This page is dedicated to provide parent/guardian support information. We know that without you, we can't be a successful team. Offering information nights each term, our team passing along information to help shed light on the commitment and benefits of joining weather as a matriculated student or club member. All students are required to be a part of the Ventura Unified School District. A majority of our students are enrolled in high school. However, we do accept middle school students that are interested.
How often does the Robotics class meet?
During the school year, students attend classes on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 5:30 pm to 9:00 pm. If a student has a conflict with a class, then they reach out to the instructor and their 'lead'. Some common conflicts occur when students are involved in sports, band, dance teams, or family obligations.
Additionally, special events and competitions may require some or all students to attend. During the 'build season', which is typically January to the beginning of March, all students will typically be in the classroom 5-7 days a week. If your student is selected for the following departments or positions, then the time commitment is typically more: operations director, department managers/leads, drive team, travel team, and business team.
How do I support my student on the team?
-Enrolling - your student will need to ask their school counselor to add them to the class. Check their school records to see if they are registered and follow up with your student regularly to assist if their counselor hasn't added them by 4 weeks into the term. This is a 10-unit per semester class that looks great for their GPA and on college & job applications
Communication - we use Slack for team communications and have team meetings at the beginning of class. Slack has both a desktop and mobile app. Students and Parents can be added to Slack. Remember to remind your student to turn on Slack notifications for each Slack channel that they are a member! Parents will be added to the 'general' chat group as requested. If you have a question for the instructor, then you can email directly. If you have a question for the team, use the team email and a member of the business department will respond.
-Transportation - your student may need rides to/from class. Students are asked to call their rides 15 minutes before class ends. They will walk out to the curb after the end of the day clean-up.
-Food - It's a long day for students, so make sure your student has food or money for food each night. Your student will need to eat dinner during class since we meet during the evening. Most students will bring money and walk in small groups to the nearby market to grab food to bring back to campus. A fieldtrip form signed by you will allow your student to leave for food. Other students will bring food from home or have food dropped off.
-Drinks - make sure your student has a refillable water bottle.
-Fieldtrips - sign fieldtrip paperwork if your student is participating in special events. Transport your student to off-campus events.
-Registration with FIRSTinspires.org - yourself and your student need to be registered each year & the release of liability signed.
-Safety - all students take a safety certification course at the beginning of the term each year. Additionally, our class adheres to VUSD rules and regulations. Students are encouraged to speak to the instructor to resolve issues. However, there are volunteer adult mentors that pass background checks with FIRST that are available to speak to if they are more comfortable doing so. Issues that need to be escalated may involve school administration.
-Diversity & Inclusivity - our team strives to promote STEAM to a broad range of students from diverse backgrounds. Respect and professionalism are core values for our team.
How can I help out the team?
Engagement - come to the info night, Robo Rollout, competitions and look for other opportunities to get involved. Your student may enjoy having you in the background as a mentor or volunteer. Come by the classroom once in a while to see what they are up to and ask questions to see what they are learning.
Fundraising - this team costs about $30K per year to run, so sponsorship by an employer or from local businesses helps finance operating and travel expenses. Additionally, we ask for raffle donations for our Robo Rollout (Open House event) and offer Spirit gear such as t-shirts, hoodies, and stickers.
Build Season - please bring food and drinks for the team. students will be in the classroom long hours and this helps keep their brains & bodies working, and spirits up. Understand that students can bring their homework to class to keep up. There will be times when they are needed to be there even when not working directly on the robot so that they can step in as-needed.
Volunteering - During build season in January, bring your woodworking and mechanical skills to help build field elements for the practice field. During the Ventura Regional and off-season competitions or community outreach events, we need volunteers to help with crowd-control/field reset/judging, robot transportation, transporting your student.
Spectating - Watch FIRST competitions in-person or streaming. These are competitions similar to other high school sporting events. While at local regionals, we want to pack the audience with our biggest fans - you! You are welcome to get your own hotel room and cheer on the team at away competitions. More popular than that, you can stream the events online and share links with other family members such as grandparents and friends. Check out the calendar to see what's coming up.
Let us know what other info you wish you knew about the team so we can improve this page. Fill out the contact form.
Parents may participate helping with fundraisers.