The Parent Connection to Our Community is Vital and Thriving

Parents are integral to the Sage Hill community, contributing their time, talents, and treasure to make our school the best it can be. In this month’s blog post, President Gordon McNeill discusses the many ways parents benefit from connecting with our community.
 
 
We cherish our sense of community here at Sage Hill School. That community includes not only students, alumni, faculty, and staff, but also parents. After spending the K-8 years helping in the classroom or chaperoning field trips, many parents find their engagement with their kids’ high schools plummets dramatically. Consequently, parents elsewhere may feel disconnected, but that doesn’t happen at Sage Hill. Parents here enjoy a variety of meaningful ways to connect with our community, finding opportunities to go, see, and do, at every turn.

Go
Throughout the year, many events offer parents the opportunity to meet, mingle, learn, and share, both on and off campus. We just held our extremely successful annual Spring Celebration on May 4 at Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach.

Parents also enjoy connecting at the Sage Center Speaker Series, held on weekday evenings throughout the year. Recent speakers addressed the impact of screen time on our children’s well-being, discussed immigration issues in the United States, and provided a photographic observation of humans around the world. We also had an evening focused on navigating the Sage Hill curriculum. Keep an eye out for next year’s Speaker Series schedule in the fall.

Also on select weekday evenings, parents gather at Pelican Hill Resort for our Career Series Mixers. These social gatherings bring together parents from all different professions to network and discuss ways to educate our students about career paths. Many attendees take it a step further by speaking to students at one of our on-campus career panels, or providing experience in their workplace through the Sage Hill Internship Program.

No matter your level of engagement, you’ll want to attend some of our monthly Parent Association meetings. Typically held on a weekday morning, the meetings always feature an interesting speaker—whether a member of our faculty or staff or from outside the school—on a topic of interest to parents. In addition, our college counseling team hosts grade level coffees throughout the year to keep parents in the loop on the college process. Off campus, parents host periodic morning or evening grade level gatherings, mostly social in nature. For example, a ninth grade parent gathering in March offered wine and small plates, while also accepting donated bottles of wine for Spring Celebration.

The Parent Association also coordinates an occasional book club, often with selections relevant to upcoming speakers. To accommodate parents’ schedules, book club discussions are held both in the morning and the evening. Lastly, Dads of Sage gives fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, and guardians a way to connect with one another and participate in dad-led events. Plenty more events throughout the year are organized with parents in mind, and if you haven’t experienced one yet, I strongly encourage you to go!

See
Of course, Sage Hill’s programming is mostly about the students, and there are countless opportunities for parents to see our amazing young people in action. Obviously we have our sports competitions, theater performances, musical concerts and art exhibits; you’d be hard pressed to find a week that isn’t jam-packed with these kinds of activities. Stop by campus on a typical afternoon, and you’ll find our facilities teeming with activity. But you might also drop in on a Monday morning to see a typical Town Meeting. Or attend National History Day Night and check out our ninth grade student projects. Come for Portfolio Night at the end of the school year and see the creative ways our students have tied together their body of work in English class. Our calendar is always updated with the activities keeping our students busy and enriching their high school experience.

Do
If you’re looking for things to do to connect with our community, you’ll find plenty of volunteer opportunities that suit your interests and availability. We’ve had parents who are able to carve out just an hour or two serve food at one of our Staff Appreciation Luncheons, or drop off a dish to share. Others can devote a few hours over several months to a committee that coordinates the food booths at the Multicultural Fair or plans the senior breakfast at the end of the year. Those seeking an even deeper level of commitment might co-chair the Spring Benefit or join our Parent Association board. We value the contribution of every parent who wants to be involved at Sage Hill. The opportunities are too numerous to list here, but through our Parent Association, I am confident you’ll find the right volunteer position for you.

An amazing thing happens when our parents come together. The combination of their unique talents produces remarkable results, whether it’s an unforgettable Spring Celebration or an enriching book club discussion. But there’s more. All of our parents share an appreciation for the kind of transformative, personalized education that Sage Hill provides. Like our students, you’re a diverse group of individuals from different backgrounds who come together to celebrate your differences but also nurture your similarities. Sage Hill parent friendships date all the way back to our founding, and are lasting years and now decades beyond their children’s graduation. The opportunities to go, to see, and to do will enhance your connection with your child’s experiences at Sage Hill. They can also have a lasting, transformative impact on your own life.

About this year’s blog series:
Throughout this school year, my blog has focused on Sage Hill connections. From Day One at Sage Hill School, we’ve been committed to building connections, not just between students, but amongst all members of our community. The intricate web of connections each of us weaves here can profoundly impact our lives. Connections open up opportunities for our students for internships, college, and careers. They enrich the experience of parents who engage with one another and with our faculty and staff. Connections create a two-way street between students and the people and organizations they serve in the broader community. They allow our administrators to stay abreast of the latest trends in education and to participate in conferences and other arenas that enhance Sage Hill’s national reputation. Most importantly, connections are what make Sage Hill ours—all of ours—for now and always.
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    • <strong>Welcome to my blog!</strong> It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business of the school -- this blog is an opportunity to share my perspective on Sage Hill School.  I invite you share your thoughts and suggestions for future posts. Feel free to email me at <a href="mailto:McNeillG@sagehillschool.org">McNeillG@sagehillschool.org</a>.
      Mr. McNeill's Blog

      Welcome to my blog! It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business of the school -- this blog is an opportunity to share my perspective on Sage Hill School. I invite you share your thoughts and suggestions for future posts. Feel free to email me at McNeillG@sagehillschool.org.

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