Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Carpool Coordinator

One of my kids made the high school freshman cheer team. This is a new sport for our family and so we are jumping right in.

One of the team moms asked me to coordinate the carpools. No big deal, right? I have long since mastered the art of the spreadsheet. As it turns out, this is what was involved:

1. Encourage all cheer team families to register with the school district to be volunteers. This means they have to fill out an online form and provide their driving record and insurance information to get official clearance. Track.

2. Send out a survey to find out which parents can drive to offsite cheer camp prior to school starting. Also find out which parents can drive to offsite cheer practices the two weeks prior to school starting. And then find out which parents can drive to the offsite cheer practices and away games from August to December. Don't forget about the number of seats they have free in their cars for those three scenarios, which varies by day and the activities of their other children, if they have other children. Find out what snacks their daughters will eat because drivers are responsible for feeding the kids a healthy snack, too.

3. Photocopy all the permission slips.

4. Create a cute sign for each driver's car so the cheerleaders can recognize them in the carpool pickup line.

5. Package the above two items in a pretty, transparent folder, as a Cheer Mom should.

6. Create a six-tab, color coded, shared Google Sheet with all the carpools. The carpools have to be predetermined because the school needs to know who is in which car at all times. And the carpools have to be randomly generated to discourage cliques from forming.

7. Send carpool schedule out for review and ask people to notify me ONLY if (a) I inadvertently left their daughter off a day or (b) I did not honor their request for scheduling as noted in the survey. See step 2.

8. Talk people through downloading and installing the Sheets app on their phones.

9. Grow thicker skin while fielding a surprising number of calls from parents who are unhappy with the amount of driving they have to do relative to other families.

10. Send link to schedule to freshman cheer coach, head cheer coach and high school volunteer coordinator.

11. After a few weeks of carpooling, figure out how to handle the driver who (a) texts and drives and (b) speeds. Be thankful that the cheerleaders spoke up and that no one has been injured.

12. Adjust carpools and assign additional drivers when one of our sweet cheerleaders and her family move across country midway through the season.

13. Hope I still have friends after this to sit with at the games.

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