News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
November 14, 2020
Thanksgiving Break & January Quarantine 

NEW: Transportation Available to Students for Thanksgiving Break
Please email Sue LaFreniere at suelafreniere@stmarksschool.org by Monday, November 16, if you are interested in reserving a spot on any of the following options. Space is extremely limited.

All buses will depart from the Front Circle:
  • Friday, November 20, 7:30 a.m. to Logan Airport
  • Friday, November 20, 5:00 p.m. to Logan Airport
  • Saturday, November 21, 9:00 a.m. to Logan Airport
  • Saturday, November 21, 9:00 a.m. to Connecticut/NYC

The bus to Connecticut/New York will leave at 9:00 a.m., arriving at the Milford, CT highway service area (between exits 41 and 40) at approximately 11:00 a.m. It will then stop at the McDonald’s restaurant (Darien, CT Exit 10 on Rt. 95S) at approximately 1:00 p.m. The bus will then continue into New York 1st Avenue at 86th Street in front of the Duane Reade (NE corner) at approximately 2:45 p.m., then on to Penn Station (front entrance, corner of 31st & 8th) at approximately 3:15 p.m. 

NEW: Thanksgiving Break Pick Up
Please sign up here for a 15-minute slot to pick up your student on either Friday, November 20, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. or Saturday, November 21, from 10:00 a.m. to noon. Students still need to enter a Boardingware request before they leave campus. Belongings can be left in rooms, but they need to be packed up and labeled with first and last names. Boxes and packing materials have been provided in a limited supply per dorm. Room keys and combination lock (if applicable) should be left in rooms as well. Please contact Luke Chiasson (lukechiasson@stmarksschool.org) or the Dean's Office with any questions or concerns.

November Boarding Departure Updates
During the November departure, students will be required to fully pack their rooms and will be able to leave belongings in their rooms. Packing materials will be provided and students will receive details from the Dean of Students Office by email. Boarders are required to complete a November Departure Boardingware leave by Thursday, November 12, to confirm the date of their departure from school. School closes and all students must depart by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21.

Updated: Book the Residence Inn for January Quarantine
If you wish to book a room at the Residence Inn Boston Framingham for quarantine prior to the start of January classes, please use this link: https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1603744582202&key=GRP&app=resvlink. Rooms are available from January 2 through January 20. Students must quarantine for 14 days before arriving at St. Mark’s for the first day of in-person classes on Tuesday, January 19. Please note, the rooms should be booked in your student’s name and St. Mark’s staff will assist with transportation from Logan Airport to the hotel and to St. Mark’s. Students should plan to check in by January 4.

The last day to book is Monday, December 28. Please book your reservation through our unique link so that our students will be together in the same block. If anyone has specific questions about the Residence Inn, please reach out to Director of Admission Anne Behnke at annebehnke@stmarksschool.org.

Reminder: Fall Experience Survey 
If you have not done so already, please complete the Fall Experience Survey that was released to parents and guardians on Monday, November 9. This survey will help the School gain information about your impressions of the fall experience at St. Mark’s. The survey complements the student survey that was administered in October and will help us identify areas for improvement for winter and spring instruction, and will also help us learn what you need to know more about in order to make an informed decision about your child’s winter and spring plans. 

Thank you very much for your attention to the survey. Please complete the survey by Monday, November 16. If you have any questions at this time, please send them by email to return@stmarksschool.org, which is monitored on a daily basis. 
 
Preview: Introducing Your New Parent Portal 
We are pleased to offer a preview and soft-launch of our new parent portal. Please visit www.stmarksschool.org/login-setup to set up your account. If you have any trouble retrieving your username or resetting your password, please view this tutorial video. On Tuesday, November 17, you will receive an official Parent Portal launch email with detailed step-by-step instructions, as well as tutorial videos, to assist you in the transition to the new portal. Window One grades will be available on the portal on Monday, November 23.

Academics News
As a reminder, Window One closed last Friday, November 6. Faculty will be at work in the coming weeks finalizing grades and narrative comments, which will be available through our Parent Portal on November 23.  

We are immensely proud of the adaptations our students and faculty have made over the course of this marking period to very different ways of operating in the classroom, and the ways that our learning community has stayed connected. Students will be hearing feedback in the weeks ahead on the work submitted over the past few weeks, and we have communicated that this is an opportunity to recalibrate goals, define new strategies, and also to reinforce good habits that are fueling success. 

With the recent advent of Daylight Savings Time, we appreciate the adaptation of members of our community who live in locations that do not observe Daylight Savings, which means that they are another hour "off" from the schedule in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, and perhaps finding it more challenging to connect to class meetings. We have asked for the flexibility of the broader community as we navigate this shift. Some class meetings have and may continue to occur at different times, including the morning and evening remote blocks, and some students may have to join smaller groups or 1:1 meetings with teachers to stay connected with the class. As a reminder, students are excused from classes meeting before 7:45 a.m. and after 11:30 p.m. in their home time zones, and should be communicating with their teachers to identify the right times to connect if class meetings will be happening on campus outside of these times.  

As we look ahead to the December remote period (Dec 1-18) and our return to school in January, a group of faculty, led by Classics Department Head Jeanna Cook and Dean of Academics Nat Waters are working on schedule changes that will provide the right supports for learning based on the lessons we have learned during this first stretch of the year. We will share details of an updated remote learning schedule as we get nearer to Thanksgiving Break, and a January return to school schedule before Winter Break.   

Weekend Activities
What's up this weekend? Select this link to view this weekend's campus activities.
 
Athletics News
St. Mark's Athletes Commit to D1 College Programs
Wednesday, November 11, 2020, was the first National Letter of Intent (NLI) signing day for high school athletes committing to play at the Division I level for college and university sports programs. Six current St. Markers have signed NLI agreements, and their names were announced virtually by Director of Athletics John Levandowski at the regular all-school meeting on the same day. Read More.

Congratulations! 
  • Jackson Coutu '21
  • Megan Miantsoko '21
  • Trevor Neff '21
  • Alicia Souliotis '21
  • Catie Summers '21
  • Lauren Tolve '21
 
Additionally, some young alumni have lately signed with D1 programs. Most recently, Danny Ciccarello '20 has committed to play ice hockey for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
 
View the virtual NLI celebration here:
Admission Virtual Open Houses
Do you know a family or student interested in attending St. Mark’s School? If so, please share our upcoming opportunities to connect with admission representatives, faculty, and current students to learn more about the topics below. Please register in advance below. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST - Student Life
Connect with members of our Dean of Students Office and current students to learn more about our clubs, weekend activities, and residential life program at St. Mark’s.
 
Saturday, December 12, 2020, 10:00-11:00 a.m. EST - College Counseling
Connect online with Eric Monheim, director of college counseling; Nora Guyer, associate director of college counseling; Jordan Studevan, assistant director of college counseling; and recent St. Mark's graduates to learn more about our student-centered approach to the college process. A registration link will be available in mid-November.
Register Now:
 
Campus News

November 11: Veterans Day and Founder's Day at St. Mark's
Two hundred years ago on November 11, 1820, Joseph Burnett, the future founder of St. Mark's School, was born in Southborough, Massachusetts. Almost a century later, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, the First World War came to an end. Originally Armistice Day, November 11 is now recognized as Veterans Day, while at St. Mark's November 11 has been celebrated for 150 years as Founder's Day.
 
Annual Report
St. Mark’s is pleased to share its 2019-2020 Annual Report.
 
For the first time ever, it has been produced in a fully digital format and includes a video highlighting the achievements our School has accomplished thanks to the generosity of our donors.
 
In addition to compelling profiles of students, alumni, and faculty, you can explore updates on our Lives of Consequence campaign initiatives and the positive impact this philanthropic support has made for our students, academic programs, and physical campus.


Parents’ Association

NEW: November 10 Parent Speaker Series 
Thank you to everyone who joined Tuesday’s Parent Speaker Series event, which covered highlights of the many extraordinary programs St. Mark’s offers. You can watch a recording of the event here.
 
Learn & Lead Parent Pop Trivia - November 18, 8:00-9:15 p.m. EST
Please join current parent Amy Frederick P'21 as she leads a fun and interactive evening of trivia! We’ve been missing all of the face-to-face personal connections this year, and this is a great opportunity to socialize with other parents. Register here to join the fun. 
 
NEW: Parent/Staff/Faculty Book Club - December 9, 3:00-4:00 p.m. EST
Our December title is A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende. At the end of the meeting, we’ll choose a book title to discuss at January’s virtual meeting. Interested in attending? Please email Laurie Kalapinski (lauriekalapinski@stmarksschool.org) or Joanne Flathers P’15, ’19, ’21 (joanne@flathersfamily.net) to receive the Zoom link the morning of December 9.
 
Other books suggested by members, in no particular order:
  • And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton
  • Holding On To Nothing by Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne
  • Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
  • Together Tea by Marjan Kamali
  • The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
 
Service of Lessons & Carols - December 16, 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST
Join us for the traditional service of Lessons & Carols, presented virtually this year. More details to follow.
Calendar News:
November 18 - Learn & Lead: Trivia and Form Connections
November 21 - School Closes for Thanksgiving Break
November 23 - Window One Grades posted in the Parent Portal
December 10 - Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club 
December 16 - Service of Lessons & Carols
December 28 - Last day to book the Residence Inn for January Quarantine