As we begin the 2019-2020 school year, I want to welcome you to, or back to, Burke’s after what I hope was an enjoyable and restorative summer.
Each year, the Parents’ Association grows, improves, and evolves because of you. As parents and caregivers, all of you, collectively, are the Burke’s P.A. And this school year, we are excited for what lies ahead.
The Parents’ Association connects the parent community with the Burke’s administration, faculty, and staff, by supporting the school’s strategic goals, faculty and classroom initiatives, parent education, community building, and fundraising - always with Burke's mission fresh in our minds to educate, encourage and empower girls.
Recent P.A. leadership has defined and streamlined the more than one hundred association roles, digitalized P.A. work, formalized its institutional knowledge, and clarified committee responsibilities so parents can understand the necessary commitments. Burke's is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive school community. Alongside the administration, the P.A. is strategizing with parents to better understand and accommodate the needs of families with varying levels of schedule flexibility.
There are many ways to be involved in the P.A.; all are appreciated and impactful. For some that might be regular time spent on campus - serving lunch, helping in the art department or assisting in the library. Others might prefer a committee role that offers schedule flexibility or off-site coordination. Personally, I have found, each time I participate, whether that’s dialing into a P.A. meeting, attending a Parent Education presentation, or being a room parent, my connection to the school community, and my children deepens. Some years, my availability has been limited. I encourage everyone to consider the long view; each family’s journey can span up to nine years, if not more, and all levels of participation are welcome. Engagement enriches both our community and our own experience.
Consider volunteering to support Burke’s large community events, such as Family Festival and Burke’s Benefit, Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day, Faculty & Staff Appreciation events, and the Arts Festival. Engagement can also be taking part; this year we begin the annual events with our Blend dinner on September 6th at 6pm. The last few years, we’ve achieved nearly 100% parent participation in the Annual Fund, thanks to a great volunteer effort and your collective commitment and confidence in Burke's. We had an impressive response to last spring’s survey; we’re grateful for your input. This fall, as we develop new strategic planning initiatives, there will be community meetings to encourage ideas. Parent Education, along with the Inclusivity and Community Building Committee [ICBC] have lined up inspiring speakers and topics to engage our community and help us better support one another, as well as the learning of our students. We hope you will attend.
Please join us at the Parents’ Association meetings. Members of the faculty, administration, Board of Trustees, P.A. representatives, community partners, and Head of School Michele Williams, all share insight, updates, and opportunities at these meetings. They are a great way to delve further into the purposeful work that surrounds our girls’ experiences. Our first meeting of the school year will be Friday, September 13th at 8:30 a.m. in the Media Room. Subsequent P.A. meeting dates are posted on the all-school calendar, found through your portal. If you would like to attend remotely, we will live-stream all meetings on the Burke’s Bluejeans page
or you may watch them at a more convenient time via the Parent Life Group
on the Burke’s website.
Soon after the start of school, your Room Parents will be in touch. They provide a vital link between class parents, faculty, and the P.A. committees and can answer many of your questions as they arise throughout the year; please assist them where you can.
As there are 400 ways to be a Burke's’ girl, so, too, there are also many ways to be a Burke's family; please join me in sharing your energy and expertise to enrich our community.
Enjoy the twilight of summer and I look forward to seeing you in September!
President, Parents’ Association 2019-20