Happy New School Year
The 31st school year at Parkside is underway, and all systems are a go! We have welcomed back 97 children to our campus and to the open arms of our incredible guides, so the classrooms are humming with activity, and happiness abounds. As we begin the second year of pandemic-era operations, we see again the capability and flexibility of the children, and we feel the trust and support of our community. We know this makes a difference in our work and in our relationships, and in this moment especially, it makes a difference in our efforts to keep ourselves and each other healthy and safe.
After having to postpone our 30th Anniversary celebration last year, we are now moving forward with a 30th+1 celebration this spring! We will finally come together to honor Joe and Claire and toast to their retirement in Parkside style – with all of you. April is our target month, and we would love alum parents to join our planning committee. The first (virtual) meeting is Wednesday, October 6th from 6-7pm, and please let me know if you’re interested in helping out in some way. We will also invite and gratefully accept donations in honor of Joe and Claire for the final year of our Take Sweet Care of Parkside campaign during Amplify Austin, our primary annual fundraiser, in March. We haven’t had a big to-do in a while, and this occasion certainly calls for one!
In a strategy session this summer with our Board of Directors, staff members engaged in a thoughtful exercise to identify the core values of Parkside – what do we hold dear and what actions do we take to uphold our mission statement? In addition to Joe’s “Golden Rule of Parkside” – Respect for self, our community, and our environment – we are proud to share these Core Values:
At Parkside Community School, we value:
– Our Sacred Obligation to honor the child, partner with families, and be good stewards of the environment.
– Community – We work and grow together as a dynamic, inclusive school family.
– Education – We foster a culture of lifelong learning for children and adults.
– Communication – We demonstrate grace and courtesy in our interactions and welcome candid sharing of ideas and opinions.
– Integrity – We are impeccable with our words and deeds and treat all with respect.
Our aim is to embody these values in all that we say and do, and by holding ourselves and each other accountable, we can continue this beautiful work and sustain this loving learning environment through any challenge. We have proven that again and again over the past 30-plus years, and this school year will be no different.
I am privileged to have been a part of this community for half of its life so far, and I am still as in love with and in awe of it as I was the first time I heard Joe speak about Parkside’s “Montessori from the heart” approach. That philosophy of education – and life – has served my family well over the past 16+ years, and it’s my honor to help continue sharing it with other families every day. Thank you for your place in our collective history, and I hope to see you in the current chapter very soon. Until then, be well and keep in touch.