Dear Flint Hill School Families,
As you look at the school calendar, you may notice that it has been filled with many traditional end of year activities: Grandparents and Special Friends Day, Grade 8 Service Fair, Middle School Color Games, Senior Projects, and the Lower School Family Fun Fair! All of these special events make us realize that the year is coming to a close…fast. The final Middle School athletic games are today, and the Upper School finished their games last weekend with the members of the Track Team competing in the State finals. Several concerts have also been taking place. In fact, the final Middle School concert is the Choral performance tonight, and the Lower School will have a series of concerts next week. All of these performances are indications that it is almost the end of the academic year!
The end of the year always makes me focus on how important it is that we not only complete the year, but end it well. We all spend a lot of time talking about first impressions and how important they can be to setting up someone’s expectations of us as people. Let’s never lose sight of the fact that it is equally important how we end something. It produces a final and lasting impression. There are many things that we could consider to help us all end on a positive and productive note. Here are a few thoughts:
- Say thank you. It has been an amazing year! There has been an enormous amount of energy and lots of opportunities to share, talk and learn together. More specialized coffees were added this year to focus on programming and curriculum. We now have two new Division Directors, an improved Weekly Newsletter, and a whole host of opportunities were provided for everyone to participate in our Strategic Planning process. Each and every step was an effort to improve our school. Saying thank you is critical.
In fact, we say thank you to you. Everyone has been an absolute delight to work with throughout every experience. Your input and ideas have been invaluable. Your support and ongoing active engagement in so many areas has meant the world to us. Your children have worked hard. And their excitement, poise, confidence motivates us each day. So thank you for sharing your children with us and for your partnership in this adventure we call Flint Hill!
But what can you do to say thank you to the faculty and staff who have led the way in this critical endeavor? Maybe a quick note from you or your child to that special teacher or coach. I can’t tell you how many teachers keep such notes when they are received. Faculty and staff work hard. Teaching is a personal calling for many. It really does make a difference when someone takes the time to say it is noticed.
- The Flint Hill Fund. Throughout the year we talk about the Annual Fund. We have all learned that tuition does not cover the everyday expenses of running our great school. The Flint Hill Fund truly allows us to do everything we can to make the school the great place that it is. Whether it helps us find, support, and retain our phenomenal faculty and staff or allows us to purchase school supplies for all the activities that our children engage in, from robotics to music to athletics, you name it, your support is priceless. Each and every aspect of the day has a cost, and costs are costs.
Let’s not forget about the power of participation. Regardless of the contribution, the participation by individual members of our School family is key. Whenever we ask large donors for gifts, they often ask about the percentage of giving by various groups. This can be a tremendous strength of our program, especially with our amazing retention of current families! Your active participation, right now, will allow us, at this very critical moment — as the year comes to an end — to finish strong in that aspect of participation.
Our fiscal year ends on June 30 and maybe, as a way to end the year, if you have not done so already or would like to make an additional gift, you can make that gift to the Flint Hill Fund. It is a way to say – loud and clear – THANK YOU! Actually, you can do it in honor of your child or your parents, who may just have recently been here for Grandparents and Special Friends Day. Or better yet, you can honor that teacher or a coach. Their name and your name, as the person who is honoring them, will go in our Annual Report next fall. There is no better way to say thank you than by honoring that individual and helping the school all at the same time.
- Finish Strong. We need to keep the momentum going until the very last day. I always use the analogy of running at a track meet. One of my events in track and field was the high hurdles. From that experience along with the mentoring of a great coach, I learned that you never give up. You have to run through the tape at the finish line. You can’t stop short of it. We can finish strong! Once we get across that line, then we all need to get plenty of rest and relaxation and build up that bucket of energy, so that we are ready to go as we come back to the next school adventure in August. But above all, we need to finish strong.
Enjoy the weather. Look at the beautiful flowers and trees in bloom. Enjoy the very green grass and continue to feel that excitement in the air. This has been a phenomenal 2014-2015 school year. It is one that has propelled us forward at this critical anniversary year to newer heights of collaboration and critical thinking and has helped us really focus on those signature concepts of relationships, balance and innovation. Let’s get to the end of the year with that same positive Driving Spirit!
If we could be helpful in any way, please do not hesitate to call on us. I look forward to seeing you over the next final weeks.
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas