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Stories from Sea Crest School

The official blog of Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay, California.

— President of NAIS on Campus

On Wednesday, 21st March, Sea Crest School was honored to host Donna Orem, the President of The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Sea Crest is one of 1,541 K-12 NAIS-member schools in the USA, serving 675,115 of the nation’s children. Appointed in 2016, Donna Orem is NAIS’ first female President in its 56-year history.

Donna Orem NAIS California Assembly“What a true delight it was to visit your school. Your children are so engaged and self-directed in their learning.”

We began the day with a Coffee Meet and Greet with Faculty, Staff and Trustees, followed by an All-school Assembly and Classroom Tours led by our Middle School Admission Ambassadors: Olivia, Mayah, Mike, and Mimi.

Donna Orem NAIS California“When you ask kids about passions, you normally get very traditional roles. At Sea Crest, I’ve heard students respond with ways to change the world: explorers, scientists […] You are putting good citizens out into the world.”

— Head of School appointed to NAIS Board of Trustees

Dear Sea Crest Families,

I am excited to have the opportunity to share the great news with you: Our Head of School, Dr. Tekakwitha Pernambuco-Wise, was recently appointed by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) to their Board of Trustees. NAIS is the national voice of independent education, advocating on behalf of its members. The association offers research and trend analysis, leadership and governance guidance, and professional development opportunities for school and board leaders. Sea Crest School is one of the 1500+ members of NAIS, which is a major source of industry information and professional development not only for school staff and leaders but also our Board of Trustees.

The NAIS Board of Trustees, made up of 20 distinguished individuals, includes thought leaders, independent school pioneers and innovators in the field of education. This prestigious appointment is a testament to the visionary leadership Tekakwitha has brought to Sea Crest School. Tekakwitha truly lives by Sea Crest’s Guiding Principles and has shared with me that she is looking forward to giving back to NAIS, an organization that provides so much support to our school. We look forward to the insights and ideas Tekakwitha is sure to bring back from her work on the NAIS Board.

Please join me in congratulating Tekakwitha!

Amy Ramsey
Chair, Sea Crest Board of Trustees


 

— Middle School Kindness Challenge

This 30-day kindness challenge takes place during students’ advisories and they participate in one or two kindness activities every week. There are numerous activities from which to choose in four categories: spreading cyber-kindness, strengthening peer relationships, developing positive mindsets, and fostering student empathy. The kindness curriculum was created by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

— Middle School Student Council Making Waves

“I am honored and grateful to serve on Student Council because it allows me to organize fun activities for my peers, changing Sea Crest by leaving it better than I found it!”
~ Olivia Cevasco, President

“As part of Student Council, I am someone who people come to for help. I’ve learned how incredible the feeling of leadership is and Student Council brought me closer to Sea Crest and its community.”
~ Jess Kammeyer, Vice-President


The Student Council has spearheaded a number of initiatives this school year and is truly making a difference:

Middle School Dances:
Middle School dances happen three times each school year and the Student Council is responsible for finding a DJ and organizing the event. Our next Middle School Dance will be on June 1st and we have a new DJ for the event! DJ Zak Kowal will be spinning tunes for our last dance of the year!

Advisory Competitions:
This year, the Student Council hosted several advisory competitions including pumpkin and door decorating contests, a basketball shoot-off, a gingerbread house contest and an Amazing Race scavenger hunt. We plan to have a few more events before the end of the school year!

Middle School Night Out:
In February, students enjoyed watching Jurassic Park on the big screen in our Kohrs Family Center. Our next Middle School Night Out will be on Friday night, May 18th at the Sky High Sports. Details and a permission slip will be emailed to families soon!

Pennies for Patients:
On Monday, the Student Council will kick off Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please bring your spare change to school for this three-week fundraiser! There will be a collection jar at Cathy’s desk.

Student Council Elections:
On the 1st of June, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Graders will have the opportunity to elect a new Student Council for the 2018-2019 school year! Students will learn more about the election process in the coming weeks.


 

— Sixth Grade collected hygiene items for Coastside Hope

Hygiene Drive Coastside HopeOn April 24th, the Sixth Graders brought the hygiene items they collected to Coastside Hope. They sorted all the products and created hygiene kits with 1-gallon Ziploc bags. Students were able to create over 150 hygiene kits for neighbors in need.

The Sixth Graders also learned about all the good work Coastside Hope does to serve individuals living in our coastal communities. The Drive was another way for our students to experience what it means to be “each other’s keepers,” which is one of our school’s guiding principles.

— Life Lessons: Independent schools prepare students for a successful life beyond high school

Article originally published in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Magazine (Winter 2018) by Amada Torres, vice president for studies, insights, and research at NAIS.

Many independent schools focus on educating the whole child and addressing social/emotional and physical growth as well as academic development. New research conducted by the research firm Gallup shows that this holistic approach to education may result in better long-term outcomes for graduates. A report summarizing the findings, NAIS-Gallup Report on NAIS Graduates: Seeking Critical Collegiate Experiences and Consistent Progression in Higher Education, was published in September 2017.

National Association of Independent Schools Student OutcomesNAIS worked with Gallup for several years to investigate the life outcomes and well-being of graduates of independent schools. Gallup’s analysis found that a higher percentage of NAIS graduates than public school graduates enrolled in college immediately after high school (85 percent of NAIS graduates compared to 69 percent of public school graduates). Nearly 100 percent of graduates from NAIS schools go on to college, with more than half attending the most selective colleges and universities.

Another key finding of the Gallup analysis is that NAIS graduates, including minority and first-generation students (those who were the first in their families to attend college), outpace their peers who graduated from public and non-NAIS private high schools in seeking out many key experiential learning and extracurricular opportunities in college. These differences persist even after accounting for personality type, which can influence students’ propensity to seek out activities in college.

NAIS graduates are more likely to be involved in a wide range of experiential learning and extracurricular activities during college, including participating in research with faculty, holding a leadership position in a club or organization, participating in intramural sports, being members of fraternities or sororities, and working on projects that took longer than a semester. Additional research from Gallup shows that these activities are strongly correlated with higher rates of well-being and workplace engagement later in life.

NAIS graduates’ participation in extracurricular activities and close work with faculty in college seem to be an outgrowth of their high school experiences. These findings are also reflected in the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) Freshman Survey conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. This survey collects extensive information from incoming first-year college students about behaviors in high school, interactions with peers and faculty, academic preparedness, and expectations of college, among other variables. The latest CIRP survey found that independent school students (NAIS and non-NAIS) expected to be more engaged than their counterparts in a number of extracurricular activities in college, including participating in student clubs or groups (57.1 percent versus 49.7 percent for public school students), recreational sports (35.4 percent versus 29 percent), and fraternities or sororities (21.8 percent versus 12.8 percent).

The extensive participation of NAIS graduates in collegiate activities represents a significant result given the long-lasting impact these activities have. Previous Gallup research revealed that alumni who were extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations in college were 1.6 times more likely to be engaged at work and 1.2 times more likely to be thriving in all five elements of well-being measured by Gallup (See “How Does Gallup Measure Well-Being?” following the article). Likewise, graduates who worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete were 1.7 times more likely to be engaged at work and 1.2 times more likely to be thriving in all five elements of well-being.

National Association of Independent Schools Student Outcomes

Gallup also found that NAIS graduates progress through college more consistently than their peers from other private and public schools. Seventy-seven percent of NAIS graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in four years or less, compared with 69 percent of non-NAIS private high school graduates and 64 percent of public high school graduates. Similarly, 22 percent of NAIS graduates transferred at some point during their undergraduate careers—a much lower rate than the 37 percent of public high school graduates and 31 percent of non-NAIS private high school graduates who transferred. These results were also true for minority and first-generation students graduating from NAIS schools.

These findings suggest that NAIS graduates enter their collegiate lives at a relative advantage over their peers from other types of schools and the benefits persist. Consistent progression through college is linked to financial advantages such as lower student debt and higher starting salaries. In addition to these financial benefits, Gallup found that NAIS graduates who completed their college degrees in four years or less and did not transfer during college are more likely to be interested in the work they do.

Overall, Gallup found that the student experience at NAIS schools is associated with important undergraduate opportunities which, in turn, relate to elevated levels of well-being and long-term career satisfaction. The NAIS experience helps position students well as they transition into college, setting them up favorably for lives of purpose and meaning.


 

— Celebrating Earth Day on the Coast

In honor of Earth Day on April 21st, our entire K-8 school community spent two weeks learning about our beautiful coastal environment.

We kicked off our learning on Tuesday, April 10th, with a special all-school assembly from the Pacifica Beach Coalition entitled Sea Stars, Sea Change.

Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day

On Wednesday, April 11th, students in grades 2-4 explored the fascinating world of sharks with a visit from the Greater Farallones Association Sharkmobile and shark expert, Peter Winch.

The second week, students in grades 5-8 explored the biology of pathogens and how they impact marine mammals in the Greater Farallones Association Germs in Our Waters, Infecting our Otters workshop.

Each grade level engaged in a unit of inquiry on one aspect of our amazing coastal environment. On Friday, April 20th, classes shared what they have learned with students in other grades during our Coastweeks Learning Celebration.

Learning more about our amazing coastal environment helps to inspire a spirit of responsibility and stewardship for all. We encouraged all students and families to cap off the Sea Crest Coastweeks experience by participating in one of the local beach clean-up events planned throughout the coast.

Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastal Environment, Ocean Week Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastweek, Environment, Ocean, Earth Day Coastal Environment, Ocean Week


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