Upper School Newsletter - April 27, 2022
Message From Division Director
I was speaking to a colleague of mine this weekend who is an Upper School Head at a great independent school in Florida. He said, “We are really working on rebuilding the community of the school. During COVID, a culture built up where students came for classes and then left as soon as they could. We have got to get back to where we are together for all of the other events that make us a school and not just a place where people ‘take classes.’”
Each word resonated with me, because I could say all of the same things about Flint Hill. We have been able to bring back athletics competitions and arts events this year, but that is only a step. We have also brought back a lot of programming during the day, such as Town Meeting, Student Forums, Pep Rallies, and Open Mic. But, I have started noticing a disturbing trend where students are skipping these events in larger numbers. A general sentiment has emerged, which I believe is a remnant of learning during COVID, that “if it isn’t class, there is no reason or benefit for me to attend.”
I thought I would use my message this week to push back on that philosophy. Some of the most important programming that we provide happens outside of the normal class schedule. Though I believe passionately in the Calculus lessons, Physics Labs, and U.S. History debates, I also feel that a great amount of the benefit of an independent school education comes from the programming during advisory and community times.
A great example of that programming is happening this Friday. This Friday is Senior Day, the last day on campus for our Senior Huskies unless they have an AP class. As part of that tradition, Seniors present speeches to the student body about their experiences and the wisdom they have accumulated. A key theme of these senior speeches is reflecting upon their mistakes over the last four years. Just like parents, we share these stories so that others might not make the same mistakes we did. Whether it is a senior becoming an alum, or a parent raising a child, we want those younger than us to receive the lessons we have gleaned from our mistakes, without the pain of the mistake.
I am really looking forward to our 9th-11th graders being able to hear from our seniors and their experiences, this Friday. Each speech won’t resonate with each student; we all have different experiences and different needs. But I think each student can find some important wisdom from at least one member of the Class of 2022.
Director of the Upper School
Spring Exam Schedule
Here is the Upper School exam schedule. A more precise schedule with times will be released as we get closer to exams.
- May 25: Reading Day (required for Grade 9) — students from other grades can attend optionally.
- May 26: Language Exams
- May 27: English Exams
- May 31: Math Exams
- June 1: History Exams
- June 2: Science Exams
- June 3: Upper School Closing Ceremony
Tickets for the Upper School Musical, "Working," Are on Sale Now!
Performances are held on April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and May 1 at 2 p.m. "Working" concerns the hopes, dreams, joys and concerns of the average working American. In the course of one 24-hour workday, the audience meets and hears stories of various workers, including the schoolteacher, the parking lot attendant, the waitress, the mill worker, the mason, the trucker, the fireman, and the housewife. Tickets are free, but reservations at this link are suggested. Good seats go fast, so get your tickets today!
The next meeting of the Kaleidoscope Parent Book Club is scheduled for Monday, May 9, 8:30-9:30 a.m., in the Peterson Middle School. We will meet to discuss the book "Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways to Build a More Inclusive World" by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown. We look forward to building and deepening relationships through this shared learning opportunity. All parents are welcome to attend regardless of your familiarity with the book selection. Please use this form to RSVP. Contact All- School Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator Miles Henderson if you have any questions
Coming Soon: The Community of Care
The Community of Care is an event designed for our community to engage in dialogue, create connections and build community. This year’s community conversation will focus on the Flint Hill Core Values. We invite you to join us as we connect across constituencies and build a more inclusive community, one conversation at a time. Our discussion will also inform our upcoming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) programming.
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m.-noon in the Peterson Middle School. We invite students in Grades 7-12, alumni, parents, faculty, staff and leadership to join us for this important community event. Please save the date. Registration details will be provided in the upcoming weeks.
Update on Senior Year-End Activities and Commencement Week
Preparing for the 2022-23 School Year Tile Launches May 2
Parents Council of Washington Virtual Event April 28
The Parents Council of Washington is pleased to host a virtual event on Thursday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. with Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson, national bestselling authors of “The Self-Driven Child,” to discuss their new book, “What Do You Say?: Talking with Kids to Build Motivation, Stress Tolerance, and a Happy Home.”
William R. Stixrud, Ph.D. is a clinical neuropsychologist and founder of The Stixrud Group, as well as a faculty member at Children's National Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine.
Ned Johnson is an author, speaker, and founder of PrepMatters, an educational company providing academic tutoring, educational planning, and standardized test preparation. He hosts the PrepTalks podcast and is a sought-after speaker and teen coach on study skills, sleep deprivation, parent-teen dynamics, and test anxiety.
In this PCW Speaker Series event, Stixrud and Johnson will focus on how to communicate with kids in a way that supports the autonomy and self-drive that are important for healthy development. They will emphasize practical communication strategies for building a strong emotional connection with our kids, communicating healthy (versus toxic) expectations, fostering intrinsic motivation, and helping kids find their own reasons to change when they are struggling. Because communication is hardest when things are not going well, the presentation will emphasize how to get "buy in" before we share our experience and advice, how to change the energy when it feels like we are trying to force our kids, and how to manage conversations when emotions run high.
The presentation will be followed by a Q&A period. Please submit in advance any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All PCW member school parents, administrators, faculty, and staff are invited. Register Here
To help protect the integrity and privacy of virtual events, we have placed all the links to Google Meet virtual events in Husky Hub via the All-School Calendar.
Grade 9 Parent Dinner Sponsored by the Parents’ Association
Thursday, April 28, 6-9 p.m.
Upper School Musical, "Working"
Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m., Olson Theater — Lower School Campus
Friday, April 29, 9 a.m. (Students only), Fairfax IHOP
Grade 10 Parent Dinner Sponsored by the Parents’ Association
Friday, May 6, 6-9 p.m.
Grades JK-12 Parent Education Series: Kaleidoscope Book Club
Monday, May 9, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Two-Hour Delayed Opening, Faculty/Staff In-Service
Tuesday, May 17
All of these links can be found on the COVID-19 Health Information tile on the Resource Board.
Reminder: Keep Everyone Healthy by Staying Home if Sick
If your student has fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea you should keep them home to recover. They must be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to school.
Don’t Forget to Register! Golf Invitational and Skills Clinic
Space is limited for the tournament, but there are plenty of spots available for the Skills Clinic, presented by AutoScandia. Join Clinic Co-Chairs Mica Howard P’19 and Sibel Unsal P’22 for an hour-and-a-half of casual conversation and golf skills taught by pros. Afterward, enjoy lunch together and get a chance to win some great raffle prizes, including a Kendra Scott necklace or two tickets to Signature Theater. Thank you to parents Sherri and Mark Bredesen P'22 of AutoScandia for their generous sponsorship of the clinic!
Once a Husky, Always a Husky
It was a beautiful weekend. The Toast to Celebrate John was sensational! It was so nice to be able to honor our headmaster for 17 remarkable years at Flint Hill. It was fun to see his face after each surprise: his portrait, two of his three sons surprising him, the Flint Hill Family Album that you all contributed to, the incredible gifts to a financial aid endowment in his name, the touching video of our community honoring him, and the reveal of the Middle School terrace to The John M. Thomas Terrace. Read more.