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Invitation To Participate on Barton's Leadership Council
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 2:25 PM

Leadership Council

Parents! We invite you to consider serving on Barton’s Leadership Council next year, or to consider encouraging someone you know to serve. The Council is made up of staff, parents and students who work together to support Barton’s mission as an open magnet school. Serving on the Council gives parents the opportunity to learn more about open and progressive education, understand challenges Barton faces, and advocate for our students.

We especially seek parents who reflect the racial and cultural diversity of our school’s community. As Barton’s student body becomes increasingly more diverse, our Leadership Council needs to reflect the student body. Last fall, we added a second round of Council applications to increase racial and cultural diversity. Diversity comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. We encourage you to reflect on what you could bring the Council.

Who are we seeking?

We are looking for parents who are committed to and enthusiastic about Barton’s open/progressive values and mission, committed to looking at the big picture and pursuing what’s best for all students, and interested in helping set goals, policies and budget decisions. We seek representation across all of Barton’s cultural groups. We also seek a range of skills, length of time at Barton, and ages of children at the school. Having said that, no special skills are required for the Council, other than the passion and energy to work collaboratively in making Barton the best it can be.

What does this volunteer work involve?

The Council meets (generally) once a month during the school year on Thursday evenings, 4:30-6:30 pm. Free childcare is provided for school-age children. Council members work hard to attend as many meetings as possible, to ensure each member is fully informed so he or she can discuss and make recommendations knowledgeably, and to enable the members to build relationships with each other so we can work cohesively as a team. Outside of our regularly scheduled meetings, council members try to attend or volunteer at school events and activities when possible.

If you would like to submit your name!

Please prepare the following:

  1. Write a 3-5 sentence statement about yourself that includes these points:
    • Your name, and what grades your children are in.
    • In what ways would you contribute to the racial or cultural diversity of our council?
    • Your hopes for Barton School and its mission as an open school.
    • Why you are interested in serving on the Council.
  2. A photo of yourself, if possible. (Anything goes – see samples on our current Leadership Council page

  3. Return your statement and photo by Tuesday, May 24, 2016, by 3:00 pm to the school office or email them by 5:00 pm to Julia Mullin at

 What happens next?

Barton has used an endorsement process for many years. The intention is to welcome anyone with the time, energy, interest and commitment for this type of involvement. Barton’s Leadership Council does not have a specific number of seats. Rather, every person on the ballot who receives at least 30 endorsements (in a school community of about 700 potential voters) will be “endorsed” and will be a new member of the Council.

Here’s how it will roll out this year:

  • Thursday, May 26 — An endorsement ballot that includes statements and photos from all parents wishing to serve on the Council will be sent home to families (via backpack and email). Each adult in the household gets 10 votes to allocate as he or she chooses.
  • Thursday, June 2 — Ballots are due back to Barton by 3 pm. You can bring them to the school office or give them to your child’s teacher.
  • Friday, June 3 — Results of the endorsement process will be announced.

Thank you for the many and diverse ways you contribute to Barton and to our children.

– Julia Mullin, Parent Co-Chair, Leadership Council

– Kristin Sonquist, Staff Co-Chair, Leadership Council

– Nima Abdirahman, Fiona Pradhan, Kate Rush, Tricia Silpala, Marcy Zerwes, Endorsement Coordinators, Leadership Council


Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What if I don’t know 30 other Barton parents? Don’t let that worry stop you from submitting your name! Barton parents tend to try to endorse a diverse range of parents, covering both people they already know and people they haven’t yet met.
  • Is this a PTA? No. Barton’s Leadership Council is a unique platform that fulfills the combined purposes of a (state-mandated) site council and a PTA (parent-teacher association).
  • Who can attend Leadership Council meetings? Every Leadership Council meeting is always open to ANYONE who would like to attend. Please come!