INSIGHT:Engaging with the EPS Community

By Shairose Gulamani, EPS Parent Class of 2024

As a mom of a senior this year, I am already mentally preparing for a bittersweet ending. Though I am very excited for my son Bijan to graduate high school and embark on a new journey next year, I am personally going to be very sad to leave Eastside Prep.

As an involved parent for the past 8 years, EPS has become a second family for me. Its strong, nurturing and inclusive community has provided endless opportunities for me to get involved in big and small ways! From planning school events like the ever-popular Fall Harvest or simply helping to put together a basket of goodies for staff and faculty appreciation to serving as a class parent or team parent—all these wonderful, varied experiences have been truly delightful! Being a volunteer has afforded me the pleasure of befriending other students, parents and members from the broader school community. I not only feel a deeper sense of belonging with the school as a result, but I also feel more connected with my son and his educational journey.

Being actively engaged at EPS has also been a privilege. As a partner in my son’s educational process, I, too, want to contribute, support and positively impact his overall school experience. Active involvement in the school community has allowed me to stay informed about my son’s progress and activities and has provided opportunities to build new friendships and develop a network of support with other parents where we can share experiences, discuss challenges, celebrate achievements and collaborate on various aspects of our children’s education and extracurricular activities. I treasure the parent community that has blossomed over the years during my time at EPS and I am certain these friendships will continue long after graduation.

My initial involvement at EPS started by simply attending school events like Fall Harvest, an in-person Fall gathering of the full community which kicks off the academic year. Fall Harvest 2023 is happening on September 29 and is a great way to get a glimpse of the vibrant school community at EPS as you meet other parents, interact with faculty, and school leaders and enjoy delicious food and drinks in a fun and social setting. Participating in grade level coffees and events throughout the year is another way to maintain community and lean on the support of fellow class parents. It takes a village to raise a child as the old proverb goes and the village at EPS is pretty awesome to get to know!

I am immensely grateful for the positive impact that the EPS community has had on me and my child. The school’s culture of kindness extends beyond just its student body as it is felt, seen and heard amongst its parent groups, and faculty and staff alike. This camaraderie and supportive environment have encouraged me to actively participate, communicate, and collaborate through the years thereby enriching my child’s overall educational experience. For Bijan, the community of care that has held and nourished him since 5th grade has helped him build healthy relationships, cultivate compassion, find joy in learning and develop essential life skills that will serve him well in the future. Thank you, Eastside Prep, for all that and more! It has been an honor to be part of this amazing community.