LS 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. Please bookmark this page, as posted information will be updated throughout the spring and into the summer.

Welcome and Orientation Events

Admission New Family Welcome Event at the Adventure Park

Thursday, April 25, 5:00 - 8:00 pm at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

This event is a wonderful opportunity for newly-admitted and enrolled students and their parents to meet and mingle. Climb in all three of the park’s attractions, enjoy a light dinner, and make s’mores (and new friends!) around the campfire. Everyone ages 5 and up can climb, but 5-6-year-olds must be accompanied by an adult. There will also be a crafts table for kids under 5. Questions can be directed to Marcia Johnson at marcia.johnson@ssfs.org.

Admissions Spring Fling Event for Preschool Families

Saturday, May 4, 9:00-11:00 am

Children ages 3 to 5 and their families are welcome to come to SSFS to enjoy a petting farm, face painting, crafts, story time, and our beautiful playground! Middle School Sport Court area; Rain location Yarnall Gym.

Lower School Family Fun Day

Sunday, June 2, 1:00-3:00 pm RAIN OR SHNE!
All new and returning Lower School families are invited for an afternoon of fun! Come and meet other SSFS community members.

Lower School Orientation Day 

Tuesday, September 3: 

  • Orientation Day Activities - more details to come! 
  • Lower School Classroom Visits: 9:15 – 10:30 am: Visit your child’s classroom, meet the teacher and schoolmates.
  • Boot Exchange: 9:15 – 2:30 pm : Our rubber Boot Exchange is a free service for families who wish to participate. Bring a pair of outgrown boots and leave with a pair that fits. (You do not need to bring a pair to leave with a pair!) Every Lower School student needs a raincoat and a pair of rubber boots that stay at school. 
  • Get Acquainted Conferences: 10:30 am -2:30 pm:  15-minute conferences are scheduled in advance via an email link sent in the summer. These Conferences allow parents and guardians to share specific information about their child with the teacher. (Conference child care will be available.)
  • Parent Association Welcome Back Brunch: 10:30 am - noon

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Wednesday*, September 4

  • Full Day with 2:15 dismissal -* Remember:  All Wednesdays in our school year are early dismissal days. 
  • Students in Grades 1-5 will need to bring a mid-morning snack.
  • Lower School aftercare is available via Kids After Hours (pre-registration with Kids After Hours is required)
  • Get Acquainted Conferences: beginning at 2:45 pm (scheduled in advance; conference child care available)

Lower School Back-to-School Night

Thursday, September 26,  6:30 – 8:30 pm (parents only)
 

Aftercare and Bus Services

Signups for 2019-2020 Aftercare and Bus Service will be available after Feb. 1, 2019.

Information about bus routes can be found online here (or see PDF of 2019-2020 Bus Routes here). Families can enroll in Bus Transportation and Before Care services via MyBackPack > Program Registration. SSFS continues to accept bus registrations until August 1st, or until routes are at capacity. Please note that some routes will fill to capacity before August 1st, so be sure to register to ride the bus as soon as possible. Directions for bus registration may be found online here.

For aftercare, please register through the Kids After Hours website (details below). For before care, please register via your MyBackPack account. For questions about Lower School extended care, please contact Pam Gilmer at pam.gilmer@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x112. For bus/transportation questions, please contact Cathryn Carnevale at cathryn.carnevale@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x177.

(SSFS faculty and staff: please note that LS Aftercare sign-up and payment procedures are different for you; the information below is for non-SSFS employees only.)

Below are instructions for how to register for aftercare services via Kids After Hours. Please note that before school care registration is available via MyBackpack.

  • Go to www.kidsafterhours.com
  • Click on School Year > Before and After Care
  • Click on Locations (at bottom of page)
  • Click on Sandy Spring Friends School
  • Click on Register Now

Bob Sickels (240-687-6201) is the owner of the Kids After Hours program and is available to answer KAH specific questions. You can reach the KAH Main Office at 301-933-6888. Pam Gilmer, in the Lower School, is the SSFS point person for the KAH program and she can be reached at 301-774-7455 x112.

Required Health and Permission Forms

Magnus Health Information and Form Uploads for 2019-2020 will be available after Feb. 1, 2019.

Family health and permission forms that you will need to fill out for your child are submitted using Magnus Health. Families are asked to submit all required health forms for the 2019-2020 academic year by July 15. Parents should log in to the Parent Portal Page with the login information provided by the Technology Dept, and click the Magnus Health link to access your family account and download any forms that require a doctor's signature. View online instructions and FAQs.

MyBackPack

After enrolling, each family gets a dedicated MyBackPack account with a unique username and password. If you have submitted your enrollment contract and have not yet received login information for (or need assistance accessing) your MyBackPack account, please contact the Technology department at tech@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x111. (Click here for a document with details on how to log in to the website.) 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.

iPad, Technology, and Website Information

Website login information for families will be emailed in mid-July. 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.

Technology questions may be directed to the Technology Office at tech@ssfs.org

Class Placement

Class placements will be mailed out to all Lower School families in early August. Families can also see class information online via MyBackPack. Please contact Pam Gilmer if you have questions.

Summer Reading and Academic Resources

Lower School summer reading lists and resources will be posted in June 2019.

See Lower School summer reading lists and resources for Summer 2018 here.

For More Information/Questions

Lower School Administrative Assistant Pam Gilmer is available to field questions or direct you to the appropriate contact. Pam's email is pam.gilmer@ssfs.org and her phone number is 301-774-7455 x112.

Back to School Mailing

SSFS families will be sent more detailed back-to-school information and resources in August 2019. 

Lower School Office:

Pam Gilmer, Lower School Administrative Assistant
301-774-7455 ext. 112
Tim Croft, Assistant Head of Lower School and Counselor
301-774-7455 ext. 118
Beverley DiTusa, LS Learning Specialist
301-774-7455 ext. 176
Courtney Benson, LS Learning and Literacy Specialist
301-774-7455 ext. 311

Summer & Back-to-School Checklist

If you have questions about specific programs in the Lower School, please contact one of the staff below.