Hello again and welcome to another edition of the Weekly Bridge. We enjoy another extended weekend this week, thanks to Monday's Veterans Day holiday, and the timing is perfect after another active week at school. From the high school Day of Service to Thursday's Open House, there was plenty going on both on and off campus last week. Of course, with the Fall Gala and Book Fair coming up, there's plenty ahead on the calendar, too, so rest up on the day off. In the meantime, here is the latest news from around Stanbridge:
Kudos to all of the participants in last week's High School Day of Service. Students in grades 9-12 spent the day volunteering off-campus at one of three different venues: The Second Harvest Food Bank, InnVision Shelter, and BOK Ranch. Student and staff feedback was tremendously positive, and representatives at all three venues stated that they truly appreciated the help from our groups. A big thank you to Susan Kufer for helping to organize this event. Additional service days will be scheduled throughout the school year for both high school and junior high divisions, and we will report the details on those events as the dates get closer.
Service is a key component to the Stanbridge STAR philosophy, and the upcoming holidays provide an opportunity for students in all divisions to give back. Currently, the student STAR Teams are running a Thanksgiving canned food drive to benefit St. Anthony's Kitchen (see photo above). Now through November 24, Stanbridge families can drop off canned goods and other non-perishable food items in the collection bin located in the main hall foyer. Counselor James Warren will deliver all donations to St. Anthony's just before Thanksgiving. This has been an annual tradition at Stanbridge for years, and it is a great way for students and families in every division to help make a positive impact in the community.
This past Wednesday was the November SPA meeting, and there was plenty to discuss and report. Highlights included plans for the upcoming Scholastic Book Fair, which will be held the week of November 17th. Organizers are still seeking volunteers to assist with this annual event, which will feature a "Fiesta!" theme this year. Also discussed at the meeting was this Friday's upcoming Bake Sale--we are still in need of a few dozen baked goods to offer at this week's sale, and are looking for a few bakers/shoppers to help ensure there is something for everyone. Much more was covered at last week's meeting, so if you missed it, click over to the SPA Spot page where Anna Zara has posted the minutes online, and you can get detailed information on how to volunteer and help with these upcoming events.
Speaking of upcoming events, our "Starry Night" Fall Gala is less than a week away. The event will be held this Saturday, November 15th from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. at the San Mateo Marriott, and all Stanbridge parents/guardians are invited to attend. The RSVP deadline was this Friday, November 7th, but we are offering a final extension to reply by this Wednesday morning, November 12 (simply email or call the main office to RSVP). The gala itself is a fun-filled night of dinner, music, dancing, and fun, with live music, a silent auction for some amazing items, and a wonderful opportunity to meet and mingle with current Stanbridge families, alumni, board members, staff, and friends of the school. Last week, a group of volunteers helped to bundle, package, and wrap a number of our gift baskets, and from sports packages to weekend getaways in and around the Bay Area, there is truly something for everyone at this year's auction. I hope you are able to join us for what will be a fun, memorable night.
Before we go, another round of Thank Yous to everyone who made a donation to this year's Annual Fund Campaign. Stanbridge Trustee and Annual Fund Committee Chairwoman Gloria Principe noted at last week's SPA meeting that we are already halfway toward our matching funds challenge of raising $45,000 in new and increased donations. Furthermore, over 40% of Stanbridge families have made their donation this school year, helping us to raise over $80,000 already! Our ultimate goal is 100% family participation, and every donation helps make a difference. If you have not yet donated, please consider giving by year's end, either by using the Annual Fund remit envelope to give by check or credit card, or donate online via credit card through our secure Razoo platform (where you can collect those bonus credit card points!). We are all part of the Stanbridge Community and the Annual Fund makes an impact on everyone at Stanbridge--from students and families to staff and faculty. Your donation truly makes a difference, so thank you for your generosity.
Before signing-off, a few final notes:
• Our Fall Open House last Thursday was a success; thank you to everyone who helped show the community what a truly unique school Stanbridge is. We will host another Open House this spring, but remember that anyone interested in learning more about our school can get comprehensive details through our website and schedule a personalized tour online.
• The Common Ground Speaker Series continues this week with Alfie Kohn presenting "Myth of the Spoiled Child: What Kids Really Need To Thrive" on Wednesday and Thursday, November 12 & 13. Details, dates, venues and times on our Common Ground page.
• On Tuesday, November 11, the Parents Education Network (PEN)-Silicon Valley, presents "The View from High School for Students with Learning & Attention Differences," a panel discussion with educators who will provide information about high schools and available resources for LD students. Stanbridge counselor Mary Stadler will be on the panel, and the event promises to be an informative one open to students and their families. Details and registration info available on the PEN-SV website.
• SPA volunteers will be chaperoning an afterschool movie for high school students this Friday, November 14. The group will meet in Hayden Hall at 3:10 and then walk to the San Mateo Century Cinemark theaters to see a first-run movie (title TBD). This is a voluntary, pay-your-own-way event. More details forthcoming later in the week.
• Finally, last week, Speech Therapist Kari Schaiman left on her maternity leave. She will soon be welcoming another member of the Stanbridge Class of 2032, and we wish her and her family the best over the next few days and weeks ahead. In her absence, we welcome Jamie Friedland to the Stanbridge family. Jamie will be covering Kari's speech and language sessions with students, as well as pragmatics classes. She has a great, positive attitude and we look forward to working with her. Welcome, Jamie!
Thank you to our Stanbridge veterans this weekend, as well as all the men and women who have served and who are still serving our country. Enjoy the Monday holiday, and see you back at school on Tuesday.