April 17, 2019

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

Springtime feels like it is starting to settle in, and, if your home is anything like mine, it brings with it a whole list of “honey do’s” that clearly need to be done to make everything come together for a new season. This past weekend, we spent time cleaning the house … inside and out. We will have family coming for Easter, with two very rambunctious seven-year-olds, so we wanted everything to look good for them. From cleaning the house to weeding the gardens to sweeping the garage and making sure the lawn was cut — all while making time to grade papers and write birthday cards — my list seemed endless. Sometimes, it almost seems like there are so many things that need to be accomplished and never enough time. Some of you are very spontaneous and like to live by the moment. But I am sure many of you are also incredibly organized with all the juggling you have to do between getting the kids to school, to the various activities after school, and to get meals at home organized, all while working full time, and again your list must go on and on far more than mine.

I learned a long time ago that it is helpful to have a list. It really does help to map all activities out. This concept was clearly evident, as Emily and I went grocery shopping this weekend. We made a list of everything we needed to do and get and, conscientiously, walked through the various stores crossing off what had been accomplished. The same obviously can hold true in our daily activities. We need a list of what is left to do. And that list can hold what is urgent for us to do and what is really important. We need to make sure that we are ready for the end of this day, week, month, or school year. Even here at Flint Hill, we have to do those kinds of lists so we know exactly what is left to do between now and the end of the school year. Here are a couple of thoughts that you may want to put on your list. Make sure they get into your family’s calendars, and map them out so that you can check them off, as these final few weeks begin to pick up speed.

 

Flint Hill To do list

  • Take part in the Upper School Visual Art Show Opening Reception today. The Upper School will be transformed into a major art gallery.  You will be able to see drawings, paintings, digital arts, ceramics, photography, and again the list of amazing work can go on and on. Just as we had the incredible Arts Jam Concert last week at George Mason University, which was spectacular and gave us a chance to showcase all of our performing arts groups, please come today, at 6:00 p.m., to participate in the Arts Reception. If you can’t make the reception, please stop by the Upper School regardless of what grade your children are in, so you can see the incredible artistic talent of our great Upper School students. The show is up for the next two weeks. Please note that there will be artwork displayed on both campuses, and you will have the chance to see what our Lower and Middle School students have put together as well. It is well worth it! I promise you, it will bring a sense of inspiration to all of us.

 

  • Donate to the Annual Fund and the Momentum Campaign. The Annual Fund is our yearly fundraising event to truly make things happen for our students. Over the years, your gifts to the Annual Fund have given us the playgrounds on the East Campus, the new Robotics Room, and the Learning Commons on the Upper School campus among others. And there are lots of things that we continue to want to do to enhance our great school. The Annual Fund brings the most critical percentage of our parent participation; it has been going up steadily year by year, but we really need to shatter it and have it at 100% of parent participation. And the Momentum Campaign continues to raise money for this exciting project that will impact all three divisions; we hope to come very soon to a successful conclusion. It has been inspiring to see the enormous generosity and momentum from incredible members of our school family who have made a gift to this effort. They ranged from students in the Junior Kindergarten all the way to alumni and grandparents. In fact, the donor list on the website lists everyone who has made a gift in alphabetical order. There is no delineation as to what amount they donated, simply the fact that they are behind us in this effort. I hope your name will join us. It would be outstanding to have a year when 100% of our school family made a gift to the Annual Fund and The Momentum Campaign.

 

  • Complete Your Parent Survey. We recently had the Annual Parent Survey sent to families. This “satisfaction survey” is done by a third party, so all references to a particular family are kept in confidence. It is direct, honest, and heartfelt feedback we want and need, as we continue to strive to get better.  Your willingness to take a few minutes to fill it out is deeply appreciated and will clearly aid us in this effort.

 

  • Nominate someone for the Driving Spirit Award. Each year, we recognize members of the faculty and staff for the Driving Spirit Award.  Those individuals recognized come from nominations from parents, students, alumni, and fellow faculty and staff. Help us say “thank you” in a big way. Join us by nominating people you feel have gone above and beyond in their service to the school.

 

  • Attend Springfest next weekend. There will be a whole host of activities for the day — from a tennis social for parents to a lawn party, with all kinds of games, activities, and food, to several athletic competitions for people to come and cheer on our Huskies. And all of these events will be happening while we will be hosting our Reunion Weekend with reunion classes, from our most current graduates to our alumni who graduated 50 years ago! Everyone will be here and will have the same opportunity to see the Flint Hill of today in action. Please plan to come to cheer on our great athletes and to participate in what we hope will be a beautiful weekend. These all help make our school family a much stronger and exciting community.

 

  • Encourage your children to finish strong. We always talk about how we start things and how important that is, however, it is also important how you end things. Just like being in a race in track, you have to run through the tape. I ran track in high school and college, and I always knew that you couldn’t stop shy of that tape; no matter what place you were in, you needed to cross that finish line. And that is what we want for all our students. Finish strong. Make a statement. And feel good about what you have done, and hopefully, earn your personal best.

 

Wow! It is quite a list but one I know we can handle. These events are manageable and necessary. So have fun over the next few weeks. Help us bring this school year to a very successful conclusion. Thanks in advance for all your efforts to “check these items.”

I look forward to seeing you at many of the upcoming events this week and in the weeks ahead.

Best wishes to you!

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster