Weekly 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


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. 

Read More about All-School "Must-Know" Info for June 9 Newsletter
Margaret Rosser

This is the final e-newsletter for the 2018-2019 academic year. We hope you have a wonderful and rejuvenating summer! Don't forget to complete the Parent Satisfaction Survey; bookmark your child's "Summer and Back-to-School" page (LS, MS, and US) to see information about summer reading and other useful resources for the 2019-20 school year; and check out the new website redesign over the summer. Have a great one!

Read More about Final Newsletter of 2018-2019 School Year
David Hickson

All parents should have received an email on May 31 with a link to the 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey. Please contact David Hickson if you did have trouble accessing the survey.  

We use your anonymous feedback to track opinions and trends over time, so we ask that you participate each year, based on your experiences for the most recent school year. Your feedback truly does help shape both short-term and long-term planning by the School, and this survey is a great opportunity to have your voice heard. Results of the feedback are shared in the fall. Thank you for your help!

Read More about 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey
Don’t Leave Town Yet: It’s the SSFS Annual Fund Calling!
Adrienne Chisolm

Friends! If you have already given to the Annual Fund this year, THANK YOU. We are so grateful for your support. If you have not given this year, this is your chance! We will be making phone calls during the month of June to our Sandy Spring community to remind everyone it is not too late to make a donation to the SSFS Annual Fund.  Help us close the year out strong with a contribution celebrating that all that our students and teachers have accomplished, achieved, and made possible in 2018-19. Join us by giving TODAY!

Read More about Don’t Leave Town Yet: It’s the SSFS Annual Fund Calling!
Margaret Rosser

ICYMI: A "heads-up" that we are in the final stages of completing a new website redesign, which we plan to launch in June. The new SSFS website will have a clean, fresh look and an improved design for optimal viewing whether you are accessing the site from a large desktop, a mid-sized tablet, or a small phone or mobile device. We've also updated and provided additional content about the fantastic programs here at SSFS. See more...

Read More about Website Redesign Coming Soon!

Lower School News

Pam Gilmer

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

5th Grade Recognition Night
Pam Gilmer

5th graders and their families gathered for a special recognition event and Meeting for Worship on Tuesday, June 4, as we celebrate their move from Lower School to Middle School. Photos from the evening are available on VIdigami here

5th Grade Recognition Night

Moving On Day – What an Amazing Day!
Pam Gilmer

Lower School Moving On Day 2019Moving On Day in the Lower School is always a day filled with mixed emotions: the anticipation of summer, the good-byes and farewells, along with the excitement of successfully completing the school year! A day full of traditions, our MOD assembly started us off with music, joy, and heartfelt messages, and was followed by the annual t-shirt signing, along with a special presentation by the PA of a tree planted in Brenda Crawley's honor. Due to Wednesday night’s rain, our Strawberry Cowbake was served in Westview, but our indoor picnic was delicious! Click here to see photos from the online photo gallery, and/or log in to the website and click here to view/download more photos from the Vidigami album.

The SSFS Lower School faculty and staff wish all of our families a safe and happy summer. Go well and safely!

Message from Lower School Head Brenda Crawley
Brenda Crawley

Dear Lower School Friends,

Our 2018-2019 school year is over! The PK3 – Grade 5 students had an action-packed year filled with many challenges and adventures. Our Moving On Day program, Come Out of Your Shell, was a wonderful tribute to the astounding growth and progress made by every student this year. Curiosity took us on a learning journey that took many detours. We learned that experimenting, failing and trying again actually pay off. Practice makes progress; and every member of our community experienced progress during our 2018-2019 journey.

As I leave Sandy Spring Friends School and make my transition to the Plymouth Meeting Friends School community as Head of School, please know that I hold this wonderful SSFS community in my heart and will always treasure the time that I spent in the company of the youngest friends on campus. They each have a Light that, if nurtured and kindled, will surely change the world! Once again, I share my remarks from our 2019 Moving On Day program:

In my eight years at SSFS, I’ve actively avoided waxing philosophical with a captive audience. I have clear memories of my elementary school principal—Sister Margaret St. John—pontificating endlessly on the last day of school while we sat stock still —little hostages in those itchy plaid uniforms on hard Catholic school wooden pews. My goal here has always been to keep the focus on what’s important: our students. And yet, here I am “speechifying” on the last day. So I will make it quick:

It would be absolutely presumptuous of me to take credit for the talents and successes of the amazing faculty, staff and administrators in the Lower School. It has been my honor and my responsibility to provide support, and resources, and to sustain them in their work. (Sometimes, this took the form of an old-fashioned southern banana pudding.) This is a hard-working group of professionals, whose experiences and expertise spans hundreds of years. They take their work very seriously; yet they don’t take themselves too seriously. They are passionate and smart and they thrive on caffeine, chocolate, appreciation and praise. It is absolutely not debatable that their work is what makes this Lower School the best division of Sandy Spring Friends School. Friends, I thank you for your dedication, patience, sense of humor and tender care of the Lower School students and of me.

I also want to thank the critically important and yet sometimes invisible members of our community whose hard work and devotion keep Sandy Spring alive and thriving every day. Thank you to the administrative support staff, nurses, facilities and maintenance crew, dining hall staff, cleaning staff and KAH friends.

Over the years, many of us have had the conversation at the table in my office about the fact that parenting books lie. They leave a lot of crucial information out. Here’s the deal: you will never have enough time; never have enough energy; never have enough money; never have enough love and, frankly, you will never get enough sleep. Thank you parents and families for sharing this journey with us. None of us could take this journey alone. Thank you for your patience and your understanding. Thank you for knowing that when I speak strongly and speak my mind, I speak for them (students). Thank you for your trust and your partnership.

As I go, I leave you with my “Letterman” Lower School Top Ten:

10. Parenting is no sport for perfectionists. There is no manual. We have to learn as we go.

9. Focus on the Light. Sometimes it can be hard to see. It’s there. Turn around, look down; squint if you have to!

8. When you have to choose between being kind or being right, being cool or being seen, choose kind.

7. Let someone else have the last word. Be humble; sit down.

6. It’s never been about the big people. It’s about the “littles”.

5. If you forget to laugh, you forget to love and you forget to live. Bobby McFerrin put it best: “Don’t worry, be happy”.

4. Know that your true self is always enough. Just do you.

3. Choose joy. It’s a higher love on a higher ground.

2. Let your life speak, and

1. Always, always remember: USE THE CROSSWALK!

Be well and walk in the Light, Friends. Have a wonderful summer!

In appreciation and peace,


Middle School News

Erin Ryan
Middle School News


Middle School "Must-Know" Info for June 9 Newsletter
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, or visit the Calendar web page to see full calendar.

  • Tues, June 11: International Trip Final Meeting
  • Tues, June 11: MS Meet and Greet, 3:30-4:30 pm - RSVP
  • Wed, June 12: PA Faculty-Staff Appreciation Lunch, 12:00-2:00 pm, Westview - Click here to sign up to help! 
  • Remember to complete your 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey
  • Have a great summer and don't forget to bookmark your SSFS portal page for summer reading/assignments and back-to-school info! 
Reminder: Please Come to the Middle School Meet and Greet on June 11th
Erin Ryan

Start your summer with a sweet treat! The SSFS Middle School will host a "Meet and Greet" for all new and returning Middle School students and their families on Tuesday, June 11, from 3:30-4:30 pm in the Middle School Smith Collection Space. This will be an excellent opportunity for our incoming families to meet current families, and for all to enjoy games, treats, and good company together as the summer begins. Students will play a few games with P.E. staff, and we’ll conclude with a frozen treat. We hope you'll join us! 

Congratulations 8th Graders!
Erin Ryan

The 8th grade class gathered on Thursday, June 6, for their Recognition Night and special Meeting for Worship. We wish them all the best as they move on to Upper School! The 8th grade class photo is available on Vidigami here.  

8th Grade Class


Sixth Graders Connecting Continents through Artist Trading Cards
Michelle Puhl-Price

I remember when I was in 5th and 6th grade, my best friend and I wrote to our favorite TV show “Big Blue Marble” in order to get pen-pals for the summer. That bond, started in the early 1980s, transformed into a lasting friendship over the decades. Today, students use email, text, and Snapchat to communicate brief messages. This year, an art teacher at the North American International School in Dubai asked if we could exchange Artist Trading Cards. Artist Trading Cards are not like baseball or Pokemon cards. No stats or averages, instead, they are individual, miniature examples of art. Approximately 2 X 3 inches, students used a variety of media and techniques to express themselves. Take a look at some of our SSFS 6th graders' creations. We received the shipment from Dubai and plan on sending our batch this week. The students enjoyed the activity so much they want to make it a tradition and hopefully find more schools to participate both nationally and internationally. 

Upper School News

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

  • Wed, June 12: PA Faculty-Staff Appreciation Lunch, 12:00-2:00 pm, Westview - Click here to sign up to help! 
  • Remember to complete your 2018-2019 Parent Satisfaction Survey
  • Have a great summer and don't forget to bookmark your SSFS portal page for summer reading/assignments and back-to-school info! 
Hannah Kerr

Let’s give a standing ovation to Maeve Friedman '19, who received Honorable Mention for the Maryland Dance Education Organization’s 2019 Artistic Merit, Leadership, and Academic Achievement Award.

  • Artistic Merit: The candidate demonstrates technical and artistic excellence in dance as evidenced by performing original choreography and submitting an essay describing the intent, inspiration and challenges of their choreography.
  • Leadership: The candidate demonstrates outstanding leadership in and outside the field of dance at the school, community, state, and/or national level as evidenced by a strong resume, recommendation letter and impact of dance essay
  • Academic Achievement: The candidate demonstrates academic excellence with a high cumulative grade point average and superior writing skills found in both submitted essays.

Congratulations to Maeve Friedman and Sebastian Goodman for their induction to the National Honor Society for Dance.

Junior Charles L Selected as Citizen Ambassador to China
Margaret Rosser

Charles LSSFS junior Charles L. has been chosen from a highly selective national applicant pool of thousands by the U.S. Department of State as part of their National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program to represent the United States as a citizen ambassador to China. Charles will travel to Xiamen University, Shanghai, and Beijing on a full merit scholarship for 6 weeks this summer in an effort to improve Americans' ability to engage with people from around the world and build lasting international relationships. 

The National Security Language program initiative plays an important role in preparing U.S. students for the 21st century's globalized workforce, increasing American competitiveness, and contributing to national security. While there, Charles will continue to engage in the rigorous study of Mandarin. Upon his return, he will be part of the alumni association and represent the Mid-Atlantic region in events and opportunities pertaining to continued critical language study, professional development, networking and community service.

Friends Mart

2019 Summer Volleyball Professional Training
Jamie Price

ACEF is offering position-specific volleyball clinics at SSFS over the summer to help every athlete achieve their goals. Athletes must have at least one year of club experience or be participating in the CCACC high-level clinics.

  • Training from Chinese national-level coaches and athletes
  • Coach-to-player ratio of 1:6
  • Private lessons available for a limited time
  • See flyer for session dates offered
  • Register online here
  • ACEF is offering SSFS (MS and US) students who have volleyball experience a 10% discount on tuition, and additional $20 off if they register before May 30th.  
  • Questions? Contact Hongqin Zhang at 410-570-3023 or
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.

Athletic Events This Week

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