Sandy Spring Friends School



SSFS Weekly and Bi-Weekly Newsletters

Gnu Stories, the SSFS all-school newsletter, is sent bi-weekly on Mondays during the school year, and features stories that provide families with a snapshot of school life at SSFS and connects them to the wider community. 

Learn More: Weekly Division Newsletters

Wildebeest Sculpture

Congratulations, Graduates!

Gnu Stories: Highlights from the SSFS Community

All-School End of Year Assembly 2024

All students, faculty, and staff gathered May 29 for the last all-school assembly of the 2023-2024 school year. We heard song selections from the Upper School musical and from the 1st Grade; welcomed the new Torch clerk for 2024-2025; celebrated each senior; and applauded the Senior class gift to the School (a new swing set!). Head of School Rodney Glasgow then shared some reflections on the past year; we watched the end-of-year photo slideshow; and finally, per tradition, we ended the assembly with a rousing all-school sing of the "George Fox Song!" See photos from the assembly and reminisce with the EoY slideshow.

See More about End of Year Assembly 2024
Speech and Debate Medals

Over Memorial Day weekend, four SSFS students competed in the 2024 NCFL Grand National Speech & Debate Championships in Chicago. Although Speech and Debate is a relatively new program at the school (English teacher Scott Carneal started it in 2021), the small-but-mighty SSFS team has demonstrated that it is a force to be reckoned with, competing against public and private schools across the country, most of which have much larger student populations and decades of institutional experience. Going up against approximately 3,000 other debate pairs, SSFS' Public Forum Debate team of Alexios Eleftheriou '25 and Daryan Tchoubineh '24 made it to the Final Four in the championship, and ended up in 3rd PLACE IN THE COUNTRY! All four participants performed exceptionally well; read more...

See More about SSFS Speech & Debate Team Medals at Nationals

SSFS once again participated in the annual DC Electric Vehicle Grand Prix, this year entering two electric cars built by our team of student engineers, with guidance from team sponsors David Hickson and Parshu Gyawali. The 2024 race included very experienced teams, including two teams from a school that recently won the international event in Dubai. Despite this very stiff competition, SSFS placed 6th out of 29 teams (23 schools), an impressive showing given the experience of the top-placing teams (see final standings)! Several alums from last year's team showed up to lend a hand on Saturday: an example of how special our SSFS community is. Parents and community members who have an interest in supporting our team's efforts with technical and/or construction EV expertise, please contact David Hickson.

See More about Engineering Students Race Electric Vehicles in DCEVGP
2024 Senior Art Show

This spring, seniors had an opportunity to showcase all the hard work they did in their arts classes this year in a Senior Art Show, a stunning display of talent and creativity. Each student selected 4-5 of their best pieces and chose how they would like to exhibit their work. Their exhibits included explanatory text for each piece, reinforcing the message that art includes writing clearly and concisely about your work, presenting your art to an audience, and deciding how to display pieces to best convey your message. 

See More about Senior Art Show 2024
Senior Passion Projects 2024

Thank you to all who were able to attend the Class of 2024 SSFS Senior Passion Projects webinar held on Wednesday, May 29 (6:30-8:45pm). If you were unable to attend—or want to re-watch these dynamic presentations—the video recording is now available on the 2024 Senior Passion Project web page, just below the Overview and Schedule portions of the web page. You can also see Sam's finalized film project, Frames of Mind!

See More about Senior Passion Project Presentation Recording
Upper School Spring Musical 2024

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the 2024 Upper School musical, Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s "The Theory of Relativity." The actors, singers, and stage crew experts did a phenomenal job bringing this mix of both heartbreaking and hilarious vignettes to life, where characters find themselves tested and interconnected as they navigate the world. Along the way, they bump into one another, changing each other's trajectories, learning and evolving as they go. 

See More about Upper School Spring Musical "The Theory of Relativity"
Upper School Awards 2024

We were excited to recognize several Upper School students' accomplishments this year. Students were acknowledged for their dedication to their academic, artistic, and athletic pursuits. Each recipient was recognized for their passion in a specific area. As always, our students’ talents and achievements are phenomenal and continue to exemplify what a Sandy Spring Friends student is at their core. Please join us as we congratulate and celebrate their contributions and continued excellence.

See More about Upper School Student Award Recipients 2024
New Wildebeest Art

On June 5, Johanna Cowie, SSFS Archivist and member of the Inquiry Guide Team, unveiled the wildebeest statue's most recent art installation together with the PK3 class, who helped create the new look for the 'Beest's belly! Stacked pieces of wood cut and drilled by Upper School Woodworking teacher David Hickson were set in a spiral, painted by our youngest Springers, and given multiple coats of marine varnish by Johanna. The colorful designs now spin delightfully in the wind! Read more about the history of this special community art project...

See More about SSFS Wildebeest Statue Gets a Gnu Art Installation!
A Message from the OIEJB

Happy Pride Month from the OIEJB! See more information (shared in a recent divisional newsletter) about the history, joys, and struggles honored during Pride Month each June. See also a recap of the activities and resources celebrating AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month throughout May, including classroom and advisory projects and lessons, as well as the installation of beautiful artwork by 9th grader Kevin Mao. May is also Jewish-American Heritage Month; members of the Upper School Jewish Student Affinity Group marked the month by creating a slide deck celebrating Jewish culture and celebrities. 

See More about AAPI Heritage Month Recap (May) and Pride Month (June)
Summer BTS Onboarding Packet 2024

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. See highlights from the packet, including info about the All-School Summer Read, our athletics programs, and building a culture of philanthropy at SSFS!

See More about SSFS Summer and Back to School Packet Highlights

Upcoming Dates: SSFS All-School Events

July 25

Summer Welcome Events for LS, MS, US

Fun gatherings for all new and returning families! Stay tuned for details and RSVP info. 

Sept. 3

All-School Orientation Day for SSFS Families

Lower School, 6th, and 9th Grade families--and all families new to SSFS--should plan to attend.

Sept. 4

First Day of Classes for 2024-2025

First official day of school for all students! Early dismissal at 1:10 PM (LS)/1:20 PM (MS & US).

GnuStories: Previous Articles

Division-Specific Newsletters: The Week Ahead

Division-specific newsletters are emailed to SSFS families each Sunday afternoon during the school year and posted on the division-specific pages of the Parent Portal. These newsletters provide messages from division heads and "must-know" calendar information about upcoming events for the week. 

Parents and guardians must log in to the Parent Portal to access the division-specific pages where the newsletters are posted.

Please Note: Only SSFS parents have access to the links above. SSFS employees may access the division-specific newsletters via the Faculty/Staff Portal.