Chiaravalle Family Association


The Chiaravalle Family Association offers a lot of ways for parents to get involved and support the community through volunteering. Below is a list of a few time-honored traditions that require volunteer support. New events pop up throughout the year, be on the look out for "call to action" emails when we have new events and a need for volunteers.

Holiday Luncheon for Faculty and Staff: For the holiday season we will continue our tradition of celebrating our amazing teachers and staff with a lunchtime feast! Volunteers prepare favorite dishes, donate beverages, and help coordinate the set up and clean up on the day of.

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day: Help us show our terrific teachers and staff how much we care! We need folks to coordinate goody bags and gifts, as well as other volunteers to cook, bake and/or help with set up and clean up.

Events: The CFA Ice Cream Socials, monthly coffees, Potluck/Cultural Festival, and Learning Garden clean-up days are great volunteer opportunities. Jump in and lend a helping hand for as much as you want. Volunteering is the best way to meet new friends and become a part of our awesome community!

Room Parents: Whether extending a warm welcome to new families or coordinating a class party, Room Parents are the backbone of the CFA, creating connection and community within their classrooms. Consider becoming a Room Parent for your child's classroom for the coming school year.

Volunteer Now!


Volunteer now by shooting a quick email with your specific interests or just say “call me when you need help!” and we’ll find a way to get you involved.

About the CFA

The Chiaravalle Family Association is proud to bring our families together as a welcoming and inclusive community by promoting family interactions, celebrating the diversity of our experiences and volunteering together, both in the building and our greater community.

The CFA is proud to organize and fund:

  • All staff and teacher recognition events throughout the year. 70% of our budget goes directly towards making sure that we’re able to recognize our teachers and support staff for all that they do to continue the rich traditions of Montessori education here at Chiaravalle. By organizing this more globally, we’ve been able to capitalize on the economies of scale and take the responsibility off the room parents.
  • Room level projects and activities as planned by the room parents
  • Community events like the Potluck Cultural Fest which celebrate our community’s experiences and cultures
  • Start of year and end of year celebrations
  • Monthly coffees in the Parent Café
  • and much, much more!

Chiaravalle is so fortunate to have an extremely involved community: half of our more than 250 families participate in some sort of volunteerism at the school every year! We volunteer at the room level as room parents, jump into fundraising efforts for our annual Benefit, we scoop ice cream at our end-of-year ice cream social— no matter what your schedule looks like, there’s always a place for you to help! Click here to get in touch with us!

The CFA Team

The Chiaravalle Family Association includes all Chiaravalle families. If your child is enrolled at Chiaravalle, you are part of the CFA!

Your 2018-19 CFA leadership team includes:

Sarah Coward (Catherine, EC202, Kindergarten)
Each of the CFA community leaders have their own specific focus and Sarah makes sure that they all feel supported by scheduling and planning events with the Development office, coordinating volunteers, communicating our needs to the greater community and pointing people in the right direction as best as she can! She truly believes that the more we get together, the happier we’ll be. If you’ve got an idea about how the CFA can serve our community even better—she’s all ears! Just email her at

Lorie-DillonLorie Dillon (Toby, EC 204)
Lorie's favorite thing about Chiaravalle is its focus on helping children be more independent as they learn and grow. Her second favorite thing is the incredible community she found as she got to know the school and its families after enrolling her son in 2015. A marketing communicator by day, Lorie works with CFA and Chiaravalle Admissions to introduce prospective families to the school community. She also helps facilitate teacher appreciation events throughout the year. Contact her at

Julia Ferguson (London, EC203)
As a new parent to the Chiaravalle family with a child in the Early Childhood program, Julia serves as the Co-Room Parent Coordinator with Liz Al-dajani. In this role, she helps guide the room parent program and supports the teachers in each classroom. She also serves as a member of the CFA and volunteers on the annual benefit committee. Email her at

Jen-Frost-HennagirJennifer Frost Hennagir (Julian, UE305)
Jen leads volunteer opportunities and “Green Up, Clean Up” family work afternoons for the Learning Garden and provides additional garden support throughout the year. The Learning Garden includes growing food in raised beds, providing a habitat for pollinators and birds with native plants, and fostering an outside learning area for students. Email Jen at if you are interested in volunteering in the Learning Garden. We are always looking for families to help weed, water and harvest over the summer months!


Suzanne Reed (Savi, Middle School, graduates Maya and Isu)
Suzanne has been a Chiaravalle parent and volunteer since 2004. Her favorite volunteer event has always been the "Potluck Cultural Fest", which brings families, food, music and culture together under one roof. This year she is excited to bring the popular event into the school's new space. Please reach out to Suzanne at with any ideas of how to share the cultural riches of Chiaravalle and the world at large during this all-ages celebration of cultural diversity.


The Chiaravalle Family Association is a parent-led organization that does so much to make sure we celebrate our community by organizing family events, celebrations, and much, much more. As a parent, you’re already a member of the CFA and, I must say, we’re a pretty cool group of people, joined by a similar cause: to bring our families together as a welcoming and cohesive community by promoting family interaction, exchanges of experiences and information, and group volunteerism. We believe in challenging our kids to be independent, inclusive and authentic in the world, no matter their ages.

In addition to school-wide community events like the Cultural Fest, CFA provides in-class parties and manages all of the staff recognition events throughout the year. The only way we can accomplish all of this is with your financial support. Please join us in supporting our Chiaravalle Family Association by making a contribution to our organization.

Please donate as much or little as you are comfortable giving. No donation is too big or too small. As a guideline, the suggested donation amount is:

  • $100 for 1 student
  • $175 for 2 students
  • $225 for 3 students

Support the CFA Online

Chiaravalle Lingo

Like any community, Chiaravalle often relies on acronyms, nicknames and shorthand to describe the people, places and activities of the school. Here are some of the key terms you may overhear in the halls.


Early Childhood Program aka 3-6 (Pre-K and Kinder, Ages 3-6)
EL Elementary Program (Grades 1-6, Ages 6-12)
Lower El Lower Elementary (Grades 1-3, Ages 6-9)
Upper El Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6, Ages 9-12)
MS Middle School (Grades 7-8, Ages 12-14)
Community Meeting Student-led meeting that includes all EL and MS
RP The Room Parent coordinates classroom activities and communication. Formerly known as HRP or Head Room Parent.
Sign-Up Party Sign-up parties put the "fun" in fundraiser! Anyone can sign up to participate in these family-hosted gatherings. Cost varies by event with all proceeds going directly to the Fund for Chiaravalle
Spirit Day Chiaravalle students and teachers show their school spirit by wearing their favorite Chiaravalle t-shirt or sweatshirt.
After-School Studios Elementary students can sign up for these fun after-school classes including arts and crafts, drama, Spanish and sports clubs and more.
North Wing The spectacular new addition to the historic Burnham building features the gym and library, as well as flexible spaces for theater, art, music and movement, community gatherings and more.
The Hub The centerpiece of the North Wing is this open, two-story space that serves as a central gathering place for the school community.
Gathering Stairs The large stair steps in The Hub provide seating for drama performances and large community gatherings as well as cozy spots for students to work independently or in small groups.
Da Vinci Studio With its views of the park and The Hub, this classroom in the North Wing provides the inspiration students need as they learn and explore the interconnected disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, aka STEAM.
Parent Cafe In the new North Wing, parents now have a little space of their own across from the front desk. Parents can grab a cup of coffee or tea, check the CFA and community bulletin boards, and chat with other parents
The Think Tank Aka The Fishbowl, this flexible learning and meeting room on the second floor quickly has become one of the most popular spots in the new North Wing.
TFD The former nickname for the full-day toddler classroom. Currently toddlers enrolled in the full-day program may be placed in either Toddler 102 or Toddler 105.
205, 302, 101... At Chiaravalle each class has numbers rather than names. Though it may be difficult for you to keep track of your children's homeroom numbers, your children quickly learn their own and everyone else's.
CFA The Chiaravalle Family Association, a parent-led organization that fosters community and supports the school's mission.


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