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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

6 Tips for Helping Your Teen Transition to High School

Educational transitions can be stressful for parents. We worry if our child is ready for school at age five or ready for college after high school. Over the past 20 years as an educator and administrator for middle and high school students, parents often ask me, “How can I help prepare my child for the transition from middle school to high school and beyond?” It’s certainly a question with more than one answer and is often dictated by the needs and development of individuals. That said, one critical 21st century skill, which most children need to develop, is self-monitoring. By this I mean the evolving ability to eliminate distraction and drive the focus on the task at hand, completing that task with intention, pride, and best effort. The middle school years aim to develop a deeper love of learning while “learning how to learn.” Parents and teachers can support and enhance this development, with a balance of structure, independence, and autonomy, which lays the groundwork for good habits in high school and beyond.

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Topics: Education

Explore the History of Pittsburgh with Your Teenager

Looking for activities to do with your teenager? Learn about the history of Pittsburgh one afternoon by visiting the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and then taking a ride on one of the two inclines. Both activities offer older children the chance to learn about the diverse history of the city and the determination of its inhabitants.

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Winter Break Family Read Alouds

Winter Break is a wonderful time to hunker down, get cozy, and share a good book with the ones you love. Enjoy perusing this list of books from Sewickley Academy's Lower School librarian about holidays, winter, family, friendship, home, love, and giving that would be perfect for family read alouds over winter break (or even as last minute gifts!). Happy reading!

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What's the Difference between a Merit Scholarship and Need-Based Financial Aid?

 
Small class sizes, a truly dedicated faculty and staff, access to competitive sports teams, and world-class art programs are some of the many reasons that families choose independent schools each year. The decision to attend an independent school also includes the responsibility of the family to pay tuition. While independent schools recognize that the family has the primary responsibility to pay tuition, most schools have some sort of financial aid program to help families that would otherwise be unable to afford an independent school.

The financial aid process can indeed be confusing, forcing a family to learn new vocabulary, pay attention to deadlines, and try to understand a completely foreign process. Financial aid at independent schools falls into one of two categories: merit scholarships and need-based financial aid. There are many differences between these two types of aid, and I’d like to help you better understand them.

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Topics: Parenting

The Ultimate Holiday Gift – a Superior Education!

As we prepare to head into the holiday season and join family and friends for Thanksgiving, I think it appropriate to pause for a moment to consider how fortunate we all are to be a part of the Sewickley Academy community. Our students receive an extraordinary education that supports not just their intellectual and academic growth, but their full capacities as people, as leaders, as artists, as musicians, as teammates, and as friends. At Sewickley Academy, we focus on fostering Relationships for Learning to support, guide, nurture, and inspire each member of this community to strive to be their best.

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Celebrating the History of Thanksgiving Day

Ah, Thanksgiving. A time of family, food, and amazingly cool, crisp weather. But what is this holiday really about?

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Topics: Food, Crafts

"Around The World In 80 Days" Student Review

I went to see the Sewickley Academy Senior School fall play, Around the World in 80 Days, written by Mark Brown and directed by Joe Jackson, in the Gregg Family Theatre. I enjoyed watching this play because I’ve never seen or read Around the World in 80 Days and it had its funny moments and its serious moments. Both of which were flawlessly executed by the show’s cast.

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Q&A with SA's New Kindergarten Teacher Holly Seifert

We are pleased to welcome Holly home to Sewickley Academy! A lifer member of the Sewickley Academy Class of 2001, Holly went on to earn her B.S. in Early Childhood Education at the University of Vermont and an M.S. in Education at Nova Southeastern University.

Since 2008, Holly has taught kindergarten at the Gulf Stream School in Florida, serving as a lead teacher and also coaching middle and high school lacrosse. Holly began her career at the University of Vermont Children’s Campus Center and subsequently worked at the Burlington Children’s space as a head preschool teacher.

Holly is committed to a hands-on, multi-sensory approach to learning that integrates ideas from Reggio Emilia and supports independence and autonomy with the support and guidance of highly skilled teachers. She is happy to partner with Karen DiMaio to co-teach one of our two Kindergarten sections.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With SA's New Director of After Ours Khala Wade

Khala Wade comes to Sewickley Academy with a wealth of experience working with children and managing programs. She has worked with children in support of their academic, social, and emotional needs at the Sewickley Valley YMCA, and at The Children’s Community, where she served as Assistant Director providing organizational oversight as well as a lead teacher. Khala has a B.A. in Spanish from Slippery Rock University and is currently working on her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education at Edinboro University. Khala looks forward to making good use of her skills and experience in her work with our After Ours students and their families.

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Topics: Faculty

Q&A With Breakthrough Pittsburgh's New Coordinator of Student and Family Support Lawrence Gunter

Lawrence Gunter began in May as Breakthrough Pittsburgh's Coordinator of Student and Family Support. This part-time but critically important role ensures that the needs of our Breakthrough students and their families are being met as they navigate the demands of the program over the six years of their participation.

Lawrence earned his B.S. in Finance and his MBA, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been an administrator and an educator, with experience as a retirement plan administrator with American Pension Benefits and as a business analyst with Casco Bay Benefits Group. He has also served as a substitute teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools and as a direct support professional at Verland, providing direct care to clients with physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities.

With his extensive experience and professional qualifications, Lawrence is a most welcome addition to our Breakthrough Team. Lawrence and his wife, Aisha, are the proud parents of current SA student Lawrence Gunter.

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Topics: Faculty