TA News

Head of School Weekly Email: Venturing Out (and Coming Home), Report Cards, and the (Darn) Weather

Dear TA Families,

The 8th graders reminded us this week of the power of venturing out to explore new places and try new experiences. The Class of 2028, with a team of TA teacher-advisors, spent Monday and Tuesday at the Aloha Foundation’s Hulbert Outdoor Center in Fairlee. This was an awesome opportunity for individual growth and community building. Activities included a variety of high ropes course and problem solving challenges, along with community meals and an overnight in cabins. Doing outdoor and experiential learning in any season can be fun but quite a stretch – and doing it in wintertime is next level! Hats off to the middle schoolers for rising to the occasion. We look forward to seeing how new connections, perspectives, and/or confidence the 8th graders brought home with them shapes their experience of school this semester.

A quick connection to my community message last week that encouraged students to ‘venture out’ in the new year and promoted the abundance of programs for youth throughout the Upper Valley. This week Tippi Oshoniyi in the counseling office shared information on two more offerings – art classes at AVA Gallery and trail corps with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

Like the 8th graders, I also had the opportunity this week to venture away from Thetford Academy for a short while and stretch my learning in a new setting. I attended a retreat for New England school leaders in Portsmouth on Wednesday and Thursday. I got to spend time sharing ideas and camaraderie with colleagues from around the region, including our home state of VT and others from NH, MA, RI, and CT. The group of 100+ participants represented a diverse range of schools – rural and urban, small and large, elementary and secondary, old and new – yet, there was much we could learn from our common role of school leader. It was an inspiring experience at this midway point of the school year. I came home with renewed energy and perspective for the months ahead – and an expanded professional network to tap into for my work.

Report Cards

This is a reminder that students received their report cards during advisory on Tuesday. We do not mail report cards, except for 4th quarter, relying instead on students to bring them home. In addition to your student’s individual report card, the envelope included a cover letter from me, a brochure for summer TOP programs, and (for juniors only) an overview of the college planning process from Director of Counseling Mark Pichette. If you have not done so yet, please review your student’s report card which features quarter 2 performance as well as a cumulative look at the fall semester. 

Weather Disruptions

Well, this winter is serving up some challenging weather conditions. I am sorry for the many disruptions to the school schedule and thank you for your understanding and flexibility, as we have had to call numerous delays and early releases this season and the cancellation on Friday. One always hopes when making a ‘snow day’ call that we get to enjoy a beautiful snowy day at home, doing the things our family does when it snows – sled, ski, play, snowshoe, or sit by a warm fire. Having to close school on an icy, rainy, dreary day instead is just not as much fun. This is a reminder that we make weather calls in closest collaboration with Orange East Supervisory Union due to our shared bus routes. We also pay attention to what’s happening in our other sending districts (White River Valley, Lyme, Hartland, etc.). 

Founders’ Day

We are looking forward to our annual celebration of Thetford Academy’s history next week. We have Founders’ Day preparations happening throughout the week and the big event on Friday, Feb. 2. Each student will be assigned to a Founders’ Day committee for their grade level, working on skits, banners, baking, snow sculptures, and more. Stay tuned for more updates about Founders’ Day – and check in with your student during the week about what creative work their committee is up to. Next month TA achieves the milestone of 205 years!

Thank you,

Carrie Brennan, Head of School

Featured photo this week: Bundled up for outdoor adventures in cold temps, the Class of 2028 poses for a group shot at Hulbert.



We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.


We value initiative, courage and dedication. We take personal responsibility for the goals we set and work hard to achieve them.


We work and learn together. We see teachers as coaches, students as team members, families as partners, and learning as practice and action.


We provide individuals with personalized support and guidance. We care about each other and the larger community.


We respect differences among people. We welcome the contribution of varied perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.