May 24, 2017

Dear Flint Hill School Families,

This time of year causes many of us to reflect on the concept of transitions and moving on to the next level. Bringing one school year to a successful conclusion leads to looking ahead to the next adventure. It is a natural rite of passage. The end of a school year brings moments that are true milestones in the lives of our children and our lives as parents. However, it can also bring a great deal of anxiety as our children — and we as parents — reflect on the many “lasts” that can occur at the end of the year: the last Middle School concert; the last Grandparents Day; or, for our Seniors, the last day on campus before becoming alumni. Transitions are necessary but can be bittersweet.

As we look ahead, there are a number of things we can all do to help each other and our children transition to summer break and ultimately, to what lies ahead for the next school year.

  1. Get excited. Life’s journey is remarkable. It’s part of why our lantern stays lit during the school year. It represents our courage and determination to get the most out of every moment while knowing full well that our journey will be filled with both trials and moments of celebration. When another school year begins, we will see some of that excitement as students re-enter our buildings. I have a vivid memory of watching a young man who had transitioned into First Grade after being here for Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten. As he got out of his car on the first day of school, a fourth-grader was there to help greet people and instinctively reached his hands down to help him walk into the building. The first-grader, almost with indignation, looked up, smiled, and as he pulled his hand visibly away, said, “No. No. I am a first-grader now,” before he proudly walked into the building.
  2. Listen and read. There will be a lot of information to take in during the coming weeks and months to help you prepare for the next step for your child. Fortunately, here at school, there are a number of ongoing resources to support you as your child transitions to the next grade and/or division. From coffees to our Resource Board, there is a wealth of information available to help everyone get ready for a new and exciting school year. But just as we prepare carefully for vacations and trips, we also need to be prepared and organized for next school year. It is important to take advantage of all of the resources that are and will continue to be available to you.
  3. Ask questions. There is no such thing as a bad question. If you are ever unsure about something, please reach out! We will always do everything in our power to keep you informed.
  4. Help us greet new families next year. As we make transitions within our own school family, it is important to consider those who are joining us in the fall. I hope you will join us in committing to reaching out and helping our new Huskies feel at ease as soon as possible. They will be forever grateful, and they will never forget your kindness and that tangible expression of our core values.

This is a tremendous time of the year as we bring closure to this phase of our lives and the lives of our children. And in the fall, we will begin to feel that excitement of looking ahead to what the future holds! Every year at this time I am reminded of one of my favorite memories at Flint Hill. A few years ago, as people were leaving the Lower School Closing Ceremony, one staff member stayed behind to ensure that nothing was left in the Activity Center. She noticed a mother kneeling down with her daughter, who was sobbing into her shoulder. When she rushed over to help, the girl’s mother looked up and said, “No, there is no problem. She is just unhappy that the school year is over.” While we are not in the business of making children cry, this was a true testament to the relationships that are fostered within our school and the emotions that can surface at the end of a school year.

We still have much to do in these last remaining days, but please know we all want to do everything in our power to help make these transitions positive, effective and joyous. If I can do anything to help in this process, please do not hesitate to call on me.

Sincerely,

John M. Thomas
Headmaster