School Starts September 4!

By August 29, 2012Friday Letters

Dear Friends,
Welcome to our returning families and to those families new to the UFS community as we enter our 29th year of educating students with a focus on strong academics in an exploratory and vibrant learning community.  This has been a very busy summer preparing for the 2012-2013 school year with summer camp activities and some big changes in our physical space. We have done duct work restoration and repair and a massive amount of insulating.  We have moved some classrooms and redesigned the front lobby space to create a new office/reception area and moved the Admissions office to the former front office.  Our faculty and staff have changed a bit too.  Ryan Glover and Jenna Mazda are joining us as the new Hollingshead and Penn Class teachers; Brian Bohmueller will be serving as our part-time Manager of Technology as well as teaching Algebra AND doing our bookkeeping.  Bradley Merkl Gump will continue as our After School Program Director and will also be our in-house substitute teacher, along with taking on some Alumni responsibilities for the Advancement office.  Finally, Jenae Freed Connelly is our new front office manager/receptionist and will most likely be the face and voice that will greet you each time you call or visit the school.  Please join me in welcoming our new faculty/staff.

Each year, we focus on one Testimony to explore throughout the year.  Friends’ Testimonies are, simply stated, “Outward expressions reflective of the inward experience.” This year’s Testimony for exploration is Integrity.  In the American Friends Service Committee booklet on Quaker Testimonies, they write: The need to deal honestly with all others and with oneself has long been a foundational belief among Friends, summarized by the old injunction: “Let your yea be yea and your nay be nay.” For Friends, having integrity means being authentic and having consistency between one’s values and one’s actions.  Lack of integrity separates us from our own soul, from the Light within, and from our community.  Throughout the year, in classrooms and in Meeting for Worship, we will explore topics such as honesty and truthfulness, honor, plagiarism, and much more.  We will use queries as guides for this examination as well as other resources.

The most essential matter now, though, is the work we are asking of you.  Throughout the year, we will make requests for information or action, though none as important as this request to complete critical and mandatory paperwork for the 2012-2013 school years.  If you haven’t already submitted the forms to school (due to the Main Office on August 27th), download the forms here.  All students must have a completed Student Emergency Information form and an Unplanned Early Dismissal and Closing form on file with the Front Office to attend UFS on the first day of school.

One of the forms that you will be completing is the UFS Volunteer Form.  Your participation in the life of the school and in committees is essential and expected for our community to thrive.  It is one of UFS’ characterizing strengths and differences.  Please participate fully by: engaging in committee work, helping to plan and carry out our fundraising events, facilitating the upkeep of the physical plant, and assisting teachers in the classroom and in other programs.

Enjoy the remainder of the summer.  If you have any difficulty with the forms, please e-mail Jenae at  I invite you to give me suggestions on ways you would like to hear from me throughout the year and on what topics.  I look forward to seeing you on September 4, our first day of school!

Nancy Donnelly
Head of School

Schedule Private Tour