News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
December 11, 2020
NEW: Health & Safety Task Force Reminder
The task force continues to meet weekly and reviews national, regional, and local COVID-19 cases and trends. As part of the planning process for the spring, we would like to send an early reminder to families of students who plan to board. Please ensure you have established a local guardian ready in the case of an emergency or any other safety issue. One example includes housing the student for quarantine or isolation, should this be required. Per the policy located on our site:

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. We have secured the services of Gold Star, a student contact support emergency service, which may be helpful to some of our families.  
January Quarantine 
New: Important Video Message for Families Residing Outside the State of Massachusetts
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: 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
Academic News

NEW: Remote St. Markers: Carl Guo '22 Teaches Computer-Aided Design
While attending St. Mark's remotely in 2020-2021, Zifan (Carl) Guo '22 has been teaching Computer-Aided Design (CAD) to IV Formers as part of the School's experiential learning program. Read More.

NEW: The Cum Laude Society Announces Eight New Members
At the weekly virtual all-school meeting on Wednesday, December 2, Dr. Peter Glomset of the St. Mark's English Department announced the election of eight new members to the St. Mark's chapter of the Cum Laude Society.

The newest members of the Cum Laude Society at St. Mark's are VI Formers Kartik Donepudi, Frances Hornbostel, Grace Li, Cara Mulcahey, Waverly Shi, Samantha Wang, Lina Zhang, and Cathy Zhou. Read More.

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. 

Weekend Activities
What's up this weekend? Select this link to view this weekend's remote activities.
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:
*This event is for prospective students interested in applying to St. Mark's.

Reminder: 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:
*This event is for prospective students interested in applying to St. Mark's.

Parents’ Association

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.

If prompted, use Passcode: 366901

This information will also be included in an email next week. 

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

NEW: St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff book club - January 13, 2021
The next St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff book club meeting will be Wednesday, January 13, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:00 EST p.m. via Zoom. The January title is The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. At the end of this meeting, we'll choose a book for February’s meeting. 

 Interested in attending?  Please email Laurie Kalapinski ( or Joanne Flathers P’15, ’19, ’21 ( to receive the Zoom link the morning of January 13.
Other book titles suggested by members, in no particular order, are:
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
  • God Grew Tired of Us: A Memoir by John Bul Dau
  • Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators by Ronan Farrow
  • Woman on the Other Shore by Mitsuyo Kakuta
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum
  • And They Called It Camelot: A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis by Stephanie Marie Thornton

Calendar News:
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 13 - St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
January 19 - In-Person Learning Resumes
January 22 - Window 2 Ends 
February 3 - III Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. 
February 11 - IV Form Parent Chat, 7:00-8:00 p.m. 
February 15 - Presidents' Day, No Classes