Mission:

The mission of the Oakleaf Band Organization shall be to support, promote, and provide a solid foundation for the band at Oakleaf High School, its student musicians, directors, and staff in the endeavor of building and sustaining a multi-faceted band program.

Vision:

As an organization, we will strive to increase the support of our Programs by working to decrease the financial burden on each family so that any student with the desire to participate can do so, while increasing the number of opportunities for positive experiences for our Student Musicians.

  • Increase corporate contributions and sponsorships.
  • Decrease fundraising by sale of tangible items.
  • Increase parent participation and volunteerism from within the organization
  •  Increase communication to junior high parent organization.
  • Make efficient essential operations efficient

 Scroll down to "Chaperones" for those interested in chaperoning on the European trip. 

Introduction:

The purpose of this handbook is to provide some guidance as to the activities, expectations, and opportunities available to our student members to help our parent members enable the success of their children and the band program as a whole.

The parent organization is a volunteer group who provides services, opportunities, and support by raising funds to offset the cost of the operations of the band and its ventures.  The organization operates solely under the purview of the Oakleaf High School Director of Bands; the Director will work with and appoint parent volunteers to run major sections of activity (concessions, chaperones, uniform laundry, logistics, fundraising, treasury, historian, event staff, hospitality, etc.).

Ensembles and Basic Philosophy:   The OHS Bands are made up of many ensembles:  The Golden Regiment Marching Bands (Competitive & Ceremonial), Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Jazz Ensembles (I and potentially II), Percussion Ensembles, WinterGuard, and Chamber Ensembles.  While all ensembles are important to its members, there are two of these ensembles that are required of our members:  A Concert Ensemble (whether Wind Symphony, Symphonic, or Concert Band) and the Marching Band.  Membership in these two groups qualifies the OHS band student for the extracurricular ensembles (all Jazz ensembles, Percussion Ensembles, Chamber Ensembles, and to qualify for solo and ensemble festivals). 

The most common question I receive each year is ‘does my child have to be in marching band?’.  The answer is yes.  Our governing agencies at the state level and as recommended by our state as ‘recommended best practices for scholastic band programs’, ask and require this of us.  While I understand the initial apprehension with the marching band, given some of the reputations that marching bands receive for overbooking their students or spending the majority of their year in this activity, the Oakleaf Bands are centered in the concert ensembles.  Our marching season will last between two and two and half months at maximum.  Outside of these minor issues, a marching band teaches many of the life skills that are simply not found in a traditional scholastic education as much as it was in previous generations; e.g., self-discipline, peacefully dealing with others, expression without violence, real leadership opportunities, conflict resolution, teambuilding/teamwork, job fulfillment, goal-setting, long-term growth potential, achievement from honest work, among many, many others.

What is the Parent’s Role in the Band?

Parental support and participation is VITAL to our success!  Please support our efforts to provide the best possible educational opportunities and experiences by:

  • Encouraging active participation in all Band activities
  •  Encouraging practice at home (it is our version of homework!); it is also the only way to progress within the structure of the program.
  • Supporting (through words and actions) the Band leadership of staff, students, and volunteers (a.k.a. – you can call an administrator with good news too!)
  • Guiding students to manage their time wisely and complete all school assignments in a timely and professional manner; we hold study halls – encourage their use!
  •  Making sure students are where they need to be, when they need to be.  We have an active, though consistent schedule; please follow the schedule closely to make sure your student attends all rehearsals and performances.  Our courses and activities are all performance based and those performances are paramount to receiving course credit.  Please look through the entire schedule before the season begins and communicate any conflicts with the Director immediately.
  • Providing financial resources by participating in fundraisers and/or paying all fees on time.
  • Communicating any questions, concerns, conflicts or problems as soon as they happen; consider us in a long-term relationship (say four years) – don’t leave the bandroom upset or confused – let’s talk.  Positive comments are also encouraged if you feel that some aspect of the program is going particularly well.
  • Attending as many performances as your schedule permits. Teenagers sometimes say they don’t want you there, but the truth is that your presence means a lot to them. In a few years, they will likely not remember their scores or how the band placed, but they will ALWAYS remember that you were there for them.
  •  Logging into our Charms system (see attachment) ensuring your contact information is up to date so that you will receive calendar updates, etc., is the easiest way to keep up with band activities; in fact, if you are not receiving periodic updates via email, something is awry with your account information!
  • ·VOLUNTEERING to help with dinners, fundraisers, sewing flags, fitting uniforms, moving equipment, building props, organizing carpools, chaperoning, etc.  For those who choose to become involved, the band becomes like a second family.  We want all of our members to be and feel like part of our family! 

Volunteering & Parent Leadership Opportunities:

Concessions:  This is our biggest fundraiser of each year!

Chair:  Each year, we seek a chairperson (or a team) who can organize volunteers to staff and run the concession stand at home football games and our marching band competition.  This person will have several responsibilities including ordering food and materials, pickup of materials, confirming volunteers as necessary, all in advance of each event.

Team:  Anywhere from 15-45 people are needed at a time depending on the demands of the event.  Jobs could include:  Grillmaster, Funnel Cake Aficionado, collecting money, passing out food and drinks, etc.

Logistics: 

Chair:  Either one or a team who would volunteer to drive a truck and/or trailer to transport the equipment of the band.  S/He would need to be organize and staff volunteers for each event.

Team:  This group helps to move and load the equipment prior to and after each performance and works directly with the student loading crew to make each move efficient in timing and safety. 

Chaperones:

Chair:  The person would organize and assign events to any and all who wish to chaperone events.

Team:  Essentially, we need One (1) chaperone for every ten (10) students we transport. 

CHAPERONE GUIDELINES AND INFORMATION:

Thank you for your interest in serving as a chaperone for the band, understand it is a tough job. As an adult, typically the parent of a student on the trip, your role is to help get the kids safely and happily through the rigors of their action-packed itineraries. You are an extension of trip leadership and a liaison to the students. The Directors will have high expectations of you, and your number one reason for being on a trip is to support the leaders and kids.

An essential trait for anyone wishing to be a chaperone is a genuine comfort with and desire to be around high school students. Chaperone responsibilities are substantial. It will be a rapid, non-stop series of constant duties, day and night, throughout the trip. Although we are always striving to make trips safe, enjoyable, educational and memorable events for our students, no chaperone should view a band trip as a vacation.

The four most important things to remember about being a good chaperone are: energy, a positive mental attitude, flexibility, and good leadership.

  • Energy – You will be up before the students and will go to bed after everyone else. You will be present for every part of the trip. It’s up to you to make sure that your students show up for breakfast, get on the bus, and to ensure they are ready for the next activity. You are ‘mom or dad’ away from home. You need to be able to keep up with it all with a smile on your face. 
  • Positive Mental Attitude – The mood of the group will be influenced by your attitude. If you’re in a great mood, they will feed off your energy. If you’re tired or frustrated, the kids will feel that and it will influence how they perceive their trip. 
  • Flexibility – It is so important be able to calmly handle the changes that WILL come up on a trip, and to be mindful of expectations.  The Directors will do everything in their power to make things run smoothly, but changes will happen and every chaperone needs to be able to roll with it. 
  • Good Leadership – Even though today’s kids are so independent, they still look to adults on the trip for guidance, especially when they are out of their comfort zones. There are times when they get excited or upset, and having a calm, mature voice of reason is crucial. The Directors rely on the chaperones to respect and support the decisions that have been made, and the itineraries that have developed. 

Chaperoning can also be abundantly rewarding. If you are a good chaperone, you will form lifelong bonds with the students and the other adults you travel with. You might not have much downtime, but you will help to shape the lives of so many teenagers, to be there and share in some of their once in a lifetime experiences. Rewards like that don’t get much better! 

The Chaperone Selection Committee, headed by the Band Directors and the OHS Administration will select chaperones based on their past band trip experience and/or their leadership in band functions. Parents who have past experience with large student groups such as scouts and church groups also will be considered highly. Often there are more applicants than open positions for certain trips. A balance of men and women is needed. Selected chaperones will need to complete a Volunteer/Background Form. 

The Band Director will be in charge of the entire group during any trip. It is expected all chaperones will respect the decisions and authority of the Band Director. Chaperones will be considered a part of the student group. All chaperones will report to the Band Director(s) and follow the guidelines below.

CHAPERONE DUTIES AND RULES WILL INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
1. Responsible for assigned group of students throughout planning and execution of trip.
2. Attendance at any pre-trip chaperone meetings and meetings during the trip will be mandatory.
3. Prior to the trip, may be asked to personally contact a parent of each student in assigned group to share trip details, answer questions and gather any student information necessary.
4. Compile an emergency contact list and communication plan for assigned group.
5. Assist Band Director with pre-trip details as needed.
6. Required to attend all band functions during the trip.
7. Responsible for getting assigned group to breakfast on time.
8. Responsible for assuring students have all required items needed for the day's events.
9. Work in shifts with other chaperones including supervision during all daytime activities as well as night time hotel hallway / room monitoring. 
10. Assist with bus loading and attendance.
11. Assist with the collections and distribution of band uniforms.
12. Assist with equipment loading, unloading, and handling as needed.
13. Assist with snack and meal preparations, serving and clean-up.
14. Chaperones will always be available to provide TLC when needed!
15. NO CHAPERONE WILL ISSUE DISCIPLINE TO A STUDENT.
16. Report all problems to the Band Director(s).
17. Report all dress code violation concerns to the Band Director(s). Directors ONLY will be responsible to address the issue with the student.
18. Non-marching band siblings of students cannot be part of the band/chaperone trip.
19. Submit information for official background screening to the Clay County School Board
20. All policies and procedures of the Clay County School District will be applicable on all band trips: NO SMOKING, CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL OR USE OF ILLEGAL SUBSTANCES WILL BE TOLERATED BY ANY CHAPERONE.

 Uniforms:

Chair:  This person would schedule dates with the Director and the uniform team to arrange laundry and ironing dates a few times through the marching band season.

Team:   This group handles the laundry and ironing of the uniforms.  We also need help in sizing the uniforms at each band camp.  Note:  This group does not need to be present en force to distribute or collect the uniforms; we have a trained student group for this!

 Sewing:

Team that would be willing to hem dresses, pants, sew flags, etc.

Treasurer:  Help with the collection and documentation of funds throughout the school year (busiest season will be in the fall); The Treasurer will work closely with the Director and also help keep our Charms accounts up-to-date.

Fundraising: 

Chair:  The FR Chair will work very closely with the director and an assembled volunteer team to research, design, and create opportunities to raise funds for the band with minimal selling of items.

Team:  Volunteers to help formulate and carry out ideas that financially benefit the band.

Event Staff:  …for events we host on campus.

Chair:  The chair for these special events will help identify and schedule volunteers for a variety of jobs as deemed necessary by the event itself.

Team:  Various jobs depending on the event; e.g., the “Knight’s Cup” Marching Contest needs ticket booth workers, money collectors, judge assistants, hospitality room staff, greeters, parking lot directors, gate managers, numerous concessions personnel, among many others.

Hospitality:

We are seeking a group of parents to help with the setup, distribution, and organization of food items at parent meetings, events, and concerts.

Historian:

This person or team would take pictures throughout the entire year at events for presentation at our annual band banquet.