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2021-22 Friday Letter

THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Sat 22nd: Boys Vars BBall Tournament @ Baldwin Jr. High School, 1 pm
MS BBall vs. Barstow, Boys B-Team 9, Boys A-Team 10, Girls 11 am
 
* Mon 24th: HS BBall vs. Veritas Christian @ BSA, Boys JV 4:30 , Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
* Tue 25th: MS BBall @ St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, Girls 4:30, Boys B-Team 5:30, Boys A-Team 6:30 pm
HS BBall vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA, Boys JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
* Wed 26th: Vision & Hearing Screening: 7th, 9th, and 11th grades
 
* Fri 28th: HS BBall vs. Kansas City Christian @ BSA, Boys JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 29th: Boys Varsity Swimming @ Emporia HS, 4 pm
Powerlifting @ Leavenworth
 
Dear Parents,
 
Between last Friday and Tuesday morning's return to campus, our COVID positive numbers dropped significantly.  With the change in guidance shortening the isolation period for positive students, that number dropped even further:
 
6: # of students who are presently positive for COVID
3: # of staff presently positive for COVID
Boys & Girls MS basketball teams: students identified this week as potential close-contacts
0: #: staff identified as potential close-contacts
 
Because of the nature of basketball competition, we treat the entire team as close contacts when a player tests positive, regardless of the actual level of contact.  As I told students, our present numbers are heartening, but the community rates have not yet started to decline, and we should not drop our guard.  They are doing a great job of following on-campus health protocol, and I appreciate it!
 
Please remember that 2022-23 enrollment contracts and deposits are due in the main office by January 31st.  
 
Congratulations to our Debate team for their season and to Darby Harris and Ryan Dekat for taking 4th place at the state championship tournament last weekend!
 
Congratulations also to Charlie Maples for defending his school spelling bee title this week--and to Tristan Wentling for a close runner-up!  Good luck to Charlie when he competes at the county level!
 
I will be in Chicago for most of next week for ISACS accreditation business and the annual heads of school conference, so Mr. Patterson will take over next Friday's letter, which I am sure will be a welcome change of pace!
 
Have a good weekend and stay warm!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 14th: KSHSAA Debate State Championship Tournament
HS BBall vs. Bishop Ward HS @ KCKCC, JV 4:30, Vars Girls 6, Vars Boys 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 15th: KSHSAA Debate State Championship Tournament
Powerlifting @ McLouth
 
* Mon 17th: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day--NO CLASSES
 
* Tue 18th: MS BBall vs. KC Christian, Girls 4:30, Boys B-Team 5:30, Boys A-Team 6:30 pm
Boys Vars BBall Tournament vs. Baldwin @ Baldwin Jr. High School, 7 pm
BSA Spelling Bee
 
* Wed 19th: Boys Vars BBall Tournament vs. Bishop Ward @ Baldwin Jr. High School, 5:30 pm
 
* Thurs 20th: Boys Vars Swimming @ Capitol Federal Natatorium, 3:30 pm
 
* Sat 22nd: Boys Vars BBall Tournament @ Baldwin Jr. High School, TBD
MS BBall vs. Barstow, Boys B-Team 9, Boys A-Team 10, Girls 11 am
 
Dear Parents,
 
In my last Letter, I miscalculated when I would be able to return to campus by two days, so I am back today for the first time.  I am relieved to be back on campus to be with the students and staff.  I have relied heavily on my staff to keep me informed, and I cannot express fully my gratitude that I work with such a talented and committed group of administrators and faculty.  
 
So let’s get into COVID business.  Here are the stats:
 
31: # of students who are presently positive for COVID
4: # of staff presently positive for COVID
5 + 2 teams (see below): # :students identified this week as potential close-contacts
6: #: staff identified as potential close-contacts
 
Obviously, we have seen positive numbers grow in the student body.  We still see that most cases have external close contacts.  We expect that there are instances of on-campus transmission, but we are not seeing the sort of expanding transmission without off-campus close contacts that would indicate our health protocols are ineffective.  With many students and several staff members cycling off of quarantine as of Tuesday, we hope to see the positive numbers hold steady or begin to decline.  The same for staff.  It is a bit confusing to communicate student close contacts without skewing the numbers one way or the other.  Basically, we have 5 student close contacts plus the HS girls bball team and (for 2 more days) the MS Boys bball team.
 
In my last email, I dropped a reference about recommending a mask upgrade.  There is fairly consistent guidance that the cloth masks we have relied on through most of the pandemic may no longer be sufficient.  N95 or K95 masks (with some research) are best, and though they are less plentiful in stores right now, I was able to find certified N95's online for the staff pretty quickly on Tuesday.  (Dante's hellscape includes a very special level for people who make counterfeit masks.)  Of course, surgical masks still offer quite a bit of protection and, if necessary, can be combined with cloth masks (as the main weakness for surgical masks is a puckering poor fit at the side of the face).  There are 3-ply cloth masks that offer a pretty good level of protection.  Of course, finding a mask that fits well and is worn correctly is always a first step!  
 
Presently, despite the increase in student rates, the conditions still warrant staying on campus.  A number of KC and regional schools have closed in recent days due to staffing shortages that make the move to online learning inevitable.  So far, we are doing okay, but we really are taking this one day at a time.
 
Good luck to our Debate squad as they head out to the State championship tournament this weekend! 
 
The English Department will hold the school spelling bee on Tuesday of next week.  Parents whose students are in quarantine and on Zoom should be aware of an altered schedule for that day.  Ms. Czarnecki will send that schedule directly to students.
 
When you submit your child's enrollment contract for next year, you will receive information regarding a new platform for electronic billing and payments, part of our existing FACTS management system.  Beginning in July 2022, BSA will no longer be sending hard copy payment worksheets, and all invoices for payment will be sent to parents electronically.  Parents may also opt in for automatic payments.  I know parents will be very happy to make this transition.  The document you received about this new system includes directions for signing up, and we hope you will do so as soon as possible to ensure an easy transition.  If you have any questions, please reach out to Financial Administrator Cris Denning at crisdenning@seaburyacademy.org.  
 
The next BSAP program will feature guest speaker Dan Partridge, the Director of Lawrence Douglas County Public Health and will be held on Zoom on February 7th.  Mark your calendars!  
 
Don't forget that if you would like your child to participate in the MLK Day service project, please RSVP to sonjaczarnecki@seaburyacademy.org by the end of today (FRIDAY).  We will not have classes on Monday in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and we look forward to a presentation to commemorate Dr. King on Tuesday in morning meeting.
 
I am so glad the students get three days to rest.  The first full week of classes is tough under normal circumstances.  Look after yourselves!
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Mon 10th: Auditions for MS touring show, 3:30-5 pm
 
* Tue 11th: MS BBall vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA, Girls 4:30, Boys B 5:30, Boys A 6:30 pm
HS BBall @ Heritage Christian Academy, JV 4:30, Vars Girls 6, Vars Boys 7:30 pm
Auditions for MS touring show, 3:30-5 pm
 
* Wed 12th: Auditions for US one acts, 3:30-5 pm

* Thurs 13th: MS BBall vs. Cair Paravel Latin School @ BSA, Girls 4:30, Boys B 5:30, Boys A 6:30 pm
Auditions for US one acts, 3:30-5 pm
Italy Meeting in the Commons, 6 pm
 
* Fri 14th: KSHSAA Debate State Championship Tournament
HS BBall vs. Bishop Ward HS @ JCCC, JV 4:30, Vars Girls 6, Vars Boys 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 15th: KSHSAA Debate State Championship Tournament
Powerlifting @ McLouth
 
Dear Parents,
 
Welcome to 2022!
 
I have unfortunately not been at school since Wednesday, as I was notified on Tuesday that I was a close contact to someone who tested positive for COVID, and I have subsequently tested positive myself.  I have been symptomatic but recovering in good order and look forward to returning next Wednesday.  
 
As expected, we are starting our new year with the impact of the omicron variant.  There is general consensus about how this variant tends to present: much more infectious, usually milder symptoms, earlier onset after close contact.  We start the semester with positive cases, though lower than I expected, considering holiday contacts.  However, we should be prepared for higher numbers in the coming weeks.  As of this morning:
 
5: # of students who are presently positive for COVID
4: # of staff presently positive for COVID
7: # :students identified this week as potential close-contacts
7: #: staff identified as potential close-contacts
 
I know that there are many opinions about how we should view the seriousness of COVID and what we should or should not do based upon these opinions.  A lot of schools are being buffeted by differing expectations, and I am grateful that our parent community has been so supportive of the school's decision-making so far.  I am very aware that decisions we make at school are being made for all parents.  Subsequently, I want to be very clear about how we are proceeding and why.
 
The school's present objective is to remain on campus and avoid remote learning.  On the one hand, we need to take omicron seriously because even if most vaccinated individuals are not at high risk of serious illness, we should avoid students and teachers facing significant absences, and there are members of our community whose existing health conditions put them at greater risk.  On the other hand, as much as possible, we need to maintain a positive, stable, and typical school experience for the good of our children.  If we make thoughtful decisions and expect a higher rate of infection in our community, we can avoid remote learning or the intense restrictions of last year's on-campus experience.  I believe we can make reasonable decisions--together as a community and individually--that can achieve these objectives.
 
Much of our campus health protocol remains unchanged,  but there are a few steps that might limit student and staff absences while infection rates are high, at least for the next weeks when we are most vulnerable.  We will continue our bi-weekly lunch rotation, but starting on Monday, groups assigned to tables will eat in separate rooms so they can have more space.  Masks will be required of both players and spectators at basketball games, and we will be closing concessions and banning outside food or drink so there is no justification for spectators to lower their masks.  Otherwise, we will maintain the same protocol that has served us well so far this year.  As always, I encourage all families to take reasonable measures (masks, distancing, good hygiene, and so forth) that will minimize the impact of COVID on their children's education and the community.
 
Due to the potential disruption in learning for students out sick with COVID, we will send Zoom links to them for their classes, assuming they are well enough to attend remotely.  We are NOT offering the Seabury Live option from last year, and students do not have permission to attend courses remotely unless they have a documented illness that requires them to be out of school for five days or more.  
 
Also, I know students don't always understand that they are not privy to all information, and from what they don't know, they spin or speculate, so PLEASE if your kids or you ever have concerns or questions or even just need advice, reach out to Leslie McCaffrey, our COVID coordinator, at lesliemccaffrey@seaburyacademy.org.  She is more than happy to provide information between my Friday messages about infection rates, testing, and so forth (as long as it does not interfere with personal privacy).  That is the quickest way to ease worry or minimize rumors and misinformation. 
 
Good luck to our Debate team as they head out to KSHSAA state championship competition this weekend!
 
Auditions for the Middle School touring show and the Upper School student-written one act plays will occur next week in the drama room on Monday/Tuesday and Wednesday/Thursday, respectfully.  
 
I will get this letter out a bit earlier today.  Despite having a shortened week, I expect the students and staff are still getting back into the rhythm of the school day and will appreciate the weekend!
 
Yours respectfully,
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Tue 4th: Faculty In-Service
BBall vs. Barstow @ BSA, Boys JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6 & Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
* Wed 5th: Classes Resume
 
* Thur 6th: MS BBall @ University, Girls 4:30, B-Boys 5:30, A-Boys 6:30 pm
 
* Fri 7th: BBall vs. Veritas Christian @ BSA, Boys JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6 & Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
I hope your families have enjoyed the holidays and are looking forward to the new year and, very possibly, some snow this weekend.  This is just a short letter to remind you of next week's schedule.  
 
Also, a few announcements about campus health protocol: we will continue our mask requirement as we start the new semester and will re-institute a mask requirement for all spectators at next week's games.  With the present rate of COVID infection in the community and concerns about the potential impact of the omicron variant in the coming weeks, this seems like the most sensible course.  Additionally, despite the CDC change in isolation length for COVID-positive individuals, we will follow Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and continue to require a 10-day isolation and quarantine period for individuals who test positive.
 
Let's hope we are in a better place soon!
 
Have a good weekend, and I look forward to seeing your students again soon!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 10th: End of 1st Semester
Lessons & Carols @ Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St, 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 11th: MS BBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, Girls A-Team 9 am, Boys B-Team 10 am, Boys A-Team 11 am
 
* Mon 13th: Stop Day--No Classes (teachers on campus 8:30-noon)

* Tue 14th: Finals
8:30-10:00 am: Social Studies
10:15-11:45 am: English
 
* Wed 15th: Finals: 
8:30-10:00 am: Math
10:15-11:45 am: Science
 
* Thurs 16th: 8:30-10:00 am: Languages
Winter Formal @ the Eldridge Hotel, 8-11 pm
 
* Fri 17th: WINTER BREAK BEGINS!
4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier  
 
* Sat 18th: 4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier
 
* Thurs 23rd: Alumni Holiday Gathering, 4-6 pm
 
* Tue 4th: Faculty In-Service
 
* Wed 5th: Classes Resume
 
Dear Parents,
 
I look forward to seeing you at Lessons & Carols tonight.  Remember that the event is at a new location: Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St.  Masks are required by all in attendance.  It is always a very special event, and I hope you can attend.
 
As you know, final (or "midterm") exams for the semester will occur on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of next week.  In those few instances where students do not have an in-class final exam, they are welcome to study quietly in the Commons.  (Your students should know if they have a final in a particular class, but I have attached a list of all finals with room numbers for your convenience.)  We expect students will be picked up at the completion of the finals periods, and no lunch will be served.
 
On Monday, we offer a "stop day" prior to exams.  Teachers will be on campus and available from 8:30 am to noon (and by appointment in the afternoon) to assist students, but students do not need to come to campus.  If noon pick-up is a challenge for parents, students may remain on campus through 3 pm, but they will be restricted to the Commons (unsupervised) to study quietly throughout the day and will need to provide their own lunch.
 
As always, I encourage students to maintain an effective study environment when preparing for finals--namely shutting off phones and avoiding online distractions.  I encourage you to check in on them (especially younger students) to see HOW they study, which is just as important as the duration of their work.  (Distracted studying is ineffective and always takes longer.)  They also should get appropriate sleep the night before exams (as their brains do a lot of work while they are snoozing).  Hopefully, this will be a good opportunity for students to wrap their arms around their course material and see the "big picture."
 
The Winter Formal is Thursday night at the Eldridge Hotel.  The cost for this event is $20 payable to Mr. Gollier or Betsy until 10:30 am on the 16th--or $25 at the door.  Masks are strongly encouraged.  As I note every year, the students are more comfortable when parents are not "parked" in the lobby, but I hope you will be able to get a look at the finery when you drop off and pick up the kids (and many parents enjoy refreshments at the Jayhawker, Global Cafe, or other nearby establishments).  If you have any questions about the Formal, please contact Mr. Gollier at billgollier@seaburyacademy.org.
 
Good luck to our Debate squad as they head to Regional competition next weekend!
 
Two 6th grade close contacts tested positive shortly after last week's Letter.  Since then, no other students in the grade have tested positive.  We are looking forward to having all of those students back next week.  Also, if your kids are pretty sick with a non-COVID illness, please keep them home until they are fit to be back in classes.  Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
3: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
6th grade: students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
This will be the last Friday Letter for the year.  I hope all of our students and staff have a wonderful break--and happy holidays!
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 3rd: Boys BBall @ Shawnee Heights HS, JV 5:30, Vars 7 pm
Debate @ Lawrence High School
 
* Sat 4th: MS BBall vs. Summit Christian Academy @ BSA, Boys Team-B 9 am, Boys Team-A 10 am, Girls Team-A 11 am
Debate @ Lawrence High School
 
* Wed 8th: Boys Vars Swimming @ Capitol Federal Natatorium, 5 pm
 
* Thurs 9th: BBall @ Atchison H.S., Boys JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
 
* Fri 10th: End of 1st Semester
Lessons & Carols @ Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont St, 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 11th: MS BBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, Girls A-Team 9 am, Boys B-Team 10 am, Boys A-Team 11 am
 
* Mon 13th: Stop Day--No Classes

* Tue 14th: Finals
8:30-10:00 am: Social Studies
10:15-11:45 am: English
 
* Wed 15th: Finals: 
8:30-10:00 am: Math
10:15-11:45 am: Science
 
* Thurs 16th: 8:30-10:00 am: Languages
Winter Formal @ the Eldridge Hotel, 8-11 pm
 
* Fri 17th: WINTER BREAK BEGINS!
4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier  
 
* Sat 18th: 4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier
 
Dear Parents,
 
Above is the extended schedule for the coming weeks for your planning purposes.  See below for more information.
 
Every seven years, Bishop Seabury undertakes a Self-Study as part of our accreditation process through the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS).  In the fall of 2019 we administered a survey to gather data from students, families, faculty and staff, trustees, and alumni to inform the Self-Study. As you know, a lot has changed since then!  As we restart the process, we would like you to complete a very short (10 questions) version of the survey because your feedback is important to us in reflecting on what we’ve accomplished and planning for the future.  The results will inform the school’s evaluation by the ISACS visiting team in the spring of next school year and also help us assess progress on our strategic initiatives.
 
The survey is anonymous and will take 5 to 10 minutes to complete.  Numerical data will be shared with the subcommittees responsible for each report area, and only the members of the ISACS Steering Committee will read the written comments.  Here is the link to the online survey: click here. Please complete the survey by Monday, December 6th.  We appreciate your time and support!  Please contact Ms. Czarnecki if you have any questions: sonjaczarnecki@seaburyacademy.org.
 
For new parents, our core academic subjects include graded exams or projects that serve as the culmination of the semester coursework.  Some teachers find that out-of-class papers or projects are more fitting to their courses, but many teachers need extended time for a sit-down exam.  To accommodate those exams, we provide a schedule of final exam sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday following the end of the semester.  The exam dates & times are published at the top of this letter according to subject.  Your students should know whether they will have a scheduled exam, but I will also share with you next week the full exam schedule by course so you can verify whether your child needs to come to campus and at what time.
 
Please note the "stop day" on Monday 13th, the day prior to final exams.  On this day, I expect most students will stay home and prepare for finals.  However, this day will also be an opportunity for students to come to school to meet with teachers.  Students may remain on campus through 3 pm, but they will be restricted to the Commons to study quietly throughout the day (when not meeting with teachers) and will need to provide their own lunch.

Lessons & Carols returns this year!  The ceremony will occur at Plymouth Congregational Church (925 Vermont Street) next Friday night, December 10, at 7:30 pm.  If you have not been to one of our Lessons & Carols productions, you really should.  Parents often comment on how glad they were that they came out for this beautiful evening to hear our students sing us into the holidays.  Please feel free to attend "the loveliest night of the year" regardless of whether your child will be participating.  
 
Winter Formal also returns this year.  This is the premiere student event of the year.  Please see Mr. Gollier's email for details.  I will include much of that information in next week's letter.  For now, please note that students need permission to bring a guest and must complete the attached guest pass and submit it to the school by December 16th.
 
We had a 6th grade student test positive for COVID this morning.  Normally, we do not release the grade of a positive student, but I felt it appropriate in this instance.  Because this is our only grade that has not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, we are treating the entire grade as close contacts out of an abundance of caution.  So, here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
1: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
6th grade: students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
I have been in conversations with the COVID task force for over a month about the timing for changing our mask policy from mandatory to strongly recommended.  We had considered making this change after Thanksgiving Break, but for various reasons, we agreed that we should maintain the mask mandate until the end of the semester with some exceptions, including sports competitions and winter formal.
 
As you know, we have made this shift in mask protocol with athletics, for both players and spectators.  There are various reasons for this change including the relatively low rates in our region, the low incidence of COVID positives in our school community over the semester, the very low incidence of transmission coupled with our high vaccination rate, the lack of transmission with winter sports last year when rates were significantly higher, the NFHS recommendation for players to be unmasked, and the impossible challenge of policing spectator mask wearing, especially when food and drink are being consumed.  Also, these activities are optional for all individuals.  Frankly, I think right now we could drop the mask requirement during the school day for the first three reasons listed above.  However, with the break only weeks away (and family gatherings on the horizon) and the timing for 6th grade vaccination, we felt that parents would appreciate us ending the semester with masks on.  
 
We also will not require but will strongly recommend masks for students at the Winter Formal.  The reasons for doing so are similar to those listed for athletics above.  This is an optional event and masks will not make a significant difference in risk mitigation in this context.  
 
I want to reiterate that the primary goal with our health protocol this year is not to keep students from getting sick, though we expect the measures we do take will reinforce good hygiene and healthy choices.  Our primary goal is to mitigate the risk of students getting seriously ill.  This is one of the reasons why we have emphasized the importance of vaccination for all students and adults, as this is the single best means of limiting the impact of COVID on the community.  Masks serve an important purpose when the context necessitates their application, but we continue to believe that this is a temporary measure that should be required as the situation dictates.  Whether masks will be required or strongly recommended for school next semester remains to be seen, and I will certainly communicate any policy changes to parents in advance of any changes in that part of our health protocol.
 
On a lighter note, the seniors and I went Christmas tree hunting on Monday, and they spent the morning decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music, and enjoying cookies and cocoa.  It is a special tradition.  There are many pictures on Facebook, but I have also attached pictures of the tree and our seniors.
 
Have a great weekend and get ready for colder temperatures!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 19th: Late Night with the Seahawks! 7 pm
 
* Sat 20th: Sleep Outside
 
* Mon 22nd: Heritage Day, 8 am to 12:30 pm (early dismissal, no lunch)
 
* Tue 23rd: Bishop Seabury Academy Convocation Ceremony, 9-10 am
 
* Wed 24th: Thanksgiving Break begins
 
* Mon 29th: Classes Resume
12th Grade Christmas Tree Hunt
 
* Wed 1st: Boys Vars Swimming @ Capitol Federal Natatorium, 5 pm
 
* Thurs 2nd: Boys BBall vs. St. Mary's Academy @ BSA, MS 4:30, JV 5:30, Vars 7 pm
 
* Fri 3rd: Boys VBall @ Shawnee Heights HS, JV 5:30, Vars 7 pm
Debate @ Lawrence High School
 
* Sat MS BBall vs. Summit Christian Academy @ BSA, Boys Team-B 9, Boys Team-A 10, Girls 11 am
Debate @ Lawrence High School
 
Dear Parents,
 
I don't think there is a better way to go into the Thanksgiving break than to say THANK YOU to all of our families and friends for stepping up and helping us make our Seabury Fund goal this week!  On Tuesday, we received the check that helped us top $150,000.  I am deeply grateful to parents, faculty, trustees, alumni, grandparents, and other friends of the school for supporting the work and wellbeing of our students and staff.  I especially want to thank Development Director Ellen Chindamo, our Seabury Fund chairs, Amy and Eric Shumaker, and the Class Captains who led each grade: Joni and Stephan Pro (6th), Kristen and Tom Helling (7th), Stacey and John Rinnert (8th), Michele and Jerry Hammann (9th), Kim and Mike Rack (10th), Jennifer and Dane Oldridge (11th) and Tree Hanna (12th).  A successful annual fund is an important marker for a healthy independent school, and you can always see the impact of your gifts in the laughter and accomplishments of our kids!  As with every year, we typically continue to receive gifts through December, so please don't hesitate to send an end-of-the-year gift if you haven't done so already!
 
I hope you will be available to attend Late Night with the Seahawks tonight.  In lieu of an admission cost, we simply ask that you bring a few items to help with our Seabury item drive (see attached list).  Be prepared to see student antics, a spirited cheer squad, and our first view of the basketball teams!   And good luck to our basketball teams (who have worked HARD this week!) and thanks to our cheer squad as they all begin their seasons.   If you cannot attend tonight, remember that many of our upper school students will be sleeping outside in front of the school Saturday night to collect items for community members in need.  They will be at school collecting those items from noon on Saturday until 8 am on Sunday morning.  They will be grateful to see you, but please remember that there is a 10 minute visitation rule.  Thank you!
 
Monday's Heritage Day is an event originally founded by students when we first moved to the Clinton Parkway campus.  It was originally named "Founder's Day" and included morning community service and an afternoon of presentations by seniors to remind students of the school's history and its mission.   Eventually, we reduced the presentations to a morning video by the seniors and focused our attention on service work and rehearsal for our convocation ceremony.  This will be the format for Monday.  Students need to be in their seats in the commons by 8 am (a little earlier than usual) and will be released at 12:30 pm (but it is okay if we have a few stragglers in the building for an hour or two). 
 
And Tuesday will be our annual Convocation.  This event is a requirement for students, but parents and alumni are also encouraged to attend.  The event will be held in the Commons this year, and masks are required.  (If you can't attend, we will be streaming the event and will hopefully share a recording soon after).  Our speaker this year will be Dr. Stephen Ilardi, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Kansas.  Once again, appropriate dress for students will include dress pants/slacks, jacket and tie, dress shoes, dresses, and so forth--basically "business appropriate" for an office.  The students always look very impressive on this day.  I hope they (and you) will enjoy the ceremony. 
 
Good luck to our lone varsity swimmer, senior Ian Blake, as he dives into competition this season!  The winter edition of KSHSAA Covered named Ian as a "Swimmer to Watch" this season.
 
Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
1: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
I absolutely love this time of year--even when my feet are freezing in front of the school as I greet students.  I am heading out on Monday with the senior class to track down, cut down, and decorate a Christmas Tree for the school.  It is one of my favorite traditions, and I look forward to sharing pictures with you in the next Friday Letter.
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 12th: Game Night, 6-8 pm
 
* Sat 13th: Blood Drive, 9 am to 1 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East
 
* Sun 14th: Italy Trip Dinner, 6-8 pm
 
* Tue 16th: AMC 10/12 Math Competition
BSA High School Information Night (8th grade parents), 6:30-8:30 pm
 
* Thurs 18th: Quantrill's Raid Walk (Rescheduled)
 
* Fri 19th: Late Night with the Seahawks! 7 pm
 
* Sat 20th: Sleep Outside
 
* Mon 22nd: Heritage Day, 8 am to 12:30 pm (early dismissal, no lunch)
 
* Tue 23rd: Bishop Seabury Academy Convocation Ceremony, 9-10 am
 
* Wed 24th: Thanksgiving Break begins
 
* Mon 29th: Classes Resume
 
Dear Parents,
 
Game Night is tonight from 6 to 8 pm.  We are still in need of parent chaperones to support our faculty chaperones, so please email Sonja Czarnecki if you would like to help out.  Also, if you are able to donate some snacks and drinks, please use this sign up form to let us know what you will bring.  Thank you!
 
We officially launch our basketball season with Late Night with the Seahawks next Friday night, an event that includes skits, commentary, and a scrimmage, all aimed at creating enthusiasm and support in our student and parent community.  As always, "Late" doesn't mean "too late," as the event will end by 8:45 pm.  Admission is free with a donation of items to our November item drive (see attachment).  Please come!  
 
Our annual Seabury Items Drive launches this weekend.  The items collected will be donated to the Lawrence Community Shelter, the Willow Domestic Violence Center, Family Promise, and Trinity Food Pantry.  Items can be dropped off at the Blood Drive on Saturday, Late Night next Friday night, or at Sleep Outside next Saturday--and, of course, you can drop off items in a marked bin inside the main office airlock any weekday during school hours.
 
Our upper school students are gearing up for their annual Sleep Outside event next Saturday--where our older students volunteer to fast and do community service throughout the day and then encourage Seabury community members to drop off donated items at the school that night.  And then on Monday, all of our students and staff will be involved in Heritage Day, a half-day of school that will include community service and rehearsal for Convocation.  I will provide more information about these events next week.  Heritage Day and Convocation are required events for all students
 
Each month BSAP offers our community the opportunity to purchase gift cards from local grocery stores. The cards are sold at face value and BSAP receives a discount on their purchase. If you'd like to order this month or set up a recurring order, please click here. Orders for November cards are due by the 15th and will be distributed by December 1st. Thanks for supporting BSAP with this program!
 
Next week will be the last chance to claim lost and found items before they are donated. Items will be on tables in the Commons all next week.
 
One of our students contracted COVID this week, the second case since school began.  As with the prior instance in early September, we performed contact tracing and identified all individuals who would have been in close contact.  Once again, I am happy to report that there appears to have been no transmission with other members of the community.  The student is recovering and will be back when healthy.  And here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
1: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
20: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
I was hoping to report this week that we had met our Seabury Fund goal, and we are oh-so-close!  But....still not quite there.  If you have not yet made a pledge, here is the link.  Let's wrap this puppy up!
 
Finally, I am hearing a constant refrain from adults: Is it really November already?  I feel the same.  I reminded students this week to try to embrace these days of autumn beauty and anticipation for the holidays--and our community.  The end of the semester is right around the corner....
 
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 5th: Almost Maine (Upper School Theatre Production), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Blue Valley
 
* Sat 6th: Almost Maine (Upper School Theatre Production), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Blue Valley
 
* Wed 10th: Quantrill's Raid Walk (Juniors), 8 am to 2:15 pm
 
* Thurs 11th: Louis Copt Mural Field Trip
 
* Fri 12th: Raku Field Trip
Game Night, 6-8 pm
 
* Sat 13th: Blood Drive, 9 am to 1 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East
 
Dear Parents,
 
I am hoping we can hit our Seabury Fund goal by next week.  This is the final push!  If you haven't sent in your pledge, please do so by mail or online here.  Thank you!
 
On Tuesday, I was grateful to see the CDC confirm COVID-19 vaccine for children.  I expect parents are making appointments, and I am very relieved that our youngest students can be fully vaccinated by the end of the semester.  I will keep in place the present 6th grade protocols for the remainder of the semester regardless of their age or vaccination status, but those students will be allowed to join lunches in the Commons in January.
 
Still a clean bill of health with the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
Break-a-Leg to our Upper School performers tonight with their production of Almost Maine.  We hope you enjoy it!
 
Next week, Advanced Art students will have a unique opportunity to visit the work site (Mass. Street Music) of a mural that is going to be painted by well-known Lawrence artist Louis Copt (https://www.louiscopt.com/).  Louis is painting a version of one of his famous prairie burning scenes.  Students will learn how a large-scale mural is produced and will have a chance to interact with Louis and two other professional muralists assisting him. 
 
The Student Senate is planning a Game Night for all students by grade level on Friday, November 12 from 6 to 8 pm.  Students will have the chance to play a variety of games of their choice, from card games to board games to online interactive games.  If you are available to help out as a chaperone, please email Sonja Czarnecki.  Also, if you are able to donate some snacks and drinksplease use this sign up form to let us know what you will bring.  Thanks for your support! 
 
I spoke about Convocation in my October 15th Friday Letter, especially for the benefit of new families--which would include new families last year as well!  I will return to that subject closer to the event (Tuesday, November 23rd), but with a little over two weeks until that date, I want to remind parents that appropriate student dress for that event includes dress pants/slacks, jacket and tie, dresses, dress shoes (no sneakers), and so forth--basically "business appropriate" for an office.  The students always look very impressive on this day!
 
Sunday is the beginning of Fall Daylight Savings, so don't forget to put your clocks back an hour when you go to bed on Saturday night.  
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 29th: Alice in Covidland (Middle School play), 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 30th: Fall Carnival 6:30-8:30 pm
Senior Haunted House, 7-9:30 pm
 
* Mon 1st: BSAP Parent Education Night: 5-5:30 meeting, 5:30-6:30 pm program
 
* Thurs 4th: Diversity Leadership Conference @ KU
 
* Fri 5th: Almost Maine (Upper School Theatre Production), 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 6th: Almost Maine (Upper School Theatre Production), 7:30 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
Happy Halloween!  (Well...pretty close, anyway...)  Mr. Gollier and many high school students are organizing the Fall Carnival tomorrow night.  The event is open to all Seabury students & families, and students are welcome to bring a guest but will be responsible for those individuals.  Masks are required for the event, but please understand that with food and drink everywhere in the gym, full face covering will not be consistent.  Please remember that the Senior Haunted House ends later than the Carnival, and since the Haunted House tends to run behind, please coordinate with your child about pick-up time.    
 
Our Seabury Fund total sits at $133,900.  We are so close to our $150,000 goal, and every gift counts!  We now have 100% participation from both faculty and trustees, and our parent participation continues to grow.  A big shout-out to Seabury Fund Chairs Amy & Eric Shumaker for their leadership and to the class captains for all of their hard work.  Please send in those pledge forms or go online.  Thank you!
 
Break-a-Leg to our young actors tonight in Alice in Covidland!  They are looking forward to an audience.  And next week, our Upper School actors will take the stage with a production of Almost Maine, a poignant comedy composed of nine stories about love (found, missed, and lost) as well as magic.  We hope you can come out next weekend to see metaphors come to life on our stage.
 
Congratulations to all of our athletes from our fall sports season for all of your hard work and success!  Winter sports are on the horizon....!
 
Remember that Monday is the BSAP Parent Education Night in the Commons and via Zoom.  The meeting portion is from 5-5:30 pm and the SEE Learning program from 5:30-6:30 pm.  Please see the attached flyer for details.  
 
On Thursday 4th, over 26 Seabury students will join students from area high schools to participate in the KU Diversity Student Leadership Conference.  The conference provides an interactive and engaging leadership training and a forum for exploring, understanding, and challenging how we value differences in our school and our community. 
 
Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
We had some great costumes this morning, and considering the limited time and varying ages of students in our advising groups, the pumpkin display can be impressive!  Many thanks to Betsy and staff members who helped with judging and photos!  Winners below:
 
Jack-o-Lanterns:
#1 - Jellyfish (Pulsinelli)
#2 - Pumpkin Village (Porter)
#3 - Seabury Spirits (Eicher)
#4 - Baby Yoda (LaRocca)
#5 - Up (McCaffrey & Rusche)
 
Costumes:
6th - Ollie Coles
7th - Sofie Nordengaard
8th - Xeva Oldridge
9th - Ashley Gonzalez
10th - Sage McHenry
11th - AJ Brewer
12th - Jonah Kim
Faculty - Will Whipple & Jenny Simpson
Duo - Darby Harris & Elena Weber
Trio - Alexandra Terry, Campbell Helling, & Mia Rasmussen
Group - Madilynn Walter, Jack Hawley, Joey Sourgens, Kian Colistra, Vivenne Pro, Stella Huebner
 
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 22nd: Debate @ Lansing
 
* Sat 23rd: Vars XC KSHSAA Regionals, 10 am
High School VBall KSHSAA Regionals @ Lyndon, 3 pm
Debate @ Lansing
Archaeology & The Mummy, 7 pm
 
* Mon 25th: Vars Soccer KSHSAA Regionals @ Bishop Ward, 6 pm
 
* Thurs 28th: Vars Soccer KSHSAA Regional Championship, TBD
 
* Fri 29th: Advising Jack-o-Lantern Contest
Halloween Costume Contest
Alice in Covidland (Middle School play), 7:30 pm
 
* Sat 30th: Fall Carnival 6:30-8:30 pm
Senior Haunted House, 7-9:30 pm
Vars XC KSHSAA State Championship Meet, TBD
Vars VBall KSHSAA State Championship Tournament, TBD
 
Dear Parents, 
 
We have enjoyed hosting potential Seahawks visiting our school yesterday and today.  When I asked our students in morning meeting how many of them came to a Seabury visit day, just about everybody raised their hands.  These are very important days for our admissions process, and I appreciate the efforts of our students to make these guests (and future classmates) feel welcome!
 
We have great momentum with our Seabury Fund, as we are presently at $117,000.  Our goal of $150,000 is in sight.  On a personal note, I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to make a pledge or send in a gift to the Fund.  I take pride in maintaining an efficient budget, and every dollar we receive is reflected in our daily practices.  As an independent school, we sometimes have our work cut out for us to make tuition dollars stretch, so the higher our Seabury Fund total, the better I sleep at night!  As always, here is the online link for giving.  Thank you!
 
Ms. Asher is partnering with KU Museum Studies administrator Tashia Dare to host a showing of the 1932 classic "The Mummy" and a presentation by Egyptologist Dr. Stacy Davidson.  The event will be held on Saturday night at 7 pm in the Commons.  Please see the attached flyer for details.
 
Congratulations to our Middle School Boys Cross Country team for winning the XRC MS Conference Championship last weekend!  Congratulations also to our All-Conference Volleyball and Soccer players.  Volleyball 1st Team Shea Hanna, 2nd Team Elena Weber, and Honorable Mention Vivian Hill.  And Soccer 1st Team Enzo Karam and Beck Oldridge, 2nd Team Truman Hill, and Honorable Mention Gray Werner.  And good luck to all of our athletes heading to regional competition this week--the culmination of several months of intense work and determination.  
 
Next weekend, our Middle School actors will treat us to the first theatre production of the year with the timely play Alice in Covidland, written as well as directed by Ms. Jennifer Glenn.  I hope you can come through the looking glass and enjoy our youngest actors and their satirical take on our modern times.  
 
Please join us for this year's first BSAP Parent Education Night on Monday, November 1st with guest speaker Ryder Delaloye, the Associate Director of SEE Learning (Social, Emotional, and Ethical education).  SEE Learning is a new program in grades 6-9, and the presentation will explain the program objectives and provide targeted strategies to promote the use of resilience building, perspective taking, and the cultivation of compassionate response at home.  The meeting will happen in the Commons and via Zoom with BSAP business from 5:00 to 5:30 and the SEE program from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.  Please see the attached flyer for details.
 
Mr. Barbour and his 7th grade English class have teamed up with the new Digital Design class to publish a collection of short horror stories with illustrations.  The resulting 400-page anthology is called Sharp Teeth, and it is an impressive undertaking!   Please check out the website www.nealbarbour.wixsite.com/sharpteeth to see the artwork, read the summaries, and order your very own copy. The proceeds of the book will go to support Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center as well as a Halloween celebration for our students.

Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
Our Fall Carnival & Haunted House will occur next Saturday (30th).  The Carnival involves a collection of games and the Senior Haunted House (which is intended to be scary, so young children should enter at parental discretion).  Admission to the carnival is $10.  The Haunted House costs $7 per patron.  Proceeds from the event help to fund the sophomore, junior, and senior trips in April. 
 
Halloween is a big deal at our school, especially our annual Jack-O-Lantern carving contest.  Advising groups will be working with intensity next week, and on Friday, they will present their pumpkin entries during morning meeting.  Standouts will receive prizes...and eternal glory.  I am always amazed what our staff and students can pull off in so little time!  We will send you pics!
 
On Halloween day, students are also welcome to wear costumes to school.  I always ask students to be tasteful in their costumes--nothing offensive, too skimpy, or involving real weapons.  (If they have to ask....the answer is probably "no.")  All costumes must include face coverings.  As always, thanks to parents for accommodating the spirit of this macabre holiday, and I especially appreciate the staff for tolerating a certain degree of chaos during this very busy time of the year.
 
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Sat 16th: Girls MS B-Team VBall Tournament @ BSA, 4:30 pm
XC @ Zarda Farms, Vars 9 & MS 10 am
Debate @ Blue Valley North
 
* Mon 18th: Civility & Respect in Youth Sports Program, 3:30-5:30 pm
Auction Meeting, 6 pm
 
* Tue 19th: Boys MS Soccer Tournament--TBD
Boys Vars Soccer @ KC Christian School, 6:45 pm
Vars Girls VBall (SENIOR NIGHT) @ BSA, 5 & 7 pm
 
* Wed 20th: Boys Vars Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
 
* Thurs 21st: Seabury Visit Day
Boys Vars Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
 
* Fri 22nd: Seabury Visit Day
Debate @ Lansing
 
* Sat 23rd: Vars XC KSHSAA Regionals, TBD
High School VBall KSHSAA Regionals @ Lyndon, TBD
Debate @ Lansing
 
Dear Parents,
 
Thank you for the early support of $78,318 in gifts and pledges to the Seabury Fund!  We have great momentum halfway through October.  We now have 100% participation from our faculty & staff.  Earlier this week, you received communications from this year's Seabury Fund chairs Amy and Eric Shumaker and from your Class Captains. This is the vital part of the fund drive when we rely on parent gifts to get us to our goal, so if you still have your pledge card sitting on your counter in the sediment of unopened mail, please excavate it and send it in!  As always, here is the online link for giving.  Thank you!
 
Next Thursday and Friday will be our first Seahawk Days.  Many of your children will remember this annual visit day as their first introduction to Seabury, and these are important recruitment days for our school, coinciding with local school parent-teacher conferences.  Prospective students will shadow a current Seabury student and attend classes, have lunch, and participate in the many traditions that make Seabury unique.  Parent word-of-mouth is our best marketing.  If you know any students who would thrive at Seabury but may not have considered our school as an option, please contact Ms. McCaffrey and let her know!  Feel free to share this link directly with prospective families: https://www.seaburyacademy.org/admissions/visiting-days-form.cfm.  We will also have visit days on November 4, 5, and 8.
 
If your child will be absent from school for any reason, please remember that Betsy is the person to contact as soon as you can.  Teachers cannot excuse students--only the main office can do that.
 
We will host a conference on Civility & Respect in Youth Sports on Monday from 3:30-5:30 pm in the Commons.  This event is student-led and will focus on cultural competency, inclusion, and respectful behavior in sports and in the broader community.  University of Kansas women's volleyball coach Ray Bechard will be a featured speaker.  If you would like to attend, please rsvp here.  Thanks to students Helena Gutierrez-Gibbs, Aidan Page, and Gobind Singh for their work in organizing the program!  
 
Today is the final day of National Hispanic American Heritage Month, and Lizzette Borjas organized a panel with Oscar Borjas and Brian Rios to speak about their backgrounds and cultural experience.  Students and teachers were also treated to empanadas.  Thank you to Lizzette and our speakers for their participation today! 
 
Mr. Kellogg has eased back into part-time work this year and is less available for certain technology issues.  If your student has any Chromebook-related issues or you have any questions about technology, please reach out to Mr. Neuteboom at ericneuteboom@seaburyacademy.org, and he can help or direct you to someone else who can.  
 
A big thanks to Judi Reetz, Sarah Borjas, Kim Rack, and BSAP members who organized breakfast for faculty & staff during conferences.  We really appreciated it!
 
Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
We are more than a month away from our annual Convocation ceremony.  This event occurs on the Tuesday morning (9-10 am) prior to Thanksgiving, and is one of the few events during the year where students dress up (jacket, tie, dresses, etc.).  I will send more information about the event and student dress requirements next month.  For now, I am happy to announce that KU psychology professor Dr. Stephen Ilardi has graciously offered to be our guest speaker.  Dr. Ilardi has published and created Ted Talks about depression, brain chemistry, and personal wellbeing.  I believe we will all benefit from Dr. Ilardi, as he is an exceptional speaker and his message will be timely.
 
I clocked roughly 16 hours(!) of Zoom meeting time this week with various committees of our accrediting association, ISACS, and one of the great benefits of my work with the association is getting to hear from many heads of school in the country about their struggles and successes.  One common theme among ISACS schools is that students are much happier this year.  I certainly believe that is the case on our campus.  Those new students who were primarily online at their prior schools are excited to be back in the classroom with their peers, and veteran Seahawks are relieved to be back to the enthusiasm, joviality, and cultural touch points that were previously so common to our daily school lives.  I believe that sense of relief and energy will only improve in the coming months.
 
At the beginning of the school year, I attended a seminar for heads of school, and the speaker suggested that a big part of our work this year will be about moving from language of "resilience" to restoring hope and supporting healing in the greater community--not just with students and staff but with parents.  I must admit that I found myself asking, "How exactly am I supposed to do that?"  I tend to be an optimistic and happy person, and I have maintained a sense of gratitude and, yes, intense resilience during these last twenty months (20 MONTHS, PEOPLE!), but I don't mind admitting that I have not quite been myself since the pandemic began.  I am not reluctant to admit this fact because I think most of you feel the same way about your own lives and personal experiences.
 
There has been a lot of writing about pandemic "languishing"--the phenomenon of feeling neither the highs of joy and excitement nor the lows of despair and depression.  I find that many of us have simply withdrawn our emotional and psychological investments, or at least diminished the intensity of those feelings, as a response to the yo-yoing state of the world.  The more modest our expectations and the more we focus on the little pleasures (sourdough bread, evening libations, and the comforting familiarity of nostalgic movies and music), the less we risk disappointment and denial.  The idea of me finding some magical words to snap us all out of this ongoing malaise (which we are all handling quite well, thank you very much!) is attractive but seems to me both arrogant and presumptuous.
 
I do often think about you (parents), how you are doing, and what the last year and a half has been like.  What does it mean to navigate the pandemic with young children or adolescents?  Parenting can be a daunting experience at the best of times as you do your best to make good choices for your children.  I am sure some of you will say--for one reason or another--"we are doing great and there is no reason to make a big deal out of it."  But I can't help but think of you parents who have worked concertedly to help your children adjust to the anxieties and oddities (masks, distancing, quarantining) of this more alien world while quietly coping with your own stress and dilemmas.  
 
As Head of School, I expect the best thing the school can do for you personally is to offer clear communication, a sense of normalcy (i.e., getting the children out of the house every day and providing them with some consistency), and the certainty that your children will be looked after and will have the opportunity to have a real school-day childhood (with all the good and occasional bumps that come with it).  Maybe if we can stoke a little joy, enthusiasm, or even silliness in the hearts of these little animals during the day, it will come back into your world as well.  You can be certain we are working on that!
 
I continue to have significant hope and optimism about the future (admittedly, it is more of an intellectual certainty than a gut feeling), and I also think that as long as we are guiding our children towards generosity, idealism, hard work, and excellence, we can feel confident that they will be healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.  I know this is why you send your children to Seabury, and our faculty and staff are always working towards that end.  We have great things ahead, and there is good reason to be excited! 
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 8th: FALL BREAK (No Classes)
 
* Mon 11th: FALL BREAK (No Classes)
 
* Tue 12th: MS XC @ Barstow, School 4:30 pm
Boys Vars Soccer @ Ottawa HS, 6 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Veritas, B-1 Team 5 pm, B-2 Team 6 pm, A Team 7 pm
 
* Wed 13th: MS Girls VBall vs. Summit Christian Academy @ BSA: B-1 Team 4:30, B-2 Team 5:30, A Team 6:30 pm
PSAT 10th & 11th grades, 8 am to noon
 
* Thurs 14th: Boys MS Soccer, First Round of Conference Tournament
Girls MS VBall, First Round of A-Team Conference Tournament
Boys Vars Soccer vs. Bishop Ward @ YSI, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Heritage Christian Academy: Vars 5, 6 & 7 pm
 
* Sat 16th: Boys MS Soccer, Second Round of Conference Tournament
Girls MS VBall, Second Round of Conference Tournament (B-Team @ Seabury)
XC @ Zarda Farms, Vars 9 & MS 10 am
Debate @ Blue Valley North
 
Dear Parents,
 
The Annual Seabury Fund is up and running, and we have great momentum with $53,351 already pledged to the $150,000 goal!  On behalf of this year's Seabury Fund chairs, Amy and Eric Shumaker, thank you to those who have already given! This is a great start.  You will be hearing from your Class Captains, if you haven't already, asking you to please give to this important effort for our school.   I trust you have received your pledge cards in the mail.  Please send them in soon. Feel free to bypass paper and donate online HERE.  Your support has a real impact on the lives and success of every student and teacher in our classrooms.  Thank you!
 
We really enjoyed seeing so many grandparents and family members at the open house last weekend.  I hope they enjoyed seeing the expanded campus and spending some time with their respective students.
 
Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
Normally, I would say that it was good to see so many parents in our hallways for conferences, but the campus was very quiet last night and today.  My apologies to those parents who had problems with absent passcodes for certain teachers--that was actually my fault after monkeying with their Zoom accounts(!).  I hope the process went smoothly for you otherwise.  Please remember that teachers are here to partner with you in your child's education and development, and you can always reach out to them if you have questions or concerns.  
 
Finally, at different moments on Wednesday, I caught sight of three upper school students dancing in the commons--literally dancing.  After two very busy months, I have no doubt these students were all feeling the excitement of an impending five-day weekend.  My faculty will be joining them shortly!
 
I hope students and teachers enjoy a well-deserved fall break!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 1st: Debate @ Olathe
Fall Concert @ BSA (staggered performances) Families only. Two designated wristbands per family for admission.
All-Instrumental & 6th grade, 7 pm
7th/8th Grade & Instrumental, 7:30 pm
7th/8th Girls & Chamber Choir Women, 8 pm
Chamber Choir, 8:30 pm
 
* Sat 2nd: Debate @ Olathe
 
* Sun 3rd: Grandparent & Family Friends Open House, 2-4 pm
10th Grade Parents Get-Together @ the Rack residence, 4-6 pm
 
* Mon 4th: City Commission candidates panel 8:10-8:40 am
Boys MS Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
Boys Vars Soccers vs. Cair Paravel Latin School @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
 
* Tue 5th:  LWV Voter Information (during drop-off) 7:45 - 8:15 am
Boys MS Soccer @ KC Christian, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall vs. KCE & Veritas @ BSA, 5 & 7 pm
 
* Wed 6th: Parent-Teacher Conferences, 6-9 pm
Picture Order Forms Due
 
* Thurs 7th: NO CLASSES
Parent-Teacher Conferences, 1-4:30 & 6:30-9 pm
MS Cross-Country @ Eudora H.S., 4 pm
 
* Fri 8th: FALL BREAK BEGINS!
Debate Tournament @ BSA
 
* Sat 9th: Debate Tournament @ BSA
 
Dear Parents,
 
The appearance of the billboard in front of the school signals that the Seabury Fund Drive has begun.  As you know, the Fund is the way that our school--and every independent school--closes the gap between tuition revenue and the cost of operations.  We look to the entire community to help us reach our target of $150,000.  Equally important is our goal of 100% participation from faculty, trustees, and parents--supplemented by the giving of extended family, alumni, friends, and a few foundation grants. 
 
The challenges that we have all faced in the last 19 months can be difficult to fully comprehend.  With so many schools exclusively online last year and with the departure of so many teachers from education, the impact of the pandemic on an entire generation of children has been a real concern.  This is further reason for me to be grateful for the stability and continuity Seabury has been able to offer our community.  Last year, the resilience and determination of our teachers and students was truly inspiring, but the ongoing support of our parents community was equally essential to our success.
 
More than ever, the Seabury Fund is an opportunity to support the work of students and teachers on campus during this difficult time.  Every gift of every size makes an impact and gets us closer to our goal.  You will receive a Seabury Fund brochure and pledge card soon, and you can give online at 2021-22 Seabury Fund.  For the month of October, I will update you on our progress at the top of the Friday Letter, on the Seabury Fund sign (in front of the school), and on the Bishop Seabury website.  Thank you!
 
Tonight is the fall concert and our first in-person performance in quite a while!  Because this event traditionally involves all of the middle school students and many upper school students as well as their respective parents, we felt it best to limit numbers in the commons by staggering performances and limiting attendance to two family members per student (make sure you have your wristband at the door!).  Although the sound/visual quality will definitely not be the same as in person, you can sign into my Zoom room at respective times (see the calendar above) to attend remotely: https://seaburyacademy-org.zoom.us/j/3446149485.  Good luck to all of our musicians!
 
We have transformed this year's Grandparents & Family Friends event into an open house.  This Sunday, we will welcome guests to the campus, and your child will be able to lead those individuals on personalized tours.  There will be no formal program, so your child and guests can show up as convenient between 2-4 pm.  And yes....there will be root beer floats!
 
On Monday morning, you are welcome to join us via Zoom for a panel featuring all six candidates who are running for City Commission this November.  We are excited to welcome Milton Scott, Bart Littlejohn, Ma'ko'quah Jones, Stuart Boley, and Lisa Larson in person, and Amber Sellars virtually.  On Tuesday, student volunteers with the League of Women Voters will be offering election and registration information on the front patio during morning drop-off. 

On Wednesday, we hosted a group of panelists to talk to our students about Government & Service, including representatives from the Department of State, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.  Each speaker provided insight about their respective organizations and talked about opportunities in foreign exchange programs, international diplomacy, and military service.  This event was organized by the International Relations Council (which also sponsors the Academic World Quest program) and ties into a central part of the Academy mission: "to empower students to become engaged citizens of the world."   

Betsy asked me to remind you that picture proofs are due into the office by Wednesday the 6th.  (Let's hope you don't have to excavate those items from your child's backpack.)
 
It is too early to forecast where we will be in the coming weeks, but I am hearted by a gradual decline in county COVID numbers and indications that vaccination of 5-11 year olds is on its way.  Our faculty have already begun receiving booster shots at LMH.  Here is the weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
Congratulations to Marie Brockhoff and Katie Eckert on being commended by the National Merit Scholarship Program.  Marie and Katie are among the top 50,000 scorers in the country on the 2020 Preliminary SAT exam.  Good job!
 
Parent-teacher conferences are next week.  I expect you have already read Betsy's emails and signed up for a slot.  Because parents and teachers were uniformly pleased with the online format last year, we will continue to hold conferences online.  Betsy will share teacher Zoom faculty addresses next week so you can hop into their personal rooms (or waiting rooms, if they are finishing a conference with another parent) at the appointed time.  I always ask teachers to keep a tight schedule, so please understand if they need to move on to the next meeting.  Last year's online conferences seemed to go off without a hitch, but in the event that you experience any technical issues, don't worry--you can always follow up with a teacher at your convenience.
 
Have a good weekend!
Dr. Schawang
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Sat 25th: Girls Vars VBall @ Olpe HS, 8:30 am
 
* Sun 26th: 7th Grade Parents Get-Together @ the Hellings, 4-5:30 pm
Senior Class Parents Get-Together @ BSA Commons, 4-5:30 pm
 
* Mon 27th: MS Girls VBall vs. Veritas Christian School @ BSA, B-team 5 pm, A-team 6 pm
BSAP Meeting, 5:30-6:30 pm
 
* Tue 28th: Boys MS Soccer vs. Pembroke Hill School @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. Barstow @ BSA, B-team 4:30 pm, A-team 5:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Bishop Ward HS, 6 pm
 
* Wed 29th: Auction Committee Meeting 6-8 pm
 
* Thurs 30th: Vars XC @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 4 pm
Boys Vars Soccer @ Heritage Christian Academy East Campus (9333 W. 159th St, Overland Park, KS), 4 pm
Girls MS Vars VBall @ Pembroke Hill School--Ward Parkway Campus, 5 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ Heritage Christian Academy, 5:45 pm
 
* Fri 1st: Debate @ Olathe
Fall Concert @ BSA (staggered performances) Families only. Two designated wristbands per family for admission.
All-Instrumental & 6th grade, 7 pm
7th/8th Grade & Instrumental, 7:30 pm
7th/8th Girls & Chamber Choir Women, 8 pm
Chamber Choir, 8:30 pm
 
* Sat 2nd: Debate @ Olathe
 
* Sun 3rd: Grandparent & Family Friends Open House, 2-4 pm
10th Grade Parents Get-Together @ the Rack residence, 4-6 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
In addition to their normal teaching duties, faculty send out progress reports to parents this week via Schoology. This is the one time of the year when teachers send reports to parents for all of the students in their courses.  Later in the year, reports will go out periodically depending on student progress in each course.  We time this first round of reports to go out a few weeks prior to October parent-teacher conferences.
 
Our weekly COVID snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts
 
Our annual school auction is our biggest Seabury community event! The date is set for February 26, 2022 and we want everyone to get involved. If you are interested in helping on the committee, please come to the Auction Committee Meeting in the Commons on Wednesday, the 29th at 6:00 pm.
 
After a year of going remote with Grandparent & Family Friends Day, we are very excited to once again host them on campus for a weekend open house next weekend.  If you have any grandparents or family friends whom your student would like to bring to the school, please RSVP with Ellen Chindamo at ellenchindamo@seaburyacademy.org.  We can't wait to show our extended Seahawk family our wonderful new campus! 
 
After several lengthy Friday Letters, I will reward you with a shorter one this week.  (And I need to get my own progress reports out today!)
 
Yours respectfully,
Dr. Schawang
 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 17th: Service Club School Supply Drive ends
Debate @ Washburn Rural
 
* Sat 18th: Girls Vars VBall @ Hiawatha HS, 9 am
MS XC @ Bonner Springs HS, 1 pm
Debate @ Washburn Rural
 
* Sun 19th: 6th Grade Parents Get-Together @ Field & Ivy, 5 pm
8th Grade Parents Get-Together @ BSA Commons, 5-7 pm
9th Grade Parents Get-Together @ the Hammanns, 4-6 pm
 
* Mon 20th: Boys MS Soccer @ Barstow School, 4:30 pm
Vars Soccer @ Maur Hill Prep School, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. Veritas Christian School @ BSA, B-team 5 & A-team 6 pm
 
* Tue 21st: MS & Vars XC @ Tonganoxie, 4 pm
Girls MS VBall @ BSA, B-team 4 pm & A-team Tri 5:30 & 7 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, 5 & 6 pm
 
* Wed 22nd: MS XC @ Tonganoxie, 4 pm
 
* Thurs 23rd: Girls VBall vs. Veritas Christian School @ BSA, JV 4 & Vars 7 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. University @ BSA, B-team1 5 pm, B-team2 6 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, 4:30 pm
Boys Vars Soccer vs. Bishop Ward @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. University Academy @ BSA, 6th grade 5 pm & B-team 6 pm
 
* Fri 24th: Girls Vars VBall @ Olpe HS, 8 am
 
* Sat 25th: Girls Vars Ball @ Olpe HS, 8 am
Vars XC @ Heritage Christian Academy, 11 am
 
* Sun 26th: 7th Grade Parents Get-Together @ the Hellings, 4-5:30 pm
Senior Class Parents Get-Together @ BSA Commons, 4-5:30 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
Thanks to Mr. Nelson for orchestrating some fun at lunch this week with yesterday's "Race Walking" competition between senior Darby Harris and Ms. McCaffrey (the latter possibly pulling a hamstring in the process) and bravado performances of Karaoke by students and faculty in the stairwell of the main building.  I am not sure your children will speak of these things...but you are welcome to ask.
 
Our class captains have been hosting weekend Parent Get-Togethers this month for their respective grades.  I hope that you will attend these events if you are able, as this is an opportunity to create closer connections with parents from your grade and take advantage of a wider information and support network.  A cohesive parent body really supports overall school health.  And thank you to our class captains for volunteering to bring you all together!
 
Our debate squad begins their season with their first tournament this weekend.  Good luck to them!
 
In last week's letter, I overlooked the reporting of COVID-related numbers (which was 0 positives and 1 quarantine), and we did have some movement over this last week.  Here is the data, and I changed the language of the second item:
3: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
18: # of students identified this week as potential close-contacts (formerly "Quarantine/Monitoring")
 
Last Saturday, we were notified that the student in quarantine had tested positive but with no close contacts in our student body.  On Sunday, another student tested positive (unrelated to the first) and we initiated contact tracing immediately.  All close contacts--vaccinated or unvaccinated--were notified before school prior to Monday classes, and we were able to communicate related quarantine and/or testing protocol, which I will reference below.  We have received all but two PCR follow up tests since then, and only one close contact has tested positive (with no close contacts).  
 
In a weekly health webinar for schools that I speed-watch every week, the consultant noted that last year, the objective of schools was to avoid transmission on campus, and this year, the goal is to limit transmission.  In other words, we are in a different world of expectation and outcomes this year, and we should expect positive cases in our community, at least for a while.  Our focus--and arguably the focus of the county and state--is on maintaining a full on-campus educational experience for students while moving quickly to assess and halt any possible spread of COVID.  Whereas last year any close contact would be expected to quarantine for 14 days, the availability of the COVID vaccination and the state endorsement of a different daily testing regimen.
 
Close contact students who are vaccinated and not showing COVID symptoms may continue attending school but with strict adherence to masking and other school health protocol, and those students will not eat lunch in either the commons or the existing separate lunch space or be transported with other students until they test negative with a scheduled PCR test (3-5 days after last exposure to a positive case).  Should a close contact demonstrate any primary COVID symptoms, they will be required to isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms.
 
Unvaccinated students follow a different protocol.  This year, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) has endorsed a program called "Test to Stay & Learn," which allows an unvaccinated close contacts to receive (for 10 days following exposure to a positive individual) a nasal swab rapid test (not an at-home test) each morning and attend school if they produce a negative test each day.  These students will also have lunch in a separate space and will not be transported with other students during this period.  On or after the 6th day (post-exposure), the student can obtain a PCR test with results being accepted on or after day eight and may be released from the "Test to Stay & Learn" protocol at that time.   If a student tests positive at any time (with the daily rapid test or PCR), they will be required to isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the date of lab collection.
 
Thanks to a program sponsored by the CDC, our school will soon be able to conduct on-site morning testing related to the "Stay & Learn" initiative.  Such testing will require the permission of parents, which will be part of the contact tracing process.  (Please remember that a school representative will reach out to the parent, not the student, if there has been close contact with a positive case.)  
 
This may or may not be more information than you need, but I want to make sure that our school's contact tracing and quarantine protocol is explicitly understood.  There is a great deal of intensity involved in this process, and I especially want to thank Leslie McCaffrey, the staff member who leads our community contact tracing, for all of her work this week.  I sometimes have individuals in the community ask how COVID-positive individuals are doing, and I do appreciate that question, but we cannot provide information of any kind about the health or medical situation of any individual without their permission.  You should assume that the individuals in question (who may or may not be symptomatic) are resting and recovering and will be back with us at the end of their isolation period.
 
I am heartened this week by one outcome: namely that the system we have seems to work with rapid contact-tracing, guidance to individuals, and limited transmission on campus.  I hope that we can continue to stay ahead of COVID transmission in our community and facilitate consistency in student education this year.  Our COVID task force meets periodically and based on our ongoing experience, we will make adjustments in the future as necessary.  In the meantime, please remind students to follow sensible steps (including and especially off-campus) to protect their own health and the health of the community, and please keep students home if they are sick.  
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 10th: Upper School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm
Back to School Dance, 8-10 pm
 
* Sat 11th: Vars XC vs. Wamego, 9 am
Boys Vars Soccer @ Atchison HS, 4:30 pm
 
* Sun 12th: Italy International Trip Meeting, 4-5 pm
11th grade parents get-together @ the Oldridge House, 5-7 pm
 
* Mon 13th: Boys MS Soccer @ KC Christian HS, 4:30 pm
Boys Vars Soccer vs. Bonner Springs @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Burlingame HS: JV & Vars 5, 6 & 7 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Veritas Christian School, B1 5 pm, B2, 6 pm & A 7 pm
 
* Tue 14th: Boys Vars Soccer vs. KC Christian @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Veritas Christian School, 6 & 7 pm
Girls MS VBall @ St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, B 5 pm & A 6 pm
 
* Thurs 16th: Girls MS VBall @ Heritage Christian Academy, B1 4:30, B2 5:30 & A 6:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ KC Christian School, 5 & 7 pm
HS & MS XC @ Wellsville, 4 pm
 
* Fri 17th: Service Club School Supply Drive ends
 
* Sat 18th: Girls Vars VBall @ Hiawatha HS, 8 am
MS XC @ Bonner Springs HS, 1 pm
 
* Sun 19th: 8th Grade Parents Get-Together @ BSA Commons, 5-7 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
I hope students have a great time at the dance tonight.  I agree with the students that a shortened week is somehow more exhausting than a full one, so I expect they have earned a little frivolity.  Once again, this event takes place outdoors in a restricted space, and students will be required to wear masks to enter the building to use the restrooms.  I am again attaching the rules for the dance, and thank you to parents and staff who have agreed to chaperone.  You, too, will have a good time!
 
We are excited to be planning our first BSA International Trip in two years.  Since the Academy first opened, our spring break has been lengthy (it was originally 3 weeks!) in part to accommodate this trip.  Italy is the location this year, and the chaperones will be Ms. Meyers, Ms. Czarnecki, and I.  We will offer a trip planning meeting this Sunday in the Commons to walk through the itinerary and answer questions.  For those who need to attend remotely, please go to my Zoom room here (also listed below my address line below).  If you can't attend the meeting, please reach out to Ms. Meyers at amymeyers@seaburyacademy.org
 
In an ongoing effort to encourage community network and mutual support, we invite you to participate in the Seabury Business Directory (available on our website), a listing of area establishments owned by Seabury community members. 
 
Parents, faculty, and students are proud of our chicken coop and garden on the north side of the school, but keeping those outdoor creatures alive and healthy involves many hands.  If you or your child would be interested in helping, here is the SignUp Genius link for taking care of the chickens and watering the garden this fall. There are still a LOT of tomatoes coming in, which you are welcome to take when you are on duty.  If you have questions about what is required, please reach out to Ms. Czarnecki at sonjaczarnecki@seaburyacademy. Thank you!
 
This morning, I admitted to the students that I always feel outmatched by the weight and complexity of September 11th and the obligation I feel to discuss it every year in morning meeting.  I tend to believe that social studies classes provide more space to unpack the complicated historical and cultural context for that event.  Plus, I am reluctant to saddle students (especially our youngest) with the burden of that painful experience in any detail.  However, the importance of discussing 9/11 was brought home to me by several adults in the last two days when they said many young people in their acquaintance do not know much about the tragedy.  Is this true for many people not alive in 2001?  I am not sure.  For those of us who witnessed the event, September 11th can be THE touchstone for the timeline of our lives, and the news of the last month confirms that its legacy continues.  We ignore the lessons of history at our peril.
 
I reviewed with the students the basic timeline of events on the morning of 9/11 and referenced how the attack on US soil changed our country: TSA airport and other public security measures (did we really move so effortlessly and freely through airport terminals?), surveillance, deployments in Afghanistan & Iraq, and a greater sense of vulnerability in our daily lives--all of which have shaped the upbringing and experience of people who were not yet born in 2001.  I also referenced the misguided aggression towards American Muslims and Arab-Americans that for some was an easy receptacle for anger and grief that could not be digested or fully understood.
 
Most importantly, I wanted to reframe the statement that has been a refrain, especially in the last week: "We must not forget."  What is it that we should remember?  Not just the nearly 3000 deaths that resulted from that day, though I think all of us who watched those events unfold have been haunted by the experience of both the fatalities and survivors of that day.  The helplessness and death of so many civilians and first responders is difficult to put into any perspective that allows us to fully move on from that day.  But, of course, people die all of the time, and during the pandemic, we are no strangers to our own mortality.
 
I also believe the call to "remember" should not be driven by anger or a spirit of retribution, though I feel the perpetrators of this violence deserve our deepest contempt and harshest judgment.  And yet, I also think of the quote, "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."  I have seen in my lifetime a recurring cycle of hatred--violence--suffering--anger--retribution--hatred, and I fear that the events in Afghanistan this last month are just a mile marker on a long and terrible road.  We revised our Academy's mission two years ago to include the objective of developing "global citizens," and that means our young people learn to take up the responsibility of not only our local and national government and social well-being but also education, awareness, and engagement regarding peoples and cultures beyond our borders.  Our fates are bound together, whether in harmony, neutrality, or hostility.  Ignorance may be bliss....until it isn't.
 
And finally, personally, I always take time on September 11th to dive deeply into the stories of compassion and self-sacrifice of the people in those stairwells, in the ash-darkened streets of lower Manhattan, and in United 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania.  Those accounts are breath-taking and deeply instructive about our humanity and the power of our individual choices.  They are a bright light against the darkness.  Renewing our acquaintance with such heroism in common people is an opportunity to prepare ourselves for the day when we have to risk our own well-being for the good of others.  There is so much in our world that seems--and often is--beyond our control.  And yet, every person is capable of goodness that transcends and defines their lives and that they can truly claim as their own.  This is what I think we should always remember to teach our children for the good of their own lives and for the improvement of this world.
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 3rd: Boys MS Soccer @ Topeka Collegiate School, 4 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Topeka Collegiate School: B-team 4, A-team 5 pm
 
* Sat 4th: Girls Vars VBall @ McLouth HS, 9 am
 
* Mon 6th: Labor Day--No Classes
 
* Tue 7th: Middle School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ TBA, 4:30 pm
Boys Vars Soccer @ Cair Paravel Latin School, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Lebo HS: JV 5, Vars 6 pm
 
* Wed 8th: MS Play Auditions, 3:30 pm
MS XC @ Haskell Indian Nations University, 3:30 pm
Service Club School Supply Drive begins
 
* Thurs 9th: Upper School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm
Boys Soccer @ Heritage Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
Boys HS Soccer vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ Clinton Lake Sports Complex, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ Bishop Ward HS, 4, 5 & 6 pm
Girls JV VBall @ Wyandotte HS, 4, 5 & 6 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. KC Christian Academy: B-Team 5 & 6, A-Team 7 pm
 
* Fri 10th: Upper School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm
Back to School Dance (RESCHEDULED!), 8-10 pm
 
* Sat 11th: Vars XC vs. Wamego, 9 am
Boys Vars Soccer @ Atchison HS, 4:30 pm
 
* Sun 12th: Italy International Trip Meeting, 5-6 pm
11th grade parents get-together @ the Oldridge House, 5-7 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
In morning meeting this week, Mr. Patterson introduced a new program at Seabury: the Independent Explorations Program (IExP).  The IExP is a platform for Upper School students to explore a particular interest or passion through focused independent study, project learning, and mentorship with an expert in the field.  Students as young as 9th grade may create and submit a proposal that is tailored to their interests.  Examples might include explorations in medicine, law, photography, public policy, language studies, environmental science, and business.  Individual plans for study should be student-driven with feedback and guidance from relevant administrators.  We will also help connect them with mentors.  The IExP is a voluntary program, but I know we have many ambitious students who will be eager to explore this co-curricular opportunity, and I am very interested to see what they come up with!  If you want to learn more, check out the program overview on the website here, and students should contact Mr. Patterson at mattpatterson@seaburyacademy.org with questions about the application.
 
Another program that we have rolled out this year for all students is called Xello.  This is an online program that assesses student learning styles, personality, and interests to connect students to potential college majors and career paths.  Students in advising have already begun the process of taking surveys to learn more about how they learn and connect to the world and other people. With every layer of new information, Xello provides students with suggestions for possible careers.  (Logged in as a student, I was not surprised to find that I am a visual and spatial learner, and after finishing the first few surveys, my top three career suggestions were high school teacher, school counselor, and acting instructor.  The program had a pretty good read on me!)   Every grade level from 6th-12th grade offers a different array of information and graduated lessons.  Xello also helps students to identify goals after high school, build a resume, view colleges that could serve their interests, and examine different professions.  In all, Xello is a robust program for self-discovery and exploration of possible future paths, and you should ask your child to show you the program in more detail. 
 
We have relocated the "after hours" drop box to the wall just outside of the main office entrance on the exterior of the school.  If you have a check or envelope to drop off when the school isn't open, feel free to use this option.
 
The BSA Service Club has planned a Schools Items Drive in conjunction with the United Way or Douglas County and the Lawrence Community Shelter to help outfit students in the Lawrence community who cannot afford school resources.  Beginning next Wednesday, we will have bins located in the entrance to the front office for donations such as refillable water bottles, child-sized masks, notebook paper, spiral notebook paper, art supplies (paints), dry erasers, and Clorox wipes.  The Drive will conclude on Friday, 17th. 
 
Our weekly snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students who are in quarantine/monitoring 
So far we have avoided cases of COVID in our student body, but I know our luck can change.  I am especially concerned about the repercussions following breaks and holidays, and we are about to hit our first one of the year.  I hope all families will be careful this weekend and take relevant steps (masks, distancing, fleeing) as situations dictate.  Let's all do our part to keep the community healthy!
 
Congratulations to our two new 6th grade student senate representatives who were elected today: Josephine Sourgens and Will Huerter!
 
Because of possible rainfall this evening, we have decided to postpone the first school dance until next Friday.  I didn't want to disappoint the students, but I would rather them have a good time (and not spend 2 hours under the school awning like soaked puppies).  Plus, next week's forecast appears to be promising.  Keep your fingers crossed.
 
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Fri 27th: Boys Vars Soccer @ Eudora H.S., 7 pm
* Sat 28th: Senior Retreat, 4-9 pm
* Mon 30th: BSAP Mtg, 5:30 pm
* Tue 31st: Girls Vars VBall Tri @ BSA, 5 & 7 pm
* Thurs 2nd: Vars XC @ Basehor-Linwood, 4 pm
Boys Vars Soccer @ Christ Prep Academy, 4:30 pm
* Fri 3rd: Back-to-School Dance, 8-10 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ Topeka Collegiate School, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Topeka Collegiate School: B-team 5, A-team 6 pm
* Sat 4th: Girls Vars VBall @ McLouth HS, 8 am
 
Dear Parents,
 
I enjoyed seeing so many of you at last night's Curriculum Night.  I hope you enjoyed seeing your child's teachers in action.  
 
Mr. Kellogg had a rough morning on Tuesday, largely due to dehydration.  He was back in the building on Thursday, and he wanted me to thank everyone for their concern and pass along that he is doing much better now.
 
Speaking of hydrating, I am always a bit anxious about sports practices in these intemperate first weeks of the semester.  Many thanks to Mr. Rios, our coaches, and our parents for the constant reminders for students to remain hydrated throughout the day and during practices.  I am always deeply impressed by the commitment of student time, talent, and passion to these activities, and I wish our athletes great success as they begin their season of competition.  Please come out and see them play when you have the chance!
 
With our fall sports season beginning, please see the attached protocol for players, officials, and spectators.  Please contact Mr. Rios at brianrios@seaburyacademy.org if you have any questions.
 
Our first BSAP (Bishop Seabury Academy Parents Association) meeting of the year will occur on Monday night and will be hybrid (physically in the Commons but with option to attend remotely via Zoom).  BSAP President Robert Page sent an email earlier today with Zoom information.
 
Our Student Senate will host a Back-to-School dance for all students, Friday Sept. 3 from 8 to 10 pm.  There is a $5.00 entrance fee, and the funds raised will underwrite student events like Palooza, Winter Formal, and the all-school picnic during Orientation.  We will need several parent chaperones to help out that evening.  If interested, please email Ms. Czarnecki at sonjaczarnecki@seaburyacademy.org.  The dance will be held on the front porch area of the school, and since it will be outdoors, masks are optional (though students should carry masks to enter the building and use the restrooms).  For new parents, our school dances are not the clumsy, unfortunate adolescent mating rituals you may imagine.  Try to picture a collection of sugar-injected students bouncing up and down for several hours...that is a Seabury dance.  Our dance code of conduct form is attached.  I hope the kids have a good time.
 
And finally, our weekly snapshot:
0: # of students/staff who are presently positive for COVID
0: # of students who are in quarantine/monitoring 
 
Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang
 
 
THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 20th: Fall Sports Kick Off, 3:30-5:30 pm
 
* Sun 22nd: New Parent Orientation, 4-5:30 pm
 
* Mon 23rd: All-School Pictures
 
* Thurs 26th: Curriculum Night, 7-9 pm
Parent Mixer (optional), 6:30 pm
 
* Fri 27th: Boys Vars Soccer @ Eudora H.S., 4:30 pm
 
* Sat 28th: Senior Retreat, 4-9 pm
 
Dear Parents,
 
And we are off!  I hope your children have had a good first week.  We intentionally avoid starting classes on Monday during the first week so that students can acclimate.  Don't be surprised if they are less energetic in the next two weeks, as the adrenaline wears off and their sleep cycles adjust!
 
On Sunday, we will host our New Parent Orientation in the Commons from 4-5:30 pm.  New families, I hope that you can have at least one parent in attendance.  After some introductory information from me, we will use an open house format with various tables so you can focus on getting the information you need.  Parents who already have children at Seabury (in addition to a new student) do not need to attend.  Please wear masks for this event.
 
Thursday evening is Curriculum Night. This will be your opportunity to follow your student’s schedule, meet their teachers, and learn about course work. Parents often tell me this is one of the most important experiences of the year, and my favorite comment from parents is always the same: “I wish I had these classes when I was in school.”  We will also have an optional parent mixer at 6:30 pm on that evening, giving you time to have an adult beverage and wander the hallways.  I hope you can attend.  I will send more info next week prior to the event.
 
If your children were surprised they couldn't log onto their accounts Wednesday night, so were the faculty and staff.  We have outsourced our technology infrastructure to a company called K12itc out of Kansas City that provides managed IT services to public and independent schools in the region.  The process of transitioning from in-house to outsourced services required students to be on campus to complete, but the password switch happened about 12 hours earlier than we had anticipated.  We told students not to worry if this change forestalled any homework they had been assigned for that evening.  Once we finish with the transition, we expect that our tech world will run quite smoothly this year.
 
School pictures for all students will be taken on Monday.  Because we use senior pictures for graduation purposes, seniors need to wear a dark jacket, a white dress shirt, and a tie or a nice black dress or blouse.  
 
We have a number of new programs that we are introducing.  This week, I want to draw your attention to our new SEE curriculum.  S.E.E. stands for Social, Emotional, and Ethical Learning and is a program developed by Emory University to enrich the development of young people as human beings, drawing focus specifically to executive functioning, compassion and care, and ethical engagement.  The SEE curriculum will be incorporated into the Middle School and will teach students content and skills that will promote emotional and social health, positive relationships, healthy engagement with technology/social media, positive mindset, resilience, and awareness of social and community obligations.   In general, this program will help students to become happier, stronger, and more connected human beings.  We are hoping that parents will be involved in engaging students about related topics, and I encourage you to see Ms. Czarnecki's letter (attached) for more information.
 
I wanted to communicate that one of our staff members tested positive for COVID-19 this week and is in the process of getting back to health.  There was no close contact with any students or staff on campus.  A few reminders to parents.  First, please notify the office if you ever discover that your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID.  That information is kept confidential, and students who are vaccinated do not need to stay home to quarantine (unless they are symptomatic) but will need to be more careful on campus until they receive a negative COVID test.  Second, please continue to direct your children to be careful outside of school and the household.  The students are doing a good job of falling into the new health protocol on campus, and the more careful they are outside of school, the less disruption we will experience.  
 
With the new county mask mandate for children ages 2-11, we will have 6th grade lunches occur in spaces outside of the Commons starting next week.
 
Next week, as I did last year, I will include a quick snapshot in weekly letters that identifies numbers of students or staff who are either in quarantine or who have COVID. 
 
Once again, we are all very glad to have your children back on campus this year, and I look forward to seeing many of you next Thursday at Curriculum Night.
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
THE WEEK AHEAD:
 
* Sat 14th: 9th grade retreat, 9:45 am-12:15 pm
 
* Mon 16th: 6th Grade Orientation, 9-11 am
First Day of Fall Sports Practices for High School students
Parent Forum on Zoom (optional), 7-8 pm
 
* Tue 17th: All School Orientation: 6th-11th grades 8 am-1 pm, 12 grade 8 am-2 pm.  (lunch included)
 
* Wed 18th: First Day of Classes (students seated in commons by 8:10 am)
First Day of Fall Sports Practices for Middle School students
 
* Fri 20th: Fall Sports Kick Off, 3:30-5:30 pm
 
* Sun 22nd: New Parent Orientation, 4-5:30 pm
 
Dear Parents,

I know you get a lot of emails, so the Friday Letter is one method I use to reduce some of the glut of communication.  I will assume that all parents will read these letters each week, as information here may not be repeated elsewhere.  To create ease in reading, I bold-face the topics in each paragraph.  
 
Sixth-graders will have their school orientation on Monday 16th in the morning, and all students will participate in a school-wide orientation on Tuesday 17th.  Upper school students who have opted to use their personal laptops this year should bring those devices to the Tuesday orientation.  Lunch will not be served on Monday but will be served at the Tuesday all-school orientation.
 
As noted in the 2021-22 Health Protocol I sent out previously, we will offer traditional communal lunches this year.  If you would prefer your child to eat in a room with 6-feet distance between students, please contact Sonja Cznarnecki at sonjaczarnecki@seaburyacademy.org by Monday 16th.  
 
I am looking forward to utilizing our expanded facilities more fully this year, and part of that expansion was to establish more security.  Last year, our teachers used security fobs to gain access to the building, and students will have key cards this year that will allow them into the school through certain doors at certain times of the day.  We will explain that system and distribute cards at next week's orientation.
 
Our athletics department will host a Fall Sports Kick Off for our students on Friday 20th.  The event occurs outdoors and will include games, music, snacks, and just fun in general.  Brian Rios sent our activity schedule in an email earlier in the week, and it includes practice times and locations.  
 
The faculty and I have been in all-day faculty meetings this week.  At one point, we watched a short video that included children, and I could feel the room light up.  We are all eager to hear the noise and see the colorful enthusiasm of the students back in the building.  New Seabury parents, I know your children are both excited and nervous!  I am sure our new teachers feel the same.  But don't worry--it will all work out!  
 
Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

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