Weekly e-Newsletter

The weekly e-newsletter is emailed to all SSFS families each Sunday 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. You can also filter articles within each section by clicking on specific categories such as arts, parents association, special events, and more. Archived newsletters are also available here.

All-School News

Click to Filter By Category

Categories: All-School Section


Click on a category to filter the All-School section articles.



Lower School News

Lower School

Click to Filter By Category

Categories: Lower School (LS) Section


Click on a category to filter the Lower School section articles.



Pam Gilmer

For questions or more information about an event, please contact Pam Gilmer, LS Administrative Assistant, at ext. 112 or pam.gilmer@ssfs.org, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar.

  • Mon, Mar. 18: Talent Show Rehearsal, Group A, 3:15–4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Tues, Mar. 19: Talent Show Rehearsal, Group B, 3:15–4:30 pm, Clifton
  • Wed, Mar. 20: Talent Show Dress Rehearsals - 8:30-10 am (Group ); 12:30-2:00 pm (Group B)
  • Thurs, Mar. 21: LS Talent Show Performances - Group A, 8:30-10:00 am, Clifton
  • Fri, Mar. 22: LS Talent Show Performances - Group B, 8:30-10:00 am, Clifton
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 25-29: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

And coming up soon/to keep on your radar...

  • Mon, Apr. 1: Classes Resume
  • Wed, Apr. 3: "Discover SSFS" Admissions Event, 8:15-11:00 am. Come see what's on the horizon in the Middle and Upper School at SSFS! Current families welcome - no need to RSVP.
  • Mon, Apr. 8: Weather make-up date - LS parent-teacher conferences; MS and US in session. See email from David Hickson here
Pam Gilmer

The annual LS Talent Shows are right around the corner. Our Talent show directors are busy putting together the shows. Mark your calendars for Group A Talent Show at 8:30 am on Thursday, March 21, and Group B Talent Show to follow on Friday, March 22. Both shows will be performed at 8:30 am in Clifton. Come out and see the talent of our LS students!

Middle School News

Click to Filter By Category

Categories: Middle School (MS) Section


Click on a category to filter the Middle School section articles.



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, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar.

  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 18-22: MS Immersion Week, US Intersession Week
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 25-29: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

And coming up soon/to keep on your radar...

  • Mon, Apr. 1: Classes Resume
  • Thurs, Apr. 4: Welcome to 9th Grade and Course Registration Event, 6:30-8:30 pm, PAC - Studio B
  • Mon, Apr. 8: Weather make-up date - LS parent-teacher conferences; MS and US in session. See email from David Hickson here
  • Mon, Apr. 22: Middle School Summer Trip Meetings, 6:15 pm; Costa Rica trip will meet in the Athletic Center Multipurpose Room and the France trip will meet in the Beestro Cafe. 
  • Wed-Fri, Apr. 24-26: 7th Grade Trip to Gettysburg
Kiki Vargas

Middle School faculty and students are excited to launch 2019 Immersion Week, March 18-22. This year's theme is inspired by highly-acclaimed film Hidden Figures. Rather than attending regular classes, students will cycle through three workshops daily. They have chosen from offerings including Cryptology, Rocketry, and Game Design. This enriching week allows faculty and students to explore interests, to learn within novel groupings, and to fully engage without the pressure of homework. Some workshops will be going off-campus; therefore, please be sure your child promptly arrives to school and limit early pick-ups for appointments. Stay tuned for lots of pictures!

MS Science Department

Have you ever seen the show Nailed It, in which amateur bakers try to re-create professional level baking in a very short time frame?  We challenged our eighth grade scientists to take on a similar challenge in a review of the digestive system.  Students were shown a diagram of the digestive system, given several jars of play dough and 15 minutes, and were asked to re-create a professional quality replica of the digestive organs. It was a fun, collaborative way to review the entire digestive system!

 

 

Samaa Eldadah '19

YPC 2019 - April 6, 2019Students in grades 8-12 are invited to Youth Peace Conference (YPC) 2019 on April 6 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm at Blake High School. YPC is an annual student-run social justice and 
community building summit held in Maryland for students in grades 8-12. This year's topic is "Student Activism - Past and Present." Please visit the Youth Peace Conference website for more details and to register. 

Ariel Voorhees

Half-WtichOn April 18, English classes in the Middle and Upper School will welcome SSFS alumnus John Schoffstall '69 to talk about his book Half-Witch, the craft of writing, and his fascinating career. Schoffstall spent his career in emergency medicine before writing Half-Witch, his debut novel. NPR recognized Half-Witch as a “Best Book of 2018,” and critic Kelly Link says this about the book: “A picaresque fantasy debut in the mode of L. Frank Baum, in which witches and magic and God and goblins populate a world that is possibly just next door to our own. Lizbet and the witch girl Strix are delightful company in which to set out on the road.”

Combining a thrilling hero’s journey with a rich and detailed magical world, Half-Witch is perfect for readers 12 and up. Find it here and read Half-Witch with your Springer before Schoffstall’s visit!

Upper School News

Click to Filter By Category

Categories: Upper School (US) Section


Click on a category to filter the Upper-School section articles.



Kerry Foley

Below is information about upcoming US and all-school activities and events in the coming weeks. For questions or more information about an event, please contact Kerry Foley, US Administrative Assistant, at ext. 109 or kerry.foley@ssfs.org, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar. 

  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 18-22: MS Immersion Week, US Intersession Week
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 25-29: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

And coming up soon/to keep on your radar...

  • Mon, Apr. 1: Classes Resume
  • Mon, Apr. 8: Weather make-up date - LS parent-teacher conferences; MS and US in session. See email from David Hickson here
  • Sat, Apr. 13: US School Prom and Post-Prom (see more here - note tickets must be purchased by April 8th!)
Margaret Rosser

Our Upper School students and faculty are excited about the upcoming Intersession week, with opportunities for learning, service, art, travel, and outdoor education in locations from our own backyard to countries around the globe. Some Intersession leaders and students will be sending in email blog posts and updates throughout the week; we will be posting updates and photos from trips daily on our website here. (You can see an example from the 2018 Intersession posts here.) Be sure to check the page each day during the week of March 18-22 to see the latest news! Trips may also post photos on Vidigami; be sure to log in to the School website and view Intersession albums on Vidigami here

Candice Ashton

During the week of March 4th, student leaders and attendees of the Student Diversity Leadership Conference hosted activities designed to foster conversation about the many types of diversity at SSFS.

On Monday, March 4, the entire Upper School participated in a Molecule activity where each atom of the molecule represented one of 8 Cultural Identifiers. Students then separated into groups and discussed their observations. Students were encouraged to lean into discomfort in order to have honest conversation. They were able to recognize that they were each defined by many characteristics, and that no one person was just one thing. They were also able to talk about shared values and ways to interact positively with people who have different values.

On Friday, March 8, there was a panel discussion moderated by Fernanda Vazquez ’20, The panelists were: Sebastian Goodman ’19, Qiang Lin ’19, Mecca McCain ’20, Thomas Perich ’19, Begai Prom ’19, and Michel Ruiz ’20. During the panel, the students answered questions about the need to encourage all types of diversity including diversity of thought. They also discussed the importance of allies in the fight for equity and equality as well as the need for each person to work within their own community to improve understanding and inclusion.

Student Diversity Leadership Conference participants (not pictured: Thomas P. and Fernanda V.)

Student Diversity Leadership Conference participants (not pictured: Thomas P. and Fernanda V.)

The 2019 Student Diversity Leadership Conference will take place in Seattle on December 4-7. Applications will be available in April. Contact Candice Ashton, candice.ashton@ssfs.org, for more information.

Carlo Grossman
Upper School Musical Production Announces The  2019 US Musical: The Boyfriend

The spring musical by the upper school musical production class will be THE BOY FRIEND. Written by Sandy Wilson, THE BOY FRIEND is a sweet, fun, and innocent 1920’s style musical. The original 1954 London production ran for 2,078 performances, making it briefly the third-longest running musical in West End or Broadway history. This show marked Julie Andrews' American stage debut.

Performances are scheduled for May 2-4 in the theater of the Performing Arts Center. All shows begin at 7:15 pm. For more information about the musical production class or this year’s musical, contact stage director, Carlo Grossman.at carlo.grossman@ssfs.org.

Ilene Lees

11th and 12th Grade Families: it is that time of year to start thinking about the prom. Our 12th grade prom committee has been working so hard to plan an amazing event. All 11th and 12th grade students are invited to the prom. This year the students need to fill out a Google Form to get their tickets. The tickets can be paid for by cash/check, or through a student’s school account. All ticket sales will end on April 8th. No tickets will be sold after that date. Students are required to stay for the entirety of this event (until 11:00 pm) unless given parental permission by phone during the evening. Please contact Ben McClellan with any questions regarding that policy. The school will provide one bus for students leaving campus at 6:45 pm and returning back to campus at 11:15. The sign up form for the bus will be in Kerry's office.

All 11th and 12th graders are invited to attend the SSFS Post Prom event, starting at 11:15 pm on campus. A student does not have to attend the prom to attend the Post Prom. Here are the details for prom:

Date: Saturday, April 13th, from 7:00 pm-11:00 pm

Venue: The Montgomery Country Club
20908 Golf View Lane Laytonsville, MD

Tickets: $40 per person before April 1st and $45 after April 1st
Includes a full buffet dinner, DJ, and photographer

If you have any questions, please email Ilene.Lees@ssfs.org or call 301-774-7455 X138

Ariel Voorhees

Half-WtichOn April 18, English classes in the Middle and Upper School will welcome SSFS alumnus John Schoffstall '69 to talk about his book Half-Witch, the craft of writing, and his fascinating career. Schoffstall spent his career in emergency medicine before writing Half-Witch, his debut novel. NPR recognized Half-Witch as a “Best Book of 2018,” and critic Kelly Link says this about the book: “A picaresque fantasy debut in the mode of L. Frank Baum, in which witches and magic and God and goblins populate a world that is possibly just next door to our own. Lizbet and the witch girl Strix are delightful company in which to set out on the road.”

Combining a thrilling hero’s journey with a rich and detailed magical world, Half-Witch is perfect for readers 12 and up. Find it here and read Half-Witch with your Springer before Schoffstall’s visit!

Friends Mart

Click to Filter By Category

Categories: Friends Mart Section


Click on a category to filter the Friends Mart section articles.



Jonathan Glass, Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting

Conversations for Peace is a program bringing teens from Cyprus, Israel and Palestine to participate in a peacemaking journey here in the Sandy Spring area. The program involves camping, training, and social activities. Host families are needed to host two teens together. The Cyprus teens will need host families from July 6-28. This 3-week program can be shared by two families if needed. The program has an urgent need now for a family that can host 2 students from Cyprus from July 6-17.  The Israel/Palestine teens will need host families from July 21 to August 4.  You can contact Jonathon (301-570-4761 or rojofam4@verizon.net) for more information. Click on the PDF for more information about the program. 

Matthew Taylor

The Advancement and Outreach Committee of Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting is pleased to announce Seeker Sessions that begin Sunday, March 10, at 12:30 pm in Room 201 of the Community House at Sandy Spring Meeting. All are welcome. The Quaker testimonies will serve as a focal point of discussion, one testimony per meeting, for a total of six sessions. Advance preparation is not necessary to participate, but readings will be suggested to anyone interested. The committee will provide snacks and have child care arranged. The dates are March 10, 17, 24, and 31, April 14 and 28 (no session on Easter). To let us know you are coming, and give us a way to contact you if we have to reschedule any meetings, email Advancement@SandySpring.org. Please specify in your email whether you will need child care.

Alex Helberg

Summer at Sandy Spring OPEN HOUSE - Sat, Mar. 9, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

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, or see our viewbook here. 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. From tots to teens - there is truly something for everyone!

We encourage you to go through the exciting programming you'll find on our completely revamped website. 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.

PA Community Connections Committee

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.

Athletics Events This Week

Margaret Rosser

Photo of the Week

5th grade students celebrated "Pi" Day on 3.14 (naturally!) by learning a bit about the history and mathematical significance of "Pi."  They also conducted their own experiments, tracing circular objects in the classroom, determining their diameter and circumference, and testing to confirm the 3.14159(etc, etc.) ratio. They also got to enjoy a different kind of "pie" in the afternoon to celebrate the day! 

Margaret Rosser

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

  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 18-22: MS Immersion Week, US Intersession Week
  • Wed, Mar. 20: PA Auction Committee Meeting, 8:15-9:30 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Mon-Fri, Mar. 25-29: NO SCHOOL - Spring Break

And coming up soon/to keep on your radar...

  • Mon, Apr. 1: Classes Resume
  • Wed, Apr. 3: PA Auction Committee Meeting, 8:15-9:30 am, Scott House Conference Room
  • Mon, Apr. 8: Weather make-up date - LS parent-teacher conferences; MS and US in session. See email from David Hickson here
  • Sat-Sun, Apr. 13-14: PA Post-Prom Event - sign up to volunteer here!
  • Thurs, Apr. 18: PA Community Connections Quest Speaker - Julie Baron LCSW-C, co-author of What Works With Teens, will be speaking on this topic at 7:00 pm in Yarnall Library. ​Read more here, and RSVP online here.  
  • Tues, Apr. 23: PA Coffee & Conversation, 8:15 am, Scott House Living Room
Margaret Rosser

On Wednesday, March 13, student representatives from Spark, Flame, and Torch (the student government organizations in the Lower, Middle. and Upper School) gathered together for pizza, discussions around what makes a good leader, community-building activities, and fun. SSFS is in good hands with these student leaders at the helm! 

Student Government Reps in LS, MS, US

Dianna Whittle

Celebrate Cultural Diversity at the World Fair 
Hosted by the SSFS Student Ambassadors
April 18, 12:10 - 12:50 pm in the Beest Café 

Did you know that our SSFS community represents more than 30 countries? Our Upper School students come from every continent except for Antarctica and Australia -- however, each winter for two weeks SSFS is host to exchange students from Hobart, Australia. To celebrate our cultural diversity, the SSFS Student Ambassadors invite you to journey across the globe on April 18 in the Beest Café to learn about the history and culture of the home countries of our large international student community. See flyer here.

SSFS World Fair - April 18

Cathryn Carnevale

Please note that during Immersion/Intersession Week—which runs from Monday, March 18-22—there will be no 5:45 pm shuttle. Shuttle service will resume after Spring Break on Monday, April 1, 2019.

PA Community Connections Committee

When: Thursday, April 18th, 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Where: SSFS Yarnall Library
RSVP: Please register online for this free event. There will be refreshments served based on the number of adults who register.
Get the book in advance (Can be autographed at the event)
Questions? Contact Kathleen Landers

Julie BaronThe SSFS PA Community Connections Committee Speaker Series is pleased to bring to our campus noted author and speaker Julie Baron LCSW-C, as she speaks on the topic "What Works with Teens." This program, described below, is a intended for the mixed SSFS adult community of parents, faculty, administrators, coaches, transportation staff, counselors.... really any adult who has a role, however small or indirect it may seem, in the lives of adolescents.

Sandy Spring Friends School prides itself on the strengths it brings out in the youth under its care. This program can help us all understand how to continue to hold these values and share them with one another. We are hoping for an audience for this event that represents our whole community, so that together we can learn better how to understand and support each other in our different roles and the different ways our teens need us at this time in life, and continue to build and sustain the environment that will lead the adolescents we care so deeply about to achieve enduring success. 

What Works With Teens Program Description:
Parenting and working with teenagers pose challenges unique to this developmental stage. Teens are not always receptive to our efforts at teaching, rearing, directing and coaching them toward goals for growth and development. Better understanding these developmental challenges and ways to utilize your relationship with teens can make an enormous difference in helping them achieve positive growth and change. In this program for parents and professionals, Julie Baron, LCSW-C will share the tools you need to make the most of your interactions with the teens in your life, whether at work or at home (or both!).
 
You will learn:
•    Necessary Developmental Tasks of Adolescents
•    The Rules of the Adolescent Brain
•    How Social Culture Drives Behavior
•    How Helping Adults Play a Powerful Role
•    The Relational Components for Engaging Teens
•    Behavior Management Musts for Effective Parenting and Education
 
About the speaker:
Julie Baron is a licensed clinical social worker, specializing in the treatment of adolescents, and adults. Ms. Baron graduated from Boston University with her Masters in Social Work. She has more than 25 years of experience working with adolescents and their families in community-based mental health centers, residential treatment facilities, home-based crisis stabilization programs, public and private schools, and private practice providing individual, group, and family therapy; parent coaching; and advocacy services. She practices evidence-based relational strategies to engage her clients in intervention and empower them in reaching their goals. She writes articles and blogs and trains adolescents, parents, and professionals on various topics related to adolescent development and social culture, such as bullying and cyber-socializing, positive school climate, parenting teens, and practicing therapy with adolescents and young adults. She owns and manages Julie Baron and Associates, a private practice in Rockville, MD, and is the co-author of What Works With Teens: A Professional’s Guide to Engaging Authentically with Adolescents to Achieve Lasting Change.
Book website with chapters samples and videos:
https://whatworkswithteens.com/
 

PA Auction Committee

2019 AuctionJoin the PA Auction Committee in making this year's auction a roaring success! Can't make it in person? Join via conference call! The dial-in number is 866-894-8254 and the participant passcode is 7545542.

Auction Committee Meetings: Join the Auction Committee for their planning meetings in the Scott House conference room. Meetings will take place on the following dates:

  • March 20, 2019 | 8:15-9:30 am
  • April 3, 2019 | 8:15-9:30 am
  • April 17, 2019 | 8:15 -9:30 am

Auction Volunteers: From picking up donations  to decorating the venue, there are a number of ways for you to volunteer!  Visit our sign-up genius page to sign up for your preferred volunteer role, or visit our auction volunteer page

Mark your calendars and plan to join us for the big event on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 7pm – 11pm, at our new location: Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville, MD! Visit Glowing Together to learn more and RSVP

PA Community Connections Committee

Are you interested in helping to create connections between members of the amazing SSFS community? Families, faculty, alumni parents, international families, you name it, we are one community and this is one way to build bridges between us.

The Parents Association Community Connections Committee was formed 3 years ago, and has hosted pot-luck dinners, parent education events, walks in the woods and off campus meet ups. We also moderate the online 'list-serve' where community members can post events, and share recommendations and resources. This cross divisional PA group is looking for a few good folks to help execute some of our one time events, and share and promote ideas. All planning meetings have an agenda and timed schedule, are held by conference call, scheduled in the evening or on a weekend, so you don't have to add a trip to the school to have your voice and ideas heard. Contact Kathleen Landers (Irene 10th , Vivien 3rd) at klanders@sequenceservices.com if you are interested in joining this committee!

SSFS Parents Association

The PA-sponsored Post Prom is Sat. evening - Sun morning, April 13-14, from 11:00 pm - 6:00 am.  We are getting geared up for a fun night for both the kids and the chaperones, but it can’t come together without volunteers. EVERY parent from every division is welcome to join in.  Just click the link and sign up now to help decorate, donate food or drink, or chaperone.

We thank you, and the 11th -12th grade kids thank you!  Feel free to reach out with any questions to Dawn Lee or Lauren Deichman.

SSFS Parents Association

Have treasures that you no longer want or need? Gift your stuff to us! In support of several SSFS PA events, we are collecting new or gently-used items.  We are especially looking for:

  • Toys
  • Board Games
  • Puzzles
  • Purses
  • Candles
  • Perfumes and cologne
  • Planters
  • Boxed cards
  • Coats, hats, mittens, scarves, neckties
  • Jewelry
  • Collectibles
  • Antiques
  • Household goods

Bring them to the March 7th PA meeting at 6 pm OR look for the collection boxes labeled “Secret Shop” in the carpool drop off circles of the Lower School, Middle School and Upper School.  For questions email:  pa.clerk@ssfs.org  Thank you!  SSFS PA

SSFS Parent Association

It's that time of year again to start thinking about next year's PA Executive Committee. The Executive Committee includes two Co-Clerks, two Assistant Co-Clerks, Mentoring Clerk, three Division Representatives for each division (LS, MS, and US), Treasurer, and Recording Clerk.  This process takes a lot of consideration and an entire team of people to facilitate. Nominations are anonymous and will be shared only with the Nominating Committee. We will also be taking nominations for Grade Representatives (though they are not part of the Executive Committee - nominations for Grade Representatives will be passed to the current Division Representatives for consideration). All SSFS Community members should feel free to nominate anyone (even yourself!) you feel would be a good fit for SSFS's PA Executive Committee and/or a Grade Representative. Please make nominations through this nominating form.