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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy: Resource Blog for Parents

Breaking All the Rules: Smith Brothers Agency

Ask the Smith Brothers about their approach to the advertising business and they’ll tell you it’s simple: you have to know the rules well enough to break them. Having returned to Pittsburgh from Manhattan to start their own firm back in 2002, their smart and provocative work (think “Making Bar Fights Safer” for Iron City Beer’s new aluminum bottles or “Fruit Undressed” for Del Monte’s Fruit Naturals) quickly set their clients apart from their competitors and their company on a path to becoming one of Pittsburgh’s most successful advertising agencies.

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Topics: Alumni

How to Make the Most Out of Shadow Days at Private Schools

Beginning the search for private schools can be daunting for families. First, make a list of all of the schools you want to research. Once you narrow down the list to a few select schools you are primarily interested in, it is time to schedule a Shadow Day, one of the most critical parts of the admission process.

Shadow Days work as a two-fold opportunity for a prospective family to gauge the overall fit of the school, or how well the student matches the mission of the school, and to ensure the school is the right place for your child to begin or continue their education. Students and parents should feel comfortable in asking questions and evaluating the school, as well. Most schools refer to a Shadow Day as a “true-to-life experience,” and highlights the school for prospective students and their families to encourage them to enroll.

So how do you make the best use of a Shadow Day?

For students, try to fully engage in the classroom and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves throughout the day. If you know an answer to a question in a class, do not be afraid to raise your hand. Students that engage with their peers and teachers stand out which could lead to a recommendation from an internal teacher and, in turn, help the student to receive a favorable admission decision.

Parents will also have an opportunity to engage with the school via a tour or conversation with an admission representative. Parents can take this time to ask questions that are important to them, which usually leads to a more meaningful conversation and the impression that the family has high interest in the school.

The most crucial part of a Shadow Day that often gets overlooked is the family debrief and discussion that evening. Parents may have questions prepared for their child about their experience, things that he or she saw or heard, how the student felt in the various settings of the school, etc. It is rare for a prospective student to have a negative experience, but not all Shadow Days go perfectly either. Having a plan on how to evaluate the experience as a family, while also comparing the experience to Shadow Days at other schools, is crucial to help determine the best fit school for your child.

Do not be surprised if you receive a follow-up call or email from a representative of the school you recently visited. If, as a family, you are really interested in a particular school, have your child send a thank you card or email to the school; it’s always a great touch. All in all, the Shadow Day process should be fun and should provide a great way to evaluate a school.

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Tom Droney's Remarkable Journey on the Court

Tom Droney ’10. The name is a staple to many in the Sewickley Academy community. His basketball skills set him apart on the court, and his drive for greatness has propelled him in sports and in life. He’s talented, determined, and passionate both on and off the court. And in his post-professional career, he’s taking on the role of coach and mentor, setting youth up for success by paying it forward.

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Topics: Alumni

Twisted Thanksgiving Dinner Recipes

Thanksgiving is nearly here, which means it's time to break out the old recipe book. You will need to make a turkey, of course, but what if you were to add a bit of zing to the rest of the meal by changing up the side dishes? That's not to say you shouldn't serve  traditional dishes like mashed potatoes and stuffing, but you could add a twist or two that would make this particular holiday spread unforgettable. 

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Topics: Thanksgiving

A Friendsgiving to Remember

For many people, Thanksgiving is all about celebrating with family. You may have family celebrations that you're obligated to attend whether you want to be there or not. Unfortunately, that means you don't have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving with some of your closest friends. By celebrating early with a Friendsgiving celebration, you can enjoy a more relaxed, laid-back celebration that's a lot of fun for all of you. If nothing else, it's an excuse to get together with your favorite people!

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Topics: Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving

Video Tour of the New Cavalier Room with Ruth Neely

The Cavalier Room in Hansen Library was updated over the summer to better reflect how our students use the library to study, learn, and collaborate. Rather than tell you about the updates we thought it would be better to show you! Watch the video below as Director of Libraries Ruth Neely gives you a tour of the changes to the physical space and explains the features and benefits that guided our decisions during the redesign process. 

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Topics: Video

12 Family-Friendly Hilarious Halloween Costume Ideas for Adults

Visit the "adult" section of any Halloween costume shop and you're likely to cringe at the skimpy skirts, gruesome gore, and raunchy humor. But isn't Halloween supposed to be a family holiday? If you want to celebrate in style but you're not into the sexy, sleazy, or scary, try some of these hilarious costumes on for size.

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Topics: Parenting

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids of All Ages

Are your kids looking to dress up this Halloween? Bring some creativity to their Halloween costumes without breaking the bank! Here are some fun and simple DIY ideas that you can make or put together on your own to help get you and your children in the Halloween spirit.

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Topics: Parenting

Four Ways Kids Can Be Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While we should always show our support for those with breast cancer, or any type of cancer, this month is a wonderful reminder to actively try to make a difference. One of the best ways to make that difference is to educate our children about the topic of breast cancer and get them involved in support efforts. This can be done in a variety of ways, and we have included a few of our favorites below. 

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Topics: Parenting

A Less Expensive Way to do Your Back-to-School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping is on the agenda: school supplies and clothes that fit, new shoes and backpacks, maybe even a haircut. Those first couple of weeks back to school can be so fun but also very expensive. It seems that parenting is like that. Here are a few different ways to save some money during this back-to-school season. 

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Topics: Shopping Tips, Back to School, Shopping