To our ROCS community,
As we enter the last weeks of the year and look forward to 2023, we want to take a moment to update you on some big moving pieces. This email from the Board of Directors contains:
- A round of applause for all of you and our wonderful staff;
- A call for new board members;
- An update on our Executive Director search and current leadership structure; and
- An exciting announcement about a new location for the 2023-24 school year.
First, thank you for continuing to be a part of this community. New charter schools face frequent and sometimes surprising hurdles, and ROCS has been no exception. We’ve lost and gained staff and students, moved through a global pandemic together, and most recently, faced an unexpected shift in school leadership. But still, this year, we are seeing the pieces come together in a beautiful way to create a sturdy and solid foundation for our long-term success. We are so proud of—and so thankful for—our wonderful staff, and we are thankful to each of you for leaning in to support them with kind words, volunteer hours, snacks, gifts, and more.
Second, we are recruiting new board members. If you read this email thinking “I could be a valuable asset to this team as the school makes some of these big moves,” then please reach out! We need more hands on deck, and especially need people with skills in large-scale fundraising, project management, civil engineering, human resources, and nonprofit leadership. Learn more by reading this Board Recruitment Letter. Yes, joining the board is a bit of a process, but the process is designed to make sure you know what, exactly, board membership will entail. Please also feel free to forward this letter to people in your network who might be a good fit. (Have a grandparent that used to be a school administrator? Please tell them we’re recruiting!) We’re a 5-person board right now and hoping to double our numbers in the next few years. To reach our full potential, we need to be more diverse.
Third, an update on school leadership: You have probably noticed that Dr. Tom Miller and his team from Leaders Building Leaders are now on campus more frequently. Dr. Miller and Mr. Berry are currently sharing responsibilities for school leadership and tag-teaming each other as necessary for success. In truth, the team at Leaders Building Leaders has been supporting our school heavily since we received Principal Dawson’s health news and corresponding resignation. But, since Dr. Miller was also serving as Interim Principal at a separate charter school, we were not able to have him on campus as often as we wanted until that commitment was complete. Dr. Miller and Mr. Berry will continue to lead the school as a team at least until we hire and integrate our new Executive Director.
On that note, we are excited to share that we are currently in final-round discussions with two candidates for the Executive Director position. Both candidates have now completed three rounds of interviews, toured the campus, met with some staff, and completed a project plan for their first 90 days as school leader. It feels likely that we will extend a formal offer in the next week, with the candidate starting as Executive Director in the new year.
And fourth, an exciting announcement about a new location: Next summer (July 2023), ROCS will be moving to a much larger space at 2600 Sumner Road, Raleigh, NC, 27616 for at least the 2023-2024 school year as we build our permanent facility. This location formerly housed Casa Esperanza Montessori and is about 6 miles from our current building.
Why are we moving? Because we’ve simply outgrown our current building at 9400 Forum Drive. We have reached the maximum occupancy limit and would not be able to accept more than 20 new students in the next school year. The new location allows us to increase enrollment and safely accommodate all our current teachers and students. And perhaps most importantly, it will deliver on some of our community’s most pressing concerns, including classroom space (it has all exterior classrooms with ample windows and natural light), wide hallways, a large reception area and administrative office suite, a large media center space, and… multiple staff and student bathrooms!
We’ll use the summer months to move things over and prepare the classrooms and outdoor play areas for all things Waldorf, but thankfully, this building is already well-equipped to operate as a school. We know this change will impact your commute, so we wanted to let you know as soon as we possibly could.
We hope you will stick with us through the change. A school is so much more than a building, after all, and we believe that—by making this move as a full community—we can ensure continuity and a sense of safety and stability that will benefit both the staff and the students.
We are optimistic that we’ll be able to move to our permanent location in the following school year (2024-2025). Of course, we’ll keep you posted on news related to this permanent location as soon as we are allowed. Right now, we are still under due diligence on a parcel of land.
Thank you again for hanging in here with us. We are so excited about the adventures to come,
The ROCS Board of Directors