TA News

Head of School Weekly Email: 7th Graders Prepare for Planting, Seniors Prepare for Roundtables, Eclipse Invitation & Other Spring News

Dear TA Families,

Snow? What snow? Here at TA, we are getting ready for spring!

Student Learning Spotlight

In a full circle seasonal experience, the 7th graders spent time in the warmth of the greenhouse this week, cleaning and sorting seeds from crops they harvested last fall, such as corn and squash native to the New England Wabenaki. They also started other seeds indigenous to our area, like ground cherries, to ready for the planting season later in the spring. Next month, students will get their seeds and seedlings into the ground in our school garden using traditional Three Sisters methods (featuring corn, beans, and squash). An Abenaki community member from Thetford will help guide their work. This hands-on experience of practicing Native agricultural practices is a collaboration between Social Studies Teacher Stacy Barton and Garden Coordinator Ehrin Lingeman and part of students’ broader studies of Native American history and culture in the 7th grade curriculum.

Spring Roundtable Days – April 12 & May 31

Students continue to develop their portfolios and prepare to present them in roundtable settings in advisory this spring. The portfolios are organized around TA’s Schoolwide Transferable Skills:

  • Effective Communication & Expression
  • Self-Directed Learning
  • Creative & Practical Problem-Solving
  • Caring & Involved Citizenship
  • Informed & Integrated Thinking

The portfolio presentation is an especially important milestone for seniors, who must demonstrate proficiency in the TA Transferable Skills as part of their requirements for graduation. Seniors will be presenting to an audience of their fellow advisees, junior classmates, faculty panels, and family members during the Roundtable Days on April 12 and May 31. Students in other grades will also presenting in their advisories, with plans varying by grade level.

One bold member of the Class of 2024, Saylor Billiau, agreed to do her roundtable a month early – and in front of an audience of TA educators, as part of our inservice experience on March 29. Read about Saylor’s roundtable in a recent news post by Teaching and Learning Coordinator Kristen Downey. (And for an overview of portfolios, transferable skills, and roundtables at TA, visit our website.)

Spring Athletics Season

High school sports launched on March 25. Whatever the early spring weather brings on – rain and snow and sun – our athletes are getting in shape and gearing up for the season. Competition begins this week, with the first track and field meet at Bellows Falls High School on April 9. Middle School sports practices begin the week of April 8.Spring Semi-Formal

The Class of 2025 invites all high school students and their guests to the Masquerade Ball on Friday, April 12 at Thetford Academy, 7:30-9:30pm. Ticket price is $5, with $1 off for attendees wearing a mask. The juniors will host a mask-making station during Power Hour on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Eclipse Reminders & Invitation

As we all know, Vermont will be in the path of a solar eclipse on Monday. TA will have a half-day schedule, dismissing at 12:10pm. The 8th grade team is hosting a viewing of Nova’s ‘Great American Eclipse’ episode in the MJR Theater at 9:30am on Monday – open to the community. The optional field trip to St. Johnsbury to experience totality, organized by Outdoor Coordinator Scott Ellis, will head out around 1pm; student participants should review details to prepare. 

Best of luck to our One Act cast who perform this evening in the VT State competition at Otter Valley High School in Brandon! 

Thanks for reading – this week, and every week – and being a part of our TA experience!

Carrie Brennan, Head of School

Featured photos this week include: Seventh graders prepping in the greenhouse. Saylor Billiau ’24 presenting her portfolio to a roundtable of parents, peers, and faculty evaluators – plus an audience of all TA teachers! Track athletes practicing (photo credit: Assistant Coach Max Higgins, TA ’21).



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.