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C IRCLE B ACK October 6, 2011

Wait For It Beach Team Building Noticias de Espa単ol Unfortunate Stories

October

November

7

Building Friends Campaign Kick-Off II (8:30-9:30a)

1-4

School Photos

7

SSAT FOR 8th Graders

1

Math Night at SFFS

10

Fall Holiday - NO SCHOOL

2

Community Meeting for Worship (8:40 - 9:10a)

12

Diversity with Alison Park (6:30p)

2

Middle School Tech Night (6:30 - 7:30p)

17

Sibling Applications Due

3

Booktopia (6:00 - 9:00p)

18

SPEAK Event - Dan Coyle (7:00 - 8:30p)

24

Conference Day - NO SCHOOL

25

Evening Conferences (4:00 - 8:00p)

28

Fall Movie Night (6:15 - 8:30p)

31

School Photos (all week)

See full calendar here

san francisco friends school * 250 valencia street * san francisco, ca 94103

* 415-565-0400 * sffriendsschool.org


Come One, Come ALL!

Diversity with Alison Park

October 7, 8:30 - 9:30a Enjoy breakfast in the our future theater, and ask Cathy the burning questions on your mind.

"Do I have good hair?" "Only boys play with Legos." "Am I white?"

msloger@sffriendsschool.org

SPEAK - Dan Coyle on Talent

Talking About Talent at SFFS

How does a poor, scantily educated British family in a remote village turn out three world-class writers? According to NYT bestselling author Daniel Coyle, it’s the nature and intensity of their practice habits.

If Dan Coyle gets you thinking, join new Friends School student and family counselor Katherine Preston for a discussion about talent, practice, hard work, achievement and other ideas raised by Dan Coyle’s SPEAK lecture. We will be joined by some of Friends School’s own highly talented parents who have differing views on just what it takes to reach the Olympics or Carnegie Hall.

Coyle is the author of “The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.” He visited hotbeds of talent around the world - places that seem to breed tennis phenoms and pop stars. And he found that they share similar habits of coaching, motivation and deep, deep practice -- a pattern that shows us a new way to think about talent and how to unlock it.

Details:

October 20, 8:30a Friends School Mary Hossfeld mahossfeld@gmail.com

Details:

October 18, 7:00p Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, 1111 Gough Street (St. Francis Hall, lower level) FREE for Friends School families http://speaksf.org/

SF Meetinghouse Food Pantry - Year Two Every Saturday, SFFS partners with the SF Meetinghouse to distrbute food to those in need. This is a great opportunity to do important work in our community and serve with other SFFS families. It was a great success last year and we hope to pick up where we left off! Each SFFS grade has a month in which they can serve at the pantry. First up is Kindergarten starting October 8. There is no minimum age, but children must be accompanied by adult and be mature and capable to work.

Not sure what to say sometimes when children talk about identity and difference? Alison Park, founder of Blink Diversity Consulting, will discuss supportive and meaningful ways that adults can talk with children about race, gender and identity. With the assumption that we all have a role and responsibility in diversity work, this evening is an opportunity for parents and teachers to explore their own experiences and questions about when to say what to support children’s positive identity development and understandings of diversity. Details:

October 12, 6:00 - 7:00p Meeting Room Guybe Slangen gslangen@sffriendsschool.org Diali Bose-Roy dboseroy@sffriendsschool.org www.rethinkingdiversity.com

Fall Movie Night We’re going to celebrate Autumn with an evening at the movies; a great way for our whole community to relax together. There will be a movie for the younger set, one for the middle schoolers, and plenty of FREE popcorn. Last year’s movies (Babe and The Princess Bride) received rave reviews from parents and kids alike, and concession sales raised over $550 for the 8th grade class trip! The top secret movie selection process for this year is currently underway.... Details:

October 28 6:15 - 8:30p Jesse Miller jessemiller@ reedsmith.com 415-659-5973

Details: Saturdays, 10:30a - 1:30p The Meetinghouse, 65 9th Street Sign up on the wiki:

http://wiki.sffriendsschool.org/sffs/wiki.cgi/QuakerFoodPantry

October 6, 2011

San Francisco Friends School


Wait For It Cathy Hunter, Head of School I suspect many of you have heard your children decry Meeting for Worship as “boring” or “annoying.” When I was interviewing for the Friends School headship, I asked my father about Meeting for Worship at his Quaker school in England. What was it like? “Interminable boredom,” he said, “punctuated by the ramblings of dunderheads.” Your children might agree.

“a place in which we regain our bearings, true our moral compass, hear the voice of our conscience, and find ourselves.”

There’s something odd about the words “Meeting for Worship. “Meeting” sounds rather unctuous and business-like, like something you calendar and attend, with some resignation, as part of your work. And then there’s “worship.” This one’s even trickier: a word we attach – loosely, cynically – to heroes, handsome Hollywood stars, graven images, or teen idols. Should you be relieved your child attends “Meeting for Worship” at a Quaker school? The fact that these Meetings center on silence makes it difficult to put the meaning of this ritual into words. We have a host of ways of experiencing silence. There’s the hush of a freshly fallen snow, creepy silence when the sound track stops during the thriller, the speechless or thunderstruck silence with which we hear shocking news, the stillness of dawn, dead of night, calm before the storm, a quiet sense of dread, a muffled, solemn, taciturn, tranquil silence, peaceful silence and lucid stillness. And then there’s a pregnant pause. Meeting for Worship at Friends School is one of the ways we introduce your children to the nuance of silence, and to its power. Over their years at school, we hope they can experience silence as a balm for the human spirit, a place in which we regain our bearings, true our moral compass, hear the voice of our conscience, and find ourselves. In a world in which it is all too easy to be lost in the intellectual or emotional landscape, silence is an oasis. A Meeting for Worship in the Religious Society of Friends is neither a retreat nor a restful, passive pause. Quakers believe that a spiritually alive and expectant silence, in which the worshiper has “centered” and awaits, electric and alert, a leading from the Spirit, is the silence in which nourishing spiritual sustenance is found. Early Quakers eliminated the middle man (priest or minister) from their worship, but held to the notion that corporate worship – a gathering of people – made the worship that much deeper. Over the last decade, Meeting for Worship at our Friends School has taken place around a campfire, in a wooded enclave, in the classroom or basement at our old school, in the Managua airport, under the fig tree at Gayle and Brian’s farm, in the middle of construction here at 250 Valencia, or in warm candlelight in the Meeting Room. Children who are at our school for nine years will attend over 300 such meetings. A very small handful of those Meetings will be memorable to them: times in which their internal landscape shifted, in which their love for family and friends was manifest, in which they felt a deep sense of place and purpose in the world.

October 6, 2011

San Francisco Friends School


The rest of those 300 Meetings? Perhaps the best way I can explain is by talking about one of the fundamental mysteries of childhood. My parents loved classical music. They listened to classical music in the evenings, never as a soundtrack to other activities, but as a focus of their full attention. They talked about whether they preferred Richter or Horowitz playing Brahms’ second piano concerto. I was brought to concerts starting at the age of about six. I was not at all interested. I hated them. I twisted in my seat, and tried in vain to let my parents know of my suffering. I fake-coughed, braided my hair, played finger games, and prayed the wretched symphony would be over soon. My parents were deaf to me, with ears only for the music. You know the end of this story. I love classical music now with every fiber of my body. I don’t know when those concerts shifted from torturous to glorious, but they did. When you climb mountains with children they never admire the view. You arrive at the top and as parents gaze out over the soul-expanding vista, kids play in the puddles, beg for trail mix, and ask when you’re headed back down. I don’t know when the view comes into focus for a child, but it does. This happened to my father, too, and every child I’ve ever met who attended a Friends School. In his next breath, after describing the “interminable boredom,” he afforded that there were moments in Meetings that changed the very course of his life, times in which he became conscious – fully conscious – of the world around him. So when does the day-dreaming and wriggling, or counting the floorboards and fake-coughing become the kind of transcendent stillness and silence that enliven the spirit? When might a child hear silence speak? Like concerts and hikes, Meetings for Worship work at a more profound level than conscious thought. While I was wriggling at those concerts, I was encountering Mahler or Copland or Beethoven; I was learning how music can evoke memory, pinpoint emotion, and stir the soul. When my sons were playing in the puddles at the top of a mountain, they were breathing glorious Sierra air, seeing how brilliantly granite sparkles, or finding out that a hike with wet feet is more memorable than one with dry feet. Somewhere in those concerts and hikes and Meetings, magic happens. Subtle, sweet magic. You just have to wait for it, full of faith. - Cathy Hunter, Head of School About: The Quaker Life Committee is comprised of trustees, parents, teachers, administrators and members of the San Francisco Friends Meeting. The committee is charged with attending to the spiritual life of the school. The committee organizes “Quaker 101,” SPICE workshops, and opportunities for Friends School families to attend Meeting in the Ninth Street Meetinghouse. The committee also produces materials to help teachers and parents new to SFFS to understand the Quaker values that are a part of our mission. Visitors are welcome at our monthly meetings, held on the first Monday of the month at 4:30. The SFFS Community Meeting for Worship is held the first Wednesday of every month from 8:40-9:10am. Please join us.

October 6, 2011

San Francisco Friends School


Beach Team-Building The 5th grade retreat to Ocean Beach on September 30 was created out of a desire to give students the time and space to participate in wholegrade team-building activities as well as to have a tangible sense of being welcomed into the middle school. “You could meet all of the new kids in our grade and learn about things like their favorite sports.” - Ben “I thought that sitting down at the bonfire was peaceful and watching others grow out of different things was cool.” - Naomi “I made new friends and got to know everyone better.” - Yoshi

¡Noticias del departamento de español! It´s been an exciting school year so far, and the Spanish department is no exception! We kicked off the year with an informative and intimate potluck, where the Spanish-speaking community spent an evening catching up with friends and welcoming our newest members. This year, we’ve made a big push to get our basic publications translated and are very appreciate of the parent volunteers and staff who have helped in that endeavor to help our monolingual families. Our newest faculty member, Luz Andino, is off to a fabulous start heading up our Bilingual Seminar with students from the middle school. Be on the lookout for a Day of the Dead altar that her students will be putting together on the first floor of the building. Emma´s 8th grade students will also be honoring this Mexican festival when they take a trip to the Mission Cultural Center to check out more altars, as well as practice their Spanish at a nearby taquería. In the lower school, students are busy at work (and play!) practicing how to be Spanish students while learning new vocabulary and expressions through songs and games. In the middle school, 5th graders explored the planets in a cross-curricular study in Science and Spanish, learning the planet names and their connection to the days of the week. In 6th grade, students have been taking building walks in search of different shapes and numbers, and reporting back their findings. 7th graders have been talking about the weather and showing off their singing skills while learning a Colombian pop song. And finally, in the 8th grade, in the spirit of being the leaders of the school, students have discussed and agreed that only Spanish should be spoken in the classroom. - Ashley, Emma, Ester and Luz

October 6, 2011

San Francisco Friends School


Unfortunate Stories Carpool takes cooperation and patience from all of us. Unfortunately, our carpool team has had some less-than-Quakerly experiences lately: “A parent had begun making a right turn onto Brosnan when I asked her to stop. I explained to her that we have an agreement with the City, and with our neighbors on both Brosnan and Clinton Park, that our parents are not to drive on those streets during pick-up and dismissal times each day. She listened to me and then said, “Well, I’ll try to remember next time, but I’m in a hurry now.” With that, she rolled up her window and continued down Brosnan.” “One day last week, the manager of Francis of Assisi Senior Community came by the school (our neighbor on Guerrero. It turns out some parents are dropping their children off in front of their building, blocking either the white zone or Brosnan Street. Last week, one shuttle van carrying seniors could not get to the white zone and another van was blocked on Brosnan Street and had to unload its passengers there. Traffic was tied up on Brosnan and the seniors had to take an awkward path to their building. In addition, cars were lining up on Guerrerro causing traffic tie-ups behind them.” “One parent, in a rush to leave the carpool lane, pulled out into Valencia before checking the traffic. He had to stop in the bike lane and wait there for at least a minute as a line of cars passed. During this time, numerous bikers were forced to swerve out into traffic to get around his car. When I approached him about the situation, he responded by closing his window and driving off.” Remember, the carpool rules are about safety and respect - for our neighbors and our community. • No driving on Brosnan or Clinton Park (the small streets alongside the school) • No pulling out of line without direction from a carpool captain • No drop-offs on Guerrero in front of Francis of Assisi

Clinton Park

October 6, 2011

SFFS Valencia

Guerrero

Francis of Assisi

Brosnan St.

San Francisco Friends School


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