News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
January 22, 2021
Academic News

REMINDER: New Schedule Will Begin on January 25
The new schedule will begin on January 25. You can find the updated daily schedule here, along with an explainer video. We have worked to make appropriate changes based on our experience and feedback from the fall, along with some of the special considerations for our operations this winter (athletic practice schedules, health, and safety protocols, etc.). 

NEW: LEO is here! 
Explore a chapel talk, a chemistry infographic, a community art mural, and MORE! Support your classmates and check out some incredible academic and extracurricular work. Visit smleo.com to explore.
 
Featured Students:
  • Nick Haugen
  • Coco Xia
  • Abby Griffin
  • Kendall Sommers
  • Community Art Club: Emma Lu, Cathy Shi, Grace Li, Grace Lee, Ingrid Yeung, Lily Luo, Sua Yoo, Taylor Zhou, Julie He, and Yolanda Fan
  • Ceramics Cultural Unity Project: Tate Frederick, Austin Hunt, Jasmine James, James Kral, Sarah Mattson, and Maisie Pierce
 
LEO is currently open for submissions. We feature essays, videos, infographics, presentations, speeches, and more! Simply email submissions to leo@stmarksschool.org with a headshot photo and a brief bio.


Update on January-May Modified Class Schedule 
With the cancellation of spring break this year, faculty members and administrators have worked to develop a schedule for the January-May time period that maximizes the effectiveness of teaching and learning throughout the winter and spring and includes short breaks to provide essential rest periods for students and faculty members. Realizing that successful teaching and learning depends on physical, mental, and emotional well-being, these breaks have been scheduled intentionally and thoughtfully to ensure the greatest opportunity for rest and recuperation for the greatest number of people. In addition, the schedule mixes weekend and weekday rest days to distribute time off in a balanced way.
 
The rest days are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday, February 12—Monday, February 15 (Lunar New Year and Presidents' Day Weekend)
  • Thursday, March 4
  • Tuesday, March 16
  • Friday, March 26—Monday, March 29 (Midsemester Weekend)
  • Tuesday, April 6
  • Monday, April 19 (Patriots Day Weekend)
  • Wednesday, May 5
  • Thursday, May 20
Please note: Pink ovals are midweek “no class” days, while long weekends are indicated with blue squares. 
 
You will note that we have scheduled some rest days around public holidays that previously existed in the schedule—Presidents' Day and Patriots Day. To keep the semester balanced, we have also shifted the close of Window Three from Friday, March 12 to Thursday, March 26, and created a four-day weekend at this important juncture of the academic calendar.  
 
We are currently finalizing specifics around adult supervision for students on these rest days, and are also exploring other steps beyond days off to promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our students and all of our community members. We look forward to sharing more information in January. 
REMINDER: U.S. Guardian/Emergency Contact Information Update Required
 
This month St. Mark's will be confirming all U.S.-based guardian and emergency contact information. If your family has not been able to provide this information, please do so immediately by contacting the Dean of Students Office. If your family has provided contact information for a U.S.-based guardian/emergency contact, please reach out to them and confirm that they are able to care for your child in the event of a school closing which would include providing private transportation away from St. Mark's School.
 
We are dedicated to our safety protocols and COVID-19 safety measures, yet we must also have a plan in place should we be required to close school for any reason. The U.S.-based guardian/emergency contact has always been a requirement and in our current reality, it is even more important as we seek to provide adequate care for our community.
 
Due to the concerns around COVID-19 and other potential safety issues, all students must have a viable local/U.S.-based guardian/emergency contact that is able to arrange for the student to be able to leave campus within 24 hours via private transportation in the event of student illness or temporary campus closure. This guardian/emergency contact expectation includes both international and domestic students who are farther than six hours driving distance from campus. A viable local/U.S.-based guardian/contact should not include siblings or family friends who reside in college/university residential housing. 
NEW: College Counseling
 
Class of 2022 - Students and Parents Q & A Panel Discussion
 Please join the College Counseling Office for a panel discussion and Q & A Thursday, January 28, 8:00 - 9:15 p.m. EST. (Zoom link will be sent on the 28th.) 
 
We are fortunate to welcome three wonderful friends and colleagues: Thyra Briggs, vice president for enrollment & financial aid at Harvey Mudd College, Ken Sawada, associate director of admission at Syracuse University, and Leigh Weisenburger, dean of admission and financial aid at Bates College for what will be an interesting and informative evening. We look forward to seeing you on the 28th!
NEW: School Pictures - February 11, 2021

Coffee Pond Photography looks forward to taking your student's school pictures on February 11 in the Lower Center. Each student will be photographed in several poses and will have several images from which families may order prints. Each family will receive a private password via email that will be used to access JUST their child’s images on our website. Our website contains easy to follow instructions for ordering a variety of package options. Below is important information that will give you access to your child's portrait.

Our EProof program will notify you via email when your child’s portrait proofs are ready to be viewed online. When you receive the email with a private password you can go directly to our company’s secure website www.coffeepond.com to place your order online. Coffee Pond accepts all major credit cards.

If you do not receive your child’s password within a few weeks after Picture Day, please be sure to contact our Customer Care department at the email address below or by phone at 1-800-632-2323 x 0.

Please be sure to have your spam blocker set to accept emails from our Customer care email lifeguards@coffeepond.com.
REMINDER: Yearbook Recognition Ads

Are you looking for a way to celebrate your graduating VI Former? What better way than to purchase a recognition ad in the yearbook! There is a range of sizes and costs available— and you can design and pay for your ad all in the convenient Jostens website! 
 
Click here to access the ad website (click on "Recognition Ads") and get started.  
 
You can read this pamphlet if you need more information on logistics. 
 
The deadline to purchase ads is January 31.
Bookstore News
NEW: On-Campus Bookstore Sale
In an effort to make room for new merchandise, the Bookstore is holding a sale at the on-campus location. Lots of clothing and gift items have been marked down for immediate clearance.

Please feel free to encourage your boarder or day student to stop in from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday to look over the merchandise and make purchases. Remember to bring your own bag.

Purchases can be made with cash, credit, or debit card.

Tommy Hilfiger Partnership
The St. Mark's School's online store by Tommy Hilfiger is Live! Select this link to purchase Tommy Hilfiger apparel with St. Mark's School logos and branding.
E&R Laundry Sign Up

To sign up for the E&R Laundry service, visit www.EandRCleaners.com to create an account. When the order is complete, you will receive an order confirmation. Once confirmed, St. Mark's will create a bag for the student and deliver it to them.
Parents’ Association

Volunteer Opportunities
The Parents’ Association (PA) needs additional volunteers to serve as Form parent representatives. This role is important because it keeps Form parents connected to each other and the School. Some responsibilities of the Form parent representative include: 
 
  • Providing a line of communication between Form parents and PA Chairs
  • Welcoming new parents to your Form
  • Working closely with PA Chairs to provide successful parent programs
  • Attend (in person or virtually) Form representative meetings, Parent Chats, Parent Speaker Series/Parent Association meetings, and other events, and encourage other Form parents to attend these meetings
  • Supporting St. Mark’s with a gift to the Annual Fund
 
Parents can team up to share the Form parent representative responsibilities. Since this role can be managed virtually, parents don’t need to live locally. We encourage St. Mark’s parents around the country and around the world to participate! Please contact Gage Gillis at gagegillis@stmarksschool.org for more information.
 
 
For other volunteer opportunities, complete the Parents’ Association volunteer form.
 
Parent Events

NEW: January 20, 2021 - Parent Speaker Series - Parents As Partners - Recording Available
Colleen Worrell, director of The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, spoke about ways to support St. Mark’s students as they navigate the winter and spring terms.
 
See the presentation slides here.
 
 
NEW: January 25, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. EST
Parent Q&A with School Administrators
As mentioned in the January 14 Welcome Back and Important Updates email from Head of School John C. Warren ’74, there will be an informal opportunity for parents to meet virtually with senior administrators and ask questions about the winter and spring terms. A Zoom link will be sent January 25, 2021.

February 3, 2021 - III Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST
This is a special opportunity to hear important information and updates about St. Mark's from Head of School John C. Warren ’74, learn about the III Form student experience and what to anticipate from your students this second half of the year, and connect with fellow III Form parents. Please register here.
 
NEW: February 8 - Parent Speaker Series - Supporting Student Wellness
Discussion Topics: Challenges students face this time of year (e.g. transitions around school breaks, exams); resources St. Mark’s offers to help students navigate difficulties; and how parents can help. More details coming soon.
 
February 10, 2021 - St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
Our next meeting will be from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST via Zoom. The February title is Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer. At the end of this meeting, we'll choose a book for March. 
 
Interested in attending? Please email Joanne Flathers P’15, ’19, ’21 (joanne@flathersfamily.net) or Laurie Kalapinski (lauriekalapinski@stmarksschool.org) to receive the Zoom link the morning of February 10.
 
Other book titles suggested by members, in no particular order:
  • Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

February 11, 2021 - Battle of the Brews/ Faculty & Staff Appreciation Day
We need parent volunteers to write "thank you" cards to St. Mark's faculty and staff. If you can help out, please contact Claudia Loberatore at claudia.liberatore@me.com, or 617.901.9599. Thank you!

NEW: February 11, 2021 - IV Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST 
Head of School John C. Warren ’74 discusses important information and updates about St. Mark's. This is also a great opportunity to learn about the IV Form student experience and what to anticipate from your students this second half of the year, and connect with fellow IV Form parents. Please register here.

Calendar News:
Weekend Activities - January 23-24

January 22 - Window 2/Semester 1 Ends
January 25 - New Academic Schedule Begins
January 25 - Parent Q&A with School Administrators; 7:00 p.m.
February 2 - Grades Posted
February 3 - III Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. 
February 8 - Parent Speaker Series - Supporting Student Wellness
February 10 - St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
February 11 - IV Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. 
February 11 - Picture Day, Lower Center
February 11 - Battle of the Brews/Faculty & Staff Appreciation Day
February 15 - Presidents' Day, No Classes
February 24 - Community & Equity Day