By now, everyone has submitted course requests for the coming year. Students will get their preliminary course schedule by mid-August.
Course schedules are subject to change, however, and are not usually finalized until early September.
Click on an option below for additional information.
‘This summer, students will engage with one community read, Girl in Translation, by Jean Kwok.
The goal of a community read is to provide a shared experience for our students, faculty, and families. Classes will start the year with a common text that can enhance curriculum and tie back to our 2019-2020 Gray Colloquium theme of “Civil Discourse.” Through this shared experience, and our thoughtful work to situate the text in our classroom context, we aim to instill in our students a love of reading that will stay with them throughout their lives.
In several powerful chapel speeches delivered during the 2018-2019 academic year, St. Markers spoke to the challenges they experienced in navigating and attempting to assimilate to cultures different than their own. Often, these students cited overwhelming feelings of dislocation, realizing that they couldn’t quite fit in the “new” culture, but that the changes they experienced in transit meant that their “home” culture no longer viewed them the same way. In a similar sense, these are challenges that every St. Marker faces as they seek their place in our school culture, and to reconcile this new belonging with the worlds they leave to become a part of St. Mark’s.
Girl in Translation speaks to these challenges in the person of protagonist Kimberly Chang, who leaves Hong Kong for a new life in Brooklyn, New York. Readers gain valuable perspective on the immigrant experience through Chang, who must learn the nuances of a new culture while struggling to meet her mother’s expectations and the norms of her “home” culture. This is also a book for our times, as countries debate their stance on immigration, and the human toll of migration becomes increasingly visible.
Through our reading of this novel, we will practice perspective taking, one of the foundations of Global Citizenship at St. Mark’s. For some students, Chang’s experience will provide a window into a reality very different than their own. For others, the tensions felt by a young person trying to balance competing cultural messages will serve as a valuable mirror of their own experience. Whether Girl in Translation is a window or a mirror for you, we hope you will be open to the perspective it offers. When we return to campus in the fall of 2019, we will have the opportunity to learn from Gray Colloquium speakers who will address the theme of “Civil Discourse.” Ultimately, there can be no civil discourse without the skill of perspective taking -- remaining open to hearing and considering another person’s truth. We look forward to a year of rich conversation and dialogue in 2019-2020, starting with our exploration of a great read in Girl in Translation.
Please note: Students who have enrolled in and been approved to take Advanced US History this school year are also required to read Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower.
How does translation function in this novel? In what ways are the characters translating between cultures, both in the literal sense of language, and the figurative domains of clothing, behavior, etc.?
What does it mean to a person’s identity to be “between” cultures — neither comfortable in the “home” culture, nor completely assimilated in the “new” culture?
In what ways are opportunity and achievement seen to be advantages and burdens? How are these concepts complicated for immigrant families?
What can the act of perspective-taking and appreciation of another person’s truth teach us about our own experience of the world?
Resources for Further Exploration
Discussion Questions for Girl in Translation from author Jean Kwok’s website.
We are also looking forward to the community’s exploration of the theme of Civil Discourse through the Gray Colloquium speaker series, and offer up these optional resources to inform that exploration.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Directed by Morgan Neville, Focus Features, 8 Jun 2018.
Dhar, Julia. “How to Disagree Productively and Find Common Ground” (TED Talk)
Gewertz, Catherine. “Students Learn to Put the ‘Civil’ in Civil Discourse”
Education Week. Nov. 27 2018
Book lists for classes will be available in July.
Please note we will have the books available for purchase in the fall (by charging the student’s Lion Card). If you would like to purchase the book on your own over the summer, you may do so (the ISBN – International Standard Book Number – must be exact to ensure you are purchasing the correct book).
The school’s technology system provides a communications network within the school, educational resources and access to the internet. Use of this system is dependent upon members of the community abiding by the standards outlined in the School Handbook. If you have any questions about this access, the community standards, or the technology needed to use this system, please contact the Academics Office (DeanofAcademics@stmarksschool.org), the Dean of Students Office (DeanofStudentsOffice@stmarksschool.org) or the Technology Department (Helpdesk@stmarksschool.org).
Computer Hardware and Software Requirements: The school supports both Windows and Macintosh computers on the network. All student rooms have wired access to the network and an ethernet cable (RJ45) is required. In most areas of the school, wireless access is also available. For more details on the Technology Requirements please check the link below:
MS Office is the school standard and can be downloaded, free of charge, from the MS Office online portal using your St. Mark’s credentials. Additional information for this process will be emailed in July.
Telephones: All student rooms have telephone jacks for students to use the school’s telephone system. Students may not have cordless telephones in the dorms.
Please note: St. Mark’s does not allow cordless phones and does not allow attaching personal wireless devices (including wireless routers) to the data network.
- Students may bring their own telephone from home as long as it is a single line analog phone.
- For long distance calls, students must have a calling card or make arrangements for a PIN number through the St. Mark’s Business Office.
Twenty professional musicians teach and coach in the SM Music program. Typically, over eighty St. Mark’s students participate in our private music lesson program. Lessons are offered for a fee on a credit or non-credit basis. Students may also seek permission to take lessons as an independent study project or in lieu of sports.
[click here] to sign up for private lessons.
- Keyboard — pipe organ, jazz, blues, classical piano
- Strings — violin, viola, cello, bass
- Guitar — acoustic, electric, bass
- Winds — flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon
- Brass — trumpet, trombone, French horn
- Percussion — timpani, drum set, ethnic drumming
An email will be sent to new students and parents in late April with links to Course Request Forms and Placement Tests. If you have questions about courses, please contact the Academics Office.
St. Mark’s educational philosophy is to advance three core values: intellect, character, and leadership. By advancing these core values in a developmentally appropriate method, St. Mark’s provides an education of consequence, sending into the world individuals who are prepared to make a meaningful difference in whatever arena they choose to focus their talents.
Our commitment to innovation as well as to interdisciplinary, experiential and community based learning is what sets us apart and is at the core of what our Signature Programs are built on.