This week and last I’ve found myself faced with the same predicament – where am I going to find the time to write this letter? My schedule is so tightly packed lately that, beyond trying to squeeze in as many meetings as possible between a conference in Houston that ran until Tuesday and a social gathering that featured some unscheduled dancing on Thursday night, I barely have the time to collect my thoughts nevermind keep you posted on everything we’re working on.

At moments like this, when focusing on the future doesn’t come easily and the present is so cluttered it’s hard to think straight, it’s best to cast an eye backward and hone in on concrete, specific subjects. I feel it’s the opportune moment to finally give you some feedback on the parent satisfaction survey that you completed several weeks ago. Staff members also completed a survey – a different one – and they will receive their feedback very soon!

The aim of these bi-annual surveys is obviously to measure how satisfied families are and to identify the areas that need our attention. If you think that the questions are always the same, you are right, they are, and that’s the point. We want to analyze the evolution of the responses to the same questions over the years. I always find it hard to read the answers as they come in – I tend to take every comment very personally and every little criticism hurts a bit (compliments are a whole other story!). I am therefore very grateful to Christophe Attard, The École’s strategy and business development consultant, for his objective and illuminating analysis of the data.

Overall, our families are satisfied with The École. Our team is approachable, the teachers are welcoming and professional, the communication is clear and efficient, the community is tight-knit, and the kids are happy. The overall picture is highly positive and full of praise for my colleagues, which I feel is well-deserved because I see how much of their heart, soul, and talent they put into their work on a daily basis. Thank you on behalf of everyone at The École for your kind words and compliments.

There are nonetheless a few topics that pose problems, in particular the lunch program. We contacted Little Green Gourmets back in December, as soon as your responses were in, to share your impressions and comments with them. They came to school immediately to meet with us and spent a day shadowing the distribution of lunch in all classes so they could take appropriate action. We have already spotted significant improvements in the quality, portion size, and variety of lunches on offer over the past month, but obviously, the final word on the matter lies with you.

Another problematic point is our facilities. Several of you wonder if we have the capacity to welcome more students, and the example of the Multi-Purpose Room on the 3rd floor of the Elementary and Middle School Building being converted into classrooms showed up regularly as an example of a compromise we needed to make. I would like to apologize for my lack of communication on the topic of that change. I brag about telling you absolutely everything, and then I fail to mention that we were closing down the MPR, a space I now realize meant a lot to many of you.

Our facilities are a priority for us too and we are actively seeking solutions, in particular, we are doing our utmost to ensure that more of our students can benefit from the use of the Baruch gym. We are exploring other options and optimizing the use of the spaces that we have. One line of thought, that I find particularly exciting is the reconfiguring of classrooms so that our students’ learning and personal development can unfold in conditions that never cease to better themselves.

I will also get back to you about another aspect of the survey, one which I found particularly disappointing: many of you do not feel that your opinion counts at The École. Those who attended the soirée crêpes last night witnessed the beginning of an improvement in that area on my part- I heard your opinions about a social gathering with no dancing and requisitioned a DJ at 10:30 p.m.! (Merci Flo !) It’s an area we’ll work on.