Helios Community Association

The Helios Community Association (HCA) is Helios’ parent volunteer organization that was created to enhance and support the educational experience at Helios, to develop a closer connection between school and home by encouraging parental involvement, and to improve the environment at Helios through volunteer and financial support. 

The tireless HCA volunteers put on events throughout the year to bring staff, kids, parents and families together and offer support. This year is a particularly complex one with COVID-19 but our team has risen to the challenge. 

Since the Spring, Zoom parent meetings and happy hours became commonplace at Helios and starting this year and the HCA is excited to bring new and fun family activities that will allow for social distancing safety including - Scavenger Hunts, Outdoor Movie Nights for Lower and Middle School, Online Parent Education meetings, Community Wide Yoga, Monthly Helios Hikes, Family Online Game Night and more. 

HCA also provides support to our amazing staff and teachers.  This year we were thrilled to give them Welcome Back gift baskets and are looking forward to showing our appreciation through things like providing snacks on school supplies prep days, Holiday and End-of-the-year gifts, Valentine's cards and this year, a new tradition to donate to the staff member's favorite cause for their birthday. 

Finally, HCA also volunteers time during the day for student specific events. This year we are looking at doing a pumpkin carving contest, a virtual costume parade, virtual Earth Day celebration and pending Spring outlook, a great year end carnival and graduation. 

Next year we hope to bring back some of our old traditions - the biggest one being our Family Camping Trip - an annual tradition of spending two nights together in the redwoods. Helios even builds in a half day of school on Friday to make sure everyone has a chance to get there before dark! 

All of these activities are part of HCA's overall vision to provide the school community a culture of support, caring, inclusiveness, appreciation of differences, open dialogue, and fun.

Informational Events:

  • Parent Education Evenings
  • Parent Coffees once a month   
  • Monthly Evening Group Discussion

Social Events:

  • Summer Playdates and Parkdates 
  • Welcome Ice Cream Social
  • Helios Hikes
  • Family Camping Trip - fun overnight camping for the whole family at Little Basin Campground
  • Family board game nights at school
  • Family Dance
  • Holiday Party - night out for parents and activities for kids 
  • Family Museum Overnight - past locations include Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cal Academy of Sciences.
  • Spring Celebration - night out for parents, teachers and staff to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the closing of another great school year. This is a catered wine and food event for maximum relaxation.

Staff/Teacher support:

  • Conference Weeks - snacks for staff
  • Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week
  • Staff Development/In-Service Day Lunches 
  • Room Parents 
  • Holiday / End-of-year Gifts (all teachers/staff) - The HCA takes care of gifts so you don’t have to
  • Valentine Cards 
  • Birthdays (all teachers/staff) 

Daytime During School Events:

  • School Halloween Party - costume parade and fun activities for the kids during the school day
  • Earth Day Celebration - earth day activities for the kids during the school day
  • Graduation / End-of-Year Potluck - celebrate the graduating class with a fun potluck at school and welcome the summer

2020-21 HCA Team

Co-Chairs: Stephanie Pandya & Jolee Crosson

Treasurer: Melodie Holley

Volunteers: Flo Grosskurth, Jenelle Bray, Tracy Shedroff, Michelle Park, Jill Murphy, Tameen Khan, Marco Mena, Elizabeth Wallace, Ian Gulliver, Emily Achberger, Ravit Ortiz, Jocelin Chan, Yana Firstenberg Godin, Jennifer Logan, Kristine Zehner, Kristal Ferchau, Danielle Hilmes, Sarah Bolin, Yang Chu

 

About the family camping trip:

"A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!

New to school and to family camping, we didn't know what to expect. Good thing that we didn't though, as this was beyond anything we could think of :)

Thank you Kristine for making it seem like a walk in the park (which I'm sure it wasn't) and a BIG THANK YOU TO YOU ALL for being so welcoming. It made all the difference in the world!

I am sure that my kids will cherish this for years to come, as I would, too, as we're already looking forward to making this (but really joining) an annual tradition!"

- Kfir E., Helios Parent