News from the St. Mark's Dean of Students, Dean of Academics, and Dean of Faculty
September 26, 2020
Important Recent Emails
Health & Safety Town Hall Recording
To view the recording of the Health & Safety Town Hall held on Thursday, September 24, select this link

To access all recordings from both Orientation and past Town Halls, please visit our website at this link.
St. Mark’s Welcomes 11 LEOS to the Pride 
St. Mark’s recently hired a number of “LEOS”—Leaders for Educational and Operational Support. LEOS will support students and faculty during the academic day in classes and activities conducted synchronously or asynchronously. This will include helping to manage virtual classroom transitions, supporting students who cannot be physically present, providing supervision for students during meals and traveling between classes/activities, and any other support duties as assigned. Please join us in welcoming the LEOS! Some are familiar faces and some are brand-new to our community.

To learn more about our new members of the pride, select this link.
Day Student Preparation & Important Notes
Day students are important members of our school community, and we strive to ensure their robust participation in the life of our campus. Following is some important information specifically for day students/temporary day students as we prepare to return to campus.

Health and Safety Information
Day students will have the opportunity to engage in St. Mark’s activities but will be required to complete an at-home health check including daily temperature screens through Boardingware before coming to campus. In order to consider the health and well-being of everyone on campus, day students are also expected to adhere to the social agreement when off campus. 

Masks, social distancing, and hand-washing are the continued expectations of day students when on campus. 

Students will have designated spaces around campus to store their belongings and access to study areas—specifically, in the MFAC for V and VI formers and the Library for III and IV formers for study and occasional online classes. 

Arrival and Parking
Day students do not have one specific arrival time in the morning and may arrive on campus at times depending on their schedule and academic needs. We ask that families and students sign up for certain arrival time blocks to assist in the management of student flow and accountability. 

For those planning to come to campus on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, day students are expected to check-in on campus starting at 7:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. in the MFAC and the Library Tent. Day students are asked not to come to campus after 10:00 a.m. 

Students will receive a bracelet confirming their completion of the health screen and check-in to campus which should be worn throughout the day.

Day students will need to sign into campus using the Boardingware app on their phone. Day students will scan their entry on one of the Boardingware disks located at the Library Tent and MFAC.

The drop-off for V and VI Form day students will be on the Route 85 side of the MFAC building. VI and V upperform students may park in the day student parking lot or at the Health Services Annex on Main Street. Day students who want to park in the day student parking lot will need to acquire a student parking sticker from Mr. Calagione or Ms. Cook, the Burnett Houses Heads. 

The drop-off for III and IV form day students will be the Front Circle of the Main Building. From there, Day Students should check-in at the Library tent located on the Library Quad (near the lion statue). Parking is available at the Health Services Annex (the former fire station; access this lot via Main Street).

Day students will also need to sign out from campus using the Boardingware app on their phone. Day students will scan their departure on one of the Boardingware disks located at the Library Tent and MFAC. Day students are expected to leave after their last commitment or not later than 6:00 p.m.

On the weekends, invited day students may return to campus for specific adult-supervised activities (i.e. athletic workouts) but may not enter campus buildings. For the first three weekends, day students should not come to campus for any other activities on the weekends. After the initial three weeks, we will evaluate the overall situation and examine the possibility of inviting day students on campus for weekend activities.

Day Student Specific Details
  • Day students will have lunch on campus in the Dining Hall, but are expected to have breakfast and dinner at home.
  • Day students will depart campus by 6:00 p.m. or after their last commitment.
  • Day students will not be permitted to leave campus during the day.
  • Day students will not be permitted to go into the Houses.
  • Day students should not bring off-campus treats to boarding or day student classmates on campus.

Once I check in to the Library Tent or the MFAC, can I go to other places on campus?
Yes. Obviously, you will need to go to classes and the Dining Hall. When you are not in a class, you may leave to go to other designated spaces (i.e. mask-free areas) or to offices (college counseling, etc.) or the bookstore.   

On Wednesdays, can I come to campus?
That depends. We are using Wednesdays as an opportunity to clean the campus and expect that most day students will not need or want to come. That said, with Advisor Block, some athletics, and times with teachers available, day students may be invited to come back for structured events. Our expectation is that very few day students will be invited to be on campus on Wednesdays. Coming to campus to socialize or to “hang out” is not allowed. 

Can students park in the new Front Circle parking lot?

Can I go into the Houses?
No. Day students will not be permitted to go into the Houses. Boarders are only allowed in their own residential House.

Once I arrive at School, can I leave campus during the day?
No. Day students should only drive to campus and leave St. Mark’s only when heading home.

Can I bring local treats to my boarding friends?
No. Day students should not stop at coffee shops or other food establishments to pick up and deliver treats or drinks for boarding students or other day students.  

Are Ms. Cook and Mr. Calagione still the Burnett House Heads?

Will temporary day students be a part of Burnett House?
Yes, temporary day students will be connected with Burnett House and should work with Ms. Cook and Mr. Calagione, the Burnett House Heads.

Will breakfast be available for day students in the Dining Hall?
Unfortunately, no. It's an issue around numbers, the schedule, and cleaning. That said, FLIK will provide “grab-and-go” food options in the morning at the library tent and MFAC for day students. We ask that day students not eat in the indoor spaces (since one needs to remove his/her mask). 

I am a new day student ... how do I get on to Boardingware?
The updated version and sign up information for Boardingware is listed below.
Boardingware Update
Dear St. Markers,
If you will be joining us at school for the fall you must be sure you have created a username and password for your Boardingware account. Boardingware is the app-based system we use to communicate between home and school about requested time away, sign-outs, and more. This year to support a healthy community all boarders and day students will complete a morning health check form on Boardingware before arriving at school and before leaving their residential houses.
Download Boardingware Student App
What do I need to do?
If you have already connected to Boardingware in previous years no action is required. Your username and password remain the same. Please test your password by trying to log in and use the "forgot password" feature if you need assistance.
If are new to SM or have never used Boardingware you will receive an email invitation from Boardingware (not from St. Mark's). Open this email and click to create a username and password.
Note: This username and password are not connected to your St. Mark's email and password.
When will I use Boardingware?
Because we are all committed to abiding by the COVID social agreement our only use for Boardingware in the first 3 weeks of school will be for the following reasons.
Day Student Use
Day students will use Boardingware to complete a health check form before arriving at school each morning. Upon arrival, students will receive a bracelet to wear indicating the form was completed for the day.
Day students will sign in upon arrival at the Library Tent or MFAC by scanning their phone with the Boardingware App installed on one of the checkpoints at these locations.
Day students will sign out when leaving school for the day (following your last commitment which may include athletics) by scanning their phone with the Boardingware App installed on one of the checkpoints at the Library Tent or MFAC.

Boarder Use
Boarders will use Boardingware to complete morning health checks. Upon confirmation that form is complete students will receive a bracelet to wear indicating the form was completed for the day.
What is the Morning Health Check Form?
The health check form will help keep all members of our community safe. All students will participate honestly in a self-screening to report any COVID related symptoms and will have their temperatures taken every morning before entering the school community.
ACTION NEEDED: Health & Insurance Forms
In preparation for the 2020-2021 school year, please complete both the Health Form and Insurance Form packets listed below ASAP
If you have any questions regarding the Health Forms Packet, please email Leslie Dowst, School Nurse, at All forms need to be returned via email to or faxed to 508-786-6010.
If you have any questions regarding the Insurance Forms Packet, please contact Jack Clemens, controller, by email at

PLEASE NOTE: Students will not be able to move into their dorms if these forms have not been completed. Additionally, since the return to campus will include COVID-19 testing and timed move-ins, there will not be an opportunity for the Health Services team to review missing health records upon arrival.
ACTION NEEDED: Family Information Forms
If you have not yet submitted your Family Information Form, please do so ASAP. The form was due on August 3. If you have any questions or need to access your snap code (sent from, please contact Sue Lafreniere at
ACTION NEEDED: Advisor Information Form
Working as closely as we do with students, the more we understand about a student's background, expectations, and potential areas of difficulty, the better prepared we can be to work effectively in supporting the student's success at St. Mark's. This information is primarily for the Faculty Advisor but will be made available in the Dean's Office to other adults who work closely with the student. We invite you to share whatever information will enable us to better understand and assist both you and your child. Please complete the Advisor Information Form found here.
Lion Card
The Lion card is the official identification card for all students and grants them access to the main buildings. The Lion Card comes with a prepaid spending account feature called Lion Cash that is the student incidental accounts. Students can use their card to operate student washers and dryers, buy textbooks, and other items from the bookstore as well as eat at the Lions' Den. There are no fees to use the Lion Card and you can add as much value to your card as you would like.

Incoming families received an email on September 10, 2020, with registration details. If you did not receive this email, please contact Sue LaFreniere by email at
Important Update Regarding Testing Requirements
All students—boarding and day—must present documentation of a negative PCR test that is no older than seven days old when they arrive on campus. 

  • Boarding students will need to present this documentation when they arrive at move-in.
  • Students in quarantine at the Residence Inn have already completed this requirement. 
Thank you. Please feel free to contact Director of Health Services Adria Pavletic at with any questions about testing.
Move in: September 26-27
The September move-in period has arrived!

On Saturday, September 26, and Sunday, September 27, boarding students and families have the opportunity to move themselves and their belongings into their House rooms. Students will also be asked to check in with Health Services and will then be directed to a tent where they will complete the required COVID-19 PCR test.

We will be following required safety protocols, which will include providing specific time blocks for families, as well as social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer, and escorts in and out of the Houses. In order to keep Houses de-densified, we ask that only one parent and one student are involved in this process, and that families adhere to the 30-minute slot when moving in.

  • Saturday, September 26 from 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, September 27 from 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 

Approximately 15 minutes before the one’s time slot, families should come to the Front Circle upon arrival in order to check-in. At the Front Circle, families will go to Health Services, where they will need to verify that their health records have been submitted and demonstrate the completion of a student’s negative PCR test (taken within the last seven days). At that time, a PCR test will be taken by St. Mark’s nursing staff. 

After visiting the nurses, families will be directed to the appropriate House where they will be guided to the student’s House and room.  

We ask that families are on time for their appointments and that they stay in their cars until we can ensure that the Health Services area and House are clear and available. If you are late or cannot make your assigned time, please contact the Deans’ Office as appointment times are allocated to maintain the appropriate density on campus and as such cannot be extended or changed without prior approval. If you are late for your start time, you will only have whatever time is remaining from your assigned appointment. 

After moving in, students will need to be quarantined in their House rooms until their PCR test results are returned. Our testing facility continues to report a 12-to-24-hour turnaround.

In their rooms, students will be able to set up their rooms and prepare for the upcoming in-person school week. The School will provide meals while students are quarantined in the Houses and will have someone checking in on them periodically while they wait for the test results.  

What to bring:
  • Seven double-layer cloth or two-ply masks (see SM mask guidelines)
  • Enough hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes to last at least the first two weeks of school
  • A fan 
  • Clothing that meets St. Mark’s dress code requirements (which has been adjusted for the 2020-2021 school year), in addition to comfortable clothing
  • A digital thermometer
  • At least one extra set of sheets
  • Laundry detergent (for mask washing)

What NOT to bring:
  • Any furniture beyond a small refrigerator, desk chair and plastic storage containers
  • Extra clothing that you will not need (ie Chapel Dress)

To sign up for a move-in slot, visit

Families who signed up for the incorrect House or for multiple spots should contact Liz MacArthur to make adjustments to their plan. 
Social Agreements for Students 
In these unprecedented times of a pandemic, it will take a shared commitment from each and every member of the St. Mark’s community to maintain the health and safety of all. We take great pride in being a caring and inclusive community where we value each other over self-interest and where we live by the standards of RUSH: Respect, Understanding, Safety, and Honesty. Therefore, as a member of the St. Mark’s Pride, students promise to protect their classmates, the St. Mark’s faculty, our families and neighbors, and myself by adopting the practices and attitudes summarized in the agreement.

Any student who feels uncomfortable or is unwilling to follow these standards and protocols, or feel that these standards and protocols are not sufficient, can choose to attend school remotely.

A student who does not fully comply with these standards and protocols will be required to attend school remotely for the time period (likely 14 days, but potentially the entire fall term) defined by the Dean of Students. 

Students: Please visit this link to agree to the social agreement:
Quarantining at Home
As previously noted, all students must quarantine at home for 14 days before arriving at St. Mark’s. Here are details on quarantining at home:

We all need to be mindful about possible contact with people who might be sick with COVID-19 in order to stay healthy as we come back to campus. That is the purpose of quarantine. Stay home!   

You can go outdoors to exercise, but you need to maintain physical distance at all times. 

Maintain as much physical distance as possible as you can with people in your home who frequently leave your home for work or have frequent contact with other persons outside your home. Try to avoid hugging or kissing. As always, avoid sharing food or drinks. 

Leave home only when absolutely necessary. If you do need to go out, please do the following:

  • Wear a mask at all times, keeping it over the mouth and nose.
  • Practice physical distancing.
  • Avoid any crowded situation.
  • Use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others (e.g., biking, walking, driving, or riding by car, either alone or with household members).
  • Wash hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds immediately after returning home.
  • Please do not use public transportation. If you need to ride in a car with members of different households, be sure to limit close contact and create space between others in the vehicle as possible. Improve air flow in the car by opening the windows or placing air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
  • Do not have any visitors to your house. Stay just with your family. If someone must come into your home, tell them you are under quarantine, wear a mask and keep six feet (two meters) between you and the visitor.

You can socialize with others outside your family as long as:

  • Everyone wears a mask at all times.

  • You maintain a distance of six feet.

  • You are able to visit outside or in a well-ventilated space.
Academic Support - Tips for Remote Learning 
Learning, Study, and Motivation Tips Webinar
The office of Academic Support recommended a webinar to students this week that featured Dr. Barb Oakely and Greg Hammons, co-instructors of the famous Learning How to Learn course on Coursera:
 A recording of the webinar can be accessed HERE
Academics News
We encourage students to connect with their advisors and teachers if they are having difficulty or confusion with the expectations in courses. Students should email our Help Desk ( with any technology challenges like access to Canvas or Zoom. We also would like to know about challenges related to computers, hardware, or internet connectivity, as we may be able to support and problem-solve around these issues.  
Add/Drop Period
While we have worked very thoroughly all summer to arrive at the correct mix of courses for each student, we recognize that in some cases we will need to make adjustments. We have been focused on placement-related moves for the balance of this past week, and will continue to work with students and advisors to ensure that students are placed correctly. 
During the formal Add/Drop period, September 21-25, we will consider requests for changes more broadly. As always, given the complexity associated with building the schedule, we cannot consider requests based on teacher or block preference.
The advisor is the first point of contact for all schedule changes. In lieu of the traditional add/drop form, advisors will work with students to ensure that all of the necessary approvals are in place before reaching out to request a change with our office. A member of the College Counseling Office must sign off on all V and VI Form requests. Once all signatures are in place, a member of the Academics Office will take the request under consideration. (Mrs. McBride for III and IV Formers; Mr. Waters for V and VI Formers). As a reminder, we aim to strike the appropriate balance between challenge and performance when considering a student's optimal course load. All students should follow their current schedules until they are notified by the Academics Office that an add/drop request has been processed.
Book Distribution
As an update to a previous communication, we are now planning for distribution of textbooks to in-person students here at school when in-person classes begin on 9/28. As a reminder, we stock all of the textbooks that students will need in their courses in the bookstore, and record those charges to a student's Lion Card. Many thanks to our Bookstore and Advancement staff who coordinated the mailing and delivery of textbooks to students who are studying remotely this fall. Questions about textbook ordering or other school materials may be directed to Mrs. Carol Peterson in the bookstore:
Experiential Learning
Director of Experiential Learning Mr. Camp reached out to the community earlier this week with the schedule for fall experiential programming. The VI Form began their core course work with the College Counseling Office this past Tuesday, and will have another meeting on Tuesday, September 22. III and IV Formers will begin their experiential meetings after our in-person opening, with the first meetings on Tuesday, September 29. As a reminder, each Form will be active in two seasons this year. The V Form has their "off" season this fall, and will begin their experiential coursework in January.  
Students received notification of the following dates for experiential programming this fall: 
III Form (led by Ms. Bates): The III Form Core course begins on Tuesday, September 29.
Dates--9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/10, 11/17
IV Form (led by Mr. Camp): The IV Form Core course begins on Tuesday, September 29.
Dates--9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/10, 11/17
VI Form (led by Mr. Monheim): The VI Form Core course begins today, Tuesday, September 15.
Dates--9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/13, 10/27, 11/10
Dress Code
St Mark’s dress expectations have always asked students to dress differently for the academic day in order to give respect to people and the work being accomplished. 

During the pandemic, however, the safety of our community members is the highest priority. The most effective way to mitigate risk is to wear cloth masks. Thus, the most essential piece of St. Mark’s dress expectations is your mask. Students should follow the St. Mark’s mask guidelines and wear masks that follow the R.U.S.H.(Respect Understanding Safety Honesty) expectations particularly concerning respect for yourself and for others and safety for all. 

Due to the hybrid environment, St. Mark’s is altering our normal and customary dress expectations to a more casual framework. St. Mark’s has adjusted its clothing policy for health, comfort, and practicality; the School presumes that students and faculty will comply with the overall framework.

Whether students are remote or on campus, student dress is expected to be “neat and clean” and be appropriate for the work and respectful of the community. Dress, whether in person or on a computer screen, should not be distracting.

There are some restrictions. In an academic setting, sleepwear (i.e. pajamas, bathrobes, and slippers) is not allowed. Underwear is not outerwear. Hats inside buildings are not permitted. Clothing with graphics should avoid inappropriate messages including, but not limited to, alcohol/drug/tobacco promotion, sexual innuendo, and offensive language. 

Chapel Dress (SM more formal dress expectations) has been suspended temporarily.
On Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays, students may dress casually in relaxed weekend attire.

Should I bring a blazer or dresses to school in the fall?
No. Chapel Dress (SM more formal dress expectations) has been temporarily suspended. Do not bring clothes that need to be dry cleaned.

Can I wear clothes other than SM sweatshirts or collared shirts/blouses?
Yes. While it is almost always appropriate to show off your SM pride, non-SM sweatshirts are allowed. 

Why no pajamas or sleepwear?
When preparing for an academic setting, students should transition to clothing that represents the work. 

Will we be going outside?
Weather permitting, some of our classes may be held outside, so be prepared. In addition, our mask-free zones are outside, and taking a break from one’s House room by taking advantage of the outdoors may necessitate warmer clothes. It’s New England, where fall is a beautiful season but where temperatures can vary greatly. Layers are a good idea.

E&R Laundry
For the 2020-2021 academic year, St. Mark’s School and E&R – The Campus Laundry will once again partner to provide laundry services to all interested students to better meet our community’s needs. For many years St. Mark’s School has partnered with E&R Cleaners - The Campus Laundry. This has been a way that E&R can help ease students into campus life by offering them a break in their increasingly busy schedules. Today, the service E&R provides students is more valuable than ever. We are fortunate to have E&R’s nearly 100 years of cleaning expertise available to you and strongly recommend that you take advantage of their services to help your student keep as clean and safe as possible.

For more information and to view E&R Laundry’s October promotion, select this link.

Please Note - To students residing in our Main Building dormitories:
We are excited to see you next week when you return to campus! Currently, construction is being completed to the new Gallery Entrance at the East side of the building. This addition to our Main Building will add a fully accessible entrance to this location. The student laundry room for the Main Building is adjacent to this work and will need to be closed for most of October and November. As a result, the School is covering the costs of the E&R Laundry service for the Fall. This will include the "Look Sharp Plan" which was shown on the flyer by E&R Laundry earlier this week and includes laundering of all articles of clothing and even including dry cleaning as needed. E&R Laundry will create a laundry bag with you name on it and the service includes pick up of clothes on Tuesdays and return of clean clothes on Fridays.

Let us know if you have any questions. You will be automatically signed up for the service.
Weekend Activities 
What's up this weekend? Select this link to view this weekend's campus activities.
Admission News | Explore St. Mark’s - Thursday, November 5
Do you know a family that might be interested in learning more about St. Mark’s School? Interested families are invited to connect with admission representatives and current students during Explore St. Mark’s on Thursday, November 5 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. More details to follow in the coming weeks about this event. 

Registration for Explore St. Mark’s can be found here:
Parents’ Association
St. Mark's Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club

The first 2020-2021 St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff book club meeting will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, October 7 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT.  
Please join us for some book discussion and a bit of socializing.
The two summer reading titles we will discuss are The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali and This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger.  
Interested in attending?  
Email Laurie Kalapinski at or Joanne Flathers at to receive the Zoom link invitation the morning of Wednesday, October 7. As always, interest does not mean obligation. We understand that circumstances can change quickly.
There’s no pressure to have read or finished both books either. At the end of this meeting, we will choose one book title to discuss at November’s virtual meeting. 
Not available to join, but would like to be added to the book club meeting reminder email distribution list? Please contact or to have your email address added.
We look forward to getting together!
Laurie Kalapinski
Joanne Flathers
Co-chairs 2020-2021

Volunteer Opportunities

St. Mark’s parents are automatically members of the Parents’ Association (PA).
Intended to keep parents connected to the School, as well as each other, the PA offers events, meetings, and volunteer opportunities that provide insight into the School community as well as ways to support the faculty, staff, and students.
We are seeking volunteers to fill the new positions of Form Parent Representatives. Parents may choose to pair up with others in their Form to share these responsibilities:
  • Provide a line of communication between the Form parents and PA Chairs, and work closely with the PA Chairs to provide successful parent programs.
  • Attend in person or virtually a Form representative kick-off meeting.
  • Attend Parent Speaker Series/Parent Association meetings, when possible, and encourage other Form parents to attend.
  • Host virtual meetings for Form parents, organized by the Advancement Office.
  • Welcome new parents to your Form.
  • For III and IV Forms, attend winter Parent Chats, if possible.
  • Host, or secure hosts, for two Form events a year, either in person or virtually.
  • If possible, attend Family Weekend, and volunteer to help staff events.
  • Support St. Mark’s with a gift to the Annual Fund.
  • Parents need not live nearby to participate—parents around the country and the world are invited to volunteer. This volunteer opportunity can be achieved virtually.

The Admission Office is seeking St. Mark's parents to be on Zoom chats with prospective parents on set days and times, expected to be held a couple of times each week October through January. Please stay tuned for more information about this volunteer opportunity.
If you are interested, contact Gage Gillis at
For other volunteer opportunities, please complete the 

Parent Virtual Meet & Greet - Thursday, October 8, 8:00 p.m. EDT

This will be a terrific opportunity for new parents, as well as existing parents who have new students, to connect with each other, ask questions, and learn more about the student experience at St. Mark’s. 

Scheduled speakers include:  
John C. Warren ’74, Head of School
Laura Appell-Warren, Director of Global Citizenship, History & Social Sciences Department Faculty
Parent Association Co-chairs Tom and Michelle Davis P’21
Annual Fund Parent Chair Mike Pellini P’20, ’23

Be on the lookout for more details in an upcoming email. 

Calendar News:
September 25-27 - Move-In Days for Boarding Students
September 28 - In-Person Classes Begin
October 3 - St. Mark’s Parent/Faculty/Staff book club meeting
October 8 - Parent Virtual Meet & Greet, 8:00 p.m. EDT