The Top Ten Moments of the 2018-19 School Year

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It’s been an amazing year at Sand Hill School. As we settle in to a relaxing summer, we’ve begun to reflect on the year that was. Although it was very difficult to narrow them down, here are our Top Ten Moments at Sand Hill this year.

#10.  Our schoolwide Field Day. We ended the year just right with a schoolwide Field Day. It was fun watching students from all grades work together with enthusiasm and friendship. The events, designed by the Student Council with the support of Ms. DeCaro, highlighted our friendly competition and school spirit. And of course, when the Student Council ambushed the Head of School with water balloons at the end of the day, the whole school cheered as one!

#9.  Rockstar Day. In early October, our students and staff rocked out to games, dancing, and a feast at Sand Hill’s first-ever Rock Star Day. Air guitars, neon outfits, and crazy hairdos helped our community come to life with the sounds of rock and roll. Of course, Elvis made an appearance, but the highlight of the day was when several of our teachers performed live with Mr. Burnaugh on lead guitar.

#8.  A Thousand Paper Cranes Project. We’re proud of our teachers’ commitment to cross-curricular and project-based learning. Ms. Agnew, Ms. Antipuesto, Mr. Burnaugh, and Mr. Montgomery all led highly-engaging project-based units during the year. But an especially rewarding effort was the Thousand Paper Cranes collaboration led by Ms. Leskovsek during the holiday season. Interest in the project grew and grew, and eventually most of the CHC community could be seen folding paper cranes. It was so inspiring to see our students come together with the larger community to complete an endeavor with so much meaning.

#7.  Experiential Learning culminating with Sojourn to the Past. Whether biking, camping, tide-pooling, exploring, or reenacting the past, the growth our students gain from experiential learning is very rewarding. Sojourn to the Past, the culminating trip through five states in the southern U.S. was simply unforgettable.  A special thank you to Mr. Maslan for leading the Riding for Focus program, Mr. Miller for managing Outdoor Education, and Mr. Montgomery for leading the Middle School trip. Our students gained a lifetime of knowledge because of our teachers’ commitment to authentic experience.

SHS Sojourn featured

#6.  The Spring Performance. Watching the Spring Performance come together with countless Academy-Award-winning performances by our students was special. Our students lived, breathed, and tasted Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for several months and then shined on stage as if Roald Dahl were there in the audience. We can’t say enough about how Ms. Agnew, Ms. Leskovsek, and Ms. DeCaro made dreams come true!

#5. The Little Things and Big Things. Witnessing the little things our staff members do every day is rewarding, from the morning pep talks by Ms. Antipuesto, to tending to a scraped knee by Ms. Rodriguez, to playing soccer at recess with Mr. Maslan and Ms. Huynh. Of course, there are also major events that our teachers take on to help students prepare for their futures. One such event is EdRevUp!, where Ms. Ewert led a transformative celebration of student advocacy and community building. Big or small, our teachers go the extra mile each and every day to make our community glow with empathy and pride.

#4.  Our incredible assessment scores. It was rewarding to share the fact that the average gain in reading scores for Sand Hill students were 71% higher than the average gain for the national sample. And the average gain in math scores for Sand Hill students was 194% higher than the average gain for the national sample. In the simplest of terms, all of the hard work of our students and teachers is paying off! A million thanks to Ms. Ewert, Ms. Roark, Ms. Huynh, Mr. Maslan, Ms. Jones, Ms. Stephens, Ms. Agnew, Ms. DePeralta, Ms. Thomas, and Ms. DeCaro for your dedication to serving every child in reading and math. And a special thank you to Ms. Parnello and Ms. Antipuesto for leading the reading and math programs with knowledge and expertise.

#3.  WASC Accreditation. This year, we came together as a community, did a lot of deep work, and ultimately celebrated our three-year WASC Accreditation through June of 2022! Even more, the WASC document is a blueprint for our school improvement plan for the next three years. We’re so grateful to Mr. Ratcliff for leading the charge.

#2.  Transition Assembly. We’ll always remember the joy we experienced as our students received their special awards at the Transition Assembly. Assistant Head of School Heather Whitlock expertly led the celebration that was full of tears and laughter. Saying goodbye is never easy, but those who are moving on will always be a part of the Sand Hill School community.

#1.  8th Grade Celebrations and Graduation. Mr. Montgomery and Ms. DeCaro went above and beyond by leading the middle school dance, the 8th grade ziplining trip, and 8th grade dinner at the end of the year. And then watching our 8th graders celebrate at graduation left us with many memories. It’s tough to decide if the highlight of the celebration was the powerful music performances by our students or inspiriting speeches made by our teachers. In any case, we will miss each one of our graduates, but we are confident that they will make a positive impact on the world. What a perfect ending to a great year!

What are your top moments of the school year?

Jeff Kozlowski

Love school. Sand Hill School at Children's Health Council. Accepting applications. Apply now