The first week of the new school year is in the books and I'm happy to report that things seem to be off to a great start. I am glad that so many families were able to join us at last weekend's Back to School Picnic, and we had a robust turnout on Monday morning for the SPA coffee social. At Stanbridge, we strive to maintain strong communications between school and home to keep you plugged-in and informed as the school year goes on. This year, we will continue to provide regular updates through email, QuickSchools and particularly, our website. With some important events coming-up in September--as well as the first round of experiential trips on the horizon--we want to ensure you are always up-to-speed on what is happening at school. With that said, here is the latest news and notes:
• We are still in the midst of updating our website for the new school year, particularly the Parent Portal section. Site maintenance will be completed for Back to School Night on Tuesday, Sept. 17, but some pages are already up and running. On the Files and Forms page in the Parent Portal section, we've posted updated links to the 2013-2014 school calendar, the Parent-Student Handbook, and the Family Directory. And since I mentioned it, a reminder that Back to School Night is Tuesday, September 17th at 6:00 p.m.--a change from the dates announced earlier this year.
• The first set of experiential trips begins in early September and students in most divisions received copies of all the necessary forms and permission slips. You can also find online versions of these forms on our Files & Forms page (Middle El families, your forms packet will be posted next week). Please ensure you complete all forms and return them to your student's advisor/homeroom teacher as soon as possible. Our high school seniors are the first group that will hit the road this year, departing for a week in Yosemite, September 8-13. Parents and guardians, we will keep you updated via email if there are any changes to the itinerary because of the Rim fire (as of now, the trip is still on as scheduled).
• Staying on the Files & Forms page you will also see that we've posted a copy of our Afterschool Clubs sign-up form. Students received a copy of the Clubs brochure on Friday and afterschool clubs will start on Tuesday when we return to school. This semester's clubs offer a great variety of activities for students in all divisions. Clubs run from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. and we offer a shuttle to the San Mateo Caltrain station on club days. Clubs fill on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to return you enrollment form and payment as soon as possible. (Please note that there was a typo on some of the brochures that were distributed: Allison's Sci-Fi Movie Club on Thursdays was incorrectly labeled "Chess Club." Chess Club is being offered on Mondays only, not Thursdays. A corrected version of the brochure appears online).
• A brief reminder about the pick-up protocol in the parking lot. For safety reasons, please refrain from parking/waiting in the passing lane. Our parking lot is very small and gets easily congested when drivers do not have space to maneuver. Keeping one lane open at all times ensures that traffic will be able to flow more smoothly and not get stretched out onto Poplar Ave. If you need to park and no space is available in the lot, please find street parking on the side of the building or across the road.
• Amy Bergstrom, our SPA President, will also be providing updates online throughout the school year. She's posted her first update on the SPA Spot page, so be sure to click over to read it. A highlight is the need for auction items for our November "30th Anniversary" Gala. We're still looking for more donations, so if you have any suggestions or are able to provide an auction gift, please contact Amy with that information.
• Finally, in an effort to avoid lengthy updates like this every weekend, we'll be using our Bridge Blog to provide online updates throughout the week. The blog is not password-protected and provides a quick, easy way to stay informed (it's especially convenient if you're using your smartphone or tablet). The blog provides a way to post important information immediately, as opposed to waiting until the weekend, so be sure to check it throughout the week, especially during these first few hectic weeks of the new school year.
Hectic, but exciting. Things got off to a fantastic start this past week and I'm looking forward to a great year ahead. Enjoy the long weekend!