Development Update

October 2019

What a full and exciting seven weeks it’s been since the school year started!

I knew we were off to a great start when I had the pleasure of welcoming new and returning families to the Grade School as a parking lot attendant. It’s been a delight for me and my colleagues to work with all of the parents picking-up and dropping-off each day to improve parking lot practices and safety. Thanks very much to all of you for getting behind our new system and enthusiastically supporting positive change.

Moving a little farther into September, we celebrated 100 years of Waldorf education with a simple, thoughtful, and beautiful assembly that included stories and song. Personally, I was moved by the powerful resonance created by the shared singing and in particular, by those songs offered by our High School students and faculty. As a community, we were invited to enjoy more song and seasonal festivities during the Michaelmas play in late September. Not only were we treated to the most gorgeous early-Autumn weather for the play, but also for the Global Climate Strike that afternoon. What an unforgettable experience it was for me to be among the thousands of people joined together by shared values and to witness the tremendous will of the young people at the helm of our local movement.

Wrapping-up September, our school came together in support of Orange Shirt Day: Every Child Matters and I found myself again deeply moved by our caring and compassionate community. As we transitioned into October and all the grades worked to prepare for the Harvest Lunch, friends and neighbours came together to celebrate seasonal bounty at our annual Harvest Lunch.

Now that the rains have truly set-in, my thoughts have turned to things I look forward to in the darker months ahead. Between the lantern walks, Halloween, the November break, and dreaming about the Children’s Winter Fair, we will also welcome the AWNSA accrediting team next week and continue preparations for the Vancouver Waldorf School Society AGM on October 30th.

In the Development Office, we have been working hard to create a structure that will support the formation of the parent realm. As a first step, we had a long and considered look at what is and what has been. We wanted to understand what’s working, what needs improvement, and what needs creating. Once we had identified items for each, we then moved into a discussion about next steps.

One of the first things we worked on was a fundraising policy, which was approved at the Board of Trustees meeting last week and will be housed in BigSIS shortly. This is a huge step in bringing forward a cross-organizational approach to fundraising where all efforts to raise money at the school will yield whole-school benefit. In order to ensure inclusivity and transparency around fundraising and dispensing of funds, all monies raised through fundraising programs, including the Grocery Card Program, Monthly Donor Program, and our participation in GivingTuesday, will be directed to our Community Fund. The Community Fund will be managed by the Development Office, in collaboration with the Development Committee, the formation of which is now a major focus of our work. The Development Committee will play a large part in all aspects of community and resource development at our school. It’s an exciting time and you are warmly invited to be in touch with me or Laura to learn how you can get involved.

Mary Henley
Community & Resource Development Manager
mhenley @ vws.ca