Head of School Weekly Email: Student Roundtables & Other Spring Updates
March 24, 2023
Dear TA Families,
The days are lengthening, this afternoon the sun is shining, and under the melting snow today a few daffodil shoots appeared on the quad. As we transition between seasons, it has been a busy time in the sugar shack with the wood stove cranking and lots of boiling – and also a busy time in the greenhouse getting seed starts going in anticipation of spring planting.
The spring is a busy time in the academic calendar as well, as we ramp up culminating activities for the current year and, simultaneously, plan ahead for next school year. Here are some important upcoming dates and activities that we want you to be aware of:
End of Quarter 3 – March 31
Support your student to finish the quarter strong. Connect with them about what’s happening in their classes, assignments due, key projects or tests coming up, and review their grades in Web2School. Quick link: https://thetford.web2school.com
Student Roundtables – April 5 & May 3
Students in all grades (except 11th) will be participating in a roundtable this spring, on April 5 or May 3, to present their portfolio, share evidence of their learning this year, demonstrate proficiency in TA’s Transferable Skills, and talk about their strengths, growth, and goals. Here are some grade-level specifics:
- Class of 2023: Seniors will be doing a formal roundtable presentation this year as part of their graduation requirements. Parents and family members are encouraged to attend. Most students have scheduled their specific presentation time on April 5 or May 3 – and senior advisors will also reach out with an invitation and more details.
- Class of 2024: Juniors will not be doing a roundtable, since their primary role this year will be as a peer audience for the senior presentations. Like all students, juniors have been developing their portfolios, however – and are beginning early preparations for their senior roundtables next year.
- All other grades: Students in grades 7th-10th will be doing a smaller-scale roundtable presentation within their advisory this year, sharing highlights of their portfolio with fellow advisees and reflecting on their learning.
Course Registration for 2023-24
Throughout the month April, starting with the Class of 2024 first and then working our way through the lower grades, students will be registering for their courses for next school year. We encourage families to begin the conversation now about goals, interests, and course planning. We will provide more details next month about the specific offerings for next school year and the process for signing up. In the meantime, check out the course guide available on the TA website thetfordacademy.org/academics/academic-courses.
A special note for rising juniors and seniors: We expect the option to take Dartmouth classes during one’s final 3 semesters at TA to finally resume next fall. This was a special opportunity for regional high school students that existed pre-pandemic. We will share more details as soon as we know more.
State Testing – April/May
The Vermont Agency of Education is piloting a new statewide assessment this year, called Cognia (replacing the old SBAC, or Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests). Much of the process will be the same: Students in grades 7-9 will take assessments in the areas of English/Language Arts and Mathematics, and students in grades 8 and 11 will take the assessment in the area of Science. We have scheduled tentative test dates in April and early May, and will share more information as we get closer.
Spring Break – April 24-28
No explanation needed! 🙂
Have a great weekend,
Carrie Brennan, Head of School
Featured photos this week: Horticulture students got to take home their pea shoots this week after a 2 week lab testing different variables in plant growth.