“Section Parents”

2023 Parent/Booster Support Award Recipient

Rouse High School Band

Rouse High School
Leander, Texas


During the Covid pandemic, there was one thing the community experienced, adaptability. We learned that we have to figure out new ways to communicate with one another, share our stories, and develop relationships. As we emerged from isolation, we realized we had to start anew, we could not go back to the way things used to be, things were different, people were different, and how we communicated has become different. So we’ve adapted and developed a plan to help our newer parents evolve back into the band community with the assistance of our pre-Covid parents by way of Section Parents.


We had several objectives when it came to the initiation of our Section Parent program. Our primary objective was to facilitate communication. This included important information from the directors but questions about football games, contests, rehearsals, etc, that could be answered by parents who have experienced it before. This knowledge sharing would take those types of questions away from the directors who could then focus their efforts on the preparation of the kids for the performance. It also then builds relationships between parents of kids who have similar interests, potentially creating life-long friendships. While learning from each other, this cultivates team building and they begin to volunteer together, ultimately growing our pool of volunteers.

Target Audience

The target audience of our initiative was the parents (guardians) of our band program. The kids are getting information in the classroom, on the band pad, in their Google Classroom documents, and from their peers. They are meeting with one another daily in class and in rehearsal. They are getting ample opportunity to get to know each other and obtain the information they need to make their season a success. Our parents were relying on possible email communication from the band director(s) or a tidbit of information from their children about where they need to be and when. This may have left them with further questions or left them in the dark completely. With Section Parents, directors can share key information that needs to be known by all parents. Then, any questions that parents have that are specific to game night procedures that they may not remember from the presentation last spring, do they need this for the competition, can they wear this jacket if it’s cold, are they getting dinner before this event, etc. can be answered by the Section Parent. If there is something personal and specific to a participant, they are routed to the director for confidentiality. As parents communicate with one another more often, they develop a bond and become even friends!


Section Parents are recruited in the Spring to cover the following school year. Each Section Parent for the following year is announced during the last month of the school year as the new members from Middle School begin to participate in the end of the year activities. This allows the incoming parents an opportunity to recognize that they will also have support as their child starts a new program in our High School and who that person will be. Email communications and another alternative form of communication (IE: BAND app, Group Me) begin from that Section Parent during the start of the summer while the kids participate in summer section activities. These communications continue throughout the school year and are particularly utilized during the football and competition season.

Overview of Planning and Execution

The planning and execution of our initiative was supported by the band directors: Ryan Johnstone, Caitlin Wolf, and Matt Wood. The Boosters President and Vice-President, Kristi Stephenson and Michelle Schmitt, with some additional recruiting assist by Treasurer Randell Pitts, executed the current Section Parent plan. The time required to make the plan successful was fortunately minimal, as we are lucky to have several veteran parents willing to guide our new band parents into this awesome adventure. An announcement was made with the request for Section Parent volunteers during a general Booster meeting followed by an email request to all parents. Within one week, all Section Parent positions were filled with responses in person after the general booster meeting or replying to the email, with some even having more than one parent requesting to fill the position!

Tools and Resources

The most significant resources utilized in this initiative is our parent volunteers and their time. Between those who assisted with the recruiting and those who dedicate their time to being the Section Parent, it is their time that is the most valued resource. It is not a significant amount of time that the parents need to take the time to answer questions from others or to send email communications to a group of parents, however, it is appreciated that they care enough about the experience to dedicate the time to others. Other resources include a computer or smart device to execute email and other communications like the BAND app or Group Me.

Marketing and Promotion

One section, when returning from the pandemic, was extremely close. During the pandemic, they would “flock” the yard with flamingos of the person having a birthday to celebrate them since they couldn’t be together. The parents did this to make sure the kids didn’t lose sight of each other throughout the pandemic. We learned they still had Zoom calls and other fun events that they made up to make pandemic life more interesting within their section. After coming back together, other sections seemed envious of how close that section remained, even the parents were envious. This is how the Section Parent plan arose. What if having a Section Parent could help facilitate that kind of comradery? Yes, we would want them to share information and answer questions and all of those things too but, maybe they could also help those parents get to know one another so they aren’t alone in the stands. Coming out of Covid was scary. Not knowing anyone in the band family was scary. Navigating life again was scary. Section Parents helped us do all of it together, as a band family.


The best part about Section Parents is it’s a FREE program! It is run by volunteer hours by your parent volunteers. There should never be any expenditures for this program, ever.


We have had only a few challenges and they have been small. One such challenge was finding a Section Parent for one of our smaller groups. This took reaching out to that particular group of current parents to see if any would be willing to be a Section Parent. In doing so, we then had two parents volunteer! Which was our second challenge, what to do when you had two volunteers. For this we gave it to the first person who stepped up and requested that the second person be given the opportunity to assist as needed by the primary parent. That way they could potentially take over next year. Our most significant challenge has been making sure the parent population contacts their Section Parent first and develops that relationship before going immediately to the directors with any random questions that the Section Parents could have handled. It is a learning curve from Middle School to High School and this communication process will be too.

Success/Effectiveness Measurement

This is difficult to answer due to everything about our process currently being subjective. We have not been keeping objective data to see if emails to the directors have decreased, if parent interactions have increased, or if the number of volunteers has increased as a result of this program. However, subjectively, all of that is true; emails to directors from parents are down, parent interactions have increased, and parents who had previously never volunteered are now regularly volunteering.

Community Impact

Our initiative positively impacted our music program in various ways. It freed our directors from emails that could be handled by others, gave them time back with the kids to work on their performance and skills. It provided parents who wanted to do something for the program but were limited in what they could do, for whatever reason, with something that could bring positivity to the program. It has built relationships between both parents within a section to parents between sections as they increase their volunteer activities and work together. As they all volunteer, it builds a better show. All of this is less stress on the band directors which makes better directors for our kids as they prepare for a performance. Better communication all around makes for a better program.

Advice for others?

Advice that we would share with someone implementing this moving forward would be to lay all of the groundwork first and make sure everyone is comfortable with technology platforms. Have a Lead Section Parent who can filter information down. Be ready to adapt to fit your needs!