The Rewards of DPN Involvement

As parents we walk a fine line with regard to how involved to be with our children’s Deerfield experience. I remember dropping off my oldest child (of four who would follow the Deerfield path) on his first opening day, and just as I was looking around for more ways to help create a room of flawless organization, my “partner” in that effort looked appreciatively at me and confidently declared, “Dad, you can go now! I can work out the other stuff tonight.” At Parents Weekend some six weeks later, his thoroughly reorganized room suggested that my engagement should take a different path!

The Deerfield Parents Network has been a rewarding way to be involved with the Academy in a way that improves the collective experience of families at the school. The message of this note is simple: we need your help! As I’ll explain below, the school has asked the DPN to take on a broader role, and to move from the “low hanging fruit” we could easily reach a few years ago to more complex challenges faced by the school. 

One of the most important of those initiatives is working with Deerfield to identify families who could take an international student into their homes during holidays. Issues of both cost and/or travel logistics make it impractical for many of them to return to their own homes for the holidays. If you are able to host a very appreciative student or would like more information, please see Seeking Host Families for International Students in this issue or contact Lynne Robbins.

Another article in this edition highlights the DPN’s new effort to help furnish an array of raffle prizes for teachers and staff at their Dec. 21st holiday party.  If you would like information on how to get involved (and it can be as easy as a gift card for dinner for two at a local restaurant!), check out DPN Launches New Faculty/Staff Appreciation Effort  or email DPNteacherstaffappreciation@gmail.com.

As we enter 2013, it won’t be long before we renew our signature initiative, the First Link, connecting next fall’s “new” families with current DA families. The feedback on that has been very positive from both groups, and it provides a mechanism to answer the wide range of questions newcomers to Deerfield have—both at the student and the parental levels. We’ll also be reaching out for volunteers on campus beautification initiatives as the weather gets more inviting in the spring! Finally, if you have interest in helping Kate Upson prepare articles for The Link, we have a list of topics that need exploring in future issues. Writing those is a great way to learn about the school and to share that learning experience with other parents.

Enjoy the Holidays!

Jim Alexandre

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