News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
December 4, 2020
January Quarantine 
 
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.


Academic News

NEW: LEO 8.02 is HERE!
LEO, the official academic journal of St. Mark's, is here with our second issue, featuring outstanding scholarly work from a variety of disciplines.
 
The November issue features work on synchronicity, sneaker art, Confucianism, and MORE! Support Leila, Amanda, Hudson, Steven, James, and Ms. Killeen.
 
Happy Reading,
Ms. Caron and the LEO Editors
Clara Hua, Brillon Joseph, Lina Zhang, Suha Choi, Thomas Li, and Andria Bao

New: Remote St. Markers: Sunny Li '22 Gives TEDx Talk in China
In mid-November, Jiamin (Sunny) Li '22 delivered a TEDx Talk in Suzhou, China. Her topic was "She and Culture," and Sunny addressed issues of cultural confidence and open-mindedness. Read More.

Reminder: Remote Schedule Update
As shared previously, we have been at work on adjustments for the daily schedule for our upcoming remote periods: December 1-15, and January 4-15
 
You will find a copy of the schedule here.
 
For more details on the schedule, you can view an explainer video here.  

Remote Schedule Notes
We are sensitive to the impacts of the different time zones on student access to class meetings, and have worked to schedule in a way that takes these needs into consideration. Students are expected to meet all class and community obligations happening between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. in their local home time zones. We have asked them to communicate with teachers and advisors to be sure we have identified the right times to meet, as well as any obstacles (technology, home life, etc ... ) that may be making it challenging for them to connect. Please note that this timing is a slight shift from the earlier expectation, but one that we hope still sets a reasonable school baseline.    

Teachers will be working flexibly with the schedule to identify three touchpoints for students over the course of the week—two "live" or synchronous connections, and one "at your own pace" or asynchronous connection. Teachers will set meeting times with an understanding of the time zones on their roster. In some cases, the whole class will be able to be together each day; in others, teachers will gather smaller groups of students in different blocks at times that work for them. As before, work should only be due on days where the course is scheduled to meet, and the total investment of time for courses (live classes and out of class work) should be no more than five to six hours for regular courses, and six to seven for advanced courses each week. 

Please note that per usual, experiential learning courses will not meet in the period between the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. We look forward to the resumption of this programming when we return in person after January 19.   
 
Just as in in-person operation, we are here to help overcome any challenges that may come up, but are asking students to be self-advocates, and access their support networks. 
 
January Schedule
As we look ahead to our return to campus in January, a group of faculty will continue working with community input—including data from the recent student and parent surveys—to redefine the right approach to an in-person and remote schedule for the winter, and will share a follow-up update later in December.  
 
We are still discussing whether to preserve the current approach to Wednesdays as remote class days, and experiential learning programming during the five day class week, as opposed to on Saturdays. As you can see from our remote schedule, we are imagining that Wednesday is a more robust day for class meetings, and have preserved space in our community blocks to locate experiential learning coursework. In either eventuality, we would be committed to supporting virtual connections for remote students and day students for whom it would be a hardship to get to campus on these days. 

College Counseling

Reminder: College Counselor Informational Zoom Meeting
Please join the College Counselors for an informational meeting and preview of Spring term Thursday, December 10, 8:00 p.m. EST. You can find the Zoom link for the meeting here. We look forward to seeing students and parents. 
Admission Announcements
Do you know a family or student interested in attending St. Mark’s? 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.
 
Reminder: College Counseling - Admission Virtual Open House
Saturday, December 12, 2020, 10:00-11:00 a.m. EST
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:

NEW: Academics - Admission Virtual Open House
Tuesday, December 15, 2020, 5:00-8:30 p.m. EST
Connect online with members of our faculty and current students to learn more about St. Mark's academics. Stay for the whole session, or come and go as you'd like throughout the evening. A preliminary schedule will be available in December.
Register Now:


Athletics News

NEW: Josh Bergers '22 Shines in N.E. Championship XC Race
St. Mark's V Former Josh Bergers was the top high school runner in the annual U.S. Track and Field (USATF) New England championship cross country race, held at Mine Falls Park in Nashua, New Hampshire on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Bergers, just 17, came in 11th out of 87 runners in the men's event. The top 10 finishers ranged in age from 20 to 28. Read More.


Parents’ Association

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
 
UPDATED: Service of Lessons & Carols - December 16, 8:00-9:00 p.m. EST
St. Mark’s Choir, under the direction of James Wallace, Director of Music, will sing new and traditional Christmas anthems and lead congregational caroling.

This full-length service will also include current faculty, student, and parent speakers, and favorite choral pieces from prior years, including songs performed in Belmont Chapel and at Trinity Church.

A Zoom link will be sent an hour prior to the event. 

NEW: Form Parent Chats
  • III Form Parent Chat - Wednesday, February 3, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST
  • IV Form Parent Chat - Thursday, February 11, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST

More details to come here in the Dean’s Weekly and in a parent email. 
Calendar News:
December 9 - Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club 
December 16 - Service of Lessons & Carols
December 18 - Winter Break Begins After Classes 
December 28 - Last day to book the Residence Inn for January Quarantine
January 4 - Classes Resume (remote)
January 19 - In-Person Learning Resumes
January 22 - Window 2 Ends 
February 3 - III Form Parent Chat, 7-8 p.m. 
February 11 - IV Form Parent Chat, 7-8 p.m. 
February 15 - Presidents' Day, No Classes