(ALL) PACA Presidents back to school welcome

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Welcome to the 2018/2019 Columbus Academy School Year!

This will be the longest email you’ll get from us (your PACA Co-Presidents) but we promise it’s full of good info and links. We have 7 important items to communicate before the school year begins.

1.     Who are we? We are the CO-Presidents of PACA, the primary representatives of the Parents’ Association of Columbus Academy. We’ll help to communicate issues and opportunities raised by the parent community at the school-wide level and communicate important information related to PACA from the CA Administration to the parent/guardian community via the various PACA Board positions.  (If you are new to the school and need to know who PACA is – we are your “PTA.” We encourage you to read this page for some more background.) Please feel free to become familiar with who your PACA representatives on the PACA Board are and what they are responsible for by clicking on the “Board and Committee List Button” on the About Page of the  new PACA Website (see below).

2.    What’s new this year? The PACA website is NEW! Check it out here (www.vikingparents.org). The biggest change is that all of the information we send to you via email (on a bi-weekly basis at the Division level beginning this coming Sunday and on an as-needed basis at the grade level, and room levels in the lower school) or on Facebook will actually live on this site (or eventually other social media channels – see diagram below). There are static pages and also blog posts (think frequent updates). Each Division and Grade (and in the lower school also each class) has it’s own page with a “feed” – which has specific information and updates just to the targeted audience. You can always check out the entire PACA blog which can give you a view of all activities happening throughout the school. Look for the links to your grade on the homepage or the dropdown “Class news.”  This is a new initiative and mode of communication so we are sure to make improvements as the year progresses. Please feel free to provide feedback on how we are doing by sending an email to cavikingparents@gmail.com with the subject line “Website Feedback” along with the specific grade if applicable.

  • What won’t you find on the site?
    We will not host information generally found on the CA site (school calendar, faculty profiles, grades, account status, division handbooks, etc), although we will be linking to them often. We will not be posting information about CA Official sports (we will only communicate information concerning PACA youth sports for students in grades 4/5/6) or things happening inside a specific classroom (except for the lower school classrooms on an as-needed basis).
  • What will you find on the site?
    Information and posts with relevant PACA events, organized PACA programs, and targeted communications to subsets of parents/guardians based on the Division or Grade (and in the case of lower school, rooms) that your children are in. You will also find links to the CA website that are important or frequently used by parents/guardians throughout the school year.  And, last but not least, you will find a link to the online Viking Corner Store which will also be expanded and updated this year to provide more opportunity for you to purchase Viking gear even if you can’t get to campus during store hours.

3.    What do you need to know RIGHT NOW about being a Parent at CA? Two things: a. Plan to attend the applicable Parent Night(s) to meet the CA DIvision Head(s) and your grade level team(s).  b. Plan to attend Tailgate parties on September 14th during CA’s home football game against  Bexley beginning at 6pm and/or the CA Community Day on September 15th if/when planned and communicated out in the near future by your PACA Division and Grade parents.

4.     First chance to volunteer for a PACA event?   PACA hosts a number of events and a couple of fundraisers throughout the school year to foster parent/guardian engagement and to raise funds to provide grants for certain opportunities for faculty and staff. Some funds are also used to provide experiences for students at key points in their time at CA (e.g., tailgates, the lower school carnival, and the Senior Party). We use Signupgenius extensively to manage volunteer opportunities.

PACA also provides structure for a number of affinity-alliance groups, parent discussion groups and parent education events that focus on topics that are relevant to the CA community and to the experiences our children encounter at CA.

We will be using Signup Genius for volunteer opportunities this year. Opportunities will be sent out in specific communications, will be linked on the relevant place on the PACA website and can be searched on Signup Genius by searching on “cavikingparents@gmail.com”.

5.     Emails?  As Co-Presidents, we do not intend to send many emails throughout the school year in order to minimize the number of communications from PACA. Instead, we will rely on the PACA Division Parents to send emails every other Sunday night as a news digest for what happened the last two weeks and things to look forward to. The good news is if you miss an email or it hits the spam folder in your email software, the information will still “live” on the PACA website! (get the trend?). Grade level parents (and room parents for Lower School) will only send emails when there is something they need you to know specifically / timely for children in a particular grade or room. And, of course, please be sure to always read the “Viking Voice”, which is the school’s main e-newsletter sent out the middle and end of each month. We hope that the combination of these communications will compliment one another, not overload you with redundant information and provide a structure for you to reliably find information when you are ready to consume it.

6.    First PACA (all school) event? Join us for the First PACA Parent Forum (previously known as monthly PACA meetings) on Wednesday, September 5th from 8-9am. There will always be a speaker at the PACA Parent Forums and opportunity to learn more about the school in general alongside the big upcoming PACA events. If you want to see the a schedule of upcoming PACA events and programs, click here. We’ll keep reminding you of upcoming events as they near.

7.     Questions? We want this year to be full of transparency and clarity for you as a parent navigating Columbus Academy and hope our efforts will make you feel more engaged and connected to this wonderful community.  Please plan to check the website first to see if the answers to your questions live there – and if not, feel free to email us at any time (cavikingparents@gmail.com).

Thank you for your time and attention and we look forward to working with you this year!


Laura Weiser (Aden ’18 & Ethan ’22)
Mike Ahern (Sasha ’20 & Aislinn ’22)


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