December 18, 2020
Dear Friend of Fairhaven School,
I would like to begin this letter with warm greetings and well wishes. I hope that you and your family are healthy and managing through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late spring of 2020, our Assembly voted to offer ten times the normal tuition assistance for its community. Our top priority was keeping the families who wanted to stay, no matter their financial circumstances in this uncertain economy. We are invested in seeing Fairhaven provide this unique and amazing education to anyone who wishes to attend. With this in mind, I am writing to ask you to consider making a donation to our Tuition Assistance Fund so that cost will never prevent families from enrolling.
None of us could have expected what 2020 has brought us. Fear, illness, social unrest, and isolation continue to put everyone at risk, and the thought of going back to some level of normalcy still seems so far away. I know that some of us have been impacted by this year more than others, and we continue to hold you in our thoughts as we see a light at the end of this long, proverbial tunnel and continue to work to create a more equitable, just society.
Despite the difficulty this year has presented, 2020 has provided me with something I did not expect – an opportunity for our community and our children to shine.
Everyone who supports a Sudbury model understands that autonomy, trust, and community are the building blocks of success; but, in light of a global pandemic, could we trust the students to understand the gravity of this situation? Could they really adapt to more restrictions, more rules, and more responsibility? This was a challenging opportunity for us as parents to really have to “put our money where our mouths are,” and I feel nothing but pride in how well this unprecedented circumstance has been handled by our youth.
As a Fairhaven parent, I am grateful that this school has taught me to understand that children don’t need standardized testing to qualify or quantify their worthiness. I am grateful to not feel the guilt and pressure other parents are feeling this year that their children are “falling behind” arbitrary standards. Fairhaven helps remind me that parenting is a long game, and that adaptability and life skills are necessities for every day.
This year Fairhaven has also provided our kids with an opportunity to pivot to a new, innovative, and inclusive online learning environment. Their voices, while always respected, held extra weight this year. They had equal value to contribute solutions that allowed their community to be together, in person, safely for some time. It is a blue ribbon, showcase example that our entire society would benefit from watching–that while we each have personal autonomy and freedom, we also hold the responsibility to contribute and protect our community, and our autonomy stops before it becomes harmful to others.
I wish more children had the space to learn and grow in this way. The COVID pandemic is going to define this generation of students for many reasons, and I believe that more people are starting to realize that their children’s happiness and emotional wellness need to be respected and nurtured. I am grateful that while our kids are struggling with this as much as everyone, they are not going to be defined by the ability to pretend that everything is normal, equal, and just; they are going to be defined by their adaptability, their gratefulness to participate in a community, and their willingness to continue to contribute to the betterment of the world. This year has been a hard, real life test they are passing with flying colors.
Your contribution, no matter how small, makes a real difference in the lives of many families who want to give the gift of autonomy, trust, and community to their children. It also affords Fairhaven the ability to better support a diverse body of students, giving our children and community the opportunity to commit toward creating equity and accessibility for everyone. Fairhaven School, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, so all donations are tax-deductible. You can send the school a check made out to Fairhaven School or simply donate on our website here.
Thank you for your consideration and your generous support of Fairhaven School.
Fairhaven School Parent