Tory's Perspective
Hi everyone,

In honor of Civil Rights/Martin Luther King, Jr Day, this coming Monday, January 18th, we invite our entire community to engage with us for a speaker series event via Zoom. Ben Bacote, one of our Humanities educators, will be speaking on Monday evening at an event co-hosted by WVA/BBTS and also the Rey Cultural Center. Ben’s talk is titled “Where do we go from here?: A Survey of current events--civil rights' history, leaders, and past successes--and potential courses for future engagement" and will be held 6:30-7:30pm. All students are required to attend, and families are encouraged to attend – our goal is for this to be a community-wide event. During the day on Monday, we will have a standard training/school day.

We are not going to be a closing campus for a mid-February break as we had planned and described in our WVA School Calendar. I am a huge fan of breaks in February – it’s sometimes counter-intuitive to people why we try to take a break in the middle of the winter, but the period of time between the December holiday break and the end of the winter is a long stretch, and it’s important that students and staff get a chance to reset and recharge before the second half of the winter. However, given the current Covid climate, the fact that things have been going so well for us, and the fact that the logistics of departure and return are fraught for so many families with travel restrictions, testing requirements, quarantine, etc, we’ve made the difficult decision not to have this break this year.

Campus will therefore remain open through the month of February. We will modify the schedule for the 11th and 12th of February: we’ll be having our Annual community Winter Carnival celebration on one of those days, and also providing office hours and some academic time for anyone who has fallen behind or needs additional academic support.

I know this will be disappointing for many – not least of all our dorm and kitchen staff who truly deserve a break! – but we are measuring risks and rewards right now and the last thing we want to do is create a bunch of potential exposures at a critical time in our season. Thank you for your understanding.

Have a wonderful long weekend, and thank you as always for your support.
Academic Perspective
As we approach Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Day we need to pause and recognize the spirit and vision of Dr. King and reflect upon the life he led and the example he set, not only in words but in action. For many, this is a “day off”, a chance to get out do a little skiing, and enjoy the things that we love to do. Classes at the Academy will be in session and it is my hope that as we go through our day, we reflect upon the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and take with us his teachings living every day at our best. This day is set aside to raise awareness for those being discriminated against; however, we must never forget its importance finding inspiration in the words of Dr. King; “I look to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character”, inspiring hope for the future and today.

We are closing in on the next reporting period for which grades close on Friday, January 22nd. Both the Middle School and Winter Term students will receive Grade Reports. Full Term students will receive Progress Reports. As with the previous reports, parents and students will receive them via email. 

The next scheduled parent-teacher meeting is scheduled for February 10th. We are finalizing the plans now and I anticipate that we will go virtual with Zoom meetings and a pre-sign up as was done for the previous meetings. This format has definitely been different from the in-person meetings from the past; however, many more parents have been able to attend which is a plus. Please keep tuned!

If you get the chance to get out on the hill on Monday, take the time to remember why we are honoring Dr. King, and have a wonderful day. Hope to see you on the hill.

Student Involvement
WVA Winter Carnival -
February 11th & 12th
**note the date change**

Leading up to the 28th we will have various dress-up days! The next dress-up is this Tuesday 1/19 - Pajama Day

Can Drive Contest
Teams will compete to collect the most cans before 1/28. Collection bins can be found in the entry to the academic building
Civil Rights Day - Monday, January 18th, 6:30 - 7:30
Presenter Ben Bacote
WVA/BBTS is proud to co-host with the Rey Cultural Center a virtual speaking appearance from WVA humanities teacher Ben Bacote! This talk will be mandatory for students and we encourage all community members to take part.

Title- "Where do we go from here?: A Survey of current events--civil rights' history, leaders, and past successes--and potential courses for future engagement."
Abstract- "In celebrating Civil Rights Day, I believe it is essential to know what, who, and when you are celebrating. This talk is intended to further discussion, research, understanding, and debate. This talk is intended to further engender civic engagement. And, although my topic is ranging, I will provide a brief survey of seminal people, places, and events focusing particularly on African American History. I will do so to contextualize the past's successes, contrast our present dilemma, and provide models for future civic action."
Ben Bacote Bio- Education- BA- English PSU 2014; MA English SNHU 2020; Experience - Humanities Instructor 8 years Waterville Valley Academy- Father, Snowboarder, Writer, Activist

The Zoom link can be found on the home page of the Rey Center under "click here to join our speaker series"
Clay Day Video Contest!
The Clay Soper Memorial Weekend has been an essential piece of WVA/BBTS culture and community bonding for the past five years. Unfortunately, due to our current global situation, Clay Soper Memorial Weekend has been canceled. 

However, the Soper family wants to continue celebrating Clay’s Legacy and perpetuating his values of friendship and community. So this year we won’t be having races or gatherings to show that, but instead, every team apart of WVA/BBTS will make a one minute video depicting their version of #HaveAClayDay. This video can be anything you want that shows the values that Clay was known for #trust #adventure #kindness and #passion! A dance you guys find on TikTok, your team skiing or riding, or encapsulation of what it means to be part of BBTS. The videos will be evaluated by a group of panelists, where they will choose a winner. The winning team will get Clay Soper Merchandise, and their video will be posted on the website.

These times have been tough for all of us, but we still hope to find joy as Clay did for our community.
The folder above will be updates through out the year with updated photos from events, competitions, trips, and more! Check back often to see the latest!
College Corner/ Dorm Life
College Corner:

Three Cheers to all our seniors and postgraduates who have successfully applied on time to their college lists. This process is still trickling in, however, many applications are complete. A HUGE thanks go out to all the parents who helped and to the tireless commitment of our teachers who sometimes received requests to write a recommendation later than usual just due to the nature of the challenge in applying. It’s a collaborative effort. I am very proud of the written pieces I was privy to read and edit. They were thoughtful and exhibited hard work through the writing process. Now we wait, but for a few, we have news to celebrate!

First congratulations to Gabriel Ginder and Sam Sullivan on their acceptance to Castleton University in Vermont. Castleton offers many solid programs, as well as, a GREAT little club ski team that has made it to Nationals numerous times. More cheers go to Will Bertram for both his acceptance to Saint Michael’s College (with a sizeable merit award!!) and UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management (30% acceptance rate). Congratulations also go out to Will Bertram in his early decision deferral from Boston College and George Kwiecinski’s early decision deferral from Harvard University. As a college counselor, while being deferred can be temporarily disappointing, I view it as a win for any student striving for colleges at this level. It is extremely competitive. Deferral is hoping that if you continue to perform well and remain in good standing, you have a solid chance at a regular decision acceptance.

Residential Life:

Students are back and settled in. For the most part, we have ironed out the kinks in the schedule to best serve athletic time on the hill. Many thanks to the Directors of Food Service, Gary, and Susan Schofield. They are tireless in their effort to feed our residents with healthy options that provide optimal fueling. In my work with them, I truly get the sense they consider your children their own while they are here. They take their role seriously and it creates the foundation for the home/family environment. As a staff, we are working to remind, encourage and manage kids in their organization so that they can make sure to fit meals into their schedule and not approach their day “on the run” or “last minute.” Any encouragement from afar as a reminder of this helps. We are focusing on the fact that performance is increased 10-15% when the brain and body are properly fueled.

We are also making efforts to bring in more activities that draw those living in-house away from their technology. I have ordered murals for the walls to fulfill their requests to just paint the walls themselves with washable paint! I have also brought in a puzzle table that will be designated for that. We are trying to upgrade our cards and game collections. Twister, Pictionary, Scategories, Apples to Apples, Card/Cribbage board, newer Backgammon board, Code Names, Boggle and Monopoly, and a Poker set are a few of the games I am looking to stock. If anyone has them unused and sitting in their condos feel free to bring them by. I will put in an order after I assess what is available.

We will continue with our weekly meetings to address topics, watch segments together that might serve our purpose as an academic/athletic environment of developing adolescents, and to remind ourselves that everyone is working toward a similar goal that requires collective support of one another.

Talk soon,