News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
March 26, 2021
COVID-19 Updates

NEW: St. Mark’s Moves to Yellow Phase 
St. Mark’s became aware of a positive case of COVID-19 in our community today (March 26). The individual is a day student. The student is in isolation at home until April 9. As a result, St. Mark's has moved to the Yellow phase of our Campus Operational Phase Levels. To view the full message, select this link or visit our COVID-19 Updates webpage.

REMINDER: Health and Safety Update
St. Mark’s continues to examine the latest CDC and Massachusetts guidelines and timelines as they relate to our existing health and safety protocols. This includes an examination of each update within our Health and Safety Task Force, along with our consultants at EH&E.

On March 17, Massachusetts announced its updated vaccine eligibility timeline. All persons age 16 or older will be eligible for a vaccine after April 19. This is a welcome update and means we will see more of our community receiving vaccines in April and May. Our Health Services team registered with the Massachusetts DPH Vaccine Unit for the possibility of distribution to allow us to administer the vaccine to our community; however, they are currently not issuing to sites our size. We continue to check the status several times a week. In the meantime, we encourage our day and local boarding families to preregister their student's age 16 and older on the Massachusetts vaccine preregistration site, found here.

We also closely examined the March 8 update from the CDC, which provided their first set of public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people (found here). Contact with others who could potentially be infected with COVID-19 continues to remain a risk. We are cognizant of this and the risks associated with our unvaccinated adults and students. In addition, the CDC notes, it typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. And, according to the CDC, scientists are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. 

The CDC also points out the following related to congregate settings, such as our campus: fully vaccinated residents of non-healthcare congregate settings...should continue to quarantine for 14 days and be tested for SARS-CoV-2 following exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

We examined these updates with our consultants and will continue to hold to our mitigation protocols in place, including our quarantine requirements. 
Finally, we are also closely monitoring the upcoming announcement from Massachusetts, expected next week, regarding the move to a stepped Phase Four, allowing for percentage-based occupancy at certain venues in the Commonwealth. We will review any impact of changes in phases to our overall protocols.

Thank you for your ongoing help in adhering to our health and safety protocols, and we will continue to keep you updated on any new developments.

2021 Prize Day 

UPDATED: Save the Dates! 2021 Prize Day
  • Baccalaureate | Saturday, May 29, 8:00 p.m.
  • Class of 2020 Diploma Ceremony | Saturday, May 29, 10:30 a.m.
  • Class of 2021 - 156th Prize Day Ceremony | Sunday, May 30, 10:30 a.m.

For more information, please visit the Schedule page of the 2021 Prize Day website.

Additional information regarding Prize Day was released to VI Form students, parents, and guardians on Thursday, March 25. Select this link to access the email.

Academics News

UPDATED: Window Three Closed on Thursday, March 25
Window Three closed on Thursday, March 25.  We will have a "no homework" weekend on March 26-29 for the community to catch their collective breath before jumping into Window Four on Tuesday, March 30. VI Formers will complete their yearlong and semester courses on May 14 before moving to a specially designed culminating experience in the following weeks. The second semester will conclude for III, IV, and V Formers on May 27.
 
Faculty will post grades for Window Three, along with a cumulative "year to date" mark, and narrative comments to provide context for each student's work in class. Grades and comments will be posted on the parent portal on Monday, April 12.
 
NEW: Experiential Learning
Our spring Experiential Learning offerings will be starting up for the III, IV, and V Forms on Friday, April 2 in the afternoon experiential blocks. These courses are designed to connect with the core themes for each form as ordinarily presented in St. Mark's Saturdays, and to channel something of the experience that each form would ordinarily have as a part of Lion Term. Experiential course meetings will take place on Fridays throughout the spring: April 2, 9, 16, 30; and May 7, 14, and 21. It is the VI Form's turn for an "off" season from experiential learning; they will be gearing up for the time capsule projects that they will complete during the specially designed VI Form culminating experience that begins on May 17.
 
REMINDER: 2021-2021 Academic Course Catalog
The 2021-2022 Academic Course Catalog is now available to view at this link.
Admission News

REMINDER: Important Re-Enrollment Information

Parents of Current III, IV, and V Formers: 
Student Re-Enrollment Contracts for all returning students in 2021-2022 will be issued online beginning next month. Like previous years, contracts will be accessed via School Forms Online powered by inResonance.These will be sent to both parent email addresses for each household, if applicable. The email addresses which will be utilized are the primary emails listed for each parent currently in our database (unless you share an email in which case these will be sent to only one). If your email for contract purposes has very recently changed, please email lauriekalapinski@stmarksschool.org with your updated information.  
 
Tuition Payment Program Information & Due Dates:
The School utilizes FACTS Tuition Management Company to help manage tuition payments and enrollment is required for the semiannual and monthly plans (Plan B & Plan C) or in other words, anyone not paying in full. FACTS is used by many schools locally and over 6,500 schools nationally. Additional information is available about FACTS on our website.

Please note, payment due dates for all three payment plans are July 1, including the 10-month payment plan (Plan C). For those who would like the 12-month plan, your first payment is due in May. This plan along with the semi-annual plan (Plan B) require a FACTS agreement.
 
Timeline: 
  • Beginning March 15: re-enrollment contracts have started to be sent out online from admission@stmarksschool.org via sendgrid.net (with an invitation link). Please make note the subject line of the email you will be receiving for this is "St. Mark's School: Confirm your email.” Contracts will continue to be sent out over the next few weeks, if not "On Hold' by any of the school's departments.
  • By April 20: completed re-enrollment contracts and deposits are due by the end of this business day. Reminder that deposits are separate from tuition.
Parents' Association News

Parent Submissions Needed: What Do You Love About St. Mark’s?
The St. Mark’s Office of Communications is putting together the next issue of St. Mark’s Magazine, and they would like to know what you love about St. Mark’s. Your submissions will be part of the cover story for this issue, which is expected to be published in early summer. Please let us know what you love about St. Mark’s by March 31 here. 
 
March 31 at 7:00 p.m. EDT - Drawing on Science
We are all scientists doing field work; learning how to observe critically serves students in art and science. Join St. Mark’s Senior Teacher Barbara Putnam and hear why it is important to learn how to see, and how she helps students develop art skills that are valuable to science and how she embeds science into learning how to observe. Register here. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants an hour before the event.
 
April 14 at 3:00 p.m. EDT - Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
The next book club meeting will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, April 14, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. We will discuss The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.
 
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 April 14.
 
At the end of this meeting, we’ll choose a book for May’s virtual meeting. 
 
Other book titles mentioned by members, in no particular order, are:
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Doll-baby by Laura Lane McNeal
  • A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
 
 
April 26 - Parents As Partners: Building a Social Justice Mindset
Colleen Worrell, director of the Center for Innovation for Teaching and Learning, highlights the program she presented during the St. Mark’s Community & Equity Day on February 24. This interactive program will give parents a lens into how and what their children are learning at St. Mark’s. More details will be in upcoming issues of the Deans’ Weekly and sent to parents in a separate email.
Calendar News:
Weekend Activities - March 26-29
March 26-29 - No Classes, Spring Days Off/Midsemester Weekend
March 31 - Drawing on Science, 7:00 p.m. EDT
April 6 - No Classes, Spring Day Off
April 19 - No Classes, Patriots' Day
May 5 - No Classes, Spring Day Off
May 20 - No Classes, Spring Day Off
May 24-30 - Prize Day Week