Dear <<First Name>>,
Welcome to the first update from the Development Office!
Laura and I have decided to trim our communications to make getting the info you need easier. We know it’s been an email-heavy bunch of months so we’ve decided to do away with the Monday email and instead direct all info into this weekly newsletter. There will of course be emails from your child’s teachers and the ad hoc emails from the school but we’ve heard your feedback and are doing our best to reduce the volume. Starting in October, the second Friday of the month will be dedicated to Development Office happenings so please stay tuned.
The intention behind the Development Office is to hold the space for community engagement. With the ways we traditionally connect as a parent body limited, for the time being, you have been asking me about how we can build connections with the school and with each other. I’ve been thinking about that and am grateful to have input from many creative and resourceful souls, who are sharing community-building ideas and figuring how to bring them to fruition. Collectively, we’ve done so much work the past three years to enliven many aspects of school life which means we have a solid base to work from. We also have the Community Fund to work with, which allows us to invest in ideas that make sense for the school and community. Please keep sharing your ideas with me and with your class reps too – your voice is important.
For those of you that have offered to be a class rep, thank you! We’ll talk as a group next week about how we can support each other, our class communities, new families, and the school through the coming months together. Speaking of new families, huge thanks to the many of you who have referred friends and family to us. It’s been amazing to welcome new families to the school and similarly, to greet returning students. Your referrals and decision to return mean so much.
Fundraising will carry on this year as it has the past few years, but I am dedicating more focus to creating the systems and structures needed to grow our fundraising program. I’m excited that we’re participating in #GivingTuesday again and will be promoting it regularly in the coming months. For those of you new to #GivingTuesday, it is a very cool and inspiring international day of philanthropy. This year #GivingTuesday is December 1st and we’ll set an ambitious participation goal for ourselves. Please stay tuned for more information in a few weeks’ time about how you can help.
Another area I am focused heavily on is our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work. Our working group now includes five teachers representing every department of the school and we are committed to changing things for the better. We are looking at all of the opportunities we can make an impact on operations, including: training and orientation, policies and procedures, curriculum and resources, and parent education. Please be in touch with me if you would like to learn about what we’re doing now and how plans are forming for the future.
And now, apropos community, I have to mention parking. It’s been so nice to see many of you GS and ECC parents while I’ve been supporting traffic flow in the mornings and afternoons. And what a treat to see some HS parents on occasion – I love it. Even just in passing, it feels like a connect. It warms my heart to see your kids smile and wave too. It’s such a sweet way to bookend each day. Things have been pretty great overall though I would like us to work together to use the drop-off lane on St. Christopher’s more efficiently. These past rainy days, the volume of vehicles coming into the driveway has been heavy. Please keep the St. Christopher’s Road drop-off and pick-up lane as a Kiss & Go (which means do not leave your car) so folks that are planning to use it when they approach the school can actually access it. The exception is for parents with little ones in tow or with sleeping babes in the car. If that’s you, please pull up as far as possible to enable the Kiss & Go lane (while minding the fire hydrant restrictions). We’re not going to be calling the District to issue tickets but neighbours do and parents have been ticketed for blocking or parking too close to driveways and for driving too fast. Nobody wants a ticket so please make the sometimes inconvenient choice to park where you’re allowed and to drive the limit or we might make parking duty mandatory for all parents. Just kidding; we won’t. But seriously, please keep making my job easy by following the rules. It is appreciated!
Please be in touch if anything comes up as you move through your days as a VWS parent. I’m here to support you.
Until next time,
Community & Resource Development Manager