‘Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom’ - Rudolf Steiner
I apologise for the lateness of this blog post, we have been very busy collating the registration paperwork which took an enormous amount of time and energy from the board and Tony. We now have our registration case number and are in the final stages of submitting the criterion to the Education Standards Board. A momentous occasion for our small board and community, one which should come with great excitement.
For those who are interested in what this body of work looks like, I urge you to check out the details here. I know for me personally, it was the first time I have seen the dream blossom in ‘black and white’ and in such detail. It enabled me to dream my way through the different stages of the school development and imagine the journey for our children.
In the midst of collating this work we were advised our offsite school site was no longer an option. This hit hard as it had felt we were making great progress with that site and registration, collectively. However, as it has occurred so many times before in this initiative journey, another option presented itself rather quickly. The house behind our school block is being sold and it has not escaped the board how perfect this location and site would be to commence the school. We are therefore in search of anyone who may be willing to help us, financially or otherwise to purchase this site. We are also in discussions with the Bendigo Bank as to how they may be able to assist. Of all our options, this feels the closest and most suitable for what we require to commence as a small school.
Now that you are caught up with where we are at with opening the school, I must share the raw, vulnerable reality behind this journey. Our board consists of four active members, with one member transitioning out to have their baby in February. I do not want to be misunderstood, the school will not open with a board of this size. As a chairperson, I have seen the sacrifices the families of the board continue to endure and I am having to draw a line in the sand. From my perspective, the 7 day a week workload, late nights, daily phone calls and mental load is taking a toll in ways I am not even sure how to articulate.
I am here, I am not ready to stop fighting for our children, but who are we if we are not transparent and honest? What example are we setting for our children? We need to be able to ask for help when we need it. These are questions I ask myself daily.
The school community and culture we have worked so hard to achieve is based on so much more than money, registration paperwork, markets, sausage sizzles and enrolments. It is about being a part of something of shared value, collaboration and purpose. We need help and hope the journey can be embraced by those who feel this same sense of purpose.
If you want this school for your children and community we need your help. I am no longer able to watch this small group work themselves into the ground trying to achieve something for the wider community without additional help. I am therefore making the statement now, if we do not find additional support and helping hands by the 27th October 2023, we will have to dissolve the initiative.
Our passion for this school has not waivered, but we are tired. We have made incredible progress, and the end goal feels close, however I find myself wondering; if we achieve this with such a small group, what will the cost be on the board and their families at the end? I have a sense of responsibility as the chairperson to protect the health and wellbeing of the group and have therefore made this heartbreaking decision.
With an open, hopeful heart,