Throughout the school year, students, parents and faculty collaborate on a wide range of special events, from student parties to community service projects to educational programming.
Several years ago — at the urging of both students and parents — we put together some simple guidelines to help assure that our students have functions that are both fun and safe. With the Blue and Gold Dance for grades 10 -12 coming up early next month, I want to share these guidelines. It always helps when all of us are on the same page.
- Dates: Students should not feel pressure to find a date for a dance. In fact, most students attend school dances in groups, not as couples. Students who wish to bring a date should be discreet when making the invitation. "Public asks” often backfire and can create ill will among peers.
- Transportation: Students should carpool to the dance rather than hiring limos or buses. During the dance as well as en route to and from campus, students must adhere to all school rules. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action. (See the student/parent handbook if you have any questions.)
Please do not host large after-dance parties. If you choose to host smaller gatherings, we request that you follow these guidelines:
Size and Time
- An after-party should not overlap with the school function. Students, teachers and parents work hard to plan these events, and it is dispiriting when students leave early.
- Do not host sleepovers, and make sure guests leave in time to make curfew.
- Keep numbers manageable.
- Make a guest list in advance; never invite an entire class.
- E-mail formal invitations to the invited students and their parents well in advance of the event. Include party rules and expectations, making it clear that efforts to limit the invitation list are for safety purposes, not to be exclusive. Include your cell phone number and encourage parents to contact you if they have questions or concerns.
- Have enough chaperones to assure the health and safety of your guests. Keep the ratio of adults to students at 1:7 or lower. Even for a very small party, at least two adults should be present in case one adult needs to leave in an emergency.
- When students arrive, collect their car keys and only return them at the end of the evening. If students ask to go to their car or access a bag or purse, you or another chaperone should accompany them.
- Students should remain inside your home in an easily monitored space at all times. Be present and visible, making sure to circulate every 15 minutes or so. Bear in mind that students in the past have snuck in banned substances and/or uninvited guests via windows and side doors.
- Once students leave, they should not be allowed to return.
- Do not serve alcohol or other illegal substances to students, and lock up any liquor in your home prior to the after-party.
- Do not allow students to bring alcohol or other illegal substances into your home. An easy way to enforce this is by not allowing guests to bring bags, backpacks, drinks or other containers into your home.
- If you discover that a student is under the influence of drugs or alcohol in your home, you should call the student's parents or guardians immediately so that they can pick up the student.
- And, if someone calls you to let you know that your child is under the influence, thank them for being responsible enough to reach out and immediately go to pick up your child.
- If you suspect alcohol poisoning, call 911 immediately.
It always helps when all of us — parents and the school — work together to make these school-sponsored events a wonderful and safe experience for our students. Thank you, parents, for your cooperation.
— Andy Abbott