In a year where change and unpredictability have become the one constant in our lives, this year’s St. Michael’s College School Parents’ Association (SMCSPA) is focusing on its ability to support the community and encourage wellness for students, staff, and the parent community.
“Ultimately, we are here to help and support the good work of the school,” says Ellie Maggio, SMCSPA President. “We want to do our part to ensure SMCS feels like a second home for our boys by finding opportunities to encourage wellness and put a smile on their faces.”
“We are also here to support the staff and faculty and show our deep appreciation for everything they do,” says Maggio.
The SMCSPA held its first meeting of the school year on October 13 via Zoom. Over 100 families joined online where they received an update from SMCS Principal, Mr. James McKinnon about the school.
“We were delighted by the turnout at our kick-off meeting. Today’s parent wants to be connected, find out what’s going on at the school, and learn about past parent experiences,” says Maggio. “This year, we have several more parents volunteering and asking how they can help. I am so grateful to see how the pandemic brings our community closer together.”
“Students will always come first, but at the end of the day, we are also here to connect with and support each other as parents," she says.
Although planning for this year has been challenging due to public health restrictions, online parent social events are already underway for the SMCSPA. Grades 7 and 12 ‘parent socials’ were held during the last two weeks of October via Zoom, each providing an opportunity to informally share thoughts and experiences as parents. In November, the Grade Rep Committee will hold online parent socials for the other grades.
“Parents want to connect and talk about their sons’ school and co-curricular experiences. We all care deeply about the school and want to help, so these parent socials provide an opportunity not only to build community, but to brainstorm ideas as well,” says Maggio. “We are all learning how much online connection requires thought, planning, and preparation to ensure these sessions are inviting and engaging.”
Among other things, this year’s SMCSPA will continue sponsoring learning enrichment opportunities for all students. The Association is also planning a thorough review of its constitution and the structure of its committees to ensure they are responsive to current needs.
Next up, the SMCSPA will work with the school to launch ‘Conversations with the Principal.’ These informal online gatherings with the principal or another member of the administration are aimed at sharing information for specific grades and will be followed by a Q&A.
The SMCSPA will also continue to play a valuable role in supporting several key school fundraising initiatives throughout the year. The SMCSPA Fundraising Committee has already met with the school’s Advancement Office to discuss upcoming initiatives.
"We look forward to working with the Parents' Association and are grateful for their involvement in planning, carrying out, and assisting in fundraisers as well as special events that impact the SMCS community," says Kimberley Bailey, Director of Advancement. "It is with their assistance alongside the Alumni Association that the school’s fundraisers and special events are successful."
The St. Michael’s College School Parents’ Association meets on the second Tuesday of every month. Click here to see a list of upcoming meetings, a listing of the 2020-21 executive, ways to get involved, and other SMCSPA information.