The following is a list of frequently asked questions. Should you have an additional question or a speaker recommendation, we welcome your input and encourage you to email your comments to the Common Ground Chair
How can my school become a member of the Common Ground Speaker Series consortium?
At this time, we are not taking on new member schools. We are gratified to see an increased interest in parent education and in our speaker series in the San Francisco Bay Area. Due to this increased interest we find our venues filled beyond capacity at each of our lecture events. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate more members in our limited venues and are thus currently unable to offer membership to additional schools.
Who may attend Common Ground event and is there a charge?
Common Ground Speaker Series events are open to the public. All parents, faculty and staff from our member schools are admitted to the events free of charge. (This is made possible through the generous financial support of their schools.) Faculty and educators from non-member schools are also admitted free of charge. Guests from non-member schools and the general community are welcome to attend for a $20 fee at the door.
Can I reserve seats ahead of time?
Seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We suggest that audience members arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of the event in order to secure a seat, enjoy complimentary refreshments and purchase books. Please let us know the name of the member school you are affiliated with when you arrive.
How long do most events last?
Evening events begin at 7pm and generally end by 9pm. Morning events begin at 9am and generally last until 11am. Events include 60-80 minutes of formal remarks by our speakers, followed by a short Q&A period. Our speakers graciously stay after their formal presentations to greet audience members and sign books.
What kind of seating is available?
Actual seating varies by location, and is generally in theater-style seats or movable chairs with backs. Every effort is made to accommodate audience members who require handicapped access or seating. Please ask for help from a Common Ground volunteer upon arrival at the event.
How can I get directions to the venues and information about parking?
Detailed directions and notes about parking can be found on the speaker’s page of our website. Parking may be limited at some venues and carpooling is always encouraged. Since most of our venues are in residential neighbors, we ask that you are respectful to local homeowners.
Is it appropriate to bring children to events?
Our events are generally designed for parents, educators and other adult professionals. On occasion, a topic may be appropriate for college students and mature high school students. We ask that our attendees leave toddlers and children at home. If you need to bring a baby, please be considerate to those around you and be prepared to leave the event venue if necessary.
Are books available for purchase at the presentations?
We appreciate our long-standing partnership with Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park. Kepler’s offers books by our featured speakers at each event venue. They accept cash, checks and major credit cards. As an alternative, you may purchase books online. Kepler’s will donate 6% of the proceeds to Common Ground when you shop for books online by visiting the Common Ground Speaker Series Book Store at Kepler’s.
Are audiotapes, videotapes or podcasts of the talks available?
Speaker notes are available after the event on our Common Ground newsletter. We do not provide tapes or podcasts of Common Ground Speaker Series events. Audience members are prohibited from recording the events without the express written consent of our speakers.