Friday, January 26, 2018 | Volume IV • Issue 22

All-School News

Spirit Night 2018 Video!

Click here for a video that captures the fun and excitement of Spirit Night last Friday!  


2018-2019 Important Calendar Dates

Click here for the list of Important Calendar Dates for 2018-2019.


Letter from Dwight Dunston, Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education 

Click here for an update from Dwight Dunston, Coordinator of Equity and Justice Education, that shares some of the post-task force progress that been made so far this year, as well as some programming to come. 


Marley Dias Gets It Done (And So Can You) - Feb. 3, 2:30 pm
In partnership with Children's Book World, we're thrilled to invite you to a talk by Marley Dias on Saturday, Feb. 3 in Shallcross Hall. Doors open at 1:45 pm. 
In 2015, when she was just 11 years old, Marley launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks. A voracious reader, her goal was to collect and donate 1,000 books that feature black girls as the main character. Come hear from Dias about her book Marley Dias Gets It Done – And So Can You, where she shows kids how to make positive changes in their communities. The event is recommended for grades 3-8. Click here for more information and to buy your ticketIn an effort to help Marley with her mission to bring books featuring black female protagonists to school libraries, we will be accepting donations of new children's books that will go to Anderson Elementary School in West Philadelphia.

An Evening with Chill Moody and Hardwork Movement - Feb. 8, 7:30 pm
Join us on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 pm in Shallcross Hall for a conversation with hip hop artists and poets Chill Moody and Dwight Dunston '06, FCS Coordinator of Equity & Justice Education, and the members of Hardwork Movement, followed by a performance by Hardwork Movement and a Q&A session with the musicians. Click here to register. Click here to read about Chill Moody, named "Best Rapper" in Philadelphia Magazine's annual "Best of Philly" issue; click here to read about Hardwork Movement, a hot, up-and-coming hip-hop group, which features four outstanding alumni/ae musicians.


Message from the US Student Service Committee: Get soups from MANNA for the SOUPer Bowl!

What better game day food than a delicious bowl of soup for a good cause. Click here to order your soup. Like our pie sale, all the money we raise will benefit MANNA, an organization that gives meals to people battling life threatening illnesses. Our sale will extend until Feb. 8 and soups will be available for pickup on the 9th. Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Tristan Szapary or Annie Roberts. Fly Eagles Fly!


Join us for a "Thank-A-Thon" on Wednesday, Feb. 14
We're adding a gratitude component to our "Show Your Love for FCS" day on Wednesday, Feb. 14. We'll host a Thank-A-Thon phonathon calling our donors to date this year. Even if you have never made a call for the Friends' Central Fund, we welcome you to start with some thank yous! These are fun and easy calls to make. We will be making calls from the Main Building at City Avenue from 9 am-5 pm on 2/14. Please RSVP to Sarah Duda by 2/9 if you can join us! Watch JTF in February for how to add your "Show Your Love Pictures" to our Social Media

Grade 5 students had a blast at Spirit Night last Friday! Click here for more photos.

Lower School News

Message from Kelly Pierre

Today, for the 8th time since his sons joined the Lower School, we had the annual treat of parent Marc DeSouza performing his dazzling and innovative magic tricks. We are so grateful that he continues to join us each year, bringing new tricks with him each time! Amazement, delight, disbelief, and nervous giggles - what a wonderful way to begin our Friday. A special thank you to Theo DeSouza, his unflappable and distinguished assistant.

This week at Meeting for Worship, Ms. Corsaro shared a message from the facing bench that provoked many deep and thoughtful comments from our 3rd-5th graders. This month's theme is Fairness, and she asked the students to consider how labels limit people. The association between labels and assumptions was quickly made. Read Kelly's full message here.


Visiting Author Coming Up - Pre-Order Your Child's Book

To kick off our upcoming Book Fair, the Lower School will host Paula Young Shelton, author of Child of the Civil Rights Movement, who will present two assemblies at FCS on Feb. 9. Daughter of Civil Rights leader and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young, her book offers the unique perspective of a 4-year-old surrounded by her loving "civil rights family," including her "Uncle Martin." Click here for the book order form. Orders are due back by Wed., Jan. 31.

LS Parent and Special Friend Mornings

Parent & Special Friend Mornings will begin at 9 am in the classroom, followed by participation in one of the special classes (art, music, science, Spanish, and physical education), Meeting for Worship, and activities with your child's teacher. Refreshments will be served in the cafeteria throughout the morning.


  • Grades 2-5 - Tuesday, Feb. 6, 9-11 am, preceded by coffee with Kelly Pierre starting at 8:15 am
  • Pre-K, K, and grade 1 - Tuesday, Feb. 13, 9-11 am, preceded by coffee with Kelly Pierre starting at 8:15 am
  • Nursery parents are welcome to join us for coffee with Kelly Pierre at 8:15 am on Feb. 13.


Save the Date! Grade 1 & 2 Movie Night, Friday, Feb. 2, 6:30 pm

Come in PJs with your stuffies and blankies! Pizza dinner for the kids followed by a movie. If you are interested in helping, please contact Andrea Nuneviller.

Grade 3 Movie Night is Coming! Feb. 9

Friday, Feb. 9 at 6:30 pm


LS Book Fair - Feb. 26-28, Family Night on Tuesday, Feb. 27. New to Book Fair? Click here to learn how it works!


No Saturday AM Basketball/Field Hockey & Saturday PM Swimming

tomorrow Saturday, Jan. 27.
Programs resume next week, Feb. 3, 10, & 17. NOTE: There will be NO PM Swimming on Feb. 3 due to Marley Dias author event.


Lower School Extended Day Program Drop-In Fees
This year, Extended Day Program (EDP) is proposing that all families who are not registered but are interested in dropping their child(ren) off to join Extended Day pay the fee on that day. The price of an Extended Day Program drop-in is $48 per child. Extended Day begins charging at 2:50 pm, the time of dismissal. Therefore, the drop-in fee is NOT for the time after Parent Pick-Up, but rather for the time after dismissal. Play dates are not exempt from the drop-in fee. If your child(ren) is/are joining a family who goes to Extended Day, you are required to pay the $48 fee at time of pick up. There will NO longer be invoices sent for Extended Day payments. We accept all major credit cards, and Erica Seay, EDP Director, will have a swipe connected to an iPad to read credit cards.


Parents should email their child(ren)'s teacher(s) and Pat DeSabato at regarding the dismissal plan at 4 pm on those days their children will be attending clubs.



Monday, 1/29: Vegetable corn chowder, grilled cheese, tossed salad

Tuesday, 1/30: Chicken & cheese quesadilla, raw veggies

Wednesday, 1/31: Yaki Soba w/ veggies, tossed salad, fresh fruit
Thursday, 2/1: Chicken parm sandwiches, 

Friday, 2/2: Pizza Day, tossed salad, fresh fruit


Join us for a talk by Marley Dias on Feb. 3 at 2:30 pm. Click here for tickets.

Middle School News

Middle School Report Cards

Today, January 26 is the final day of the first trimester and the midpoint of the year. Middle School report cards will be released next Friday, February 2. Families will receive a link to view the report cards on the Veracross parent portal. Students will be able to view their report cards later that day so that it is not a distraction during the school day.


Don't Miss Marley Dias Next Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2:30 pm! 

With Children's Book World, we are thrilled to host author Marley Dias next Saturday, Feb. 3! In 2015, when she was just 11 years old, Marley launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks. A voracious reader, her goal was to collect and donate 1,000 books that feature black girls as the main character. Come hear from Dias about her book Marley Dias Gets It Done – And So Can You, where she shows kids how to make positive changes in their communities. The event is recommended for grades 3-8. We will be accepting donations of new children's books that will go to Anderson Elementary School in West Philadelphia. Click here to reserve your space.


Middle School Book Fair! Feb. 5-7

From Monday, Feb. 5 through Wednesday, Feb. 7, MS Room 10 becomes a pop-up bookstore! This year, we will be going crazy for Hamilton! We still need parents to help set up, cashier, and break down the Book Fair. Click here to sign up to volunteer. Again this year, students can charge their Book Fair purchases to their student account. See your inbox for the form. Please contact Christine Giordano if you have any questions.


Varsity basketball team players were the stars at Spirit Night 2018. In keeping with tradition, the players signed t-shirts. Click here for more photos.

Upper School News

Message from the Upper School Office

Buoyed by the Eagles' exciting win that put them in the Super Bowl, we're feeling optimistic, and we've rounded off the first semester with a successful exam week. Students were productive and well prepared, and they adjusted quickly to the schedule and experience. Thanks to everyone for their thoughtful approach, including to our learning support team who made sure that student needs were smoothly accommodated. The time on campus between exam sessions was a healthy-feeling blend of stress relief (some basketball in the Linton gym and a movie showing in Shallcross), socializing over a snack in the Rexeteria, and review/exam prep in quiet classrooms and in more informal communal spaces. Thanks especially to 9th grade dean Alex McDonnell and the grade advisors for coordinating activities to support the Class of 2021 as they first experienced Upper School exams. At this midpoint of the year, faculty and students are collecting data and ideas about how to address the academic stress that can interfere with successful learning; we are grateful to the Class of 2020 for taking the lead in analyzing their experience, and we look forward to our coming collaboration on practices and strategies to address it.  


The second semester starts on Monday, and virtually all students will begin at least one new course. Students should check their schedules to be sure everything is as they expect and they know where and when these classes meet. (In many cases, new classes will meet during blocks that were previously unscheduled for individual students, so the routine of daily schedules will change.) Questions or concerns should be addressed to Heather Tomes or Tom MacFarlane in the Upper School Office. Students interested in making changes are encouraged to do so in the next two weeks, and all must be approved in writing by a parent or guardian. Finally, seniors who wish to make changes must first talk with their college counselors.


We wish our Model UN cohort an active and successful experience in Center City this weekend at ILMUNC (Ivy League Model United Nations Conference). Twenty-two students, with advisor and chaperones Alex McDonnell and Rae Esformes, will represent Venezuela in this annual exhilarating simulation that brings together students from high schools around the country and abroad.


Upper School Student-Led Spring Service Project

The Student-Led Upper School Service Committee plans to launch its spring campaign with a One FCS goal of providing relief to the homeless. Our particular focus for spring 2018 will be on food and feet! Look for details in next week's JTF on how we will be asking each division to participate in one of the following homeless relief projects:  

  • Spread the Love: in partnership with Philabundance, we will be collecting protein-packed peanut butter
  • The Joy of Sox: clean, well-fitting socks can make a world of difference to those who have none
  • Soles for Soles: your used, unwanted shoes can help protect the feet of those who don't have any shoes at all


Upper School 1-to-1 iPad Program Survey

As we begin a new long range planning process, it is important to revisit some of the elements of that last plan. At this point we will address the 1-to-1 program in relationship to the Upper School only. Click here for quick survey that seeks to understand your child's experience with the device. Please complete the survey by Wednesday, Jan. 31. This info will be used to make an informed decision about what device would be ideal to deliver a student-centered academic program. Thank you for your time and attention.


Junior College Night - Jan. 30 
The Class of 2019 is kicking off the college process with meetings with their college counselors. Juniors and their parents are invited to the upcoming Junior College Night featuring keynote speaker Mary Green Maier, Haverford College's Director of Admission. Please join us on Jan. 30 at 7 pm in Shallcross Hall to learn about the admission process from the college perspective.

Grade 10 Parent Gathering with Student Acappella Performance!

Next Friday, Jan. 26, 7-9 pm in the OPA Room. RSVP to Jessica Cooper


A Cappella Sing-Off - Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm, Haverford School

The members of the FCS Foxtones, Grace Notes, and Spicetones will be participating in the 6th Annual A Cappella Sing Off, sponsored by Ardmore Rotary, on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm at The Haverford School (Centennial Hall). Tickets are available at the door and are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Each school will receive $500 for the charity of its choice. Come and support the FCS US Vocal groups as they sing to raise money for AIDS Fund Philly.   



US Coffee House
Jan. 27 • 7 pm



Grades 1 & 2 Movie Night

Feb. 2 • 6 pm


Sat. Morning Basketball/Field Hockey - grades 3, 4, 5

Feb. 3 • 9 am
(No PM Swimming)


Marley Dias
Children's Book World/FCS Event
Feb. 3 • 2:30 pm


MS Book Fair

Feb. 5-7


LS Principal's Coffee (Gr. 2-5) 

Feb. 6 • 8:15 am 


LS Parent/Special Friend Visiting Morning (Gr. 2-5)

Feb. 6 • 9-11 am


An Evening with Chill Moody & Hardwork Movement
Feb. 8 • 7:30 pm


Sat. Morning Basketball/Field Hockey - grades 3, 4, 5

Feb. 10, 17 • 9:30 am

Sat. Afternoon Swimming - grades 3, 4, 5

Feb. 10, 17 • 12:30 pm


Faculty In-Service Day (No Classes)

Feb. 16


Presidents' Day (No Classes)

Feb. 19


LS Book Fair

Feb. 26-28


LS Book Fair Family Night

Feb. 27


The Universalist Unitarian Church is sponsoring a concert in honor of Jean Taranta next Saturday, Feb. 3 from 3:30-6:15 pm. All proceeds will go to the Media Food Bank. Click here for more details 

Message from Frederick Pratt, MS/US Counselor:
Back by popular demand, Dr. Bidi McSorley is offering two workshops – one for high school students and one for Middle School students – on handling stress and anxiety by using Mindfulness Based Stress Management techniques. This is ideal to help our students learn to live in their stressful lives in a different way while being happier and healthier. The workshop starts Sunday, Jan. 21 and meets four consecutive Sundays through Feb. 11. Click here for more info.

The Whole Athlete, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 7 pm
Lower Merion High School
Dr. Angelo L. Labrinakos, PT, ATC and a panel of experts from Kinetix Physical Therapy will address the challenges of raising an athlete. Discussion includes sports specialization, nutrition, sleep-hygiene, injury prevention and treatment including concussion. Details

Open Arms' OasisSunday, Jan. 28, 3-5 pm
The Barbara and Harvey Brodsky Enrichment Center
A free event for family support and therapeutic support activities for adoptive families parenting children with behavioral and developmental differences. Details


Shaping 21st Century Leaders at Friends' Central

From the youngest 3-year-old Nursery student to graduating seniors and every grade in between, FCS students are eager to participate, to learn, and to lead. In every division at Friends' Central, classrooms promote independent thought, the courage to voice individual opinions, and the faith that students will listen to and value one another's viewpoints. Students are given many opportunities to solve problems in innovative ways, both in the classroom and in the world. In short, Friends' Central students are prepared to be cutting-edge, civically conscious 21st century leaders. Read more.


Friends' Central Announces New Upper School Principal Beth Davis Johnson '77
Friends' Central is thrilled to announce that Beth Davis Johnson '77 will be returning to FCS to serve as Upper School Principal, effective July 2018. Head of School Craig N. Sellers says, "I could not be happier about Beth's enthusiastic return to her alma mater, and I look forward to creating opportunities for parents, faculty, and students to greet her in the new year." Read more.


Shallcross Hall Progress Report: Out with the Old, and Getting Ready for the New

Written by Julian Brenman '20, Co-Editor-in-Chief of FOCUS, Upper School Student Newspaper
Photography contributions by Dorothy Babb '20

An airier footprint, more varied options for seating, an upgraded kitchen, a brand new "food lab," and a cozier, more welcoming facade and foyer are just a few of the many things to which the FCS folks on City Avenue have to look forward when Shallcross Hall reopens its doors in the spring. Read more.

Just the FaCtS is published each Friday by the Friends' Central Communications Office.
If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to email us at



Lower School Campus | 228 Old Gulph Road | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.642.7575

Middle/Upper School Campus | 1101 City Ave. | Wynnewood, PA 19096 | 610.649.7440

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