Newsletter from the Summit Denali Parent Org for 10/06/2018
Sat, Oct 6 7:23am
Summit Denali


The News from the Summit Denali Parent Org
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News from

Summit Denali Parent Org

In the 10/06/2018 edition:

No School – Mon, Oct 8

Reminder that there is no school (for both middle and high school) on Monday, October 8, 2018.

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Coffee with the Director – Tues, Oct 9 @ 8:30am

Come to the director coffee on Tuesday, October 9 from 8:30-9:30am (campus TBD). Director coffees offer Denali families a chance to meet informally with one of the directors. It starts with an update of recent and upcoming events of note and then opens up to questions from the community. Any/all parents/caregivers are welcome. No RSVP needed.

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High Schoolers: PSAT Day is Coming Wed 10/10!

On Wednesday, October 10th, all 9th-11th grade students will engage in our College Readiness Day! 9th grade students will complete a PSAT 8/9 practice test and 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT/NMSQT. Both of these tests give students a preview of and practice with one of the major college admissions tests. Our 11th graders are also taking a college readiness expeditions course this year, which includes some guidance on test preparation for the PSAT, SAT and ACT.

The results of the PSAT are for the student’s use only – they’re never sent to or seen by colleges. 11th graders are also automatically entered in the National Merit Scholarship Competition when they take the PSAT and with high scores they could win money for college!

What can I do to prepare?

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Eat a full breakfast
  • Arrive to school ON TIME!
  • Bring a watch, a calculator, and number 2 pencil
  • Remember to use good test taking strategies, such as annotation and process of elimination
  • Read this presentation to learn more!

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Snack Donations Requested for High School PSAT Testing

High School PSAT testing is coming up on Wednesday, October 10 and we’d like to be able to offer a small snack to each student. To do that, we’re asking if a few parents would be willing to donate items for snacks.

The following items are requested:

  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars Oats ‘n Honey
  • Bottled Water
  • Altoids Peppermint Mints

If you can help, please sign up on the sign-up sheet: here.

The test is on Wednesday 10/10, but we’re asking for items to be delivered by the end of the day on Tuesday 10/9 to Ms. Torres at the Washington campus so that we know if we need to purchase any additional items. Of course, items can be delivered prior to that as well.

Thanks for your consideration!

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Parent Org Meeting – Thurs, Oct 11 @ 7pm – Washington Ave Campus

Come to the Parent Org Meeting on Thursday, October 11 at our high school campus (1133 W. Washington Ave, Sunnyvale, CA). Meet with other parents and our director(s) to learn how to be an integral part of Denali by volunteering to help with fun school events, mentor group activities, extracurricular activities and various groups that support other parents and our school. There is something for every interest and time commitment both big and small. Be Active!

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Seeking Experts for ANGST Film Panel Planning Committee

We are seeking experts from our parent community to join a Panel Planning Committee for Summit Denali’s screening and discussion for the documentary film, Angst, which we are screening on November 13th. In particular, we are gathering those with professional expertise as a licensed therapist, school counselor, social worker or human resource representative. Our committee will have an opportunity to preview the film and build a Panel Discussion that will take place at the event. We are looking for professionals who can talk about anxiety and how it specifically affects their group, and why s/he feels the film is timely, useful and beneficial.

Additionally, if there are people who can help with printing posters/hanging flyers from our moviemaker’s resource kit, that would be very helpful!

Please notify Debbie Stauffer, Parent Ed Coordinator, at by October 10th. We will organize a committee meeting soon after that time.

Thank you!

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Middle School Theater Opportunity!

Audition Workshop – Come learn how to pick good audition pieces, analyze the script and present a stunning audition piece!

Workshop will run October 16-18, and October 22-23 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm, with an Audition Showcase on October 24th! (Times to be determined)

Student information meetings will be held by Ms. Steele October 11th and 12th, at lunch!

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MS & HS Theatre Programs Begin Soon!

Both High School and Middle School Theatre Programs are in the planning stages and preparing to launch in October. If your student is interested in participating in these programs, please make sure to join the Denali Theatre social group on Konstella.

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Report from Parent Ed Workshop: Restorative Justice and School Discipline

A faculty team (Nicholson, Steele, Lozano and Zado) led parents in experiential circle sessions at the beginning of this workshop to establish an understanding of the intentional relationship-building among students at Summit that supports many goals. Laura Zado, our Dean of Instruction and Culture at the High School, presented information about the discipline system and restorative justice approach at Summit. During the Q&A session, parents were able to better understand how this system has evolved/improved over the years at Denali and significant progress has been made. Many thanks to Logan Guilbeau, our Dean in Middle School, for his creation of the informational slides for this session: “Restorative Justice and School Discipline.”

After the session, participating parents were asked how to explain Summit’s discipline/restorative process to other parents at Summit. Here are some of their responses:

“This process helps students to express themselves to each other to help foster understanding and community within, and outside, the school. Steps are taken to help students who have made a poor decision to understand the consequences as to how it affects others and to work towards righting the wrong.”

“Instead of the action/punishment route, restorative justice requires conversation and connection and focuses on empathy and making both the harmer and the harmee feel good about the solution.”

“Rather than just doling out punishments, they actually try to get the kids involved together to better understand what their actions caused and how other people felt about it; why a student did what they did and how they can fix it or make it better.”

You can find more information about our Parent Education Program on the Parent Org Website:

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Reminder: Space for Transfer Enrollment, 2018-19 school year

Summit Denali has additional spaces for enrollment in grades 6-11. Our budget depends on full enrollment, and WE NEED YOUR HELP to increase enrollment.

We want to be sure that every family who wants a rigorous, college-prep education for their students has an opportunity to attend Denali. Having full grade levels builds a strong Denali community and provides the Summit opportunity to a greater number of young people.

Do you know another family with children in grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11?

  • Families you went to elementary or middle school with?
  • Families from sports leagues, community groups, religious groups?
  • Families in your neighborhood?

Please help us spread the word! Families can see more information at

You can have them reach out to Kevin directly at, call the front desk at (669)721-2646, or enroll at

If you refer a family who enrolls, you’ll get a free Denali hoodie sweatshirt!

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Sports Update & Looking for Coaches

Our fall sports are still going very well and our student athletes are having a blast. We have been proud of how well they have shown both their competitive spirit and sportsmanship! Read more about upcoming seasons here. Recruitment for MS boys basketball and HS basketball and soccer will begin soon. If you have not, please complete athletic paperwork ASAP so that you can be ready once information about the seasons is announced.

We are looking for a few coaches for the following seasons! Know anyone who can help out? Please contact

  • High School Boys Soccer (November–February season)
  • Middle School Girls Basketball (January–February season)

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High School Expeditions Has Begun!

The Expeditions Team is delighted to be back at Denali, bigger and better than ever before!
A few notable additions to our team and offerings:

  • Denali parent Sherri Taylor is offering a Robotics course in which students build and program their own robots
  • We now offer Psychology, another UC approved class, and many students are already preparing to take the AP exam in the Spring
  • We are offering Multimedia Political Journalism, through which students can earn a Visual/Performing Arts Credit while covering this year’s elections. The students will be hosting their first press conference with local candidates this week!
  • Former Denali Resident Keith Brown has joined the Expeditions team full time teaching both College Readiness and leveraging his theater Experience through Stage Combat
  • Former Denali Art Teacher Kalyn Olson is now Dean of Expeditions!

We are hoping to partner with you this year in getting feedback on courses, having you join us at showcases and Celebration of Learning, and asking for your support on field trips!

Our inbox is always open– please share any feedback you have with us and let us know what courses you want to see next year.

Expeditions Love,
Lucretia Witte, Executive Director of Expeditions
Kalyn Olson, Dean of Expeditions @ Denali

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Recent Items:
Upcoming Parent Ed Event: The Science of Summit – Wed. 10/3/18, 6pm @ High School Campus
High School PSAT date moved from 10/17/18 to 10/10/18
Swim Team: Day 1
Calling all Chess Enthusiasts!
Robotics Club
No School for Grades 6-8 – Middle School Professional Dev Day Friday 10/5
Winter Sports – Coaches Needed for HS Boys Soccer and MS Girls Basketball
Reminder: Donate to Denali!
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