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 September 2021

Family Weekend: Oct. 14-16!

Family Weekend 2021 will offer a combination of in-person and online events. We will provide more registration and event details in the coming weeks. In the interim, you'll find a link to the full schedule and weekend highlights below!


Families are Invited to Campus!

We look forward to welcoming all vaccinated family members to campus. In-person events will begin the evening of Thursday, Oct. 14 and will continue through Saturday, Oct. 16.  

Announced Holidays

Classes are canceled from Friday, Oct. 15 through Tuesday, Oct. 19! 

Students must remain on campus through their last official commitment. This includes games and other co-curricular commitments scheduled through Saturday, Oct. 16. However, if your child is finished earlier, they may depart campus after their final commitment of the weekend. This may be as early as the evening of Thursday, Oct. 14. All boarding students must return before 10 p.m. check-in on Tuesday, Oct. 19. See information below about submitting an absence request. 

Advisor and Teacher Conferences

While you are welcome and encouraged to come to campus, in the interest of everyone’s safety, advisor and teacher conferences will be conducted by Zoom. Space will be available for families to Zoom on campus if you do not have local accommodations. Locations will be limited, but we will do our best to assist you.

Conferences will be held between Thursday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 16. Here are some hints to help you navigate the scheduling process:

All appointments will be scheduled via a system called Calendly according to the dates below. Please mark your calendars because spots fill up quickly. Online registration for each date will open at 10 a.m. EST.

Date System Opens

Family Type

Appointment Type

Monday, Sept. 27

NEW families

Advisor appointments

Wednesday, Sept. 29

RETURNING families

Advisor appointments

Monday, Oct. 6

ALL families

Teacher appointments

Scheduling for all appointments -- advisor and teacher -- closes at 5 p.m. EST on Monday, Oct. 11.

Advisor appointments are 20 minutes, and teacher appointments are 10 minutes. Please schedule your advisor meeting first where possible. Advisors will have access to all of your student’s teacher comments and can provide an excellent overall picture of how your student is doing. It may not be possible to meet with all of your student’s teachers. If the School has any specific concerns about your student in a particular class, the advisor will contact you prior to the start of teacher-appointment scheduling to indicate the teachers with whom you should meet.  

COVID-19 Guidelines

All in-person Family Weekend attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated. Testing will not be required prior to arrival.  

The Family Weekend registration form will include a declaration of COVID-19 vaccination. Family members will be welcome in all campus buildings, including the dorms! All participants must remain masked indoors. We strongly encourage students to remain masked indoors when they are off campus. Testing will be conducted upon students' return to campus.

Absence Requests

Absence requests for any boarding student who will leave campus must be submitted through Veracross.

  • Log into Veracross and click “Submit Absence Request.”
  • Enter the departure date and time, the return date and time, and include destination and host contact information within the notes section.

If travel details do not adhere to departure and return guidelines, you will be contacted by the class dean.

Reminder: you must first authenticate your new login credentials to access Veracross. Instructions on how to do so were emailed directly from Veracross on Sept. 14.

Student Transportation from New York City - Reservations Required

Return transportation from New York City (Bryant Park, 42nd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues) will be offered on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. Reservations can be made between Sept. 20 and Oct. 5 online via OneCardReservations are required.

Click here for the 2021-22 transportation schedule.

Special Family Weekend Events

We are offering the following events as webinars prior to the start of Family Weekend so that all families may participate in what promise to be two enlightening and informative evenings.

2021 College Office Panel Featuring Jeff Selingo

The College Advising Office is pleased to offer a special event as part of Family Weekend. Join us for a webinar with Jeff Selingo, a leading expert on the college admissions process and New York Times best-selling author of Who Gets In and Why. Our panel will also include three college admission professionals: Stephen Farmer, provost for enrollment, University of Virginia; Ronné Turner, vice provost for admissions, Washington University (St. Louis); and Eric Maguire, vice president for enrollment, Wake Forest University. Together, the speakers will offer a retrospective on the last admissions cycle, which was the most competitive and unpredictable in memory, as well as thoughts on future trends in college admission. We encourage you to purchase and read Jeff Selingo's book in advance of the event.


Tuesday, Oct. 12

8:00 - 9:30 p.m.


A Focus on Student Well-Being

Hotchkiss is committed to creating and nurturing a school climate in which every student feels safe, seen, and supported. Please join as we welcome Suniya Luthar, Ph.D., of Authentic Connections, back to School "virtually" to continue the dialogue. Authentic Connections is a science-based organization committed to maximizing well-being in school communities and a leader in assessing and addressing stress within high-achieving communities and working with parents, faculty, administrators, and students to address it.


Wednesday, Oct. 13

7:30 p.m.

Further details and registration information coming soon!

Opening Days Videos and Photos

Video Highlights of Convocation and Matriculation

Convocation, the formal ceremony marking the start of the academic year, is a much-beloved Hotchkiss tradition. While traditionally held in the Chapel, this year, for the first time, the event kicked off with a spirited procession around the campus and down the driveway toward Main Circle. Bearcats marched dorm by dorm, a Hotchkiss flag was proudly flown, and more than 600 students cheered as they converged at Main. 

Speakers included Head of School Craig Bradley, Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Jason Larson, and School Co-Presidents Sydney Goldstein '22 and Izhaar Rosa '22. 

The Hotchkiss School | 21-22 Convocation

Matriculation marks each student's official entry into the Hotchkiss community. At a special gathering behind Harris House, the community welcomed Bearcats new to the School in 2020 and 2021. In a spirited ceremony that rang with cheers and applause, students formally presented themselves to the community by stating their preferred name, hometown, and class year, and proceeded to enter their names into a special archival book, thus officially "signing in" at The Hotchkiss School. 

The Hotchkiss School | 21-22 Matriculation

Hotchkiss Flickr Gallery

Catch a glimpse of the Opening Days action in these photo albums!

Important Announcements

The Launch of Veracross

Over the past several months, Hotchkiss has been in the process of implementing a new student information system called Veracross. This platform is a robust tool for managing academic and student life. 

Veracross will allow parents/guardians to view:

  • Your student's schedule
  • Your student's grades and comments (posted at mid-term and the end of semester)
  • Your student's attendance

You will also use Veracross to:

  • Update family contact information (address, phone numbers, email address, etc.)
  • Submit absence requests for your student


Student information from the current academic year will soon only be available on Veracross. To access it, you will need to create a Veracross account. On Sept. 14, a letter was sent to all parents/ guardians directly from Veracross. If you have not already created an account, this email will guide you through the steps to do so. 

Once your new Veracross credentials have been created, you'll be able to access Veracross from the Hotchkiss Parent Portal landing page. Simply click on the "Veracross Login" as shown.

Having trouble logging in? Please contact Registrar Heather Mechare at (860) 435-3186 for assistance.

A Message from the Mischianza (School Yearbook) for Families

Production of the 2022 Mischianza is in full swing! Each senior will receive a complimentary copy of the yearbook. Upper mids, lower mids, and preps may order copies from Herff Jones. Senior portraits are due Dec. 7. Ads are due Jan. 7.

Details are available on the Mischianza webpage.

Driver's Ed Classes Now Available!

Interested in having your boarding or day student take driver's education this fall? The Next Street's classes are virtual this year.

Click to find out further information.

College Corner

For Lower Mid Families


Lower mids have the option to take the PSAT on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The PSAT is a preliminary SAT (2 hours and 45 minutes) which measures skills in critical reading, math, and writing.

Find out more by clicking here.

For Upper Mid Families

Upper mids have the option to take the PSAT on Tuesday, Oct. 26. Registration is not automatic.

Click for more information.

2021-22 Standardized Test Dates

For a list of SAT, PSAT, ACT, and AP test dates, click here.

For Lower Mids, Upper Mids, and Families

As you know, Hotchkiss is no longer an AP school, and we do not typically encourage students to take AP exams.

While U.S. colleges have almost entirely gone test-optional (and have never required AP scores), UK and other European schools typically require SAT/ACT and up to five AP scores. (St. Andrews is a notable exception and tends to be flexible with testing from US students.)


If you anticipate that you will be considering UK or European schools, then you need to plan accordingly and consider taking AP exams. While our classes do not specifically prepare for APs, some of our classes, particularly honors and advanced classes, cover some of the AP concepts in various disciplines. Students should check with teachers in various disciplines about how particular classes align with APs, and the AP content/concepts that are not covered in the class.

Click here for AP exam registration information.




(PRIOR TO 2021-22)








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