Head of School Message
Dear Frederica Families, 

In the most recent issue of Time magazine there is an article entitled "The Great Reading Rethink" (click here to read the online version). In my opinion, the article is particularly effective in capturing the various perspectives and different philosophies embraced by educators over the years as to how young children best acquire language and specifically how they best learn to read. I am fairly confident that as parents growing up in different eras and different parts of the country, you collectively represent a whole host of those schools of thought regarding reading and perhaps today couldn’t necessarily even identify exactly how you were taught to read.
This article reveals that after decades of vigorous debate relating to the best ways to teach reading there is now a universally accepted, evidence-based science of reading that has emerged as the gold standard underpinning superior programs, and those programs include elements of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. It is with immense pride that I write today to share that FA’s Lower School has created and now fully implements this superior ilk of program, and as a result of extensively trained teachers, our students are now experiencing phenomenal progress in their journey to become strong readers. In the highly interactive and interdependent world of today, possessing a command of language is critical, and that command begins with securing a strong reading background.
Four years ago the Lower School faculty, under the guidance and support of Becky Pruitt, began down the pathway to strengthen our literacy program. Teachers received extensive training in the Orton-Gillingham methodology as well as The Complete Reading training, based on research by the National Reading Panel. This training has proven the cornerstone for success in the acquisition of children’s language at FA by empowering teachers to possess, understand, and master instructional practices necessary to effectively teach reading, writing, spelling, and comprehension. By adopting these programs and committing to this essential teacher training we have:
  • Established consistency in programming throughout the Lower School. This programming ensures that our students learn language skills in a systemic, sequential, and purposeful manner.

  • Added a series of research-based screeners that are comprehensive and methodical to help create individual learning profiles for each student.

  • Reinforced the value of our using the STAR Reading Assessment as a tool to monitor the acquisition and development of fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. Lower School parents, please be on the lookout later this fall for correspondence from Mrs. Pruitt that will explain the entire STAR platform before the October parent/teacher conference where your child’s individual STAR results will be shared. 

  • Increased the effectiveness of monitoring a student’s application of the skills learned in our phonics program.
The community of strong readers and writers that Mrs. Pruitt and the teachers are cultivating in our Lower School is noteworthy unto itself; our 102 students in Grades 1-4 read 6,479 books last year. But as importantly as developing young readers who both read voraciously and appreciate good literature, our Lower School language program is sowing the ground and planting the seeds for a new crop of outstanding critical readers and writers to enter and excel in our Middle and Upper Schools.


Scott L. Hutchinson
Head of School
This Week at FA
Monday @ 10:00 AM
Upper School Assembly
FA Honor Code + Book Signing

Monday @ 1:00 PM
Sewanee Admission Rep.
College Counseling Center


Tuesday @ 1:05 PM
Senior Resume Workshop
College Counseling Center

Tuesday @ 4:00 PM
Middle School Football Picture Day
FA Football Field

Tuesday @ 5:00 PM
Varsity Volleyball @ Home
vs. Valwood

Tuesday @ 6:00 PM
MS Parent Curriculum Night
Registration @
Fleming + Benefield Hall Breezeway

Wednesday @ 8:15 AM
FA Parent Association Information Meeting
Shuman Conference Room

Wednesday @ 10:00 AM
US Advisory
Handbook #2

Wednesday @ 1:00 PM
Stetson University Admission Rep.
College Counseling Center

Wednesday @ 4:00 PM
Department Chair Meeting
Mrs. Gallagher's Classroom

Wednesday @ 4:30 PM
Glynn County Middle School Volleyball Jamboree
Glynn Academy

Thursday (Morning)
Savannah Independent School College Fair
Savannah State University

Thursday @ 5:00 PM
Middle School Football Game
@ Pinewood Christian (Bellville, GA)
Dismissal @ 1:30 PM
Depart @ 2:00 PM

Thursday @ 5:00 PM
Varsity Volleyball @ Heritage Christian
Brunswick, GA
Depart @ 3:30 PM

Friday @ 8:10 AM
Lower School Morning Meeting
Hamilton Hall

Friday @ 8:30 AM
Senior Portraits
Shuman Conference Room

Friday @ 7:30 PM
Varsity Football @ Tiftarea
Tifton, GA

Saturday Morning
SAT Exam @ FA
Corn Hall

Saturday (8:00 AM - 4:00 PM)
MS + US Practice Debate Tournament
Valdosta High School
Middle School Parent Message
Setting Changes,
Mind Does Not Always Compute

Early adolescents love a routine, especially the one called "summer." When we shift to school mode the adolescent brain doesn't always keep up with the calendar. All of the sudden your child has more face-to-face social interactions, a more scheduled day, and more deadlines. It often takes young students a few weeks to realize the routine has changed. Yes, summer is over and school is in session. Teachers mean business ... in a developmentally appropriate way! 

Some students may experience difficulties in adjusting to the school routine. Parents sometimes see aggravation, difficulty in juggling the demands, and even tears in their children. Teachers sometimes see repeated silliness, inattentiveness, and even disrespectful behavior. It typically sinks in for the student about this time of year that the demands are here to stay. Parents can help by keeping a consistent routine and reminding students that the difficulty in transitioning from summer to school is natural. We all go through it (even the educators!). Grit and resiliency are definitely tested. Once students find their rhythm they are usually fine. If we approach Labor Day and your child is still struggling, please reach out to Rachael Lee, FA School Counselor or your child's advisor. Hopefully, each student has hit the speed bump and it is in their rearview mirror.

We look forward to seeing all of our Middle School parents on Tuesday evening at Middle School Parent Curriculum Night.

David Nelson
Middle School Director
Lower School Parent Message
Thank you to all of the Lower School parents who braved the wet weather to attend last week's Lower School Parent Curriculum Night.

The Lower School classroom teachers were eager to host their respective parents in the learning centers where they have the privilege of teaching their children each school day.

The Lower School Specials Team was excited to inject some fun into the evening as they greeted parents with their first-ever "Guess Who" game.
The Knights Table: THIS WEEK
Upper School Deadlines: MONDAY
MS Parent Curriculum Night: TUESDAY
Middle School Parent Curriculum Night will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday. Parents will retrieve their child's schedule from the registration tables that will be located in the breezeway between Benefield and Fleming Halls. Registration tables will open at 5:30 p.m. The abbreviated schedule will guide you through your child's daily journey, allowing you to spend five minutes in each classroom. It will give parents an opportunity to meet the teachers and learn about the course objectives. The program will conclude by 7:30 p.m.
Peach State Tour: TUESDAY
Join Augusta University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech, and the University of Georgia this fall for the Peach State Tour! The tour will be held in-person and virtually on the following dates/times:
Tuesday, August 23
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Herschel Jenkins High School, Savannah
Wednesday, August 24: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday, August 31: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Parent Association Meeting: WEDNESDAY
Please plan to join us for the first FA Parent Association meeting this Wednesday, August 24, at 8:15 a.m. All FA parents are encouraged to attend and learn about upcoming events, activities, goals, and initiatives for the 2022-2023 school year. Parents will hear from Scott Hutchinson, Head of School and Rachael Lee, School Counselor, in addition to parent volunteer representatives who will share exciting updates on the FA Booster Club, Derby Day, volunteer opportunities and more. You do not want to miss this very informative meeting! 

The meeting will take place in the Shuman Conference Room in the Been Library on Wednesday, August 24, at 8:15 a.m. Coffee and light bites will be served. Please RSVP to let us know if you plan to attend. If you are unable to attend, please check out our current list of volunteer opportunities and let us know where you'd like to help out. When parents sign up to help our teachers and staff, our children win! Thank you in advance for your help and support!

FA Parent Association Board
Meredith Flagstad, Co-President
Kimbrough Haverstock, Co-President
Sara Brown, Treasurer
Jenn Hagfors, Volunteer Coordinator
Andrea Mickelson, Communications
The Fall Session of Lower School After-School Clubs starts the week of August 29. Each program will run for eight weeks. If needed, any make-up sessions will take place the week of October 24.

Completed forms and payments are due no later than Wednesday, August 24.
Savannah College Fair: THURSDAY
Juniors and Seniors interested in attending this year's Savannah Independent School College Fair should sign up on the College Counseling Center's door.  
Over 125 colleges and universities will be represented at the fair.
Date: Thursday, August 25th
Time: 8:15 AM - 1:30 PM
Location: Savannah State University
Senior Portraits: FRIDAY @ 8:30 AM
Debate + Speech Club: SATURDAY
Please note that this is a PRACTICE tournament for team members who are able to attend.
Clue Auditions: AUGUST 29-31
The auditions that were scheduled to take place this week will now take place next week on and at the following dates and times in Hamilton Hall.
Monday, August 29
3:20 PM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday, August 30
3:20 PM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday, August 31
3:20 PM - 4:30 PM
FA Booster Club Kick-Off Event:
AUGUST 30 (5:30 PM - 7:00 PM)
Junior + Senior Deadline: SEPTEMBER 16
Juniors and Seniors are invited to apply to be a part of the St. Simons Land Trust Ambassador Program. The mission of the Ambassador Program is to promote the mission of the St. Simons Land Trust by building community awareness through engagement with peers, Ambassadors, and Land Trust staff.


  • Serve as community ambassadors for SSLT by spreading its mission.
  • Promote civic leadership and responsibility among students to be good stewards of St. Simons.
  • Look to Ambassadors and Land Trust staff for mentorship.
  • Help with maintenance at various SSLT properties.
  • Assist with office tasks as needed (mailings, etc.).
  • Assist with marketing, social media, and ideas to spread the SSLT mission to peers.
  • Assist with fundraisers, such as the Oyster Roast, Pennies for Preservation, and other events.
  • Attend ALL nine meetings throughout the school year.
  • Serve a term of two years if accepted as a Junior. Seniors serve a one-year term.

Students interested must return a completed Commitment Form and Application to Dr. Nevins by Friday, September 23rd.

Please note that a teacher recommendation is also required. Students must ask a teacher to write a recommendation by Friday, September 16th
MS Makerspace (Grades 5-6)
Fifth and Sixth Grade Grade Makerspace students wrote songs using code, built circuits that launch propellers, and they constructed robots that react to their surroundings.
Fifth Grade Science
The scientific method is a way for scientists to test problems and to discover answers to questions they may have about the world around them. It is an important process that helps scientists (and scientists in training) explain their thinking through investigation and to share their results with others all around the world.

Ms. Walker’s Fifth Grade Science students explored the scientific method by trying to answer the all important question: What is the most common color of Skittle? Students used observations and analysis of their data to determine this. Answer: It was orange!
LS Royal Reader Club Photos
Third Grade Greek Roots
Third Grade students learned about their Greek Roots in Social Studies last week. While exploring the impact on our current government, the students started the week by learning about the origins of the Olympic Games and Greek Architecture. To make it interactive, the Third Graders participated in a discus and javelin throwing competition, followed by a foot race.
Third Grade Fun Friday
Third Grades students enjoyed Fun Friday as they reviewed their closed syllable words by rotating through centers, which included building words using magnetic tiles and reviewing our drill sounds with friends. 
First Grade STEM Activity
Last week's First Grade STEM challenge was based around the story, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, by Mo Willems. The goal was to build a free-standing house for a puppy or walrus cutout. It was great to watch the students use what they learned from the prior week’s STEM activity to help them with this challenge!
Kindergarten Photos
During their second week of school, Kindergarten students enjoyed painting rainbows, a fine motor craft emphasizing their names, "Pete the Cat" fun, and more! They had a full week of learning and joyfulness!
Pre-K Mystery Reader
Brannen Scurry’s mom, Madison, was the first Pre-K Mystery Reader of the 2022-2023 school year! She read the book, What Will I Do With My Love Today, by Kristin Chenoweth. The students enjoyed hearing all of the different ways we can share love with one another! 
Special Events Calendar
August 29 @ 10:00 AM
Upper School Assembly

August 29-31 (3:20 PM - 4:30 PM)
Clue on Stage
Hamilton Hall

August 30 @ 5:00 PM
Varsity Volleyball vs. Bradwell Institute
@ Home

August 30 (5:30 PM - 7:00 PM)
FA Booster Club Kick-Off Event
River Room at Coastal Kitchen

August 31 @ 10:00 AM
Upper School Advisory
Upper School Council Voting

August 31 @ 4:00 PM
Department Meetings

August 31 @ 5:00 PM
Middle School Volleyball vs. St. Francis
@ Home

August 31 @ 6:00 PM
Upper School Curriculum Night

September 2 @ 7:30 PM
Varsity Football Home Opener
School-Wide Spirit Day

September 5
Labor Day (School Holiday)

September 6
Yearbook School Photos
Individual Headshots
Shuman Conference Room

September 7 @ 3:30 PM
All-School Faculty Meeting

September 7 @ 6:00 PM
Senior College Night
Hamilton Hall

September 8
Drop/Add Ends (Upper School)

September 8 @ 10:00 AM
Upper School Advisory
Handbook #3 + Signing

September 9
School-Wide Spirit Day

September 10
ACT Exam at FA

September 11
National Grandparents Day

September 13 @ 8:30 AM
LS New Family Meet + Greet

September 13 @ 9:50 AM
First + Last Grade Fall Convocation
MS + US Morning Assembly Schedule

September 14
US Author Visit

September 14 @ 4:00 PM
US Faculty Meeting

September 15
Q1 Progress Reports Posted

September 21
Worry Free Wednesday

September 23
School-Wide Spirit Day

September 26-30
Homecoming Week
Daily Dress-Up Days

September 28 @ 1:00 PM
UGA Admission Rep.
College Counseling Center

September 29 @ 8:15 AM
Parent Association Coffee
Shuman Conference Room

September 30
MS + US Pep Rally Schedule

September 30 @ 2:20 PM
Homecoming Pep Rally

September 30 @ 7:30 PM
Homecoming Game vs. Tattnall Square Academy

October 1
SAT Exam at FA

October 1 @ 8:00 PM
Homecoming Dance
FA Fall Athletic Schedules
Follow FA on Social Media
2022-2023 FA Master School Calendar
Click HERE to access the 2022-2023
At-A-Glance Master Calendar.