As we head out for fall break, I want to express deep thanks to our community for our first 11 weeks of school. What a rollercoaster ride it has been!
With nearly 10,000 parents, students, and educators, SAS is a vibrant tapestry composed of many individual threads. In a situation like the one we are facing, we need each separate thread to play its individual part and also to cohere together with all the other threads to provide strength. Without each member of our community contributing, this would simply not work. Thank you!
As we conclude this first quarter I want to share several highlights.
Every day thousands of temperatures are taken, students maintain safe distancing, masks are dutifully worn, and our students and educators follow a myriad of other health and safety precautions. It is impressive to see our core value of responsibility demonstrated so fully on a daily basis. As the government has made adjustments and we have established safe routines, we have slowly phased in after school activities, dining, breaks, and more. We will continue to look for ways we can enhance the student experience while continuing our commitment to the health and safety of our community.
In addition to students’ physical health, we have equally concentrated this year on the social-emotional health of our learners. We have consistently emphasized this as our priority in planning and working with teachers. Morning meetings, advisory, and events like our recent middle school Eagle Days provide regular touchpoints that help students form relationships with their peers and teachers and also provide skill-building opportunities to face adversity. Our counselors have been very actively working with students as they face emotional downs or difficult issues. As grateful as we are for the opportunities we do have, we also know that many students and adults are facing emotional and mental health challenges in this difficult time. Please connect with your child’s teacher or counselor if you are seeing your kids struggle with social and emotional challenges.
Each week I visit numerous classrooms across campus and see your children engaged in a variety of learning activities. At all levels, our teachers strive to make learning come alive for students. Earlier this year, fourth grade students from Ms. Tracy Blair's class took on the role of engineers and used the approach of biomimicry. They developed nature-inspired solutions to human problems by mimicking animal and plant structures, their functions, and the functions of sensory receptors. Students explored, experimented, and built prototypes based on their findings through the iterative process. Middle school band students learned how to play tone chimes which required several of the same skills for their band instruments such as counting, blending, and making sure the melody can be heard above other parts of the music. AT Kinesiology Lab students in high school used ergometers (rowing machines) to test aspects of cardio/respiratory fitness. Students were required to row 2,000 meters as fast as possible in order to capture the data needed to investigate the relationships between the cardiovascular system and respiratory system during exercise.
SAS Reimagined (Campus Upgrade Project)
As mentioned in my letter several weeks ago, we have begun work on the construction of the temporary west fields and our working hard on our designs for the new elementary school and upgraded high school buildings. The students, parents, and teachers on our design advisory groups have met several times since the start of the year and have discussed topics like play spaces, athletic spaces, and sustainability. We have greatly appreciated their input and how it has strengthened the design process. Teachers, coaches, and school leaders have also been working closely with our architects to refine and flesh out the campus designs. It is very rewarding to see so many innovative and thoughtful ideas come to life.
I hope you have a restful week, and I look forward to seeing you after the fall break.