Dear Lafayette Families,
The importance of community may be the strongest it has ever been. We hope, as the Lafayette Home School Association (HSA) Board members, your elected parent representatives, we can provide connection, security, and support to all of our families during these unprecedented times. To those of you who are new to our school, we offer our warmest welcome. For those of you who are returning, welcome back.
We first want to say THANK YOU for all the time, treasure and talents you will bring to our school and our community in the months to come. We appreciate all the hard work and support Lafayette families put forth to help enhance our children’s school experience. Our school thrives because of you.
We also want to thank you for your patience. Things are very different this year. Returning families may recall that we delayed our election, scheduled for June 2020. Last year’s Board members have remained in their roles and we have been working on transitioning to a new Board, but that transition remains in flux. We anticipate setting an election date soon. There will also be tremendous changes and challenges ahead, so we appreciate your support and encourage families to get involved. We need all hands on deck.
The Lafayette HSA is a group of volunteer parents, Lafayette staff, and members of our neighborhood elected to represent the school community. We’re a 501(c)(3) non-profit group, like a traditional PTA. You can learn more at our website under “Family Engagement.” At our first virtual general meeting, on September 8 at 6:30pm (via Zoom), we will walk you through some HSA 101 and will share some of our vision for the changes we anticipate this year. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the support the HSA provides the school and about the various committee volunteer opportunities.
The HSA focuses on the following priorities throughout the school year:
- Promoting inclusivity across our school and ensuring that our board members are accessible and supporting our entire community;
- Partnering closely with Dr. Broquard and other school leaders to align HSA activities with school priorities;
- Focusing on fundraising efforts to ensure that our students continue to have access to the unique programs and opportunities that make our school so special, while remaining mindful of equity and our greater role as part of the larger DCPS community; and
- Ensuring all students and staff have the resources they need for success during these unprecedented times.
A Note On Connection and Social Events
As we prepare to start a school year that will be very different than the last, the HSA remains committed to creating an environment that is safe, supportive, welcoming, and inclusive for all students and families. This year, at least in the short term, that environment will be virtual. Given the additional challenges that can come with a virtual environment, now more than ever, we want to make sure that every student is included in virtual social activities.
To that end, over the past few weeks, the HSA has organized virtual meet-and-greets for new students and families by grade level. We have also dropped off welcome packets for new families. We will continue our virtual efforts into the school year and will work with Room Parents to find creative ways to help students and parents connect on a social level.
Because of DCPS guidelines and to ensure that all families (including those whose health risks preclude them from attending in-person activities) are included in HSA sponsored activities, the HSA will not be facilitating in-person events, including “learning pods” or playdates. Instead, we will facilitate virtual connections and look for creative virtual activities that allow all students and families to participate. We welcome your suggestions and ideas for these activities.
We are looking forward to a school year full of unique opportunities to make virtual connections.
Year after year, hundreds of Lafayette parents give their time to support our school and we greatly appreciate it. There are small, medium, and large volunteer opportunities available – something that can work with any parent’s schedule. Click here to let us know how you can help. In particular, we are currently looking for:
- Board Members
- Bear Fund Team Members
- Room Parents (more information here)
Jen Rak is our Grizzly Gear (Lafayette Spirit Gear) coordinator. She will be running a number of time-limited campaigns during the year where you can stock up on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other gear for kids and adults! These will be online orders shipped directly to you and proceeds will support the HSA! The first campaign runs from August 21 through September 18. More info can be found here.
The Bear Fund
Our annual fund, named the Bear Fund, is our major fundraising effort. The HSA provides nearly $300,000 annually to support our school community and programs including both grade-specific projects, extracurricular programs, and more. We know there will be a lot of adjustment at the start of the school year. Therefore, more information on how to donate to the Bear Fund will be sent to you in the next couple of weeks.
School Tool Box Fundraiser
School supply kits are available for purchase via School Tool Box. School Tool Box will provide a portion of proceeds as a fundraiser to benefit the HSA. The fundraiser will help the HSA ensure every student has the supplies they need at home for the coming school year. If you would also like to make an in kind donation of supplies, please reach out to the HSA. If you need support for supplies, please reach out to the school.
Website/Weekly Newsletter Sign Up
Our website has a wealth of information from teacher directory info to online resources. To get all the latest news and updates delivered right to your in-box, sign up for the Tuesday Bulletin.
Thank you for allowing us to represent you. We couldn’t do all that we do without your generous and continued support. As your HSA Co-Presidents, we look forward to working with each of you and please do not hesitate to reach out over the course of the school year with any questions or concerns.