Weekly e-Newsletter

The weekly e-newsletter is emailed to all SSFS families each Thursday 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.

All-School News

The calendar information below is for all-school, cross-divisional events and activities in the coming weeks. Please see the Lower School, Middle School, or Upper School sections for division-specific "must-know" info.

  • Thurs, Sept. 21: PA Winterfest meeting, 8:15 am, Athletic Center Multipurpose Room
  • Mon-Fri, Sept. 25-29: Spirit Week! All-School Spirit Days are
    * Tuesday, Sept. 26: PJ Day - Wear your jammies to school;
    * Wednesday, Sept. 27: Crazy Hat and Hair Day;
    * Friday: Sept. 19 Green and Gold Day - show your school spirit by wearing green and gold!
    * Divisions have their own special days on Monday and Thursday. See your division's section for more info.
  • Tues, Sept. 26: Families New to Quaker Education, 7:15 pm, On-Campus Meeting House. All families are welcome to join Head of School Tom Gibian for an evening to learn more about the history and 360-year tradition of Quaker education and how Quaker principles and practices inform our program at SSFS.
  • Thurs, Sept. 28: Movie Night Under the Stars, 6:30-9:30 pm. Bring a picnic dinner at 6:30 pm, and stay for an outdoor screening (weather-permitting!) of the movie Loving, the story of Richard and Mildred Loving (rated PG-13). Rain location: PAC. This event is sponsored by the SSFS librarians and inspired by our all-school summer read, Loving v. Virginia.
  • Fri, Sept. 29: PA Fundraiser - Jersey Mike's Subs: Show flyer between 10:00 am - 9:00 pm and 15% of all proceeds will be donated to SSFS!
  • Sat, Sept. 30: Laps for Lexi, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon. Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon, and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness. Find out more, register, and/or volunteer to help here.
  • Wed, Oct. 4: Community Day
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: Screening of "Angst" Documentary (Find out more and reserve your seats here)
  • Mon, Oct. 9: NO SCHOOL, Fall Holiday
  • Sun, Oct. 15: Admissions Open House, 1:00-3:30 pm
  • Fri, Oct. 20: PA Community Connections Committee Meeting, 8:00-9:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
SSFSROCKS

A project called by many names: Painted Rocks, Random Acts of Kindness, Kindness Rocks, and now SSFSRocks! If you search or google "painted rocks," or "kindness rocks," you will see that this fun project is world-wide, as well as found right next door and now right here. Small random acts of kindness, these simple to detailed painted rocks, some with thoughtful affirmative sayings, are popping up everywhere to bring a smile, a giggle, and/ or a hope.

The idea is that groups or individuals paint rocks--cute, funny, gorgeous, whatever. A small message of support can be included, and with either a # or a website on the back. There is also a Facebook page. These rocks are then hidden, in plain sight but in unexpected places. Others find them, post the discovery online, and then re-hide the rocks to spread the words of support and smiles around. Sometimes a clue where to find the rock can be included in the post. The rock can be kept by the finder, but the rule then is that a new one will be painted and hidden in exchange.

Some of our SSFSRocks will go with our students on intersession trips and other off campus travels, to hide and to spread our messages of SPICES. Kindness Rocks are now a worldwide activity, and it is a challenge to see how far the rocks travel.

SSFS is a small town in many ways, an enclave of SPICES, a strong community with mutual values, all of us wanting to find ways to support each other. Think about the joy in finding a special stone on a cloudy day, the giggles forthcoming with a silly design, or the fun in taking a walk around our beautiful campus and solving the riddle of a hidden rock! Making them is just as much fun, and the hope is you enjoy making and finding and posting your rocks!! SSFS Rocks!!

Suggested steps to make SSFSROCKS:

  • Find rocks that talk to you
  • Paint it a new color(s) or leave plain
  • Design your rock
  • Add a message or wish if desired
  • Put www.ssfs.org/rocks and/or #ssfsrocks on the back
  • Spray with polyurethane varnish, or modpodge
  • Hide your rock, posting a riddle and photograph if desired
  • Place your rock anywhere on campus outside, including the Adventure Park and ssfs Meeting House. In plain sight in in unexpected places. None should be hidden inside buildings.
  • When a rock is found, post a photo of the finder finding it, and then re-hide it!
  • Invite your family and friends to a rock painting evening at your home
  • Join friends at a rock painting session in the art barn

Suggested supplies:

  • Rocks.... (on a walk, from garden centers, craft stores)
  • Small bottles of acrylic paint (from local craft stores, inexpensive and available in many colors) or any leftover house paint, even nail polish works!
  • Acrylic paint pens, (Sharpie acrylic paint pens available at craft stores or on line, or Posca acrylic paint pens available on line, which come in 3 nib sizes), (many other brand names available but untested)
  • Cans of spray paint if wanted,
  • Paint brushes if needed,
  • A can of polyurethane varnish (from a craft or hardware store)

Not suggested:

  • Sharpie pens, while inexpensive, permanent, colorful and abundant, fade quickly when in the elements. They also bleed when varnished.

"The meaning of the Painted Rock movement"
It's not about racing out to find the best rocks before anyone else can get there, or how many you can collect at one time. It's not a game or a contest. It's about random acts of kindness. Sharing a little piece of art with a total stranger. Or exchanging with a friend. It's about people getting together to paint and laugh. It's about making someone's day brighter, or sending a little message of encouragement to someone who needs it. Its positive energy that we send out in the smallest of things, without expecting anything in return. As a group, we can make this happen."

Performance at all-school assembly

The whole school gathered for our first all-school assembly of the 2017-18 year on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The assembly kicked off with new Upper School Torch clerk Alex P. welcoming us to the school year and the entrance of the Class of 2018, accompanied by their Pre-K, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade buddies. After a brief period of silence and reflection, the Upper School modern dance class performed, followed by an SSFS faculty and staff acapella group singing a traditional SSFS favorite, "Silver Swan." Head of School Tom Gibian shared some thoughts with the School, and we enjoyed a brief slideshow with photos from the first days of the school year. The Lower School then sang "I've Got the Power in Me," and Upper School student Sydni B. sang a soulful arrangement "Summertime" and "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)." The assembly closed after the traditional all-school singing of the George Fox song. The energy and enthusiasm of the assembly has us off to a great start!

When: Saturday, Sept. 23 from 1:00-4:00 pm - RSVP here for Sept. 23
Where: The Art Barn at SSFS
Contact: Kate Santorineos, LS Art Teacher
What: Glad you asked! See below!

A HUGE thanks go to our wonderful SSFS community as last Sunday we had a full house of creative generous folk who came to the barn to make bowls for our next Empty Bowl dinner. Cats, fish, lace, bird prints, carved, peace themed, and flower festooned bowls are only some of the 45 bowls that are drying while awaiting their time in the kiln. We even have an acrobat hanging by the knees from a bowl's edge!!

Every other year, our wonderful community joins together to help fight hunger, and this is the year! Please mark down February 11, 2018, on your calendar as that is when two years of effort will come to fruition. If you are unsure of what this is, please click here to find out more about this special effort.

Our next bowl making session will be Saturday, September 23rd from 1-4. You are welcome to sign up for consecutive slots if you have the time to create in depth.

Everyone is welcome, and all ages can make or glaze a bowl as no experience is needed. All materials are supplied, it's super fun, and very satisfying as we help others through art. Please sign up on the RSVP links above, one person per line, each child attending listed separately, as we do have limited space and we fill quickly. All children must be accompanied by an adult, but family, friends, and neighbors are welcome to sign up. If, after you sign up, should your plans change, please take your name off the list so that others might attend.

The SSFS Communication Department has drafted a new design for our newsletter email and website template, and we need some beta testers! Beta testers will receive the new newsletter template starting in October alongside the current template. The testers will be asked to:

  1. Fill out a survey prior to receiving the newsletter;
  2. Review the email and web page each week;
  3. Report any and all findings that you've discovered (via a mid-test survey and an open-ended feedback google form);
  4. Be communicative and responsive to all the needs of the test; and
  5. Participate in a feedback in-person meeting in mid-December (time and date TBD).

If you're interested in participating, please email Julie.mendez@ssfs.org by September 25.

Each year at Winterfest (click here to suggest a new name as we've moved the date to Nov. 18 this year!), we provide a curtained-off room filled with new or gently-used donated items that SSFS students can buy for $1 to get a head start on their holiday shopping for family and friends. SSFS students love this special nook where they can shop for their loved ones in "secret." We are in need of your donations of new or gently-used items in order to fill the shop with gifts.

Please take a look around your home to see if you have suitable small gifts (e.g. picture frames, candles, soaps and bath items, jewelry, "dad" gifts, etc.) and then deposit them in the collection boxes. This year you will find the collection boxes at most school events leading up to Winterfest, including tonight's Lower School Back-to-School Night (the collection box will be located in the lobby of Walbrooke), and at Friends Day on Saturday (head over to the Winterfest table to find the collection box and more info about this years Winterfest).

Find out more about Winterfest on our website here. Also, if you or someone you know might be interested in having a vendor table at Winterfest please submit your information through the vendor form available here. Thank you very much!

Laps for Lexi 2017

Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon, and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness.

On Saturday, September 30 starting at 8 am we hope you will join us for the 8th annual Laps for Lexi. This wonderful, family-friendly celebration honors the life of Lexi Speight, a beloved member of SSFS's class of 2019, who after a brief, but intense and courageous battle, passed away from liver cancer in February 2010 at age 8.

Laps for Lexi includes a 5K cross country fun run and a 1-mile cross country walk. Well-trained, child-friendly dogs on leashes are invited to join in the fun on the 1-mile walk. Gross proceeds will benefit the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders to create the LEXI SPEIGHT Chair in Pediatric Oncology, an endowed professorship created in memory of Lexi, as well as the Lexi Speight scholarship here at SSFS.

How can you be involved?

  • Register - Come walk and/or run! Register at: www.lapsforlexi.org.
  • Volunteer - anyone interested in volunteering before or during Laps for Lexi can sign up at: www.lapsforlexi.org
  • Donate Blood - give a lifesaving gift by donating blood. The Children's Hospital Bloodmobile will be on site during Laps for Lexi. To schedule an appointment visit: click here.
  • Bring markers/crayons - we are collecting crayons and markers for the patients and siblings of the 4th floor (the oncology unit) at Children's. The art room is a favorite destination for the children and hospital staff are always in need of new crayons and markers. Coloring is not only therapeutic, but it often brings a much needed sense of normalcy to the kids (patients and non-patients). Please bring a pack of new crayons and/or markers with you to Laps for Lexi and help brighten the day of a child.
  • Financial support - if you would like to make a financial contribution, please send a check to: Laps for Lexi, PO Box 10958, Silver Spring, MD 20914. Please make the check out to Laps for Lexi. You may also donate online at: www.lapsforlexi.org.

Thank you in advance for your support. It means the world to the Speight family. Questions? Please e-mail lapsforlexi@yahoo.com.

We are so excited to welcome author Selina Alko and her co-illustrator husband Sean Qualls to the Sandy Spring Friends School campus on Friday, September 22. They are the creators of the Lower School summer read, A Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, which is a story dear to their hearts and lives. They will spend time in various LS and MS classrooms and present an assembly to grades 1-5. We have found that there are few things that speak more strongly to our students' creativity than real-world artists and authors. The inspiring story of the Loving family is one we should all know about and celebrate, and Selina and Sean will help us do that. Continuing the celebration, note that we will have another author visit on October 2, when Patricia Hruby Powell will be on campus and working with US and MS students. Her book Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case, is our 2017 all school read.
Loving vs. Virginia The Case for Loving

The Parent Association is made up of ALL school parents and guardians, so we look forward to seeing you at many upcoming events as the year unfolds. Please visit the PA Website to see the 2017-18 PA reps and sign up to volunteer at one of our many fun events throughout the year.

Upcoming Events (Click here to see other PA Events scheduled for 2017-18)

  • Sat, Sept. 16: PA Friends Day, 4:00-7:00 pm. Enjoy an afternoon of fun and community with live music, meet and greet new and returning families from all divisions, enjoy dinner on us, enjoy Baskin Robbins ice cream treats, visit Farmer Joe's market booth, participate in fun community games, learn about PA events, and more! Click here to volunteer at this fun event!
  • Tues, Sept. 19: PA Auction Committee 2018 Meeting, 8:00 am, Middle School Conference Room. Hope you can join us as we begin plans for this year's event! All are welcome.Can't be there in person? Call in on the conference line: Dial-in number 866-894-8254; Participant passcode: 7545542.
  • Thurs, Sept. 21: PA Winterfest meeting, 8:15 am, Athletic Center Multipurpose Room.
  • Fri, Sept. 29: PA Fundraiser at Jersey Mike's Subs in Olney - Eat out and support SSFS! Show this flyer at Jersey Mike's subs, 3494 Olney-Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832, anytime between 10:00 am and 9:00 pm and 15% of the proceeds will be donated back to SSFS.
  • Sat, Sept. 30: Laps for Lexi, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon. Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness. Find out more, register, and/or volunteer to help here.
  • Saturday, November 18, Winterfest! Although it's still hot out, we are already thinking about WINTERFEST! We have a new date for the coming year: Winterfest 2017 will be held before Thanksgiving, Saturday, Nov. 18--before the holiday rush. If you would like to help with planning of this fun community event (find out more about Winterfest here), please email pa.clerk@ssfs.org. Also, watch for donation bins for the Secret Shop at Back to School Nights, Friends Day... The secret shop can use your gently loved items such as scarves, gloves, jewelry, mugs. Be creative, the kids love having a variety of things they can choose from when shopping for you.
  • Call for Vendors: If you or someone you know might be interested in having a vendor table at Winterfest, please submit your information through the vendor form available here.
  • With the new date, we need your help to rename this community event. Click here to submit your suggestion for a new name. After suggestions are submitted, the community will vote on the new name.
  • Potluck Dinners: Every Fall the PA encourages each class to hold a potluck or other child free event for parents to get to know each other. As classes schedule these events we will list them in the Newsletter. We hope to see this list grow over the next couple of weeks:
    October 14, Kindergarten
    October 15, 4th Grade
    October 21, 2nd Grade Happy Hour
    October 28th, 9th Grade

When: Thursday, Oct. 5, from 7:00-9:00 pm
How: Sign up for tickets here
Cost: Free!
Contact: Ilene Lees, US Counselor
What: See below!


Angst - DocumentaryPlease join us to learn more about recognizing the signs of adolescent anxiety, and start an important dialogue about reducing the stigma around asking for help. Parents, students and siblings in 5th -12th grades are welcome. This film is a tool for empathy-building and a means to deepen self-awareness. The prevalence of anxiety is high in our culture but can be easily misunderstood. This movie is not for everyone, and for individuals in treatment for anxiety, it is recommended that the viewing of the movie be shared and discussed with any treating professionals. This film is designed for showings in school settings for adolescents, and the film-makers have taken care to ensure the content is appropriate for 11-18 year olds. Parents are welcome to discuss questions about the movie in advance with their division level counselor. Upper School - Ilene Lees, Dorm- Meghan Cassidy, Middle School - Erin Rose, and Lower School - Tim Croft.

After viewing the 60 minute documentary, we will be joined by a panel of experts from The Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change. We will have a question and answer session with these professionals. The SSFS Counselors and the Parent Association are excited to collaborate on this important topic. Please click here to RSVP for your free tickets.

Lower School News

Pam Gilmer

Below is information about upcoming LS events. For questions or more information about an event, please contact Pam Gilmer, LS Administrative Assistant, at ext. 112 or pam.gilmer@ssfs.org.

  • Thurs, Sept. 14: Lower School Back-to-School Night, 6:30-8:30 pm (parents only). LS parents/guardians are invited to come to the campus Meeting House at 6:30 pm for opening remarks by Brenda Crawley, LS Head. Parents will then move on to their child's classroom for an overview by the classroom teacher(s). Remember to bring your calendar as there will be opportunities to sign up to volunteer to chaperone field trips and other activities throughout the year.
  • Sat, Sept. 16: PA Friends Day, 4:00-7:00 pm. Enjoy an afternoon of fun and community with live music, meet and greet new and returning families from all divisions, enjoy dinner on us, enjoy Baskin Robbins ice cream treats, visit Farmer Joe's market booth, participate in fun community games, learn about PA events, and more!
  • Fri, Sept. 22: Packing Smart Sacks, 8:15 am, Westview (more information below)
  • Fri, Sept. 22: Author Selina Alko and her co-illustrator husband Sean Qualls visit the Lower School! Creators of A Case for Loving, the pair will discuss the process writing and illustrating books in an assembly for 1st-5th grades, sharing samples of drafts and early illustrations. Selina and Sean will read with the pre-primary classes and share their latest collaboration Why am I Me?
  • Mon-Fri, Sept. 25-29: Spirit Week (note that there may be LS-specific special days on Monday and Thursday - more info to come!)
    * Tuesday, Sept. 26: PJ Day - Wear your jammies to school;
    * Wednesday, Sept. 27: Crazy Hat and Hair Day;
    * Friday: Sept. 19 Green and Gold Day - show your school spirit by wearing green and gold!
  • Tues, Sept. 26: Families New to Quaker Education, 7:15 pm, On-Campus Meeting House. All families are welcome to join Head of School Tom Gibian for an evening to learn more about the history and 360-year-old tradition of Quaker education, and how Quaker principles and practices inform our program at SSFS.
  • Thurs, Sept. 28: Movie night under the stars, 6:30-9:30 pm. Bring a picnic dinner at 6:30 pm, and stay for an outdoor screening (weather-permitting!) of the movie Loving, the story of Richard and Mildred Loving (rated PG-13). Rain location: PAC. This event is sponsored by the SSFS librarians and inspired by our all-school summer read, Loving v. Virginia.
  • Fri, Sept. 29: Packing Smart Sacks, 8:15 am, Westview (more information below)
  • Sat, Sept. 30: Laps for Lexi, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness. Find out more, register, and/or volunteer to help here.
  • Wed, Oct. 4: Community Day (more info to come!)
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: Screening of "Angst" Documentary (Find out more and reserve your seats here)
  • Mon, Oct. 9: NO SCHOOL, Fall Holiday
Pam Gilmer

All LS photo were taken this week! If you have not already done so, please send in your payment now. The cost of the Lower School packet is $35.00, payable to Stone Photography. If you have more than one child in the Lower School, you may combine their payments on one check. Checks are to be turned into the Lower School office.

The packets will arrive in about four weeks and will be sent home with your child. If you like your child's picture and wish to order more copies or enlargements, you may do so then, and the photography studio will get them to you well before the holidays. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. If you do not care for your child's picture, you may return the entire unopened package to the Lower School office and we will return your check. If you have any questions about LS pictures, please contact Pam Gilmer, x112.

4th Grade Teachers
4th Grade Retreat

The 4th grade had a wonderful day of community-building and hands-on learning on Friday, Sept. 8 at their all-day retreat at Catoctin Quaker Camp. The students rotated between three stations: learning to paddle in canoes on the pond with Linda, a soil and stream study in the woods with RuthAnne, and group problem-solving games with Tim. They also got some free time during lunch to run and play around the pond, catching small fish and salamanders and enjoying the beautiful day. See more photos by visiting the online photo gallery, and in Vidigami.

Kerry-Ann Farmer

Our first Smart Sack packing of the year will be on Friday, September 22nd and 29th, immediately after drop off at 8:15 am in Westview. We are seeking 2-3 parent volunteers to join our Smart Sacks team this year. Parent volunteers role and responsibilities as follows:

  • Picking up food from MANNA (located off Shady Grove Rd. in Gaithersburg) once a month and bringing it to SSFS cafeteria
  • Delivering sacks to our two partner schools located off New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring about 20 minutes from SSFS.

Smart Sacks is a county-wide program started by MANNA food center to help combat children's weekend hunger in Montgomery County. Twice monthly during the MCPS school year, volunteers pack donated food and deliver it to county elementary schools. Children who usually receive free meals at school take a bag of food home every Friday to ensure that they have adequate nutrition throughout the weekend. SSFS lower school students and volunteers support two local elementary schools in this initiative. This is a fun and easy way to do something meaningful with the lower school kids and provide a very worthwhile service to the community. If you are interested in helping out with this ongoing service project please contact KERRY-ANN FARMER at kerryann.farmer@yahoo.com

Cathryn Carnevale

In order to provide some safeguards for your child when dropped off by a Sandy Spring Friends School bus, you need to provide us with the identification of the person or persons who will be meeting your child. An updated bus route list with 2017-18 times and location stops is available online here.

  1. Our bus drivers are instructed NOT to drop off a child if the designated person(s) is not at the stop. Designated persons must be visible to the bus driver at the bus stop (out of a vehicle, standing ready at the stop).
  2. If you will be using a different pick-up person on any day, you need to notify the school, by email, in advance. Phone calls will not be accepted.
  3. Should the designated person not meet your child, he/she will be returned to school and placed in our aftercare program. Please make arrangements to pick-up your child as soon as possible. Parents are reminded that aftercare closes at 6:00 pm.
  4. If you feel your child is responsible enough to walk home and/or walk with an older sibling or student, please provide us with written permission.

Please make sure that you have filled out and submitted your LS drop-off form to the Transportation Dept. If you have not, please send an email to cathryn.carnevale@ssfs.org to submit your completed form or request a form to fill out and submit.

Middle School News

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.

  • Fri, Sept. 22: Author Selina Alko and her co-illustrator husband Sean Qualls, Creators of the LS Community read, A Case for Loving, will be on campus. The pair will visit the 8th grade to discuss their experiences writing about social justice.
  • Mon-Fri, Sept. 25-29: Spirit Week (note that there may be MS-specific special days on Monday and Thursday - more info to come!)
    * Tuesday, Sept. 26: PJ Day - Wear your jammies to school;
    * Wednesday, Sept. 27: Crazy Hat and Hair Day;
    * Friday: Sept. 19 Green and Gold Day - show your school spirit by wearing green and gold!
  • Tues, Sept. 26: Families New to Quaker Education, 7:15 pm, On-Campus Meeting House. All families are welcome to join Head of School Tom Gibian for an evening to learn more about the history and 360-year tradition of Quaker education and how Quaker principles and practices inform our program at SSFS.
  • Thurs, Sept. 28: Movie night under the stars, 6:30-9:30 pm. Bring a picnic dinner at 6:30 pm, and stay for an outdoor screening (weather-permitting!) of the movie Loving, the story of Richard and Mildred Loving (rated PG-13). Rain location: PAC. This event is sponsored by the SSFS librarians and inspired by our all-school summer read, Loving v. Virginia.
  • Fri, Sept. 29: PA Fundraiser - Jersey Mike's Subs: Show flyer between 10:00 am - 9:00 pm and 15% of all proceeds will be donated to SSFS!
  • Sat, Sept. 30: Laps for Lexi, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness. Find out more, register, and/or volunteer to help here.
  • Mon, Oct. 2: Patricia Hruby Powell, author of our Community Summer Read, Loving vs. Virginia, will be on campus. In assemblies for both the MS and US, Powell talk about her research and writing process, as well as multifaceted professional career as an artist dancer, choreographer, storyteller and writer. Additionally Powell will workshop with a couple of US dance and English classes. The author will be happy to sign books for students in the afternoon.
  • Tues, Oct. 3: Information Night for Rising 9th Grade Student and Parents, 7:15-8:30 pm, PAC-Studio B (NOTE NEW DATE - this was rescheduled from original date of 9/23!) Current 8th grade students and parents/guardians are invited to come learn about the Upper School program at SSFS. Meet with US Head Jonathan Oglesbee and other Upper School faculty and staff, ask questions, and find out about academics, arts, athletics, and student life in grades 9-12. See more info below.
  • Wed, Oct. 4: Community Day
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: Screening of "Angst" Documentary (Find out more and reserve your seats here)
  • Thurs-Fri, Oct. 5-6: 7th Grade Food/Farm Trip (See more info below)
  • Mon, Oct. 9: NO SCHOOL, Fall Holiday
Erin Ryan

We'll show our SSFS spirit next week (September 25-29) with the following special activities:

  • Tuesday: Pajama Day
  • Wednesday: Crazy Hat & Hair Day
  • Thursday: Wacky Tacky Day
  • Friday: Green & Gold (athletes participating in a fall sport should wear their team jersey to school)
Devon Rothschild, MS Science Teacher

The Fall Signature Field Trip for seventh graders is just around the corner! Students will be spending the two days bonding with classmates, doing service work, and exploring the principle of sustainability. Full trip details and a packing list were sent via e-mail to parents, and can be found here. If your child requires medication on the trip, please be sure to provide it to Mary K in the Health Center by Thursday, September 28th.

Erin Ryan, MS Administrative Assistant

Thank you to all the families who were able to join us for the 6th and 7th grade Coffee & Conversations on Sept. 15 and 19th. Our 8th grade Coffee and Conversation will be held tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 22 at 8:15 am in Scott House. Join David Blake and the faculty representative who is coordinating the trip to receive detailed information about the 8th grade's upcoming trip, and answer any questions you might have.

Meredith Shankle

The Upper School will hold its annual Information Night for current SSFS Middle School families on Tuesday, October 3rd at 7:15 pm in Studio B of the Performing Arts Center (PAC). Although we are on the same campus and share a number of commonalities, Middle School families and students often do not have a deep understanding of the Upper School program and its many opportunities. This Information Night, geared toward parents, is a great opportunity to talk with members of the Upper School faculty and administration including department heads, members of the ninth grade team, the US counselor, the US learning specialist, and the Assistant Head of Upper School for College Counseling. Families will be separated into smaller, more intimate groups that will meet with 3-4 Upper School representatives at a time and tour a few key US buildings. This format has proved very successful in conveying the essence of our amazing program and providing ample opportunity for individual questions. While students are invited to attend, the night will be primarily geared toward parents. We will have an additional opportunity for 8th graders to learn about the Upper School through individual day visits.You will receive information about this shortly. We hope to see you on October 3rd!

Kristin McCarthy, MS Languages Teacher

The Middle School will offer 2 weekend trip opportunities for students this year (one in the fall, and one in the spring) Our first weekend trip is for 7th and 8th graders, and is Saturday, October 14th to Six Flags America, in Upper Marlboro, MD! The cost of the trip is $80, plus extra money to buy food in the park. The bus will be leaving SSFS at 11:00 am and returning to the school at 6:00 pm, and students will enjoy 5 hours in the park. This event is rain or shine (and in fact, rain means no lines for the rides!)

If interested, please complete the sign-up form and return with payment (cash or check) to Kristin McCarthy by Wednesday, September 20.

Hannah Kerr, US Arts Dept. Head
College Night for Visual and Performing Arts

This is an invitation for 8th-12th grade students and their families to attend the College Night for the Visual & Performing Arts in PAC Studio B on Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30 pm. Come learn about The George Washington University's Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Temple University's Tyler School for the Arts, and Towson University. This event is a wonderful opportunity to get insight to the vast possibilities study of the arts offers at the collegiate level. In addition to learning about the specifics of these highly-valued art institutions and their course offerings, you will get a sense of occupational possibilities beyond college. You will also receive insight about art supplements, portfolios and other art admissions information. The evening concludes with a mini fair session where you will be able to walk from table to table to ask your questions and get your answers. Hope to see you there! Download flyer here.

Liz Donelson, 6th Grade Beest Coordinator

The big news this week in 6th grade is that Friday, Sept. 15 is the first Social! We will have ice cream sundaes (no nuts and alternate treats for those who need them), then play indoor and outdoor games (weather permitting – the gym is plan B). A reminder that your child should simply come to the 6th grade pod at 3:30 pm (or after sports practice at 4:05). We will supervise all 6th graders until the Social ends at 5:15 pm. Please plan to pick up your child at 5:15 or he/she may of course go to Aftercare. While this event is totally optional, we certainly hope to see ALL of the 6th graders there as we are looking forward to this fun time together!

Devon Rothschild, MS Science Teacher

The Fall Signature Field Trip for seventh graders is just around the corner! Students will be spending the two days bonding with classmates, doing service work, and exploring the principle of sustainability. The field trip will begin at the Adventure Park, where students will spend the morning exploring the obstacle course. We will then head to the PAC to watch the movie, Food, Inc., followed by a discussion about sustainable agriculture. We will spend the night at the Brunswick Family Campground and will be up bright and early the next day to tour the Full Cellar Farm. While at the farm, students will participate in harvesting crops, visit with the animals on the farm, and complete service work. Students will arrive back on campus Friday in time for regular dismissal. Full trip details and a packing list are forthcoming in an e-mail to parents, and will also be discussed at the upcoming Coffee and Conversation on September 19th for Parents of 7th Graders.

Upper School News

Meredith Shankle

Below is information about upcoming Upper School and all-school activities and events. For questions or more information about an event, please contact Meredith Shankle, US Administrative Assistant, at ext. 109 or meredith.shankle@ssfs.org.

  • Sat, Sept. 16: Friends Day, 4:00-7:00 pm. Enjoy an afternoon of fun and community with live music, inflatables, face painting, popcorn, fun sports, and more!
  • Sat, Sept. 23: Climbing Wall Training opportunity for Upper School students, 1:00-4:00 pm (see more info below)
  • Sat, Sept. 23: US Homecoming Dance, 8:00-11:00 pm, Location TBD (NOTE: this is a date change from the originally-scheduled date of Sept. 30)
  • Mon-Fri, Sept. 25-29: Spirit Week
    * Monday, Sept. 25: TBD;
    * Tuesday, Sept. 26: PJ Day - Wear your jammies to school;
    * Wednesday, Sept. 27: Crazy Hat and Hair Day;
    * Thursday, Sept. 28: Class Colors Day - 9th Grade - White; 10th Grade - Red; 11th Grade - Blue; 12th Grade - Black
    * Friday: Sept. 19 Green and Gold Day - show your school spirit by wearing green and gold!
  • Tues, Sept. 26: Families New to Quaker Education, 7:15 pm, On-Campus Meeting House. All families are welcome to join Head of School Tom Gibian for an evening to learn more about the history and 360-year tradition of Quaker education and how Quaker principles and practices inform our program at SSFS.
  • Thurs, Sept. 28: Movie night under the stars, 6:30-9:30 pm. Bring a picnic dinner at 6:30 pm, and stay for an outdoor screening (weather-permitting!) of the movie Loving, the story of Richard and Mildred Loving (rated PG-13). Rain location: PAC. This event is sponsored by the SSFS librarians and inspired by our all-school summer read, Loving v. Virginia.
  • Fri, Sept. 29: PA Fundraiser - Jersey Mike's Subs: Show flyer between 10:00 am - 9:00 pm and 15% of all proceeds will be donated to SSFS!
  • Sat, Sept. 30: Laps for Lexi, 8:00 am - 12:00 noon.Each year on the last Saturday of September, which is National Childhood Cancer Awareness month, we come together under the banner of Laps for Lexi to stand with families facing childhood cancer today, remember the young lives like Lexi Speight who were taken too soon and rededicate ourselves to combating this terrible illness. Find out more, register, and/or volunteer to help here.
  • Mon, Oct. 2: Patricia Hruby Powell, author of our Community Summer Read, Loving vs. Virginia, will be on campus. In assemblies for both the MS and US, Powell talk about her research and writing process, as well as multifaceted professional career as an artist dancer, choreographer, storyteller and writer. Additionally Powell will workshop with a couple of US dance and English classes. The author will be happy to sign books for students in the afternoon.
  • Wed, Oct. 4: Community Day
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: Upper School Coffee & Conversation, 8:15 am, Scott House Living Room
  • Thurs, Oct. 5: Screening of "Angst" Documentary (Find out more and reserve your seats here)
  • Sat, Oct. 7: SAT Test Date
  • Sat, Oct. 7: College Financial Aid Workshop, 9:00-11:00 am, PAC - Studio B
  • Mon, Oct. 9: NO SCHOOL, Fall Holiday
Adam Keller
Climbing wall training

There is an opportunity for Upper School students to become staff for the climbing wall. Our student training will be from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm on Saturday September 23 at the Climbing Wall in the Athletic Center. Students will have the ability to become Wall Staff. This means that students will be able to work as belayers on the climbing wall for events like the Halloween Festival or Middle School climbing. Students will also be given opportunities to work for pay if an outside group needs belayers. This year, training will include an additional perk: students that have gone through our training, even if they do not work the wall, will have access to our Outdoor Prolink Pro-Deal. During the training, faculty will be training students on belaying, putting on harnesses, belay escapes, and wall safety. If a student hopes to be part of the climbing wall staff, it is required that they complete this training.

Hannah Kerr, US Arts Dept. Head
College Night for Visual and Performing Arts

This is an invitation for 8th-12th grade students and their families to attend the College Night for the Visual & Performing Arts in PAC Studio B on Wednesday, October 17th at 6:30 pm. Come learn about The George Washington University's Corcoran School of the Arts & Design, Temple University's Tyler School for the Arts, and Towson University. This event is a wonderful opportunity to get insight to the vast possibilities study of the arts offers at the collegiate level. In addition to learning about the specifics of these highly-valued art institutions and their course offerings, you will get a sense of occupational possibilities beyond college. You will also receive insight about art supplements, portfolios and other art admissions information. The evening concludes with a mini fair session where you will be able to walk from table to table to ask your questions and get your answers. Hope to see you there! Download flyer here.

Jamie Price

Driver's Ed classes will be conducted by state-licensed and highly-experienced instructors on the Sandy Spring Friends School campus location this fall. Fall classes start September 18th. To view schedules and register please click here or call A&G Driving School at 301-602-3305.

SSFS Learning Specialists

The Learning Resource Collaborative (comprised of the SSFS Learning Specialists) is proud to announce the start of the FLEX program! Mission: The Flex Program at Sandy Spring Friends School is an after-school student support program that aims to elevate the efficacy of learners via small group homework help, executive function support, organization and time management strategies, and more.

Sessions for Upper School students will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 pm – 5:45 pm (take the late bus home) or 6:45 pm – 8:45 pm (perfect for our student athletes). Dinner is included (but not required).

First quarter sessions begin Tuesday, September 5th. Register now by clicking here.
Fees are as follows: Trimester 1 $725; Trimester 2 $995; Trimester 3 $995

Athletics Events This Week

Athletics Calendar

September

Friends Mart

Friends House Retirement Community will be sponsoring Ligon's 5K Trail Run/Walk on Saturday October 7th. Your entry fee includes a t-shirt, snack and entry to a wellness fair. Cash prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place male and female winners. Proceeds benefit Aging Well With Friends, to help connect seniors with resources.

The race is open to any and all who would like to participate. We are also having a Walk and Roll to include people with wheelchairs, strollers and walkers.

If anyone would like to volunteer for the event please contact Erin Mitchell at emitchell@friendshouse.com or 301-924-7523.See the attached flier for information.

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.

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