Friday Latter

January 5, 2018

Dear Parents,

As is often the case with long breaks, the students returned with surprising energy, clearly eager to see one another again.  I am very happy to see them!

You may have received a "Save the Date" notification about our upcoming Auction in the mail.  The event will be on February 24th, and I hope I will see you there.  More information will be forthcoming.

The first week of this new year has been quite cold, and I am surprised to realize that I have not reviewed our inclement weather policy.  Keep in mind that we do not follow the public schools on school closure.

Whenever classes are canceled, my first call is to Mr. Kellogg, who will post a weather closing notice on the opening pages of the school website, This is the very best and fastest way for you to know whether we are having classes no matter where you live.

I will also notify Sunflower Channel 6, KLWN/Lazer 105, the Journal World, and KPR.

I will try to avoid canceling class in the midst of the day because I don’t want students on the roads, especially without parents knowing. However, should bad weather ever originate mid-day, you are welcome to come and pick up students if you are concerned about them getting home safely. Should such an event become likely, I will send an e-mail to the community.

It is unlikely that I would close school due to cold temperatures, but I might do so if there is ice on the ground.  I try to announce school closures as soon as possible and preferably the night before, but when the weather happens late at night, it can be tricky.  Thanks in advance for your understanding.

I announced recently that Beck Oldridge took 1st place at Seabury for his entry into the Lion's Club Peace Poster contest.  We just learned last night that he has also won 1st place at the State level!  He will receive an award in Manhattan at the end of the month, and then he moves on to the international competition.  Good job Beck!

As we enter the thick of basketball season, I reminded students (in upper school morning meeting) about the principles of good sportsmanship in spectatorship.  I emphasized that the purpose of attending our school games is to support our teams (and pay attention to the game!) and never direct negative comments or noise towards the opposite team.  And our athletes should respect their competitors.  Neither spectators nor athletes should ever be talking back to referees.  This is easy advice to follow in theory, but the true test is behavior during the emotional highs (and lows) of a game.

I need parent spectators to follow the same expectations as those set for students--especially not speaking out against referees.  I understand that sometimes one might grumble quietly about a call (or the absence of one), but I have it on good authority that referees don't need our help in calling games, and they are far more objective than the parents of players.  In educational athletics, it is very important that we are modeling good character to the students by restricting any aggressive or provocative comments.  I appreciate all parents focusing on cheering for our teams and maintaining a high and positive tone in all sporting events. 

Finally, I am going to host two movie nights in early February: one for middle school on Friday 2nd and upper school on Saturday 3rd.  The event will be free (and optional, of course).  We will watch two movies each evening, and I will serve pizza and snacks.  I am still deliberating on the middle school movies (always a tricky age group!).  Upper school movies will be The Fugitive and Dunkirk.  I will send more information closer to those dates.

Yours respectfully,

Dr. Schawang