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Events

Parent Ed Night "Remaining Empathic in Turbulent Times" scheduled in March

Date: 
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hate speech, intolerance, and discrimination—the conflicts that are dividing our country are also affecting our children and how they’re making sense of the contemporary world. But not necessarily in the ways we might think.

What are they learning and talking about in school? And where do we, as parents, begin a thoughtful, age-appropriate conversation?

On Thursday, March 15 at 6 pm, expert childhood educator and parent coach Mechele Pruitt, Director of San Francisco Parents Place, will lead us in a hands-on workshop entitled “Remaining Empathic in Turbulent Times: How to Talk to Your Child about Difficult Topics.” This workshop is designed to help parents get the tools they need to understand what’s going on in their kids’ lives and start conversations with them about it.

Join Mechele, SFFS staff and other SFFS parents who will help us maintain our values and hopes—and our basic kindness—at a time when doing so can be especially hard.

In this workshop, parents will learn:

· How children think and respond to information they hear from the world around them and how to best support them

· What kids and their teachers are talking about in school

· Practical guides to start conversations with kids

· How to maintain our values and our hopes when our values may not be supported

The event will include SFFS teachers and staff talking about how they and their students discuss current politics, and the event will include a look at written statements from students about what they want to talk about with their parents. There will also be Q&A, and an opportunity to submit questions online in advance.

The event will be held from 6-7:30 pm and include light refreshments. RSVP is strongly encouraged, but not required. Please RSVP here.

Please note: This is an adults-only program. Childcare will be provided but you must RSVP in the above link for childcare by March 9.

 

If Only...GrandFriends Day

Date: 
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Dear grandparents and special friends,

It was a delight to see so many of you last week at GrandFriends Day at San Francisco Friends School. I’ve received a number of requests to re-share the story I told to visitors that day; so, in case you were unable to be among the grandparents and special friends who joined us on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, imagine a winding walk from the coffee, tea, and breakfast treats in Room 234 to a packed gym on the third floor of San Francisco Friends School.

In welcoming more than 400 visitors who traveled from as far as NYC, Hawaii, and Curacao, I acknowledged my status as a student of Quaker faith and practice and shared a story from Quaker history that I’d learned earlier this fall.

In 1845, Quakers in Northern Ireland undertook an experiment in utopian community and founded Bessbrook. Their aspirations included no need for police, so there was to be no cursing, no drinking, and no gambling.

Thirty-four years later, in 1879, George Bernard Shaw visited Bessbrook to see how things were going. When a reporter asked Shaw - at the end of his visit - what he thought about a community without cursing or drinking, Shaw apparently said, “Well, from the looks on their faces, it would appear that they could use some of both.” He also reported that he had seen a swan on a Bessbrook pond “looking for a place to drown itself.”

I am convinced that it was not cursing, drinking, or gambling that the Bessbrook community needed; it was a GrandFriends Day.

Whether you watched and listened or shared a story with students in class or at an advisory meeting, or sat alongside kindergartners on the floor, piecing together building blocks, you made stronger our community.

And from my vantage point your smiles would light with brilliance the darkest of night skies, and your presence made love—sometimes invisible and untouchable—seen and felt in the halls of our school.

Thank you again for claiming the time and making the necessary efforts in order to be with us. And most importantly, thank you for sharing your students with us on a daily basis. We are delighted to have them, and you, as part of the San Francisco Friends School community.

Thinking SFFS, 

mike 

New and upcoming STEM events at SFFS

Date: 
Monday, November 20, 2017

This school year, Friends School has ushered in an array of STEM-related events and, we hope, strong new traditions. Middle school math teachers Kelsey Barbella, Diali Bose-Roy, and David Louis organized our first ever “Taking Chances with Friends,” a series of probability games that connected middle school students of all grade levels. More events are on the horizon through December, with a PA Meeting on Wednesday, Nov 29 that will focus on lower school science and middle school math. More details can be found below.

Taking Chances with Friends 
Last week, middle school students enjoyed a math experience called "Taking Chances with Friends," investigating and exploring probability beyond the normal classroom experience. The event lasted two hours and integrated sports, simulations, science, and technology. In the gym, students calculated experimental probability as fellow students shot hoops on the basketball court or played cornhole. Other games that flooded the halls and classrooms incorporated throwing giant dice and predicting outcomes, such as in the game "horse racing." Another probability game included "catch and release," a simulation of taking random "samples" of fish from a lake. All students had a chance to host games as well as play each other's games. It was a great community building activity for the entire middle school.

Math Mornings
This month we launched our annual series of “Math Mornings” in the lower school. Parents are invited to drop in to join their child’s classroom for math games that reflect some of the problem solving that students have been working on throughout the school year. Up next: Friday, Dec 8, third grade teachers Jake Ban and Amabelle Sze will hold a math morning from 8:30-9am. On Friday, Jan 12, second grade teachers Anhvu Buchanan and Jessie Radowitz will hold a math morning from 8:30-9am; and on Thursday, Jan 18, Kindergarten teachers Noah Bowling and Nick McGrane will hold hold a math morning from 8:30-9am.

PA Meeting: Focus on math and science curriculum
Parents are invited to a special PA meeting on Wednesday, Nov 29, from 6-8pm in the Meeting Room. Lower school teachers Rich Oberman and Courtney Wilde will highlight new lower school science projects and learnings from the year thus far. In addition, the middle school math team will take parents on a tour of the curriculum from blocks to algebra, highlighting a newer approach to teaching mathematics this year.

Hour of Code  
At Friends, we choose to carefully integrate technology as a learning tool that complements our curricular goals. The lower school faculty’s inquiry and constructivist based approaches to teaching have also influenced how technology is used in the curriculum. One example of our evolving technology integration is a national program called the Hour of Code, hosted by Technology Integrator Beth Espinoza and lower school librarian Suzanne Geller. During Computer Science week in December, all K-4 students will take part in the Hour of Code, which gives students exposure to various programs that offer the initial steps of programming and coding: putting together instructions, conditionals, and loops. Students will work with a collaborative partner to troubleshoot commands and strategize mazes. Check out these resources to explore some great coding apps at home.

A message on DACA from the Equality and Inclusion Committee

Date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017
SFFS students at last year's Women's March 

(Para español, mire más abajo)

As many of us seek light and hope in these challenging times, let us remember that our school is founded on Quaker values of integrity, community, and equality. SFFS and its community are committed to openness and respect for every member of our community regardless of race, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, and, just as important — place of national origin. In the spirit of these values and beliefs, our Head of School, Mike Hanas, recently signed a letter to President Trump, along with other Friends Council on Education (FCE) leaders. This letter expressed support for DACA and affirmed our support and commitment to Dreamers, as well as all those affected by the events that have been unfolding.

Although times like these may feel sad and dark, we must keep our light brightly shining by staying informed of all options and supporting those who need it the most. Below, please find some useful upcoming events, information, and resources:

  • SFFS will host another Immigration and DACA Know Your Rights workshop.
    Please keep on reading Circle Back for a date and time.
     
  • Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) Community Forum
    When: Saturday, September 9, 2017 @ 10 am - 1 PM
    Where: St. Elizabeth’s High School
    1530 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA
     
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors Introduce Resolution in Defense of DACA
    When: Tuesday Sept. 12th 2pm
    Where: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl. #250
    San Francisco, CA 94102

The links below provide information we hope you or someone you know might find helpful:


On behalf of SFFS’s Equity & Inclusion Parent Association and Steering Committees, we sincerely hope that these times of uncertainty will unite us and deepen our knowledge and appreciation of each other’s gifts and uniqueness as we foster a sense of belonging. May we continue building our awareness of each other’s distinct strengths and embracing our responsibility as we work towards positive outcomes.

Please feel free to contact us with any feedback, ideas, information, or questions.

With hope and peace,

~Yvonne Perez-Sallaberry and John Prescott,
E&I Co-Clerks and SFFS Parents
 


Un mensaje acerca de DACA de parte del Comite de Equidad e Inclusión


A medida que muchos de nosotros buscamos la luz y esperanza en estos tiempos retantes, recordemos que nuestra escuela está fundada en los valores cuáqueros de integridad, comunidad, e igualdad. SFFS y su comunidad está comprometida a respetar y escuchar a cada miembro de nuestra comunidad, independiente de su raza, creencia, religión, sexo, orientación sexual, identidad de género o expresión de género, y con mayor importancia - su lugar de origen nacional. En el espíritu de estos valores y creencias, nuestro Director de Escuela, Mike Hanas, recientemente firmó una carta para el Presidente Trump expresando su apoyo a DACA (hacer clic aquí para el enlace), afirmando nuestro apoyo y compromiso a los Dreamers y a todos aquellos que han sido afectados por los eventos que hemos estado viviendo.

Aunque en épocas como estas nos podemos sentir tristes y perdidos, debemos mantener nuestra luz brillando con resplandor, manteniendonos informados de todas las opiniones y apoyando a aquellos que lo más necesiten. A continuación, encuentre eventos, información, y recursos que esperamos les sean útiles:

  • SFFS patrocinará otro taller de Conozca sus derechos de inmigración y de DACA.
    Por favor siga leyendo Circle Back para la fecha y hora.
     
  • Alameda County Immigration Legal & Education Partnership (ACILEP) Community Forum
    Cuando: sábado, 9 de septiembre 9, 2017 @ 10AM - 1PM
    Dónde: St. Elizabeth’s High School
    1530 34th Avenue, Oakland, CA
     
  • San Francisco Board of Supervisors Introduce Resolution in Defense of DACA
    Cuándo: martes, 12 de septiembre @ 2PM
    Dónde: 1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl. #250
    San Francisco, CA 94102

Los siguientes enlaces proveen información en inglés que esperamos sean útiles:

De parte del grupo de Equidad & Inclusión de la Asociación de Padres y del Comité Directivo de SFFS, esperamos sinceramente que estos tiempos de incertidumbre nos unan y profundicen nuestro conocimiento y apreciación de los dones de cada uno de nosotros mientras fomentamos un sentido de pertenencia. Esperamos que continuemos construyendo nuestra conciencia de las fortalezas particulares de cada uno de nosotros y que aceptemos nuestras responsabilidades a medida que trabajamos juntos hacia un futuro positivo.

Por favor contáctenos con cualquier idea, opinión, informacion, o pregunta.

Con paz y esperanza,

~Yvonne Perez-Sallaberry y John Prescott  
Co-Secretarios de E&I y padres en SFFS