Parents Spring Weekend

By Kelly Pasciucco P’10,’13; Greenwich, CT, and Phyllis Powers P’09,’13; East Sandwich, MA

Just over a year ago, the Deerfield Parents Network (DPN) was born. It sprang from a desire to connect and engage parents more formally in the Deerfield community. The hope was that the effort would make parents feel more connected to the school and to each other. Given the vast distances and limited direct interaction amongst parents, the DPN is putting a great emphasis on creating a “virtual” community. In the past year, the work of the DPN has become increasingly visible, and you will see “green shoots” to prove it over the coming Parents Spring Weekend. The DPN will be co-sponsoring formal events and opportunities for informal interaction, which are outlined in detail below. In addition, DPN committee members will be identified by a green DPN ribbon affixed to their nametags. Feel free to stop any one of them and ask a question, provide a suggestion, or simply chat. Highlights for the weekend include: 

Coffee, Refreshments and Conversation

Join fellow members of the DPN for coffee and refreshments in the Caswell Library in the Main School Building on Friday, May 4, from 7 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., and again on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m to 11 a.m. in the Koch Center. Come grab a cup of coffee and a breakfast pastry. Your visit will be educational, even if you don’t look through a book off one of the shelves. The library will be ringed with “Did You Know…” posters highlighting important Deerfield history, trivia, and provocative information for parents to discuss and enjoy. There will also be opportunities to get involved and sign up for DPN-sponsored programs, such as First Link, where existing parents take responsibility for reaching out to a new student’s family prior to their arrival and provide advice that only a current Deerfield parent can.  DPN Executive and Steering Committee members will be on hand to welcome you at both events. (For those not able to attend, the “Did You Know…” information will appear in the next issue of the The Link and will be available on the Deerfield website.) Please contact us at kellypasciucco@aol.com or nedphyl@aol.com with any thoughts, questions or interest in volunteering).

Parent-to-Parent Panel on “Stress: Real or Perceived”

On Saturday, May 5, at 9:00 a.m., DA and the DPN are sponsoring a panel on the role of stress in a competitive and intense environment. The panel is being presented by school counselors Sheila Fritz-Ellis P’13 and Stuart Bicknell P’93. Panelists will share observations, implications, and tools that can inform us on how our children deal with this important issue and how we, as parents, interact with them about it. The panel will take place in the Garonzik Auditorium in the Koch Center.

Finally, one of the first initiatives of the DPN was to create an opportunity for new Deerfield families and their First Link guides to connect over Parents Fall Weekend. We sponsored the planting of 1,797 flower bulbs (Deerfield was founded in 1797). In October, parents young and old and from many different places grabbed shovels and bulbs and went to work all around campus. We believe that most of the bulbs were planted right side up, but we are certain that the discussions among those parents and the informal bonds that were created will strengthen the Deerfield community and the sense of connectedness that those parents will feel. An added benefit is that we should all be able to see the “green shoots” of those efforts (hopefully) as we wander around campus in May. See you then!

(Check out the full schedule for Parents Spring Weekend from May 4-6.)

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