US Summer & Back to School Info

We look forward to having your child join us! Below please find some general information about health forms, academic resources, upcoming dates, technology information, and more as you prepare for the upcoming school year. If you have questions about specific programs in the Upper School, please contact one of the staff below:

Upper School Office:
Shinae Byhouwer, Upper School Administrative Assistant
301-774-7455 ext. 109
Frances Lambrecht, Registrar
301-774-7455 ext. 110
Jerome "J" Cole, Assistant Head of the Upper School for College Counseling
301-774-7455 ext. 178
Ben McClellan, Dean of Upper School
301-774-7455 ext. 121
Ilene Lees, Counselor
301-774-7455 ext. 138
Bim Schauffler, International Students
301-774-7455 ext. 143

Welcome, Orientation, and Back-to-School Events

Please mark your calendar for the following orientation and back-to-school dates:

  • Thursday, August 10: 9th Grade Camping Trip Meeting for all incoming 9th grade students, parents and guardians, Performing Arts Center-Studio B, 7:15 pm
  • Sun-Thurs, Aug. 13-17: 9th Grade Camping Trip (Note that there is a breakfast for all 9th grade parents in Westview Dining Hall at 8:15 am after students depart on Sunday, Aug. 13)
  • Tuesday, August 22: Dorm proctors arrive
  • Thursday, August 23: Technology set-up for new 9th grade students and parents, 5:30-6:30 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Friday, August 25, 3:00-6:00 pm: New boarding students move into Westview Dormitory; 6:00-7:00 pm- Welcome dinner for new boarders and their parents, Westview
  • Saturday, August 26: New Boarding Student Orientation; Dorm opens for returning boarding students, 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, August 27: Dorm Orientation for All Boarders
  • Monday, August 28, 8:00-10:00 am: New Parent Orientation, Athletic Center
  • Monday, August 28, 8:00 am - 3:00 pm: New 10th-12th Grade Student Orientation, Athletic Center
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29: Opening Day of School
  • Wed, Aug. 31 and Fri, Sept. 2: Senior photos (rain dates Sept. 6 & 8)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 31: Don't forget that Wednesdays are early dismissal days! School is dismissed at 2:35 pm.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 6: US Parent-Advisor Conferences, 2:30-5:30 pm
  • Thursday, Sept. 7: Yearbook photos for grades 6-11 (forms mailed in back-to-school packet, and available online)
  • Wednesday, Sept. 13: Upper School Back-to-School Night, 6:30 pm

Please visit the calendar web page for more detailed event information, or view a calendar card listing all dates that SSFS will not be in session for 2017-18 here.

Bus Registration

Information about bus routes may be found online here. Families can enroll in Bus Transportation services via MyBackPack > Program Registration. For bus/transportation questions, please contact Cathryn Carnevale at or 301-774-7455 x177. In order to facilitate bus route planning, please sign up for the bus by June 1, 2017.

Required Health & Permission Forms

Most of the health and permission forms that you will need to fill out for your child are submitted using Magnus Health. See information about how to sign-in to your Magnus Health account and upload your health forms for 2017-2018.

My BackPack

After enrolling, each family gets a dedicated MyBackPack account with a unique username and password. If you have submitted your enrollment contract and not yet received login information for (or need assistance accessing) your MyBackPack account, please contact the Technology department at or 301-774-7455 x111. Your MyBackPack account will give you access to a number of services including:

  • Billing and student accounts
  • Student class schedules and grades/comments
  • School directory
  • Family contact information
  • Enrollment contracts

Please ensure that your contact information in your MyBackPack account is accurate. As a part of our continuing efforts to act in environmentally sustainable ways, SSFS rarely sends information by paper mail. All communications about events, grades, billing account status, re-enrollment, and other information are sent electronically through My BackPack using the email addresses you have provided. An emergency notification service is also available via text message, so please also provide a cell phone number where you may reached.

Technology & Website Information

Grades 9 - 12: Our Upper School is transitioning to a “BYOD” (bring your own device) program. All students in the Upper School must have a device available on a daily basis for school work. This device can be an iPad, Windows laptop, Mac laptop, Chromebook, Android tablet, or other similar device. Because of its keyboard and screen size, a mobile phone is not considered an adequate device for school. Click here to see minimum requirements for student devices.

Website login information for families is emailed in mid-July, when we roll the student class lists over to the 2017-18 academic year. The website login gives families single-sign-on access to MyBackPack and online classrooms from the website, but you do not need a website login to access your MyBackPack account; you can simply login directly to MyBackPack.

You can find more information for new and returning families on the Technology website. Technology questions may be directed to the Technology Office at

Class Placement & Course Scheduling

Placement testing is needed for any student entering SSFS from another school. We conduct placement tests in math and foreign language to ensure students are placed in the current courses based on their skill level. Course schedules are finalized and sent to families by mid-July. Changes to a student's course schedule may be made after August 21, 2017. See the 2017-18 Upper School Course Curriculum Guide online here.

Summer Reading & Academic Resources

Book Ordering Information

Information about ordering books online will be available in June.


Info about team sports, summer practices, season start dates and schedules, uniform and equipment needs and more will be available in June.

For More Information/Questions

Please contact the Upper School office at 301-774-7455 x109 with any questions.

Photo Forms

Grades 9-11: Forms for school photos for grades 6-11 are mailed to all families in the back-to-school packet. An online version will also be available.

Seniors: Stone Photography will be on campus to take Class of 2018 senior portraits during the first week of school. Seniors should schedule their photo session by going to, clicking Schools/Senior Info, clicking "Sandy Spring Seniors 2018 Sign Up" on the left side and following instructions from there.

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