ISB’s PTA has never been more important
By Nick Yates, ISB Communications
Parents, students, teachers, and staff at the International School of Beijing (ISB) have stuck together through thick and thin the past year. Credit goes to the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Booster Club for much of that strength and unity.
The PTA works to foster a sense of community, maximize school spirit, promote enthusiasm for learning, and encourage students to contribute positively to society. They also act as liaison between parents and faculty. The group has faced a lot of challenges since Covid-19 struck, with restrictions on gatherings and campus access. But these parent leaders are emerging with renewed passion for their cause, organizing a number of events and fundraising initiatives.
Spots on the PTA’s recent flower arranging and art workshops, plus a Christmas shopping trip, filled up fast. More regular classes, meals, and outings for community members are planned. PTA representatives helped lead campus tours when access was allowed over the Christmas Break. For the PTA’s upcoming staff appreciation lunch, the fundraising effort was completed within five hours rather than the anticipated seven days. And of course, the PTA is busy organizing its biggest event of the year – the ISB Spring Fair.
Rather than the usual weekend format involving lots of vendors and sponsors, it is intended that the 2021 Spring Fair will take the form of a student activity day during school time in June. Can Cui, the PTA’s vice president of communications, explained the contingency planning for shifting regulations on campus access and gatherings. Can said the PTA Spring Fair Committee hoped there would be a school-wide photo the day of the fair, then student activities with special food and merchandise.
Everyone at ISB is looking forward to a time when the campus may return to hosting thousands of people, including members of the public from outside the school, for the annual Spring Fair. It’s a fun day out for all and usually gives prospective ISB families a taste of the community, world-class facilities, and leading education they can access when enrolled.
The PTA is led by 16 elected executive members and supported by scores of volunteers. Despite disruption from Covid, the association raised 61,000 RMB for student and community activities in the 2019-2020 academic year. In the more typical 2018-2019, they raised 357,000 RMB.
If parents are looking to help out at ISB in day-to-day activities, rather than solely the big events, the school has another group for that. The ISB Booster Club works with administration, the PTA, and faculty to promote school spirit through support of athletics, visual and performing arts, and academic programs. To achieve its goal, the Booster Club raises funds through community events and sales of school supplies and spirit wear. It contributed nearly 60,000 RMB for athletic and performing arts activities in 2019-2020. That can stretch to 100,000 RMB or more in a normal year.
“The PTA-Booster Club is an important part of ISB for many reasons. We want to bring the community together, meet student needs, raise funds, and we are like a bridge between parents and the school. Communication is key,” said Can Cui.
The whole world is hoping and praying for an easing of pandemic hardships. ISB’s PTA is certainly ready to resume normal service.
Like the sound of the PTA and ISB’s vibrant international community? Families looking to join in the warmth and secure a leading education for their children can get more information on our Admissions pages.
ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.