New students and their families have been welcomed to Ravenscroft this year through a robust series of programs and events designed to help them navigate their first days and weeks on campus and feel at home among their fellow Ravens.
“In partnership with departments across campus, we offered a variety of ways that new families could connect with current parents/guardians and students as well as our campus itself,” Director of Parent Engagement and New Family Liaison Brooke McDaniel explained. “Small group gatherings, grade-level activities, divisional orientation sessions and the Information Fair all provided outlets for families to experience what the Ravenscroft community is all about — a warm, inviting place where we all belong!”
Summer Opportunities to Connect
For many families, the transition from newly accepted applicant to familiar face began over the summer, as they were welcomed into a “flock” of new Ravens matched up with current families for meet-ups and back-to-school tips. Then, in early August, Middle School and Upper School leaders invited new families to campus for informal socials.
“The Middle School New Family Coffee was a rousing success!” Head of Middle School
Bernardo Guzmán said. “The goal was simply this: connection. While [Associate Head of Middle School] Nicole Brown and I answered many questions and ate many bagels, we also learned a great deal about each family that attended. Perhaps what was most rewarding was seeing new families meet one another and start to form the bonds and relationships that will shape their Ravenscroft experiences for years to come.”
In addition, new Middle and Upper School students who wanted to get a taste of classes at Ravenscroft had the opportunity to participate in Ravenscroft 101. The weeklong program immersed students in sample lessons in core subjects and gives them an opportunity to connect with their peers and teachers. Divisional faculty facilitated learning activities to jumpstart students’ understanding of academic expectations at Ravenscroft and introduced or reviewed the skills they’ll need to navigate class assignments, homework and assessments effectively.
New Student and Family Orientation
New Student and Family Orientation sessions took place on Tuesday, Aug. 16, the day before classes started. All three divisions welcomed new students — in this case, anyone who is new to their division — to visit their classrooms, meet their teachers or advisors and classmates, and learn what the first day of school would bring. Their parents and guardians also enjoyed an introduction to their divisional leadership and got the low-down on carpool and bus transportation, meals and snacks, division-specific programming, family expectations and more.
The Lower School also held a drop-in for returning students later that morning, giving everyone the chance to meet their teachers and explore their classrooms.
Jonathan Greene, whose son Ethan started PreK this week, said their family already feels “like part of the community — and the school year just started! Thanks to the amazing outreach efforts of the staff and other parents, we feel great going into Ethan’s first day of PreK. We’ve visited campus several times, met his teachers and had an opportunity to visit his classroom at orientation. More importantly, Ethan has had a chance to meet some of his classmates and spend time with them before the first day of school, so he will see familiar faces on Day One. We’re excited for him to start his Ravenscroft journey and are looking forward to a great year!”
Families who were on campus on the 16th were also invited to the Ravenscroft Information Fair, where staff from Technology Services, Fine Arts, Extended Day, Communications, Health Services and Protective Services were on hand to answer questions and share information. Leaders from the Parents’ Association and Ravens Athletic Club were also present to talk to parents and guardians about how to get involved as volunteers.
“The energy in Warner Arena today was palpable! Ravenscroft enjoys an incredible level of parent involvement across its five parent groups, and that is truly the ‘special sauce’ that makes our school community spectacular and cozy,” Parents’ Association co-president Christina Woelffer said. “By inviting new families to join Global Parent Ambassadors, Ravens Athletic Club, PSDI or Fine Arts Association, or by encouraging their involvement with the PA’s upcoming community-wide events, we were able to highlight that there’s a group for every parent/guardian and every interest!”
As the first week of school gets underway, new families have one more special event to look forward to: the New Family Barbecue, slated for Sept. 22.