The Weekly Bulldog

April 11, 2019

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Big picture

From Tim: The State of our School

I hope you may be able to attend Monday night’s rescheduled State of the School address. (A childcare hook-up might boost your likelihood?) I had intended the following as a summary, though with the new date, you may consider it a preview…

The “state of the school” sounds like a fairly auspicious thing to describe. Schools are wonderfully complex, ours certainly no exception. It is important, however, to take stock now and then, to reflect on how we’re meeting our mission, and to think about where we’re going.

On many objective measures, the state of the school is strong. Our financial position and forecasting remain solid, with the school carrying no debt on the campus and holding over seven million dollars in endowment funds. Our market demand has also remained consistently high, and enrollment is of course the lifeblood of our school. Parent engagement as measured by percentage of families participating in our annual giving opportunities also remains very strong relative to many peer schools.

While finances are essential, and as they say, “no money, no mission,” the heart of what we care about lies in each child’s experience at Stanley. How do we measure the outcome of that experience? It’s a great question. While we have quantitative data like test scores, and high school and college placement that provide one indicator of “success,” we value the humanistic outcomes more. What kind of people do our student become? What choices do they make for themselves and the lives they lead?

We started a program four years ago, called STAN Talks, to provide answers to those very questions. Each year, three alumni are invited to share 8-minute Ted-talk-like presentations on what they’re up to, and how Stanley shaped their life paths. It’s one of my favorite events of the year. We’ve had architects, entrepreneurs, engineers, artists – alumni – following all kinds of career and personal paths. The diversity of outcomes is exactly what we’d expect from an educational grounding in the power of choice, personal agency, and the opportunity to learn about one’s passions.

The State of the School presentation provides an opportunity to reflect on the broader purpose of a Stanley education. Our mission guides our program, which allows children to explore both their own identities and potential and also their role in a greater community (a mixed-age classroom, a school). It’s an essential preparation for life, and a balance our society desperately needs. How do I find personal fulfillment and also engage actively in the welfare of others? Of course at Stanley we believe the two are interrelated. When students confidently pursue what interests and motivates them, the resulting contributions are inevitably good for society.

All the best,

Top Five Things

1. The Stanley Shindig: We can't do it without you!

Our generous sponsors have committed their support, and donation forms have begun to trickle in, but we need you to make The Stanley Shindig a huge success! Our auction is a fun evening of socializing and shopping with all proceeds going to support the people and programs here at school. We need: sports tickets, getaways, restaurants, wine and buy-a-shares - our wish list is endless! Tomorrow is the second carpool line auction dropoff (a.m. and p.m.), and Monday, April 15 is our donations deadline! Visit the auction site for forms, ideas and tickets – and remember, if you can’t make car-line drop-off, bring your items into the Hambidge Commons front desk anytime!

2. Bike to school Friday, April 19!

Celebrate the culmination of Earth Week on Friday, April 19, with our annual spring Bike-to-School Day (weather permitting). Riders will be greeted with a light breakfast (bagels, juice, etc.) upon arrival at Stanley. We have several neighborhood groups ready to roll:

  • Congress Park, Capitol Hill, Country Club: Stephany Bollin,
  • Park Hill: Brendan Harrington,
  • Hilltop: Adam Feerst, Meet at his house, 155 Fairfax, at 7:45am.
  • Crestmoor: Lauren Coyne, Meet at 3rd and Jersey at 7:50am or along 3rd and 4th between Holly and Monaco. They’ll join the Hilltop group as it rides through.
  • Stapleton: Jake Bauers and Carl Hutchins, Leaving from the west side of DSST, the corner of Valentia and Montview, at 7:40am.
  • N Lowry: Lance Rushton and Chelsea White, Meet at the SW corner of Crescent Park at 7:45am.

3. Class pictures are worth a thousand words!

Silverkite was in the Commons today (see snapshot above Tim's letter), and that means class photos will be available to order online beginning April 23. To order online, go to and click on the "School Portraits" tab. Click the Stanley logo, and access code sbps350. From there, you'll find the Group Class Portraits and can begin shopping.

4. Coffee with Tim next week - Why not?

The State of the School takes place on Monday. Maybe you want to follow up with our head of school afterwards or give him a high five? He's hosting a very informal coffee in his office on Wednesday morning, April 17 after drop-off.

5. Next week is Stanley's Earth Week - all week!

Our K-1-2 Social-Emotional teacher Allison and our sustainability committee got together to mount Stanley's Earth Week celebration this year Monday through Friday next week. There are daily practices planned (like reduce food waste and power use), plus a rerun of our winter gear/clothing swap and bike-to-school rally points on Friday. Go online, or visit the Hambidge Commons to get in on the activities.