Pali Blog

Planning a Parent Meeting



Planning a trip to Pali is big undertaking! One of the best ways to get planning off on the right foot is to host a parent meeting. This can be a great kick-off for sharing information, collecting sign ups, deposits or starting your fundraising for the trip.

The heart of the meeting will be the video that Pali provides. It’s designed to answer many of the questions that your families will have and offer them an opportunity to see our program in action.

Scheduling the Meeting:

It’s important to schedule the parent meeting at a time that most families can attend. Depending on your school community, this may be in the morning during student drop-off or in the evening once parents are out of work.  Schools have seen great success with scheduling meetings alongside other school events such as back-to-school nights, PTA meetings or other all-school events.

You’ll want to schedule the meeting in a location with a projector and sound system, so make sure to book an appropriate place.

Planning for the Meeting:

While introducing the trip, the big questions will be ‘What is Pali?’, when the trip will take place, and price.  We suggest you prepare a handout that offers this information:
·      Dates of the trip
·      A little info about Pali Institute
·      Price for the trip and payment timeline

We suggest a section that can be filled out and returned to you for parents to state their interest in having their student participate. Adding these pieces of info will help you when it comes time to preparing the spreadsheet for our online paperwork:
·      Student Info (name / birthdate / gender)
·      Parent emails (should include emails for both parents)

Meeting Agenda:

o   Introductions of school staff, sharing trip dates and background of the Pali trip (5 mins)
o   Show Pali Institute parent video (8 mins)
o   Show the Pali Institute trip video from your school’s previous trip (6 mins - optional)
o   Share pricing and payment timeline (5 mins)
o   Answer general questions from families (15-20 mins)


FAQ:

·      What fundraising will be going on?
o   What opportunities will the school provide families have to help defray costs?
o   This may be a great opportunity to ask for volunteers to assist in fundraising efforts.
o   Check out our fundraising blog here for more ideas: http://www.paliinstitute.com/blog/fundraising-for-schools/
·      Who will be attending with the students?
o   Since Pali Institute doesn’t allow parent chaperones, parents will want to know who is going with the students:  teachers and admin staff. 
o   Parents may want to know that Pali instructors stay in cabin with students and are responsible for the health, safety and instruction for their cabin of students.
·      Cabin and activity group assignments:
o   Cabin groups are up to 11 students, all single-gender. Activity groups are 15-16 students, mixed genders.
o   Neither cabin groups, nor activity groups are mixed among different schools.
o   The school is responsible for assigning cabin and activity groups, so parents may have questions about how assignments are done or if a buddy can be requested.
o   We know that Pali Institute is a great opportunity for students to spend time with new friends, but it is ultimately up to the school to choose any method of group assignment that works.
·      How will the school communicate with parents?
o   Some schools will send out a note via Classdojo, a mass-email, or text or phone blast to families once students arrive at Pali, and once they leave to share an estimated time students will arrive back at school.  We suggest you utilize whatever method of communication you typically use to share information with families for these messages.
·      Will pictures be available for parents to see during the trip?
o   Pali will take both photos and video of your students throughout their visit.  Video is assembled into a school specific video shown to students at the end of the trip, with a link provided for parents to view at home.  Photos are posted onto a secure website for family viewing as well.
o   Teachers often take their own photos during their visit and those images are combined with the Pali shots for one complete photo diary of the Pali Institute experience.  (Pali can assist you with uploading and hosting if you don’t have a class page that can do this.) 

Questions that are specific to Pali Institute trips:

o   Packing list:
o   This is the most frequent question. While the list is included in the online paperwork, parents will want another copy. We recommend sharing it on teacher pages and then sending it home in the month prior to the trip: http://www.paliinstitute.com/forms/student-packing-list.pdf
o   Daily schedule:
o   Students wake up at 7am and lights out is at 10pm. Students have about 45 minutes in the morning and evening to shower and dress, with meals being served at 8am, 12:30pm and 5:30pm.  Classes, activities and programming takes place throughout their day.
o   Special medical needs:
o   We are happy to discuss any individual issues with parents to ensure their child’s health and safety throughout their trip.  Our medical staff is well equipped to deal with any needs that may come up.
o   We ask that parents include the information in their online paperwork in particular their Camp Doc registration, and they are welcome to call the Pali staff to discuss any specifics.
o   Special dietary needs:
o   Pali Institute can provide vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options by request, in addition to being a nut-free facility. For any allergies or other food preferences, we can share the menu for the trip and parents can supplement with pre-cooked, heat-and-serve food from home, if needed, which a Pali staff member can heat for each meal. 
o   Parents should be assured that ‘picky’ is not a special dietary need and we provide a buffet of kid-friendly, delicious meals throughout their stay. 

We look forward to hosting your school at Pali Institute.