Happy October, everyone! It is even starting to feel a little like fall, at least in the mornings. And pumpkins have sure made their appearance at our local stores.

Our fundraising efforts have been going well, though we hope to garner even more donations this week for our No-Hassle Fundraiser—which ends Friday Oct 7th—and make a good showing on the Project Graduation Mini-Auction, which also wraps this week. If you missed it, don’t worry! There will be more opportunities to bid on a whole range of things during our general PG Auction, which happens in November. And you can donate directly anytime at https://pflasa.org/donate/.

In other news, the application process for students wanting to attend LASA starts soon. Check this site for up-to-date information: https://www.lasahighschool.org/admissions/apply-to-lasa. PFLASA has a program that helps 8th graders in area middle schools with their applications, known as our Mentoring program. This year, there may be a shorter window of time for applicants than we have had in the past and dozens of volunteers will be needed. If you are interested in mentoring, please fill out this form and attend a training session on Monday, Oct 10 – 2:30 – 3:45 PM or Tuesday, Oct 18 – 8:30 – 9:45 AM.

Beyond mentoring, PFASA also helps organize and stage “Roadshows” and “Showcase”—key recruiting events that happen in October and November. Many volunteers will be needed for these events as well, so please keep your eyes peeled for calls to action and volunteer sign ups! As an update—LASA will hold the “Roadshows” on campus this year (so they will have a new name); these are currently planned for Oct. 18th, 26th and there will be a virtual event on Nov. 3.

Ms. Crescenzi has mentioned that she would like to offer some evening educational events for parents. You may have responded to a survey that was advertised during Back to School Night and subsequently in the Principal’s Message, which will help shape those events. PFLASA may be able to assist with putting some of these on, depending on the topics of interest, so stay tuned for more information on how that unfolds and what assistance may be needed from PFLASA.

Our Tutoring program is going well. If your college student or his/her friends are interested in tutoring in Physics, we could probably use another Physics tutor. Send inquiries our way at president@pflasa.org. Some parents have asked about whether we can or will offer tutoring in other subjects such as Calculus, Pre-Calculus or writing. The short answer is, I don’t know. Ms. Crescenzi and her staff determine the needs. She will analyze “fail rates” at the end of the first 9 weeks, to see where students may be struggling the most. I would encourage parents to contact teachers and or Ms. Crescenzi directly with questions or concerns about tutoring. If we are asked to find tutors in other subjects, we will do all we can to recruit and hire them. In the meantime, check out these resources if your student needs additional support:
• https://www.lasahighschool.org/students/student-support-options
• https://pflasa.org/tutor-recommendations/

And don’t forget to urge your student to find office hours and attend regularly!

I will publish an update later this month to let everyone know how our fundraiser went. Meanwhile, there are two employee groups we are appreciating this month: custodians/housekeeping staff and bus drivers! Please join us in thanking them and honoring their service. We do have parent volunteers who have put together something special for both groups, but you can add to that by simply reminding your students to say, “Thank you,” and, as Ms. Crescenzi noted in her recent Principal’s Message, reminding them to clean up after themselves!

Speaking of saying “Thank You”, read on for a list of the brave and stalwart parents who have stepped up to lead or co-lead committees this year, and taken on other key leadership roles (in no particular order) …

• Diana Hubbard: Treasurer, PFLASA; Chair, Back to School Teacher Luncheon

• Nicole Truelock: Vice President, PFLASA; Chair, Spring Teacher and Staff Appreciation Lunch

• Lori Wallace: Vice-Chair, PFLASA Grants Committee; Coordinator, PFLASA Operations Manual

• Randi Bell: Assistant Treasurer, PFLASA; Co-chair, Teacher and Staff Appreciation

• Lisa Lyons: Chair, PFLASA Grants Committee; Lead, Project Graduation Grant Application and PFLASA Contract Review

• Elizabeth Bomba: Secretary, PFLASA

• Tammi Schroeder: Assistant Secretary, PFLASA

• Brandy Smallwood: Co-chair, Teacher and Staff Appreciation

• Lina Porras and Cristina Hernandez: Co-Chairs, Latino Outreach

• Nicole Basham and Stephanie Jarnigan: Co-Chairs/Editors, Lots of LASA Newsletter

• Stephanie Jarnigan and Emily Robson: Co-chairs, LASA Directory Update

• Yolanda Torres and Kary Goulet: Co-Chairs, Spanish Translation Team

• Velvet Hammerschmidt: Chair, Tutoring and Study Groups

• Jayne Rosso: Chair, Mentoring

• Virginia Jones: Chair, Roadshows and Showcase

• Rebecca Cooke: Chair, Giving Thanks Pie Event

• Nalini Kumar and Elise Su: Co-chairs, Senior Salute, Class of 2023

• Pete Gallego and María Elena Ramón: Co-Chairs, Project Graduation, Class of 2023

• Kristy Neff: Chair, Coffeehouse

• Meena Gopalsamy: Chair, Coffeehouse Ticket Sales

• Geeta Suggs (LASA Webmaster): Chair/Administrator, PFLASA Facebook Group; Chair, Bring Your Parent to School Days

• Olga Ovcharenko: Chair, Hospitality

• Kristin Davis: Chair, Fundraising

• Ami Cortes-Castillo: Project Graduation Auction

• Cara Firestone and Philip Courtois: Co-Chairs, PFLASA Technology

• Nina Miller: Chair, Wellness

• Cyril Kuhns: Chair, Alumni Group

Special thanks as well to the following volunteers for fulfilling other key roles:
• Financial Reconciliation (School Year 21-22): Michelle Manning and Bony Chatterjee
• New Teacher Bus Tour (Hosts): Meghan Riley & Omar Sayyed and Karen & John Rooff
• Project Graduation Auction: Summer McInerney, Ashley Thompson
• Appreciation Events: Claire Hobbs, Meggan Carcasi, Christal MacDonald, Belinda Roberts, Kristin Benton, and Jerry Haddican
• Zip Code Group Volunteers: Samantha Chang, Sara Rogers Smith, Randir Soni, and Heidi Connealy
• PFLASA Inventory System: Nancy Bachschmid

It would be nearly impossible to mention every volunteer by name, or acknowledge every effort made. But please know that PFLASA appreciates each and every parent contribution, whether you donate your money or time, whether you serve remotely or on campus, and whether you lend your support once or a dozen times. It is only through the collective efforts of the LASA community that we can accomplish all that we do.

Thank You!!!

In a separate post, I plan to talk about our Class Parent Representatives (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior and Senior) and what they are up to.

Enjoy some crisp weather and the gorgeous sunny days of October (if the ragweed doesn’t hit you too hard!). This month we meet on Oct 7th and 21st at 8:15 at LASA, in our usual room. Join us if you can!