Hello again and welcome to another edition of the Weekly Bridge. With no holidays or breaks on the calendar, some might consider March to be a "slow month" at Stanbridge. But with a number of field trips on the schedule, another volunteer day coming up, and—oh yeah—Friday night's big Talent Show, there's no lack of activity here on campus. Here's the latest news as we spring forward into this week's update:
Headlining this week's column is the Talent Show, and a huge round of applause for all of the performers who graced the stage on Friday night. Once again, Stanbridge students showcased a variety of acts that included singing, dancing, comedy, poetry, multimedia and more. It takes a lot of courage to get onstage and perform (to a packed house, no less), so kudos to everyone who stepped into the spotlight and shared their talents with us. And a hearty round of applause to everyone who came out to support our performers—the standing-room-only crowd of friends, family, and staff members from all grade divisions provided enthusiastic support from all segments of the Stanbridge community.
The Talent Show is a highlight of every school year and this year's event was no exception. As you can imagine, a lot of work goes in to putting on a show like this, so I'd like to thank all of the volunteers who helped audition acts, supervise students on Friday afternoon, and set-up/clean-up before and after the show. Special thanks to David Hopper for his services as sound engineer on Friday night, and especially to Jay Huston, who year-after-year coordinates, produces, and directs this amazing event. Be sure to click over to our Facebook page, where we have posted a number of pictures from this year's show, and stay tuned for updates next week, when we hope to have video clips of all the acts posted on our YouTube channel.
While on our Facebook page, you'll notice that last week was a busy week for students off-campus. Last Wednesday, students in our junior high division spent the day collecting trash and recyclables at Central Park, and then visited the Recology processing plant to learn how those recyclables are processed and reused. On Thursday, students in lower and middle elementary visited In-N-Out Burger, where they got to go behind the counter and see firsthand the work that goes into making an Animal-Style Double-Double Meal. Not to be outdone, our high school "Bridges" life skills class practiced their navigation skills by using various forms of public transportation to get from Stanbridge to San Francisco's Embarcadero (and back again). It couldn't have been a better week to be out and about for these groups, and there are photos from all of their off-campus adventures on our Facebook feed.
Students in our high school division will be heading off-campus again later this month for their third Day of Service this school year. On Tuesday, March 17, students in grades 9-12 will spend the day volunteering at one of three locations: The Second Harvest Food Bank, Inn-Vision Shelter, or Golden Gate Park. Student advisors will be distributing the necessary permission forms; please ensure they are signed and returned to the main office by the end of this week.
Speaking of service projects, Student Body President Ben Simson and the Stanbridge Student STAR Teams are working together to collect at least 120 bags of candy to donate to the CALL-Primrose pantry in Burlingame. The candy will benefit local children in our community, ensuring they have a happy Easter holiday. Families in all grade divisions can contribute to this service project by dropping-off bags of pre-wrapped candy (no nuts please) in the collection bin in Hayden Hall. Collection will run through March 24, and representatives from the STAR Teams and student government will personally deliver the donated items before Spring Break.
If your student is enrolled in an afterschool club, please note that this week will end the second session of afterschool clubs. We will have clubs as scheduled through this Friday, March 13, followed by a one-week break with no afterschool clubs from March 16-20, and our third session of clubs will start the week of March 23 and run through the end of May. Enrollment forms for this final session of clubs will be distributed to students and posted online next week. Many of the clubs will continue unchanged for this final iteration, though there may be some slight variations to the schedule. All students who wish to join a club for this final session will need to enroll (or re-enroll) and have their club tuition paid by April 2. Full details on the clubs being offered and their costs will be included on the forthcoming enrollment form.
With so much going on, you may have forgotten about the monthly SPA meeting held last Wednesday. Minutes from the meeting have been posted to the SPA Spot page, and they include notes from guest speaker Adrienne Cane Ilang, MFT, who gave a presentation on how parents can support siblings of children with special needs. Per her presentation. you can also visit the website Understood.org, which has an interactive tool that parents and siblings can use to gain some insight on what it feels like to have special educational needs. Also, don't forget to provide your feedback on SPA's proposed new online group. SPA would like your input on re-launching a new online community group where Stanbridge parents, staff, teachers, and board members can post questions, tips, or news for others to read and comment on. If you have not yet done so, please visit the Survey Monkey page to let SPA know how this proposed venture would best serve you.
We almost got through this week's column without an appeal to donate to the Annual Fund (...almost). If you were at Friday night's Talent Show, you were treated to a special pre-show double bill of "Uncle" James Warren singing an original Annual Fund-themed composition, plus Annual Fund Chairwoman Gloria Principe giving a speech on the importance of getting to 100% family participation (hint: There's $10,000 in bonus matching funds if we do). In the spirit of this month's St. Patrick's Day, Gloria went so far as to recruit her husband John O'Farrell to compose and read original limericks illustrating the importance of donating to this year's campaign. Those are tough acts to follow, so rather than sing or read poetry, I will simply provide a link our Donate Now page, which contains details on the many ways you can make your donation either in-person, through the mail, or online. Truly, any amount will help us get closer to our 100% goal and every donation will have an impact. Together we can get to 100%, but we can't do it without you!
Before we close out this week's update, a few final notes:
- Emily Witt is a Research Assistant in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences department at Stanford University, in the Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research (CIBSR). She is reaching out to the Stanbridge community to offer ten weeks of cognitive training for teens (13-19 years old) with an ASD diagnosis to improve their social cognition. The process is non-invasive, harmless, and takes place in a friendly and comfortable setting. The goal of the study is to develop an imaging-based neuro-feedback method for enhancing treatment response to the social cognition intervention for teens with ASD in hopes that this could significantly contribute to an improvement in their quality of life. Click here for more information on Stanford Autism Research; and here for details on the CIBSR training. If you are interested in having your student participate in the study, additional details available by contacting staff at the Center directly; email them at email@example.com and use "Autism intervention" in the subject line.
- The end of the third academic quarter is coming-up at the end of the month. Progress reports were sent home this past week to parents/guardians of students who are in danger of failing a class. If you received a progress report, please contact the appropriate teacher to discuss ways in which your student can improve his/her grade before this quarter's grades are finalized. Teacher emails are posted in the Teachers section of the website.
- Finally, don't forget that we are saving daylight this weekend. If you haven't already turned your clock ahead one hour (spring forward), ensure you do so prior to Monday morning—don't want to show up to school an hour late!