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Three Highlights for All Families in the SSFS Summer and Back-to-School Onboarding Packet

Three Highlights for All Families in the SSFS Summer and Back-to-School Onboarding Packet

For the 2024-2025 school year, we've refreshed our Returning Families Bundle with the most up-to-date information and resources to ensure your family's continued success at SSFS. This package includes a checklist to help simplify your preparations for the upcoming school year, along with key contacts for any assistance you may need as you ease back into the rhythm of school life.

Below are highlights from the packet, including information about the All-School Summer Read, our athletics program, and building a culture of philanthropy at SSFS!

1

SSFS All-School Summer Read

2024 All-School Summer Read Theme: Hip-Hop

Since 2013, Sandy Spring Friends School has been home to a unique biennial summer tradition—the All School Community Read. This event, born out of the dynamic discussions of the former All School Diversity Committee (ASDC) and a creative proposal from the library, is not just about reading. It's about bringing our entire campus community together every alternating summer, from students to faculty and staff, in a shared intellectual journey.

What makes SSFS’s Community Read special is not just the engaging literature we choose. It's the way we make sure everyone feels included. From enriching assemblies with authors like Thanhha Lai to year-long activities promoting cultural understanding and inclusiveness, this is more than a reading initiative. It's a journey that gives voice and recognition to every member of our school, regardless of age. 

2024 Books:

  • The Roots of Rap, by Carole Boston Weatherford, Art by Frank Morrison
  • A Child's Introduction to Hip-Hop: The Beats, Rhymes, and Roots of a Musical Revolution, by Jordannah Elizabeth, Illustrated by Karkia Jenai
  • When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip-Hop, by Laban Carrick Hill, Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III
  • Can't Stop Won't Stop: A Hip-Hop History (Young Adult version), by Jeff Chang and "Davey D" Cook
  • Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, by Jeff Chang
2

#GOBEESTS: Athletics at SSFS

What does it mean to  “Be ’Beestly?”

Whether through interscholastic sports, intramural sports, or physical education (PE), our athletics program seeks to foster balance, create a sense of belonging, and develop skills that will serve students on and off the field—during their school years and throughout their lives. When it comes to articulating the mission of the SSFS athletics program, we look to our mascot, the wildebeest, for inspiration! Our program seeks to focus on and develop:

  • Unmatched energy in our athletes to pursue their goals | Wildebeests stay on the move, day and night, in search of water and preferred grasses.
  • A collective commitment to the team, the team’s goals, and the School | Wildebeests are sociable, territorial animals that work in groups.
  • Determination, perseverance, and grit | Wildebeests have incredible endurance, completing a migratory circle of 500-1,000 miles per year.
  • Loyalty to our community and a commitment to protecting it with integrity and honor | Wildebeests are relentless in defending themselves and intimidate their opponents with a stomp defensive move.
  • Fair play is expressed through kindness, honesty, integrity, and a focus on community | Wildebeests protect and respect one another, making a commitment to the whole rather than the individual.
  • Unity and the capacity to celebrate the diversity among us | Wildebeests remain herd animals despite obvious differences: while all wildebeests have black vertical stripes of longer hair on their backs, no two stripe patterns are the same.
  • Equality among our teams, regardless of gender or sport | Wildebeests—whether male or female—possess strong, lengthy horns.

Read more about the sports and PE offerings in Middle and Upper School, and how you can be a part of the 'Beestly tradition in the onboarding packet! 

3

Building a Gnu Culture of Philanthropy

As Sandy Spring Friends School looks to the future, we must work to build a Gnu (pronounced new) Culture of Philanthropy today. The SSFS Gnu Culture of Philanthropy encourages all - parents, alumni, faculty, and friends - to support our school in ways that are meaningful to them. By contributing to the Springers Fund, you'll play a crucial role in supporting need-based financial aid, curricular innovation, technology, athletics programming, faculty professional development, campus maintenance, and much more, ensuring that SSFS’s students share an educational experience that sets them up for success today and in their future endeavors.  

Only together can we ensure that future generations of students continue to benefit from the transformative education offered here. We thank you in advance for your support and dedication to our school community.

To learn more about Sandy Spring Friend’s Gnu Culture of Philanthropy, click on the following links:

Save the Dates

  • December 3, 2024 | Giving Tuesday | 24-hour period to support the Sandy Spring Friends Fund
  • May 3, 2025 | PA Community Fundraiser for Financial Aid | Community evening featuring an online auction, live auction, and paddle raise to support Financial Aid.

The Advancement Team looks forward to getting to know you and your family and helping to connect your passions with opportunities for transformative purpose.  If you have any questions or are looking for ways to get more involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to Savannah Renehan, Director of Institutional Advancement, at renehsa@ssfs.org

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