TA News

Head of School Weekly Email: Summer Opportunities, River Bend Spotlight & April Dates

Dear TA Families,

As we experience the fickle start to spring in New England, it can be a good time to start planning ahead for summer. Our horticulture students are definitely doing just that, busily tending to their starts in the greenhouse. Summer is an awesome time of growth for our gardens – and can also be a time of exploration and growth for middle school and high school students.

Learning Beyond the School Day: Opportunities Abound

Theater, film, STEM, politics, art, outdoor experiences … what interests you? We encourage families to research and plan special summer activities for students to pursue and develop their passions, career interests, sports, hobbies … whatever they are drawn to! Programs are often just a week long – enough time to allow for a really immersive experience, but also compatible with balancing other student priorities, like summer jobs and family time. Advocate and apply for scholarships if cost is a barrier. Many programs have deadlines coming up or tend to fill up fast. Here are a handful of summer opportunities in our region:

  • Governor’s Institutes of Vermont: The deadline is tomorrow, March 31, to apply for GIV. The Classes of 2025, 2026, 2027 are eligible for this summer’s week-long workshops in a range of cool topics. Details and application:
  • TA Trail Crew: Led by TA faculty member Morgan LaPointe, trail crew is happening again this summer at Thetford Academy, June 17-21. Get work experience and earn a stipend while caring for the TA trail network. More info on this and other TOP summer trips and experiences at
  • Girls State Summer Program: The Green Mountain Girls State will be held at Vermont State University in Randolph, June 23-June 28. “Girls State is a national leadership program where students from across the state create party platforms, run for office, and debate mock legislation at the State House in Montpelier. It is a life-changing week and opens students to a network that will follow them for the rest of their lives.” Students can apply online, and the deadline is April 5
  • JAM Summer Camps: Are you interested in film, podcasting, music video or animation? Did you like Toby’s short film during Conversations with Casey at assembly this week? Toby’s film was created at one of the JAM Summer Camps. These camps are based in White River Junction and will take place in June and July 2024. Learn more and register:

Student Learning Spotlight: River Bend Career & Tech Programs 

I headed up to Bradford on Thursday afternoon to spend time with TA juniors and seniors who are enrolled at the River Bend Career and Technical Center. I’ve been to River Bend numerous times, but always in the evenings for meetings. It was awesome to go during the school day and see the programs and students in action. I got to check out health sciences, heavy equipment, agriculture, automotive, criminal justice, cosmetology, and construction. 

TA students gave me tours of their specialized work spaces, which included a shop, two garages, a sugar shack, welding station, salon, and hospital room setting. They shared the ins and outs of the specialized tools, technology, and machines of their trades; gave me quick tutorials on what they’ve been learning; and showcased their current projects. I also got to meet many of their teachers. It was an inspiring and instructive visit. I was especially impressed by our students’ confidence, skills, engagement and pride in their learning and work. Kudos to our River Bend students!

Upcoming Events & Key Dates:

  • April 2 – Course registration launches for Class of 2025
  • April 3 – Q3 report cards go home with students
  • April 8 – Half-day schedule for eclipse & eclipse field trip to St. Johnsbury
  • April 9 – Course registration launches for Classes 2026, 2027
  • April 9-10 – VTCAP (state testing) in science for 11th and 8th graders
  • April 12 – Roundtable Day #1 & half-day schedule
  • April 15 – Course registration launches for Class of 2028
  • April 17-19 – 8th grade trip to Montreal
  • April 17 – High school planning session for 8th grade parents (6pm, online)
  • April 22-26 – Spring Break

Happy Easter to those who will be celebrating the holiday this weekend!

Carrie Brennan, Head of School

Featured photos this week: Spotlighting some of the TA students I visited with on site at their River Bend programs – Makaela S. and Josh K. in heavy equipment, Nick D. in automotive technology, and Rebecca O. in criminal justice and public safety. Plus, a glimpse of the horticulture students’ thriving garden starts in the TA greenhouse.



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.