Friday Latter

January 12, 2018

Dear Parents,

You are probably getting sick of emails from the school about....well, sickness.  I sympathize with the students who are home and feel wretched, and I hope they get better soon.  A parent physician in the community encouraged me to advocate for all of us to get the flu shot annually, and the CDC also recommendations this line of defense.  I have heard that this year's vaccination might not have caught the major strain this year; nonetheless, my annual vaccinations seem to have done the job of protecting me for many years.  (Despite my age, my parents harangue me until I get the shot!)  I hope yesterday's day off helped students build up some strength.

Attached to this message is the 2018-19 academic calendar.  There are a few important changes to note.  First, I am experimenting with scheduling fall parent-teacher conferences just prior to fall break in order to provide more continuity in course work after the break and to increase the number of school days for students.  You will also notice that we are no longer designating academic "quarters" in favor of focusing on semester units.  The quarter designations have seemed arbitrary to us in the past, creating unnecessary restrictions and log-jams in assessments for students.  (You probably won't notice any difference in this change, as progress reporting will remain the same, but students and teachers definitely will.)  The calendar will soon be posted on the home page of our web site.

Our debate squad left for their state championship tournament this morning.  Good luck to them!

This is the second year that Ms. Czarnecki has organized "Donuts with the Prefects."  These are morning sessions that provide groups of middle school students with the opportunity to chat with prefects and other older student leaders about issues that are on their minds.  I hear very positive feedback about these sessions, and you should feel free to ask your children about the conversations.

Next Wednesday will be the school-level Spelling Bee for our middle school students.  It is our annual tradition for the entire school to watch this competition, and it is always a pleasure to watch our students cheer on the young competitors.  I take my hat off to the competitors for their fearlessness and spelling skills.  The winner will move on to the county competition.  (Last year's winner, Peter Westbrook, won the State title!)

Every year, BSAP hosts a wildly popular student Casino Night, and it is scheduled this year for February 10th from 7-9 pm.  This is a perfect opportunity for parents to help out and truly enjoy time watching our students at their most squirrelly....I mean, charismatic.  Parent volunteers are needed to deal popular casino games (you don't need any experience to do this) and to act as cashiers.  Please contact Jennifer Martello at 785-979-6268 or if interested.

Parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends are also encouraged to judge at our school History Day on February 13th.  We would welcome your involvement, and you can see some impressive work from our young scholars.

I only had the upper school students as a captive audience this morning, but I reminded them of Dr. Martin Luther King's success as a scholar and how his studies provided depth and context to his civil rights work.  I hope that our students will find time on Monday to reflect and, even better, give some of their time and talent to those who will benefit.  We look forward to seeing them again on Tuesday.

Have a good weekend and stay warm!


Yours respectfully,

Dr. Schawang