Perhaps the topic of welcoming new families seems odd for an end-of-the-school-year blog post. But I really do have a method to my madness here.
One of my roles as Director of Enrollment is to make sure that all of our newly-enrolled students and their families are cared for as they transition into our school community. This takes place as we enroll new students all throughout the school year, but it is especially challenging at the start of each new school year when we have a larger number of new families coming in all at once.
We currently have in place a fantastic team of Parent Ambassadors who are committed to reaching out to each new family to answer their questions, invite them to school events and be available to encourage and point them in the direction of help if they need it. Parent Ambassadors are an immensely valuable resource and I am personally so appreciative of their willingness to serve in this capacity each year.
That being said, this effort of welcoming new families is really an entire LCS community opportunity and privilege. Some of you may be able to think back to the time when you first arrived at LCS and hopefully were greeted by current families who offered support and encouragement. Many of our new families are not only new to LCS but also to the Lakeland community, having moved from another place.
I want to encourage us all to begin now thinking ahead toward August when we arrive back on campus for the new school year. How can you be intentional about meeting new families and encouraging your students to be aware of who is new in their classrooms? How can you make efforts to reach out to just one new family and possibly be available to help show them around and feel included in activities that take place the first few weeks of school? It is so easy to get back to school after the summer break and want to reconnect with all of our familiar friends and not be aware of new students. Would you be willing to start now talking with your students about ways they can include new students in their circle of friends? They can invite them to sit at their lunch table, include them in weekend social activities or ask them to be a part of a study group.
As believers we are called to love, to encourage the faint-hearted and to be willing to move out of our world into someone else’s to befriend and walk alongside them. This is called incarnating. This is what Jesus did when he “put on flesh” and came to this earth to befriend, walk alongside and be with us in our world. How can we as a school community be the hands and feet of Christ, incarnating into the lives of these families to serve, love and encourage them as they join our LCS family?
I look forward to meeting all of our new families and seeing the ways that you reach out to them and make new friends!