It was a great moment this week when our Attendance coordinator announced there is currently no one absent in the school due to COVID. We are officially COVID-free! This moment was a special one after a long time indeed when COVID has affected a large proportion of our student and teacher population. Thank you to all parents for your vigilance, and most importantly for your support for our covid-safe plans which have minimized the impact of the pandemic on our school.
We can now look forward to the return of relatively normal conditions. It does feel like a reawakening. We have had over two and a half years of restrictions and periods of lockdown. The return to normal may be like recovering from an illness or a broken limb: it takes a while to become mobile again, and the same might be said of the return to our regular community events. But there is one special event that will really cement our return to normal community life.
Our Family Fair has been in limbo since 2019. The Fair has been an annual occurrence at Glenaeon since the 1960’s, and this two-year hiatus is the first in our history. The Fair is a huge undertaking, and one that brings our community together in a powerful and sustaining manner. The fund-raising side is important and contributes funds to the GPA which in turn support projects which benefit the students, but the fund-raising side is always secondary to its unifying and uplifting community-building role.
We ask every parent in the school to contribute some time on the Fair day. There are literally hundreds of shifts of work to be completed across all the different activities, and every one of them needs a willing and cooperative parent to do them. The work is social and very joyful. I have personally worked at over 20 Fairs now, and I can honestly say that I have left each one physically tired but deeply happy with the comradeship of shared work for the community good.
Class 4 hosts and coordinates the Fair for the School. Two or three parents act as Fair Coordinators while every other parent in Class 4 takes on a role to be responsible for one activity, such as a game stand or food stall. This way ensures that all aspects of the Fair are covered, and each class coming through the school carries the overall responsibility just once. But we need every parent in the school to be involved.
In order to run all the activities, we ask every parent to work one 2 hour shift on a stall/food/game. The work is simple, enjoyable and child-centred. For new parents it’s a wonderful way to meet other parents and to feel more embedded in the school culture. For longer term parents it’s a time to re-engage and refresh connections. As we recover from the isolations of covid, the Fair is the perfect way to rebuild our community.
In the coming weeks there will be communications around the shifts that are on offer. I urge every family to consider which shift/s you can commit to, and to sign up for your shift on the day. I assure you it will be time that pays real benefits in terms of human connection and personal satisfaction.
The Fair is coming! Come to the Fair!
SAVE THE DATE: 4-6 NOVEMBER
The annual Parent survey conducted by MYP Corporation will be in your inbox in the next week. We seek your responses to gain valuable feedback on the school, and we ask that every parent takes the time to complete the survey. There will be a letter coming early next week with all details.
All former students of Glenaeon are affectionately known as GlenX, short for ex-Glenaeon student. Our GlenX/alumni event for 2022 is fast approaching (Saturday September 17th): see the notice later in this Newsletter. We invite all GlenX to join us for a few drinks in pleasant Glenaeon company, a trip down memory lane, and a catch up on developments in the school since graduation.
We enjoy visits from GlenX from time to time, such as the recent visit from GlenX Paul Beasly, now of upstate New York. The Beasly family of Forestville sent their three children right through the school to Year 12. Daniel is now a successful and award-winning architect, Emma is a school psychologist and mum, while Paul earned First Class Honours in a Science degree at UNSW in fibre optics. He then moved into telecommunications, earning a MBA from the University of Texas and becoming area director of a large telco in the New England area of the US. He married a doctor from Boston and they settled in upstate New York, and now have a few children. The most interesting piece of the story is that he left commerce behind and is now a high school Science teacher at the Saratoga Springs Waldorf school in upstate NY. Paul was always very interested in the philosophy behind his education, and it was wonderful to see his evolution from student to teacher.