Head of School Weekly Email (the Saturday Edition): Teachers as Learners, Anti-Racism Taskforce Report & the Holiday Weekend
October 09, 2021
Dear TA Families,
Gratitude for Friday
Yesterday was one of those precious few days in the school year when only the educators are on campus. Inservice time is invaluable for colleagues to come together, reflect on the year, plan and work together, share strategies and resources, and hone our craft. We know families have to flex their schedule when students don’t have school, and want to let our community know that we are grateful for the inservice time in the school calendar. This year’s fall inservice agenda included a variety of topics, from transferable skills and student portfolios, to exploring resources for educators on anti-racism, and doing an activity in the school garden. We met with department colleagues, worked together in grade level teams, and had the afternoon to work on individual priorities. Spending the occasional day apart from our student learners gives us the opportunity to step into the role of learner, which is vital to our professional growth.
Following nine months of intensive work, the TA Antiracism Taskforce presented their findings and recommendations to the trustees this summer. The group’s final recommendations report is now complete and ready to be shared with the community and integrated into our school’s strategic plan and actions moving forward. A new diversity, equity, and inclusion council that currently includes TA faculty, administrator, and trustee representatives will help guide next steps in following through on the recommendations. Link to the report here.
The Holiday on Monday
Thetford Academy is closed on Monday, October 11 in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In 2019, Vermont became one of a growing list of states to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an official holiday. Others include Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, plus the District of Columbia. (Sources: a 2020 Smithsonian Magazine article and the wikipedia entry.) This week President Biden issued a proclamation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, which is available to read on the White House website. Re-naming places and events is a powerful and controversial move that challenges us to question our assumptions, shift our perspective, learn new information, rethink the past and reimagine the future.
- All juniors will take the PSATs on Wednesday morning, 10/13.
- On the health front: surveillance testing #2 is 10/12, flu clinic is 10/14, and covid vaccine clinic #2 is 10/20.
- Come cheer on our varsity soccer teams and support senior fundraising in the final stretch of the season. The boys play at home on Tuesday 10/12 and the girls are on the home field on Wednesday 10/13.
- All of the events above – and many more, including college rep visits, power hour schedules, and field trips – are listed on our school calendar: https://thetfordacademy.org/calendars.
Wishing everyone a restful long weekend with extra time to enjoy the glory of autumn color all around us,
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Feature photo: Inservice activities for teachers included spending time in the school garden.