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2022-23 Friday Letter

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 30th: Debate @ Olathe Northwest

* Sat 1st: Debate @ Olathe Northwest

* Sun 2nd: Grandparents & Family Friends Event @ BSA, 2-4 pm
Chess Kick-Off @ 750 N. 3rd, 6-8 pm

* Mon 3rd: Boys HS Soccer vs. Cair Paravel Latin School @ Sunflower Soccer Complex, 4:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Summit Christian Academy: B-team 5:30, A-team 6:30
BSAP Meeting @ BSA Commons, 6:30 pm

* Tue 4th: Girls VBall @ KC Christian HS: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm

* Wed 5th: Parent-Teacher Conferences 6-9 pm

* Thurs 6th: NO CLASSES: Parent-Teacher Conferences 1-4:30, 6:30-9 pm
MS XC Meet @ Eudora HS, 4 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ KC Christian HS, 4:30 pm
Girls VBall vs. Cair Paravel @ BSA: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Heritage Christian Academy: B-team 5, A-team 6 pm

* Fri 7th: Fall Break--No Classes

* Mon 10th: Fall Break--No Classes

* Tue 11th: Classes Resume!

Dear Parents,

We started this morning with thumping music and surprisingly enthusiastic students (at an early hour) in the commons as the Student Senate provided the faculty & staff with a thank you breakfast.  The gesture and the snacks were all much appreciated!

Don't forget that parent-teacher conferences are Wednesday and Thursday.  The last date to sign up for conferences is Tues, Oct 4th.  Teachers need time to plan for their conferences, so if you miss the cut-off date, you will need to schedule a meeting time with teachers AFTER next week.  Here is the link in case you missed it: Fall conference sign up

Prior to the conferences, Betsy will send out a list of names that serve as hyperlinks to Google Meet rooms, so you will simply need to find each teacher and click on those names when it is time for you to join your conference.  In 2020-2021, we found that online conferences were much more convenient for parents and teachers than meeting in person, so we have continued to run conferences virtually.  However, Zoom no longer allows our teachers to run meetings longer than 40 minutes, and since teachers use one unbroken Zoom virtual session throughout the conference period, we risked the inconvenience of Zoom sessions ending abruptly in the middle of a parent meeting.  For this reason, we will be using Google Meets this year.  For those of you who do not have a Google email account, you will need to create one prior to the session OR plan to join your first conference a few minutes early, as you will be directed to create a Gmail account on the spot when you click the name of your first teacher.  This is a very easy process, but I have attached directions for those who tend to be anxious about tech issues!

A quick reminder: conferences are 10 minutes.  Teachers will admit parents to the online session once they finish with their prior meeting, and they are under strict directions from me not to go over those 10 minutes, so please be on time for your conferences.  We have had very few technical problems with these conferences, but please be patient if you run into an issue, and know that you can always follow up with teachers.  Thank you!

Congratulations to senior Beck Oldridge on being named Athlete of the Week by the Lawrence Journal-World!  

Don't forget that this year's Chess team kick-off party is at 750 N. 3rd on Sunday 2nd.  

Last Saturday was the first day when I felt the start of autumn in my bones, and now colder weather is greeting us every morning.  I hope you enjoy the weekend and take time to embrace the season.

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Sat 24th: Girls Var VBall @ Olpe HS, 8:30 am
Debate @ Free State

* Mon 26th: Boys HS Soccer vs. Northeast Kansas Homeschool Athletics @ Sunflower Soccer Complex, 4:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ Summit Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Barstow School: B-team 5:30, A-team 6:30 pm

* Tue 27th: Girls VBall @ Maranatha Academy: JV 4:30 & Var 5:30 pm

* Thurs 29th: Girls MS VBall vs. Pembroke Hill @ BSA: B-team 5, A-team 6 pm
Girls Var VBall @ Veritas Christian Academy, 6 & 7 pm

* Fri 30th: Boys Soccer @ Heritage Christian Academy: HS 4 & MS 5:45 pm
Debate @ Olathe Northwest

* Sat 1st: Debate @ Olathe Northwest
HS XC @ Rim Rock, 9 am

* Sun 2nd: Grandparents & Family Friends Event @ BSA, 2-4 pm
Chess Kick-Off @ 750 N. 3rd, 6-8 pm

Dear Parents,

This is the week when teachers typically send out the first round of yearly progress reports to parents 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. This year, Schoology has experienced a programming glitch that has kept us from sending those reports with our usual procedure, so earlier in the week, I encouraged teachers to write up their reports and either wait until Monday to see if the system has been repaired or go ahead and send the messages one-by-one through email (which is a bit more time-intensive).  So you should get reports from all of your children's teachers by early next week.  Keep in mind that the data about class progress may not account for work that has (or has not) been completed here at the end of the week.

We time the first round of progress reports to go out a few weeks prior to October parent-teacher conferences.  Betsy sent the conference sign-up link earlier in the week, and sign-up appears to be going well. The last date to sign up for conferences is Tues, Oct 4th.  Here is the link in case you missed it: Fall conference sign up

For many of your children, their first introduction to our school was a Be-A-Seahawk Day.  These are important recruitment days for our school, coinciding with parent-teacher conferences at local schools, and this year's dates are October 20th & 24th and November 7th.  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 Lisa Leroux-Smith and let her know!  Feel free to share this link directly with prospective families: Be-A-Seahawk Day Registration  

Our annual Grandparents and Family Friend Day will happen on Sunday, October 2 from 2-4 pm.  Students can bring their grandparents and/or family friends to school for a brief program followed by ice cream sundaes and a school tour. To help us plan this event, please RSVP by Monday, September 26 to ellenchindamo@seaburyacademy.org with your child's name and the names of their guests.  We want to celebrate ALL of our grandparents, including those who live at a distance, so we will send a special delivery to them in November! If you are new to the school or your grandparent(s) or family friend's name, address, and email have changed, please send Ellen Chindamo any changes.

Picture retakes are scheduled for this upcoming Monday morning. Seniors need to remember to wear black. All others need to remember NOT to wear green.

Next Friday the 30th, representatives from Josten's will talk to Seniors about ordering caps & gowns.  Though we know there will be caterwauling from the group, the Seniors must arrive to school by 8:15 for that meeting!

We open this year's Chess season with a team kick-off party at 750 N. 3rd on Sunday 2nd.  If your child would like more information about our Chess program, have them talk to Shane Richmond or email him at shanerichmond@seaburyacademy.org.  Otherwise, they can plan to show up at the kick-off.

Once again, everyone has done a great job bringing in shoes for the athletics Funds2orgs drive, but we still have a ways to go to hit our quota.  Keep them coming!  Your closets will thank you!

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 16th: Boys HS Soccer vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA, 5 pm
Debate @ Washburn Rural

* Sat 17th: Girls Vars VBall @ Hiawatha, 9:50 am
MS XC @ Wyandotte County Park, 1 pm
Debate @ Washburn Rural

* Mon 19th: Boys HS Soccer vs. Maur Hill Mount Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. KC Christian: B-team 5. A-team 6 pm

* Tue 20th: Var XC @ Tonganoxie-Leavenworth Co. Fairgrounds, 5 pm
Boys MS Soccer vs. Barstow @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Girls VBall @ Bishop Ward HS: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm

* Wed 21st: MS XC @ Tonganoxie-Leavenworth Co. Fairgrounds, 3:30 pm

* Thurs 22: Boys HS Soccer vs. Bishop Ward @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ St. Paul's Episcopal Day School, 4:30 pm
Girls VBall vs. Heritage Christian Academy: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Veritas Christian School: B-team 5:30, A-team 6:30 pm

* Fri 23rd: Debate @ Free State

* Sat 24th: Girls Var VBall @ Olpe HS, 8:30 am
Debate @ Free State

Dear Parents,

Thanks to everyone who could come out last Friday to the Homecoming and the first home soccer game.  As the weather vacillates between fall and summer, we should have a nice sunny afternoon if you want to come out and see our boys take on Maranatha today.

Our school has long benefited from a student international program, and I have very fond memories of the various students who have had the courage to leave their homes and native countries and spend their formative years at our school, immersed in a new language.  Generally, we work with organizations that find homes for these students, but this year, we have two Korean girls (grades 7 and 8) who are in need of separate host families.  A stipend is provided to offset the costs of hosting a student.  If you are interested in hosting one of these students or have any questions, please reach out to Lisa Leroux-Smith at lisalerouxsmith@seaburyacademy.org.

Good luck to our debate squad as they head out to their first tournament this weekend!

Everyone has done a great job bringing in shoes for the athletics Funds2orgs drive.  Keep them coming!

On that note, as a rule, I try to avoid any monetary requests on behalf of outside foundations or charities, as I never want parents to feel the "nickel and dimed" effect that can happen despite good intentions.  I also tend to corral product drives as well, for similar reasons, and I try to space them so parents don't feel that we are constantly making requests of them.  Almost all of the drives that occur at the school originate with students, and I try to respect and support their efforts as much as possible.  For instance, I recently received a request from several students to hold a one-week drive this month for a Lawrence non-profit organization called Honor Moon, a group started by Seabury students to normalize discussions about menstruation and to create a local pantry for menstrual products.  Among recipients of these products are women who do not have access to stable homes, and this is where there is presently an urgent need.  Because of the importance of this effort, I am allowing two drives to run concurrently.  This will largely be a drive involving students, but if you would like to support this effort, you can drop off tampons or pads in a container inside the main office entrance or you can reach out to Margaret Mulhern at margaretmulhern@seaburyacademy.org about how you can help.

Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri Boys HS Soccer HOMECOMING GAME vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Seabury Family Field Dedication @ half-time; food, fun, and games after the game!

* Sat 10th: Vars XC Invitational @ Wamego HS, 9 am.

* Sun 11th: Spain International Trip Informational Meeting, 5 pm

* Mon 12th: Boys HS Soccer @ Bonner Springs HS, 4:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer vs. KC Christian @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ BSA, 5 & 7 pm 
Girls MS VBall @ St. Paul's Episcopal Day School: B-team 5:30, A-team 6:30 pm
Upper-School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm

* Tue 13th: Girls VBall vs. KC Christian @ BSA: JV 4:30, Vars 5:30 pm
Boys HS  Soccer vs. KC Christian @ JCCC, 6:45 pm
Upper-School Play Auditions, 3:30 pm

* Wed 14th: MS XC @ Loose Park, 3:30 pm
Auction Committee Meeting @ BSA, 6:00 pm

* Thurs 15th: Girls VBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School: JV 4:30, Vars 5:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ University Academy: B-team 5:30, A-team 6:30 pm

* Fri 16th: Boys HS Soccer vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm

* Sat 17th: Girls Vars VBall @ Hiawatha, 9 am
MS XC @ Wyandotte County Park, 1 pm

Dear Parents,

I am looking forward to seeing a host of students and parents at tonight's first truly "home" soccer game, 4:30 pm.  We will have a brief dedication at halftime to celebrate the new Seabury Family Soccer Field, and food, fun, and games will follow the event, and students should be picked up by 7:45 pm.  Good luck to our athletes!

Dr. Eicher, Sr. Rowe, and Ms. Meyers held a presentation about the upcoming Spain International Trip in morning meeting.  This is our first trip to Spain, and I hope we will have a full group.  If you would like to know more information about the trip, come out to the parent informational meeting this Sunday the 11th in the Commons from 5-6 pm.  If you can't attend but have questions, reach out to Ms. Meyers at amymeyers@seaburyacademy.org.

Auditions for the Upper School play will occur next Monday and Tuesday at 3:30 pm

The community is doing a great job of submitting shoes for the Funds2orgs program.  Keep them coming!

I was sitting at my lunch table yesterday when a student asked me if I knew Queen Elizabeth had died.  I was surprised at my internal response: not sadness so much as a sudden illuminating sense of being part of history.  As a member of the school's social studies department, I believe one of our objectives is to encourage students to discover and be in wonder of their role in a bigger and increasingly complex fabric of human events.  No doubt there will be some fascinating coverage of the Queen's life in the coming weeks (and I am sure I am not the only one comparing recordings of the monarch to those of actresses Helen Mirren, Claire Foy, and Olivia Coleman!).  

Have a good weekend,
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 2nd: Back to School Dance, 8-10 pm

* Sat 3rd: Vars VBall @ McLouth HS, 9 am

* Mon 5th: Labor Day--No classes

* Tue 6th: MS Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm
MS XC @ Haskell Indian Nations University, 3:30 pm
Boys HS Soccer vs. Cair Paravel Latin School @ YSI, 4 pm
Boys MS Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 4:30 pm
Girls MS VBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, B-team 4:30, A-Team 5:30 pm
Girls Vars VBall @ BSA, 5 & 7 pm

* Wed 7th: MS Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm

* Thurs 8th: Boys MS Soccer vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ YSI, 4 pm
Girls MS VBall vs. Maranatha Christian Academy, B-team 5, A-team 6 pm

* Fri Boys HS Soccer HOMECOMING GAME vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Seabury Family Field Dedication @ half-time; food, fun, and games after the game!

* Sat 10th: Vars XC Invitational @ Wamego HS, 9 am.

* Sun 11th: Spain International Trip Informational Meeting, 5 pm

Dear Parents,

I hope your children have a good time at the school dance tonight.  I know they really enjoy this event every year.  Please remember that students should be picked up by 10 pm (except student senators who will help with clean-up).

After students return from Labor Day Weekend, they will enjoy a senate-themed Spirit Week.  If you tend to think that pajamas and spirited behavior are antithetical, you have never been on our campus.  Here are the themes for each day:
Tuesday: Pajama Day
Wednesday: Rainbow Day
Thursday: Tropical Day
Friday: Seahawk Spirit Day

We are looking forward to our first home soccer game in Seabury history.  The Seabury Family Soccer Field dedication will occur during half-time at the Friday game against Heritage Christian, and the Homecoming celebration after the game will involve games and snacks sponsored by BSAP.  We hope everyone has a good time--and a big thank you to all of the parents and friends who made "home field advantage" a reality for our soccer team!

Our theatre season begins next week.  Auditions for the Middle School production will occur on Tuesday and Wednesday at 3:30 pm.  Upper School auditions will occur the following week.

We now have a bin for the Funds2orgs program inside the main office entrance.  If you have shoes to donate, you can drop them off through the month of September.

We were very excited to have Mr. Gerald Seib visit Ms. Czarnecki's US Politics class today.  Mr. Seib is a KU graduate and was a journalist with The Wall Street Journal for 45 years and the WSJ's Executive Washington Editor for 29 years.  While visiting Lawrence as the Fellow in Residence for the Dole Center Insititute of Politics, Mr. Seib graciously agreed to visit Seabury today and will be back to speak with Upper School students again next Friday.  

Now that we have a few weeks under our belt, I hope your children are getting into the rhythm of a new school year.  They are an enthusiastic bunch, but they will no doubt welcome an extended weekend.  (I know the teachers will....)

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Sat 27th: Senior Retreat, 3:45-9 pm

* Mon 29th: Boys HS Soccer @ St. Mary's Academy, 5 pm

* Tue 30th: Girls Vars VBall @ Cair Paravel Latin School, 4:30 & 6:30 pm

* Thurs 1st: Vars XC @ Wyandotte County Park, 4 pm

* Fri 2nd: Picture Day, 9 am to 1 pm
Back to School Rave, 8-10 pm

* Sat 3rd: Vars VBall @ McLouth HS, 9 am

Dear Parents,

It was a pleasure to see so many of you last night at Curriculum Night!  Thank you for coming out to get a taste of your child's academic program.  Just add adrenaline, laughter, and a sea of children and adolescents to the mix, and you will have an idea of what we enjoy on a daily basis.  

One of our staff thought they detected the smell of natural gas outside the gym yesterday, and out of an abundance of caution, we moved students out of that area of the building as we waited for a representative from Black Hills to arrive.  The concern turned out to be unfounded, but I thought I'd let you know in case your child mentioned it.

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.  Consult the attached flyer from Jostens--especially the warning that your children not wear green, as the green screen the photographers use will otherwise turn your children into floating heads.  (That actually sounds quite amusing until you have to live with those yearbook photos....)

Our Student Senate will host a Back-to-School dance for all students, Friday Sept. 2 from 8 to 10 pm.  There is a $5.00 entrance fee, and the funds raised will underwrite student events like Palooza and Winter Formal.  Students may bring one guest but will be responsible for that guest's behavior.  We will need several parent chaperones to help out that evening.  If interested, please email Mr. Whipple at williamwhipple@seaburyacademy.org.  The dance will be held in the commons area of the school.  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 as well as the guest form.  I hope the kids have a good time.

The Seabury Family Soccer Field will be dedicated on Friday, September 9 during halftime of the Seabury game vs Heritage Christian Academy. The game starts at 4:30 pm.  Stay to celebrate our first ever Seabury Homecoming with walking tacos, shaved ice, games and fun on the Megan Reese Edwards Plaza in front of the school.  (Flyer attached.)  There is rumor of a dunk tank....  Everyone in the Seabury community is invited.  Special thanks to all of the donors and everyone who has made this field possible.  I know it will be a source of pride for our players and student body!

At a recent Athletics Booster Committee meeting, a parent suggested that our school participate in the Funds2orgs program.  Essentially, our school would collect worn, used, and new shoes and earn a donation from Fund2orgs in exchange.  The funds will support our athletics program.  More details will be forthcoming, but you can help now by reviewing your wardrobe and deciding which shoes have got to go!  

After these initial weeks of training, our athletes head out to competition next week.  Good luck to them.  And please come out to see them play when you have a chance!

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
 

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Sun 21st: New Parent Orientation, 4-5:30 pm

* Thurs 25th: Curriculum Night, 7-9 pm
(Optional: Parent Mixer, 6:30 pm)

* Sat 27th: Senior Retreat, 3:45-9 pm

Dear Parents,

We are off to a great start this week.  I am grateful to have students and faculty back in the building, and I love the noise and enthusiasm.  Don't be surprised if that energy wanes temporarily, as the first few weeks require us all to adjust to a new sleep and work pattern.  I hope they have had a good first week!

As noted previously, we start the school day with students in their seats no later than 8:10 am on Monday through Thursday.  (Students won't be able to enter through the student entrance at that point and will need to sign in as tardy in the main office.)  I explained to students at orientation we have a "late start" on Fridays (they need to be in the commons for announcements no later than 8:25 am), but I forgot to send out a note to parents about this.  I think students and staff appreciate the extra time, but if a "late start" doesn't work with your adult schedule, no worries--the building is open at the usual time.

This is also a good time to reiterate language from the Community Handbook that students should be picked up by 3:45 pm every day unless they are involved in extracurricular activities or have a scheduled meeting with a staff member.  If parents need more time to pick up students (due to work) we certainly understand, but you should know that students will have no adult supervision after 3:45 pm, and our main office closes at 4:30 pm.  

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 a presentation 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, but you are welcome!

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.

Ms. Patti Bartley was named President of our Board of Trustees in 2018 and has served in that role for five years.  Her tenure as President ends today, though she will continue on as a trustee (and parent of a senior).  Patti was responsible for leading the Board of Trustees during a time of considerable change (the campus expansion) and stress (the pandemic), and I have relied upon her support, insight, and good humor through these challenges.  It has been a pleasure to work with Patti, and on behalf of the community, I extend our gratitude to her for her service.  Our new Board President will be Ms. Kay Almanza who first joined the Board in 2007 and had two children graduate from our school.  I have had the pleasure of knowing Kay for 15 years, and I am very much looking forward to having her as our new President.  Thank you Patti and congratulations Kay!

I was deeply saddened to learn that our dear friend and long-time Lawrence educator Dr. Ray Wilbur died yesterday of congestive heart failure.  Ray and his wife Marian were part of Bishop Seabury Academy from the beginning.  Ray taught several math classes and Marian was our librarian for twelve years (1997-2009), and they donated their time and talents to the school, never taking a salary.  Their kindness, generosity, and investment in our school is staggering, and we honored the couple by naming the Wilbur Award after them--an award presented at Stepping-Up in May and which celebrates the senior with the highest GPA.  Ray was a man of uncommon character and goodness, and it is hard to fully comprehend this loss.  The love and good wishes of our community go out to Marian.

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

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