April 30, 2021

Dear Lower School Families,

Go Vikes! Our annual “All Day 4 CA” ended this morning, and it was wonderful to see the school spirit from our students and faculty as they dressed in maroon and gray yesterday. Thank you for all the support you show Academy and, with just five weeks remaining in the school year, we especially appreciate your support in the COVID-19 pod environment we have in place to help keep our children safe.

As mentioned last week, Wednesday, May 5th, is a Faculty Collaboration Day for our lower school faculty and staff so there will be no school for lower-schoolers that day, but there will be school for students in the Middle School and Upper School.

Our annual Student Information Form shared last week is due today. Please complete and return this form. Teachers will use this information as they work to create class placement lists for the 2021-22 school year. Please note this form is only completed for rising Explorers-Grade 5. Rising sixth-graders do not complete this form.

We continue our annual Rising Parent Evenings. These 45-minute meetings are an opportunity for you to see the academic program and highlights of the year your children will be going into next year. There is also an opportunity to ask questions. Homeroom teachers will be sending out Zoom links to you for the event, and we encourage you to join and learn more about next year’s program. All meetings below will begin at 7:00 p.m.

  • Tuesday, May 4th: Rising Grade 4 Parent Evening
  • Thursday, May 6th: Rising Grade 3 Parent Evening
  • Tuesday, May 11th: Rising Grade 2 Parent Evening
  • Thursday, May 13th: Rising Grade 1 Parent Evening

We will be conducting our annual ERB standardized tests the week of May 17th with makeup exams on the following Monday (24th) and Tuesday (25th). Please do not schedule any appointments, unless they are an emergency, for students in grades 3-5 during those mornings. Testing starts promptly at 8:20 a.m. and finishes at approximately 10:30 a.m. Fourth-graders will have a slightly modified schedule due to their musical performance. More details will be shared with fourth grade families in the weeks to come.

The Parent Book Club finished up our final meeting of the year on Tuesday evening. While we won’t have any more book club meetings this school year, the first book we will discuss next fall will be The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey. We will schedule our first meeting for September. For parents considering sending children to sleepaway camps this summer or in the future, I would highly recommend Dr. Michael Thompson’s book Homesick and Happy. I am a big proponent of sleepaway camps and worked in one as both a counselor and waterfront director for three summers while a college student in Iowa. From the book jacket, this sums up why every child should have the opportunity to attend a summer camp: “He (Michael Thompson) explains how camp ushers your children into a thrilling world offering an environment that most of us at home cannot: an electronics-free zone, a multigenerational community, meaningful daily rituals like group meals and cabin clean-up, and a place where time simply slows down. In the buggy woods, icy swims, campfire sing-alongs, and daring adventures, children have emotionally significant and character-building experiences; they often grow in ways that surprise even themselves; they make lifelong memories and cherished friends. Thompson shows how children who are away from their parents can be both homesick and happy, scared and successful, anxious and exuberant. When kids go to camp—for a week, a month, or the whole summer—they can experience some of the greatest maturation of their lives, and return more independent, strong, and healthy.”

This week’s parenting article is entitled “Why Your Kid Is Such a Tattletale” and is from this week’s The New York Times Parenting section. It can be found using this link.

Be well,

Head of Lower School