Our OneChurchill Community is a wonderful place. There is care, compassion, and attention to needs. As a whole community, we are brought together through the common goal of enabling our students to succeed. From my perspective, there is no more important work to be done than to foster the success of our students.
I am always impressed when I speak with students and parents about their experiences at Churchill. There is frequent recollection of favorite teachers—those that created a lasting impact on their lives. There is also recognition of the time and effort put in by Churchill as an institution. Whether it’s help from the admissions office through the IEP process, the business office helping families to understand the funding process, or an administrative assistant pointing someone in the right direction, there is no denying our people are working to provide all we can for our Churchill families.
However, not unlike other communities, we are not perfect. Mistakes are made. Frustrations happen. There are parent/teacher meetings in which disagreements occur. There are even disciplinary issues to address in the context of our community values. While we strive to constantly improve, no one is perfect.
Likewise, we have members of the community who do not participate in all we offer. Some don’t attend Parent Association events, Meet the Faculty Nights or other school sponsored events. Some folks also don’t feel the need to support The Churchill Fund. The sense is that the state picks up the tab. However, the fact is that the state covers only 67% of what it costs to educate a child here at Churchill. Participation in events and The Churchill Fund is necessary to our community not just to maintain and continue the sustainability of the School but the thrivability as well. Just like in life, there are no free rides.
Everyone has skin in the game so to speak. All of our students benefit from our program, not only those who are funded or only those who contribute to The Churchill Fund.
We want to do more for our students. Our students deserve more. But, our resources are limited. Our students, your children, need all of us. Their success depends on all of us. None of us can be passive in our approach to working with your children.
We all expect our students to work hard. They expect all of us (home and school) to work hard as well. Now, I do realize getting to Churchill is no easy task. You didn’t ask for your child to have a learning disability in order to get into Churchill. You researched, spoke with other parents, psychologists and lawyers. When you realized the need existed, you likely hoped and prayed for an opening to be here.
Now that you are here, it seems the work is over. Not quite. What is over is the need to constantly advocate for your child from a combative stance. But, now the work you must do—that WE must do—is far more important. Our partnership will guide much of the success your children achieve.
It’s important to note that this is a mission that WE share. We’re all in this together. We have 132 teachers working with your children everyday. There is a high level of engagement day in and day out in the school building. That engagement and commitment must be shared.
As Churchill parents, my expectations of you are high. I expect you to be visible, to engage in events and be present in our community. I expect your commitment to support the work we do with all of our students in mind. All we do relies on the collective strength of the entire parent body, not just those that feel like contributing. Everyone plays a role. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure the success of each and every one of our students, your children.
Remember, we are OneChurchill with one goal in mind: The success of your children. By working together, we can provide the best possible education for your children, and there is no telling how far they will go.
Timothy P. Madigan, Ph.D.
Head of School