Weekly e-Newsletter

The weekly e-newsletter is emailed to all SSFS families each Sunday afternoon during the school year with news, photos, upcoming events, and "must-know" info. Click the Lower School, Middle School, or Upper School sections below for division-specific information and articles. You can also filter articles within each section by clicking on specific categories such as arts, parents association, special events, and more. Archived newsletters are also available here.

All-School News

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Lower School News

Lower School

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Categories: Lower School (LS) Section


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Pam Gilmer
Lower School New Faculty-Staff Meet and Greet

Before the school year officially , however, we'd like to invite any and all Lower School families who are in town and available to stop by campus on Monday, August 26, from 3:45-4:45 pm to enjoy a Kona Ice and an opportunity for an informal meet and greet with some of the new faces of the Lower School faculty and staff (see below for names and titles). No RSVP is needed - just stop by if you're in town.

Hope to see you there!

  • Liza Long - Lower School Head
  • Joel Gunzburg - Lower School Counselor
  • Madeline Silber - 5th Grade Teacher
  • Carla Nally - 5th Grade Teacher
  • Nora Hand - 4th Grade Teacher
  • Gasa Anderson - Lower School Resource Teacher

Middle School News

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Categories: Middle School (MS) Section


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Erin Ryan

Below is information about upcoming MS and all-school activities and events in the coming weeks. For questions or more information about an event, please contact Erin Ryan, MS Administrative Assistant, at ext. 160 or erin.ryan@ssfs.org, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar.

  • Tues, June 11: International Trip Final Meeting
  • Tues, June 11: MS Meet and Greet, 3:30-4:30 pm - RSVP
  • Wed, June 12: PA Faculty-Staff Appreciation Lunch, 12:00-2:00 pm, Westview - Click here to sign up to help! 
  • Remember to complete your 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey
  • Have a great summer and don't forget to bookmark your SSFS portal page for summer reading/assignments and back-to-school info! 
Erin Ryan

Start your summer with a sweet treat! The SSFS Middle School will host a "Meet and Greet" for all new and returning Middle School students and their families on Tuesday, June 11, from 3:30-4:30 pm in the Middle School Smith Collection Space. This will be an excellent opportunity for our incoming families to meet current families, and for all to enjoy games, treats, and good company together as the summer begins. Students will play a few games with P.E. staff, and we’ll conclude with a frozen treat. We hope you'll join us! 

Erin Ryan

The 8th grade class gathered on Thursday, June 6, for their Recognition Night and special Meeting for Worship. We wish them all the best as they move on to Upper School! The 8th grade class photo is available on Vidigami here.  

8th Grade Class

 

Michelle Puhl-Price

I remember when I was in 5th and 6th grade, my best friend and I wrote to our favorite TV show “Big Blue Marble” in order to get pen-pals for the summer. That bond, started in the early 1980s, transformed into a lasting friendship over the decades. Today, students use email, text, and Snapchat to communicate brief messages. This year, an art teacher at the North American International School in Dubai asked if we could exchange Artist Trading Cards. Artist Trading Cards are not like baseball or Pokemon cards. No stats or averages, instead, they are individual, miniature examples of art. Approximately 2 X 3 inches, students used a variety of media and techniques to express themselves. Take a look at some of our SSFS 6th graders' creations. We received the shipment from Dubai and plan on sending our batch this week. The students enjoyed the activity so much they want to make it a tradition and hopefully find more schools to participate both nationally and internationally. 

Kiki Vargas and Terrell Davis

Middle School Civil War ProjectsUpon return from their signature trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, 7th grade students chose a Civil War topic of interest to research. Selections ranged from a day in the life of a Union vs. Confederate soldier, amputations and medical advancements, espionage, specifics of artillery and military strategy, generals and their battle tactics, the role of photography, and more. Students delved into their learning, taking notecards on digital platform NoodleTools. A final outline including cover page, thesis, topic sentences, content, and works cited was presented to the class, along with an artifact of learning. Our MS Collection Space became a Civil War Museum of models; posters; interactive slide shows; manuals, journals, and books; and animations. What incredible effort and learning! 

Matthew Denaburg

Families who rented books from Follett for the 2018-2019 school year must return those books, postmarked by June 6, 2019. Look for an email reminder from Follett containing a link for a pre-paid return label. If you can't find the email, instructions are available here. Please note that this label will not be available after June 6! If you miss the deadline, please return the books to the following address, and include your order ID, if you have it, or some other kind of identifying information:

Follett Virtual Campus
1433 Internationale Parkway
Woodridge, Illinois 60517

Lost or Damaged Rentals
If books are lost or severely damaged, it may be cheaper to buy out the remaining cost of the book from Follett, instead of facing non-return or damage charges. Instructions can be found here.

Online Buyback
This year, Follett has partnered with ValoreBooks to offer families a more competitive sellback price. The system will search all textbook vendors to find the most money back for families wishing to return their books. ValoreBooks can be accessed at this link. Families can choose to be paid either by check (mailed via USPS) or by PayPal.

Please note that some classes next year will expect you to retain your books from this year. If you see a class on the following list, and you will be taking the associated class next year, you should not plan to sell your books. 

Currently taking (2018-2019)  Plan to take (2019-2020)
6th Grade English  7th Grade English (keep your workbook)
7th Grade French 8th Grade French (keep your workbook)
7th Grade Spanish 8th Grade Spanish (keep your workbook)


   
    
    
   
    
    
 

Upper School News

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Categories: Upper School (US) Section


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Kerry Foley

Below is information about upcoming US and all-school activities and events in the coming weeks. For questions or more information about an event, please contact Kerry Foley, US Administrative Assistant, at ext. 109 or kerry.foley@ssfs.org, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar. 

  • Wed, June 12: PA Faculty-Staff Appreciation Lunch, 12:00-2:00 pm, Westview - Click here to sign up to help! 
  • Remember to complete your 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey
  • Have a great summer and don't forget to bookmark your SSFS portal page for summer reading/assignments and back-to-school info! 
Hannah Kerr

Let’s give a standing ovation to Maeve Friedman '19, who received Honorable Mention for the Maryland Dance Education Organization’s 2019 Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award.

  • Artistic Merit: The candidate demonstrates technical and artistic excellence in dance as evidenced by performing original choreography and submitting an essay describing the intent, inspiration and challenges of their choreography.
  • Leadership: The candidate demonstrates outstanding leadership in and outside the field of dance at the school, community, state, and/or national level as evidenced by a strong resume, recommendation letter and impact of dance essay
  • Academic Achievement: The candidate demonstrates academic excellence with a high cumulative grade point average and superior writing skills found in both submitted essays.

Congratulations to Maeve Friedman and Sebastian Goodman for their induction to the National Honor Society for Dance.

Margaret Rosser

Charles LSSFS junior Charles L. has been chosen from a highly selective national applicant pool of thousands by the U.S. Department of State as part of their National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program to represent the United States as a citizen ambassador to China. Charles will travel to Xiamen University, Shanghai, and Beijing on a full merit scholarship for 6 weeks this summer in an effort to improve Americans' ability to engage with people from around the world and build lasting international relationships. 

The National Security Language program initiative plays an important role in preparing U.S. students for the 21st century's globalized workforce, increasing American competitiveness, and contributing to national security. While there, Charles will continue to engage in the rigorous study of Mandarin. Upon his return, he will be part of the alumni association and represent the Mid-Atlantic region in events and opportunities pertaining to continued critical language study, professional development, networking and community service.

Hannah Kerr

The Arts Department continues to grow to meet both the needs of our students and the expectation of evolving art disciplines. Looking for the perfect addition to your schedule? Consider enrolling in one of the following courses:

Chorus (C block): Do you love to sing?  Are you looking for ways to improve your English? Looking to reduce your stress? Want to be part of a team? These are just a few of the benefits Chorus offers. Whether you are a novice in your church choir or an advanced singer in the shower, consider joining the SSFS Chorus!

Digital Media Arts: Yearbook (A Block): The class formerly known as Yearbook is shedding its old name to take on new approaches. In addition to producing the SSFS Yearbook, this class will place emphasis on learning and using digital technology in the creative process. If interfacing digital technology with the arts interests you then this class is for you.

If you are interested in learning more about the curriculum for any of the above courses please contact, Hannah.Kerr@ssfs.org. To make any changes to your schedule please proceed with the Add/Drop process with Meredith Shankle.

Matthew Denaburg

Families who rented books from Follett for the 2018-2019 school year must return those books, postmarked by June 6, 2019. Look for an email reminder from Follett containing a link for a pre-paid return label. If you can't find the email, instructions are available here. Please note that this label will not be available after June 6! If you miss the deadline, please return the books to the following address, and include your order ID, if you have it, or some other kind of identifying information:

Follett Virtual Campus
1433 Internationale Parkway
Woodridge, Illinois 60517

Lost or Damaged Rentals
If books are lost or severely damaged, it may be cheaper to buy out the remaining cost of the book from Follett, instead of facing non-return or damage charges. Instructions can be found here.

Questions? Please contact Follet's customer service at 1-888-382-3383.

Online Buyback
This year, Follett has partnered with ValoreBooks to offer families a more competitive sellback price. The system will search all textbook vendors to find the most money back for families wishing to return their books. ValoreBooks can be accessed at this link. Families can choose to be paid either by check (mailed via USPS) or by PayPal.

Please note that some classes next year will expect you to retain your books from this year. If you see a class on the following list, and you will be taking the associated class next year, you should not plan to sell your books. 

Currently taking (2018-2019)  Plan to take (2019-2020)
Advanced Spanish Concepts Adv. Spanish: Communication and Culture
World History I World History II

Friends Mart

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Jamie Price

ACEF is offering position-specific volleyball clinics at SSFS over the summer to help every athlete achieve their goals. Athletes must have at least one year of club experience or be participating in the CCACC high-level clinics.

  • Training from Chinese national-level coaches and athletes
  • Coach-to-player ratio of 1:6
  • Private lessons available for a limited time
  • See flyer for session dates offered
  • Register online here
  • ACEF is offering SSFS (MS and US) students who have volleyball experience a 10% discount on tuition, and additional $20 off if they register before May 30th.  
  • Questions? Contact Hongqin Zhang at 410-570-3023 or zhq215@hotmail.com
PA Community Connections Committee

Do you ever wish you had a way to "connect" to the SSFS community of families about topics not part of the traditional school day or school related events? Maybe you've wondered if any of those nice high school students babysit, or if any parents know of a good violin teacher. Maybe you are looking for a plumber, a travel agent, or someone to work out with? Want to start a hiking group, a meditation group, or need help moving furniture??

Online communities abound these days, so the SSFS PA has created one (via Shutterfly) for our wonderful community of families. This is an opt-in choice open to current and alumni families for all divisions, home stay and boarding parents. The site is moderated by parent volunteers to ensure we don't misuse the tool for problems an online community can't address, and don't duplicate or replace what is official school business that belongs on other communication sites.

We hope this tool will be an additional way to support connections across this diverse community of families who share the choice of SSFS for their children. Please fill out this quick online form to opt-in. Questions? Please contact Nikol Jackson or Kathleen Landers.

Athletics Events This Week

Margaret Rosser

All School News

Congratulations to our newest alumni, SSFS's Class of 2019! We are so proud of each graduate, and look forward to hearing about the ways they all will continue to "let their lives speak" as they move on to college, and beyond. See photos from the day on our online photo gallery; add or download more photos from this Vidigami photo album (remember to login to the website first!); and/or view the full graduation ceremony on our YouTube channel here

Margaret Rosser

The calendar information below is for all-school, multi-divisional, and/or Parent Association events and activities in the coming weeks. Please see the Lower School, Middle School, or Upper School sections for division-specific "must-know" info, or visit the Calendar web page to see the full calendar. 

Margaret Rosser

This is the final e-newsletter for the 2018-2019 academic year. We hope you have a wonderful and rejuvenating summer! Don't forget to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey; bookmark your child's "Summer and Back-to-School" page (LS, MS, and US) to see information about summer reading and other useful resources for the 2019-20 school year; and check out the new website redesign over the summer. Have a great one!

David Hickson

All parents should have received an email on May 31 with a link to the 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey. Please contact David Hickson if you did not receive the email or have trouble accessing the survey.  

We use your anonymous feedback to track opinions and trends over time, so we ask that you participate each year, based on your experiences for the most recent school year. Your feedback truly does help shape both short-term and long-term planning by the School, and this survey is a great opportunity to have your voice heard. Results of the feedback are shared in the fall. Thank you for your help!

Margaret Rosser

Summer is a great time to review and download any photos you'd like to keep of your child's year at SSFS from Vidigami, our online photo sharing service. 

* Current and returning families: Log in to the SSFS Parent Portal Page using your SSFS network username/password. (If you aren’t sure of your network username/password, instructions for how to retrieve it are here.) Once you're on your portal page, click the "Photos" button to access Vidigami. Note that if it's your first time logging in to Vidigami, you'll need to re-enter your username/password; after that, you will be logged in automatically via Single-Sign-On (SSO) any time you click the "Photos" link from the parent portal page. Also note that the SSO access is not available for the Vidigami mobile app, so if you are logging in with a tablet or phone, you'll need to log in using your email address as username, and the password you used when you signed in the first time (you can use the "Forgot password" feature to reset your password).

* Families of seniors or non-returning families: You will continue to have access to the photos for the years when your child was a student at SSFS. After July 2, you won't be able to login to the portal pages, so you'll need to login via the Vidigami website at www.vidigami.com using the email address that you most recently had in My BackPack and the password you used when you signed in the first time (you can use the "Forgot password" feature to reset your password). Seniors who provided their personal email addresses to Lauren Mossman will be able to use those (non-SSFS) email addresses instead of their ssfs.org emails as usernames to log in. 

Adrienne Chisolm

Cell phoneFriends! If you have already given to the Annual Fund this year, THANK YOU. We are so grateful for your support. If you have not given this year, this is your chance! We will be making phone calls during the month of June to our Sandy Spring community to remind everyone it is not too late to make a donation to the SSFS Annual Fund.  Help us close the year out strong with a contribution celebrating that all that our students and teachers have accomplished, achieved, and made possible in 2018-19. Join us by giving TODAY!

Margaret Rosser

A "heads-up" that we are in the final stages of completing a new website redesign, which we plan to launch in June. The new SSFS website will have a clean, fresh look and an improved design for optimal viewing whether you are accessing the site from a large desktop, a mid-sized tablet, or a small phone or mobile device. We've also updated and provided additional content about the fantastic programs here at SSFS. 

As always, we encourage parents and students to bookmark their portal pages (which are also undergoing a redesign!) for easy access to the information that will be most pertinent to you. We look forward to hearing your feedback and suggestions and will be working throughout the summer to continue to add, edit, and enhance all pages for the best website experience. 

David Hickson

Assistant Head of School David Hickson's latest blog post puts us face-to-face with a startling report that forecasts the dire consequences of our environmental actions, and the importance of schools' roles in educating our students about this. The blog post, titled, "Schools Cannot Stand Idly By," begins "As our nation’s attention continues to be hypnotized by sensationalist political tweets, Mueller reports, the burgeoning list of Democratic presidential candidates, and celebrity antics, the most relevant, shocking, and far-reaching news story of the century --  no, the millenium -- seemed to barely registered a blip on our public consciousness. I’m of course referring to the IPBES release of the “Summary for Policymakers of the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.”  Rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? And who is the IPBES, anyway?" Read more here... 

SSFS Parents Association

On Wednesday, May 15 at our final PA meeting, we approved our Executive Committee for the 2019-2020 school year. Thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination for a community member or shared their own interest in being part of the Executive Committee or to serve as a Grade Representative. Also, thanks to the Nominating Committee who provided guidance in selecting the final Executive Committee members for next year. Moving forward, we are finalizing Grade Representative positions for next year. If you have an interest in being a grade representative or volunteering for one of the many PA events, please contact pa.clerk@ssfs.org.

The Executive Committee positions for next year are listed below.

  • Mentoring Clerk: Lauren Deichman
  • Co-Clerks: Saundra Prather and Kelly Rush
  • Assistant Co-Clerks: Kavita Sehgal and Charlene Warren-Davis
  • US Division Reps: Patrice Simms, Nikol Jackson, Julie Hussman
  • MS Division Reps: Allison Gilbert, Desiree Polyak, Hilary Phillips
  • LS Division Reps: Bina Puri, Monica Payne, Silvia Kinch
  • Treasurer: Kathy Dalton
  • Assistant Treasurer: Meg Page
  • Recording Clerk: Shruti Purnam