The relationships among the Bush community have continuously helped students prosper and achieve their academic dreams. Whether it involves volunteering in the classroom or helping in the admissions office, engaging with the community enhances the lives of our students, faculty, and staff. There are many ways to get and stay connected with families, students and faculty and we hope you will find an opportunity that suits your interests and availability. Read on to learn more, or submit your interest to the Families Association Executive Team and someone will be in touch soon!
The Families Association (FA) works with the Development Office to create a partnership of joyful philanthropy. The Development Office is the hub of all fundraising activities at The Bush School. Major events include the Annual Fund, Celebrate Bush and Lower School Grandparents and Special Friends Day. The team is dedicated to creating and supporting opportunities for families to come together to engage, converse, reflect and move forward together as a community. A few of the ways you can volunteer are listed below.
One key aspect of the FA and Development Office relationship is for a parent/guardian to serve as the Chair of the Annual Fund Family Campaign. Gifts to the Annual Fund at all levels go directly to financial aid, programs, curriculum, teacher salaries, classroom supplies and equipment, and more. Each fall, our current families participate in a six-week abbreviated Annual Fund campaign. We seek 100% parent participation over the course of the campaign by involving the entire Bush community.
Appointed by the Director of Development and Head of School, the Annual Fund Chair serves a one-year term. Together with the Annual Fund Class Leads (one per grade level), the Annual Fund Chair works closely with Emma Dubery, Annual Giving Manager, and Libby Singer, Associate Director of Development, on this important fundraising initiative.
Every year, families, faculty, staff, alumni and grandparents come together to celebrate our community and to broaden accessibility to experiential education for a greater number of families. Celebrate Bush is a community event that is evolving in scope from a traditional auction format to a more inclusive gathering welcoming to everyone in the Bush community. This event is coordinated by a group of volunteers who, together with the Events and Community Engagement Manager, work on a variety of different aspects of the event, from class art project coordination to decorating the event space to securing corporate sponsors. Since 2014, all proceeds raised at Celebrate Bush have directly supported financial aid. The Bush School budgets $4M per year on financial aid and Celebrate Bush is an important part of making that funding possible.
Contact The Bush School Development Office if you are interested in helping with Celebrate Bush!
Lower School Grandparents and Special Friends Day is a community building event, with our main goal to encourage goodwill between The Bush School and its grandparent constituency. For children without close family in the area, any adult in their child’s life may attend as their special friend, whether that may be an aunt, uncle, babysitter, coach, Upper School buddy or close friend of the family. Our goal is to ensure that every child is participating and sharing this day with a special friend or relative.
Contact The Bush School Development Office if you are interested in helping with Grandparents and Special Friends Day.
2021-22 Parent University Chair: Kelly Cundiff
Virtual Kickoff Date: October 26, 2021
In-Person Date: April 30, 2022
Parent University is our annual parent education series for the entire Seattle parent community. This year, Parent University will be offered quarterly as a virtual series, culminating in a half-day, in-person conference on Saturday, April 30, 2022 (pending current COVID-19 Protocols). Parent University features a relevant topic about raising our children in today’s society. Recent topics have included citizenship, how to raise anti-racist children, mindfulness, and digital safety in the era of remote schooling. In an effort to make parenting resources more accessible to families, all virtual sessions are free to both Bush parents/guardians and the greater Seattle parent community.
Contact the Parent University Team if you are interested in volunteering for Parent University.
The Bush School encourages families to participate in affinity groups where they can gather with those who share a similar identity. Affinity groups are a way to support and empower members of our community. Families interested in joining an affinity group should reach out to the contact person listed with each group for more information.
The National Association of Independent Schools asserts that, “The overarching vision for affinity group work includes:
Below are the Affinity Groups that have been established by members of the community. If you are interested in joining or starting a new Affinity Group, please contact Director of Intercultural Affairs Kimberlee Williams.
Afro Diaspora Family Group
Asian/Asian-American Affinity Group
Bilingual Affinity Group
Bush Conservatives for Better Community
Jewish Affinity Group
Latinx Affinity Group
Learning Differences Support Group
LGBTQIA+ Family Affinity Group
Muslim Family Affinity Group
White Anti-Racist Parents/Guardians
The FA’s mission is to promote awareness, a sense of belonging, participation, and education of our families at Bush. The FA nurtures a spirit of involvement and community between the school and its families by providing opportunities to support school events and activities. Every enrolled family is a member of the FA, and all FA meetings are open for you to attend.
The opportunities listed below are designed for all K-12 parents and guardians. If you are interested in learning more about these opportunities, please contact the Families Association Executive Team.
FA executive positions and grade level representative positions are filled in the spring. You can access the 2021-2022 FA Executives’ and Grade Reps’ information in the Bush portal via the Families Association Resource Tile.
Please contact the Families Association Executive Team for more information about FA roles and responsibilities.
Grade Level Room Representatives will notify parents and guardians via email when grade level volunteer opportunities arise. Feel free to contact your Grade Representatives if you have questions about grade-level volunteer opportunities. You can access your Grade Reps’ information in the Bush portal via the Families Association Resource Tile.
Every year the Bush School partners with a local bookstore to bring a full-blown bookstore to the community, with titles for all ages and interests. If we’re able to offer the Book Fair in person this year, volunteers are needed to staff the Fair and to help select and share their favorite stories with shoppers. Proceeds from the event support the purchase of school supplies for Bush students who receive financial aid.
Bush Athletics Boosters support the school’s athletics program through raising awareness of our student athletes in grades K-12. Together with Athletics Director Jo Ito, Boosters work to enhance school spirit through promoting athletic events, encouraging participation in athletics, and recognizing the achievements of teams and individual athletes. Volunteers plan and execute Blazer Bash events, the Middle School End of Year Event and the Upper School Awards Banquet. They also staff Sparky’s Grill during home volleyball and basketball games.
2021-22 Liaison: Please contact Families Association President Alison Behnke if you are interested in this position.
The BUSHArts! Boosters are parents and guardians who support and advocate for the arts at The Bush School. In addition to fostering creativity and an appreciation of diverse cultures, the arts have been shown to promote innovative and critical thinking, collaboration, and empathy. Volunteers work closely with Bush arts faculty in all disciplines to promote special events, encourage participation in the arts, recognize our student artists’ achievements, and ensure that the arts at Bush continue to take center stage.
This fall, the Faculty/Staff Appreciation Committee will work with grade level volunteers to procure items for thank-you baskets for Faculty and Staff. This spring, the committee hopes to be able to revive the pre-COVID tradition of hosting a luncheon for all Bush faculty and staff. Chairs choose a theme, design the menu, and work with grade level volunteers to procure food, drinks, desserts, and gifts. They manage all aspects of the event, including recruiting volunteers, gift packaging, set-up/breakdown of Community Room.
2021-22 Office of Intercultural Affairs Liaison: Valentina Montecinos
The Intercultural Affairs liaison supports the Director of Intercultural Affairs by assisting with the development of affinity groups and being a liaison between the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Families Association. The liaison helps to ensure that FA and school events are welcoming to all families.
2021-22 Liaison: Please contact Intercultural Affairs Liaison Valentina Montecinos if you are interested in this position.
Simply Cultural is an annual all-school potluck with students, teachers, and parents/guardians celebrating their culture through music, dance, spoken word, martial arts, and/or other artistic expressions. The Office of Intercultural Affairs and the Families Association partner to plan this event. Volunteers are needed to organize the event and help with day-of set up.