Head of School Weekly Email: PD Half Days, Community Days & TA’s Transferable Skills
September 03, 2021
Dear TA Families,
Some of you reached out this week with good questions about our special schedule on Wednesday that prompted me to highlight the following aspects of our program. Please click through to the website links for more details.
- PD Half Days: The TA school calendar this year includes six more half-days (following the one we had this week), all of them scheduled on the first Wednesday of the month with dismissal at 12:10pm: Nov. 3, Dec. 1, Feb. 2, March 2, April 6, and May 4. The half-days are part of Thetford Academy’s commitment to teacher professional development, providing in-depth meeting time in the afternoons for adults on campus. We know this can be a challenge for families and appreciate your support. Buses will run their normal routes on these days and lunch will be served. For more school calendar details, visit thetfordacademy.org/calendars.
- Community Days: TA Community Days will take place on the half-days, providing valuable time dedicated to school-wide activities focused on academics and school culture. Students will focus on ‘big picture’ academic work, making connections across all of their courses, developing their personal learning plans, and documenting their growth with transferable skills. Community Day activities also include time together outdoors, team building games, and service learning opportunities – in advisory, as a whole grade, and (eventually) all together as a school. Read more about TA’s first Community Day this past Wednesday: thetfordacademy.org/2021/09/community-day-brings-ta-together.
- TA’s Transferable Skills: An important cornerstone of our advisory program is to provide time and space for students to reflect on their learning and their progress in school in a way that builds on – and then transcends – individual classes and specific semesters. Who am I as a 7th (or 9th or 12th) grade writer, scientist, researcher, mathematician … develops into who am I as a 7th (or 9th or 12th) grade learner, person, thinker? TA’s transferable skills are one way we will support students with this complex process. ‘Transferable skills’ is the term used in schools throughout Vermont to describe big overarching skills that are integrated into all academic disciplines and career fields. Read a longer piece about TA’s Transferable Skills and watch an introductory video shared with students this week: thetfordacademy.org/2021/09/five-transferable-skills-for-lifelong-learning.
Lastly, thank you to all who could make it to Back to School Night on Tuesday. For those who couldn’t, feel free to reach out to your student’s teachers and advisor to make a connection. All staff and email contacts are listed on our website: thetfordacademy.org/about-ta/staff.
Wishing all an enjoyable Labor Day weekend,
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Photo feature: A 7th grade advisory spending time in the TA garden on Community Day, Sept. 1.