Head of School Weekly Email: The April Fools’ Edition
April 01, 2023
Dear TA Families,
Despite the lighter nature of today’s subject line, I’d like to start my weekly memo with some reflections on a really serious topic – school shootings in America. As we all know by now, there was another violent attack on a school in our country earlier this week. Three students and three adults at an elementary school in Nashville died and their community is heartbroken, traumatized, and forever changed. The reality that school shootings have become a regular part of our society and news cycle is especially disturbing for those of us who spend our days in schools – students and educators alike.
One of the things we did this week was reach out to Thetford police chief Mike Scruggs and invite him to join us on campus during our lunch hour when he’s available – not out of fear or in response to a threat, but to foster our partnership, strengthen our sense of safety, and have him build connections with students. TA has a good working relationship with our local police, but covid put a long pause on having officers on campus during the school day, interacting with students and our school community. Chief Scruggs was very responsive to our request, and it was good to have him around.
I encourage families to check in about all of this at home. How are students feeling in the wake of the latest school shooting? What are they seeing and sharing on social media? Did they notice police presence at TA this week? Was that reassuring to them, or maybe concerning? Do they feel safe at school? Are there ways we could bolster their sense of safety and security?
Switching gears to more uplifting news … I want to give a special shout out to those in our school community who are bold enough to get on stage to engage and entertain audiences. Our latest performers of note:
- The middle school chorus classes put on a joyful mini concert for the whole school during assembly on Monday. They had everyone swaying in the bleachers to tunes from Hamilton, the Backstreet Boys, and more. Thank you, singers!
- TA’s One Act team took their performance of “A Trip to the Moon” on the road last Saturday to regionals. They received lots of accolades, including best director for Acadia Cook, the only student director in the competition, and were selected to go to states. Congratulations, actors, and good luck next weekend in Rutland!
Community events are popping back up this spring, some of them happening for the first time after a 3-year hiatus. Here are a few that caught my eye and made me think of lots of you – lots of them happening TODAY, so get a move on if they move you:
- Maple Open House Weekend, April 1-2, https://vermontmaple.org/mohw
- River Bend Expo 2023, April 1, 9am-3pm at Oxbow High School, https://www.facebook.com/riverbendctc
- Dartmouth Skiway Pond Skim, April 1, 11am-2pm, at the Skiway, some video of last year
- 1st Annual Youth Chess Day at VTC, April 1, 11am-4pm, https://www.sanders.senate.gov/vt-events/first-annual-youth-chess-day
- Community Science Day, April 8, 10am-3pm, at Dartmouth College, https://alumni.dartmouth.edu/events/8th-annual-community-science-day
Please take a look back at last week’s head of school email to review information about important events and activities coming up this month, including Roundtable Day on April 7, course registration for 2023-24, state testing, and more: https://thetfordacademy.org/2023/03/head-of-school-weekly-email-student-roundtables-other-spring-updates.
Ending on a light note, I hope everyone enjoys a silly prank or two today – and check out the adorable photo of the One Act cast and crew!
Carrie Brennan, Head of School