WVA PERSPECTIVES
Tory's Perspective
Hi everyone,

This feels like it’s been a big week in the Covid numbers, and I’m pretty happy we’ve made it through (so far… Knock on wood! Light a candle or say a prayer, whatever is your thing!) We are so grateful to our students and staff for their ongoing flexibility and support in following all our Covid protocols. I think we’re doing a great job, so far, and although I certainly have ongoing trepidations, I am incredibly proud of our school community.

One of the Covid-muscles we’re flexing this year is the muscle that lets us find peace in uncertainty. It’s hard as an adult, when you are clearly accustomed to being able to chart your own path through the world, but it’s even harder as a teenager, when so much of your daily existence is defined by trying to assert control over your universe. Not being able to plan what tomorrow, next week, or next month will look like is a big, and incredibly challenging, part of our New Normal. Today, for example, I had a conversation with Tom Sell just before lunch where he outlined the latest travel plan for the FIS men. By the time I returned from lunch, (and I ate pretty fast!) the plan had completely changed, because of circumstances entirely outside our control. It’s this type of scenario that’s unfortunately a daily occurrence right now, and I admire all the ways our community is managing to stay optimistic and motivated as we navigate constantly changing realities.

We are getting close to our first break, which is certainly well deserved. Virtually none of our students have been back home since August, and I know that they are all looking forward to the chance to sleep in their own beds and to be with family. I know the staff is looking forward to the chance to take a breath, too. It’s been a long stretch! Hopefully you’ve all been able to make a plan for Covid testing upon return from the Thanksgiving break, and thank you for making that happen. If you have any questions about our Thanksgiving return Covid protocols, please let us know.

A/R balance statements - many of you received a past-due statement balance email from us this afternoon. Those were automated messages. To clarify about WVA tuition amounts which were reflected on the A/R: if you are registered for FACTS and making regular payments, your tuition is not past-due! We are sorry for any confusion. If you have questions about any other balance due, we'll be happy to provide you with additional details. Thanks in advance.

As always, thanks in advance for your support and for sharing your great kids with us.
Best,
Tory
Academic Perspective
I really like the warm weather; however….. Great to feel it getting a bit cooler out there and more seasonable which brings us back to the reality that it is time to ski! We are being vigilant with masks and maintaining safety protocols to the best of our ability with the vision that a great winter of training, competition, and learning is in our near future if not the present! 

Classes on campus will continue until Friday the 20th at which point our Full and Winter Term students will break for Thanksgiving.  The Middle School is scheduled to start classes on Monday the 23rd and the 24th before heading out for Thanksgiving which, for the Alpine athletes, is dependent upon the availability of quality on-snow training. Tiffany and Brendan are working closely with Jason and Shuff to ensure a smooth and effective start for the Middle School.  To return to campus after the Thanksgiving break a negative Covid text is required therefore classes will resume virtually on Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 30 and Dec. 1) allowing for testing and results with in-person, on campus, classes resuming on Wednesday, December 2nd. The virtual classes will follow the same schedule that we are on presently allowing for those who have submitted their negative Covid test to participate in training, outside, as well as academics. Please be safe so we all can return to campus!

Normally we would be hosting a parent-teacher night at the academy; however, that is not safe or practical at this time, therefore we will be presenting a virtual parent-teacher event which will span two days; Tuesday, December 15th and Wednesday December 16th. Parents will be able to sign up for parent-teacher conferences on Zoom. The available sign-up times are on Tuesday, December 15th between 2:00pm and 5:00pm and Wednesday, December 16th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Please keep tuned for more information along with the sign-up in the coming days.

It has been wonderful this fall to be on campus studying, training, and enjoying education together, in person. Let’s do our very best as we plan for and enjoy Thanksgiving so we can all get back on campus for what we have worked so hard for. Let the snow fall!

Best,
Gary
Dorm Update
It has been a busy time of transition in residential life, however despite the changes things are running smoothly. A HUGE thanks to Matt Crowe for a marathon stretch of evenings in the dorm covering both duty and sleepover as we adjust to our staff changes. Any gratitude you can send his way is welcome!  Meghan is now back and giving him a respite. Tory and I have taken a nights of duty as well, and our teachers are scheduled for Wednesday nights.

The U16s made it to Colorado leaving the dormitory extremely quiet. Study hall is running well, with a focus on quiet hours regardless of homework load for 1.5 – 2 hours pending the needs of the group. I have spoken to the residents to reestablish the segment of time as a time for low-stim block where they can complete their work, read, do laundry, clean their room, play cards, etc., and the remainder of the time before and after can be for walks outside and time in the TBC. In the winter it will be a good time for ski prep too. The time after study hall is open time, however we have discussed that it is important for everyone to be mindful of those that might want to go to bed early.

Big improvements to the physical plant are also happening. New furniture arrived in the lounge, old furniture is at the dump thanks to Meghan and Anne Marie. A big shoutout goes to the student council effort that included all the boys to gut the basement and construct a tuning/storage space that is efficient. They are closing in on the finish. It couldn’t have come at a better time as second summer landed in the Valley and the outlook for snowfall offered disappointment. I was impressed with their skills with power tools, construction and painting. It made me yearn for a woodworking department. Just like art, it taps into the other side of their brain.

Please mark your calendars for next Tuesday at 6PM for a zoom call with residential parents. I look forward to meeting you all, fielding your questions and concerns, covering nuts and bolts and sharing my hopes for a residential curriculum as we move through the year. Please put your thinking caps on for ideas for dorm activities, or enrichment that could be possible to sponsor during COVID in hopes to offer some light learning and fun as we progress through the winter. Also, keep reminding your children that all we are doing to stay safe and healthy is so important because snow is coming, and skiing will should follow.

Talk soon,
Priscilla
Student Involvement
Improvements continued on the dorm basement this week! Thank you to all the students that pitched in! Looking great
NE Masters Scholarship Opportunity
New England Masters Ski Racing neskiracing.org announces Scholarship availability for the 2020-2021 Race Reason. For athlete (18 and under) we will provide three (3) $1,000.00 Scholarship based upon financial need. Application deadline is December 1, 2020. Awardees will be contacted before Christmas. More information found in the button below
The folder above will be updates through out the year with updated photos from events, competing, trips, and more! Check back often to see the latest!
Save the Date
Parent Teacher Conferences - December 15th & 16th