Sandy Spring Friends School

 

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LS Summer & Back to School Info

We look forward to having your child join us! Below please find some general information about health forms, academic resources, upcoming dates, technology information, and more as you prepare for the upcoming school year. Please bookmark this page, as posted information will be updated throughout the summer.

Jump Down To: LS Summer Reading & Resources
Download a Summer Checklist

Welcome, Orientation, and Back-to-School Events

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Bus & Aftercare Registration

Information about bus routes can be found online here (or see PDF of 2019-2020 Bus Routes here). Families can enroll in Bus Transportation and Before Care services via My BackPack > Program Registration. SSFS continues to accept bus registrations until August 1, or until routes are at capacity. Please note that some routes will fill to capacity before August 1, so be sure to register to ride the bus as soon as possible. Directions for bus registration may be found online here. For bus/transportation questions, please contact Cathryn Carnevale at cathryn.carnevale@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x177.

For aftercare, please register through the Kids After Hours website (details below). For before care, please register via your My BackPack account. For questions about Lower School extended care, please contact Pam Gilmer at pam.gilmer@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x112.

(SSFS faculty and staff: please note that LS Aftercare sign-up and payment procedures are different for you; the information below is for non-SSFS employees only.)

Below are instructions for how to register for aftercare services via Kids After Hours. Please note that before school care registration is available via My BackPack.

  • Go to the SSFS location on the Kids After Hours website (www.kidsafterhours.com > School Year Programs > Locations > Sandy Spring Friends School)
  • Click the yellow "School Year REGISTER" button
  • You will be prompted to Sign In. If you don't already have an account with Kids After Hours, you will need to Create an Account in order to register. 
  • After you have signed in to your KAH account with your KAH username/password, you will be prompted to add students, register students, and checkout. 

Bob Sickels (240-687-6201) is the owner of the Kids After Hours program and is available to answer KAH specific questions. You can reach the KAH Main Office at 301-933-6888. Pam Gilmer, in the Lower School, is the SSFS point person for the KAH program and she can be reached at 301-774-7455 x112.

Required Health and Permission Forms

Family health and permission forms that you will need to fill out for your child are submitted using Magnus Health. Families are asked to submit all required health forms for the 2019-2020 academic year by July 15. View online instructions and FAQs.

Class Placements

Class placements will be mailed out to all Lower School families in early August. Families can also see class information online via My BackPack. Please contact Pam Gilmer if you have questions.

iPad, Technology, and Website Information

SSFS provides all necessary school technology, such as iPads and Chromebooks, for Lower School students, as well as any apps the being used.

Website login information for new families will be emailed approximately two weeks after you sign your enrollment contract. The website login gives families single-sign-on access to My BackPack and online classrooms from the website, but you do not need a website login to access your My BackPack account; you can simply login directly to My BackPack.

A description of Technology Services at SSFS is available in this letter from the IT Staff. You can also find the New Family Technology Setup Checklist here.

Website login information for families will be emailed in mid-July. The website login gives families single-sign-on access to My BackPack and online classrooms from the website, but you do not need a website login to access your My BackPack account; you can simply login directly to My BackPack.

Technology questions may be directed to the Technology Office at tech@ssfs.org

My BackPack

After enrolling, each family gets a dedicated My BackPack account with a unique username and password. If you have submitted your enrollment contract and have not yet received login information for (or need assistance accessing) your My BackPack account, please contact the Technology department at tech@ssfs.org or 301-774-7455 x111. (Click here for a document with details on how to log in to the website.) Your My BackPack account will give you access to a number of services including:

  • Billing and student accounts
  • Student class schedules and grades/comments
  • School directory
  • Family contact information
  • Enrollment contracts

Please ensure that your contact information in your My BackPack account is accurate. As a part of our continuing efforts to act in environmentally sustainable ways, SSFS rarely sends information by paper mail. All communications about events, grades, billing account status, re-enrollment, and other information are sent electronically through My BackPack using the email addresses you have provided. An emergency notification service is also available via text message, so please also provide a cell phone number where you may reached.

Questions?
Contact Us:

Pam Gilmer
LS Administrative Assistant
send email
301-774-7455 ext. 112

Beverley DiTusa
LS Learning Specialist
send email
301-774-7455 ext. 176

Courtney Benson
LS Learning and Literacy
send email
301-774-7455 ext. 311

Summer Reading and Resources

Sandy Spring Friends School develops the trained mind, the skilled hand, and the healthy body within a nurturing community centered in the Life of the Spirit. During the summer months, we encourage our Lower School students to explore their unique gifts through activities that interest them. The assignments below are provided to enhance a student’s curiosity about different topics and to guide parents who may be seeking appropriate academic activities for their child(ren). We hope our students will use them to think, discuss, create, enjoy, and mostly to “Let Their Lives Speak.”

All-School Read

2019 SSFS All-School Community Read

The all-school readings for 2019 are chosen to highlight the growth and joy that all individuals in a neurodiverse community can experience when it includes and embraces a wide variety of neuro-expressions.

Preschool (Age 3)

Reading For Students Entering Preschool Age 3 (PK3):

  • Parr, Todd | The I'm Not Scared Book
  • Parr, Todd | It's Okay To Make Mistakes
  • Parr, Todd | It's Okay To Be Different
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Preschool Age 3 (PK3):

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent.

  • Common Sense Media | General Subject Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • Learn With Homer | Reading and Language Arts App |  Learn With Homer is a learn-to-read app for ages 3 to 6 that incorporates drawing, voice recording, stories, songs, and more, along with more traditional phonics exercises.
  • Musical Me! by Duck Duck Moose | Music and Movement App | This award-winning musical app teaches notes, rhythm and pitch. Join Mozzarella the Mouse in a musical world with 5 activities that teach the fundamental components of music.
  • Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Play At Home With Daniel | Life Skills Recommendations | Students learn about Daniel’s everyday experiences, which are like their own. Students explore bedtime, bathtime, doctor, and more at Daniel Tiger's house.

Preschool (Age 4)

Summer Reading For Students Entering Preschool Age 4 (PK4):

  • DiOrio, Rana | What Does It Mean To Be Kind?
  • Penford, Alexandra | All Are Welcome
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Preschool Age 4 (PK4):

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • ABCYa | website | A favorite among our younger students, ABCYa offers a wide variety of games, organized by grade level, that are both entertaining and educational.
  • Common Sense Media | website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • Fish School HD | App | Learn with colorful schools of fish which magically transform themselves into different letters, numbers, shapes, colors and more!
  • Duck Duck Moose | App | Animal-themed games to reinforce valuable early reading skills. Players are encouraged to new heights with fun expressions, dramatic actions, and helpful verbal feedback.
Reading and Language Arts Websites and Apps 
  • Endless Alphabet | App | Children learn their ABC's and build vocabulary with the adorable monsters. Each word features an interactive puzzle with talking letters and a short animation illustrating the definition.
  • Alpha Tots | App | AlphaTots is an excellent tool for helping children learn the alphabet. Creative and clever interactive activities reinforce letters with interactive elements. Letters are sounded out and the app is easy for kids of virtually all ages to navigate.
  • Homer: Kids' Learn-To-Read App | App | Learn with Homer is a learn-to-read app for ages 3 to 6 that incorporates drawing, voice recording, stories, songs, and more, along with more traditional phonics exercises.
  • Draw and Tell HD | App | A creative tool that encourages imagination, story telling and open-ended play. Draw, color, decorate with stickers, create animations and record stories.
  • Starfall Education | website | Starfall is oriented toward younger children and is exclusively focused on early reading.
  • Writing Wizards For Kids | App | Writing Wizard helps children practice tracing letters, numbers, and words while learning letter names and phonetic sounds. Audio and visual prompts show exactly where to trace from the start of the letter to the finish.
Science App
  • Piig Labs: Science Experiments for Kids | App | Piiig Labs helps children to explore science concepts by being “hands on” in the building process, by putting together mini projects, learning through interaction and sometimes trial and error
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Creativity App
  • Beck and Bo | App | Beck and Bo is a beautiful and creative adventure designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. Children will discover what they can make happen as they move Beck and Bo, animals, and objects around in each scene.

Programming App
  • Kodable- Coding for Kids | App | Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving.

Kindergarten

Summer Reading For Students Entering Kindergarten:

  • Reynolds, Peter H. | I'm Here
  • Wing, Natasha | The Night Before Kindergarten
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Kindergarten:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • ABCYa | Website | A favorite among our younger students, ABCYa offers a wide variety of games, organized by grade level, that are both entertaining and educational.
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • PBSKids | Website | PBSKids is best-of-breed when it comes to educational online activities. Games and activities linked to PBS Kids television shows offer fun and educational opportunities in every subject and for a range of ages.
Reading and Language Arts Websites and Apps 
  • ABC Phonics Rhyming Words | App | A fun game for young children to learn and practice phonics by finding pairs of matching words
  • FunFonix | Website | PK – 1 st grade. This site has alphabet games, initial sounds and three letter word games.
  • Starfall Education | website | Starfall is oriented toward younger children and is exclusively focused on early reading.
  • Writing Wizard | App | Writing Wizard helps children practice tracing letters, numbers, and words while learning letter names and phonetic sounds. Audio and visual prompts show exactly where to trace from the start of the letter to the finish.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Programming App
  • Kodable- Coding for Kids | App | Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving.
Science App
  • Sid's Science Fair | App | Sid's Science Fair is an educational app based on the television show Sid the Science Kid on PBS Kids. In the app, children learn about a variety of early science concepts at three different science stations.

Grade 1

Summer Reading For Students Entering Grade 1:

  • Keats, Ezra Jack | Dreams
  • Martinez-Neal, Juana | Alma and How She Got Her Name
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 1:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • PBSKids | Website | PBSKids is best-of-breed when it comes to educational online activities. Games and activities linked to PBS Kids television shows offer fun and educational opportunities in every subject and for a range of ages.
  • Wonderopolis | Website | Wonderopolis is where natural curiosity and imagination lead to exploration and discovery in learners of all ages.
Math aPPS AND wEBSITES 
  • Bedtime Math | Website | Bedtime Math provides resources to help kids love numbers so they can handle the math in real life.
  • Motion Math-Hungry Guppy Edu | App | Practice mental addition and subtraction with Motion Math: Hungry Guppy Edu, a delightful learning game that's fun for children and grownups.
Science AND sOCIAL STUDIES Apps
  • BrainPOPJr | Website | Provides educational movies for K-3 students. Includes content and vocabulary, science and social studies games and activities.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Creativity Apps
  • My Story School eBook Maker | App | Simple story maker and book creator. It combines drawing, photos, voice, and text to promote literacy and creativity.
  • Scribble Press–Creative Book Maker for Kids | App | Create and share stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Download your books instantly to the iBooks library.
  • Tell About This | App | Students browse and respond to visual & auditory prompts, then generate ideas, think out loud, and record their voices to create their own stories.
  • Write About This App | A visual writing prompt and creation platform that offers students numerous ways to respond in writing to custom photo prompts.

Grade 2

Summer Reading For Students Entering Grade 2:

  • Lo, Ginnie | Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
  • Reynolds, Peter H. | Ish (Creatology)
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 2:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • Book Creator | App | Easily create iBooks with this book creation app. You can even add photos, videos and audio!
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • PBSKids | Website | PBSKids is best-of-breed when it comes to educational online activities. Games and activities linked to PBS Kids television shows offer fun and educational opportunities in every subject and for a range of ages.
  • PicCollage | App | Easily create, label and decorate your summer vacation photos.
Math aPPS 
  • Hungry Fish | App | Practice mental addition and subtraction with Hungry Fish, a delightful learning game that's fun for children and grownups.
  • Mathemateer | App | Editor's Choice Award! - Children's Technology Review Top 10 best app for elementary school kids - Appolicious
  • Splash Math–Grades K to 5 Kids Math Games | App | Splash Math Grades 1 to 5 app is a collection of fun and interactive math problems aligned to Common Core Standards. The app reinforces math concepts with self-paced and adaptive practice anytime, anywhere (works on iPad, laptops and desktops).
Science AND sOCIAL STUDIES Apps
  • BrainPOP–Featured Movie | Website | An animated resource with an impressive variety of science-related resources.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Creativity Apps
  • Scribble Press | App | Create and share stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Download your books instantly to the iBooks library.
pROGRAMMING APP & WEBSITE
  • Scratch | Website | For the budding programmer, this free software from MIT is a powerful programming language bundled in an easy to use, visual package designed for young kids. In no time, your child will be programming animated games. They might not even realize that they are learning sophisticated programming concepts at the same time
  • Tynker | App | Solve fun puzzles and learn to code. Simply drag & drop visual code blocks and program your characters to beat the level.

Grade 3

Summer Reading For Students Entering Grade 3:

  • Hood, Susan | Shaking Things Up
  • Yee, Lisa. | Bobby The Brave (Sometimes)
  • Grandin, Temple | How To Build A Hug

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 3:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • Book Creator for iPad | App | Easily create iBooks with this book creation app. You can even add photos, videos and audio!
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • PBSKids | Website | PBSKids is best-of-breed when it comes to educational online activities. Games and activities linked to PBS Kids television shows offer fun and educational opportunities in every subject and for a range of ages.
  • PicCollage | App | Easily create, label and decorate your summer vacation photos.
Reading and Language Arts aPP
  • Spell 4 School (By Paul Gibson) | App | This app targets key words across the curriculum, focusing on correct spelling. There is a practice and a play activity that give students opportunities to improve the spelling of key words in each of their school subjects.
Handwriting aPPS 
  • Cursive Practice by Brainstop | App | This app is for English cursive handwriting practice. Students can practice writing words, lower case and upper case.
Math aPPS 
  • IXL | Website | IXL offers a limited number of math problems per day through its free service, but a membership provides access to a large database of excellent math activities organized by subject and grade. (SSFS subscribes to IXL and 3-5 grade students will have access to it this Summer 2019)
  • Math Slide + and - | App | The app is a multiplayer game that helps children to learn and recall addition and subtraction number facts. Players learn by sliding tiles into the center to match an answer, equation or image.
  • Math Slide x and ÷ | App | Children learn and recall multiplication and division number facts by sliding tiles into the center to match an answer, equation or image.
  • Math Slide 1000 | App | Math Slide is a multiplayer game helping children understanding place value of numbers up to 1,000. Players learn by sliding tiles into the center to match an answer, equation or image..
Science AND sOCIAL STUDIES Apps
  • BrainPOP–Featured Movie | Website | An animated resource with an impressive variety of science-related resources.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Keyboarding app
  • Typing Club | Website | Free web-based keyboarding program.
Creativity Apps
  • Camera | App | The iPad’s camera is a wonderful tool for taking photos and videos and for screen captures.
  • iMovie | App | Create and edit professional-looking videos and easily upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.
 

Grade 4

Summer Reading For Students Entering Grade 4:

  • Clements, Andrew | The Map Trap
  • Lai, Thanhha. | Inside Out & Back Again
  • Arnold, Elana K. | A Boy Called Bat 

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 4:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • Google Drive | App & Website | Google Drive is a personal cloud storage service that lets users store and synchronize digital content across computers, laptops and mobile devices.
  • Google Docs | App & Website | A web-based application in which documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited and stored online.
  • Google Photos | App & Website | A home for all of a user’s photos and videos. Automatically backed up, organized, and searchable, you can find and share photos faster than ever
  • Google Slides App & Website | Use Google Slides to create or edit presentations. Share presentations and collaborate with others in the same presentation at the same time.
Reading and Language Arts aPP
  • Trading Cards | App | This app targets key words across the curriculum, focusing on correct spelling. There is a practice and a play activity that give students opportunities to improve the spelling of key words in each of their school subjects.
Math aPPS 
  • Graphing For Kids | App | The app provides students an easy graphing learning tool. This app has 3 parts: one is how to make a chart, and one is Chart Maker and the other is Create My Chart.
Science AND sOCIAL STUDIES Apps
  • Google Earth | App & Website | Google Earth app is a must-see for any citizen of the modern age. Users can still zoom around the earth, select layers, and submit eye-level photos served up courtesy Panoramio.
  • Stack The States | App | As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations, flags and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Keyboarding app
  • Typing Club | Website | Free web-based keyboarding program.
  • Typing Web | Website | Free online keyboarding program.
Creativity Apps
  • Book Creator for iPad | App | Easily create iBooks with this book creation app. You can even add photos, videos and audio!
  • iMovie | App | Create and edit professional-looking videos and easily upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Pic Collage | App | Create and share stories with hundreds of great drawing and writing tools. Download your books instantly to the iBooks library.
pROGRAMMING APP & WEBSITE
  • Code.org | Website | Code.org encourages students to learn computer science through free online coding lessons.

Grade 5

For Students Entering Grade 5:

  • Palacio, R.J | Wonder
  • Napoli, Donna Jo | Mama Miti
  • Arnold, Elana K. | A Boy Called Bat 

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 4:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

Practice Apps & Online Resources For Students Entering Grade 5:

While we hope that your child will spend the majority of the summer out in nature or participating in energetic social activities, a little exercise for the mind can be welcome. You may also want your child to spend some time practicing their basic skills so they don’t become rusty over the summer break. To that end, we offer these optional fun and educational suggestions for apps and online resources. All of these sites and apps are recommended by Lower School teachers, so you can rest assured that your children’s time online will be well spent. 

General Subject Apps and Websites
  • Book Creator for iPad | App | Easily create iBooks with this book creation app. You can even add photos, videos and audio.
  • Common Sense Media | Website | This website provides independent reviews, age ratings, and other information about all types of media.
  • Pic Collage–Photo EditorApp | Easily create, label and decorate your summer vacation photos.
Science AND sOCIAL STUDIES Apps
  • BrainPOP–Featured Movie | App | An animated resource with an impressive variety of science-related resources.
Spanish App
  • Spanish School Bus for Kids–Learn with Fun Vocab Games and Music | App | Young learners quickly learn basic Spanish vocabulary and expand their world knowledge with exciting, colorful games through Spanish School Bus for Kids!
Keyboarding app
  • Typing Web | Website | Free online keyboarding program.
Creativity Apps
  • iMovie | App | Create and edit professional-looking videos and easily upload them to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Sketchup | App | This free software from Google is a fun and powerful 3D modeling program that can be used by professionals and kids alike.
pROGRAMMING WEBSITE
  • Scratch | Website | Code.org encourages students to learn computer science through free online coding lessons.