News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
October 23, 2020
No Classes on October 26
As a reminder, there are no classes (hybrid or remote) on Monday, October 26. This Monday break from academics after parent conferences has been a normal and customary part of the annual schedule.
 
St. Mark’s 2021 Plans
Click here for a link to an email sent to families today from Head of School John C. Warren regarding January plans.
 
New CDC Guidance Regarding “Close Contacts”
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) changed its definition of what it means to be in close contact with an infected person and therefore at risk of contracting COVID-19. The agency made the update in its published guidance for coronavirus contact tracing on Wednesday. The new guideline says close contact means being within six feet of an infected person for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. The previous guideline said a person was at risk after 15 minutes of exposure within six feet of an infected person. We will be communicating the change to students.
 
Social Agreements
Please review and adhere to the social agreements for students and families, which can be found on this page: https://www.stmarksschool.org/campus-life/getting-ready/community-and-residential-life. Cooperation with these agreements is the best way to ensure that the School remains open. 
 
Academic Support
Ms. Eslick is offering drop-in office hours for students via Zoom every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET. Please encourage your St. Marker to come and chat about learning strategies! Students who cannot attend at this time should email Ms. Eslick for an appointment
 
Academics Update
We are hopeful that advisor/family conferences this week helped to surface patterns of success and challenge, and will provide a good springboard to any additional supports or problem solving that we can provide to help your student find success. As a reminder, if you had difficulty reaching or connecting with an advisor this week, please reach out to Carla Gomez, carlagomez@stmarksschool.org, who can be helpful in facilitating the connection.  
 
Advisors will continue to be an important support for students as we move towards the end of the first grading window--a period of time that often is accompanied by an uptick in workload and graded assessments. In the Academics Office, we are eager to partner with students, families, and faculty to identify effective strategies for addressing challenges as they arise in classes.  
 
Please also be mindful that we report cumulative grade information to families following the close of each quarterly marking period, or window. Faculty compose narrative comments to accompany grades at the close of Windows One and Three only. Families will receive a summary of each student's overall life at school in the form of an Advisor letter at the close of each semester (in January and June). Window One will conclude on November 6, with grades and comments posted on the Parent Portal on November 23.
 
New Parent Portal Coming Soon
The new St. Mark’s parent portal is coming soon! This will be your one-stop hub for information about your student including grades and schedules, calendars, Lion Card and Boardingware links, Parents’ Association information, and more. Stay tuned for more information about the new portal in the weeks ahead.
 
Weekend Activities
What's up this weekend? Select this link to view this weekend's campus activities.
 
Confirmation and Baptism at St. Mark's 
Christian confirmation and baptism preparation for students is held on campus beginning in late February. This preparation leads up to a service in our own Belmont Chapel in late April, assuming our progress on COVID-19 makes such a service possible. Students from all Forms and denominations are welcome to participate. If you and your child are interested in this program, contact Head Chaplain Barbara Talcott.
 
Status Change Request
If any day or remote students are interested in changing their status to boarding, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students for availability.
 
Admission Parent Volunteers Needed
The Admission Office is seeking parent volunteers to meet with prospective parents virtually this season. Since we are unable to hold these meetings on campus 'in the parlor,' we are shifting them to Zoom sessions. They will be held three times a week, every week (except during Thanksgiving break and winter break). Each will be roughly 30 minutes in length. If you helped in the past and would like to assist with these or you haven't been able to volunteer in the parlor before due to your location away from campus, now is your opportunity! We'd love to have you.
 
If you are interested in volunteering for this purpose, please contact our Head Admission Parent Volunteer, Marisa Macri P '21 at marisamacri@comcast.net. Marisa will be able to provide you with more information on these sessions along with the SignUpGenius information with the volunteer schedule. Additionally, if you have any other questions about these, feel free to reach out to Jenny Golding P '07,'09,'13, in the Admission Office at jennifergolding@stmarksschool.org.


Spiritual Reflections
Twice a week, we gather for prayer, meditation and reflection, St. Mark's School style. The Chaplains at St. Mark's would like to offer that same kind of reflection to you, twice a week, by email. Reflections will be short and inclusive: mindful of the present, but rooted in the eternal. Sign up if you are interested, and spread the word!


Athletic Council
The Athletic Department is excited to announce that the following VI Formers were recently elected by our varsity coaches to lead this year's Athletic Council. Please join me in congratulating:
  • Chris Dwirantwi
  • Brendan Gibbons
  • Delaney Grace
  • Ryley Holmes
  • Jacob Silvester
  • Lauren Tolve

These leaders will serve as a liaison with the athletic administration and student-athletes, assist the Athletic Department with the seasonal athletic ceremonies and other athletic-related events, and meet regularly with the athletic administration to share feedback/insight into the experience of our student-athletes. Go St. Mark’s!


Join us October 27-29 for St. Mark’s Philanthropy Days!
Preserving our School’s academic mission and living and learning community have always been top priorities. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, St. Mark’s is committed now more than ever to ensuring our students have the level of education they deserve to lead lives of consequence. 

We can only accomplish this with the care, dedication, and resilience our St. Mark’s community consistently shows. We look forward to our community coming together to show its support for St. Mark’s Philanthropy Days from October 27-29.

Good news! An anonymous donor has dedicated an additional $50 for the first 200 gifts received during the campaign. 
 
Please help us spread the word about this important event. Inspired to give now? You can do so here, and your gift will still count toward our campaign. Thanks for your support!

Parents’ Association
Below is a list of upcoming events. Please reach out to Parents’ Association Co-chairs Michelle and Tom Davis P’21 at St.MarksPA@gmail.com if you have any questions.
 
St. Mark’s Philanthropy Days
Tuesday, October 27-Thursday, October 29
See more details above
 
Learn & Lead - Postponed, Date TBD
Topic: Navigating the III Form
 
Parent Speaker Series
Topic: State of the School and an Update on Academics
Tuesday, November 10 
7:30 p.m. EST
Join Head of School John C. Warren ’74 as he reflects on the start of the 2020-2021 school year, and hear updates from other School leaders about St. Mark’s academic programs. You’ll learn more about the faculty’s summer professional development, and our continued efforts to deliver the best learning experience for your children in the current environment. The evening will also include brief updates from Parents’ Association volunteers. 
 
Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
Topic: A Discussion About The Red Address Book
Wednesday, November 11
3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Contact Joanne Flathers P’15, ’19, ’21 (joanne@flathersfamily.net)
or Laurie Kalapinski (lauriekalapinski@stmarksschool.org) for more information.
 
Learn & Lead: Trivia and Form Connections
Wednesday, November 18
We'll have some fun with trivia, and then break out into groups by Form to continue your conversations. This will be a great opportunity to catch up socially with parents in your child's Form. We have been missing all of the face-to-face connections this year!
 
Service of Lessons & Carols 
Wednesday, December 16 
8:00-9:00 p.m. EST
Join us for the traditional service of Lessons & Carols, presented virtually this year. While we are still determining specifics of the event, please save this date and plan to tune in for this St. Mark’s tradition.
 
Important Note: Topics, dates, and times are subject to change. Updated details will be in the Deans’ Weekly and upcoming parent emails.
Calendar News:
October 26 - No Classes
October 27-29 - St. Mark's Philanthropy Days
November 5 - Admission - Explore St. Mark's
November 6 - Window One closes
November 10 - Parent Speaker Series
November 11 - Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club Meeting
November 18 - Learn & Lead: Trivia and Form Connections
November 23 - Window One Grades posted in the Parent Portal
December 16 - Service of Lessons & Carols