Blog

  • By devonsimpson on February 7, 2020
    1

  • By devonsimpson on January 8, 2020
    4
    We can’t think of a better way to close out 2019 than with SGS Winter Intensives! During Intensives, students stepped out of their daily class routines into an entirely new type of learning. Intensives allow students to get hands on experience in architecture, law, design, creative writing, neuroengineering, film making, and confectionary arts. These mixed-grade workshops also encourage students to break out of their normal groups and get to know peers in other grades.
    The day before winter break, students wrapped up intensives with a powerful showcase for the SGS community. We watched feature films eighth graders created in production, tasted candy made in Sweet Sweet Science, tested sensory devices engineered in Sensory Substitution, and so much more! We even got to see our seventh graders put their SGS Law School education to the test during a trial at the King County Courthouse.
    We are proud of the hard work our students put into their intensive projects over the past two weeks. Please enjoy this overview of the sensory, sweet, and inspiring 2019 STEAM intensives:

    Video Production:

    As an introduction into the in-depth Video Production unit 8th graders will be working on for the rest of the year, this Intensive focuses on refining skills in cinematography, video editing software, and audio engineering. During the second week of intensives, students received a final film challenge and synthesized all previous skills into a cinematic work. They shared their final creations for the community at the intensives showcase.

    Mock Trial:

    7th Graders work with a realistic (but fictitious) case during Mock Trial. Each student is plays a major role as a lawyer or key witness, and develop strategies for the Defense or Prosecution team, and creating their own questions and arguments for the trial. During the intensive, students work with a faculty of lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals to prepare for their courtroom performance!

    Choose Your Own Adventure:

    During this two week humanities intensive, students explored and wrote within the choose-your-own-adventure medium. The course aims to provide students with ample time to independently read stories and apps, research specific methods of telling a story, and practice a variety of skills related to writing and illustrating a choose-your-own-adventure story. The goal is for students to collaborate with another student to use technology to write, revise, and edit an original piece that shows the students’ understanding of a story arc.

    Ewok Village:

    The Ewok Village Project follows the architectural process and building of a personalized dwelling for a mythical creature of students’ imagination, integrating compassionate and environmentally responsible design along the way. The goal was to create and build a uniquely-design treehouse to meet the needs of a mythical creature and a specific physical site in the EWOK village.

    Sensory Substitution:

    In this project, students explored the field of neuroengineering. They designed a model of a device that will help a person with a lost or impaired sense (seeing, hearing, touching). Students learned how to program an Arduino microprocessor to control the device. For example, a person with a prosthetic hand might need touch sensors that light up with pressure and let them know how tightly they are gripping an object.

    Sweet Sweet Science:

    In this project, students developed the skills to digitally design and prototype 3D models using Inkscape. Students ultimately created a tribute to honor an aspect of their identity or uplift a marginalized identity. We researched, designed, and pitched projects that were printed on the laser cutter. These pieces will live in the SGS space to empower and educate our community

    Uplift, Inspire, Design:

    In this project, students developed the skills to digitally design and prototype 3D models using Inkscape. Students ultimately created a tribute to honor an aspect of their identity or uplift a marginalized identity. We researched, designed, and pitched projects that were printed on the laser cutter. These pieces will live in the SGS space to empower and educate our community.

    El Defacio:

    Every student participated in this 30-minute Intensive, twice daily! Teams are multi-grade and challenges focus on teamwork, collaboration, effort y español.

  • By devonsimpson on December 9, 2019
    1

    By Assistant Head of School, Phelana Pang

    Last week, Seattle Girls’ School was involved with the People of Color Conference (PoCC) in a number of ways. PoCC is an annual national conference for independent school faculty and staff, and this year the conference is in Seattle. The purpose of the conference is to provide a leadership and professional development space for people of color and allies, to “improve and enhance the interracial, interethnic, and intercultural climate in their schools” (from the PoCC website).
    Ten of our staff/faculty are attending PoCC. Performance and Media Arts teacher Ms. Lulu Carpenter is a member of the local planning committee. Both Rosetta Lee and Brenda Leaks are presenting at the conference. Additionally, SGS was one of four School Visits in the Seattle area. On Wednesday, December 4, we hosted 25 educators from around the country through a tour, a class, and a student panel. Our visitors learned how SGS students develop their identity and leadership and how equity and inclusion show up in our policies and practices. The visitors were very impressed with SGS, especially with how our students embody the mission. On multiple occasions, they remarked on the confidence with which our students spoke about identity and equity. Other visitors appreciated how our students are valued and seen for who they are at SGS.
  • By devonsimpson on October 28, 2019
    0

    Our eighth grade global studies students have immersed themselves in the complexities of the U.S. global influence—from the first contact between British settlers and native peoples in the early 1600s to the causes and impacts of World War II. It’s hard to believe we are only in the second month of school with vast material they’ve covered. Each class session is teeming with passionate discussion, evidence-based reasoning, and active listening to all perspectives.

    To supplement the global studies curriculum, our eighth graders had the opportunity to host their first international guests through the World Affairs Council’s International Visitor Program. On October 14th, students met 30 female leaders in STEAM fields from five different continents, who traveled to Seattle to learn best practices for advancing women in STEAM fields. The program’s goal is to examine the advancement of women in science in the U.S., explore policies and institutions that champion the interest of women in STEAM, and network with professional counterparts and develop partnerships to accelerate student learning in the fields. In small groups, our students had the opportunity to learn firsthand about challenges and opportunities for women and girls in 30 different nations. It was a rich and inspiring experience for the students and visitors!

    We are so grateful that the World Affairs Council chose SGS to visit during their visit, and we hope to have them back again soon. Here are some photos of our students in conversation with the international leaders:

  • By devonsimpson on October 10, 2019
    1

    The Annual Fund officially kicked off on Friday with an amazing pumpkin carving party! It was great seeing so many of you there, and to have our students’ creativity on full display in their inspiring array of jack-o-lanterns, whether they were scaryfunny, or most SGS-iest!

    For each of the 6 weeks of the Annual Fund, we will be highlighting the values that SGS inspires in our students; beginning with APPRECIATION. Though some weeks may seem to drag on forever, these precious middle school years fly by and we could all use a reminder to appreciate every moment. So every day at SGS we encourage our students to appreciate one another; to appreciate parents, teachers, and others who help them succeed; and most importantly, to appreciate themselves, in all their unique individuality.

    Along that line, we would like to give the fullest SGS APPRECIATION to our Board of Trustees for reaching 100% participation before the kick-off party! Thank you for continuing to be community leaders by example.

    Starting next week, the thermometer in the window of E1 along Jackson Ave will track our progress as a whole community, so be sure to check in. The goal is to raise $120,000 by November 15th and, more importantly, to have 100% participation. We only ask that you give at a level that is meaningful to you and your family. If you have any questions about the Annual Fund, feel free to reach out to your Grade Level Champ or our Development Associate, Casey.

  • By devonsimpson on September 6, 2019
    1

    For weeks, we’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of students for another year at SGS. We believe there is no better way to help students orient to their new peers and surroundings than by working together towards common goals. During orientation week, the halls are filled with countless examples of teamwork. Fifth graders explore identity together by creating plaster masks. Sixth-graders use power tools to create go-karts—supervised by teachers, of course! Seventh-graders identify personal values and how they relate to the SGS mission.  Eighth-graders reconnect through egg-related team challenges and reflections on their values.

    As members of the SGS community, you will witness the groundbreaking progress our students make throughout the year, and orientation week is just the beginning! We are so inspired by the powerful moments in the classroom—big and small—and can’t wait to share them with you. The Friday Forum is our way of giving families the opportunity to see transformative education at work. Each week in the Friday Forum, you will see stories about what’s happening at SGS, grade-level highlights and links to blogs, and all school announcements.

    To kick off the year, we are excited to introduce you to the new members of the SGS community:

     

    Jessica Jessica Majerus

    6th Grade: Math and Science, 6th Grade Advisor 

    Jessica is the new sixth grade math and science teacher at SGS. Throughout her career, Jessica has had the privilege of working for a variety of public schools in Camden, NJ, Newark, NJ, and Denver, CO as a teacher and administrator.  She has worked at two Blue Ribbon Schools and has showed significant growth for students each year she has been in the classroom.  Prior to taking a sabbatical year, her fourth grade students in Denver showed the second highest growth, as measured by PARCC, of all of the cohorts of 4th graders in Denver Public Schools.

     

    IMG_8760 Rebecca Fausel

    Learning Specialist and 7th Grade Advisor

    As a Learning Specialist at SGS, Rebecca will provide academic support through individual and group work with students. She will collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents, and outside resources to help ensure a successful learning experience for all. Rebecca will also serve as a 7th Grade Advisor. Rebecca has recently moved with her family from the New York area where she has lived most of her life. She spent the last two years working at the all-girls’ Kent Place School in New Jersey as the Primary School Learning Specialist. Rebecca also has experience working with middle school students as she served as the Middle School Learning Specialist at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn, NY.

     

    VeronicaVeronica Mierzejewski

    8th Grade: Science & Math, 8th Grade Advisor 

    Veronica is the 8th grade science and math teacher and one of the 8th grade advisors. She is passionate about interdisciplinary work in the sciences, having studied and conducted research in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics and astronomy. Veronica is starting her first year at SGS after graduating from Skidmore—where she led the emergency medical services agency on her campus—and interning at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. this summer. She looks forward to using her various experiences to inspire and empower SGS students by incorporating the real life applications of science and math into her classes. 

     

    CaseyCasey Wing

    Development Associate 

    Casey supports the work of the SGS development office, including the organization and management of all aspects of the Annual Fund and Luncheon. He brings to the team experience in marketing, business management, and education, and he can talk your ear off about regenerative agriculture and rural revitalization. Find Casey outside the office running, reading, writing, or rustling up good eatings in his kitchen.

     

    AniAni Orantes-Seijo

    5-8th Grade: Art Teacher, 6th Grade Advisor 

    Our new Visual Arts teacher, Ani Orantes-Seijo, just completed her Masters in Teaching from Seattle University, where she was a Martinez Fellowship recipient.  Prior to student-teaching at Madison Middle School in West Seattle, Ani worked at Seattle University School of Law for 14 years.  Ani is excited about working at SGS and providing opportunities for students to authentically and joyfully connect with the arts.  Ani will teach Visual Arts in 5th-8th grades and be a 6th grade advisor.

     

    MarianneMarianne Picha

    Interim Dean of Students

    Marianne is the interim Dean of Students at SGS this year. Over her career, Marianne has worked at six Puget Sound independent schools, including Seattle Country Day School and University Prep, where she was the middle school division director. Most recently, she was just down the hill at Hamlin Robinson School where she was assistant head of school. She is also the owner of Book Bag Learning, a leadership development business that supports leaders with coaching and training. Marianne lives with her partner, Denny Russell, and two dogs, Cooper and Rita, in Seattle.

  • By devonsimpson on April 3, 2019
    0

    What is your superpower? How will you use it to fight injustice?

    These are the questions presented in the first annual 5th Grade Comic-Con & Toy Study culmination. Throughout the year, 5th graders have engaged in interdisciplinary projects that uncover the stories lying beneath topics familiar to us. In this inaugural showcase, students dug deep into the purposes, impacts, and potential of super-people and mass-marketed toys. In the integrated toy study portion, students explored questions like, What would we find if we looked at toys and games throughout history? What messages do super people intentionally and unintentionally send? What is the design process for creating a video game? Why are stereotypes about young adults so similar around the world? Are there certain toys and types of play kids should be engaging with? What barriers to equity exist and what can we do about them?

    Students channeled the super (s)heroes within by creating custom super people personas based on their values, identities, and unique talents. Each super person had a catchphrase, theme song, name, and power pose to be empowered in mind and body. Throughout the process of building up their characters, students partnered with Cappy’s Boxing Gym to learn new boxing moves that helped the (s)heroes feel strong in their bodies. Each student showed off their moves and performed their “super speech” that told who they are and what they believe to a full audience.

    In the months leading up to the culmination, students analyzed popular and subculture toy and game markets, looking for tends in American culture and history. They identified and evaluated marketing differences based on gender, age appropriateness, and environmental costs. After taking all of this into consideration, they planned, designed, and created their own functioning toys that meet 21st century standards for neuroscience, equity, and environmentalism.

    Among many lessons gleaned from this culmination, the 5th graders proved just how powerful youth voices and movements can be. Each one of our students has a unique super power, and we can’t wait to see them use these powers for good in our communities.

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on October 3, 2018
    0

    Our 3-day trip to YMCA Camp Seymour reinforced what this year will largely be about: identifying our personal leadership capacities, bonding as a class community, broadening our “courage zones” and engaging with others in the built and natural world to better understand and improve the realities we live in.

    Class activities taught students the skills of canoeing, the unique traits of reptiles (first-hand), the properties of marine life in the Puget Sound and the threats they face, and how to make our water use more efficient.  Led by naturalists, the students worked in small groups to design their own water filtration system, developed hypotheses about marine animals and held turtles, geckos and snakes!

    Next we met in advisory groups for an afternoon of team challenges on a low ropes course. These necessitated communication, problem solving, self-advocacy, listening and perseverance. Many exhibited new-found strengths in themselves and observed them others. They also identified areas for growth, and ways they could step into their “Courage zone,” particularly when it came to zip lining!

    Perhaps the most meaningful of all activities was the chance to be alone in nature. Students were dropped off at their own sites for a “solo” of about an hour, to fully absorb the sights, sounds and insights possible only in a wooded setting near an estuary. Here, they wrote in journals, sat beneath majestic cedars or on fern-covered hillsides, built “fairy houses,” teepees and “stick bouquets,” or simply laid on their backs looking at the sky.

    While the 7th graders may be most likely to recall hilarious skit performances, dipping into the swimming pool the last week it was open, sharing stories in the cabin or channeling their inner “Katniss” on the archery course, it was likely the moments shared with classmates beyond their friend groups that will have the most sustained and positive impact. When asked to reflect on their personal strengths and takeaways, here’s a snapshot of what many had to say:

    “I was a leader, but I stepped back as well.”

    “I have the strength to be kind to others.”

    “I want to spend more time in nature.”

    “I noticed that different people started to speak up and others learned to step down.”

    “I was able to be flexible and able to give up things that would benefit the feelings of others.”

    “I work well in a team.”

    “I was able to help lots of people and I was proud of myself because normally I just do what people tell me to do.”

    “I saw people who were nervous about the solo walk do it and really enjoy it.”

    “I noticed multiple people step up to take leadership. I saw a bunch of people try new things that they weren’t comfortable.”

    -Wendy

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on June 1, 2018
    0

    IMG_2326_previewPlease join us for the New Home Building Design Workshop!
    JUNE 9TH

    9:00AM – 12:00PM
    Seattle Girls’ School
    2706 S Jackson St

    It’s important for our building team to hear from you. We hope you will join us for breakfast at 9:00 AM and then participate in our Building Design Workshop.

    Come learn about:

    The project and our progress with creating a powerful design
    What our student ambassadors think represents joyful learning

    Come tell us:

    What makes SGS unique?
    What do you think we should know about the SGS culture as we design the building?
    What do you think SGS should look like in 2065?

    RSVP HERE

  • By Colleen Tremaine-Nelson on May 31, 2018
    0

    3A0A9192

     

    Dear SGS Community,

    The message you’ve been waiting for is finally here: Seattle Girls’ School’s Mentor Program is ready to launch once again!

    Thank you for your patience with the Mentor Program amid the changing roles in the Development Office. While the program has been mostly on pause for the 2017-2018 school year, we are happy to announce that the new Development & Communications Associate Devon Simpson, is working to get the much anticipated mentor program off the ground. Please feel free to contact her with any questions at dsimpson@sgs-wa.org or (206) 276-4273.

    To kick off the return of the program, Seattle Girls’ School will be hosting an informational session for returning and prospective mentors to gain insight on what being a SGS mentor entails. We hope you can join us at 5:30 PM on June 21st for light hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, networking, and an informational presentation about SGS’s Mentor Program. If you know anyone who is interested (or could possibly be interested) in mentoring a courageous young leader at SGS, please let them know about our Mentorship Mixer on June 21st!

    We are so excited to get the Mentor Program up and running again and hope you are too. Please feel free to contact Devon with any questions regarding the program and don’t forget to RSVP to the Mentorship Mixer.