Parent Participation

Parent Participation Explained

Why parent participation?

Our school is built on the premise that parents, teachers, and students are all members of the Orion Community that work together for the betterment of our community. This means we want parents involved. There are so many different ways for you to become involved.

All parent volunteers must have a current parent participation contract on file. Parent participation requirements are: 72 hours a school year for one student, or 108 hours per year for two or more children enrolled. Parents may participate in the classroom, at school, or on leadership levels. Each classroom has a room coordinator that can help you find your niche and fulfill your hours.

How to get hours

There are many, many ways to put in hours. While many are during school hours in the classrooms, you can participate during off hours in many different ways. A lot of preparation for classroom activities can be done at any time and committees are always looking for people to help with their special activities.

Childcare hours?

  • Yes! This is how it works: if you provide childcare for an Orion parent that allows them to put in hours for Orion, the two of you can add the hours. For example: Parent A needs to work for 2 hours in their child’s classroom but there is a younger sibling that needs childcare during that period. Parent B provides the child care. Both Parent A and B can count those 2 hours towards their parent participation.

Buying out your hours

  • You can buy up to 49% of your hours at a rate of $10 per hour. To purchase hours, make a check payable to “Starship Orion.” Write “Hours purchase” and the name of your OLDEST CHILD in the check memo. Starship will provide you with a receipt, which must be submitted with your hours’ reporting log. (Hours should no longer be purchased through teachers).

The Mechanics of Parent Participation

Parent Participation is based on an honor system. Each parent is required to report his/her own hours. Parents are expected to keep a count of their own hours and report back three times a year (typically November, February, and May).

Families that are falling behind on their expected hours will be contacted by the school and provided with guidance on how to fulfill their parent participation commitment. 

Orion provides log sheets for tracking and submitting your hours (look for copies next to the Starship Orion mailbox in the front of the school). You are also welcome to log your hours in your own spreadsheet or other document for submission. Be sure to provide dates, descriptions, and accurate hours of your volunteering time. And remember to submit any receipts for purchased hours. Dates can be entered as individual dates or date ranges, which allows you to aggregate hours for a specific activity type. Hours’ logs are submitted to the basket in front of the school office. Keep a copy of everything you hand in.

As a general guideline, you should be targeting to earn 24, 48 and 72 hours along the three reporting deadlines (or 36, 72 and 108 hours for two or more children at Orion).

View “Recording Parent Hours” for more detailed info.



  • I did a bunch of hours in the summer. Do those count towards my volunteer hours?
    • Yes, any hours worked after June 1 can count for the following school year. Keep track of your summer hours and submit them in the fall.
  • What if I won’t complete my hours by the last reporting date?
    • There are still many opportunities to volunteer up until June 1. If you have committed to working hours after the last reporting date, note the hours with the future dates and submit them in the May reporting log. Hours worked after June 1 can count for the next school year.

Have any other questions you’d like answered? Email the overall classroom coordinator!