The mission of the Parents' Association is to promote school spirit and the well-being of students. Our goals are achieved through a strong volunteer network, supporting educational and social activities. The Parents' Association provides a forum for the exchange of ideas between the Academy's faculty, administration and parents.
The Unified Parents' Association Executive Board includes four executive officers, four division chairs and six administrators. Read the bylaws and view a flowchart.
2022-2023 Executive Officers
Susie McLaughlin, President
Jonathan Brown, Vice President
Rachel Kutz-Flamenbaum, Treasurer
Angela Kamin, Secretary
PA Finance Forms
Upcoming PA Events
Country Day School Division
Country Day School PA Events 2022-2023
Download the CDS PA Calendar PDF
- CDS Fall Festival, October 2022
Join the Fall Festival Planning Committee by contacting Amelia Grubman.
- Sponsor a Treat the Teachers Breakfast
Support our teachers by sponsoring a Treat the Teachers Breakfast (sign up coming soon!)
- Parents Association Meeting
Oct. 21, 2022
- UPA Haunted Walk
Sunday, Oct. 30, 5-7:30 p.m., Senior School
Young children should arrive at 5 p.m. for mild spooks.
- Shady Side Gives Back Fundraising Event With the Junior School
Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Frick Park, Frick Park Parking Lot (Nine Mile Run Trail), Sign up online.
- UPA Academy-Wide Ice Skating Party
Saturday, Dec. 10, noon-2 p.m., Hunt Armory Rink
- Cookie Shoppe
Dec. 12-16, 2022
- Parents Association Meeting
- UPA Sledding Party
- CDS Movie Night
February 2023, Tentative
- Earth Day Crayon Drive
April 17-21, 2023
- Bulldog Day
April 21, 2023
- Uniform Swap
- Teacher Appreciation Week
- Cocktails and Conversation
- CDS Field Day and End of Year Celebration
- End-of-Year Teacher/Staff Luncheon
- SSA Kennywood Day
Country Day School PA Division Officers 2022-2023
Amelia Grubman, Division Chair
Laura Bernardo, Vice Chair
Elizabeth Urish and Megan Grguras, Co-Secretaries
Sarah Pitt, Treasurer
Junior School Division
Overview of JS Volunteering Opportunities PDF
Sign Up to Volunteer
Junior School PA Events 2022-2023
- Welcome Back Picnic, Sept. 10, 2022
- Zoom Chats With the PA, Oct. 4, 2022, noon-1 p.m. via Zoom
- JS Parents' Night Out, Oct. 12, 2022, Grist House, 6-8 p.m.
- Homecoming Weekend, Oct. 14-16, 2022
- Academy-Wide Haunted Walk, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022
- Shady Side Gives Back, JS, CDS Community Service Event, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-noon, Frick Park, Frick Park Parking Lot (Nine Mile Run Trail), Sign up online.
- Academy-Wide Skating Party, Saturday, Dec. 10, noon-2 p.m., Hunt Armory Rink
- Holiday Cookie Shoppe, Dec. 14, 2022
- Winter Fest with Country Day School, December 2022
- School Chat with the PA, March 7, noon, via Zoom
- International Fair and Potluck, March 10, 2023, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Junior School
- National Bulldog Day, April 21, 2023
- Lynne Voelp Reed Day, April 2023
- Cocktails and Conversation with Country Day School, Friday, May 19, 2023, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Senior School campus
- Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, May 7-13, 2023
- Teacher/Staff End-of-Year Luncheon, June 2023
- Kennywood Day, June 2023
Junior School PA Ongoing Activities Committees 2022-2023
The Junior School Neurodiversity Squad (NDS) is open to all adult members of the school community. We provide information, support, resources, encouragement and visibility to all interested parents, faculty, staff and caregivers. We meet monthly. For more information, contact Lisa Avery or Carol Caplan.
Parent Book Club
The Junior School Parent Book Club is focused on connecting parents and talking about books. We meet monthly via Zoom to discuss fun fiction and engaging stories. Books are selected by the group based on shared interests. To get involved, contact Rachel Kutz-Flamenbaum.
School Chats with the PA
Join us for lunchtime Zooms with the PA and guest speakers from the school to learn about the school's specialty programming and other fun topics. We meet bi-monthly via Zoom at noon the first Tuesday of every other month:
- Tuesday, Oct. 4, noon
- Tuesday, Dec. 6, noon
- Tuesday, March 7, noon
- Tuesday, April 4, noon
The Junior School Uniform Store accepts donations and sells gently used school uniform items for $1-$3 apiece, and all proceeds benefit our students. . Contact Carey Palenchar and Pam Bubenheim with any questions.
Junior School PA Division Officers 2022-2023
Sheethal Rajan, Treasurer
Bethany Cherrington, Secretary
Support the Junior School!
- Boxtops for Education – Submit boxtops to Jocelyn Scalise at the Junior School, or register online for coupons and the chance to earn extra boxtops.
Middle School Division
Middle School PA Volunteer Opportunities 2022-2023
Ice Cream Socials
Two Ice Cream Socials are held before the school year starts: one for sixth grade families and one for Form I & II (grade 7-8) families. Students and parents get the chance to meet teachers and other families and enjoy an ice cream treat.
Every Day 6 (with a few exceptions) Panera Bread bagels are donated by parents and served to students during morning break. Parents can donate money to buy the bagels and/or sign up to serve them between 9:15-10 a.m.
- Volunteer to serve on a Bagel Day: Sign up online.
- Donate to sponsor a Bagel Day: Sign up online.
Form parents serve as a liaison between the PA and all parents in a specific grade. Duties vary during the course of the year but may include emailing parents about upcoming events or to ask for volunteers, and communicating with form deans to organize treats for the students.
During a weekday evening in September, parents will have the opportunity to walk through their child's schedule (with 15-minute classes) to meet each teacher and hear about the classes their child is taking.
Class-Level Parent Meeting
This is an informational meeting for parents that focuses on their child's grade-level social and emotional development. The school counselor and learning specialist will lead the conversation.
PA Coffee With School Head Amy Nixon
The PA schedules coffees with School Head Amy Nixon several times per year. Ms. Nixon gives updates about the school year and information about upcoming events. There are often guest speakers of interest to parents as well.
The Unified Parents' Association sponsors an all-Academy tailgate party at the Senior School for students and families prior to a home football game.
Take Your Parents to School Day
Students invite their parents to attend a day of school with them. This is an open house event where parents can attend as many classes as they wish with their child – including lunch!
The Haunted Walk takes place along the cross country course at the Senior School. All Academy students and families are invited to participate...if you dare!
Flavors of Fall
This is a parent-only social event at the Middle School. Parents will be asked to bring an appetizer, dessert or bottle of wine and enjoy an evening of camaraderie.
To acknowledge the hard work and compassion our teachers show on a daily basis, parents volunteer to host a monthly breakfast for the Middle School faculty. Parents may do this individually or pitch in to host together. Parents can choose to order from Metz, another caterer or prepare dishes at home to show their appreciation for the teachers.
Treat the Teachers
Similar to Faculty Fridays, this is an opportunity to provide a special treat for the teachers during their monthly faculty meeting after school.
Sixth graders enjoy a Halloween Parade and costume party while Form I & II students enjoy a performance with treats. Parents help decorate and provide the food for both events.
Holiday Cookie Shoppe
The Holiday Cookie Shoppe is a long-standing tradition at Shady Side. Parents volunteer to donate several dozen cookies or to set up the Cookie Shoppe. The teachers go through the shoppe filling a box with cookies to take home for the holidays.
Form I & II Dances
Parents are asked to assist a faculty member and several students to plan the Form I & II dances.
Spring Parent Event
This is a new event for 2022! Similar to Flavors of Fall, it will be a parents-only potluck event.
The PA provides the questions and prizes as the students try to outdo each other with the best Kahoot! score. A trivia champion is crowned at the end of the week.
Teacher Appreciation Week
The first week of May is National Teacher Appreciation Week. All four campuses participate to show our teachers that we appreciate all they do for our children. Each day of the week is a celebration of their dedication.
The PA provides a treat for the students during Field Day. Traditionally, the Kona Ice Truck makes an appearance.
The PA provides a gift to all Form II students as a send-off to the Senior School.
Faculty End-of-Year Luncheon
The PA asks parents to donate a food item (homemade or purchased) and sets up a beautiful luncheon for faculty at the end of the school year.
Middle School PA Division Officers 2022-2023
Ornella Castman, Division Chair
Erica Salmond, Co-Chair
Margo Litwin, Treasurer
Kate Bitsoff, Secretary
Senior School Division
Senior School PA Volunteer Opportunities 2022-2023
Serve as a Form/Grade Parent
Become a form/grade parent to help the PA communicate to parents about things pertaining to each specific grade. This role includes being a resource – answering questions or referring to appropriate school staff, connecting new families to the community, and giving a parental perspective on experiences at SSA.
Plan CUP Day Competition
Volunteer to organize students into teams in order to compete during all-time favorite CUP (Community, Unity, Pride) Day. This volunteer, in conjunction with faculty, will plan the activities for the day.
Chair the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Plan this May event, which is a way for parents to show appreciation for our tireless and dedicated faculty.
Organize Prom Festivities
Arrange the details for this year’s junior/senior prom.
Oversee Graduation Festivities
Integrate parent-sponsored ideas with school graduation plans and traditions.
Sponsor a Faculty Friday
Treat the Senior School faculty by sponsoring or co-sponsoring a Faculty Friday breakfast. Parents can donate breakfast food items or place an order through Metz catering services at least a week in advance. The faculty is extremely grateful and always looks forward to Faculty Friday!
Sponsor a Bagel Day
The PA is looking for 1-5 sponsors for each of the six Bagel Days to provide bagels for students in each grade.
Contact Elizabeth Mendoza and Maria Villarreal if you are interested or have any questions about any of these opportunities.
Senior School PA Division Officers 2022-2023
Elizabeth Mendoza and Maria Villarreal, Division Co-Chairs
Amee Chaundry, Vice Chair
Margo Litwin, Treasurer
Nicole Ansani-Jankowski, Secretary
The Senior School Parent Book Club meetings offer parents a warm and welcoming place to share experiences, learn from each other and build friendships within the SSA community. We often enjoy the company and expertise of faculty members who serve as guest facilitators. The chosen books serve as a springboard for conversation. Read the books if you are able; join us anyway if you are not. You are welcome either way.
Wendy David and Mei Tsui, Parent Book Club Co-Chairs
Please join us, whether you have read the book or not, for the next parent book club meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at 8 a.m., in the Wean Room at the Senior School, Coffee and light refreshments will be served.
Parents of Alumni
The goal of the SSA Parents of Alumni Association is to keep past parents and their college-age alumni connected with SSA. Contact Jodi Palamides to get involved.
Past parents are invited to continue receiving the Bulldog Bulletin Parents' Newsletter to stay informed about SSA and Parents' Association news and events. To rejoin the newsletter mailing list after your last child has graduated, contact Megan Grguras.