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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Meet Custodial Working Supervisor Thomas Patterson

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Meet Kindergarten Teacher Marie Forst

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Meet Annual Giving Officer Brittani Spencer

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Meet Senior School History and Social Science Teacher Rodney Slappy

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Meet Kindergarten Teacher Gina Bossola

SA:Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Meet Lower School Art Teacher Molly Kraybill

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Q&A: Meet Senior School English Teacher Geoffrey Hilsabeck

SA: Why did you choose to work at Sewickley Academy?

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Global Studies Student Gains a Global Perspective at Home

Jayne Miner is a rising sophomore who is enrolled in the Global Studies program at Sewickley Academy. During Virtual School this past spring, she was able to have an enriching global experience through Outreach360 while sheltering at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jayne shared firsthand about her internship in the blog, I Am More of a Global Citizen, she wrote below for the organization.

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Navigating College Admissions During a Pandemic

In a time of uncertainty regarding so much in the world of college admissions, including the SAT, ACT, and AP exams, it is nice to know that Sewickley Academy has solid, experienced leadership to support our students through the ever more daunting maze of the college process. At its core, Sewickley Academy’s education is based on relationships for learning, and those relationships are key to helping students be successful in their college selection and application process. With two full-time, professional counselors with decades of combined college admissions experience, our students have the benefit of developing quality relationships with the counselor, who serves as their mentor, coach, guide, and cheerleader throughout the college process. With only 30 students to support, our counselors can truly focus on the needs, hopes, and dreams of each student.

The relationships that are the bedrock of an Academy education also inform the work of our counselors, who are well known among the college admissions officers who visit our school and, ultimately, make determinations about who to accept to their schools. Because they know Sewickley Academy and our counselors, college admissions officers can have confidence in our students and their capacity to succeed at the collegiate level. Our college list, year after year, demonstrates the strength of our program and the outstanding achievements of our students.

Beginning in Grade 9, students are provided with guidance that will help them make the most of their four years in our Senior School, positioning them for success down the road. During junior year, students work with their counselors to pull together a list of colleges to research. This iterative process, with some colleges being added and others removed from the list as students sharpen their thinking about their ultimate goals, is one that supports learning and growth and allows students to find their best-fit school.

Of course, the college admissions process is only the final aspect to an educational journey that demands much from our students, who learn to think critically, solve problems, write well, speak persuasively, and tap their creative talents as they work to become the best versions of themselves. When they graduate, our students have not only been accepted to great colleges and universities, they are prepared to thrive once they get there.

Visit www.sewickley.org to learn more about a Sewickley Academy education.

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Asking Hard Questions about White Privilege

On Thursday, December 4, the Sewickley Series presented a documentary film American Promise that traces the educational journey of two black boys, from Kindergarten through their matriculation to college.  In exploring the sometimes wrenching path these boys followed at an independent school in New York City, the filmmakers (whose eldest son is one of the two boys who are the subject of the film) open their home and their lives to the scrutiny of the outside world and by doing so raise a series of important questions, questions that are important not just for independent schools like Sewickley Academy but questions that are important for us as a nation.  In the aftermath of Ferguson, MO, the Eric Garner case in New York City, and the recent conclusions of a federal investigation into the wrongful death of a 12-year-old child at the hands of police in Cleveland, OH, there is an urgency to our thinking about race and how our various points of view inform the way we see and experience the world.

During the post-film question-and-answer session, an audience member commented that she had on occasion received communications from her sons’ school about boisterous and inappropriate behavior of the kind the boys in the film were also accused of engaging in.  The mom asked, “…wasn’t it possible that, instead of the determining factor being race, it could be that the report of behavior issues was really a function of gender?”  The filmmaker, Michele Stephenson, replied that the research is very clear:  black boys are much more likely to be singled out for behavioral issues than other children and, in fact, that black boys are far more likely to be suspended from Kindergarten than other children.  These comments were affirmed by another panelist, Dr. Todd Allen, professor of communication studies and visual arts at Grove City College, who also serves on his local public school district board.

The parent in the audience, who was white, continued to press her point, to which Stephenson answered, “[sic] you have the privilege of being white, of not having to wonder whether your children are being singled out for their race.”

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Topics: Head of School