Dear SGS Community,
We return from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, where we honor and remember Dr. King’s vision for our country. We are grateful for the work Dr. King and countless others have done for equality. This year it feels even more important to think about and appreciate his work as the week ahead has potential for unrest.
This week, the Presidential Inauguration takes place on Wednesday, and there is cause for concern of potential disruption and violence surrounding the proceedings. We know that many of our students, faculty, staff and parents are aware of this potential, and they are worried about what will take place in Washington D.C. and around the country. The attack at the capitol during the electoral college confirmation was horrifying and has been condemned accordingly. We anticipate some students will be watching the inauguration on-line, and some teachers may stream it in their classes, if time and schedules permit. We are prepared to be a resource for students should anything occur.
As an educational institution, we believe in reason, science, and evidence. We also believe in the freedom of thought, freedom of inquiry, freedom of expression and providing a safe learning environment for all students. Today’s climate can make for difficult conversations. We need the strength to talk through issues in a productive and open manner in hopes that we can improve our community. Our students and families of color and members of our LGBTQ+ community are rightfully concerned about their safety in our world. We want to assure them that we value and care for them, that Black lives matter, and that one’s sexual orientation and gender identification are also respected in our community. We will protect these groups, and all students, from hateful speech and action. We strive to be an inclusive community and work diligently to maintain that standard for all community members.
We find ourselves navigating a tumultuous time that will fill pages of history textbooks in the future. We hope that everyone can step back and avoid broad-stroke generalizations to find common ground and understanding around what is good and what is wrong. We are hopeful the vaccine will help us get back to normal lives. We are hopeful that the Inauguration goes without incident, and that our country can become more civil in the days ahead. We are hopeful that we can call upon Dr. King’s vision of non-violence for a more peaceful and just tomorrow. And, we hope you all have a safe week ahead.
The Saint George’s Administrative Team
Jamie Tender, Head of School
Kathy Johnson, Head of Lower School
Joelle Neiwert, Head of Middle School
Francesca Mulazzi, Head of Upper School
Stuart Mermel, Chief Financial Officer
Ryan Peplinski, Athletic Director
Thomas Hurst, Director of Technology
John Carter, Director of Communications
Tami Peplinski, Director of Admissions
Ashley Miller, Director of Development
George Bell, Director of Facilities
Alison Ramsey, Registrar
Congratulations to the following SGS 7th/8th grade choir members, who were selected for the 2021 Junior All-State Mixed Choir this year:
Isabela Acosta (Alto)
Savanna Briceno (Alto)
Kaylee Clark (Alto)
Carsyn Gildehaus (Alto)
Audrey Ince (Alto)
Maggie Morris (Alto)
Emily Mullins (Soprano)
Sophia Naccarato (Alto)
Although they will not perform live this year, they are invited to a special virtual workshop and will be recognized for their achievement. Go Dragons!
US/MS Music Director David Demand explains how they were created: "I first sent out a piano part for everyone to follow. The students either came in and sang their parts in my studio or did them at home and emailed me their parts. Once I put together a rough recording using everybody's individual track, I used Dropbox and sent all of the parts to Ben Clark (SGS Class of 2020) who did a master mix down and finalized everything. This was tricky, but at least it puts the students on track for singing. Hope you enjoy!"
An SGS senior has used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to set up a program to reduce stress in her neighborhood -- with therapy bunnies and tea!
CAS Project Highlight: Senior Erika Piotrowski has developed a Bunny Outreach Program that she will run for two months. This will be a neighborhood stress release program with her pet bunnies as therapy animals. She plans to individually schedule people for the program, then show up wearing a mask and bringing a folding table. She will set the rabbit and some tea on the table then move six feet back. The neighbor, who is wearing a mask, will help themselves to refreshments and will be able to interact with the bunny. In conjunction, they will discuss their day and any other light-hearted topics. Erika has already discussed this program with some neighbors to gauge interest, and they all seem really enthused by it.
CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include cooking clams, delivering cookies, making rings, shadowing a parent at work for a day, skiing, participating in a community night, making dessert, volunteering at 2nd Harvest, making a snowman, solving a Rubik’s cube, and walking dogs.
EE Highlight: Senior Sophie Yao is doing her Extended Essay on a topic in Economics. She is discovering the pros and the cons of her EE question: To What extent does passing out coupons to citizens influence the general merchandise industry in Hangzhou, China. She came up with the idea because Hangzhou’s government was passing out an electronic coupon through a site called Alipay. Most of the citizens had successfully obtained the coupon, including Sophie’s mother, which sparked her interest in her research topic.
IB Question of the Week: Can you explain a little more the difference between HL and SL courses?
With humor, see the picture below:
But seriously, follow this link to see the brief on HL and SL courses: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/slhl-brief-en.pdf
“It is essential for any pre-university education to equip students with the depth of discipline-specific knowledge and skills that they will need for their chosen academic and career paths. However, this must be balanced with the breadth needed to develop well-rounded students who can draw connections between the different disciplines.
"As such, the philosophy of the IB DP is that students should engage with a range of subjects while being able to explore specific areas of personal interest in greater depth. SL courses ensure students are exposed to a range of disciplines that they might otherwise opt out of, and HL courses allow students to spend more time with subjects they are more interested in by exploring options in addition to the SL core curriculum. In this sense, all DP courses, regardless of whether they are SL or HL, are integral to the programme.”
IB Overview: The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE). Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.
The Junior Parent College Night has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 27 from 6-7 p.m. Here is information about the event:
This month, SGS college counselors Happy Avery and Kerry Clark will start working with 11th grade students on next year’s college admissions cycle. They know that junior parents have many questions and concerns regarding the college admissions process as well. Please join them on MS Teams to learn more about the process overall and priorities for this spring and summer.
This meeting is designed for parents of current juniors who are preparing to apply to college next fall, but all Saint George’s parents are welcome and encouraged to attend, as it’s never too early to plan and gather information. If you didn't receive an email from Happy or Kerry, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for the MS Teams link. And if you can’t attend, they will record the meeting and follow up with a link to share.
How well do you know the Middle School faculty and staff? Here's your chance to see if you can recognize them from their baby photos! The MS Baby Face contest runs through Friday, Jan. 22 for all MS students -- see the Rules, the Baby Face Photos, the List of Teachers/Staff, and the Answer Sheet. Only MS students can submit answer sheets for prizes, but everyone is welcome to try their luck at identifying these adorable baby faces!
Saint George's will begin bringing students back to the Upper School in a staggered roll-out. This week (Jan. 11), grades 11 and 12 are invited to learn on campus Tuesday through Friday. Grades 9 and 10 will learn on campus Thursday and Friday. Next week (Jan. 19), grades 9-12 are invited to learn from campus on Tuesday through Friday. See more details on Dr. Francesca Mulazzi's Weekly Letter.
In order to bring students back to campus safely, we have three focus points for students:
Awareness: Be conscientious of the distance between you and your friends; stand and sit on red dots, walk along the yellow arrows.
Breaks: Be aware of your friends and neighbors when you are at your locker and in the hallway; stand on a dot when possible, walk along the yellow arrows; teachers will let students out on breaks in staggered breaks.
Lunch: Sit in one of the eight designated areas: US Courtyard, Library, Theatre Courtyard, or five classrooms designated as lunch zones, sit and eat at a red dot.
Thank you, parents and families, for your patience as we have waited for the right time to move to this next step.
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