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One FCS News Collaboration
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
The Phoenix Inquirer, Friends" Central"s Middle School student newspaper, collaborated with FOCUS, the Upper School student newspaper, for a special "One FCS" issue to wrap up the school year.
Join Us for WSJ Bestselling Author Lisa Kay Solomon "89
Thursday, May 01, 2014
On Thursday, May 8 at 7:30 pm, come hear alumna Lisa Kay Solomon "89, author of Wall Street Journal bestseller Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change, as she brings the wisdom of Silicon Valley innovators to Friends" Central School.
Lower School Announcements 5.2.14
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Many Thanks for Faculty Tea!
The Lower School faculty wishes to express our gratitude to all of our wonderful parents for hosting a lovely tea in our honor yesterday afternoon. There were colorful flowers everywhere and delicious treats to eat (with plenty of leftovers to bring home for our families!). It was so nice to have a chance to sit down together as a faculty and just enjoy each other"s company. A special thank you to Emma Staton, Valerie Reisenfeld, Elizabeth Nourian, Stacey Thomas, Julie Lederman, and Willa DeSouza who organized the event.
Join us at the Lower School this Sunday, May 4 at 2:00 pm for the 12th Annual Children"s Concert for Peace. Come support students as they share their musical talents to promote peace. Donations will be collected for the American Friends Service Committee. All students (Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools) are invited to perform, and all performance levels are welcome. We suggest that a child"s music teacher agree that a child is ready to perform a selected piece for an audience (generally three minutes or less). Small ensembles and singers are also welcome! For more details or to sign up, please email Lorna Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 610.642.3153.
1B to Perform Indian Tale Next Week - May 8
1B will be performing an Indian tale, The Maharajah is Bored, next Thursday, May 8 in the Lower School Meeting Room at 11:00 am. The class has been studying India for the past few months and is excited to perform one of the Indian tales they have learned. Family and friends are invited to attend, and all are welcome.
Lost & Found - Please claim clothing and other items!
Classroom teachers, please find time to take your students down below the LS Gym to look through all the items in Lost & Found. Towards the back of the room, where the PE offices are, there are boots, gloves, hats, lunch boxes, etc. On the hangers are snow pants, hoodies, coats, jackets, shirts, etc., in all sizes. 4B has sorted through the clothing and has returned any marked with names. There is so much down there, and space is running out! Questions? Contact Christine Ramsey.
Lower School Parent Coffee with the Principal - May 15
Join Principal Ginger Fifer on Thursday, May 15 at 8:15 am to hear all the news in Lower School, how the year is going, and what the administrators and faculty are working on as the school year comes to a close.
News from the Lower School? Check out the news blog!
The latest news at the LS news blog is the Grand Opening Ceremony of the LS Garden on Earth Day. The story is written by Fotini Mourelatos and Aminah Alwyn, with photos by Calvin Mustokoff and Dylan Adamczyk, all from 4C.
2014-2015 Lower School Class Representatives
Would you like to be involved in your child"s class, get to know the teachers, and make friends with other parents? We are looking for volunteers to serve as class representatives for next year. These parents are the link between the teachers, class parents, and the Home & School Association. Please contact Emma Staton for more information or to submit your name.
Message from Cynthia Harris
At every grade level in the Lower School, April and May are packed with activities that challenge students to apply the skills they’ve learned to the content of their thematic units of study. They are asked to engage in active ways through written projects, plays, field trips, and the arts. I know that, on Parents" Day, many of you were able to get a glimpse into the deep learning taking place in our classrooms.
One of the best examples of this engaged learning is the 5th grade’s work with ancient Rome. Students began by creating their own civilizations, asking what elements are needed for a healthy community. Life and government in ancient Rome particularly resonates with our students, and they have gained an understanding of how our own system of government has been deeply influenced by ancient Rome. During The Roman Forum Game, students, using their iPads, researched elements of culture and government connected to the Roman Forum. Additionally, each 5th grader has chosen a particular aspect of Roman culture to research using sources we have posted on the library blog. Next steps in the project include using NoodleTools software in the library and the Book Creator app on the iPads. Students will share their findings with parents during the upcoming Roman forum on May 29. On May 15, the 5th grade will travel to New York City to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roman collection.
In math, our 5th graders have been working towards a deep conceptual understanding of fractions. Fractions have been a major focus of this year in mathematics, since a thorough grasp of fractions correlates directly to success in algebra and in higher level mathematics. Students have also considered the limitations of Roman numerals, especially the system"s inability to express quantities less than one whole. Students are now exploring the relationship between decimals and fractions and the importance of place value and powers of ten.
The 5th grade Roman play is generating a lot of buzz in the Lower School. The after-school rehearsals in the Meeting Room are a flurry of creative energy and enthusiasm. I certainly hope that you will be able to join your 5th grader on May 29 at 10:30 am for the play, followed by a Roman feast and mock Roman forum – togas optional!
FCS Student to Study in China
Friday, April 25, 2014
Ninth grader Emma Verges will be heading to China to live with a host family and study Mandarin Chinese for six weeks this summer. She was one of only a handful of students across the country to win a merit scholarship through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program.
Upper School Announcements 4.11.14
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
US Parent Coffee with Principals Next Week - April 17Please join Co-Principals Bill Kennedy and Laurie Novo next Thursday morning, April 17, at 8:15 am for this twice yearly coffee, to be held in the Language Arts Building lobby. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear an update on college placement, preparation for final exams, senior projects, and teacher retirements.
Recognition for Service - Outside FCS
In May, the Upper School would like to recognize students who have completed 40 or more hours of volunteer work outside of the FCS community over this academic year. If any student has done so, he/she should submit documentation to Deb Maraziti by April 30 (this might be a copy of a certificate of completed work or an email from a supervisor stating how many hours of work were completed). Seniors may want to submit this by April 25 - their last day of their classes.
Pre–Prom Celebrations – April 26
Save the date for the Pre-Prom celebrations on Saturday, April 26 from 6:30-7:30 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to take some great photos with all the kids and their families! Refreshments will be served. Junior Pre-Prom will be held at the Lower School campus; Senior Pre-Prom is on City Avenue Campus. For more details or to volunteer, contact Leslie Brier in the HSA office.
Lower School Announcements 4.4.14
Wednesday, April 02, 2014
5th grade Parent Gathering - Next SaturdayMark your calendars for Saturday, April 12, and join fellow 5th grade parents at the home of Heather Osborne and Vincent Duane. Click here for more details. Please join us!
Message from Cynthia Harris
By now, Reggie Hicks is a familiar sight in the morning drop-off circle, in the hallways, and in the bus loop during dismissal. His bright yellow security vest is more than just a symbol. Reggie is here to help keep our students and campus safe. As you know, the gym entrance is now locked in the morning by 8:40 am. The installation of security cameras at this entrance and the entrance to the office has enabled us to be more aware and alert to the general comings and goings of everyone.
In an ongoing effort to enhance safety and security, a new Visitor/Parent Protocol is now in effect at the Lower School. Please take note of the following policy for all parents and visitors to our campus, beginning Monday:
• Upon arrival on campus, all parents and visitors should report to Pat DeSabato at the reception desk.
• Parents and visitors are requested to provide identification (driver’s license, library card, et al.) and to sign in on the visitor’s log. They will receive a volunteer or visitor badge with lanyard; their identification will be held until their return.
• The volunteer or visitor’s badge should be prominently displayed throughout the duration of the visit. Any parent or visitor on campus without a volunteer or visitor badge will be directed or escorted to the reception desk to sign in.
• On departing the school, parents and visitors are requested to return to the reception desk, sign out, and exchange their FCS volunteer or visitor badge for their identification.
Please be aware that this protocol will apply to all parents volunteering or visiting on campus during the school day. Visitor badges are not required during larger school-sponsored events such as classroom plays, concerts, Back-to-School Nights or conference days. Similarly, the Visitor Protocol will not be in effect during Open Houses or other school events open to the public.
Friends’ Central continues to welcome and encourage visits by parents and others to observe or participate in special events, to confer with faculty and administration, or to become informed about the school, its programs and traditions. Our goal is to put in place measures that enhance the safety of our children while still staying true to the culture of the Lower School. The new Visitor Protocol will help to create a safer community as we continue to be an environment where learning flourishes.
Upper School Announcements 3.20.14
Monday, March 17, 2014
Spring Break games - Go Phoenix!
Next week, girls" Lacrosse will make their bi-annual pilgrimage to St. Petersburg, FL, to attend the American Lacrosse Camp. FCS has four games against formidable teams from Pennsylvania, Washington, DC and Florida during the March 26-30 trip. FCS baseball will take 25 Varsity and JV players to Myrtle Beach, SC, from March 24-30. The team will train with the organization the "Cal Ripkin Experience." During their trip, Varsity will play five games, and JV will play six games. This is a great opportunity for teams to get athletes on the field in decidedly better weather than the beginning of our Philadelphia season has afforded them! Safe travels for all!
Third edition of new history newspaper out this week!
The March issue of FCS World Press was published yesterday, making it the third exciting edition of this fledgling newspaper published by students. Please
Upper School Announcements 1.31.14
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
10th Grade Parent Gathering - TONIGHT, Jan. 31
Join fellow parents tonight for the 10th grade Parent Gathering from 7:00-9:00 pm in the OPA Room of the Main Building. Please see attached invitation, and confirm attendance and contribution to Fran Margulies. Walk-ins welcome.
Semi-Formal Dance - Tomorrow evening, Feb. 1
The Semi-Formal Dance begins at 7:00 pm tomorrow evening in the Linton Gym. The theme is Gatsby/1920s, but students are not required to dress from the era.
Model UN team in Philadelphia representing Japan
This year"s Model UN team began its work last evening at the Ivy League Model UN Conference at the Sheraton Center City. Eighteen students, led by history teachers Gary Nicolai and Kelley Graham, are representing Japan. Check out Craig Sellers" tweets (@fcscns on Twitter) and his photo (at right) from the Conference. Good luck to all!
Exciting TED news for Al Vernacchio!Al"s first TED Talk (given at TED2012 in Long Beach, CA) has crossed the one million view mark(!!) in the six months since it was posted online! As of 9:00 pm last night, it was listed at 1,061,460 views. Additionally, Al"s second TED Talk has now been posted to YouTube and here"s the link. Al gave this talk on Nov. 24 at TEDxYouth in San Diego, CA, at Canyon Crest Academy; 400 high school students attended, and the event was organized and facilitated by young people, including the filming and editing of the video. The title of his talk is "What"s your Sexual Footprint?" Content is PG rated. Congratulations, Al!
Annual Inter School Art Exhibit - Begins Feb. 10
This year, the annual Inter School Art Exhibit will be hosted from Feb. 10-March 18 at Shipley. This is an opportunity for visitors to view the very best in visual art created by the high school students within the Independent School consortium - FCS, Shipley, Haverford, Baldwin, Agnes Irwin, and Episcopal. An opening reception is Wednesday, Feb. 26 from 4:30-6:30 pm. (Photo at right by senior Max Luzuriaga will be in the show.)
Upper School Principal Search Update
In the last week, three of our four finalists have visited campus for two-day immersion interview experiences. They have met with parents, teachers, students, and administrators. They have also taught classes, run mini-assemblies, and led faculty meetings. We"ve been very impressed with the strengths each offers our community. Thank you to all who have been able to attend parent sessions and for your thoughtful feedback. Please remember that Art Hall will be here next week, and parents are welcome to attend drop-in sessions for Art on February 4 from 8:15-9:15 am in Shallcross Dining Hall or February 5 from 3:15-4:15 pm in the FCC Lecture Hall.
~We learned, in the days following Shields Sundberg"s visit, that she has decided to withdraw her application from the search. Below is an excerpt from her email to the search committee:
I felt called to apply for the position of Upper School Principal at Friends" Central. Every step in the process solidified my feeling that FCS is a place where I would feel honored and blessed to grow. I left last Friday feeling hopeful, excited, and ready to get to work!! Since then, I have been in deep conversation with John (her husband) about how we might make this happen, should I receive an official offer. John is willing to set aside his career for mine, but that does not feel right to me. With great regret, I will remove myself from your search so you can focus on the candidates remaining. I will return to SFS next year and try not to think too much about what might have been. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your process, and for sharing with me the wonderful community of FCS.
Though we"re sorry that Shields has withdrawn, we will, as she suggests, focus on our very strong remaining finalists and look forward to an outstanding result for Friends" Central. ~ Bill Darling and Cristina Perez, Search Committee Co-Clerks
Message from Laurie Novo
Upper School parents know that the official ending time of the school day around 3:00 is often the only sign that we’re transitioning to the day’s “second shift.”
On Monday afternoon, the FCC was hopping. One candidate for the job of Upper School Principal was running a faculty meeting in the Lecture Hall. The 18 students on our Model UN team were in the computer lab, finalizing policy and position papers about Japan for the ILMUNC, which began last night in Center City. Students from the Universal Daroff Charter School were working with their Friends’ Central tutors in Deb Maraziti’s physics lab. Members of the girls’ indoor track team were negotiating with their coach in the lobby over how many sets of stairs they would run.
We are in the heart of the Friends Schools League season, and on Tuesday, Shimada was just as busy, hosting four basketball games vs. Moorestown Friends (along with the celebration of Senior athletes), as well as a swim meet vs. Westtown. The cheerleaders added to the festive atmosphere, as did the golf team, running the concession stand to raise funds for their spring trip. There was Girl Scout cookie-selling action in the corner of the lobby and boys’ indoor track athletes stretching in the gallery between the lobby and the pool; even without going downstairs to the Wrestling Room, it was clear that Shimada Athletic Center is a well-used space!
We’re also happy to say that the time we’ve carved out this year on Tuesday afternoons between the official end of classes (2:35) and the start of afternoon programs is increasingly useful. As well as offering extra work time for clubs and a chance for students to meet with teachers, the block hosts our singers preparing to perform at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City later this spring and a cohort of Juniors who have begun their spring college counseling class.
Tenth graders are currently reading The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s powerful novel about the Vietnam War, and we’re excited to bring them all together next Tuesday to learn about conscientious objection from Spanish and Quakerism teacher Mike Crauderueff. Mike has offered a popular session about this topic in the past as part of our bi-annual “Peace and War Day,” and we are looking forward to the Quaker context this talk will add to our study of the novel and the impact of the Vietnam War on our country’s history.
As many parents know, Friends’ Central is conducting a “Quaker Self Study,” following Friends Council on Education guidelines. Our Upper School steering team (Chris Guides, Robyn Richmond, Jim Rosengarten, Melinda Yin, and Clerk Mike Crauderueff) facilitated a faculty meeting earlier in the week as we examined practices and programs that emerge from our Quaker orientation, articulated what we mean by “Quaker pedagogy,” and identified short- and long-term goals for the classroom and the community of the Upper School that will strengthen our Quaker identity.
As I reflect on the relationship between our pedagogy and our Quaker mission, I find myself thinking about two recent assemblies. Thanks to music teacher Michele Zuckman, who worked at the HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy in West Philadelphia as part of our service program, we hosted artist and art teacher Eiko Fan. Eiko shared video of one of her artist students at work and spoke about the school and her work. Last Friday, we heard from another artist (this one already very familiar to our community!), muralist Meg Saligman, who spent the summer with her daughters in Tanzania in a collaborative project to paint a mural on the water tower at SEGA School for Girls. Meg shared her presentation with her daughter Lindsay ’14 and visiting student Nusura Gundi, who has joined our 10th grade this spring from Tanzania. Both programs reminded me of art’s power to transcend all kinds of barriers to communication - physical, cultural, geographic, linguistic. As the brilliantly-painted water tower announces to all who see it, and as Eiko Fan said about her amazing students, art communicates something that is also central to those of us at a Quaker school: “I am here. I have something to say.”
Every week is Spirit Week in the Upper School, of course - but this week’s “official” designation has brought a lot of festive attire and unexpected “twin” sightings. It culminated in the traditional (and very popular) faculty-student basketball game at this morning’s assembly. Thanks to Student Council and Emma Dahle ’14 for organizing this fun event. We wish you a great weekend (no snow in the forecast!) and hope to see many of you on Wednesday evening at Hilary Beard’s presentation.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Lower School Announcements 11.15.13
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
1st Grade Parent Gathering - Tomorrow evening
Join fellow 1st grade parents at 7:00 pm Saturday, Nov. 16, at the home of Debbie and Brian Hoppy, Wynnewood. Hope to see you there!
From the Nurse"s Office - Missing Health Forms
All students are required to maintain a current Physician"s Report of Physical Examination on file in the Health Office. Reports expire one year from the date of examination, and new Reports need to be submitted at that time.
Important reminder: Parents who received notice in October of missing health forms and who have not submitted those forms are reminded that students with missing forms will be excluded from physical education classes and field trips until all required forms are received by the Health Office. The notice included a letter from Ginger Fifer stating the consequence for not submitting forms. Questions? Contact LS nurses Barbara Cole and Jennie Nemroff.
The press isn"t stopping at the Lower School!
Out this week: a new blog post on 4A and 4C"s play, written by students Jessica Eichen and Justin Nourian, with photos by Leila Israel and Holden Kopcsik. You heard it here first! (Scroll up to read latest news first.)
Lower School Book Fair Meeting - Nov. 21
The LS Book Fair Co-Chairs welcome all LS parents to the kick-off LS Book Fair 2014 planning meeting next Thursday, Nov. 21 after 8:30 am drop-off in the LS Cafeteria. Join Michelle Eichen, Mignon Groch, and Andrea Nuneviller who will talk about how the Fair works and how parent volunteers are needed. Book Fair 2014 is February 24-27. If you can"t make the meeting but would like to stay posted, please contact Michelle Eichen, Mignon Groch, or Andrea Nuneviller.
Photo Retake Day - Nov. 21
Reminder: Lower School Absentee/Retake Photo Day is next Thursday, Nov. 21 from 8:30-10:30 am. Parents should email their child(ren)"s teacher(s) and Pat DeSabato so we"re aware of who needs photos taken that day. Also, very important - the original photo package must be returned so there is no cost for the retake.
No time to pack your child"s lunch in the morning? Take December off!
Let our Dining Services Team take one thing off your plate! We have the perfect dining plan to accommodate all of your child’s school dining needs. Give our full meal plan a try for only $99 this December! Your child will enjoy three weeks of meals, including 15 meals from Dec. 2-20, unlimited access to our salad bar and fresh fruit, as well as beverages (milk or apple juice). Click here to find out more and to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity!
SHARE Warehouse Community Service Event for FCS Families - Dec. 14
Please join us on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 9 am-12 noon at the SHARE Warehouse in Philadelphia to sort and package food for families in need. SHARE stands for "self-help and resource exchange" and helps families obtain groceries at reduced cost in return for a pledge to perform community service, while building relationships with neighbors. This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to spend time together while helping others. (Note that this is a working warehouse, with machinery in use - dress for the weather, and use your discretion about participating with young ones). The SHARE Warehouse is at 2901 W. Hunting Park Avenue, Philadelphia, 19144. Questions? Email Firou Mostashari or Doug Davis.
Message from Cynthia Harris
Our monthly focus at Meeting for Worship and Devotions during November is "gratitude." The children and teachers have been reflecting on things in our lives that we count as blessings. As we approach our national Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to let you know that we are again collecting food to support Derrick Felton"s neighborhood food cupboard, Fresh Start, in West Philadelphia. For those new to Lower School, we call this service effort Food for First Friday (FFFF). Children are encouraged to bring in canned foods and non-perishables to help Derrick in his efforts to feed those in need. Just a single can of soup from our cupboard could make a difference in another person"s life.
This year, we are making a school-wide effort to reach 100% participation in each class in an effort to help others. We believe that as a community we can reach this goal. You can watch the collection grow in the next few weeks on the shelves next to the gym entrance. Show our gratitude by doing for someone else.
In the spirit of gratitude I wanted to share with you a moment last week in which I was overwhelmed with thankfulness. Amazingly, it was while I was reading Just the FaCtS! Typically I scan through it, only looking for things that apply to me. And, as usual, I skipped down to the message from Laurie Novo, Co-Principal of the Upper School. In six simple paragraphs, Laurie spoke to the breadth and depth of the richness of our program. And she was only describing one week! I urge you to dig back in your inbox or click here to check it out. There are many things to be grateful for in our lives. I am grateful that my children and yours are a part of this amazing community of learners.
Lower School Announcements 11.1.13
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
2nd Grade Family Gathering - Sunday at 4:00 pm
Join fellow 2nd grade parents this Sunday, November 3 from 4:00-6:00 pm on the Lower School Playground. Please RSVP (by email) to your respective class parent and provide what you are bringing: Nhan Truong; Corinn Rocker; or Sharlee Casnoff. Section 2A is responsible for snacks (examples: chips, crackers, etc.). Section 2B is responsible for water bottles or juice boxes. Section 2C is responsible for dessert. HSA will email parents if the event is canceled due to rain.
Morning Drop-off - Please enter at Main door, not Gym door
The following practice will begin at the Lower School this Monday, Nov. 4: The gym doors will be kept closed from 7:30-8:30 am to conserve the heat in the gym. Please use the main entrance next to the gym (near the mural) rather than the gym door. A sign on the door will read: Early Morning Drop-off. As the weather becomes cooler, we can conserve the energy it takes to heat the gym and stay a lot warmer. Thank you!
LS Take Your Parents to Lunch Day - Postponed
Take Your Parents to Lunch Day originally scheduled for Wed., Nov. 6 has been postponed. We are hoping to reschedule the event for sometime in late January/early February, and we will be sure to give you plenty of advanced notice.
Extra Halloween candy? - Drop off starting today, Nov. 1
The Lower School Service Committee has organized a Surplus Halloween Candy Collection to benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Extra candy can be dropped off at Pat DeSabato"s desk at the Lower School beginning today and concluding next Friday, Nov. 8. Also, we will be collecting candy Monday, Nov. 4 and Tuesday, Nov. 5 at the drop-off circle.
Get your SPCA donations ready - Collection this month!
A collection for the SPCA takes place during November, and parents with children in Nursery, Pre-K, and K classes will find details in a note coming home today. Families are asked to donate cat food, Febreze, bleach, paper towels, and old towels (no dog food needed this year). On December 6, the collection ends and an SPCA representative will visit the classrooms and collect donations.
Upcoming Parent Gatherings
Message from Cynthia Harris
During the Upper School Service Days in the fall, Lower School faculty and children have the wonderful opportunity to welcome to campus both old and new friends. Seventeen 9th, 10th, and 11th graders volunteered to do three days of service with our Nursery through 5th grade students. Nearly all of them were former Lower School students, which gives many of their former teachers a chance to reminisce about their time spent together a handful of years ago.
These Upper School students are particularly helpful during our Halloween activities. Supporting teachers on a special day like Halloween is terrific as we all negotiate the parade route, the putting on and taking off of costumes, eating holiday snacks, and attending the storytelling gathering by Peter Grove, Don Denton, Shannan Schuster, and Sue Clough (as the fearless Master of Ceremony). We are so grateful they chose to do service here and are very appreciative of their support of our community.
A special thank you to our 8th grade Book Buddies who held our hands and generally loaned a helping hand with our Lower School Halloween festivities.
3rd Graders - don"t miss out! Remember to return forms if your child wishes to participate in Bring A Friend to School Day on Nov. 5. Forms are due today, Friday, Nov. 1. If you have not returned your forms but would like to still participate, please email email@example.com as soon as possible.
Finally, please note that the Lower School Absentee/Retake Photo Day will be held on Thursday, Nov. 21. If your child was absent or you would like a retake of the photos taken in September, please email your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and Pat DeSabato. For retakes, please return the photo package you received, intact, so no cost will be charged for the retake.
Calling All Siblings! Siblings of current students and faculty children who wish to apply for Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten, or Kindergarten admission are invited to a Sibling Play Day on Saturday, Nov. 9 from 9:00-11:00 am at the Lower School. Please stop in or contact the Lower School Admission Office at 610.642.1018 to let us know if you plan to join us. This visit will satisfy the student visit requirement for admission.
Upper School Announcements 10.11.13
Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Al Vernacchio - Sexuality Educator of the Week!
The Sexually Smarter blog of the Center for Family Life Education has named Al Vernacchio the Sexuality Educator of the Week this week. In addition to his wonderful teaching at FCS and being featured in the NYTimes magazine in fall 2011, Al is a TED Talk speaker and is the author of the forthcoming book For Goodness Sex to be published in 2014. Follow Al on Twitter @alvfcs. Congratulations, Al!
PSATs at Friends" Central - Oct. 19
For students registered to take the PSAT at FCS this year, it takes place next Saturday, October 19. The test begins at 8:00 am; students should not be dropped off before 7:45 am; they may be picked up at 11:30 am. PSAT exam results will be mailed home in December or early January. Questions? Contact Mary Lynne Jeschke in the College Counseling Office at 610.645.5133. Reminder: The PSAT is an optional practice test. Scores are not reported to any colleges. Juniors who score above a certain threshold may be eligible to apply for a National Merit Scholarship.
Canceled - Screen on the Green
Screen on the Green, scheduled for Saturday, October 19 on the City Ave. campus, has been canceled. Stay posted in the event it is rescheduled.
Save the date - November Parent Gatherings (invitations coming soon by email):
Upper School Service Days are coming up! Wednesday through Friday, October 30, 31, and November 1, all 9th, 10th, and 11th graders and faculty will serve across the region in themed community stewardship projects covering areas of early childhood education, enviromental stewardship, elders and community care, health and human services, hunger, homelessness, and poverty. A list of community partners will be posted next week in JTF.
Students got a preview of the opportunities at our Service Faire on 9/20 (International Day of Peace) and have submitted applications with their top three preferences. Students will take FCS buses or public transportation to the nonprofit organizations and are not permitted to drive themselves to/from these organizations. If you wish to provide alternative transportation for your child, please email a note to Deb Maraziti before October 30. A link to a permission slip will be shared soon.
Message from Laurie Novo
We"ve been reflecting, quite intentionally, about stewardship this fall, and I"ve noticed that, as with most ideas worth thinking about, my early efforts at discernment seem to have made me more confused than more certain. At first, stewardship seems to be a conservative idea, one that has us playing defense and trying to protect ourselves and our community from change while we take good care of all that we"ve been given. Yet, at our best, we"re a community that reflects, evaluates, discards, and adopts as we learn, and thus a steward must be more than a caretaker.
I"ve been realizing that a steward is charged with discernment, with identifying, protecting, nurturing, and developing its most valuable resources - which is easier said than done in a world of limited resources and clamoring voices competing for various priorities.
Stewardship was on my mind at Wednesday"s Meeting for Worship, and the messages shared about empathy, overcoming fear, emotional risk-taking, trust, and truth were inspiring in themselves and clarifying in my quest to figure out what stewardship means. First, they reminded me that we must be good stewards of community (another of the foundational Testimonies) if we are to be able to draw on its crucial resources. Second, I realized that each speaker was thinking carefully and critically about the meaning of the experience he or she described - and that although the messages were very personal, they depended on an intellectual process to be fully realized. And, finally, they made me think about our student-created Honor Statement and its query about stewardship: Am I caring for our community"s shared spaces and resources, or am I degrading them?
"Degrade" is a great word to think about. To degrade is to treat something or someone poorly or without respect; to make the quality of something worse. As I am regularly reminded at Friends" Central, the greatest resource of even the most generously-endowed school is the amazing potential of the human beings who come together to teach and learn - and to degrade others is to squander that potential. Viewed through the lens of a Quaker school, it is to deny that of God within them. We are, at our best, an intellectual community, with a commitment to truth and to one another.
Thus our role as stewards of our community is to honor the potential of every interaction by making the most of our time together ("being here now") and nurturing the conditions in which that potential can be realized. Thus stewardship, in our context, is anything but a caretaker function. Far from being conservative, it is - like all the Testimonies - radical, able to change the world.
Upper School Announcements 10.4.13
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Service Committee Car Wash Tomorrow
Don"t forget the US Service Committee is holding a car wash tomorrow, Saturday, October 5 from 10 am-2 pm at the Sunoco station on Lancaster Avenue in Wynnewood. Proceeds go to Aid for Friends, an organization that brings meals and cheer to homebound senior citizens.
October is LGBT History Month
In recognizing and celebrating October as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) History Month, the Upper School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is adding an LGBT-related historical item to each morning"s daily announcements and posting profiles of important LGBT historical figures daily on the GSA bulletin board (2nd floor of the Main Building). On Wednesday, October 16, the GSA will hold its annual National Coming Out Day celebration in the Dining Hall during free periods and Upper School lunch blocks.
PSATs at Friends" Central - Oct. 19
The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is being offered on Saturday, October 19 at FCS. It is an optional practice test. Scores are not reported to any colleges. Juniors who score above a certain threshold may be eligible to apply for a National Merit Scholarship. All 10th and 11th graders have received registration information; late registrations are still being accepted. Please complete the registration form and return it to the College Counseling Office with a $35 check (payable to Friends" Central School). The test begins at 8:00 am in the Fannie Cox Center (FCC).
Save the Date: 11th grade Parent Gathering
Join fellow parents on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 16 at the home of Jennie and Sam Nemroff. Email invitations to arrive shortly. Stay posted!
Message from Laurie Novo
It was nice to see so many of you at our two Curriculum Nights this week, and teachers appreciated the chance to talk about their classes and to associate you with your great children (as did Bill and I). We’re definitely feeling the pace of the year speeding up as we’ve moved into the heart of the FSL athletic season where the games count toward championships. We are incredibly grateful for the wonderful fall weather, which has made it even more of a pleasure to be fans on the sidelines ... and has made the logistics of the fall season so much more manageable.
Academics are gearing up as well, as most students have finished the first curricular units in their classes, turned in work, and received a first round of feedback. You can expect updates about how things are going in each class in the form of mid-trimester reports in a few weeks (probably around October 24 or 25).
Next week, we will have three days of classes followed by a day of special programming on Thursday preceding the four-day weekend for students. Seniors are not expected on campus on October 10 as they have time set aside to devote to the college process. Ninth graders, advisors, and peer mentors will be at Westtown School for a day of community building for the Class of 2017; we are grateful to parents for their prompt attention to the FCS permission slip and Westtown permission slip needed for this popular annual tradition.
The remaining juniors and all sophomores will participate in Peace and War Day, a rich program of speakers and seminars designed and offered by Upper School teachers. We are most grateful to Joel Dankoff in particular for his organization of the program, which features Daniel Hunter of the nonviolent activist group Training for Change, a thoughtful and thought-provoking speaker who last spoke to our community two years ago.
We are excited about the way this program will build on two experiences we’ve been lucky enough to have already this year, as we move intentionally to explore what it means to act for peace in the world. Matt Bernstein ‘08 spoke to us about his work at the Khayelitsa Township soccer field in South Africa during our observation of the International Day of Peace in September, and midwife Linda Orsi Robinson visited on Wednesday to speak about the year she spent volunteering in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2007-08 with the organization Doctors Without Borders. Linda’s reflections on her experiences with a traumatized population gaining the confidence to rebuild its society after 10 years of war were inspiring and moving, and we are mindful that Thursday’s program will serve students who are already thinking hard about these big questions.
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