April 10, 2020

Caring for Oakwood’s Present and Future

A Message from Oakwood’s Board

Dear Oakwood Community,

In this time of unprecedented change (and adaptation to a “new normal”), we on the Oakwood Board wanted to take a moment to thank the entire Oakwood community (including all teachers, administrators, staff, employees, students, parents, grandparents and alumni) for your patience, agility, and hard work that have gone into, and continue every day to go into, delivering on Oakwood’s Statement of Philosophy during these challenging times—to, among other things, foster “independence of thought, intellectual integrity and sensitivity to the needs of others” and prepare “children for the future by focusing on the quality of their experiences in the present.”

It is doubtful that Oakwood’s founders who initially drafted Oakwood’s Statement of Philosophy could have imagined our current mode of remote learning. But we know that they would be proud of the creativity and resiliency that our community is demonstrating on a daily basis.

While the School is rightly focused on the ever-changing present, we also want you to know that the School and the Board remain focused on the future and our longer term goals as well. In fact, last Saturday, Oakwood’s Board together with School administrators met (via a very large Zoom meeting) for our annual Strategic Planning retreat.

Jaime Dominguez shared news about many of the goals and initiatives that comprise Oakwood’s Strategic Plan during February’s State of the School event, and will continue to share more details in the future. Work is underway now on a number of projects that tie directly back to the Strategic Plan, including ongoing analysis of curriculum scope and sequence and plans for building out a kitchen and servery at the Secondary Campus.

In addition, the Board remains focused on (and, in fact, is accountable for) the financial stability of the School. Therefore, not only was much of last weekend’s retreat focused on financial planning within the lens of the Strategic Plan, but all of the Board’s work (including Board meetings and committee meetings) remain on-going via Zoom despite our current physical distancing requirements. Rest assured that Oakwood is well positioned, in mission and vision, with a sound financial plan, to not only weather the current storm but also achieve the School’s long-term priorities.

Having said that, we understand that in these uncertain times there may be people in our community who need financial assistance (or more financial assistance than in prior school years). This is why the School and we have established the Better Together Community Fund (for temporary assistance for current families, teachers, and staff to lend a hand with necessities that fall outside of Oakwood’s financial assistance program, such as food, household supplies and internet access) and the Emergency Financial Assistance Fund(to supplement Oakwood’s existing financial assistance budget for families who qualify for assistance during the 2020-2021 school year). For anyone in need of assistance, and for anyone who is able to provide assistance by making donations to these funds, please click here for more information on both of these funds.

We thank you all again for your patience, hard work, and sensitivity to the needs of others as we navigate these challenging times. We look forward to being “Better Together” without physical distancing as soon as we can, and we are grateful for being “Better Together” socially and emotionally until then!

The Oakwood Board:
Jamie Bakal
Nancy Carell
Meryl Chae
Brian Diamond
Ken Fritz
Wendy Greuel
Marta Kauffman
Kaye Popofsky Kramer
Greg Kurstin
Jen Lichtman
David Lipsey
Jeff Markowitz
Barbara Marshall
Michael Marshall
Linda Mazur
Liz Hirsh Naftali
Ira Pianko
Rey Rodriguez
Mark Roybal
William Sherak
Greg Silverman
David Simon
Monifa Sims
Andrew Sugerman
Alexandra Lang Susman
Bonnie Vitti
Laura Wasser