We're here to support our school.
The Doane Parents Association is committed to developing innovative ways to improve the students, staff and parents experience at Doane Academy.
We assist the Doane community by working closely with the administration and staff to enhance the opportunities for all students and providing additional resources as needed.
The Doane Parents Association provides a framework and collective voice for parents to integrate into our school community through communication, collaboration, parent education and volunteer opportunities.
- Next Parents Association Meeting
- What's On The Agenda?
- Previous Meeting Mintues
- Parents Association Bylaws
- Parents Association Contacts
- Primary Program FAQ
- Lower School FAQ
- Middle School and Upper School FAQ
March 6, 2018
President Richelle Sherwood kicked off the meeting by welcoming everyone. Ms. Sherwood then introduced Catherine Van Sciver who is the coordinator of the New Family Committee.
New Family Committee:
Catherine Van Sciver gave a briefing on the newly formed New Family Committee. The focus is on new parents to help them feel welcome as a part of the Doane family, provide support, guidance and answer questions. Most of the work for this committee will be at the beginning of the school year, August – November. Parents are encouraged to sign up to join the committee. One of the benefits of this committee is the social aspect where parents get to know each other and not feel new all the time. The New Family Committee is considering the following:
1.An event for parents to come and meet each other during student orientation, for example, wine and cheese. Lacy Hall (Doane Admission) will be involved in activities that include new parents and will also look to include members of the New Family Committee in upcoming Open Houses.
2.New parents letter specifically from the New Family Committee that does not deal with admission procedures but includes information like school supplies, etc.
3.Sending an update to families once a trimester that includes a recap of events from previous timester, address upcoming events, includes a contact questions for answering questions, etc.
Please, send any other ideas and suggestions to the committee.
Class Parties – For lower school, parties are usually by grade. Teachers, class representatives or the Dean contacts parents with details. For middle school, 6th grade parties are organized by advisors, 7th and 8th grade students ask if they want one and they have organizers that plan it. Upper school parties work the same way as 7th and 8th grade parties.
School Families – Most families have some kind of celebration usually coordinated by the class parents.
Amy Bent, Volunteer Coordinator, encouraged parents to sign up for the faculty appreciation breakfast. The faculty appreciation breakfast is a Doane tradition where parents treat the faculty and staff with breakfast once a week (on Wednesdays). Set-up typically starts at approximately 7:45am…but with flexibility depending on your schedule. Volunteering parent chooses what to serve; it could be basic or you can go all out as much as you please. Sign Up sheet is available for 2 dates in March, 2 dates in April and 2 dates in May.
Sign-Up Genius for spring events will be coming up. Volunteers are needed for the spring play to man the door, sell tickets, etc. There is a link to sign up for volunteering for the play on Facebook, as well as to buy tickets for the play.
Parents Association Movie Night (April 20, 2018 at 7pm)
Movies will be shown for each division with snacks provided. All parents are encouraged to stay when they bring their kids…parents can gather in Rowan hall for refreshments and conversation while they wait. The Parents Association has reached out to each division for movie recommendations. Ms. Harris will consult with the Lower School staff for ideas. Class representatives and Student Government in the Middle and Upper Schools will help to select those movies. The first Parents Association workgroup meeting for Movie Night will be on 3/19 at 5.30pm. Parents who are available and willing to assist in the organization and implementation of this event are invited.
Discussion with the Headmaster
Update on School Security/Safety: The tragedy on 2/14/18 left parents with kids in school frightened. It also provides an opportunity for schools to reassess what they are doing as quality education cannot be provided without safety at schools. Most independent schools had to reassess their culture and practice of having an open environment. Most schools have gone through major changes in the last 2-5 years. At Doane, the following safety measures are in place:
-Improved exterior lighting
-Upgraded door locking system – electronic lock on timers. Can be programmed and reprogramed.
-Added exterior and interior cameras and monitor on a 24/7 basis. Tape is kept so if anyone ever has an incident on campus, the tapes are available.
-New security officer on-campus from 4-8pm. Patrols and monitors doors as well.
Since 2/14/18, Doane has had 2 unannounced visits from Burlington police to familiarize themselves with the school.
Q – Is what is being done adequate? Is there expertise and resources to determine if it’s enough?
A – There are companies that do security analysis for schools and make recommendations. The school is not obligated to act on the recommendations but, at that point, you also do not want to disregard the suggestions. The recommendations may necessitate a cultural change. In addition, when security is upgraded, cost is involved which may result in higher tuition. The Headmaster met with the Finance Committee today and school security was a topic. Some security measures can be expensive while others are not such a financial obligation. The goal is to implement the measures in a thoughtful manner with the experts figuring out what’s reasonable and what makes sense.
Q – Does the school do different safety drills? Is there a shelter in place? Are there lockdown drills?
A – Yes there is a shelter in place, lockdown and fire drills.
Comment – Please notify parents when drills occur so that they can follow-up with their children and reinforce the reason and need for such drills.
Q – What is the profile of the security officer?
A – He is a former correction officer. He started 2 days before 2/14.
Q – Do you coordinate with the police for lockdown?
A – Routine for lockdown has changed nationwide. School does not directly work with police on something like that.
Comment – Good to coordinate with police in case if you have to move the kids to an offsite location. It will help the police operate more efficiently. It is done in some school districts.
Q – Any best practices in place where kids monitor each other’s social media to avoid what happened in Florida?
A – Doane supports this already. The students speak-up. There have been many cases where kids reach out to a trusted adult regarding concerns for each other and social media posts.
Comment – In terms of prioritizing the mental health of our students, having Ms. Gray, the school counselor, here is a significant asset. Supporting students to reach out for help and to speak up when others need assistance must be age appropriate.
Q – Can insurance for the school provide some security services?
A – Headmaster does not think so. It may give a discount. Safety has been a daily discussion, sometimes with students, administrative staff, etc. The school will continue to do more regarding safety. Students are interested in school safety and gun violence.
On 3/14/18, there will be a Walk Out at 10am for 17 minutes. Doane will be participating. It is student- driven. Communication from the Headmaster will be forthcoming. It is about civic engagement. Students are encouraged to participate.
NJAIS Accreditation: Doane has been accredited by NJAIS. It is a 10 year accreditation. New Jersey’s protocol includes 24 standards and Doane met all. NJAIS provided a 58-page report to Doane with recommendations and commendations. Some of the recommendations include faculty growth and development, well-articulated technology plan, using diversity to address difficult topics.
Strategic Planning: This follows accreditation. Parents are encouraged to complete a survey that was sent out if they have not done so already. Another reminder will be forthcoming. Data is important to Doane. The Board meeting for Strategic Planning is on 3/17. Plan is anticipated to be approved by the Board by September 2018.
Q – Is there a Soft Ball team for middle school?
A – Yes
Q – Can other companies besides Flynn and O’Hara be considered for uniforms? Lands End?
A – Good thought. It will be looked into.
Q – Is the calendar for the next school year set in stone? Any thoughts about coordinating Doane’s Spring Break with the other local schools.
A – Next year’s calendar has been established and is available on the website. The timing of spring breaks tend to be different for independent schools. They typically break earlier.
- Doane's Faculty Appreciation Breakfast
The Doane Academy Parents Association invites you to volunteer in another Doane tradition, the Faculty Appreciation Breakfast
It is a longstanding tradition for parents to volunteer to bring in breakfast for Doane Academy's faculty & staff on Wednesday mornings. Please consider the Parents Association's request that you volunteer for one of the weeks in this school year.