2019 State of the School

2019 State of the School

By Sarah O’Dell, Executive Director

We begin this year with a huge accomplishment for the TCS community and one that I take great pride in. Our teachers. Everyone who was employed at The Children’s School in May 2018 is still employed here today. This year we have 100% staff retention!

In the Early Childhood field, turnover is an ongoing challenge that not only adversely affects the business side of a program but more importantly, the quality of care that children and families receive. Faculty and staff continuity matters. It creates stability and with that we can focus on quality curriculum and relationships.

As we enter a time of stability and continuity I remember a promise I made in 2017. That the TCS staff and I will always look to the past for guidance to inform the future of TCS. We will stay true to our school’s philosophy, to our roots and to the mission of The Children’s School. Last month when I met with new to TCS families, I asked them, “How did you get here?” 19 out of the 23 families that I asked came to TCS on the recommendation of a person that they trust. The positive reputation that The Children’s School has maintained for 39 years remains intact and as strong as ever. These families will experience the difference and the quality that The Children’s School offers.

We enter this year on sound financial footing. In 2018, we replenished the endowments that we borrowed from to fund our addition, put away a generous amount in savings, and are currently investigating options to significantly pay down our mortgage debt. We increased the average salary of a teacher by 22%, invested in mentoring and continuing education for teachers and added a SIMPLE IRA to teacher benefits with 100% matching funds from TCS.

We continue to have a strong P-TCS group who works hard to raise money so that we may meet our goals for the school, including being able to provide tuition assistance. We have 10 children attending school who have received tuition assistance awards totaling just over $30,000 from the 2019 auction. The strong sense of purpose of our parents and the positive energy they bring to their work adds much to our school community.

We have a strong board of directors who are working tirelessly alongside myself, staff, parents and other community members to form a 5 year strategic plan that includes a close look and significant investment in our outdoor spaces.

We remain proud of our NAEYC accreditation status. In the spring we used the accreditation parent survey with our families. Through this survey we received feedback about our communication about the daily lives of individual children throughout the school. That will be our program improvement goal for this school year.

We will continue our use of blogging, communication boards, parent-teacher conferences and casual conversations AND introduce new technology that will improve our individual child communication. It is the attention provided to individual children and to children’s experiences in classroom that makes The Children’s School unique in Boise.

It is with deep gratitude to our TCS families, our teachers, Nicole and Maite, and our board of directors that I enter my 3rd year as the Executive Director of TCS with so much hope and optimism for the future.