Whole Child School information night follow-up
From: Whole Child School update (updatewholechildschool.ca)
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 09:28:53 -0800 (PST)
In a word:  Wow.

We knew our community yearned for holistic education, and we knew our community was growing.  But the overwhelming support, enthusiasm and encouragement we received last night took our breath away – thank-you! 

First one housekeeping item:  Registration packages (and instructions) are now available online (click here).  Although we are so embarrassed to have run out on Thursday night, we are equally so thrilled to have run out.  This is exactly the type of community response that creates the wildly successful alternative schools TDSB is so well known for!

And one clarification:  WE WILL OFFER GRADES 5-8 in 2009 IF THERE IS ENOUGH DEMAND FOR THESE GRADES. Based on our survey results, we knew we'd have enough K-4 registrations to offer these classes in 2009.  Based on the response last night, we may be able to offer additional grades even sooner than we expected (dare we try to hit it out of the park in year 1?) 

But most importantly: Your fabulous feedback has revealed there is still a good amount of curiosity around how WCS will look in the early years and how a holistic education experience happens during the "building" phase.  It's very much the same (minus some of the bells and whistles), but it also has some really juicy opportunities that may not be obvious (unless you've lived and breathed WCS for the past 3 years).  The key to remember is that it is about the delivery - and not dependent upon specific props.

So we've zeroed in on this for now, but please keep sending in your comments and questions.  We know a 2-hour information session can only do so much, and we're here to help you in your decision-making process in any way we can.

Why Choose WCS Now?  Is WCS a Good Fit for My Family?

September 2009 brings the bulk of our vision to life.  The "best of the best" philosophy and curriculum will begin on Day 1.  WCS is born, has passed through infancy and is on the road to adulthood.  And just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to create a community.

You are that village. By September, the committee that's been sending you these emails won't exist any more. By filling out an application, you are signing up to carry on the work we started.

Some of the elements of the holistic experience will evolve over time.  While the TDSB budget will cover some of the materials and facility improvements, others will require fundraising activities and the participation of our school community.  While the building and grounds are in place, material improvements will be planned in consultation with our parent community and our Roden family – and we wouldn't have it any other way!

We want to make clear that the curriculum committee will have a complete holistic curriculum prepared that the teachers can start using on day one.

Although we will actively work with you to enhance and grow our school as quickly as possible, we are also very mindful that this process may be the single greatest enrichment opportunity in the history of the school.  And we will stop to smell the roses along the way.

Building a school with the community has a direct and profound connection with the philosophy and values of a holistic education.  The garden project is an excellent example of a unique learning experience we are so excited to be able to offer.  Families enrolled in the early years will be able to participate in planning and building the garden that will later enhance the school's set of learning tools.  Children will learn in the very space they helped to create – all the while knowing that they and their families and their community worked together to create something out of nothing. 

So WCS in the early years will be an ideal school for those parents who are looking to develop deep bonds with the community – parents who are excited by the opportunity to build a school for their children with their children.  Families will witness the fruits of their labour with each passing month – to see their incredible legacy unfolding before their eyes!

And thus, the whole child shall begin to grow …

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