Learn more about current school issues and trends from Sanford School’s educational experts.  Sanford’s blog is sure to help you navigate your child’s educational journey.

Knowing Where to Look: Recognizing Strong Academic Programs

Posted by Christine DiUbaldo & Jacqueline DeLaFuente on October 1, 2021 at 3:00 PM


When exploring school options for your child, one of the first things that you often want to know is what the academic outcomes are for students in the school--how can you be sure that your child will be getting an excellent education?

Here are three steps that you can take to help ensure that you are examining all of the evidence and gaining a clear picture of the academic opportunities available at each school you’re considering.

1) Explore the Website

Start by looking at the school’s website to get some basic information about the school. This might be on the Admission page, the Home page, or in an About Our School section, like Sanford’s Quick Facts. You’re looking for broad information such as class size, student-teacher ratio, and college placement numbers. You can then visit other pages to learn more about grade-specific academic requirements.  In some cases, curriculum topics by grade level will provide more details about what a typical academic career could look like for students who attend this school. Be sure to write down any questions that come to mind while looking at the website and ask them during the visit to help solidify your understanding of the school’s academic offerings.

2) Visit a Classroom

The moment I stepped on campus for my tour, I felt it - I felt the warmth everyone was raving about. I am confident Sanford is going to prepare me well and give me the tools needed for success. One of the things that makes Sanford unlike most schools is that they cater to your wants and needs. They are going to do what's best for you. I am genuinely excited for this school year, as well as the others yet to come.” -- an Upper School student

Schedule an in-person visit to see classrooms in action. If possible, visit your child’s current grade and the grade which they’d be entering. In any classroom that you visit, you should watch for and listen to how the teacher talks to the students, how the students speak to the teacher, and how the students interact with each other. Are there opportunities for the kids to ask questions and/or share ideas? Are young people engaged in the lesson and eager to learn? Are peers able to work with one another when possible? What do children do if they have a question about the assignment or the lesson? During a brief classroom visit you won’t be able to see the full scope of the coursework. For example, if students are just beginning to read a new novel, you won’t hear a robust debate, but you can still get a sense for the classroom energy -- a positive learning environment is a key element in encouraging academic success.

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Topics: Admission

How to Jump into a New School Community

Posted by Sanford's Home & School Association on September 17, 2021 at 12:00 PM

I looforward to watching our children grow together and know that I have made lifelong friends, just as my children have. We really have created a sense of community for our family.”

- A Lower School Parent

After reading this quote you may be thinking, "Yes, I definitely want to get involved in my child's school experience." Below are a few tips and suggestions on how to get involve
d in a school community.

When parents are involved, students achieve more

Did you know that...
  • Schools that work well with families have better teacher morale and higher ratings of teachers by parents.
  • School programs that involve parents outperform identical programs without parent and family involvement.
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Topics: Parenting Tips, Community

Finding the Best Family Routine for a New School year

Posted by Brooke McLeod on September 3, 2021 at 2:05 PM


Labor Day weekend is upon us. It has long been described as the Sunday night of summer. It marks the season of change, with fall and a new school year on the horizon.

This time of the year reminds me of the summer grass. Some days dry and tired from the sun, unsure which is best: water or shade, likely both. Rest surely required, but sometimes not found. The reverberating laughter of the summer days well lived is still heard, and while days are reminiscent of the family van clad with the turtle top, there is a new quiet that enters and competes for loudest sound: catalogs with backpacks and sports apparel, new-fangled lunch accessories, latest trends and all the reminders of the outside world with hints of shiny, new schedules and adventures beyond our summer days that lure us to inch near. It is a time that is nostalgic of the sweetest summer lived and already longed for, but a constant pull to stay here and be present while planning what is to come.

 While embracing the remaining dog days of summer, it is inevitable that we need to prepare for our new schedules of the school year ahead.As parents, this sometimes is a far too daunting task. While we collect tips and tricks from trial and error like the shells once collected in July on family days by the ocean, we often forget that none of this needs to be done alone. Change is hard and adjusting to new schedules takes time and patience.

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Topics: Community

5 Tips To Tackle The High School Sports Preseason

Posted by Caitlin Brooks on August 13, 2021 at 12:00 PM

The air is heavy, the sun is beating down, and there is no reprieve from the heat. This can only mean one thing: preseason is upon us. Preseason is an exciting time in many athletes' lives. It is the time where the foundation of the season begins. You get to see your beloved teammates, coaches and compete at the thing you love most. For some, preseason may bring a bit of anxiety and fear. What are ways that you can enter this time with confidence and joy in your heart, you ask? Try the following tips listed below.

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Topics: Athletics, Parenting Tips

Ways to Sharpen 7th-12th Grade Student Math Skills in the Summer

Posted by Heather Taylor on July 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM
It's time to start thinking about the next school year. To avoid the summer slide and begin with a solid mathematical foundation for the school year, your child can spend time each week on mathematical thinking and reasoning skills to strengthen their previous skills and fill in any gaps of knowledge. By practicing, students can build their number sense, algebraic reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. Below are three activities and three online resources to sharpen your middle and high school students' math skills. To help your child, you can have them complete the activities below and go to the online resources to practice math skills this summer:
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Topics: Education, Summer, Parenting Tips, Middle School, High School

5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Complete Their Summer Reading

Posted by Sandy Sutty on July 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM

Now that it is summer, It is time to start thinking about your child’s summer reading. Some schools require your child to read. It can be as simple as reading a book of choice, picking from a selection of books, or specific books. Ensure you check with your child’s school to make sure you have all of the requirements for their summer reading. Once you find out, getting them to read may be challenging. Read these tips to encourage your child to start reading.

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Topics: Academics, Parenting Tips

3 Activities to Help Your Child Engage With Nature

Posted by Patrick Martin on July 2, 2021 at 8:51 PM

Summer is here, so it’s the perfect time to explore the great outdoors. This blog from Harvard Medical School describes six reasons why it's important for kids to spend time outside. If one (or more!) of those reasons resonates with you, then take advantage of one of our activities below that will help you and your child engage with nature.

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Topics: Summer, Parenting Tips, Community

6 Fun Ways To Promote Summer Learning

Posted by Kara Fontes on June 18, 2021 at 12:00 PM

The end of the school year is here, and while that might mean lazy days by the pool or family vacations, it’s also the perfect time to start preparing your child for the upcoming school year. Here are six fun ways to promote learning and to make sure your child makes the most of this SUMMER so that they can roll smoothly into the fall.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Summer, Health & Wellness, Parenting Tips

Keeping A Strong School Community During A Pandemic

Posted by Laura Gaylor on June 5, 2021 at 12:00 PM

How do you keep a school community strong in a school year caught between virtual, hybrid, and in-person learning? It starts with school leaders and parents who have a shared vision of success. Your support and participation make a difference. Whether you choose to engage on a personal, informal, or formal level, here are a few opportunities to stay engaged in your school community during the pandemic.

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Topics: Parenting Tips, Community, Sanford School

Teacher Tips For Motivating Students During Hybrid Learning

When the pandemic impacts nearly every aspect of student learning, how can we help our children survive and thrive? Finding ways to motivate students and providing the best teaching strategies during hybrid learning is not easy. Whether children are attending class in person or online, participating in “school” is a great way to provide a sense of normalcy in their lives.

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Topics: Education, Academics, Elementary Education, High School Experience, Distance Learning