Head of School Letter & Back-to-School Information
August 13, 2021
The following letter from Head of School Carrie Brennan and a packet of back-to-school related information was sent home to students on August 9.
Dear Thetford Academy Parents, Guardians, and Students,
It’s hard to believe – two weeks from tomorrow we come together to launch the 2021-2022 school year! I look forward to welcoming all of our students, new and returning, on our first day, Tuesday, August 24.
Here at TA we have been busy preparing for the start of the new year. This back-to-school mailing includes important information and forms for families, so that your planning can begin as well. Please review the mailing guide first; it provides a complete list of the enclosures and explains steps for families need to take in preparation for the return to school.
General school information we want to highlight includes:
- This year we will resume our regular school day and bell schedule, with the school day beginning at 8:10 a.m. and ending at 2:55 p.m. Please arrive on campus no later than the first bell at 8:05 a.m.
- Families seeking information about the bus routes for this year can visit thetfordacademy.org/student-life/transportation.
- The federal government extended the universal free meals program to continue through 2021-22 as part of its Covid relief plan. This means that every student has access to free lunch at TA this year. Look for a follow-up mailing about food service sign-up.
As last school year came to a close and Governor Scott lifted pandemic restrictions, we hoped that Covid was finally in the rearview mirror and assumed we’d be able to return to the TA experience we know and love this fall. Unfortunately, developments in recent weeks are challenging this hope and assumption. We are tracking public health information and state guidance closely and will respond as needed to protect our school community.
In response to the current Covid trends in Vermont, we are putting in place the following measures to start the school year. We will provide updates via email on this evolving situation.
- We are requiring universal masking indoors.
- We strongly encourage all students to be vaccinated. We are striving for a 90% (or better!) student vaccination rate by October 1. Information on Vermont vaccine clinic is listed here: thetfordacademy.org/2021/08/vaccine-clinic-updates-from-the-health-office.
- We will avoid large indoor gatherings, including the weekly school assembly in the gym.
- We will not be able to host the traditional back-to-school potluck picnic on Sunday, August 22; however, the new student orientation tours scheduled for 4:30 p.m. will continue – and we extend this invitation to include students who were new last year.
I know it is deeply disappointing to realize we are heading into a third school year impacted by the pandemic. What a fierce adversary this virus is. Over the last 18 months, however, we have proven to ourselves and to the world that we are a resilient school community that can find creative and safe ways to learn together – and we will continue to do so as we head into the fall semester!
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Enclosed is a copy of the school year calendar, which can also be found on the TA website: thetfordacademy.org/calendars.