By Kelly Markson, CSPA President 2019-2020
When the 2019-2020 school year began, we had no idea that our lives would be forever changed by the Covid-19 pandemic in the early spring. We started the fall with the energy and enthusiasm of every new school year at The Carey School. Our goals were to further connect, engage and support our parent community and to be as inclusive and welcoming to all families as possible.

One concrete step we took to reach those goals was to introduce reusable parent name tags on Carey School lanyards at Back to School Night in September. We received immediate positive feedback from faculty, staff and parents that they were helpful in relationship and community building!

CSPA committees such as Caring At Carey brought the Carey community together in service of others in the fall and early winter through volunteer events at the SF Food Bank, Peninsula Jewish Community Center and beautifying a local San Mateo school. Additionally, we had a great turnout in early November at Walkfest with a focus on sustainability and showed our Carey School neighbors our gratitude with the annual Cookie Drive in December.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit in mid-March, our school transitioned to remote learning and the CSPA continued to support and connect families, faculty and staff. Our Faculty Appreciation Committee showed our love and support for the Carey faculty and staff through signage and electronic gift cards for meal delivery were gifted to every Carey employee. We hosted our first all school CSPA meeting via Zoom with an incredible turnout to hear about a personal Covid experience from a Carey family. We also enjoyed a virtual “Carey Music Night” with recordings of 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students lifting our spirits and demonstrating their musical talents.

The CSPA Auction team quickly shifted to virtual mode, as well, and combined our annual Spaghetti Dinner and Auction to create “Pasta with a Purpose” in May. Incredibly, we had our most successful Fund-A-Need event in school history raising $441,000.

At the end of the school year, the CSPA Executive team and 4th grade parent volunteers continued the tradition of celebrating the 5th grade graduation by delivering treats, signs and car decorations to 5th grade graduates.

Despite the uncertainty and sadness brought on by the pandemic, The Carey School came together and we could not have been more proud or fortunate to be part of this community. We look ahead with hope for a vaccine and a return to campus in the next school year.