It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


The Leavers by Lisa Ko is the next PTO book club selection. Join us!

“Ko’s stunning tale of love and loyalty – to family, to country – is a fresh and moving look at the immigrant experience in America, and is as timely as ever” – Publishers Weekly

One morning, Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant named Polly, goes to her job at the nail salon and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her.

With his mother gone, 11-year-old Deming is left with no one to care for him. He is eventually adopted by two white college professors who move him from the Bronx to a small town upstate. They rename him Daniel Wilkinson in their efforts to make him over into their version of an “all-American boy.” But far away from all he’s ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his new life with his mother’s disappearance and the memories of the family and community he left behind.

Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging. It’s the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away—and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of her past.

Save the date: February 28, 12:30 pm in the school library


Live at SHS – Open Mic!

If you’ve heard your student talk about a cool performance that you weren’t invited to attend – it might have been Open Mic. Open mic was started last year by Word!, the poetry and spoken word club, and their advisor Mrs. Arkin, an English teacher who retired last year. The baton has been passed this year to Ms. Elizabeth Buettner and Ms. Rose McCauley, also English teachers and the new co-advisers for open mics. The intention of open mic is to give the poets and musicians in the school an opportunity to perform for their peers. Open mic is generally held during lunch on the first Friday of every month, depending on the availability of the auditorium.  The forum creates a safe space for growing performing skills. It is only open to the student body (sorry, parents!).

What do students think about Open Mic?

“People like Open Mic because they have a safe environment to receive feedback from other musicians.” –Christopher Helmer

“The open mics are a safe place in which I can practice getting up in front of a crowd and being myself. It gives me the confidence I need for public speaking, and a sense of accomplishment for doing something in such an intimate environment.” –Elizabeth Liss


Ron Lieber Round Up

Thanks to the 175+ parents who came to see Ron Lieber speak on November 13th. Ron regaled the audience with witty stories and wise words about the Need-Want continuum, college considerations, the importance of letting your kids know when their family has been helped by others in the past and so much more. Stay tuned. The videotape of Ron’s presentation will be available shortly.

Here are a few parent take aways and photos from the evening’s presentation:


I’ve been concerned about giving my 14 year old pocket money and after Ron’s presentation I will be trying the 3 jar system (not the actual jars of-course). I loved the need want line and will be implementing that as well.

~Violet Mtisi, freshman parent


“Why do you ask?” This was my takeaway from last nights meeting. This will help me engage in a conversation with my children with topics that I am not always comfortable with.

~Yeona Oh, junior parent


I loved how he talked about using money as a tool for teaching. He said we provide our kids textbooks, sports equipment, musical instruments, etc as tools to learn a skill. Providing an allowance is a way to allow kids to learn how to spend, save and donate with lots of opportunities to teach.

~Jennifer Erday, sophomore parent




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This Week’s Email

Holiday Teacher Breakfast, Parent Book Club, Open Mic…  Another busy week ahead.  Missed something,   CLICK HERE  to read this week’s blast again.  Still holiday shopping?  Don’t forget to use the Amazon link in  right around the corner and support the PTO!

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