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.

  • Fri, Feb. 16: Re-Enrollment Contracts for Current Families Due
  • Fri, Feb. 16: PA Community Connections Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Sat-Sun, Feb. 17-18: Community Play Tech-In (10:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday and 1:00-4:00 pm Sunday)
  • Mon, Feb. 19: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
  • Tues, Feb. 20: NO CLASSES - Professional Day
  • Wed, Feb. 21: Middle and Upper School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 2:45-5:00 pm
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: Admissions "Discover SSFS" Event, 8:15-11:00 am (RSVP here)
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: PA Fundraiser at Jersey Mike's - Show this flyer when you order, and 15% of proceeds are donated to SSFS
  • Thurs-Sat, Feb. 22-24: Community Play, "The Sound of Music," 7:00 pm (NOTE: All performances are now sold out! Please contact Lauren Mossman if you would like to be added to a waitlist, or if you are unable to attend and can release your tickets. If attending, make sure to bring a printout of your confirmation or show )
  • Fri, Feb. 23: PA Post-Prom Planning Committee Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Fri, Feb. 23: Packing Smart Sacks, 8:15-9:00 am, Westview Dining Hall
  • Sun, Feb. 25: Community Play Matinee, 2:00 pm, PAC - NOTE: Sold Out!
  • Tues, Feb. 27: PA Meeting, 7:15-8:30 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Sat, Mar. 3: US Quiz Bowl Team - It's Academic Playoffs, NBC4 Studios, 1:30-3:30 pm
  • Fri, Mar. 9: PA Meeting for Worship, 8:00-9:00 am, Meeting House
  • Fri, Mar. 16: PA Community Connections Committee Meeting, 8:00-9:00 am
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 19-23: MS Immersion Week; US Intersession Week
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 26-30: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

Re-Enrollment Contracts were sent out to families on Friday, Feb 2, and are due tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 16. Please take a minute to login to your MyBackPack account and select the "Enrollment/Re-Enrollment" link. Contracts are due by Friday, Feb. 16th. The process only takes a few minutes! If you have questions, please contact your division head or Dawn Griffith in the Admission Office at dawn.griffith@ssfs.org or ext. 231. Thank you!

Starting next Thursday, you will notice some changes in our weekly e-newsletter format. Our current Finalsite news module is being phased out, so as we adopt the new "posts" module, we also wanted to take the opportunity to make some design updates based on parent feedback from our annual Parent Survey, sent out each June. Specifically, the redesign seeks to provide a "one-stop shop" of weekly information for parents, providing necessary news for all divisions, without being too long or overwhelming.

With MANY thanks to the parents who provided feedback in the survey, and the 14 volunteers who participated in the BETA newsletter redesign testing group spearheaded by Julie Mendez last fall, this version includes the following changes:

  • Condensed text: For longer articles (like this one!), the email version provides a shortened summary, with a link to the full text on the website. Articles that are repeated from the previous week will be consolidated under an "ICYMI" (In Case You Missed It) section with summaries and links.
  • 10-day "must-know" info calendars: The email version of the calendar provides "must-know" info for the upcoming 10 days for each division, with a link to the 6-week versions on the website, as well as the comprehensive calendar web page online.
  • Easily-accessible links to other resources, such as the social media feeds page and the parent portal page, to provide other opportunities to see the daily life of the School in action.
  • Strong graphical separations between the division sections use more photos, give visual cues between division sections.
  • The updated newsletter web page will provide tabs that allow users to jump right to their division's news section. The web page version provides full text of all articles, including photos. You can also filter articles by category (i.e., arts news, parents association news, community service news, etc.).

Note that the redesigned version of today's newsletter will also be sent to you tomorrow (Friday), so that you can have a chance to preview what the changes look in action. As always, we welcome your thoughts and input! Contact Margaret Rosser or Julie Mendez to provide feedback.

It's not too late for prospective families to come and learn about all that we have to offer here at Sandy Spring Friends School. We are still working with new inquiries, and Admission Team members will gladly take interested parents through the application process. A great place to start is our next Discover SSFS Information Session and Tour, which will be held on Thursday, February 22nd from 8:15-11:00 am. A Financial Aid Q&A will follow in Scott House. Please spread the word to your friends and neighbors who may be looking for a fantastic place for their child to learn and thrive. If possible, we request that guests RSVP.

In light of the recent school shooting tragedy in Florida, the Counseling Department at SSFS wants to remind all students and parents that we are here to support you. It is normal to feel unsure, scared, sad, and angry about this most recent school shooting. Each family will handle this in different ways; this "Talking to Children about Violence" handout from The National Association of School Psychologists can help provide some guidance. Your division's counselor can help provide a safe place to talk and process these events. Please don't hesitate to reach out. We are holding the victim's families in the light.

On Monday, March 12 at 6:30 pm in the Middle School, SSFS will hold the second annual Alumni & Friends Speed Networking Evening, which connects Upper School students with SSFS alumni, parents, and friends working in fields of interest to students in grades 9 - 12. Not surprisingly, SSFS Upper School students have a wide range of interests—and we would love your help in broadening our mentor pool! Please click HERE to learn more about the Networking Evening and to sign up as a mentor. Questions? Contact Dagmar Caramello '07, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, or Lauren Mossman, Director of Advancement.

Sound of Music

Wow: what a great response to the 2018 Community Play! As of Feb. 13, tickets for all performances are now sold out! If you have reserved tickets for a show but find that you are unable to attend, please let us know so that we can release additional tickets. Please email Lauren Mossman if you would like to be added to a waitlist for sold-out performance dates.

Free Preview: Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 6:00 pm
Get a sneak peak at the final dress rehearsal of the community play. The show may not be perfectly polished, but that's part of the fun! Feel free to drop in. No RSVP required for the dress rehearsal.

Community Play Show Times

  • Thursday, 2/22 @ 7:00 pm - SOLD OUT!
  • Friday, 2/23 @ 7:00 pm - SOLD OUT!
  • Saturday, 2/24 @ 7:00 pm - SOLD OUT!
  • Sunday, 2/25 @ 2:00 pm - SOLD OUT!

Theater doors will open 15 minutes before the start of the show, and reservations are open seating. Your confirmation email will serve as your ticket, so please plan to bring a print-out or show the email on your phone at the performance(s).

Questions? Contact Julie Borsetti, Community Play Director.

This Spring, the PA is holding a school-wide search to design the logo for the newly-named FriendsFest. The search will be to the entire SSFS community, and the four finalists will be voted on via an online poll. Look for updates in upcoming newsletters, and get ready to get creative! Submissions can be made HERE.

A huge thanks to the entire SSFS community for years and many hours of generosity, creativity, and assistance to make this year's Empty Bowl event finally come together. Early estimates put our gross intake at around $9,000. All net funds will be forwarded to Feeding America and will help many many hungry children. Thank you! We hope you had fun and may your bowls never be empty! See photos from the event online here, and on Vidigami here.

School Farm Conference 2018

SSFS joined a number of other Friends schools with farm programs, including the Arthur Morgan School in North Carolina; Scattergood Friends School in Ohio; Friends Meeting School in Ijamsville, MD; and Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., for a three-day conference Feb 13-15. Students and staff toured the farms at SSFS and Friends Meeting School, shared farming knowledge and student learning opportunities within schools, and discussed issues of sustainability both on our campuses and at large. Along with SSFS Farmer Joe Heathcock, two SSFS students also participated in the conference, and all felt that it was a wonderful and worthwhile event. The schools plan to continue sharing knowledge and working together on collaborative projects in the future. You can read more about the conference here.

The Parents Association is still seeking nominations for next year's PA. The best way to ensure a great, productive PA is with suggestions from the entire community, not merely a select few. Please take a moment to think of fellow parents who would be a good fit--we must emphasize that it can be anyone -- feel free to nominate yourself! Specifically, we are looking for individuals who excel at collaboration and participation, and who truly value the SSFS community. Nominations are completely anonymous and can be submitted HERE (we promise, it will only take a minute!)

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)

  • Fri, Feb. 16: PA Community Connections Committee Meeting, 8:00-9:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: PA Fundraiser at Jersey Mike's - Show this flyer when you order, and 15% of proceeds are donated to SSFS
  • Fri, Feb. 23: PA Post-Prom Planning Committee Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Tues, Feb. 27: PA Meeting, 7:15-8:30 pm, Yarnall Library. Jonathan Oglesbee and Ilene Lees will be joining us in a continuing conversation about SSFS policies and philosophy regarding drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. This will also include a discussion about the recent increase in vaping and e-cigarettes on and off campus. If you would like to submit a specific question for discussion, please use this link. Families from all divisions are encouraged to come join this discussion.
  • Fri, Mar. 9: PA Meeting for Worship, 8:00-9:00 am, Meeting House
  • Fri, Mar. 16: PA Community Connections Committee Meeting, 8:00-9:00 am, Scott House Conference Room

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.

  • Fri, Feb. 16: Re-Enrollment Contracts for Current Families Due
  • Fri, Feb. 16: PA Community Connections Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Fri, Feb. 16: 2nd Grade Play, 8:30 am, Clifton
  • Sat-Sun, Feb. 17-18: Community Play Tech-In (10:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday and 1:00-4:00 pm Sunday)
  • Mon, Feb. 19: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
  • Mon, Feb. 19: Girl's Basketball Clinic, 9:00-12:00, SSFS Gym (more info here)
  • Tues, Feb. 20: NO CLASSES - Professional Day
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: Admissions "Discover SSFS" Event, 8:15-11:00 am (RSVP here)
  • Thurs-Sat, Feb. 22-24: Community Play, "The Sound of Music," 7:00 pm (NOTE: All performances are now sold out! Please contact Lauren Mossman if you would like to be added to a waitlist, or if you are unable to attend and can release your tickets. If attending, make sure to bring a printout of your confirmation or show the email confirmation.)
  • Fri, Feb. 23: Packing Smart Sacks with 4A/1A, 8:15-9:00 am, Westview Dining Hall
  • Sun, Feb. 25: Community Play Matinee, 2:00 pm, PAC - NOTE: Sold Out!
  • Tues, Feb. 27: PA Meeting, 7:15 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Mon, Mar. 5: Talent Show Rehearsal Group A, 3:15-4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Thurs, Mar. 8: Talent Show Rehearsal Group B, 3:15-4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Thurs, Mar. 8: 5th Grade Night at the Egyptian Marketplace, 6:30-8:00 pm, Tanglewood
  • Mon, Mar. 12: Talent Show Rehearsal Group A, 3:15-4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Tues, Mar. 13: 3rd Grade to Annapolis
  • Thurs, Mar. 15: LS Coffee & Conversation with Brenda Crawley, 8:30 am, Scott House
  • Thurs, Mar. 15: Talent Show Rehearsal Group B, 3:15-4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Fri, Mar. 16: 1st Grade Class Play, 8:30-9:30 am, Clifton
  • Wed, Mar. 21: LS Talent Show Dress Rehearsal Group A, 8:30 am, Clifton
  • Wed, Mar. 21; LS Talent Show Dress Rehearsal Group B, 12:00 pm, Clifton
  • Thurs, Mar. 22: LS Talent Show, Group A, 8:30-9:30 am, Clifton
  • Fri, Mar. 23: LS Talent Show, Group B, 8:30-9:30 am, Clifton
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 26-30: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

Pam Gilmer
Wee Mail - Beest

Our Wee Mail Post Office was very busy this past week! With the 5th grade helpers, our Kindergarten postal workers, and the many hands that joined in the fun, 3442 pieces of mail were delivered across the campus community! Even the 'Beest received Wee Mail from some of his fans! Kudos to all of our hard working members of the Wee Mail team – it was another HUGE success! You can see photos online here, and in Vidigami here.

Erin Scott
SSFS's Got Talent

The 2018 Lower School Talent Show is right around the corner! This annual celebration of students will be under the co-direction of Linda Garrettson and Erin Scott. The time to sign up is NOW!

Sign up sheets are available online and in the Walbrooke Office. Interested students should complete the registration form and have a parent sign it. These forms need to be in to the LS Office no later than Friday, February 23rd. Any Lower School student may choose to perform in the Lower School Talent Show. Students arrange, rehearse and coordinate their act at home with their parents. They may perform individually or grouped with other students.

Participation in this activity is optional, but attendance at the two after-school rehearsals is required for all participants. Dress rehearsal for both groups will be during school hours on Wednesday, 3/21. Students who sign up to perform are making a commitment to attend all three of these rehearsals.

Talents have included, but are not limited to: magic, singing, instrumental music, gymnastics, martial arts, dance, skits, puppetry, and poetry recitations. Limit one act per student. Fifth graders also have the special honor of participating as announcers/stage crew if they desire. The Talent Show performances take place in Clifton and families are invited to attend. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Linda Garrettson or Erin Scott.

  • Group A Rehearsals: MON 3/5: 3:15- 4:30 pm and MON 3/12: 3:15- 4:30 pm
  • Group A Dress Rehearsal: WED 3/21: 8:30-10:00 am; Performance: THURS 3/22: 8:30 am
  • Group B Rehearsals: THURS 3/8: 3:15- 4:30 pm and THURS 3/15: 3:15- 4:30 pm
  • Group B Dress Rehearsal: WED 3/21: 12:00-1:30 pm; Performance: FRI 3/23: 8:30 am

Get Ready! SSFS's GOT TALENT!

Amanda Hill

Just a quick reminder about the upcoming Girl's Basketball Clinic on Monday, Feb. 19 (President's Day - no school), from 9 am - 12 pm. More details below or in downloadable flyer/registration form. Please feel free to contact Amanda Hill with any additional questions. Thanks, and I hope your daughter can join in on the fun on the basketball court!

  • What: President's Day Girl's Basketball Clinic, hosted by the US Women's Varsity Basketball Team
  • Where: SSFS Athletic Center Gym
  • When: Monday, Feb. 19 (President's Day), from 9 am - 12 pm
  • Who: LS and MS Girls (grades PK4-Grade 8)
  • Cost: $35/per person (t-shirt included!)
  • What to Bring: Sneakers, a water bottle, and an attitude ready for basketball FUNdamentals!
  • Registration: Click here for the registration form. Walk-ins accepted, but an email RSVP is appreciated.
  • Questions: Contact Amanda Hill, amanda.hill@ssfs.org
Kerry-Ann Farmer

Smart SacksSave the dates for the following Smart Sack Packing opportunities this winter and spring. Packing for all dates begins at 8:15 am, right after drop-off, in Westview Dining Hall.

  • Feb 23rd- packing with 4A/1A
  • March 9th- packing with 5A/PK4
  • April 6th- packing with 4B/1B
  • April 20th- packing with 1st Grade
  • May 18th -packing with 5B/PK4

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

SSFS Librarians

2018 Library Reading Program Update: We have received more than half the numbers from Lower School, and less than half from the Middle School. Our total (as of Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14), is 65,089 minutes, and the Wildebeest has piloted his time machine through 1958 and most of 1959. That covers the time period when Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested and found guilty of miscegenation. At the same time, Virginia's school-closing law was found to violate the State Constitution. Fifth graders are working on adding various events to the timeline – come check out their work in the library.

Week 1 top readers of those reporting so far:

  • PK4 – Nate Duff
  • KA - Cala Armwood
  • KB – Ellen Brubaker
  • 1A – Meena Puram
  • 1B - Margo Chmil
  • 2A – Emmi Horne
  • 2B – Alexa Keller
  • 4B – Lolo Naylor-St. Fort
  • 5A – Charlotte Moore
  • Top LS Faculty – Chanelle Broughton
  • Top readers in reporting MS Advisories:
  • Nico Chavez
  • Ellery Croft
  • Zoe Burgess
  • Greta Garrettson-Taylor
  • Top MS Faculty – Kiki Vargas
Loving Books

Congratulations! Keep up the good work! See photos of our students and faculty/staff with their books in Vidigami here.

We are also collecting books for kids who don't have them. Please bring any new or gently used donations to the library. This week's bonus hour is earned by sending a loving message on one of the postcards we created and distributed, either through Wee Mail, the USPS, or personal delivery. You can still get your Week One bonus hour by adding to the gallery of beloved books and libraries at www.bit.ly/LovingReading. Keep Reading and fueling the wildebeest's travel through time.

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, Feb. 16: Re-Enrollment Contracts for Current Families Due
  • Fri, Feb. 16: PA Community Connections Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Fri, Feb. 16: MS Winter Sports and Electives End
  • Sat-Sun, Feb. 17-18: Community Play Tech-In (10:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday and 1:00-4:00 pm Sunday)
  • Mon, Feb. 19: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
  • Mon, Feb. 19: Basketball Clinic for Lower and Middle School Girls, 9:00 am -12:00 noon, SSFS Gym (more info here)
  • Tues, Feb. 20: NO CLASSES - Professional Day
  • Wed, Feb. 21: Middle and Upper School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 2:45-5:00 pm (Sign up here)
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: Admissions "Discover SSFS" Event, 8:15-11:00 am (RSVP here)
  • Thurs-Sat, Feb. 22-24: Community Play, "The Sound of Music," 7:00 pm (NOTE: All performances are now sold out! Please contact Lauren Mossman if you would like to be added to a waitlist, or if you are unable to attend and can release your tickets. If attending, make sure to bring a printout of your confirmation or show )
  • Sun, Feb. 25: Community Play Matinee, 2:00 pm, PAC - NOTE: Sold Out!
  • Tues, Feb. 27: PA Meeting, 7:15 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Mon, Mar. 5: Middle School Spring Sports Begin
  • Fri, Mar. 9: 7th & 8th Grade Dance, 7:30-9:30 pm, Yarnall Lobby (more info below!)
  • Fri, Mar. 16: 6th Grade Social, 4:05-5:00 pm, Middle School
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 19-23: MS Immersion Week
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 26-30: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

Erin Ryan

Our Middle School Winter Sports and Electives season will end on Friday, February 16th! Just a friendly reminder to parents that dismissal will be at 3:35 pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for ALL students during the Weeks of February 19th and February 26th. Aftercare is always available during these gap times, and Spring Sports and Electives will begin on Monday, March 5th.

Erin Ryan

Parent-teacher conferences will be offered on Wednesday, February 21, from 2:45-5:30 pm in the Middle School. Please click here to register for conferences with those teachers with whom you would like to meet. These conferences are designed to be quick check-ins with your child's teachers. In order to keep everyone on schedule, please arrive promptly for your scheduled appointment time. As always, if you want to speak with your child's teachers and feel a conference is necessary, but you are unable to schedule a new time on the 21st, we encourage you to contact the teacher directly by email to schedule a new date and time of mutual convenience.

MS Events Planning Committee

Let's Dance! The MS Events Planning Committee is excited to announce the upcoming 7/8 "Glow in the Dark" themed dance!! The dance will happen on Friday, March 9th from 7:30-9:30 pm in Yarnall Lobby. All 7th and 8th graders are welcome to attend! There will be no charge at the door, but we ask that participants bring in 2 canned goods for the MS canned food drive benefiting Manna Food Center.

Amanda Hill

Just a quick reminder about the upcoming Girl's Basketball Clinic on Monday, Feb. 19 (President's Day - no school), from 9 am - 12 pm. More details below or in downloadable flyer/registration form. Please feel free to contact Amanda Hill with any additional questions. Thanks, and I hope your daughter can join in on the fun on the basketball court!

  • What: President's Day Girl's Basketball Clinic, hosted by the US Women's Varsity Basketball Team
  • Where: SSFS Athletic Center Gym
  • When: Monday, Feb. 19 (President's Day), from 9 am - 12 pm
  • Who: LS and MS Girls (grades PK4-Grade 8)
  • Cost: $35/per person (t-shirt included!)
  • What to Bring: Sneakers, a water bottle, and an attitude ready for basketball FUNdamentals!
  • Registration: Click here for the registration form. Walk-ins accepted, but an email RSVP is appreciated.
  • Questions: Contact Amanda Hill, amanda.hill@ssfs.org
SSFS Librarians

2018 Library Reading Program Update: We have received more than half the numbers from Lower School, and less than half from the Middle School. Our total (as of Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 14), is 65,089 minutes, and the Wildebeest has piloted his time machine through 1958 and most of 1959. That covers the time period when Richard and Mildred Loving were arrested and found guilty of miscegenation. At the same time, Virginia's school-closing law was found to violate the State Constitution. Fifth graders are working on adding various events to the timeline – come check out their work in the library.

Week 1 top readers of those reporting so far:

  • PK4 – Nate Duff
  • KA - Cala Armwood
  • KB – Ellen Brubaker
  • 1A – Meena Puram
  • 1B - Margo Chmil
  • 2A – Emmi Horne
  • 2B – Alexa Keller
  • 4B – Lolo Naylor-St. Fort
  • 5A – Charlotte Moore
  • Top LS Faculty – Chanelle Broughton
  • Top readers in reporting MS Advisories:
  • Nico Chavez
  • Ellery Croft
  • Zoe Burgess
  • Greta Garrettson-Taylor
  • Top MS Faculty – Kiki Vargas
Loving Books

Congratulations! Keep up the good work! See photos of our students and faculty/staff with their books in Vidigami here.

We are also collecting books for kids who don't have them. Please bring any new or gently used donations to the library. This week's bonus hour is earned by sending a loving message on one of the postcards we created and distributed, either through Wee Mail, the USPS, or personal delivery. You can still get your Week One bonus hour by adding to the gallery of beloved books and libraries at www.bit.ly/LovingReading. Keep Reading and fueling the wildebeest's travel through time.

Michel Ruiz '20
YPC 2018 Flyer

The Youth Peace Conference is an annual student-organized social justice conference focusing on youth activism as a means towards local social change. YPC 2018 will be April 7th, from 11am-4pm, hosted on the Sandy Spring Friends School campus. SSFS students from grades 8-12 are encouraged to attend and bring a friend from another school. Student participants will earn 6 hours of community service for their participation in the conference.

YPC 2018 is focused on "Breaking Down Walls"-- exploring ways to deconstruct discrimination individually and within communities. The day features keynote panelists such as Gabby Jackson, Jessica Semachko, and Dyresha Harris; student-facilitated workshops; and opportunities to turn discussion into action. Workshops include powerhouse conversations and activities on socioeconomic status and education, sexual harassment, double standards of immigration, and freedom of speech and expression.

SSFS Upper School student organizers are inspired by the potential for social change in the youth of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC and want to be catalysts for change in our communities. For more information and registration, please visit youthpeaceconferencemd.org.

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.

  • Fri, Feb. 16: Re-Enrollment Contracts for Current Families Due
  • Fri, Feb. 16: PA Community Connections Meeting, 8:00 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Sat-Sun, Feb. 17-18: Community Play Tech-In (10:00 am - 4:00 pm Saturday and 1:00-4:00 pm Sunday)
  • Mon, Feb. 19: NO SCHOOL - President's Day
  • Tues, Feb. 20: NO CLASSES - Professional Day
  • Wed, Feb. 21: Upper School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 2:45-5:00 pm (see more info below; sign up for your time slot here)
  • Thurs, Feb. 22: PA Fundraiser at Jersey Mike's (show flyer to have a portion of proceeds donated to SSFS)
  • Thurs-Sat, Feb. 22-24: Community Play, "The Sound of Music," 7:00 pm (NOTE: All performances are now sold out! Please contact Lauren Mossman if you would like to be added to a waitlist, or if you are unable to attend and can release your tickets. If attending, make sure to bring a printout of your confirmation or show )
  • Fri, Feb. 23: Upper School Winter Sports End
  • Sun, Feb. 25: Community Play Matinee, 2:00 pm, PAC - NOTE: Sold Out!
  • Mon, Feb. 26: Upper School Spring Sports Begin
  • Tues, Feb. 27: PA Meeting, 7:15 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Sat, Mar. 3: Upper School Quiz Bowl Team: It's Academic Playoffs, NBC4 Studios, 1:30-3:30 pm
  • Tues, Mar. 6: Upper School Coffee & Conversation, 8:15-9:30 am, Scott House
  • Wed, Mar. 7: College Info Session, Mock Admissions Exercise, 6:30-8:30 pm, Yarnall Library
  • Sat, Mar. 10: SAT Test Date
  • Mon, Mar. 12: Alumni & Friends Speed Networking Event, 6:30-8:30 pm, Yarnall Library (see details here)
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 19-23: US Intersession Week
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 26-30: NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

Meredith Shankle

Intersession is less than 5 weeks away! Please be on the lookout for communication from your child's trip leader in the coming days with important updates about their trip. Included will be an Intersession Agreement and Release form that needs to be signed and returned to the Upper School office as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, February 23rd, as well as important information if your child will need medication administered on the trip (all medication will need to be given to the Health Center by March 2).

Meredith Shankle

The second round of parent-teacher conferences will be held on Wed, Feb. 21, from 2:45-5:00 pm. You may either go to our PTCFast System and select from available times on the February 21st conference date, or you may reach out directly to your child's teachers to schedule a mutually convenient time. If you need assistance, please contact Meredith Shankle at meredith.shankle@ssfs.org or by phone at 301.774.7455 ext. 109.

Kexin Zhang, Chinese (Mandarin) Teacher
Upper School YCT Recipients

The YCT (Youth Chinese Test) is an international standardized test of Chinese language proficiency. It was launched by Hanban (the Office of Chinese Language Council International) in an effort to encourage young foreign students to learn Chinese Mandarin. The written test is made up of four levels from YCT-Level 1 to YCT-Level 4.

On February 9, 2018, four upper school students were recognized for their outstanding achievements on the YCT Level III. These are the first Sandy Spring Friends students to take the YCT. Test takers who are able to pass the YCT Level III have reached an excellent level in foundational Chinese Mandarin. Not only did these four students pass the test, but they also earned very high scores. Congratulations to Milan R., Mia B., Charles L. and Quinn F.

Lauren Mossman

On Monday, March 12 at 6:30 pm in the Middle School, SSFS will hold the second annual Alumni & Friends Speed Networking Evening, which connects Upper School students with SSFS alumni, parents, and friends working in fields of interest to students in grades 9 - 12. Not surprisingly, SSFS Upper School students have a wide range of interests—and we would love your help in broadening our mentor pool! Please click HERE to learn more about the Networking Evening and to sign up as a mentor. Questions? Contact Dagmar Caramello '07, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, or Lauren Mossman, Director of Advancement.

Ilene Lees

Upper School Peer CounselorsOn February 14th, the newest group of Peer Counselors received their certificates for completing this 12 hour training. The following 8 Upper School students join the other 20 Peer Counselors in the Upper School. They are Alex F, Albert W, Quinn F, Donnie H, Qiang L, Michel R, Gabby S, and Lara C. Each of these wonderful students have been trained on effective listening skills, how to ask open ended and non-judgmental questions, and how to recognize if there is a problem. In addition, they have learned how to recognize common concerns related to relationships, substance use, mental health and crisis intervention. The 28 Peer Counselors represent many areas of our diverse student population, and I am so proud of all of them. They meet monthly and come up with ideas to raise awareness about mental illness, meet with the 9th graders in the Freshman Seminar classes, and offer support to their peers.

Michel Ruiz '20
YPC 2018 Flyer

The Youth Peace Conference is an annual student-organized social justice conference focusing on youth activism as a means towards local social change. YPC 2018 will be April 7th, from 11am-4pm, hosted on the Sandy Spring Friends School campus. SSFS students from grades 8-12 are encouraged to attend and bring a friend from another school. Student participants will earn 6 hours of community service for their participation in the conference.

YPC 2018 is focused on "Breaking Down Walls"-- exploring ways to deconstruct discrimination individually and within communities. The day features keynote panelists such as Gabby Jackson, Jessica Semachko, and Dyresha Harris; student-facilitated workshops; and opportunities to turn discussion into action. Workshops include powerhouse conversations and activities on socioeconomic status and education, sexual harassment, double standards of immigration, and freedom of speech and expression.

SSFS Upper School student organizers are inspired by the potential for social change in the youth of Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC and want to be catalysts for change in our communities. For more information and registration, please visit youthpeaceconferencemd.org.

Eduardo Polón, Coordinator
Quiz Bowl Logo

This is a call to all Quizards to see what all of the buzz is about! Often referred to as the varsity sport of the mind, Upper School Teacher Eduardo Polón (Spanish) is sponsoring season seven of our intrascholastic SSFS Quiz Bowl Club that will meet on Tuesday afternoon's during Academic Help in Moore Hall, Room 105 (Eduardo's classroom).

A dynamic competition in the spirit of It's Academic, the longest running television quiz show in the world, teams – generally consisting of three to five members – face off to answer academic centered questions posed by a moderator for points. Providing camaraderie for kindred spirits while celebrating academic achievement, Quiz Bowl Club provides a healthy venue to foster friendships inspired by a mutual love of learning. Best of all it's fun!

With space limited to fifteen teams of five (75 participants), students are invited to sign-up outside Eduardo's classroom (Moore Hall 105) on a first come, first serve basis. Quiz Bowl Club kicks off with Round 1 of Regular Season Conference Play on Tuesday, February 27th from 3:05pm to 3:35pm. For more information contact Eduardo (eduardo.polon@ssfs.org).

Eduardo Polón, Quiz Bowl Coordinator
Quiz Bowl Team

QUESTION: For 20 points. Guess which college preparatory Quaker school advanced to the Montgomery Academic Beltway League's 2017-2018 Championship Round?
ANSWER: SSFS

With an overall record of 41-13-0 and counting, across all interscholastic formats of play, SSFS ranks fittingly among the top academic programs in the county and continues to distinguish itself, among other things, as "an ideal setting for intellectual contemplation, diverse extracurricular pursuits, and personal growth." Positioned for another run at the MABL Championship (Montgomery Academic Beltway League), this year's SSFS Quiz Bowl Team is poised to break several program records by the time the academic competition season ends.

Led by Captain Asa K ('18), this year's 16-member SSFS Quiz Bowl Team is rounded out by fellow seniors Kate G, Tomar S, and Erin G, juniors Justis D (Assistant Captain), Michelle T, Alan B, Bella V, Thomas P, MacLaren R, and Ruby B, sophomores Alex F and MacKenzie S, and first-year students Moira M, Olivia G, and Esther F. With one eye focused on the current academic season and the other on player development, the future of SSFS Quiz Bowl looks as promising and bright as the present.

Providing camaraderie for kindred spirits while celebrating academic achievement, intrascholastic Quiz Bowl Club (Spring) and interscholastic Quiz Bowl Team (Fall) provide healthy venues to foster friendships inspired by a mutual love of learning. Best of all it's fun! For more information contact Quiz Bowl Coordinator Eduardo Polón at eduardo.polon@ssfs.org

Athletics Events This Week

Friends Mart

Summer at Sandy Spring is excited to announce that registration for the summer 2018 camp season is now open! Getting a jump on summer fun has never been easier; navigate to our website to check out all the new and amazing options for this season. We pride ourselves on the customization of camp for every family. So whether it's hand picking workshops, extended day, transportation options, or flexible lunch options, we are sure we can create just the right fit for your busy family this summer.


We heard the feedback and added more workshop options for each age group. Check out the website for the brand new workshop section where each workshop has its own page to tell you things like sample lessons, a week at a glance, mini descriptions, videos, and so much more. We are proud to introduce the partnering with Einstein by Design to create an amazing technology experience. We added rock climbing, Theatre, Outdoor Living Skills, Robotics to just name a few. Oh and we brought back our popular high flying, zip lining fun at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring Friends School with our Adventure Challenge workshops and Aftercare in the Trees options. From tots to teens - there is truly something for everyone!

We encourage you to take some time this winter and go through the exciting programming you'll find on our completely revamped website. When you're ready to register, you'll find a link at the top right corner. SSFS families can enter the code BEESTSATCAMP during registration for a 10% discount.

If you have any questions or if we can be of assistance, please e-mail us at camp@ssfs.org or call 301-774-7455 x167.

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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