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September 28, 2022

By Patty Moreno-Fletcher

Patty Moreno-Fletcher has been a member of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School community for more than 18 years and will serve as the ECFS All School Parent and Teacher (P+T) Chair during the 2022–2023 and 2023–2024 academic years. Below, she shares more about her experience at the School and five things to know about the P+T.

Hello, Ethical Culture Fieldston School community! My name is Patty Moreno-Fletcher, and I am excited to be your new All School P+T Chair.

Patty Moreno-Fletcher smiles at the camera in a Fieldston t-shirt

When I walked up the stairs at Ethical Culture to drop off my oldest son on his first day of Kindergarten in 2004, I immediately felt the energy of the community I was entering into. As he joined his wonderful teachers Marianne and Geri and met his fellow students who would become new friends, I left feeling such a sense of joy knowing how much fun he would have that first day. After witnessing those first few years of my children learning through engagement and curiosity, I fell in love with ECFS and its wonderful community! Fast forward 18 years later, my family has been able to witness the Upper School commencement of Harry ’18 and Leilani ’17 — who will be joined in two years by Isaiah ’24.

As a Latina growing up on the Upper West Side, I’ve always had a passion for all things related to social justice, diversity, and empowerment. On top of being a proud ECFS parent, I also wear many different hats as an intuitive holistic life coach, a Reiki practitioner, ThetaHealing® practitioner, and a labor and postpartum doula. I have always been enveloped by thoughts of how I can be of service to others and help people improve their quality of life and their overall happiness. I’ve always had a genuine empathy for people and the challenges they are facing, and I carry this into the work I do on the ECFS P+T.

It was during my early years as an ECFS parent that I realized my love for improving the quality of life for others could be expressed through volunteer work with the P+T at our School. I volunteered as a Class Parent, an ASMC division Co-Chair, a Middle School Grade Chair, and most recently as an Upper School Co-Chair. Now — in my last two years of being a parent at the School — I am the All School Chair. I’m so happy to be able to give back to ECFS while working to build our community.

As we come out of the pandemic, and work on digging into what ECFS means to all of us, the P+T strives to make sure all voices and perspectives are heard in all of the meetings that are held throughout the year. Between planning the different events and working with administration to bring up ideas and topics that parents/guardians have on their minds, the focus of the P+T is to build a strong, loving community through all four divisions with every parent/guardian upholding the School’s mission. We are a school community full of amazing future leaders and change makers, which we see in our kids and alumni. I’ll leave you with what drove me to this School — its ethos:

“The ideal of the school is not the adaptation of the individual to the existing social environment; it is to develop individuals who are competent to change their environment to greater conformity with moral ideals.”

Felix Adler, Philosopher, Humanist, and Founder of the Ethical Culture Fieldston School

Here are five things that I think every ECFS community member should know about the P+T.

1. Each year, the P+T sets goals that are aimed at representing parents/guardians and fostering connections across all divisions.

These goals are accomplished by facilitating communications with parent/guardian representatives who regularly solicit community feedback — which they share in meetings with the principals and deans — and strengthening our School community through events and divisional initiatives. P+T initiatives include welcome committees, family education forums, carnivals, talent shows, book fairs, faculty appreciation events, community service initiatives, and class/advisory grade socials. The P+T also supports and partners with the All School Multicultural Committee (ASMC) to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) through conversations, education, and community events.

2. The P+T division co-chairs spend the spring prior to the new academic year planning events for our community.

These events are centered around community building, DEI work, and parent/guardian education. Some of our most impactful events take place in the fall, when the P+T partners with each division to host welcome coffees and socials for parents/guardians, allowing them to come together, laugh, and enjoy tea, coffee, or a cocktail or two over some bites. For the P+T representatives, these events give us the chance to reconnect, while also welcoming families who are new to our community. Some of my dearest friends are parents/guardians I’ve met at these ECFS events!

Two major events at the beginning of the academic year — the back-to-school celebration and Homecoming — are wonderful ways to start the year filled with ECFS school spirit! These are just two of the many events the P+T hosts throughout the year, which are made possible with the partnership of the Advancement Office. ECFS volunteers are able to call on the Advancement Office for help with the moving pieces of our wonderful events and the partnership we have with each other is critical to building and celebrating our community. Between trying to figure out what decor to have at a social, which bites to add to a menu for Open School Nights, or what the run of show should be for the Senior Dinner, the Advancement Office is right there with us helping to make sure our events are a success!

3. Partnership between the P+T and the ASMC makes our School stronger.

Parent/guardian education is presented throughout the year at various workshops, panels, and talks hosted by the P+T and ASMC that help us all continue to learn and grow in our ever-changing world. Throughout the year, different affinity groups chaired by P+T volunteers plan events where parents/guardians come together and support each other, and discuss questions they may have using a DEI lens. This is a huge aspect of who we are as a School as we strive to build on the School’s mission. Check out the School calendar for Parent-in-Actions dates and other engaging workshops and learn more about all the wonderful work our parent/guardian volunteers do within the ASMC by visiting their website here.

A word cloud showing words used to describe ECFS: Engaged, Community, Happy, Welcoming
Answers from parents/guardians about what distinguishes the ECFS experience

4. Each division’s P+T makes a point to show appreciation for the ECFS faculty.

Faculty appreciation is something that is near and dear to all of our hearts as we think of how amazing the ECFS teachers are! With the support of the Advancement Office, the P+T plans different ways to show our faculty how much they mean to us. This can be things like a note written by our children saying how much a specific project impacted them, to surprise treats in the faculty lounge, to a banner with student quotes sharing how much their teachers have meant to them, and much more. There’s a P+T committee dedicated to showing the ECFS faculty love — reach out to your divisional representative if you want to get involved.

5. Volunteers fuel the P+T.

The ECFS P+T is composed of parent/guardian volunteers from all four divisions. Each division hosts volunteer fairs to share information with our families on how to get involved. Every volunteer position is important as we strengthen our community and School. Our work is always evolving based on the needs and interests of our community and volunteering is a chance to give back to our school community while meeting other families, supporting the School’s mission, and building friendships and community. 

Want to volunteer? Visit the P+T microsite to learn more about how you can get involved.