April 18, 2017

Dear Parents,
The weather has turned and with it the spirits and the volume. As we head for June, please join my enthusiasm for all of the excellent programs and events awaiting our school community. 

Upper School Trips & Excursions
Upper School trips week begins this week with class groups engaged in a variety of developmentally appropriate team building and educational activities with their teachers.  

Grade 6 (Frost Valley, NY):  Daytime activities for the class will focus on adventure, group building, and leadership skills involving hikes, a climbing wall, and a low ropes course. Connecting to part of the science curriculum, evening activities will focus on astronomy.

Grade 7 (Boston, MA):
  The Grade 7 Boston trip combines American history, science and art into an engaging trip to one of our most historic cities.  As part of the Grade 7 history curriculum, this field trip allows students the opportunity to walk the Freedom Trail and see first-hand the scenes of seminal American events like the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and the Midnight Ride, as well as the Battle of Bunker Hill. Students visit the USS Constitution, the Salem Witch Museum and the beautiful Peabody Essex Museum to complement their examination of  maritime history.  Additionally, through visits to the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science, students make connections with their study of life science.
Grade 8 (Washington, DC): The Stanwich student experience in Washington, DC makes real many of the concepts and historical events discussed in class.  Students apply the knowledge they learned in their Grade 8 history class (1860-present) including first-hand viewing of American landmarks from the Washington Monument to the Spirit of St. Louis in the National Air and Space Museum.  Students reconsider one of the 20th century tragedies by weaving their way through the National Holocaust Museum, and take part in the triumphs of the 1900's by remembering our veterans at the WW2 Memorial. 
Grade 9 (Costa Rica): During the Grade 9 trip to Costa Rica, students apply the leadership skills learned during the year.  Taking turns as group leaders throughout the trip, students learn how to work together to complete challenging tasks. Led by experienced tour guides, students will interact with local population and learn from their unique stories about involvement with important ecological, social, cultural, and economic issues.  Service learning and daily reflection are important components of the trip.
Grade 10 (Paris, France): As part of their study of European History, Middle Ages through the present, the Grade 10 trip to France allows the classroom to come to life.  While experiencing France's culture, students will enjoy the opportunities to see Monet's and Van Gogh's at the Orsay, walk the beaches of Normandy, tour the Palace of Versailles, or take a French cooking class.

Spring Athletics
Our spring athletic season is off to a strong start welcoming back baseball as a boys' option and offering Stanwich's first ever Senior House softball team.  Although fickle spring weather has forced a few cancellations, tennis and SH softball are on the board with victories. This season Junior House students are developing athletic skills and team-work as they compete on the following teams: baseball, softball, boys and girls lacrosse, three levels of tennis, and golf. 

Project Blessing
With the funds the extended Stanwich family raised for Project Blessing -through the JH recycling project, the Fall Festival, the Bingo Bash, the Fashion show, and the Wildwood Hop-a-thon - construction has been completed on the older students and adult bathrooms at the Blessing School. Seventeen current Stanwich Upper School students and alumni will travel again this summer to install a security perimeter fence and complete the construction of the soccer field. Last week Emmanuel Murenzi, Executive Director of IEE, and Rachael Owomugisha (with whom Stanwich connected through the Blessing School project) visited with our teachers and Upper School students. The educators shared the story of Rwandan reconciliation and forgiveness, and both the visitors and our students took home a better understanding of what makes the Stanwich learning environment distinct among its peers.  

Lower School News
In February the Lower School celebrated National Reading Month with daily events, including guest readers, and weekly highlights such as the "Sleepunder" and faculty produced Gotta Keep Reading video. Primary and Intermediate Houses competed with great commitment and joy in this year's Trivia Bowl, and we have all applauded the recent Primary House productions of Peter Pan (Gr. 1), the Little Mermaid (Gr. 2) and Wizard of Oz (Grade 3). I have particularly enjoyed watching the spectating older students who once performed in the same roles mouthing the lines. 

This year's Greenleaf activities have begun with the hydroponic garden in the Lower School MakerSpace which will soon be transplanted to the school garden behind the Head's House.  We appreciate the active role of our parents in these special events that encourage the joy of learning and working together. 

Stanwich Summer Camp Offerings 
Along those lines, PreK-Grade 7 parents should not forget to register for Stanwich Summer Programs, June 12 to the 23rd, Camp Stanwich, Camp Seaside and the Scholar Institute. Please follow this link for more information and registration.  

Spring Benefit
The recent Bond Benefit Video (with more to come!) may have undermined my Headmasterly gravitas. However, I hope that the clips are an amusing precursor to what will undoubtedly be a great Parent Association Spring Benefit. The evening at Burning Tree aims to raise significant funds to support our program and the efforts of our teachers. Perhaps even more importantly for Stanwich, the fun event reinforces the Stanwich family network and encourages our parents to enjoy one another's company. I hope you are able to make the necessary arrangements to attend. 

With all best wishes and thanks for your support for Stanwich,

Charles Sachs
Head of School