But, honestly, we are a mix of emotions. We’re wondering some of the same things you may be – what this means for our school, whether we’ll be able to find teachers as wonderful as those who are leaving, why teachers and families would want to leave QAE.
These are complex issues, but we want to highlight a few things we’ve been thinking about:
- The hiring teams are excited about the resumes they are seeing and the candidates they have interviewed. We have received over 300 resumes for our open positions!
- There was a principal change at QAE four years ago. Janine was chosen by a hiring team (of teachers and parents) as their number one choice. This was based on her desire to uphold our school pillars, honor our traditions and has strong leadership background. And we believe these all hold true today.
- Last four years the school and community has faced unknowns but QAE parents are willing to dig in and represent QAE’s interests – teacher strike, principal change, option vs neighborhood school, building construction, buses, teachers and families coming/going.
- A new cohort of teachers means new opportunities. Janine is already looking toward team building and professional development of existing and new teachers.
- There are fewer students at QAE than the peak enrollment in Fall 2015. This does equate to fewer fundraising dollars. Families have helped step up to help raise more per student but total dollars are fewer than before. What does this mean for QAE? Happy to discuss but would invite you to our next PTSA meeting to dive into all the various options.
- Enrollment projections vs actual student count has been hard to predict until the first day of school when kids show up. We will continue to work with Janine and SPS in order to be conservative about hiring and minimize classroom impacts at the beginning of the year.
- SPS has seen a decline in student enrollment which impacts all the schools across the board. And as an option school we have seen more movement in our student population ranging from HCC programs, private schools and general life changes.
- The principal at Magnolia Elementary is a great educator and has a very strong relationship with all of our staff (did you know Katie Cryan Leary, the new principal for Magnolia Elementary, was a Kindergarten teacher at QAE from 2010-2018? She’s also been a principal in the past). Hiring for Magnolia has also affected other schools in the area – at least 5 teachers from other schools in our zone are leaving to be part of the Magnolia staff.
- Next year we’ll be back on Queen Anne in an expanded building with a full-sized gym, a dedicated MakerSpace, more classrooms and other amenities. Can’t wait!
There is a lot to process, but we feel excited about the long-term future of QAE. Maybe it's because we see Janine's dedication on a daily basis, the strong teachers who are staying or the truly incredible candidates who have been applying. We see new teachers eager to join QAE and drive it into its next phase as a learning community while honoring our Five Pillars and SEL approach.
If you have questions or would like to talk, please consider coming to a Caffeine with Janine after Monday Morning Meeting, reaching out to her directly or speaking with a PTSA Board member.
Ian, Reem, Sandra and the rest of the PTSA team
PS - If you have additional questions you can email them to email@example.com (this will go to Sandra to consolidate)
PPS - If you know you are not returning to QAE next year, it would be tremendously helpful if you did the following:
- Planning to attend your neighborhood school - Contact SPS Enrollment. They can provide you with the enrollment paperwork for your neighborhood school. Please also send an email Karen Rang at the QAE office at firstname.lastname@example.org to say you are changing schools.
- If you are leaving SPS completely (for a private school, moving out of town) - fill out the SPS form here. Please also send an email Karen Rang at the QAE office at email@example.com to say you are leaving the district.