Sandy Spring Friends School

 

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On Monday, SSFS community members participated in a Community Day like no other, with the theme "Apart Together." Family groups--made up of students, faculty/staff, and even alumni--joined together virtually to engage in games, a service activity, and an art project. This year's art project was decorating a puzzle piece with each person's name and a unique design. Each puzzle piece "part" will then be collected and assembled "together" to create one large puzzle, which will be placed in our cafeteria! 

At the end of the day, we all gathered back together online, where Head of School Rodney Glasgow spoke via Zoom from the Sandy Spring Meeting House about his first SSFS Community Day. Rodney shared that although it felt very quiet in the spacious Meeting House (which is usually packed with SSFS students, faculty and staff on Community Day), he was reminded of the beloved Dr. Seuss book Horton Hears a Who, for although we might not be immediately visible, looking into his small device, he could see the smiling faces and hear the small voices of over 550 participants, and he knew there was a vibrant community that lay on the other side. After a creative re-telling of a section of the book, we all shouted “WE ARE HERE!!” together, and let our lives speak.

MANY thanks to Lauren Mossman and Johanna Cowie (co-clerks) and the Community Day Committee, as well as all the faculty and student helpers who helped assemble and distribute packets of materials, for keeping this beloved tradition alive in 2020! 

Book Distribution

The Library is open for business! Check it Out.... Literally!
The IG Team would like to announce our new Virtual Book Distribution process. To check out a book from the library, first visit our Destiny Discover page (students and faculty can sign in with Google). Explore our book collections and place a book on hold. An IG Team member will pull your book from the shelf, and an email will be sent to you when your books are ready for pick up. It’s that simple! Books can be picked up and dropped off at our new Book Distribution Center located in the vestibule of the campus-facing entrance to the Middle School. Park in the Lower School parking lot for easiest access. Please allow 48 hours to process your book orders. Have questions? Not exactly sure what book to check out? Don’t hesitate to Ask Your Librarian.

Library Book Pick-Up

 

PA Volunteer Opportunities

Seeking volunteers for Facilities and Maintenance Appreciation virtual lunch (December 11, 2020) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day virtual observance (January 18, 2021).  Email pa.clerk@ssfs.org to sign up.

Nominate a Parent/Guardian Today: The SSFS Parents Association (PA) is looking for individuals to nominate or self-nominate parents/guardians within our community to nurture and support others. For descriptions of each position, please click here. For questions please email: pa.clerk@ssfs.org. Thank you for making a difference!  

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Parent’s Association meeting on October 15th. If you’re looking for more information or couldn’t make the meeting, please check out the PA website here.  You can also reach out anytime with questions, ideas or thoughts to PA.Clerk@SSFS.org.

The PA is also excited to share more information about how mindfulness can help us all through these stressful times, thanks to support and resources from our Lower School Counselor Joel Gunzburg. Please see a short video from Joel for more information geared to our parent community. Stay tuned for more to come! 

All-School "Must-Know" Info⁠ for the Week of Oct. 18, 2020

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

  • Mon, Oct. 19: Virtual Community Day, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm (See portal page for Zoom link)
  • Mon, Oct. 19: INTERSECT: Black Parents Affinity Group - 7:00 pm
  • Wed, Oct. 21: INTERSECT: LGBTQ+ Affinity Group Meeting - 7:00 pm, Find out more here, and RSVP here
  • Thurs, Oct. 22: PA 7th Grade Parent Potluck - 7:00 pm
Enrollment Innovation and DEI

SSFS Head of School Rodney Glasgow considers "DEI and Innovation in Admissions" in the Fall 2020 Edition of EMA (Enrollment Management Association)'s magazine, The Yield. Rodney suggests that schools re-examine the admissions process, including the questions schools ask applicants and families of applicants, noting that schools "end up at times with cookie-cutter information at best, and often with information that we match against a profile of a 'typical' student for us, unleashing all of our implicit bias on the interpretation of answers. But what if we interviewed for narrative, to better understand the story behind the family as they engage in this process?" Read more here: https://rb.gy/xfab3a

SSFS Guidelines on Civic Engagement and the School Environment

SSFS reiterates our commitment not just to civic engagement but also to civil engagement, expressing our views with a respect for the views of others and an openness to understand before we judge. We encourage our families to read this document, which outlines how our School approaches civic engagement in an election year, and each day of every year.

PA Auction

Join us for the SSFS PA Auction Committee meeting on Thursday, October 29, at 9:30 am. Come join the fun in planning this remarkable community event, which is the PA's sole fundraiser!

Community Day is a longstanding and beloved tradition at Sandy Spring Friends School—and it will continue this year, albeit in an altered form! Usually Community Day is an all-day, all-school fall event that brings together students, faculty, and staff for Meeting for Worship, service projects, games, and group activities. We break into “family groups” that include students from grades 1-12 and employees, and we return to those family groups year after year. In fact, when alumni come back to SSFS as employees we try to put them back in the groups they were in as students!

This year, Community Day will take place virtually on Monday, October 19, from 11:00 am -1:00 pm. Some things will remain the same: we will break into family groups, complete service and art projects, and share an all-school meeting. Please visit www.ssfs.org/events/cd-20 and click on the Parent Information button for more details about Community Day 2020, including group rosters, materials pick-up or downloads, zoom links, schedule, and more).

Magnus Health App Update


The Magnus Health App that SSFS and many other schools use for Covid screening was slow or unavailable this past week due to the high volume of traffic on its servers. On Thursday, Magnus sent an email acknowledging the problems, writing, "We have identified critical areas in our code paths for optimization and deployed back end changes. We know this has created undue frustration for your parents as well. Please find a communication you can share directly with them here." On Friday, Magnus wrote that their system improvements had resulted in improved usability of the app. We hope that their improvements to the system will improve your experience. We will continue to monitor this situation and communicate with Magnus about this issue. In the event of problems using the app, parents are able to fill out an alternative form upon their arrival at school to drop off students. If you have any questions about how to install or use the app, please see our instructions and screen-shots. If you need help with any of these steps, please contact our technology department at tech@ssfs.org.