Hello again and Happy Holidays. Our holiday break is officially underway and Stanbridge is closed until the 2014. Before enjoying some down time with friends and family, a few year-end notes and reminders as you finish your holiday shopping, ponder your New Year's resolutions, and roast your chestnuts by an open fire:
The week leading-up to break was busy as usual here on campus. On Friday, December 13th, our junior high students participated in a "Day of Service" by assisting at the Family Giving Tree warehouse in Menlo Park. Their experience provided a nice bookend to our school-wide Family Giving Tree gift drive, which collected dozens of holiday gifts for families in need. The junior high students helped sort and wrap gifts at the warehouse, and saw firsthand where all of the collected items go, not to mention the behind-the-scenes work involved with the FGT organization. You can glimpse some of the highlights on our Community Service page.
Later that night, Hayden Hall was transformed into a winter wonderland for the annual High School Holiday Dance. Many current students (along with some Bulldog alumni) were on hand to celebrate the season with music, snacks, and plenty of holiday cheer. Our thanks to all of the SPA parent/guardian volunteers who helped with set-up and clean-up, as well as our teacher chaperones who also got into the spirit of things (see for yourself on the Media Room page).
This past week, our students helped everyone get into the holiday spirit during the Stanbridge Holiday Showcase on Wednesday afternoon. Taking the stage in A2, students from all divisions performed a variety of holiday skits, poems, and songs for an audience of classmates, teachers, family and friends. The event was highlighted by an extended set of classic and modern holiday favorites sung by the Stanbridge Choir, a show-stopping set from the Stanbridge Band, and an all-school rendition of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas." You'll (Yule?) have to wait until after the holidays for online highlights, but those who were in attendance agreed it was a fantastic way to get into the holiday mood.
And if Wednesday's performances didn't put students in the holiday mood, it is likely that Thursday afternoon's holiday parties did. Thanks again to all of the SPA representatives who helped organize and provide treats for the divisional parties. The occasions provided a cheerful way to end the school week and ease into break.
But before our basketball players could ease into break, they played their first official game of the season. Taking-on Charles Armstrong School, the Bulldogs fell 33-22, but Coach Mark Kelley was pleased with the team's effort and the group is off to a promising start for the rest of the season. More important than the final score is the fact that every player on the team saw action on the court during Thursday's game, including a few who took to the hardwood for the first time. Plenty of parents, guardians and friends were there to support the squad and everyone is excited for the season ahead. A few games are already scheduled for January and February, with more to be announced after break. Be sure to stay up-to-date with all of the Bulldog action on our Bulldogs Athletics page.
As we settle in to this extended break, just a few more notes to keep in mind over the holidays:
• Just a reminder that time is running out to make your tax-deductible donation to the Stanbridge Annual Fund before the end of the year. Tuesday, December 31 is the date that our Matching Funds Challenge expires and we are hoping that your donation--which will be matched by the Challenge, and therefore worth double--will help us reach our dollar and parent participation goals. If you have not yet donated, the easiest way to give is to click over to our Donate Now page and complete our online donor form, or send your check (made out to Stanbridge Academy) to the main office by December 31. We are closing-in on both our fundraising and participation goals and your donation will make a difference. On behalf of everyone in the Stanbridge Commnity, thank you for your support.
• With the flurry of online holiday shopping now and the post-holiday glut of gift cards to come, don't forget that using AmazonSmile to order from Amazon.com helps contribute to Stanbridge. When you use the AmazonSmile portal, a portion of the price from every purchase you make will be donated to our school. This is an easy way to help give to Stanbridge, so read more about it on our AmazonSmile page.
• Our online Stanbridge Family Directory has been updated and reposted on the Files & Forms page. Please read over your family's entry to ensure the contact information is correct. If we need to make any changes or corrections, email Chris Myers, who will publish a revised edition (if necessary) after break.
• School does not resume until Monday, January 6, 2014, but mark your calendars now because Wednesday, January 8 is the first SPA meeting of the new year, 8:30 a.m. in Hayden Hall. All parents and guardians are encouraged to attend, but I especially encourage the families of high school juniors and seniors to join us for this upcoming meeting. Following the general SPA meeting, a panel discussion has been organized to address students' transition from Stanbridge, featuring alumni parents who will share their students post-Stanbridge experiences. Although this program will be directed mostly to our 11th- and 12th-graders, all high school parents are welcome to attend for future planning. This panel will include parents of alumni from an array of years and a variety of transition paths. We strongly encourage you to attend. Please email Resource Specialist Diane Chau questions for the parent panel in advance so that the participants may prepare responses. We ask that questions be general and not student-specific in order for all families to benefit from the responses. More specific questions can be addressed in the later part of the morning, or after the panel has concluded. This is a great, informal way to gather information on your student's post-Stanbridge transition, so I hope to see you there.
That's not for a while, however, so until then, enjoy a relaxing, peaceful, happy holiday break. Seasons Greetings to you and your family and a Happy New Year! (See you back at Stanbridge on January 6th!)