September 30, 2021
What a beautiful time to be in Northeast Georgia. Mother Nature has provided some amazing days for all of us to relish. I hope you have been able to get outside and enjoy some sunshine and crisp air. While we’ve experienced several highs and lows, it's homecoming week on Spartan Lane and the students seem to be enjoying a positive atmosphere filled with school spirit.  

Our Board of Trustees met last week and approved our next Strategic Plan. It will be shared in the very near future with our community. While our last plan included 49 action items, this one is more focused on eleven action items, and we would suggest it is equally ambitious and important. On Tuesday, our grade representatives from all divisions met and one of our primary goals is to get more parents to engage with our parent offerings. More will be shared in the weeks ahead, and we are excited to grow and learn with all of you. Next week our PSO executive committee will meet to work on the many events and activities planned for the school year. We are so grateful for all of our volunteers who go the extra mile for our students and school community--thank you.

Fortunately, this has not been an active time for COVID on our campus. Since we last wrote, we have added two more student cases in the Upper School in addition to a case from the athletics staff that we missed in our early September reporting. This brings our total for the year to 20. We appreciate your vigilance and support as we continue to function at a very high level. A very worthwhile article from CNBC can be found here concerning effective communication with children. Yesterday we hosted the first of two flu vaccination clinics for faculty, staff, students, and families, with the second slated for next Thursday, October 7. Click here for more information and to make an appointment. Read more.
In her book The Power of Fun, Catherine Price discusses the reasons why we need to rediscover how to have fun, and she asserts that having fun is not frivolous but actually essential to living a joyful and meaningful life.
Don't miss the Artscape opening this Friday from 5:00-7:00 p.m. or the upcoming Upper School one-act play, October 14-16! It's an exciting time in the arts!  
It’s crazy to think we are winding down some of the fall sports teams, specifically with regard to the middle school teams! When one sports season ends, it means another is about to begin.  
On October 1, students may begin filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This affects seniors most immediately, but all families should consider learning a bit about this process now.  
OCTOBER 14-16 / 7:30 PM
The Drama Department is thrilled to be “walking the boards” once again! After last year’s foray into filmed performances, the cast and crew of Quilters are grateful to be in rehearsal for a live performance! Quilters is a musical by Molly Newman and Barbara Damashek, and lyrics and music by Barbara Damashek. It is about the lives of American pioneer women based on the book The Quilters: Women and Domestic Art by Patricia Cooper and Norma Bradley Allen.
The stories told in this play speak of the hardships and joys of pioneer life through the lens of the prairie woman. Women—mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives—living and surviving in the wilderness left a legacy for their families and for us. Unlike the memoirs bound in books, their life stories were stitched in fabric—storytelling by quilts. Admission is $2 for seniors and students, and $5 for adults. Masks are required for all audience members. 
Box Tops for Education, Amazon, Kroger, and Publix are working with Athens Academy to provide cash back programs for school projects, and our community has shown tremendous support for these programs. It's so easy and it's FREE MONEY for our school! Our goal this year is to have as MANY parents as possible participating! Click here for information on how to enroll or re-enroll for each program!

As attendance at sporting and other events continues to increase, please remember that parental supervision of children during all after-school events or activities is critical to maintaining the safety of everyone on our campus. Thank you for your help.

On Tuesday, October 12, an important update to the password requirements will take place in SpartanNet. This is a routine upgrade, and many of you have likely experienced the same password strengthening with other sites and services. The new password requirements will require a minimum of 12 characters, at least one special character, at least one upper case letter, and at least one lower case letter. If your password does not meet the new minimum requirements, you will be prompted to update your password when you log in on or after October 12.  Please note that you do not need to take any action in order for these changes to take effect, and no action is required for passwords that already meet the minimum requirements.
The Lower School and the Student Services/Counseling offices are pleased to host a parent book club this fall. Parents will discuss the book Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4-14 on Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. in the Lower School Discovery Center. Lower School Director Mark Cunningham will be leading the group and our counseling team (Bob Sears, Carrie Olson, Morgan Jones) will join in the conversations too. All parents are invited to join as they are available. Upcoming dates and corresponding chapters: October 7: 6,7,8 year old chapters; October 14: 9,10,11 year old chapters; October 21: 12, 13, 14 year old chapters. If you have questions or would like a copy of notes from an earlier meeting, please email Morgan Jones.

Photo retakes will be available the morning of Thursday, October 7 in the Lower School Discovery Center. Parents of students in grades K3-8 should notify their division office if they wish for their child to have a retake made. Upper School students can drop in any time between 7:45-11:45 a.m. Please note that once a student has a retake, the original proofs from earlier in the year will no longer be available for purchase or use in the yearbook. Questions? Please contact Bentley Photography by email or at 770-867-2853.

As a service to our community, we have partnered with a local pharmacy to offer on-campus flu vaccination clinics; the second of the two clinics will be held on Thursday, October 7, in the Chambers Center boardroom. You can sign up directly with the pharmacy by clicking here. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive a confirmation email with a link to submit the consent form, enter your insurance information, and cancel your appointment if needed. More details:
  • Available for ages 4 and up. Ages 4-12 must have a guardian present.
  • Younger children must be willing. If you think your child(ren) might be uncooperative, it would be best for them to be vaccinated by their pediatrician.
  • When you sign up, please also text the name, DOB, and copy of the insurance card for each participant to the pharmacy's secure text line (706-543-7386).
  • If you are planning to send your 13-17 year old student to the clinic unaccompanied, please email Kristina Ware to receive special instructions about the consent form.
  • Please remember to wear a mask and to maintain social distance.
Questions? Call pharmacist Rabun Neves at 706-543-7386.
Luke Graves' paintings will be on display in the Bertelsmann gallery case throughout the month of October. According to Luke, “I find, more often than not, that I paint to remind myself of important moments and times in my life. I use pop culture references or characters with personality traits that I admire as my primary subjects. They typically reflect something or someone in a show, movie, or action figure that gives me a snapshot of a specific year, or window of time, in my life. I paint with high contrast, bold colors, and realism to help capture those ideas.”
Please note that Grandparents and Special Friends Day has been rescheduled to Friday, April 29, 2022. More information and event details will follow in early spring. Questions? Email Sarah Gilbert, coordinator of parent and alumni engagement.
School Store Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Homecoming Parade & Pep Rally - Friday, October 1 at 2:30 p.m. on Slaughter Field
Artscape 2021 Opening Reception - Friday, October 1 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the Myers Gallery
Middle School Conference Day (No School, Grades 5-8) - Wednesday, October 6
Flu Clinic for Faculty, Students & Families - Thursday, October 7 in the Chambers Center Boardroom (more information above)
Photo Retakes - Thursday, October 7 from 7:45-11:45 a.m. in the Lower School Discovery Center
Fall Break (No School) - Monday, October 11 & Tuesday, October 12 (Faculty Development Day)
Upper School Drama Department One Act Play - Thursday, October 14 - Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Presentation Hall
One Act Play Benefit Night - Thursday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Presentation Hall
Uniform Resale - Wednesday, October 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Chambers Center Lower Level
Preschool Halloween Parade - Friday, October 29 at 8:30 a.m. beginning outside the Chambers Center
Middle/Upper School Fall Band Concert - Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bertelsmann Presentation Hall
Holiday Market 2021 - Thursday, November 18 from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the Sinkwich Spartan Center
Dismiss for Thanksgiving Holiday - Friday, November 19 at 3:20 p.m.; classes resume on Monday, November 29 at 8:10 a.m.
PSO Campus Holiday Decorating - Tuesday, November 30
Click here for the Guidance & Planning document updated August 12, 2021.
Athens Academy seeks excellence with honor in the educational and personal experience of each student.