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Farewell to 2019, and welcome 2020!

Dear Flora Vista Families,

How is it the end of 2019 already??? For me, the excitement of the new year is coupled with a twinge of sadness at the close of another year. As parents, we watch our kids grow up SO fast, and the turning of the calendar is a stark reminder of that. This winter break, I’ll be focused on slowing down, turning off the email, and being present for my girls in every way. This past weekend, for example, my family enjoyed our annual night out for Christmas Lights and pho (hey, we all have our traditions, right?) My girls are 2, 4, and 6 now, and I am well aware that one day I’ll blink, and the college years will be upon us. In addition, the recent passing of my father, and subsequent time spent quietly going through his lifetime of artifacts, has reminded me how much MORE there is to know about each of us than what we might share on the surface. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to learn about our loved ones. HERE is one list of ideas to start a conversation when you’re curled up with your child over the break. There’s no magic in this particular list, it’s just one of many - the magic is in the act of connecting.

As we begin the new year, we’ll have students engaged in a number of leadership opportunities across all grades and interests. Click HERE for some examples, and encourage your child to let their teacher know if they are interested! Last year, the Thirst Project was one of the defining examples of our students’ leadership in Civic Learning, and it didn’t start as a club or anything adult-directed. The project began with a story and a question, “Does everybody have a right to clean drinking water?” That story became our students’ story, which then became the story across continents. Please click HERE and HERE to see the messages our students received last week. Yes, that is a Flora Vista T-shirt flying over a new well in Swaziland! This community is now one more place on the map with access to fresh water, which means instead of walking hours to and from water, the women can work and the children can go to school. Flora Vista students are making a difference in our community and our world!

I hope this season of holidays and the winter break gives you a wonderful opportunity to connect with your loved ones near or far, and to add cherished memories to your holiday traditions. If I don’t see you this week, I will see you in 2020!

In Gratitude,

Chris Juarez


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