the committee for you! There is usually a small silent auction portion of the evening. The Parent Party is an important part of the PTO’s community-building mission.
|Rockin’ Raffle [March/April] – Pairing with Fun Run
The Raffle is a popular favorite at Countryside. Parent volunteers solicit donations from businesses, teachers, and parents; compile and print the prize book; collect tickets and distribute gifts to winners.
|Teacher Appreciation Lunch [May]
A festive luncheon is provided for our faculty to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Day. Parent volunteers organize and serve the luncheon.
Food, bouncy house, and other attractions provide entertainment for families. The Springfest coordinator plans and executes this popular end-of-the-year celebration.
|Understanding Our Differences
Understanding Our Differences (UOD) is a disability awareness curriculum that teaches children to “see the person and not the disability.” UOD programs are presented to students in grades 3-5.