Dear Flint Hill School Families,
I hope you all are continuing to have a terrific summer full of fun, rest and relaxation! While summer continues to go on around us, it is time for us to begin to focus on the start of this next school year. First, I would like to welcome back all returning members of our school family and also welcome all our new Huskies. This year, once again, we have a tremendous group of new students, parents, faculty and staff who will be joining us. To all of you, we welcome you and hope that you will experience a warm and caring start to what should prove to be an exciting school year ahead.
As we were ending the last school year and starting to look ahead to the 2017-2018 academic year, a number of things happened that I would like to share with you in this letter. First, it is important to note that our attrition rate for last year was 7.1%! That means that nearly 93% of all families who were with us last year are returning—an incredibly impressive figure among independent schools throughout the United States. Our faculty and staff attrition rate was 6%, which again is an incredibly low number.
Throughout this summer, we had seven rising Seniors attend the prestigious Virginia State Governor’s Schools, and our AP results were once again very strong. Our boys’ athletic program learned at the end of the year that they had been awarded the “Director’s Cup” as the outstanding program within our league. The Headfirst Summer Camps were a huge success with nearly double the number of children enrolled than we have had in previous years. And our Upper School robotics team took part in an International Unmanned Aerial Systems competition, where 54 schools from all over the world participated. Within that number, there were only 3 high schools and 51 engineering programs from colleges and universities (31 were American colleges and universities). Flint Hill was not only awarded the number one high school in the competition, but our team came in fifth place overall out of the 54 schools entered. Only one American university came in ahead of us — Cornell University. Congratulations to Upper School robotics teacher Mike Snyder and all the students who took part in that great effort. The results were incredibly impressive!
Our facilities staff has also been hard at work this summer. As you enter our buildings, soon you will see that everything has been painted and a number of enhancements and improvements have been made. On the Lower and Middle School Campus, a new design has been painted onto the gym floor. The bathrooms have been completely renovated on the first and second floors, and we have added an innovation/science lab for the Lower School. New technology has been installed throughout the academic building. For the Middle School, we have implemented a new room for makers and innovation as well. And in the Upper School, all the science rooms have been renovated. All of this points to how active and engaged we have been throughout the summer to prepare for this new school year. Additionally, a large number of faculty and staff have used this summer to take part in professional development by attending workshops and programs, all to support their efforts to make our educational program even more innovative and dynamic!!
Please know that there is lots we can all do to get prepared, and I will mention some of that in the weeks ahead as we continue our charge into the 2017-2018 school year. Enjoy your children during this special time of the year and these last days of summer! I look forward to seeing each of you soon.
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas