Over break, campus will be closed and locked up with the exception of the Coolidge Center which will be available and supervised from noon to 3:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday of both vacation weeks. Students should not "swing by" to use the facilities or to enter the Houses. If there is a reason to reach someone on campus, you may call the Front Desk during the day between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. or the Weekend Administrator at 508-380-8667 after hours.
The Academic Day starts on Tuesday, March 26, with Chapel at 8:00 a.m. Boarders should return to campus on Monday, March 25, by 7:00 p.m. House are not available to students on Sunday, March 24. Please be careful of not falling into the Exemption Parent Trap.
Course Requests: Advisors worked with students to develop a working plan for 2018-2019 course requests this week. We will now turn to processing and review of these requests, and hope that families will be engaged in conversation about each student's plan over break. You can view the 2019-2020 Course Catalog as a support for these conversations. As a reminder, this listing is a slate of requests, and not the student's confirmed schedule for 2019-2020. We aim for conversations around placements to uphold our core philosophy of balancing the rigor of a student's course load with the student's ability to perform their best. As we make our way to the close of the year, we anticipate that some work will remain to identify the most suitable program, with feedback from teachers serving the important functions of promoting student growth, and informing future directions of study. If you have questions, please reach out to your student's advisor.
Finally, please note that the request process for 2019-2020 St. Mark's Saturdays courses will take place in May.
Window Three Grade Posting
Please also be reminded of the following information regarding the upcoming availability of Window Three grades and comments:
- Friday, March 8: Window Three Closes
- Monday, April 8*: Grades and Comments available in Parent Portal via Net Classroom
*March break in between Window closing and Grade and Comment reporting.
The Center News
The Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning invites St. Mark's parents to a meetup on Saturday, April 27 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., to be followed by the Parents' Association's last meeting of the year from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The theme of the meetup, "Parents as Partners in Our Students' Learning," acknowledges that "parents are untapped resources in the process of helping students identify academic interests and pursue further learning," as noted by as psychology professor Dr. Judith Harackiewicz at a recent education conference in Boston. A meetup is an informal event where educators and parents will learn from and with each other, and where families can connect more deeply with the work of the Center and the school.
We have scheduled this event to coincide with St. Mark's Saturdays programming and the final meeting of the Parents' Association to offer convenience and to maximize attendance. View the invitation and kindly RSVP here: St. Mark's Parents Meetup Invitation. We hope you will attend and look forward to spending time with you!
- Team Fearing is the winner of the 2019 Quad Games. A weeklong competition with teams Fearing, Large, Phoenix, and Thayer saw Fearing emerge victorious, taking home the Quad Games Cup for the second time in six years. The most last and most intense event was the tug-o-war competition in the Main Hallway on Friday. Fearing clinched the overall victory with a spirited win over rival Phoenix.
- On Sunday, St. Mark's students along with members of both faculty and staff hosted the annual Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) Junior and Unified Player Development State Tournaments. Thanks to VI Former Nicola Hartmann for spearheading this important community service event!
- On Friday, March 1, the Advancement Office sponsored their recognition of St. Mark's Tuition Freedom Day, marking the point during the academic year when the School's operating expenses are no longer covered by tuition revenue, and the Annual Fund and endowment "kicks in" (i.e., tuition only accounts for 60 percent of the total cost of educating a St. Marker). The gap between full tuition and the real and full cost of a SM education is $25,000. Students stopped by a table outside the Dining Hall and wrote thank-you notes to be mailed to alumni, parents, and friends of the School who have already contributed to the Annual Fund.
Admissions & Business Office News
Dear Parents of Current III, IV, and V Formers: Student Re-Enrollment Contracts for all returning students in 2019-2020 will be issued online beginning this month. Like last year, contracts will be accessed again via School Forms Online powered by inResonance. These will be sent to both parent email addresses for each household, if applicable. The email addresses which will be utilized are the primary emails listed for each parent currently in our database (unless you share an email in which case these will be sent to only one). If your email for contract purposes has recently changed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your updated information.
NEW Tuition Payment Program
We have partnered with FACTS Management Company to help us manage our tuition payment program. This will replace the current program offered through TMS. FACTS is used by many schools locally and over 6,500 schools nationally. We are excited to be working with them and are confident this program will offer greater efficiency while providing convenience to families. More information is now available about FACTS on our website: https://www.stmarksschool.org/admission/tuition-financial-aid.
Timeline:Beginning March 13: Re-enrollment contracts will be sent out online from email@example.com via sendgrid.net (with an invitation link). Please make note the subject line of the email you will be receiving for this is "St. Mark's School: Confirm your email". Contracts will go out in waves over a two-to-three week window and contracts will be sent then only if not 'On Hold' by any of the school's departments. If you have not received your contract by the end of that three-week period, please reach out to Anne Behnke.
By April 20: completed re-enrollment contracts and deposits are due by the end of this business day, unless otherwise specified.
Dean of Students Office News
Spring is almost here! The newness of spring also brings new opportunities for students to set new goals and to begin visioning some key parts of school life for next year. While students will take care of academic course selection for 2019-2020, they will also need to key in on leadership goals.
On Friday of last week, all IV and V Form students interested in serving our community as Monitors, House Prefects, Peer Discussion Leaders, members of the Student Discipline Committee and Pathways Leaders attending a required informational session. On Monday of this week these students received the leadership application which is due on Tuesday, March 26, at noon. It is our goal to have students seek leadership roles for the personal growth and leadership development work and for the chance to place cooperation over self-interest. While serving as a student leader is an honor it is also a tremendous responsibility that requires students to model behavior, exercise peer accountability and do what is right as opposed to what is easy. To help students achieve these ends we provide regular leadership sessions during the year for skill building and bonding.
The leadership selection process can feel stressful for some students. The calendar has been shared with candidates along with all required events and deadlines. Over the vacation we encourage you to talk with your child about their goals. Is seeking one of these roles appropriate? If so, why are they interested? How will they balance self care and caring for the school / peers? What do they hope to gain personally? What do they want to give back to the SM community?
We hope you have a restful vacation and we look forward to carrying out this process during early spring.
Summer Storage As spring vacation approaches we want to share helpful information related to end of the year. One key item is summer storage and shipping. We provide storage and shipping through an outside moving and storage company. May I store items at St. Mark's? No. Because our spaces are not intended for student storage, we are not able to provide storage on school grounds. Thank you.
Parents Association News
Annual Fund Update
The Annual Fund now stands at $1.51 million, 64 percent toward our total goal! Parent gifts total $579,000. Thank you to the many parents (53 percent) who have made a gift to date. III Form parents are still in the lead to win the Lion's Pride award for highest Form participation in the Annual Fund. With less than four months left in the fiscal year, we are grateful for the generous support of the St. Mark's parent community. Our goal is to raise $2.37 million and achieve 90 percent parent participation by June 30. For those families that have not yet contributed, we hope you were inspired by the recent letter and email from Michael Pellini, P'20, Annual Fund Parent Chair, to make your contribution today. Thank you again for your ongoing support!
Want to make your support of St. Mark's go even further? You can supplement your Annual Fund gift by also supporting the School through AmazonSmile! For every purchase made from smile.amazon.com, the AmazonSmile Foundation will contribute a small percentage of the sale to your charity of choice. To select St. Mark's as your charity of choice, visit smile.amazon.com, click on Accounts & Lists, and then Your AmazonSmile. Once on that page, search for and select St. Mark's School of Southborough. Remember, all purchases must be made through smile.amazon.com!
Faculty & Staff Appreciation
Help us thank the SM team for another wonderful year! Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day is coming up on Wednesday, April 24. On this special day, we host the annual Appreciation Brunch to coincide with the Faculty & Staff Appreciation Gift Lottery. This is a truly great event that the teachers and the staff really look forward to attending. There are two ways you can participate:
- Use the SignUpGenius link to donate an item (gift card, tickets, gift basket, food item) and/or volunteer your time.
- Use this link to make a financial contribution in support of the event (and the Co-chairs will shop for you!).
If you have any questions please contact the Faculty & Staff Appreciation Co-chairs Silvy Brookby, Stephanie Gattuso, and Claudia Liberatore at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to all of the parents who do so much for the School in support of this effort and our Annual Fund!
Parent Potluck Dinners
Each year, the Parents' Association coordinates potluck gatherings for each Form in the fall and spring. Save the dates below for potlucks for all Forms! Email invitations with event details will be sent via Evite as the dates approach.
- III Form - Friday, May 24, hosted by Cathy and Dan Gould in Hopkinton.
- IV Form - Saturday, May 18, hosted by Eileen Fava and Michael McCarthy in Weston.
- V Form - Friday, April 12, hosted by Shalini and Prem Yerabothu in Southborough.
- VI Form - Thursday, June 6, hosted by Diane and Mark Bechard in Ashland (after the VI Form Dance send-off).
Parent/Faculty/Staff Book Club
The next meeting of the St. Mark's Parent/Faculty/Staff book club will take place on Wednesday, April 10 in Room 248 of the Center from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. No RSVP is necessary--just show up for good discourse and camaraderie with others in the SM community. The April book title is Educated, by Tara Westover. The club is always looking for book title recommendations. Are you interested in submitting a book title for the group, or receiving book club meeting reminders, discussion questions, and recommended book titles directly? Email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Monday March 25 - Boarding students return by 7:00 p.m.
- Tuesday March 26 - Classes resume - Monday Schedule with Chapel starting the day