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.

Benefits of Outdoor Learning

Posted by Beth Kosinski on May 13, 2022 at 12:02 PM

A pandemic perk? Is there such a thing? To be sure, being a student or an educator during the 2020–21 and 2021–22 school years has been difficult. One strategy to staying safe, however, turned out to have real benefits—outdoor classrooms.

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Topics: Health & Wellness

3 Ways To Stay Connected to Your Alma Mater

Posted by Megan Rushmore on April 29, 2022 at 12:04 PM

Private school communities are ever-enduring. Bonds formed among classmates, families, and faculty that are rooted in the learning experience create meaningful and lasting relationships. At each stage of your life, there are opportunities to stay connected to your school and fellow alumni. These three actions will help you rekindle, maintain, and strengthen the connections you have with your alma mater.

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Topics: Alumni

Art Smarts: Visual arts and emotional intelligence

Posted by Emily Amendum on April 15, 2022 at 11:58 AM

When you think about what makes a child “smart” the first things that come to mind are often things like scores on a math quiz, or a grade on a writing assignment in English class. However, it’s important to remember that there are many different ways to be smart, including having high levels of “emotional intelligence,” also referred to as “emotional quotient” or “EQ.” According to Helpguide International, emotional intelligence is the:

“ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.”

These kinds of skills are invaluable, because, as the authors explain, “your IQ [intelligence quotient] can help you get into college, but it’s your EQ [emotional quotient] that will help you manage [your] stress and emotions when facing your final exams.” Developing emotional intelligence early can help students build self-confidence and resilience, as well as lay the foundations for strong interpersonal relationships as children, teens, and adults. 

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Topics: Arts

7 STEM board games for your middle schooler

Posted by Jen Nightengale on April 1, 2022 at 12:02 PM

If you are looking for a way to have fun with your child while also keeping their brains engaged, then these STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) board games are for you! Some games are for groups, so they’re perfect to pull out for a Family Game Night, while others have solo or two-player options for kids who want more independent fun.

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Topics: STEM, Middle School

Celebrating Women's History Month In School Benefits All Learners

Posted by Brianna McCoy on March 18, 2022 at 12:01 PM

Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. We honor women, their role in history, their accomplishments, and their futures. When Women’s History Month is celebrated in school, educators can emphasize the value of women’s voices and encourage all students to respect and support equality. Women’s History Month is about honoring the past, but it’s also about how we move into the future. How will we raise our girls to understand the value of our own voices? How will we help provide healing and give hope?

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Topics: Community, Diversity, Elementary Education, High School Experience, Middle School

6 Ways for Families to support Teachers in the pandemic

Posted by Mark Anderson on March 4, 2022 at 12:12 PM

There's currently some frustration among educators around the lexicon of COVID. Teachers and school staff have probably grown weary of the descriptions we as school leaders have used as our communities have navigated the pandemic. Words like “flexible,” “nimble,” and “pivot” didn’t carry emotional weight before March 2020.

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Topics: Health & Wellness, Community

3 meaningful ways to celebrate Black History Month

Posted by Jamy Haughey on February 18, 2022 at 12:05 PM

Oftentimes, Black History Month is an opportunity for educators to share the biographies of traditional prominent Black figures of the past: Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges. February has been a month that highlighted the struggle of the Black community, with an implication that the struggle was a thing of the past, and that the concept of racism, prejudice, and discrimination was relegated only to a time prior to the Civil Rights Movement.

The Origin of Black History Month

Without a doubt, such prominent figures have contributed greatly to the advancement of Black people, but focusing only on stories of struggle can limit the potential of the month-long celebration of Black History.

Black History Month was established by Carter G. Woodson, a scholar known as the “Father of Black History,” who, throughout his lifetime, was dedicated to celebrating the historical contributions and achievements of Black people. Initially known as “Negro History Week” (1926), celebrations of Black achievement were popularized and thus led to the establishment of Black History Month, which has been celebrated every February since 1976. 

Since its inception, Black History Month has been a time to reflect on the fight for equity and celebrate the culture, accomplishments, and achievements of many Black Americans, who fought for and continue to fight for justice. 

How can you honor Black History?

  • Look beyond buses and boycotts. In addition to the pioneers of Black American history, there are many figures, both from the past and from the present, who have been influential in making history. Find current Black figures who are the history makers of the future. 
  • Read books that highlight Black joy. Look for stories that are not centered around trauma and struggle, but rather stories that portray proud Black characters who are part of loving and caring communities. Such joyful stories are included in the following lists:
  • Celebrate Black history throughout the year. Find ways to incorporate continued learning about the history, contributions, and achievements of Black people during and outside of Black History Month. Black History, after all, is American History.
Learn about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Sanford School


Beyond the month of February

Finding the balance between recognizing the historical struggles that Black America has faced, and continues to face, while looking ahead to the future is hard. 

Being intentional about celebrating, amplifying, and highlighting the Black experience and Black joy not only during Black History Month, but throughout the entire year, takes deliberateness. Sanford strikes this balance well: As an institution, we seek to learn about the Black trailblazers of the past, and acknowledge the struggle, resistance, and strength that Black America needs to overcome adversity, while simultaneously looking toward the present and the future to find current history makers.

Discover Sanford: Schedule a Tour of Sanford Today

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Topics: Diversity

Making the CASE: 4 Benefits of Early Childhood Programs

Posted by Libbie Zimmer on February 4, 2022 at 12:02 PM

When a child turns five it’s time to start kindergarten, but many parents are looking for opportunities that start even earlier. When exploring various programs, some parents may be torn between choosing a daycare setting or a school-based early childhood program. At Sanford we believe there is a tangible difference between a Preschool and/or PreKindergarten classroom and a daycare center. Below we will make the CASE that participating in a formal early childhood program benefits families in four main areas: Community, Attention, Specials, and Education.

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Topics: Sanford School, Preschool, Elementary Education

What does differentiated instruction really mean?

Posted by Beth Kosinski on January 21, 2022 at 12:00 PM

If you have ever been to a child's birthday party, you know firsthand how different children are from each other. Imagine your five-year-old neighbor's Spider-Man-themed party. There may be games, food, cake, presents, and no matter how well all that is going, as soon as Spider-Man shows up, there is bound to be drama. Some children are going to be incredibly excited, some so scared they may start crying, some may not know who Spider-Man even is, and some will become instantly shy and want to hide behind their parent's legs.

Now imagine those same children in their kindergarten classroom. They may be equally as different when it comes to learning how to read. Differentiated instruction is the act of teaching individuals differently based on their needs, their interests, their readiness, and their strengths. The goal to have everyone learn how to read remains the same but how that happens depends on who the children in the class are.

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Topics: Education, Academics

Mindset Matters: Setting High Expectations and Teaching Your Child to Achieve Them

Posted by Jim Barnaby on January 7, 2022 at 11:58 AM

It may seem like the best students are those who breeze through classes without breaking a sweat--acing the tests without studying and writing papers in only one night. But when those same kids come across a class that they can’t pass in their sleep, they may quickly crumble in the face of a challenge. While it could feel a bit counterintuitive, sometimes the best way to teach kids to be successful is by making things a little more difficult for them.

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Topics: Education