Hello again and welcome to The Bridge, a weekly update of what's happening at Stanbridge Academy. Typically, Chris (our webmaster) and I will be updating The Bridge page each Friday, recapping the highlights of the past week and looking ahead to what is coming-up on the horizon. We're still getting back into the swing of things after our first week of school, so this week's edition of The Bridge is being posted a bit later than usual, but we'll be back on schedule after the Labor Day holiday. In the meantime, those of you familiar with The Bridge may have noticed a few changes. We are now posting my full column here on our Bridge Blog. You'll note that there is still a separate Weekly Bridge page and that page contains additional information, as well as a calendar of upcoming events. The changes are being made so that our website is less cluttered and easier to read, especially if you are viewing it on a tablet or smart phone. Similar changes have been made to our Parent Portal's SPA Spot page. Like The Bridge, the SPA Spot is a regularly updated online reference for SPA news and events, maintained by Chris and SPA President Pam Ehrlich. As you'll see, SPA already has a lot in the works for September, so please be sure to visit Pam's page (after you're done here, of course). One more change: We have a new Parent Portal password which you will need to access The Weekly Bridge page, SPA Spot and other content. Please check your email for the updated password.
It was a pleasure to see so many of you at the Back to School picnic last Sunday--a wonderful way to kickoff the start of a busy first week of school. Likewise, I was pleasantly surprised to see many of you the next morning at the SPA coffee mixer. Thanks to everyone who helped make these Back to School socials a success. We had a great turnout at both events, which is an encouraging way to start the new school year--a special year for us, as we celebrate Stanbridge Academy's 30th Anniversary. As I noted, the first week of school was a busy one and on behalf of the entire staff, we appreciate your patience as we've addressed some student schedule changes. The good news is that most of these issues have been resolved and students will be able to settle in to their regular class routine this coming week.
For our high school seniors, however, that routine will soon be interrupted as the first experiential trip of the school year departs next Sunday, September 9th. Our twelfth-graders will be spending a week camping and hiking in Yosemite as part of a trip organized through NatureBridge. Last year's seniors went on a similar adventure and had a wonderful time (the pictures are still up in our online Media Room). Our high school underclassmen, along with students in our other grade divisions, all have their Fall Experiential trips coming-up later this month. With that said, please ensure that all of your student's permission forms are returned to the main office ASAP. All necessary forms for your student's fall trip were sent home in the summer mailing. Chris will be posting online versions of the forms to our website's Forms page later this week.
For those of you who returned your completed forms to the main office, or who have stopped in the office for any other reason, you likely noticed that we have a new face behind the counter--and for some of you, it is a familiar one. I am excited to welcome (and welcome back) Maggie Deloach as our new office assistant. Maggie is a former lower elementary teacher at Stanbridge (as well as the parent of a Stanbridge student) who left in 2010 when her husband took a job overseas in Ethiopia. Maggie continued to teach while abroad, but returned to the U.S. with her family this summer. We're happy to have her back home in the Bay Area and delighted that she has returned to once again be part of the Stanbridge community. Welcome back, Maggie!
That "Welcome Back" theme will continue over the next two weeks. All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend the school year's first SPA meeting on Wednesday, September 12th. Pam has more details on her SPA Spot page, but many of the events we put on each year depend upon parent/guardian participation, input, and volunteerism. In addition to planning these events, the SPA meetings often feature important discussions on issues that impact Stanbridge families, such as transition planning, social pragmatics and academics, and legal rights. Last year the SPA board invited a number of guest speakers to talk at the meetings and the feedback from parents was overwhelmingly positive. Again, I highly encourage you to come if you can and get involved.
The capstone of all this welcoming back will be Back to School Night on Wednesday, September 19th. This is your chance to go through your student's schedule class-by-class and meet with all of his/her teachers. Each teacher will discuss their class curriculum and grading policies, and you'll have the chance to view the course materials and ask any questions. We'll also have a brief presentation for all parents and guardians that will highlight several topics such as our counseling staff, experiential trips, website, Annual Fund and more. This is an important night, as it helps to ensure that teachers, students and parents are all staring the year on the same page, so please try to attend. Afterwards, I promise I will officially stop welcoming everyone back for the new school year.
Last but not least, a few items to note:
- One of our counselors, James Warren, is starting an afterschool homework group and study hall on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning September 10th. Students who would like additional time or help at school to work on their classwork are invited to sign-up (please note that there is a limit of ten students, and enrollment is first-come, first-served).
- Also, we'll soon be introducing a new online tool that will help parents and students track homework, schedules, attendance and more. The program is called QuickSchools and you'll be hearing more about it in the upcoming weeks once we are ready to launch it school-wide.
There is more information about both of these items on The Weekly Bridge mainpage, so be sure to click back to read them.
That's all for now. As many of you know, there is always a lot of information to disseminate at the start of the school year, so please be sure to check our website and blog regularly. In the meantime, I hope everyone had a great first week of school. Enjoy the holiday and--one more time--welcome back.
• Click here to go to The Weekly Bridge mainpage
• Click here to go to the SPA Spot mainpage