News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
April 17, 2020
Thank you to those who emailed me about my location on campus last week! I want to send a shout out to Cathy Gould, Nick Noble, Jenn Griffin, Matt Brush, the Alexander Family, Faride Santana, Rob Harper, and Paula Hornbostel. I was located next to the southern lion statue outside the MFAC near Taft Hall and the Day Student Parking Lot.

Watch the video above to learn more about a new project taking place in front of Belmont Chapel! Age Quod Agis, Dean Vachris
What’s On Your Mind?
All of us at St. Mark’s are interested to know what is on the minds of our parents during this incredibly challenging time for St. Mark’s families. If you have questions that have not yet been answered or topics that you feel need to be addressed in greater depth, please let us know by emailing . We’re all in this together! Thank you.
Academic News
Please Note: Patriots' Day (Monday, April 20) - Remote Classes Will be Held
Classes will be held on Patriots' Day, Monday, April 20.

Parent Remote Learning Survey
Please use   this survey  to send us feedback about your family's experience with St. Mark's remote learning. Feedback from this survey will be shared on an ongoing basis with the Academic Council, Community Life Council, head of school, senior administrative team, and others as appropriate. You can return to this survey and submit additional responses at any time. If your feedback varies by child, feel free to submit separate responses. Take Survey .

Poetry Week
Full remote steam ahead! St. Mark's annual Poetry Week (during National Poetry Month) will take place with as many of the same activities as usually planned, along with some new virtual opportunities. A creative writing champion, IV Former Kendall Sommers conducted our first virtual poetry workshop this week based on one she took through the Pulitzer Center, and she will be hosting more throughout the month and next week during Poetry Week 2020 (4/20-24). We will also have challenges, contests, a poetry chapel, readings, a Poem-A-Day, and more, synchronously and asynchronously. All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to join in! The Vindex Prize Day issue submission deadline is extended into this week for last-minute creative work. Though we will not be able to host a fundraiser this year for PEN America, supporting writers living in exile, we hope to do so again next year. It should be a joyous week of words!

Screen Time During COVID-19
Please take a moment to check out this article that speaks about screen time during COVID-19. These are unusual times and it is important to understand that the use of technology will be important for all of our kids. The article asks you to cut yourself some slack, understand not all screen time is the same, and embrace the boredom of isolation.
COVID-19 Resources
Admission News
Re-Enrollment Reminders (Deadline this Monday, April 20)
Parents of Current III, IV, and V Formers: 
Student re-enrollment contracts for most returning students in 2020-2021 have been issued online at this point. Contracts should be accessed again via School Forms Online powered by inResonance. Released re-enrollment contracts were sent out online from via (with an invitation link via email). Please make note that the subject line of the email you will be receiving for this is "St. Mark's School: Confirm your email". These have been sent to both parent email addresses for each household, if applicable. The email addresses 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 you have not received your contract by now and are unsure as to why or have other questions or concerns, please reach out to Anne Behnke . Thank you for your continued support of St. Mark’s as we work through this difficult time together.
By Monday, April 20 please complete and submit your re-enrollment contracts and deposits. Please remember that along with the submitted contract, your deposit is also required and due at this time. These are due by the end of this business day, unless otherwise specified.  
Dean's Office News
Student Leadership Process Explained
Check out this Loom video from Mr. Vachris that goes through the five major leadership selection processes and timelines. Watch Now .*

*Correction in the SDC section. The VI Former with the most votes becomes Head of the SDC (not IV Form).

Student Leadership Selections
We are starting the student leadership selection process for next year. Kicking off the season with Monitor elections. Interested VI Formers submitted their leadership applications and attended SMLeads sessions. Last week, we held our traditional Meet the Monitors event with questions and answers over a Zoom meeting. It was different, but the candidates did an awesome job presenting themselves to the SM community. Not an easy thing to do. We hosted the Monitor elections on Monday, and we announced the 2020-2021 Monitors on Wednesday during School Meeting.

After the Monitors selections, we move into the process for selecting students for the Student Discipline Committee, House Prefects, Peer Discussion Leaders, and Pathway Prefect. We will explain more about each of these processes in next week’s Deans' Weekly newsletter.

Housing Lottery
The housing lottery takes place in early to mid-May. All St. Markers should have a conversation with a classmate whom they feel they can room with for the coming academic year. While some singles may be available, they are first granted to House Prefects followed by VI Formers. Most of our students for the duration of their time at St. Mark's have roommates. As the process nears, encouraging honesty and an open mind are very helpful. Students will receive more detailed information in late April.

Advisor Selection
The advisor selection process for next year starts in the coming weeks. Returning students will be completing Advisor Preference forms. Students are guaranteed to be able to keep their current advisor if they wish to do so (and students whose advisors are returning, around 80 percent usually opt to do so). Students who wish, or need, to change advisors are required to provide five names, in order of preference, of those they would be comfortable having as an advisor. 
Spiritual Reflections
Twice a week, we gathered for prayer, meditation and reflection, St. Mark's School style. The Chaplains at St. Mark's would like to offer that same kind of reflection to you, twice a week, by email. Reflections will be short and inclusive: mindful of the present, but rooted in the eternal. Sign up if you are interested , and spread the word!
Parents’ Association News
Form Parent Town Halls
Please join our Form Parent Town Halls next week for an informative discussion about how St. Mark’s is supporting students and families under current conditions. This is an opportunity to bring parents together to ask questions and engage in conversation with School administrators about how St. Mark’s is responding and adjusting during this time.

April 21
III Form | 7:00- 8:00 p.m.
IV Form | 8:15-9:15 p.m.

April 22
V Form | 7:00-8:00 p.m.
VI Form| 8:15-9:15 p.m.
Scheduled Speakers
  • Introduction by Parents’Association Co-Chairs, Michelle and Tom Davis P’21
  • John Warren ’74, Head of School
  • Kenneth Griffin, Chief Technology Officer and Chair, COVID-19 Task Force
  • David Vachris, Dean of Students
  • Nathaniel Waters, Dean of Academics
  • Eric Monheim, Director of College Counseling and Director of Strategic Projects (For V and VI Form)

Parents are invited to submit questions until 5:00 p.m. Monday, April 20

While your questions will help guide the evening’s conversation, we may not be able to respond to everyone due to the time limitation. However, our COVID-19 Updates page on the School’s website details the School’s correspondence thus far to the St. Mark’s community.

Join Through Zoom
For added security, a Zoom link will be emailed approximately 60 minutes before the start of each meeting.

A recording of this meeting will be sent to parents after the event.
We look forward to having you join us April 21 and 22. 

Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club: New Date: April 22
Our book club will meet over a private Zoom meeting on Wednesday, April 22, at 3:30 p.m.  We will not be discussing the intended book titles planned for this April meeting, but rather what members are reading, have read, or plan to read, if any titles at all. In addition, we will discuss favorite titles of our adult reading lives.
Interested in attending? Please reply to this email or email your interest to Laurie Kalapinski at or Joanne Flathers at anytime to receive the Zoom link invitation the morning of Wednesday, April 22. Interest does not mean obligation. We understand that circumstances can change quickly.
St. Mark’s News
New Monitors Announced for 2020-2021
At a creative remote all-school meeting hosted by the current Monitors, the new Monitors for 2020-2021 were announced.

The co-Head Monitors for next year will be Lily Wang Luo and Tommy Flathers. Also serving as Monitors with Tommy and Lily will be Brooke Farrell, Jake LaMalva, Kaley LeBlanc, Megan Miantkoso, Henry Sansone, and Richard Zhang.

Congratulations to the new Monitors! Read More .
The Past is Prologue: We've Been Here Before
Spring sports cancelled. No Groton games. No more in-person spring classes. No VI Form Dance. No Prize Day on campus.

Sound familiar?

Well, that was St. Mark's some 84 years ago, in the spring of 1936. You see, we've been here before.
Calendar News:
April 20 - Classes will be held on Patriots' Day
April 22 - Parent/Faculty/Staff Virtual Book Club