Upper School Newsletter - March 29, 2023
Message From Division Director
Welcome back, Huskies! I hope everyone had a restful yet adventurous Spring Break.
As promised, I want to use today’s newsletter to talk about some of the feedback that we received from parents regarding the dress guidelines for 2023-2024. We had over 180 parents respond, ranging from grades 7 to 12. We really appreciate the time that many of you took to provide input.
The central question for families was about how they viewed the current level of professionalism that we are using in the dress guidelines. As you can see from the chart below, about 50% of families feel that the dress guidelines are “just right,” and 30% think that it is just a little too casual. Another 10% of our families felt that the dress guidelines are “far too casual.”
The survey consensus — the dress guidelines are:
The next question helped us understand the specific details that might help explain why a significant part of our community (roughly 40%) think that the guidelines are too casual.
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.) (189 responses)
This question helped us confirm that a majority of respondents are comfortable with allowing denim in the dress guidelines and uncomfortable with allowing pajama pants, crocs, and ripped/frayed clothing. The issue of students wearing athletic clothing is not as clearly delineated, with smaller majorities suggesting that they should not be allowed.
The other question that has been on many people’s minds this year has been whether we should return to something akin to a uniform. Though we aren’t looking at a branded and limited uniform that is similar to the Middle and Lower School, the Student Council Association (SCA) suggested a more formulaic dress code which we described in the question. The response below demonstrates that it was about a 57 to 43 split among families.
We have received many requests from parents and students to have a very simple type of "uniform at the Upper School. Do you support this idea? (183 responses)
The next steps in the process are to gather feedback from our Middle School and Upper School students specifically. Though we believe strongly that the SCA serves as the voice of the students, we think this topic is impactful enough to ask students directly. After we receive that feedback, I will sit down with some members of the Upper School administration and the SCA to finish crafting dress guidelines. These will be ready when we release the “Preparing for the 2023-2024 School Year” tile on the resource board in May.
Director of the Upper School
Student Leadership Applications Due TODAY — Wednesday, March 29
Students in Grades 9-11 who are interested in leadership opportunities in the next school year are asked to complete the 2023-2024 Student Leadership Application, no later than Wednesday, March 29. Students may only serve on one of these leadership groups, but may apply for more than one.
- Academic Honor Council
- Athletic Advisory Council
- Inclusive Leadership Council
- Peer Counselors
- Student Council Association
Along with completing the application and also by March 29, students must speak to a faculty member to submit an endorsement on their behalf. Important: Students must submit an application in order to be considered for next year even if they are in one of the groups this year. Please contact Upper School Dean of Students Howard Chang with any questions.
Arts Jam at George Mason University — Wednesday, April 12
Arts Jam is around the corner, and this year's theme is “Celebration!” The concert will take place on Wednesday, April 12, 7:00-10:00 p.m. at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus of George Mason University. The concert 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.
Grade 10 Pre-ACT
Thursday, March 30
Friday, March 31
Upper School Commons, 7:45-8:20 a.m.
Kaleidoscope Book Club
Monday, April 3
Peterson Middle School, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
College Conference Day for Juniors
Thursday, April 6
College Conference Virtual Panel for Junior Parents
Thursday, April 6
Parent Social following Learning Center Coffee
Tuesday, April 11
Peterson Middle School, 10:00-10:30 a.m.
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 Semi-Formal Dance
Saturday, April 15
Upper School Commons, 8:00-10:00 p.m.
Upper School Parent Coffee: Diversity, Equity & 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.
An Evening with Alum Author Caralena Peterson ’10
Wednesday, April 26
Upper School Learning Commons, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Senior Parents: Sign up to Volunteer for Senior Breakfast — March 31
The last Senior Breakfast will take place this Friday, March 31, 7:45-8:20 a.m., in the Upper School Commons! Parent volunteers are needed to contribute food and help with setup and serving. We appreciate your help with continuing this tradition and celebrating our seniors!
Details and Sign Up
Upcoming Parent Socials
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.
You're invited to join us for these upcoming events:
- Tuesday, April 11: 10:00-10:30 a.m., Peterson Middle School
- Wednesday, April 12: Middle School Division Coffee, 8:30-9:45 a.m., and Parent Social, 9:45-10:15 a.m. at Peterson Middle School
- Wednesday, April 19: Upper School Division Coffee (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), 8:30-9:30 a.m., and Parent Social, 9:30-10:00 a.m. at the Upper School Building
- 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. at Hazel Lower School
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.
Join Us for a Fun Day on the Links — Thursday, May 25
The Golf Tournament and Skills Clinic is for everyone! It’s not about skill or just playing a great round of golf; it’s about the people and building community. Connect with parents, alumni and friends to benefit the Parents’ Association Endowment for Financial Aid in Honor of Sally Hazel.
While there’s plenty of fun to be had in the tourney, the Skills Clinic is as much or perhaps even more fun. The Skills Clinic is for the once-a-year or once-in-a-lifetime golfer, and it’s for the golfer who’s just not up for a full round. Enjoy an hour-and-a-half of skills taught by pros and casual conversation with other “students.” Then, connect with the golfers arriving for the 18-hole round and for lunch in the Clubhouse!
All abilities are welcome, so sign up at flinthill.org/golf.
Spring Concessions Volunteers Needed
The spring schedule is now available for concessions volunteers at The Den. Students are welcome to volunteer as well and will receive service hours. Additionally, The Igloo will remain open during the day for Upper School students until the end of the school year, so you can still sign up for a shift there as well. 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!
11—Parent Social hosted by Divisional Ambassadors following Learning Center Coffee
12—Parent Social hosted by Divisional Ambassadors following Middle School Division Coffee
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
12—Grandparents and Special Friends Day
19—Parent Social hosted by Divisional Ambassadors following Lower School Division Coffee
25—Flint Hill Golf Invitational
31—Volunteer Appreciation Reception