Message from Head of School Margaret Haviland
TRANSCRIPT - As presented by Westfield Friends School Head of School, Margaret Haviland
Welcome. The theme of our 2022 Annual Report is Lighting the Way Forward.
After weathering the many storms the pandemic brought to all schools, Westfield Friend School has emerged stronger than before. In the heart of the pandemic, we event managed to obtain our NJAIS Accreditation. Our agile faculty, creative staff, and dedicated giving community have proven what happens when we shine our Light together to illuminate the path forward.
The tremendous contributions and support from families is a big part of why these past few years have been so successful. Because every family embraced our healthy practices, our school remained open and safe. Families appreciate Westfield’s strong alignment between our mission and their children’s lived experience. Parents and Guardians Council has provided important partnership in keeping families connected to the school even when families had no access to the classrooms.
This report highlights the ways your support has helped us continue our beloved traditions such as, Buddies, the PreK Art Show, and Field Day. Quaker worship anchors our week. We are so grateful to be back together in the Meeting House with our entire Prek-8th grade worshipping school.
Other traditions have evolved in this time. For instance, a service project for the Ronald McDonald House was incorporated into the Egg Hunt. The Thanksgiving choral performance evolved into a Meeting for Singing and Thanksgiving. The Winter Holiday Program still includes the Second Grade Nativity Living Tableau, complete with a live baby, and the program was reimagined as seasonal readings and musical performances by every grade. These celebrate the many ways members of our religiously diverse community celebrate Light and Darkness in December.
Faculty considered what a mission-based pedagogy might look like and have embraced project-based learning as the way forward. At Westfield, project-based learning is query-based, experiential learning with age-appropriate attention to social justice. What could be more Quaker?
Over the past three years, faculty, staff, and the Board of Trustees have engaged in ongoing professional development and thoughtful discussions on what it means for this Quaker school to commit to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning community. We have learned and implemented new ways to seek justice and ensure everyone feels welcome in our community and knows they belong. This past year the Board of Trustees approved a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Statement to govern and guide this important work.
The Annual Report highlights how Westfield’s income comes from three basic sources: tuition, grants, and donations. In 2021-2022 we had strong enrollment with increased net tuition revenue– we finished the year with 143 students. We added students in every grade. Our Preschool and PreK were at capacity setting the way forward for opening with 153 students this academic year.
The annual report focuses on the year’s grants, gifts, donations, and fundraising events that keep Westfield’s unique program accessible and affordable for our families. Donations throughout the year included generous gifts of all sizes, both monetary and in-kind, to the Fund for Westfield. The William Probsting Scholarship Fund was re-engergize and we continued with our traditional events, Giving Tuesday, the fall golf outing and spring restaurant showcase, A Taste of Our Towns. We continually apply for grants from a variety of foundations and corporations, which support us through sponsorships and matching gift programs.
I invite you to explore our online Annual Report. Browse through the pages by clicking on the links above. You will see the details of our faithful stewardship of your gifts. You will find the stories of our 5th Annual Golf Outing, and A Taste of our Towns, both of which provided early and safe opportunities for us to gather and celebrate in person.
In the 2021-22 fiscal year we exceeded our goals for the Fund for Westfield both in the amounts given and in numbers of donors. Our Eighth Grade families achieved 100% participation and provided important leadership for parent giving.
We have come through challenging times together and we have gained in strength and experience. With your continued support we will continue to Light the Way Forward.
Along with Stephanie Judson, Clerk of the Board of Trustees, I thank you for your support and dedication to the critical mission of Westfield Friends School where we create the world we seek.