Monday Notes 9/25, Message from the Head of School

"There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not seen or heard, as if it could not be, as if it could not have been!" - Percy Blythe Shelley

Dear Families,

Autumn is here! The change in weather always brings a soothing calmness to our campus as our students and faculty have settled into their routines of teaching and learning, and the feeling of "newness" in recently welcomed student, family and faculty newcomers has now grown into a more relaxed and comfortable community familiarity. Our student-athletes are settling into their practices, games, meets, and matches. Our fall Drama production is already underway, and our 7th graders leave today for their annual Pathfinder retreat in Idyllwild. A very successful turnout of families attended the New Families Reception last Friday at Acqua at The River. We are so grateful for all who agreed to serve as a host family for others, but also for the wonderful new families who have joined us! Our community continues to strengthen through each and every one of you. When I stand out in front of any division in the morning, I see happy children, friendly families, and a lot of smiles. It's good to be a Firebird!

Tomorrow, we have our scheduled Picture Day for all students. Please be sure that you take a look at last week's e-blast from your child's Division Head to see what the formal dress code for pictures is. Additionally, please be reminded that hats are not allowed, and that hair bows, bands, etc. have to meet the dress code. Any student who has hair or head items that do not meet the dress code for their Division will be asked to remove it. Sometimes, parents are tempted to send them wearing something "extra special" for picture day and then become upset when it is removed due to dress code violation. Please adhere to our guidelines for appropriate dress, including accessories, and if you have questions about it - ask your Division Head. We appreciate the support of our student dress code and your assistance in making sure students look their best for picture day! Additionally, a message from Cordova Photography about payment for photo orders: If you are paying by credit card and/or would like to order school pictures online, please do so by clicking here. We will receive your order, and you will be all set. There is no need to send anything with your student.

As a reminder, if you would like to assist with driving for Field Trips or Athletic away events, please see our Business Office for the paperwork and process that all adults need to complete before being allowed to drive for any school-sponsored activity. While we recognize that this takes extra effort from families, we are grateful for those of you who are willing to ensure that the appropriate insurance policies are in place and that all drivers have a clean and clear record before driving students for school-related purposes. Parents and adult family members are encouraged to sign up, but will not be permitted to drive students unless they have all paperwork turned in and have been cleared by the system. Thank you for understanding.

Lastly, we hope that you will consider making your donation to our Annual Firebird Fund in the coming weeks. Our Firebird Fund helps to pay for things that are beyond the basic needs paid for by tuition and beyond the education that our students receive. Extras like our electives programming with Technology, Performing and Visual Arts instruction, our new Learning Specialist program, and extracurricular activities like Mock Trial and Athletics. It supports the beautiful campus we learn and work on each day. It helps to support our Faculty with Professional Development, so they are learning new educational techniques that directly benefit our students, and so much more! Last year, we increased our Parent and Family participation level to 42% and this year, we would like to push that to 50% or more. So, whether your gift is $50 or $5,000, your participation and commitment to these "extras" that make our school so special are vital.

Please consider a donation at the level that suits your family, and you can give today by visiting our website here to support our students, faculty, and programs. It's also 100% tax deductible as we are a non-profit organization. Thank you for your consideration.

Whether you volunteer your time and talents, have already given to the Annual Fund, or just make sure that your own students are supported while here at school - thank you for all you do! Our community is stronger because of what each of you contributes. Go Firebirds!

Best,

Susan Rice
Head of School