News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
April 2, 2021
COVID-19 Update

NEW: Operational Phase Level Moving From Yellow to Green
Today, April 2, St. Mark’s changed its Campus Operational Phase Level from Yellow to Green. The School has not had any positive adult or student COVID-19 tests within the last week. We will remain in the Green phase as long as we do not have any new positive test results within our community. As the Green phase description notes, “All campus operations continue to run as per the current plan.” All members of the School community will continue to maintain a high level of awareness about ensuring all baseline health and safety protocols are in place.

Thanks to everyone for their continued attention to our safety protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing. Special thanks to our Facilities team for all of their work to keep the campus clean and safe, and to the Health Services & entire testing team for administering tests to members of the community twice each week. 

March Head’s Reflection 
 
NEW: Doc Avis & Miss Pliscz: Inspiration for Generations of St. Markers
When I first arrived at St. Mark's I was graciously welcomed into the Science Department by Doc Avis. I found him to be always supportive and encouraging and a good listener. Early on, in my first year, I asked if we could purchase an analog computer kit for the AP Physics students to put together, he approved it and took interest in what the device could do. Later on, the school installed our DEC digital computer, Doc Avis agreed it would be only available for student use, with an open door policy. He also agreed to modify the III Form Science course (required of all) replacing the physics trimester with computer science. This had many future ramifications, as students were able to study what the machine could do, the results of this policy you can find in the ranks of our alums. Read More from Head of School John C. Warren '74.

College Counseling News

NEW: Class of 2023 Parents/Guardians | Welcome Brian Kirchner and Matthew Pietrafetta of Academic Approach
Please join the College Counseling Office in welcoming Brian Kirchner and Matthew Pietrafetta of Academic Approach (our test prep partner) for an informational meeting via Zoom webinar Thursday, April 22 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EDT. The primary goals of the meeting will be to explore the differences between the SAT and ACT and provide a testing timeline. Time will be reserved for Q & A. Click here for the meeting Zoom Link.

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

REMINDER: 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.

REMINDER: 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.

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

NEW: Recording of Parents Speaker Series Event, Drawing on Science
On March 31, St. Mark’s Senior Teacher Barbara Putnam discussed why it is important to critically observe and how she embeds art into science. See the recording here.
 
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 - April 3 & 4
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