Dear Flint Hill School Families,
Last Friday, we saw our “school family” in all of its magnificent glory, as we hosted our annual Grandparents and Special Friends’ Day. It was an enormous undertaking on the Lower and Middle School Campus. Special thanks go to the incredible Advancement Team who led the way, all the parent volunteers, and the Facilities and Security Teams, who stepped in to help. Besides being incredibly well organized, we had an impressive turnout of over 300 grandparents and special friends who joined us for lunch and to visit classes. But what was most telling were the behaviors that we saw among our “family members.”
It was a joy to walk around the gym as our guests enjoyed lunch with their loved ones and the entire Lower and Middle School communities. Students were introducing their grandparents and special friends to their personal friends, classmates and teachers. They were playing games together at the lunch table. They were sharing a special meal together. Others were talking about the School, who the people were in the gym, and what was going to happen when they visited classes. They were listening to each other and cherishing the moment.
In families, that aspect of being together is so critically important. We always need to find time to get to know each other, to understand each other better, to find ways to recognize how to value what each one of us brings to a family and to share the appreciation and love that we have for family members. All of that was evident as our families sat around the proverbial “dinner table” with a very extended family, filling the gym alongside them.
After lunch, students, grandparents and special friends met up in the classrooms. They had a chance to explore what the children are learning in class, take part in various activities, work on journals together, even measure the hallways, checking out the difference between an adult’s steps and a student’s steps. All of it made for a beautiful moment in the Flint Hill experience. It brought our school family closer and provided an enormous moment to model great behavior for our visitors.
And this Saturday, May 18, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 pm, in the Learning Commons of the Upper School Campus, we will have another opportunity to celebrate family. Our school, under the leadership of our Director of Diversity and Inclusion Mia Burton and her team, will be hosting the “Community of Care: The Flint Hill Vision.” The day has been structured so people can attend the full day or come for the morning or afternoon sessions. This entire effort is to help our “school family” get to know each other in a more open, honest, personal, and authentic way. There will be opportunities to talk and share about our journey through life and our hopes and dreams for the future. It will focus on making certain that our Flint Hill school family knows each other better and to emphasize the need on helping nurture, support and grow in the important relationships that we build with each other daily.
Alicia Waller ’05 will be our special guest speaker for the afternoon session. Alicia is an incredible musician and opera singer who trains and lives in New York. Her career path has focused on diversity and inclusion through the arts, and we will all have an opportunity to learn more, from and with her, as she shares her perspective and gives us more of an opportunity to reflect and expand on our personal journeys as individuals and as members of this school family. Everyone is invited to attend.
Family is evident in everything we do, and here at school, we use the term “school family” much more than we do community. So I hope you take solace in the wonderful Grandparents and Special Friends’ Day that we had last week. And I sincerely hope that you will join us on Saturday, by simply signing up or showing up for any of the sessions. We would love to have you here if at all possible. It will be an open and honest day for us to share our four core values and to hone into the incredible vision we have as a school, “Take meaningful risks. Be yourself. Make a difference.” Attending this program on Saturday would be to take one of those risks, but ultimately we want everyone to be authentic. We know that, collectively, we are going to make an enormous difference as we look ahead.
I look forward to seeing everybody this weekend! Thanks again for your support, as this chilly spring continues.
Best wishes to you!
John M. Thomas