Virtual Tools Help Parents Create Meaningful Connections

The Parents' Association (PA) at St. Hilda's & St. Hugh's has always played a pivotal role in building a strong sense of community within and beyond the school’s walls. From Faculty Appreciation events to an educational speaker series for parents to hosting cast parties for student performers, the PA has been a valuable resource for students, parents, and teachers.

"The PA's goals are to connect families in ways that are inclusive, meaningful, and fun.” says Jaci Barker, ‘21, ‘23, ‘28, PA President. “We want to support parents by listening, answering questions, and providing help in whatever way we can. We also want to celebrate our faculty and staff.”

This year, the PA's focus is to continue to foster those strong connections despite the challenges that the health crisis has posed. "We know that it's a particularly challenging time to join a new community, as the realities of this pandemic mean less personal connection with our school and with each other," says Cheri Fandozzi P ‘23, who has served on the PA Executive Team for several years.

Ms. Fandozzi leads one of the PA’s newest initiatives, the Community Engagement Team (CET). The goals of the team are to strengthen connections among all parents and families, promote inclusion, and offer new pathways for communication among the school community.

"The CET is a group of passionate parents with diverse school experiences who can offer helpful guidance to our newer families. As we kick off this unique year, we are reaching out to each new family personally and are planning several virtual ‘Meet & Greet’ events throughout the year to provide spaces for all of us to connect in both fun and meaningful ways."

CET members have enthusiastically stepped up to be a touchpoint for families who are new this year as well as those who joined the community in the fall of 2019 but whose first year at St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s was interrupted by the pandemic. CET members have been making themselves available through email, phone, and virtual platforms.

The PA is coordinating a number of other virtual gatherings to unite the parent body, including bi-monthly “Coffee and Cocktails” events, Sunday night meditation sessions, and a Noonday Weekly Prayer group. These events will allow parents to share stories, give thanks, and connect with each other while traditional in-person PA gatherings are on hold.