Upper School Newsletter - April 12, 2023
Message From Division Director
Last week, I provided a summary of the parent survey regarding the dress guidelines for the 2023-2024 school year. This week, I want to share some of the results from the student survey that mirrored the parent survey. The survey was completed by the Student Council Association (SCA) and included 7th and 8th grade students as well as Upper School students.
The next step in the process is that the Upper School leadership will draft a new dress code for next year and give it to the SCA for feedback and comment. We really appreciate all of the feedback provided by the community.
The current dress guidelines are:
We have received many requests from parents and students to have a very simple type of "uniform" at the Upper School. The Student Council Association (SCA) suggested a possible uniform that would basically be some kind of collared shirt paired with khaki or chino style pants, shorts or skirt. Denim pants would also be allowed. These clothing items would not be required to be Flint Hill branded. Do you support this idea?
Which of these things SHOULD be PERMITTED under the Flint Hill dress guidelines? (This list is taken from the notes and proposals created by students/faculty.)
Director of the Upper School
Daily Schedule Update for 2023-2024
We are going to use the same start (8:25 a.m.) and stop (2:30 p.m.) times next year, but we have adjusted how we will allot time throughout the day. Our goal is to increase classroom time as we make our final step back to a more normalized bell schedule from what we have utilized since 2020, because of the pandemic. You can view the 2023-2024 Upper School Daily Schedule here, and I have provided some highlights below.
- Returning to a Six-Day Letter Cycle: In the spring of 2020, we moved to a five-day (Monday-Friday) cycle for its simplicity during a chaotic time. The main downside of a schedule that is tied to the day of the week is that the same classes are impacted by Monday/Friday holidays, leading to an imbalance of class time. In the Middle and Upper Schools, we are moving back to a six-day cycle. This change alone will balance the classes between the seven periods, and it will also help us regain approximately 600 minutes of instructional time. Each school day will be assigned a letter (A, B, C, D, E and F), and we will rotate the schedules accordingly. These letter days will be on the school calendar and loaded into Husky Hub for the entire year, so you will still be able to see your child's schedule every day, to schedule appointments, etc.
- Exact Alignment with the Middle School Schedule: To facilitate the schedules of students and faculty with classes in both the Middle and Upper Schools, the class times and period rotations will be identical.
- Reduction of Special Schedules: We are proud of all of the various activities that the school provides over the course of the year, such as athletic awards ceremonies, Arts Jam rehearsals, and Flint Hill Day. However, these great activities cause a constant need for special schedules which can be disruptive to academic classes. This year, we had over 30 special schedules. With the new schedule, we will be able to reduce that to only 2 special schedules for the 2023-2024 school year. We think this will have a substantial impact on the ability for students and staff to plan ahead without the worry of a special schedule interrupting their plan.
- Afternoon Advisory: For 2022-2023, we tried a pilot year without daily advisory. Surveys of the students and staff showed that they preferred the daily check-ins provided by a daily advisory. To match this request, we have decided to place the daily advisory at the end of the day. Please note that advisory is a class at Flint Hill, so students are required to stay through 2:30 p.m. each day, unless they have one of the situations that would warrant an excused absence, which can be found in the Attendance Policy section on the Parent Toolkit of the Resource Board within Husky Hub.
TONIGHT! Arts Jam at George Mason University
Arts Jam is tonight — Wednesday, April 12, 7:00-10:00 p.m. — at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University. This year's theme is Celebration!, and the show features the Upper School band, choir, orchestra, percussion, dance, and musical theater ensembles. The performance is family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. Admission is free and no reservations are necessary. More information about the venue, including a map and parking instructions, is available on the Arts Jam website.
See You at A Night on the Hill — Friday, April 14
We are excited to bring our community together for a fun evening this Friday, April 14, 7:30-10:00 p.m. at the Peterson Middle School. A large turnout is expected, so please check your email for helpful details and parking information. If you are still wondering about what to wear, Klondike had a little fun showing off some options. Contact Olivia Landrum ’11 in the Advancement Office should your plans have changed or if you have questions.
Upper School Spring Semi-formal Dance — Saturday, April 15
We are looking forward to having the students on campus Saturday, April 15, 8:30-10:00 p.m., for the Upper School Spring Semi-Formal Dance, organized by the Student Council Association (SCA). The theme of the dance is Enchanted Forest. For students to be admitted to the dance, they must arrive no later than 9:00 p.m. All students are expected to stay at the Upper School campus until 10:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact one of the SCA sponsors, Howard Chang or Samantha Hill.
Visual Arts Show Opening Reception — Wednesday, April 19
Join us for the opening reception of the Upper School Visual Arts Show on Wednesday, April 19, 6:00-8:30 p.m., featuring over 500 student-created works of art and highlighting the amazing talents of our young artists in a variety of mediums — drawing, painting, ceramics, filmmaking, animation, photography and graphic design. View the impressive collection of art and meet the artists themselves.
The exhibition will be on display from April 19 through May 15, so there's plenty of time to come back and see the artwork again and again. This year's show promises to be an unforgettable experience, showcasing the incredible creativity and hard work of our students. We are so proud of our young artists. Don't miss this opportunity to support our talented students and enjoy a stunning display of art.
Senior Parent & Student Information on Resource Board
An Evening with Alum Author Caralena Peterson ’10 — Wednesday, April 26
The Flint Hill Parents’ Association and Alumni Office are proud to co-host a special evening with our very own Caralena Peterson ’10, author of “The Effortless Perfection Myth.” Caralena informs parents of the red flags to look out for and the not-so-obvious strategies their children may be using to hide all that is going on beneath the surface, while providing pointers for engaging them in conversation about how it’s okay to not always be okay. Register to Attend
6:00 p.m. Meet the Author
6:30 p.m. Book Talk: “Beneath the Surface: What Your Seemingly Self-Sufficient Child Secretly Wants from You.” Q & A moderated by Upper School English Teacher Tracy Peterson.
7:15 p.m. Mix & Mingle
Location: Flint Hill Upper School Learning Commons, 3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton, Virginia, 22124.
Details: Visit our website or contact Tiffany Parry in the Advancement Office for more information. This event is open to the public. Please feel free to share this information with friends, neighbors and book clubs.
Reserve Seats to See 'Mamma Mia!' — April 28-30
The Upper School musical production of 'Mamma Mia!' is fast approaching, and the box office is now open. 'Mamma Mia!' is a jukebox-musical based on the songs of ABBA, following the story of a young bride-to-be trying to uncover the identity of her father before her wedding on a Greek island, leading to hilarious and heartwarming hijinks. Tickets are free, and good seats are going fast. Due to the high demand for this show, patrons are encouraged to reserve seats online in advance.
Performances will be held on Friday, April 28, Saturday, April 29, 7:00-9:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 30, 2:00-4:30 p.m. in the Olson Theater, in the Activity Center of the Hazel Lower School. The address is 10409 Academic Drive, Oakton, VA 22124.
Summer on the Hill - Now Accepting Applications!
Check the Morning Report for application information.
Students may apply for paid or volunteer positions to work in a variety of unique camps. For more information, contact Matt McCoart.
Arts Jam Concert
Wednesday, April 12
George Mason University, 7:00-10:00 p.m.
A Night on the Hill
Friday, April 14
Peterson Middle School, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
Upper School Spring Semi-formal Dance
Saturday, April 15
Upper School Commons, 8:30-10:00 p.m.
Upper School Division Coffee: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Wednesday, April 19
Upper School Multipurpose Room, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Parent Social following DEI Coffee
Wednesday, April 19
Upper School Building, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
Upper School Visual Art Show Opening Reception
Wednesday, April 19
Upper School Building, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
An Evening with Alum Author Caralena Peterson ’10
Wednesday, April 26
Upper School Learning Commons, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Upper School Musical: Mamma Mia!
Friday, April 28
Olson Theater, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Upper School Musical: Mamma Mia!
Saturday, April 29
Olson Theater, 7:00-9:30 p.m.
Upper School Musical: Mamma Mia!
Sunday, April 30
Olson Theater, 2:00-4:30 p.m.
Parents’ Association Divisional Ambassadors
The Divisional Ambassadors are here to help you connect! They are actively involved in our community and encourage you to get involved too. Read about the Divisional Ambassadors on our website as well as volunteer opportunities and Parents’ Association events.
The Divisional Ambassadors (DA) are hosting informal parent socials. Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates:
- Wednesday, April 19: Upper School Division Coffee (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), 8:30-9:30 a.m., and DA Parent Social, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
- Friday, May 19: Lower School Division Coffee (Open Forum), 8:15-9:15 a.m., and DA Parent Social, 9:15-9:45 a.m.
Parents Council of Washington Speaker Series (Zoom): Ana Homayoun — Thursday, April 20
Flint Hill is a member of the Parents Council of Washington (PCW), a nonprofit organization that hosts programming for member schools throughout the school year. On Thursday, April 20, 7:00-8:30 p.m., FH parents are invited to a PCW webinar presentation — “Social Media Wellness: Helping Children and Adults Build Buoyancy in an Unbalanced Digital World.”
Noted author, speaker and educator Ana Homayoun will discuss modern parenting dilemmas in the age of smartphones and speak about the framework of the three Ss – healthy socialization, effective self-regulation, and overall safety – from her book, “Social Media Wellness: Helping Teens and Tweens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World.” Ana will offer practical solutions for parents, educators, and students of all ages as they navigate the ever-changing issues involving social networking and healthy child and teen development. Time for Q&A will be provided after the presentation. Please submit advance questions by Friday, April 14, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Register for the webinar.
Parent Meetup: Honor Flight — Saturday, April 22
Join fellow parents and students in welcoming and recognizing WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans, as their Honor Flight arrives to Dulles International Airport. Volunteers will greet the veterans outside the main terminal and will not pass through TSA security.
Honor Flight is a national organization that transports American Veterans to Washington, D.C., to celebrate and share in a day of honor at our nation’s memorials.
Learn more and sign up to volunteer.
Questions? Contact Olivia Landrum ’11.
Clinic or 18-Holes … There’s Still Time to Join Us for a Fun Day on the Links! — Thursday, May 25
Spend the day with fellow Huskies at the Golf Tournament and Skills Clinic — enjoy lunch and try your luck at many fun contests and prizes. Whether you want to play in the tournament or learn the basics at the skills clinic, it’s a fun day of community building and all abilities are welcome.
There is limited space in the tournament, but plenty of spots are available for the skills clinic! Enjoy an hour-and-a-half of casual conversation and skills taught by pros, and then join us for lunch in the Clubhouse to connect with golfers arriving for the tourney!
Invite a friend and join us on the links!
Register at flinthill.org/golf.
Spring Concessions Volunteers Needed
Volunteering in concessions is a fun way to make new connections with other parents across divisions. Check out the schedules and invite a friend to join you! Students are welcome to volunteer as well and will receive service hours.
14—“A Night on the Hill”
19—Parent Social hosted by Divisional Ambassadors following Upper School Division Coffee
20—Parents Council of Washington Speaker Series (Zoom Webinar): Ana Homayoun
19—Parent Social hosted by Divisional Ambassadors following Lower School Division Coffee
25—Flint Hill Golf Invitational
31—Volunteer Appreciation Reception