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2022-23 Friday Letter

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 27th: HS BBall @ Kansas City Christian High School: Boys JV 5, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Sat 28th: Powerlifting @ Royal Valley

* Tue 31st: BBall @ Veritas Christian School: JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Thurs 2nd: MS BBall vs. KC Christian @ BSA: Girls 4, Boys-B 5, Boys-A 6, 6th Boys 7 pm

* Fri 3rd: BBall vs. Heritage Christian @ BSA: JV 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Sat 4th: Forensics @ LHS
               Powerlifting @ Emporia
               Chess @ Ottawa

Dear Parents,

With Dr. gone, I got the privilege of hearing first hand how horrible I was for not calling a snow day this past Wednesday. The good news is that we made it through the week safely and managed to navigate the "treacherous terrain." While Dr. did give me permission to pursue a philosophical topic of my choice, I think it best to spare you my thoughts on the benefits of geometric proofs. Instead, I will share some updates and things to consider as you engage in all that Seabury has to offer. Parent, student, and faculty engagement in our community is what makes it special. As a student aptly stated in their reflection on community service, "to be part of a community, you have to put work in for the community to thrive." Our work here is ongoing and I am constantly comforted by the collaboration between parents and faculty that enables our students to flourish.

We are under a month away from our annual auction! Get your tickets now and click the link to join us for Rock On Seabury, on Friday, February 24, at the Jayhawk Club. Catalogs will be in your mailboxes soon and the live and silent auction items will begin to be revealed a few weeks before the auction. This is our most important fundraiser and everything raised goes to support our school. Many thanks to co-chairs, Sarah Hill-Nelson and Meagan Lohmeyer, and the entire auction committee for all of their work - it's going to be a great night!

Betsy has opened the sign-up for the February parent/teacher conferences (2/8-2/9). Use this Spring 2023 Conference Sign-Up to sign-up to visit for 10 minutes with the teachers. I had a parent ask if they should sign-up to see all of their child's teachers. In the spring, many parents opt to visit with just the teachers of the classes that their child may be struggling in. Who you see is totally up to you.

As you may recall, this year we instituted the Evergreen Contract to help save unnecessary paperwork. This means your student is automatically re-enrolled each year for the next academic school year unless we receive word from you prior to 1/31. The enrollment deposit has been billed to your FACTS account and is due by 2/1 and, if you have signed up for automatic withdrawal, it will be deducted from your bank account or charged to your credit card on this date. Otherwise, you will need to bring a check by 2/1. Please contact Cris Denning if you have any questions or concerns.

If you are looking to take on a new challenge or to be one with the birds, please sign up here to pick a week or more to take care of the chickens. Feel free to take eggs home or put in the crate in the fridge. A true steal considering the price of eggs these days! Let Sonja Czarnecki know if you have any questions.

Each year, high school students from Lawrence participate in an exchange with students from Lawrence's sister city, Eutin, Germany. Students on both sides will spend about one month living with their host family and attending school. This past fall, we had three students visiting from Germany after a couple of our students spent time in Eutin last summer. The amount of cultural exchange and impact these students had was felt throughout the Seabury community. If you are interested, the applications are due soon!  For more information, please contact  Lisa Leroux-Smith.

I hope that you all have a wonderful weekend. It is truly a pleasure to be a part of this community and I hope that we can all help to make it truly thrive by engaging in a deeper and individually meaningful way.

Sincerely,
Will Whipple

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 20th: Climate Club Movie: Avatar, 3:30-7 pm

* Sat 21st: Boys Vars BBall Tournament @ Baldwin Jr. HS, 1 pm
MS BBall @ Barstow: 6th Grade 9 am, Boys-B 10 am, Boys-A 11 am, Girls 12 pm
Powerlifting @ Leavenworth
Chess @ Rockhurst

* Tue 24th: MS BBall vs. Maranatha Christian Academy @ BSA: 6th Grade 4:30, Boys-B 5:30, Boys-A 6:30, Girls 7:30 pm
HS BBall @ Maranatha Academy: Boys JV 5, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Wed 25th: College Planning Night (Junior students and parents), 7 pm

* Thurs 26th: MS BBall vs. St. Paul's Episcopal Day School @ BSA: Girls 4:30, 6th Boys 5:30, Boys-B 6:30, Boys-A 7:30 pm

* Fri 27th: HS BBall @ Kansas City Christian High School: Boys JV 5, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Sat 28th: Powerlifting @ Royal Valley

Dear Parents,

We held the Seabury Spelling Bee on Wednesday, and it was wonderful.  I am so impressed by the willingness of our young students to get up in front of the whole school and compete, and they did a great job with some tough words.  And the enthusiasm and good-natured cheering (and frequent gasps) of our entire school just make me smile.  After a long battle between our final two spellers, we finally crowned a champion, 7th grader Chelsea Walden, and a runner-up, 8th grader Alice Pulsinelli.  Thanks to new Spelling Bee policies, both Chelsea and Alice will advance to the County Bee.  Good luck to them!

Thanks to the students and staff members who helped put together Monday's morning of service, Tuesday's MLK presentation, and last night's MLK Dinner.  A special thanks to Dr. Tammara Durham for offering the keynote speech last night.  

In the context of this week’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded of the initiative from our 2020-2024 BSA Strategic Plan that we will “engage the School constituency at all levels--board, faculty, parents, and students--in discussion about the nature and importance of DEI goals to ensure widespread support and successful implementation.”  The message that follows here is one step towards fulfilling this objective.

Since 2014, at the directive of the Board of Trustees, we have developed what has become a robust DEI program, involving students, administrators, faculty, parents, and board members.  Like all programs, our DEI initiatives will always be evolving, but I am very proud of what we have accomplished thus far.  I realize this message may be longer than you want to read, but the following message will speak to the Strategic Plan initiative and the related work we do at Seabury.

What is “DEI”?
This is a common acronym for “Diversity. Equity. Inclusivity.”  These words may be defined as follows:
“Diversity”: the range of differences that exist within the larger category of human beings and may include (but is not limited to) age, class, race, ability, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, and religion.
“Equity”: not to be confused with equality, equity is the positive outcome of individuals made possible when attention and resources are directed to each individual’s unique circumstances, opportunities, and challenges.
“Inclusivity”: when the policies, practices, and messaging of an organization or culture create equal opportunities, respect, agency, and support for all of its constituents.  Inclusivity often leads to a sense of “belonging”—that is, a sense that individuals feel equally cared for, protected, and valued.
DEI “work” is the coordinated efforts of an organization (such as a school) to develop, maintain, and improve these objectives for the well-being of students, parents, and families.

What does DEI work look like?
There are many faces to this work.  Organizationally, we have an adult committee composed of administrators, teachers, and board members, and it generates a lot of the school’s DEI activities.  The adult committee oversees the work of many related student organizations at the school and also provides central guidance to activities like the recent service work, morning meeting presentation, and dinner related to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  The school will recognize different identity groups in line with certain national months of recognition (Black History Month, Pacific Islander Month, Women’s History Month, and so forth).  Students have organized area DEI events (sometimes with neighboring high schools) and attended conferences such as the Student Diversity Leadership Conference at KU.  Administrators, teachers, students, and board members have attended national NAIS-sponsored conferences.  BSAP has organized parent education nights around topics such as mental health, gender identity, and race & incarceration.  We also examine the curriculum at department and school levels to gauge how our curriculum represents a diversity of voices/content and considers different student backgrounds and experiences.  Diversification of faculty identity is also an area where DEI conversations and processes have relevance.  These are just some examples of DEI initiatives at Seabury.  Honestly, the most important part of our work may be the facilitation of student conversations on DEI topics.

Why is DEI work important to Bishop Seabury Academy?
A central reason why parents send their children to our school is the belief that effective learning and personal development require a culture that promotes individual support and well-being.  By its nature, DEI efforts aim for such an outcome for all individuals.  Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity are essential characteristics of a healthy and enthusiastic learning community and are necessary for the development of global citizens.  They are also key components in preparing students for college and for life.

DEI is not all about race.
Human beings are diverse by their nature, even if they like to shelter under banners.  Although we share a common humanity, we seek to broaden the human narrative to capture a range of life experiences and design an environment that allows dignity and accessibility for as many people as possible.  For instance, as an Episcopal school, we actively promote economic diversity and offer financial support to families who cannot afford tuition, but we would be naïve to believe that economic divisions do not exist in our student body or that all students have the means to afford all opportunities.  Not all minds work the same way, and we provide learning support to students with dyslexia and ADHD as well as developing methods that speak to minds that are either more analytic or creative.  We have international students.  We have gay and trans students.  Physically, human beings are far more similar than different, but our physical, economic, cultural, and existential experiences provide an incredible diversity in identity, consciousness, and relationship to the world and its institutions.  Race is just one element of that experience.

Having said that…
Our country has a challenging racial history that continues to play out in our daily life and informs every aspect of our experience—often silently but with clear evidence.  In the past, it has been tempting to relegate discussions of racism to discrete acts of physical violence, subjugation, or verbal aggression, but such a narrow focus can distract from the foundational roots of inequality that exist in the structuring of our society.  This is why we tend to talk about “systemic racism.”  

The goal is not demographics.  
Having a diverse population is not the exclusive or primary goal, even though it is a really good one.  (Just like the human gene pool, organizations are more likely to flourish when they are diverse.)  Inclusivity, fair treatment, compassion, and the capacity to belong are obviously prerequisites to a community that wants diversity.  Why would anyone want to be in a place where they don’t belong?

This is a conversation.
I won’t belabor the fact that we live in a time of political fracturing, posturing, hostility, and a lack of humility.  Personally, I think the best way to get ourselves out of this quagmire is not to retreat quietly to our separate corners but to start talking to each other.  Conversations about race, gender identity, citizenship, and other difficult topics are always already happening, and every human being is involved.  A responsible education equips students to navigate those conversations.  These are skills that our students require to be confident and effective in college, in the workplace, and in life in general—but especially so they can become more thoughtful people and can support other human beings to live better lives.

The conversation is not always easy.
Talking about DEI, our personal identity, and how we see the identity of others is almost as scary as telling people we love them.  It makes us vulnerable.  It causes us to articulate things that are so essential to our being that we generally insist on quietly taking them for granted.  People are afraid of the emotional currents of such a conversation, and I think a lot of people fear rejection.  With people of good intentions, I always walk away from these conversations feeling light-hearted, confident, and grounded.  But the further I go from that real, frank, and human conversation, the easier it is to forget that we are working towards a common good.

Students are way ahead of us
I have been impressed by how rapidly students have developed a confident grasp of DEI conversations, and this may be because children and adolescents tend to focus on issues of fairness and justice.  The level of awareness about equity and inclusivity is much higher than it was even a decade ago—and light years ahead of my generation at their age.

Does this have to do with Critical Race Theory?
There has been quite a bit of reporting on what is called Critical Race Theory (CRT), a concept that is purportedly being taught in schools.  CRT is actually a legal theory (developed more than 40 years ago) used primarily in law schools to evaluate social and judicial outcomes based on race.  How this specific theory has become a reference point for the more complex DEI work in schools and other organizations is puzzling, but I can see at least a thematic touchpoint with social and historical analysis.  I am disappointed by the defensiveness and suspicion behind this reaction to DEI discussions, and I definitely think a failure to understand the true nature of this work and its objectives is at the heart of this criticism.  We need to remember that a true conversation is not a lecture.  We are teaching our students to be critically minded and to speak with the authority of their personal experience.  Obviously, certain values are non-negotiable at our school because we believe they are universally valid, and we need to listen to marginalized voices who can reveal the complexity of our world that may get lost in a dominant narrative.  But no one has all of the answers.  There is no authoritative text to show us the way forward.  We figure that out together and with respectful dialogue.

We need to learn to listen generously and have grace for one another.
I marvel at Dr. King’s capacity to engage people who were hostile to his views (and to his person) and to do so with an unwavering strength of conviction but also an emphatic statement of our shared humanity and the belief that we must move together towards a future where we all prosper.  There is a place for indignation and staunch resistance in the face of repression, cruelty, and views that undermine the dignity of others.  However, the conversations that constitute our DEI work are grounded in commonality, respect for different experiences and beliefs, and frankly a love for one another even in our uncertainty and disagreement.  This is the way!

I will be in Chicago for much of next week on ISACS business, and you will enjoy a much shorter Friday Letter from Dean of Students, Mr. Whipple.  

Have a good weekend!
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 13th: BBall vs. Bishop Ward @ BSA: JV Boys 5, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Sat 14th: BBall @ Maranatha Christian Academy: 6th grade Boys 9 am, Boys B 10 am, Boys A 11 am, Girls noon

* Mon 16th: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day--NO Classes
MLK Day of Service, 9 to noon

* Tue 17th: MS BBall @ KC Christian High School: Girls 4, Boys B 5, Boys A 6 pm

* Wed 18th: Spelling Bee
VArs Boys BBall Tournament @ Baldwin Jr. HS, 7 pm

* Thurs 19th: MS BBall vs. Heritage Christian Academy @ BSA: 6th Grade 4:30, Boys B 5:30, Girls 6:30, Boys A 7:30 pm
MLK Dinner @ BSA, 6:30 pm

* Fri 20th: Climate Club Movie: Avatar, 3:30-7 pm

* Sat 21st: Boys Vars BBall Tournament @ Baldwin Jr. HS, TBA
MS BBall @ Barstow: 6th Grade 9, Boys B 10, Boys A 11, Girls noon
Powerlifting @ Leavenworth
Chess @ Rockhurst

Dear Parents,

A true education of students involves different types of lessons and guidance, and an important part of preparing our children for college and the world is personal responsibility.  It is very important that students understand the importance of attending school regularly and in a timely fashion--and I want to stress the importance of parents reinforcing those messages to students.  This morning's tardy list for students late to school (on a day when they are already allowed additional time to arrive) confirmed my suspicion that many students need a reminder about our expectations, and I have directed Betsy to hold a strict line on reporting tardies (followed by corresponding consequences).  We will do our best to reach out to parents if we see a concerning pattern so that we can help students develop better habits.

This is a time of year when we experience a high absence rate and not always because of illness.  I need to remind parents that all planned absences should be reported to Betsy in advance of those absences, and students (with the help of parents, in the case of very young students) are responsible to complete work in a timely fashion prior to returning to school.  Student absences and missing work can become very difficult for teachers to track, and it is not the teacher's responsibility to re-instruct students on missed materials or to remind students of missing assignments.  Students and parents have access to Schoology and should access relevant assignments, materials, and grade reporting on that site.  The more we can reinforce with students their own responsibility for completing and submitting work as well as communicating with teachers in a timely fashion, the better we will prepare them to be competent and successful adults.

We will have various activities next week to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  First, we have invited students to sign up for a voluntary day of service on Monday (starting with a breakfast on campus at 9 am and ending at about 1 pm).  I am extraordinarily pleased with the number of students who signed up.  We will have a presentation for the students on Tuesday at morning meeting.  And we will have a dinner in the Commons on Thursday night with music and speakers, including a keynote address by Dr. Tammara Durham, Vice Provost for Student Affairs at the University of Kansas.  If you are interested in the dinner and did not sign up previously, rsvp to robertpage@seaburyacademy.org.  

For families applying for financial assistance, the application deadline is Sunday, January 15th.  Applications may be considered after that date if funds are available.  This year, we have begun using our existing FACTS financial platform for the aid application process, so you will notice a slightly different look from last year.  You can find our financial assistance policy and the application portal here.  You will be asked to create an entirely separate account (from your FACTS online payment account), log in, and proceed with your application.  Additional documents can be uploaded here as well.  If you have questions, please contact Admissions Director Lisa Leroux-Smith.

By this time, you should have received your rockin' invitation in the mail to this year's auction, which will occur on Friday, February 24th. You can scan the QR code in the invitation or click on this link, Rock On Seabury, to buy your tickets. Don't forget to get your raffle tickets and the commemorative "Tour" t-shirts!

Our annual school Spelling Bee is next Wednesday.  The entire school convenes midday to watch our young spellers compete, and it is one of my favorite moments of the year.  Seeing our older students cheer on their middle school classmates....  That is pretty cool!

A student at lunch today politely asked that I not send the Friday Letter prior to 3:30 pm.  She said it feels like I am taunting them that the week is ending while they are still in classes.  Students, I promise to wait until 3:30 to send letters from now on.

I hope you have a good weekend,
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 6th: BBall vs. Veritas Christian School @ BSA: JV Boys 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
Chili Feed, 5:30 pm

* Sat 7th: Powerlifting @ McLouth

* Mon 9th: Middle School Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm

* Tue 10th: BBall @ Heritage Christian Academy: JV Boys 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm
Middle School Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm

* Wed 11th: Upper School Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm

* Thurs 12th: Upper School Play Auditions, 3:30-5 pm

* Fri 13th: BBall vs. Bishop Ward @ BSA: JV Boys 4:30, Girls Vars 6, Boys Vars 7:30 pm

* Sat 14th: BBall @ Maranatha Christian Academy: 6th grade Boys 9 am, Boys B 10 am, Boys A 11 am, Girls noon

Dear Parents,

It is great to be back to school and enjoy the energy of the students.

Please note that auditions for both the Middle School Touring Play and the Upper School One Act Plays will occur next week.  

Good luck to our Powerlifting team as they head out to their first tournament this weekend!  

Please join us for the MLK Diversity Dinner on Thursday, January 19, 6:30 p.m.in the Bishop Seabury Commons. The dinner is open to any Seabury student and family member and will feature Dr. Tammara Durham, Vice Provost of Student Affairs at The University of Kansas. Please RSVP to robertpage@seaburyacademy.org.  There is no cost to attend.

Although we will not have classes on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday 16th), we will be hosting a voluntary morning of community service for students from 9 am to 1 pm.  Students received a sign-up link from Ms. Czarnecki.  

Watch for auction invitations in your mailboxes soon.  This year's event, Rock On Seabury, will occur on Friday, February 24th. This is going to be a really fun and energetic celebration, and I hope you can attend!  There is even a "tour" t-shirt...

I hope you can come out for the Veritas game tonight.  We are very excited to have students playing on our newly refurbished gym floor!  And a special thanks to our lead donor MCubed Technologies for helping us get that work done!  Picture attached.  If you would like an easy dinner prior to the game, there will be a Chili Feed tonight to support the Senior Trip, and it will happen at 5:30 pm in the Commons.  The cost is $10 per person.

Yours Respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Mon 12th: Stop Day--No Classes

* Tue 13th: Finals
8:15-9:45 am: Social Studies
10:15-11:45 am: English

* Wed 14th: Finals: 
8:15-9:45 am: Math
10:15-11:45 am: Science

* Thurs 15th: 8:15-9:45 am: Languages
Winter Formal @ the Eldridge Hotel, 8-11 pm

* Fri 16th: WINTER BREAK BEGINS!
4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier  

* Sat 17th: 4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier

* Sun 18th: Celebration of Life for Hayden Koch @ BSA, 3 pm

* Thurs 23rd: Alumni Holiday Gathering @ The Wheel, 4-6 pm

* Tue 3rd: Faculty In-Service

* Wed 4th: Classes Resume

Dear Parents,

As we finish the week, I want to take this final opportunity to thank the Seabury Community for their support for Hayden Koch's family and for our school in recent days.  I have received messages from various independent and public school administrators in the area with offers to support counseling services, and we have received extremely generous acts of kindness from various sources in the form of comfort food for students and teachers.  I want to thank again Bert Nash and the National Suicide Prevention Headquarters for offering counseling services for our students and staff this week to supplement the work of Kalli McClure and Father Rob Baldwin.  

We are working with Hayden's family to host a Celebration of Life event for Hayden at Bishop Seabury Academy on Sunday, December 18th at 3pm. The School and the family believe this event will be a more appropriate venue for Seabury students, teachers, and families to memorialize and celebrate Hayden in a positive, communal atmosphere, in lieu of attending the family services, which will be held later in the week. We will send more information about the Celebration in the coming week.  In lieu of flowers, the family strongly asks that donations are sent to the following: Baldwin Recreation, Bishop Seabury Academy, Lawrence Humane Society, and Lawrence Landsharks.

The family has asked me to convey their appreciation for the Seabury community’s love, support, and kindness during this difficult time.  I know Hayden's family continues to be in our thoughts and prayers, and we send them strength and love.

I want to share two moments from this week that were important to me.  On Tuesday morning, one of the visiting counselors said to Kalli and me that they were amazed by the "emotional intelligence and empathy for fellow students and teachers" exhibited by the children at our school--regardless of age--and later in the day, a separate counselor used the identical language independently, which caused Kalli and I both to laugh.  Despite the challenges of moments such as this one, I am grateful to be reminded of the incredible nature of our children and the impact of growing up in this community.  

Second story.  In today's morning meeting, we projected on the Commons screen the live video of Santa Claus arriving outside the gymnasium.  I had not anticipated the response from the students as they started clapping and chanting "San-Ta, San-ta!" (led ostensibly by the seniors) as he made his way through the building and finally arrived in the Commons.  I cannot express to you how important it was to have that moment.  God bless these kids.

A huge thank you to all students, staff, and parents for their help in pulling off Lessons & Carols last week.  I was grateful to tell Margie Lawrence that the event went very well--and we all know that this beautiful night is the product of her talent and vision.  Thanks again to Janeal Krehbiel for stepping in to help finish up organization and to conduct the event.

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 do not need to come to campus.  If they are only scheduled for one exam, they are welcome to study quietly in the Commons before or after the exam they are scheduled to take.  (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 $25 if checks payable to BSA or cash is delivered to Mr. Whipple or Betsy by 10:30 am on the 15th.  After that, the cost is $30 at the door.  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. Whipple at williamwhipple@seaburyacademy.org.

Good luck to our Debate squad as they head to Regional competition next weekend!

We will have various events planned to commemorate Martin Luther King Day in January.  Students are invited to sign up for morning service work (see the attached flyer).  And mark your calendars for our MLK Living and Leaving Legacy Dinner on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at 6:30 pm in the Seabury Commons.  More information will go out prior to the date.

I am very happy to announce the arrival of Baby Hank Richmond.  Congratulations to both Shane & Jessica Richmond.  No doubt, little Hank will be able to do complex math and lift very heavy objects in the crib.  

Finally, a big thank you to Ellen Chindamo, Lisa Lereoux-Smith, Eric Nelson, and other staff members for masterminding a festive and somewhat mischievous stream of frivolity over the last few weeks.  And to Seabury alum Lane Zaremba for talking Santa Claus into visiting today.  And if you have enjoyed the Christmas lights on our building this year, they were kindly donated and installed by Mr. Allen Erber.

This is my last Friday Letter prior to the holidays.  I wish you all Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas!

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 2nd: Lessons & Carols @ Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vermont, 7:30 pm  (doors open at 7:10)
Debate @ Lawrence High School

* Sat 3rd: Rios Marvel Movie Night, 4-10 pm
Debate @ Lawrence High School

* Mon 5th: MS BBall vs. Summit Christian Academy: 6th Boys 4:30, B-Boys 5:30, Girls 6:30, A-Boys 7:30 pm

* Thurs 8th: MS BBall vs. Cair Paravel Latin School @ BSA: Girls 4:30, B-Boys 5:30, A-Boys 6:30 pm

* Fri 9th: End of 1st Semester

* Mon 12th: Stop Day--No Classes

* Tue 13th: Finals
8:15-9:45 am: Social Studies
10:15-11:45 am: English

* Wed 14th: Finals: 
8:15-9:45 am: Math
10:15-11:45 am: Science

* Thurs 15th: 8:15-9:45 am: Languages
Winter Formal @ the Eldridge Hotel, 8-11 pm

* Fri 16th: WINTER BREAK BEGINS!
4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier  

* Sat 17th: 4-Speaker Debate Regional Qualifier

Dear Parents

I hope to see you at Lessons & Carols tonight.  Please remember that the event is located at Plymouth Congregational Church.  I am sorry that Ms. Lawrence cannot be with us tonight, but I know this event is very important to her, and she knows the students have put a lot of work into it.  I hope you can come out to enjoy their talents and the results of Ms. Lawrence's efforts.  She always does an impressive job with the students.  A big thank you to Janeal Krehbiel, Director of Lawrence Children's Choir, for stepping in and helping our accompanist Jen Hosler in finishing preparations for tonight's production.

I am very pleased and grateful to announce the success of our annual Seabury Fund.  Over Thanksgiving Break, we reached a pledge total of $152,233.  What a tremendous achievement.  Thank you to all of the parents, trustees, faculty, alumni, and friends who helped make this happen.  And a huge thank you to all of our Class Captains and to our Fund Chairs Michele and Jerry Hammann for their leadership.  The success of the Fund has a direct correlation to the health of the school, and your support has a real and tangible impact on the work of our students and teachers.  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! Thank you!

Saturday night is Rios Marvel Movie Night.  I estimated about 60 students indicated in morning meeting that they would attend.  We will be helping Mr. Rios to enjoy his first viewing of Avengers Infinity War & Endgame.  I encouraged students to bring blankets, pillows, or other lounging devices if they like.  I will provide some snacks and drinks for the first movie and then pizza at intermission (roughly 6:30 pm).  I am happy to figure out something different for any students who have gluten or dairy allergies....just let me know.  As I noted before, we would welcome any cookies or other desserts from parents who might have time to contribute.  Feel free to send it with your children--and thank you!  I very much enjoy watching movies with the students (and Mr. Rios...and any parents who want to stick around), but I also appreciate having a little time to decompress at home afterward, so I would appreciate having students picked up on time at 10 pm.  

Four students were selected to receive the Learfield Sports HS Student Leadership Award to support their attendance at the Big XII Conference High School Black Student Government Program: Aidan Page, Helena Guiterrez-Gibbs, Kajana Price, and Jace Smith.  Congratulations to these students!

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 fitted 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.

On the day prior to finals, we build in a "stop day" for students to get work done at home or receive guidance from teachers.  Students are free to contact teachers remotely throughout the day for general guidance (and teachers will discuss availability with students in class).  For students who would benefit from in-person assistance, teachers will be on campus from 8:30 am to noon on that day.  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.

Winter Formal is the premiere student event of the year.  Please see Mr. Whipple's emails 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 office by 3:30 pm on December 15th.

Mrs. Porter, Giselle French, and Beck Oldridge are responsible for creating the Seabury entry for the Festival of Trees, an annual program that supports the Shelter in Lawrence.  The Festival of Trees auction occurred this week at Liberty Hall, and the Seabury tree sold for $3,300--the second-highest bid of the night!  I have attached pictures of our entry.

Per Seabury tradition, I took the senior class on a trip Monday morning to hunt down, cut down, and bring back a school Christmas tree.  They spent the morning decorating the tree in the Commons while enjoying homemade cookies, hot chocolate, and Christmas tunes.  They did a great job with the tree, and a picture is attached.

Have a great weekend, and I hope I will see you tonight!
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 18th: Late Night, 7 pm 
Chili Feed 6:30 pm

* Sat 19th: Sleep Outside
Items Drive Ends

* Mon 21st: Heritage Day, 8 am to 12:30 pm (early dismissal; no lunch)

* Tue 22nd: Bishop Seabury Academy Convocation Ceremony, 9-10 am (students arrive by 8:30 am; singers 8:10 am)

* Mon 28th: Classes Resume
Senior Christmas Tree Hunt

* Wed 30th: Girls BBall @ Billy Mills MS, 4 pm

* Thurs 1st: Boys BBall @ St. Mary's Academy: MS 4:30, JV 5:30, Var 7 pm

* Fri 2nd: Lessons & Carols, 7:30 pm  (doors open at 7:10)
Debate @ Lawrence High School

* Sat 3rd: Rios Marvel Movie Night, 4-10 pm
Debate @ Lawrence High School

Dear Parents,

Convocation is next Tuesday morning and the final event before students and faculty begin their break.  All parents, alumni, and friends are welcome to attend the event on Tuesday morning.  Our speaker this year will be Dr. Shiv Subramaniam, Seabury Alum (Class of '07) and Assistant Professor at Emory University.  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.  (Please check what they are wearing before they leave the house!)  The students always look very impressive on this day.  I hope they (and you) will enjoy the ceremony.

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.   There is also a pre-event Chili Feed prior to the game, so feel free to come at 6:30 pm for dinner ($10 per person to support the senior class trip).  If you cannot attend tonight, remember that many of our upper school students will be camped 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 to midnight on Saturday.  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.

Our annual Lessons & Carols will occur at Plymouth Congregational Church (925 Vermont Street) next Friday night, December 2nd, 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.  

I want to put out one last reminder that we have an 8th grade South Korean boy who would like to join our school starting next semester, but we do not have a home for this student.  Based on our interview with him, Ms. Leroux-Smith and I agree that this is a great young man who would add a lot to the school community.  If you are at all interested in hosting this student, please reach out to Ms. Leroux-Smith (lisalerouxsmith@seaburyacademy.org) by December 1st.  We hope we can make this work!

We have a lot of Marvel movie fans in our students body (and our faculty).  Mr. Rios came to the Marvel narrative late and by last January had watched all of the movies up to Infinity War and Endgame.  (For those of you who are superhero-adverse, please stay with me...)  Most of the school knows that I am very passionate about movies, and I felt it was important for Mr. Rios to watch those two films (and experience all of the surprises therein) with a big audience.  The students have expressed interest in being that audience.  SO...on Saturday, Dec 3rd, I will host a Rios Marvel Movie Night with a double feature of Avengers Infinity War & Endgame.  We will start at 4 pm and end at 10 pm.  The event is free, and I will provide dinner for all who attend.  I will very happily accept donations of cookies or other desserts from parents, as I know we have some impressive bakers out there.  I will remind students next week when we are back from break.

And finally, one of my favorite Seabury traditions is to take our seniors on a field trip the day back from break so we can retrieve a Christmas tree for the school.  The seniors will cut down the tree and decorate it throughout the morning.  I will be sure to send pictures!

Yours Respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
 

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 11th: Leaving Iowa (Upper School Play), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East
Fall Items Drive Begins

* Sat 12th: Leaving Iowa (Upper School Play), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East

* Mon 14th: Winter Sports Practices begin

* Tue 15th: BSA High School Curriculum Night (8th Grade Parents), 6:30-8:30 pm

* Thurs 17th: High School Visit Day for 8th Graders

* Fri 18th: Late Night, 7 pm 
Chili Feed 6:30 pm

* Sat 19th: Sleep Outside
Items Drive Ends

* Mon 21st: Heritage Day, 8 am to 12:30 pm (early dismissal; no lunch)

* Tue 22nd: Bishop Seabury Academy Convocation Ceremony, 9-10 am (students arrive by 8:30 am; singers 8:10 am)

Dear Parents,

With the drop in temperatures and the early appearance of dusk each afternoon, I always feel an interior change related to the approaching winter and holiday season.  School life takes on a different tone, and we have an array of traditions and events that ornament the November and December calendar: the Items Drive, Sleep Outside, Heritage Day, Convocation, the Senior Christmas Tree, Lessons & Carols, Final Exams, and the Winter Formal.  I will do my best to keep you updated in my Friday Letters!

Break-a-Leg to our Upper School Performers as they open their production of Leaving Iowa tonight.  Come out to see the show and enjoy our performers!

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 around 8:45 pm.  Admission is free with a donation of items to our November item drive.  There will also be a Chili Feed at 6:30 pm prior to Late Night to help raise funds to offset the cost of this year's Senior Trip in April.  (See attachments.)  Please come out and support our basketball players and our seniors!  

Our annual Seabury Items Drive launches this weekend.  The items collected will be donated to the Ballard Center, the Lawrence Community Shelter, the Willow Domestic Violence Center, Family Promise, and Trinity Food Pantry.  Items can be dropped off at Late 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 through Friday 18th.  Please see the attached list of items

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 Tuesday's Convocation.  (Don't forget proper attire for Convocation: dress pants/slacks, jacket and tie, dresses, dress shoes, and so forth--basically "business appropriate" for an office.)

Have a great weekend and get those fireplaces working!
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 4th: Debate @ Blue Valley

* Sat 5th: Debate @ Blue Valley

* Sun 6th: Daylight Saving Time Ends

* Mon 7th: Be-a-Seahawk Visit Day
BSAP Mtg, 6:30 pm

* Fri 11th: Leaving Iowa (Upper School Play), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East

* Sat 12th: Leaving Iowa (Upper School Play), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission East

Dear Parents,

I regret that we had to cancel the Nine Miles @ Night event, as this evening's rain would put a literal damper on the occasion.  However, I know Mr. Nelson is eyeing a date in spring, and we will send out details when we have them.

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!

Congratulations to Josie Kim on coming in 32nd out of 89 runners at last week's KSHSAA State Championship Cross Country Meet!  Good job!

Next weekend, the Upper School actors will produce their play Leaving Iowa, a comedy exploring the highs and lows of a family's epic vacation trip in a station wagon.  (I am sure no one has ever experienced such a thing.)  Mark your calendars!

As Election Day approaches, students from Ms. Czarnecki's U.S. Politics class have been hosting a Seabury daily "voter registration" booth for a mock election next Tuesday.  They are also hosting a series of informative press conferences in morning meeting to provide our students insight into the voting process and information on some of the candidates who will show up on next week's ballot.  I appreciate the efforts of these students as they focus on an important part of our mission: to help students become "engaged citizens."  

New families will note in the academic calendar on the website that we have two events scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving: Heritage Day & Convocation.  Heritage Day was originally founded by our elder students when we first moved to the Clinton Parkway campus in 2003.  Originally conceived as a student-led celebration of the School's mission, Heritage Day has changed over the years into a half-day event focused mainly on community service, and on Monday, 21st, students and teachers (in advising groups) will help various organizations such as Trinity Food Bank, Just Foods, Salvation Army, and Lawrence Parks.  Then students will return to school for a short practice for the Convocation ceremony before being released to the rest of the day prior to lunch.

The Convocation ceremony (known at many independent schools as Founder's Day) is a celebration of Bishop Seabury Academy and its mission and occurs on Tuesday 22nd at 9 am.  We will recognize junior and senior Seabury Scholars, hear from a guest speaker, and enjoy a performance by our Upper School singers.  The event is required of all students, and they will be released to Thanksgiving Break at its conclusion (around 10 am).  Parents are also invited to the event.  Our guest speaker this year is Dr. Shiv Subramaniam, Assistant Professor at Emory University and Seabury graduate class of '07.  I will send more information about Convocation closer to the date, but 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 Saving, 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 28th: Camelot & Camelittle (Middle School Fall Play), 7:30 pm

* Sat 29th: Fall Carnival, 6:30-8:30 pm
Senior Haunted House, 7:30-9:30 pm
Vars XC KSHSAA State Championship Meet @ Wamego, 9 am

* Mon 31st: Halloween!

* Fri 4th: 9 Miles @ Night
Debate @ Blue Valley

* Sat 5th: Debate @ Blue Valley

Dear Parents,

Halloween festivities are underway here at Seabury.  We had a tremendous pumpkin display this morning, and I continue to be impressed by the creativity of the students (and the endurance of our faculty and staff!).  Tomorrow night is the Fall Carnival.  The event is open to all Seabury students & families, and students are welcome to bring a guest but will be responsible for those individuals.  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 pledge total sits at $125,989.  We are so close to our $150,000 goal, and every gift counts!  We have 100% participation from both faculty and trustees, and our parent participation continues to grow.  A big shout-out to Seabury Fund Chairs Michele & Jerry Hammann 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 Middle School actors for tonight's performance of Camelot and Camelittle!  Based on the children's book by Stacey Lane, the comic play involves a young protagonist Ruth who--when denied a spot at King Arthur's round table--endeavors to create a kingdom that will outdo Camelot.  Our students have been working very hard on this production, and they are excited to have an audience.  I hope you can come out to see them!  We are excited to have concessions open again!

Congratulations to our fall sports teams--cross-country, soccer, and volleyball--as they end a strong season characterized by hard work and talent!  We send Josie Kim off to competition at KSHSAA State Championship cross-country meet this weekend.  Good luck Josie!  Parents of athletes, fall sports uniforms must be turned in by next Friday, November 4th.  COLLECTING UNIFORMS IS A SIGNIFICANT PAIN FOR MY ATHLETICS DIRECTOR, SO ON HIS BEHALF, PLEASE MAKE SURE UNIFORMS ARE RETURNED BY THE 4TH.  Thank you!

Lace up your running shoes and grab your headlamp!  Mr. Nelson’s annual Nine Miles at Night Run happens next weekend. The evening run (or brisk walk) happens on Friday, November 4th at 7 pm.  Join fellow students and parents as they make the 3-mile run (yes, I know...but it feels like 9 miles!) that starts at sunset and ends in the dark.  Water, Gatorade, and glow sticks will be provided.  But please bring hiking boots or running shoes!

We have a talented Korean student who is enrolling in our eighth grade, and we are looking for a family to look after him.  A stipend is provided to offset the costs of hosting a student.  If you are interested in hosting this international student or have any questions, please reach out to Lisa Leroux-Smith at lisalerouxsmith@seaburyacademy.org.

Ms. Czarnecki made a presentation to students recently about the American Exchange Project.  The AEP is a free, one-week summer exchange program for high school seniors where students from different backgrounds and perspectives come together for a transformation experience at a program site somewhere in the United States.  Juniors can also participate in the hosting process for AEP guests in Lawrence, July 2023.  This is a really great program, and you can find more information here.  You can also join a virtual information session on Wednesday, Nov 9th at 7 pm at https://seaburyacademy-org.zoom.us/j/8814184036.

One last reminder: students may dress up for Halloween.  As always, costumes should be appropriate for school--nothing offensive, too skimpy, or involving real weapons.

And finally, here are some pictures from this morning's Jack-o-Lantern contest.  Many thanks to Betsy for organizing the judging.  Winners are below:

#1 - Ye Olde Seabury (Dr. Eicher)
#2 - Skeleton in Coffin (Mr. Pulsinelli)
#3 - Camping with Critters (Ms. Porter)
#4 - The Kraken (Ms. Czarnecki)
#5 - PumpKiss (Mr. Rios)

Have a great weekend!
Dr. Schawang

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Fri 21st: Boys HS Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 6:30 pm
Fall Tapestry Concert @ the Seabury Sutherland Commons, 7:30 pm
Debate @ Lansing

* Sat 22nd: Vars Regional XC @ Cedar Hills Golf Course, Washington KS, 9 am
Girls Vars Substate VBall Tournament @ Centillia High School, 3 pm
Girls MS B-Team VBall Tournament @ Barstow, 9 am
Debate @ Lansing

* Sun 23rd: Spain International Trip Potluck @ BSA Commons, 5-7 pm

* Mon 24th: Be-A-Seahawk Visit Day

* Tue 25th: Boys HS Soccer Regionals @ BSA, 4:30 pm

* Thurs 27th: Boys HS Soccer Regionals, TBD

* Fri 28th: Camelot & Camelittle (Middle School Fall Play), 7:30 pm
Debate @ Shawnee Mission South
Advising Jack-o-Lantern Contest

* Sat 29th: Fall Carnival & Senior Haunted House
Vars XC State Championship Meet, TBA
Vars Girls VBall State Championship Tournament, TBA
Debate @ Shawnee Mission South

Dear Parents,

We have great momentum with our Seabury Fund, as we are presently at $110,000.  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!

I hope you can come out to enjoy the talents of our singers and musicians tonight at the Fall Tapestry Concert!  

We hosted 18 visitors for our first Be-A-Seahawk Visit Day yesterday, and I appreciate all of the efforts of our student hosts who helped our future Seahawks have a fun experience.  Our next visit day is Monday.

Good luck to our athletes this week: Middle School volleyball, Varsity cross country, and Varsity soccer players head to regional competition this week--and our Varsity volleyball players head to Substate competition over the weekend!  

Our Fall Carnival & Haunted House will occur next Saturday (29th).  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 $10 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 at 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.")  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 15th: MS/Varsity XC Conference Meet @ Zarda Farm, 10 am

* Mon 17th: Girls MS VBall @ KC Christian: B-team 5, A-team 6 pm
Girls VBall @ Lebo High School: JV 5, Vars 6 pm

* Tue 18th: Girls MS A-Team VBall @ KC Christian HS, TBD
Boys HS Soccer vs. KC Christian @ BSA, 4 pm
Girls VBall vs. Maranatha Christian Academy: JV 5, Vars 6 pm

* Thurs 20th: Girls MS A-Team VBall Tournament, TBA
Be-A-Seahawk Visit Day

* Fri 21st: Boys HS Soccer @ Maranatha Christian Academy, 6:30 pm
Fall Tapestry Concert @ the Seabury Sutherland Commons, 7:30 pm
Debate @ Lansing

* Sat 22nd: Vars Regional XC @ Cedar Hills Golf Course, Washington KS, 9 am
Girls Vars Substate VBall Tournament @ Centillia High School, 1 pm
Girls MS B-Team VBall Tournament @ Barstow, 9 am
Debate @ Lansing

* Sun 23rd: Spain International Trip Potluck @ BSA Commons, 5-7 pm

Dear Parents,

I join our Seabury Fund chairs Michele and Jerry Hammann in thanking you for the early support of $78,285 in gifts and pledges to the Seabury Fund!  We have great momentum halfway through October as we aim for our goal of $150,000.  We already have 100% participation from our faculty & staff, and I am truly thankful for their generosity on behalf of your children.  Earlier this week, you received communications from your Class Captains about the importance of the fund to our annual budget. 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 will be our first Be-A-Seahawk Day.  If you know any students who would thrive at Seabury but may not have considered our school as an option, please contact Ms. Lisa Leroux-Smith 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 October 24th & November 7th.

Ms. Buckner sent out an email last week regarding the community blood drives that we tend to host annually on our campus.  She wants to gauge whether we have enough interest in the community to continue to participate in that program.  Regardless of whether you would participate or not, would you please complete this brief Google Form?  We will use this data to decide whether to host again in the future.

I hope your children enjoyed the Fall Break.  I took advantage of these days without classes to lead an accreditation team to an independent school in Arkansas on behalf of our accreditation organization, ISACS.  In addition to serving as Chair of the ISACS Accreditation Review Committee--which reviews the accreditation process for over 250 schools--I offer to lead visiting teams now and then.  The visits are intense but they are incredibly valuable to the school being visited, and our school will host its own 7-year visiting team in April.  When I visit these peer schools, I always come home with new insights and a fresh appreciation for our community and culture.  There are a lot of great independent schools in the Central States, but there is no School like BSA.

Yours respectfully, 
Dr. Schawang
 

THE WEEK AHEAD:

* Thurs 6th: NO CLASSES: Parent-Teacher Conferences 1-4:30, 6:30-9 pm
MS XC Meet @ Eudora HS, 4 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: Boys HS Soccer vs. Baldwin @ BSA, 4:30 pm (SENIOR NIGHT)
Girls VBall vs. Bishop Ward: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm (SENIOR NIGHT)
Boys MS Soccer @ Pembroke Hill School--Ward Parkway Campus, 5:30 pm

* Wed 12th: PSAT 10th & 11th grades

* Thurs 13th: Boys HS Soccer @ Bishop Ward HS, 4:30 pm
Boys MS Soccer vs. Summit Christian Academy @ BSA, 4:30 pm
Girls VBall @ Heritage Christian Academy: JV 4:30, Var 5:30 pm

* Fri 14th: RAKU Field Trip
Class Ring Mtg 10th-12th grades, 8:15 am

* Sat 15th: MS/Varsity XC Conference Meet @ Zarda Farm, 10 am

Dear Parents,

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.  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 2022-23 Seabury Fund.  For the month of October, you will be receiving emails from your Class Captains regarding participation and 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!

We had a great time with Seabury grandparents last week, and I hope they enjoyed their tour and spending time with their grandchildren.  I offered a brief presentation at the beginning of the event and reviewed not only the culture, traditions, and mission of our school but also the benefits of a Seabury education.  Our guests seemed very interested in our standardized test score averages and how we stack up against state and national averages (and, when available, Lawrence averages), so I thought I would share that information in an attachment originally sent by Mr. Patterson last January.  Here are some highlights:

ACT Scores 3-year average:

National 20.3

Lawrence public schools 22

BSA 27


The 3-year average for ACT college readiness benchmarks:

36% Kansas

84% Seabury


PSAT junior (2021) average score:

National: 995

Seabury 1157


The average percentage of juniors meeting all PSAT college benchmarks:

National: 39%

Kansas: 59%

Seabury: 83%


Of course, the most important results of graduating from Seabury are difficult to quantify but are related to our children becoming well-rounded, confident, and principled human beings, and the same culture that helps us develop the development of character also supports academic success.  

I do hope your conferences are going well.  Ten minutes is not a lot of time to meet.  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.  A big thank you to all of the teachers for their hard work and very long hours these last few days.  And thanks to BSAP parents who spent hours putting together treats and snacks for our teachers.  We really appreciate it!  

I hope teachers and students enjoy a much-deserved fall break!

Yours Respectfully,
Dr. Schawang

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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