Head of School Weekly Email
October 22, 2021
Dear TA Families,
Lots to share today in all arenas – academics, student well-being, and athletics/activities. Thanks, in advance, for making the time to read today’s email, and I encourage everyone to follow a few of the links for a deeper dive too. There is so much happening at TA every week – news to share, accomplishments to celebrate, events to get on the calendar. I can’t capture it all, but hope these weekly highlights help us stay connected as a school community.
- Today marks the end of the first quarter of the 2021-2022 school year. Report cards will be processed next week and go home with students on Monday, November 1. These days, with online grading and student information systems that provide student and parent access, the report card is just one part of a larger continuum of information and feedback on how a student is doing academically. At TA, we use Web2School and hope that everyone is staying connected to their student’s progress, at least periodically, through the Web2School parent portal. Please reach out to your child’s counselor or advisor if you need more support with Web2School, or contact Gloria in the front office if you need log-in directions.
- We urge students to be in communication with their teachers when they are absent. Due to continuing Covid protocols and precautions, we have a number of students out more frequently and for longer periods than a normal school year. There are a number of structures in place for students to stay connected to their classes and to make up work when they are well enough to do so, including information posted to Google Classroom, office hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and simply emailing teachers to share updates on their status.
- Next week, on Thursday 10/28, we will administer the biannual Youth Risk Behavior Survey to all students, grades 7 through 12. You can read more about this national initiative and review 2019 YRBS data on this page of the VT Government website. Students will take the survey in advisory and we will have a special schedule to allow for this activity; all classes will meet that day but for a slightly shorter amount of time.
- Hopefully at TA, due to the efforts of our middle school and high school ‘Getting to Y’ groups, our students have a better understanding of the YRBS – why the survey is conducted, why it matters, and how the public health data it generates can be used by communities to impact change. This news post from December 2020, describes the Getting to Y groups at TA during their pilot semester last fall. Since then, the work of our two groups, led by our Student Assistance Provider Kara Toms, has been highlighted as exemplary in the region, and our students have been invited to lead peer trainings for other Getting to Y groups in Vermont and New Hampshire. Congratulations, especially, to Margaret Smallwood (Class of 2024) and Layliana Benjamin (Class of 2026) for their recent leadership roles.
- We completed the third week of Covid surveillance testing on 10/19, with another successful week of 0 positive results. This is a very helpful way to track asymptomatic cases in our school community – thankfully, none thus far! We will continue this program on Tuesday mornings. We have 96 students and staff participating and welcome more. Students can still sign up. More information here.
ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES:
- Congratulations to the middle school and high school cross-country teams for their impressive performances in the Southern Vermont League meet earlier this week. The high school girls’ team earned the title of league champs! Check out this awesome video re-cap of the races, produced by Coach Emily Silver.
- Next Saturday 10/30, TA will again host a major cross-country meet – the Vermont State Championships – and, like the Woods Trail Run, this event is powered by volunteer time and talent. We still need more students to help with a variety of activities during the 10/30 state meet (and the New England championships on 11/13 too!). All students, all grades, new or returning to this volunteer role, are encouraged to participate. Please see Madame Heinzmann by Wednesday to sign up. She’s even giving away raffle prizes! Check out this fun video (that accidentally got missed in assembly) featuring recent raffle give-aways for student volunteers.
- Following a long Covid pause in competitions, the TA Robotics Club will be participating in a regional VEX Robotics Competition on Saturday 10/30. TA will send four robots and their teams to the meet, and we will be sure to report back on their performance. Read more about the TA club in this news post from August (with a pre-Covid photo).
- The Class of 2022 invites all students to a special Haunted Trail event on 10/29, 7:30pm. More details to come next week.
Looking out to early November, please note that photo retakes are on Nov. 2 and that Nov. 3 is a half-day for students. These and other events are on the school calendar.
This was a long one. I appreciate you reading to the end 🙂
Thanks & Happy Friday!
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Feature photo: Layliana Benjamin and Margaret Smallwood trained 44 peers from area schools in how to analyze YRBS data and use it to create change in their communities.