August 17, 2017

Dear Stanwich Families,
I enthusiastically welcome everyone to the 2017-2018 academic year: Stanwich School's 20th! In anticipation of Tuesday, September 5, faculty and staff are busy this week coordinating plans, finalizing details, and preparing classrooms.  

All parents should be able to access information and calendars on the Stanwich School website, with all necessary forms through My BackPack. If you cannot for whatever reason, please call the main office immediately. Early next week Division Heads will communicate more specific information to the families in their respective divisions concerning logistics and expectations for the start of the new school year.  

In response to parent feedback, we have attempted to simplify and consolidate end-of the day options and procedures, as well as dismissal times and locations. Please read and consider this summary.  

For the Lower School PK-Grade 5, the school day will end for Wildwood at 2:45 as in the past. For PH and IH students, the core academic day concludes at 3:00, at which time they may leave. For IH students, an optional supervised study hall is available until 4:00. For WW, PH and IH students from 3:00 to 4:00, early "Afters" optional activities are available for an additional fee. We request that parents do not queue earlier than 10 minutes in advance of the designated pick-up time. "Primetime" childcare is available for $15 an hour from 4:00 to 5:00 on Monday through Thursday, and from 12:00 - 3:00 on Friday. After 5:00, fees will be calculated at a rate of $1.00 a minute.

For the Upper School Grades 6-12, Junior House and Senior House core academic classes dismiss at 2:50. Junior House (6-8) students participating in required athletics dismiss at 4:15 (for on-campus activities) and 4:30 (for off-campus activities).  Unless the US Head approves an individual exemption, SH students participate in electives or extended labs until 3:50 dismissal. SH activities conclude at 3:50 and athletics conclude at 5:30.The Stanwich shuttle to the Greenwich Train Station departs at 4:15. District School buses depart at 4:15 and 5:30.

Of particular importance for dismissal efficiency and student safety - as requested by the town's consultant - buses and all cars picking up students from the Lower Lot must enter from the St. Agnes driveway and queue in a single line to the left (field side) for cars with buses to the right. Access to the Lower Lot from the main 257 entrance/exit, where the policeman is stationed, will be blocked from 2:30 until 4:30. Only cars picking up Lower School students from the Upper Circle may enter from the main 257 driveway. All vehicles other than those departing Wildwood will exit campus from the main 257 driveway. During the first couple of weeks faculty and staff will be stationed strategically during the dismissal times to ensure the desired result. The drop-off and pick-up booklet will be sent to all families next week. Parents must ensure that anyone else involved in the pick-up process--such as older siblings, nannies, or Uber drivers--are aware of the revised process. One ill-informed driver can really complicate matters. 

On Fridays, groups dismiss in rapid succession and potentially pose a greater concern for student safety. Dismissal at 12:00 for WW (at Wildwood); 12:15 PH (Upper Circle); 12:30 IH (Upper Circle); 12:45 US (JH Lower Lot and SH at the Upper Circle). The Stanwich shuttle departs for the train station at 12:45 on Fridays; district buses depart at 12:30 and 12:45.   If you have any questions about the new drop-off/pick-up locations, please contact Sukie McFadden, Director of Operations and the Divisional Assistants - Lilian for Lower School or Renata for Upper School - to confirm.  

This year we welcome thirty one new families and fifty new students to our Stanwich community. New families and students are encouraged to attend our welcoming orientation activities in the Gym on Thursday, August 31 beginning with a "Meet and Greet"  at 9:00.

Our happiness at the prospect of the school new year and new friends and colleagues is only dimmed by the recent decisions of Cynthia Hoemann to retire, Ilana Grady to resign, and Jessie to move with the Drennen family to North Carolina. Accordingly we have made adjustments to fill their administrative roles otherwise. We will miss them and wish them well. Your letters from Trudy or Jerome will communicate information concerning 2017-2018 teacher assignments and our great new teachers who begin August 21.

The first term is always a very busy and, we hope, joyous one filled with a variety of student and parent activities. Although the Stanwich website - with its calendars and teacher/class webpages - provides a continually updated resource for parents, as always, please feel free to call the main office or the divisional offices if you have any questions or concerns. We are thankful for the many parents on Parent Association and Board of Trustee Committees without whose time, effort, financial support, and wisdom The Stanwich School would not be possible.  

With all best wishes, sincerely,  
Charles Sachs
Head of School