Hello again and welcome to another edition of The Weekly Bridge. The saying goes that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, but one look ahead at the Stanbridge calendar makes those words seem more appropriate for April. This week, we enter the final quarter of the school year, so hang on as we sprint toward graduation.
We closed-out the third academic quarter on Friday, March 28. Grades will be finalized next week and report cards will be mailed shortly thereafter. Remember that if you would like to discuss your student's academic performance with his or her instructors, all of our teacher email addresses can be found on the Teachers page. One-on-one conferences with teachers can be arranged by request.
As April begins, so does the "shower of activities." First up: End-of-year assessments for our high school students. On Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4, high school students will take their year-end reading and math assessments. These assessments allow us to gauge your student's academic progress over the course of the year, mirroring the assessments that were taken in September. Students will take the "GRADE" (Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation) on Thursday and the "GMADE" (Group Mathematics Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation) assessments on Friday; with the assessments taking place throughout the morning until lunch time.
Please help students do their best by ensuring they get a good night of rest before assessment days, a healthy breakfast in the morning, and arrive to school on time. Also, students should bring a book or quiet activity to keep them occupied if they complete their assessments while others are still working. While these assessments do not impact report card grades, they can still raise anxiety levels for some students. Our counselors will be on-hand to intervene when necessary, but please alert us if you sense that your student is especially anxious going in to Thursday and Friday morning. If you have any questions about the assessments, please contact Program Specialist Diane Chau. Year-end assessments for students in other grade divisions will take place later in April.
Should you need to email a counselor, you can find their email addresses on our website's newly-launched Counselors page. This page gives you some biographical background on our counseling staff, and debuts as the new issue of StanbridgeQuarterly is being mailed home. You can read more about our trio of counselors and the myriad roles they play here on campus in the issue's cover story (hint: they do more than just counseling!). The newsletter was mailed on Friday and will arrive in a packet with next year's tuition agreement forms. If you have any questions about the paperwork, or do not receive your packet this week, please contact Susan or Maggie in the main office.
With two straight mornings of math and reading assessments scheduled for high school students in the days ahead, a little R&R is in order, so this coming Thursday and Friday afternoons will feature opportunities for students to get out of the classrooms and de-stress. On Thursday, April 3, we will host the annual Students vs. Teachers Hockey Game on the Stanbridge campus courtyard (weather permitting). Coach Erik Tom has been working with the team since the start of the school year and the student Bulldogs are looking to win their second straight game over the teachers, having defeated the staff team last year for the first time. Families and friends are invited to attend this exciting event, which is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. and will feature special pre-game and intermission activities.
On Friday, April 4, high school students will assemble in the Multipurpose Room for a unique student film festival. Earlier this year, students in Allison St. John's literature classes made short films based on Shakespearean plays. The films were written, directed, and performed by the students, with the twist that the famous plays would be set in a different time period or genre, resulting in some highly-creative interpretations of The Bard's work. Allison will be screening the films Friday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. and parents/guardians are welcome to attend the showcase.
As if the beginning of April wasn't busy enough for high school students, our seniors are especially booked. The 12th-graders will be departing from Stanbridge for a week-long trip to Yosemite National Park on Sunday morning, April 6, at 10:30 a.m. Postponed from September because of the fall wildfires, the seniors will finally get to enjoy their experiential trip to NatureBridge-Yosemite from April 6 to April 11 (please note that some of the paperwork and emails sent home inadvertently listed the wrong return date. The seniors will be returning to Stanbridge on Friday, April 11 and should be back on campus by 3:00 p.m.). Click over to the NatureBridge website for more information about the program and be sure to return all necessary paperwork to the main office by March 31. Spring experientials for students in other divisions are scheduled for May and we will have more information on those trips in the weeks ahead.
And the weeks ahead are busy indeed:
• The April SPA meeting will be held this coming Wednesday, April 2 at 8:30 a.m. in Hayden Hall. All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend.
• On Wednesday, April 9, there will be an all-school assembly at 2:00 p.m. Presented by The Bureau of Lectures & Workshops (the same group who brought the Chinese Acrobats to campus earlier this year), this upcoming spring assembly will be all about animals of the rainforest. "Wonders of the Rainforest" will showcase live animals and products from the rainforests around the world and talk about their survival, natural history, geography, natural behaviors and conservation education. This should be a fun, colorful, and informative show--we'll be sure to post highlights online.
• On Wednesday, April 16, our 8th-graders and high school seniors will have their graduation photos taken. These will include pictures of the students in their caps and gowns, as well as group shots of the graduating classes. Students should dress smartly for the shoot (shirts and ties, slacks, dresses, and dress shoes), and forms will be distributed/posted online if you would like to order prints.
• On Thursday, April 17, the Bulldogs Basketball Team will close-out their season with the annual Students vs. Staff Basketball Classic. Last year, the student team defeated the teachers for the first time in a game that went down to the wire. Will the students make it two-in-a-row this year, or will the teachers get their revenge? The rivalry game will be held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park Rec Center (located in King Park, blocks away from Stanbridge) at approximately 1:30 p.m. An all-school lunch will be served at the park prior to the game at noon, and a ceremony for team players and their families will follow. We hope to see you there.
• The big game will serve as a celebratory prelude of sorts, leading into the start of Spring Break. Stanbridge Spring Break starts on Friday, April 18 this year, and runs through the week of April 20-26. School will resume on Monday, April 28.
How's that for a schedule? March isn't even over and we are already talking about the end of April. As noted, there is a lot ahead on the calendar and the days seem to fly by. A few more notes and reminders, though, before signing-off this week:
• Last week, we promised that our Summer School Course Guide and Enrollment Forms would be distributed on Friday, March 28 and enrollment would begin on Monday. Due to some potentially major schedule changes that involve some of our summer school instructors, we are forced to delay the final course schedule until this coming week. The course guide and forms will be published and distributed by this coming Friday, April 4 (seriously, no April fooling) and enrollment will begin upon their release. Despite the potential changes, the summer school dates will not be affected: this year's program will still run in week-long sessions from June 23 through August 1.
• As we enter the final quarter of the school year, we will be preparing an updated version of our Stanbridge Family Directory. Please click over to our Files & Forms page to view the current edition and ensure that the information listed for your family is correct. If you need any changes made, request them by emailing our webmaster. Corrections, changes, and additions for the Spring Directory will be published in early April.
• Finally, we close with a huge media update: Clips of all acts from our March 14 Student Talent Show have been posted online! You can view them by clicking over to our Stanbridge Academy YouTube Channel. Additionally, we have posted photos from the show on our Google+ page, as well as our newly-relaunched Facebook page. If you haven't "Liked," "Followed Us," or "Joined Our Circle" on those social media platforms, please click over and stay connected.
Hope the rain does not wash out your weekend. Stay dry and see you on Monday!