Traditions create memories! They are the building blocks of a heritage, the milestones, festivities, and memorials that give reason for celebration and chronicle our personal heritage. Traditions are passed along from one generation to another providing a sense of security and identity.
Over a period of years many traditions have been established that have come to characterize our school and American Christian education in its expression at StoneBridge. Most began quite simply, flowing from the research of the rich and classic elementary curriculum and the creativity of teachers and parents who were inspired to write plays and musicals, and share tea and homemade cookies during literature class. Today, StoneBridge embraces new challenges of teaching and mentoring Christian high school students, setting new traditions in motion, creating fresh moments for remembrance. We are grateful for the traditions kept alive in the elementary school, for they become the joyous memories of our children's "StoneBridge School Days" to be treasured for a lifetime and imparted to the next generation.
Thursdays at StoneBridge
Thursdays are traditionally Chapel days with a half-day schedule. Chapel services are held every Thursday morning. Students in the elementary school are encouraged to "dress up" for Chapel, while high school students are required to follow the Chapel Dress Code. (Please refer to the Dress Code Policy for specific guidelines.) High school Chapels are led by student Prefects and afford many opportunities for our youth to offer special music and occasionally to bring the message. Many Christian leaders are invited as guest speakers and parents are always welcome to attend. We ask parents and guests to dress appropriately for the service.
Traditionally StoneBridge School has a week of vacation at Thanksgiving; a two week vacation at Christmas; and one week at Easter. Please consult the StoneBridge calendar for specific dates.
Special Days and Costumes
Special Days are StoneBridge School's richest and best-known traditions. The seeds for Special Days were planted during the fledgling year of the school with a "Hans Brinker Breakfast" for young students studying this classic about Holland. The year included a French Fair and concluded with a primary-aged production of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet with costumes and scenery and a 1776 Musical complete with Abigail and John Adams, elaborate costumes, and 18th century colonial music both on the same night! Special Days firmly took root and birthed many unique learning experiences in the years to follow.
Each elementary class has Special Days unique to its curriculum content. The children eagerly look forward to participating in these wonderful celebrations and donning their costumes. They are wonderful opportunities for parents to get involved with the life of the school through special crafts, bulletin boards, decor, and cooking special foods. The entire school also has Special Days in which the "whole StoneBridge Family" gathers for a community festival.
Costumes are traditional at StoneBridge. Classroom celebrations, school-wide festivals, and annual dramatic performances all give reason for every student to require assistance at home in dressing for such occasions. Some mothers have been known to use the same curtain for every costume their child needed, and others have labored to produce award-winning Broadway originals.
Musical and Dramatic Performances
The Fine and Performing Arts are an integral part of our enriched curriculum, flowing out of our classic Christian history and literature courses. Most primary school productions are simple and require minimal assistance from parents. Formal drama instruction continues throughout high school, preparing every student for participation in the annual productions.
Dramatic performances are presented to the StoneBridge Family and the community-at-large each year. They are directed and produced by our master drama teacher and are most worthy of support by every family. They provide opportunities for parents to combat the mediocrity of the pop culture by cultivating the appreciation of the fine and performing arts in their children.
StoneBridge School has three graduations each year: Kindergarten, Eighth Grade, and High School. Traditionally, seventh grade parents are responsible to prepare and host the Eighth Grade Graduation Reception; and the eleventh grade parents prepare and host the High School Graduation Reception. Homeroom mothers need to be aware of these traditions and check with the eighth and senior homeroom teachers for details.
StoneBridge students chose royal blue and gold as their school colors in 1983.
StoneBridge chose the cavalier as the mascot for our athletic teams. It serves as a symbol of the spirit of Christian leadership that spawned the founding generations. Cavaliers were English royalists loyal to Charles I during the 1500s at the time of the English wars of religion. They took part in the 1607 landing at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and were the first Englishmen to permanently plant both the cross of Christ and the standard of England on the North American continent. Confronted with the anvil of hardship, they practiced a Biblical faith while hammering a livelihood out of the wilderness. As colonists they were characterized by the spirit of enterprise and independence. As Christians they built churches, declared fast days, knew and lived by the Word of God, and established the first representative form of civil government in the New World in 1619 at Jamestown. As Virginians they were successful in building a society that produced the statesmen and leaders of the founding generation -- the Washington, the Jefferson, the Madison, and the Lees.
StoneBridge School adopted the cavalier in the same spirit of Christian liberty. As Virginians we boldly raise the standard of Christ in the 1990s in Chesapeake, Virginia through education that equips our youth to be vigorous and virtuous leaders, able "to serve God's purposes fully in their own generation." [Acts 13:36]
Our school song was composed by Mary Barnes, StoneBridge music educator and mother, while on the 1984 Faculty Retreat.