Head of School Weekly Email: Mid-Quarter Reflections, Sign-Up Days & Network Updates
September 30, 2023
Dear TA Families,
As September comes to a close, we mark the midway point of Quarter 1. It’s hard to believe, but students have been in school for a little over four weeks already!
Quarter 1 Check-In
Mid-quarter is a good time to check in with the TA student(s) in your family about how school is going. They should be well versed in the routines and expectations of their classes and making progress with the concepts and skills of the first units of study. Ask students what they’ve been learning, exploring, and accomplishing. What has piqued their interest the most thus far? What have they created or completed in recent weeks that they are especially proud of? Could be an essay or art piece, a math solution or science lab, a skit or story or song – or perhaps a tamale or a dish to serve in the cafe using vegetables from the school garden (see photos).
Have your student show you around the Google Classroom for each of their various courses. Take a look at Web2School (https://thetford.web2school.com) together to review assignment grades. If you have questions about a class, please reach out to the teacher for more information and insights to help support your student’s learning.
‘Sign-Up Day’ Opportunities & Expectations
Built into our Power Hour schedule is time on Wednesdays and Thursdays for clubs, activities, and office hours. Students are required to sign up for a session each of the two days, hence the new name this fall … Sign-Up Days! The Sign-Up Day sessions are designed to provide students with opportunities to pursue areas of interest and passion, explore new activities, develop leadership skills, and also seek extra help and connection with their teachers. Every teacher offers office hours one of the days – and some on both days. Clubs and activities range from chess to upcycle crafts to debate to journalism, from open gym to disc golf to video gaming to 3D printing. (Featured in photos: art club and the climate action club ‘TACA’.)
Check out the complete list of options this past week and connect with your student(s) about how they’ve been spending their time on Sign-Up Days. We started this routine on September 13, so by now everyone should understand the process (fill out the weekly form) and be following through on the requirement to attend. Please reach out to your student’s advisor if you have questions or feel like your student could benefit from more support in getting the most out of Sign-Up Days.
Network Changes & Internet Access
A common question around campus the past few days: “Did something change all of a sudden with the network?” Yes, it did. Following our implementation timeline, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plan continued to roll out this week. The TA-Students network is no longer a public access network and is reserved for TA-issued technology only (such as the chromebooks most students have). Older students opting to bring their own laptop to school are required to register it using the parent/guardian BYOD permission form and are then given access to the TA-BYOD network. The TA-Visitors network is still available for short-term use by guests on campus or by students who need to access their phone on occasion and do not have a data plan; this is a restricted ‘slow lane’ network by design, not intended for daily school work.
We are dedicating the bulk of our bandwidth to appropriate academic use for students and staff and want to ensure safe and reliable access to the internet for the school community. Reach out to our media/tech team, [email protected] or [email protected], with questions (and students can look for prior emails from both of them for more details).
Activities & Events
- TOP Outings, Fall 2023 – Open to all students: https://thetfordacademy.org/2023/09/thetford-outdoor-program-offers-fall-adventures-for-students.
- Woods Trail Run, October 7 – Volunteer or just come out to cheer on the runners and enjoy the day: https://thetfordacademy.org/2023/09/tas-32nd-annual-woods-trail-run-oct-7-volunteers-needed.
- No school on October 6 & 9
Wishing everyone a good weekend. And for our athletes who don’t have the day off today – varsity girls soccer and JV boys soccer – we wish you the best of luck in Montpelier this afternoon!
Carrie Brennan, Head of School