News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
December 19, 2020
January Quarantine 
New: Important Modification to January Quarantine Requirement
Previously, we announced that all students must quarantine for two weeks in Massachusetts if they are arriving in January from any location outside Massachusetts. Based on a recent examination of this policy, along with guidance from Environmental Health & Safety (EH&E), a student quarantine at home in any state is now permitted provided the requirements below are followed:

  • A 14-day quarantine with no contact with others outside of the home and no travel outside the home must be completed. We also ask that family members limit contact with others, especially large groups, to the extent possible.

  • Students must arrive on campus with a negative COVID-19 PCR test result that is no more than seven (7) days old. Leaving the home to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test does not violate the quarantine requirements.

  • Students must arrive via private transportation directly from their quarantine location without staying overnight at another location, such as a hotel, en route.

The School's testing protocols, as recommended by the outside consultants at EH&E, remain in place and provide for risk reduction and the ability to determine any positive cases quickly. This includes the COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival administered by the School. The Health & Safety Task Force will continue to monitor Massachusetts travel guidelines for any changes and to ensure all remain in compliance with state requirements.
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: 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 President’s 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. 
 
Update: January Schedule
We are proud of the efforts that students and faculty have invested in the transition to remote learning in recent weeks, and hope that the upcoming break will provide some well-earned rest! As a reminder, we will continue to operate according to the remote learning schedule when classes resume on January 4. Our plan calls for in-person learning to resume on campus on Tuesday, January 19, with the end of the second window and first semester falling later on that week—Friday, January 22. In order to manage stress and workloads at a customarily stressful time, and help students adapt back to the routines of in-person learning, we will run an adjusted schedule that week, with each color block holding one 60-minute meeting to wrap up the work of the semester.    
 
Our new in-person schedule will begin at the start of the second semester, Monday, January 25. Notable updates will include the return of Wednesday as an in-person learning day with course meetings occurring throughout the morning and early afternoon. We will also shift away from the fully remote start, with classes beginning at 8:00 a.m. each day. Athletics will run on a staggered practice schedule as we customarily do in the wintertime, beginning at 2:00 p.m. and running through about 6:30 p.m. each day. Saturdays will remain a no-class day, with experiential learning coursework taking place in one 60-minute block during the week. As before, classes will be examining the remote/in-person composition of their classes and determining the right mix of "live" (synchronous—in-person or remote) and "at your own pace" (asynchronous) activities to advance the learning. We will provide a detailed look at the schedule and an explainer video after we return from break. Please know that we are prepared to support day student families in navigating any transportation challenges they anticipate as a result of changes to the daily schedule in the mornings, or on Wednesdays.
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.

NEW: Athletics - Admission Virtual Open House
Saturday, January 9, 2021, 10:00-11:30 a.m. EST
Join John Levandowski, director of athletics, members of our Athletic Department, and student athletes to learn more about how the St. Mark's community embraces athletics as an integral component of our students’ overall education, designed to teach resilience, teamwork, goal-setting, and a lifelong commitment to health and fitness.
Register Now:
*This event is for prospective students interested in applying to St. Mark's.


Parents’ Association

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

Updated: St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff book club - January 13, 2021
Our next meeting will be Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST 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 (lauriekalapinski@stmarksschool.org) or Joanne Flathers P’15, ’19, ’21 (joanne@flathersfamily.net) to receive the Zoom link the morning of January 13.
 
Other book titles suggested by members, in no particular order:
  • 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 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