Dear Thayer families,
As a community, we generally like to feel connected with one another. During the winter months, however, the viruses of the “flu,” COVID-19, and the regular “common cold” thrive due to the close proximity which occurs in cold weather. With that in mind, we are reminding families about the guidelines for cold, “flu,” and possible COVID-19 symptoms as well as the decision-making process regarding school attendance.
There is nothing new about the basic steps to prevent the spread of illnesses, but we respectfully request that you take a few minutes right now to review the following reminders with your children.
- Students who are concerned about getting COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness can simply wear a mask inside throughout the day, or at least when in spaces where it is difficult to keep a safe distance from others. There are many of us who do so (and not just the nurses!).
- Students who feel unwell at home should remain home, have their temperature taken, and take a COVID-19 rapid antigen test. Even if symptoms appear to indicate a “simple cold” or seasonal allergies, please test before coming to school.
- As per our usual public health measures, a temperature of above 100 degrees requires that a student stay out of school for at least 24 hours past this temperature without the aid of fever-reducing medications, even if a rapid antigen test is negative.
- If a rapid antigen test is negative with no fever, and the student feels well enough to comfortably attend classes, please have that student wear a mask indoors. Of course, this is on a self-monitoring basis, so we are relying upon Thayer families to do the right thing for the health of everyone.
- If symptoms develop after arrival at school, the student should go to the nurse for an assessment, one which will likely include having a rapid antigen test done.
- Currently, rapid antigen tests (in two-pack boxes) are available with the nurses for at-home testing, as needed.
- Students are asked to wear a mask inside if a person in the household tests positive for COVID-19. Feel free to contact the nurses for more detailed guidance.
- We encourage anyone who is eligible to get a seasonal flu vaccine and an updated COVID-19 (bivalent) booster. Learn more at: MDPH Information About Flu and COVID-19 vaccines; and CDC Information About Flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
Our individual actions can affect the community at large, so, together, let’s make Thayer a healthier place.
Kathy, Nancy, and Kristin
Kathy Cunningham, RN, MSN, P '07, '10
Director of Health Services
Nancy Burgess, RN, P '08, '11
School Nurse, Middle School
Kristin Haskell, RN, BSN, P ’29, ‘29
School Nurse, Upper School
P.S. Please review Thayer’s guidelines for those who test positive for COVID-19.
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- Middle School Announcements
- TAPA News
- What Thayer is Reading
The girls varsity basketball team will host Phillips Exeter Academy tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 28) at 2 p.m. on Rob Dixon '79 Court in Memorial Gym. Go, Tigers!
See all upcoming games, matches, and meets for Thayer teams in the Athletics section.
Donations Sought to Help Father Bill's
On Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Father Bill's Club will deliver its second donation to the Father Bill's & MainSpring Homeless Shelter in Quincy. Volunteer to donate rolls or cookies or lettuce or pasta and meatballs (the hardest spot to fill on the list!). Please sign up using the Father Bill's Sign-up Sheet and bring your food donation to school Jan. 31.
The Father Bill's Club thanks the Thayer community for its generosity and support.
Bailey-King Author Series Event Is Feb. 9
Kirsten King '10, an LA-based screenwriter and co-writer of the film Crush, will be the guest author for this year's Bailey-King Author Series. A reception will take place Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. in Southworth Library; the event will also be available via Zoom.
The deadline to register is Monday, Jan. 30.
Upcoming Athletic Spirit Nights
Save the dates for these upcoming athletic spirit nights! Wear your black & orange and come out to support our student-athletes!
As always, there will be free food and beverages for all in attendance. Dates are:
- Friday, Feb. 10, at 5 p.m.: girls varsity basketball vs. Austin Preparatory School (Memorial Gym)
- Friday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.: coed swimming & diving vs. Pingree School (Blue Hills Regional Technical High School in Canton)
- Friday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m.: Valicenti Cup — girls varsity hockey vs. BB&N followed by boys varsity hockey vs. St. Sebastian's (est. 7 p.m. start time) (Thayer Sports Center)
Info for Setting Up Athletics Alerts
To set up alerts for athletic contests, please follow these step-by-step instructions. All families should set up alerts through MySchoolApp moving forward as the Athletics Department is able to post more in-depth information about practices, games, and transportation.
If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Department.
Virtual Event on Antiracism Is Feb. 16
Join bestselling authors Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone Thursday, Feb. 16, for a conversation, How To Be a (Young) Antiracist, that will encourage young people to think critically and empower them to build a more equitable world.
Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn how their voices, actions, and decisions can shape the world and make it a better place for everyone. The conversation is suited for both Middle School and Upper School students. Parents and guardians are invited to attend as well.
Registration is required. If you have any questions, reach out to Assistant Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Sarah Miller.
Driving Lessons During Spring Recess
For those families with students approaching driving age, there is a driver's education opportunity provided by Driver's Edge Academy during Spring Recess. More information, including schedule and pricing, is available to those interested.
Midyear Sign-up for Private Music Lessons
Interested in music lessons? Midyear sign-ups for Thayer's private music lesson program are now in progress.
Lessons are available for voice, piano, guitar, bass, strings, wind instruments, and drums. Students interested in starting an instrument or continuing the study of an instrument can visit the Academy's private lesson page and fill out the lesson sign-up form.
Lessons meet weekly during an Upper School student’s free period/study hall and a Middle School student's X-Block and Activity period. After-school lessons and Zoom lessons may be available, depending on the individual lesson teacher’s schedule.
If families have questions about the program, please visit the private lesson page for pricing and lesson policies. For all other questions, please contact Private Music Lesson Coordinator Steve Skop P '23.
Tigers of the Week
Congratulations to our newest Tigers of the Week. Keep up the good work!
Senior Project Info; Proposal Deadline Is Jan. 27
Attention, parents and guardians of current seniors: The goal of the Senior Project program is to give students a chance to assimilate all that they have learned at Thayer into an individualized internship that serves as a capstone to their time at Thayer. The following provides an update and useful information:
This year, senior projects will be completed from Monday, May 8, through Friday, June 2. Students are expected to complete 20-25 hours per week, five days per week. Exceptions to these hours will be to take AP exams (during the week of May 8) and possibly two Fridays during May (more details to come during the spring).
Southworth Library Assistant Stephanie Rando ‘88 P ‘18, ‘20 and Associate Director of College Counseling Christine Woods P ‘25, ‘27, co-directors of the program, asked seniors to speak with their families and any possible contacts over Winter Recess about potential internship opportunities. Students may need family support throughout this process, and Mrs. Rando and Mrs. Woods are available to help students with any questions or concerns they may have. The two are actively sharing with seniors a list of potential on- and off-campus opportunities.
Now that they are back at school, seniors should focus on the details of what they would like to do. Senior Project Proposals are due by Friday, Jan. 27. Students need parent/guardian permission to complete the Senior Project Proposal Form. Within the next month or two the co-directors will post a longer permission form for parents/guardians to complete in the Parent Portal.
If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Rando or Mrs. Woods.
Middle School Start Time Reminder
As the new year begins, a reminder that Middle School students are expected to arrive at school by 7:55 a.m. to begin their day. This enables the students time to go to their lockers and settle in prior to their 8 a.m. Advisory or Morning Meeting.
Topics of Middle School Coffee
The Feb. 1 parent/guardian coffee (please see event notice in TAPA section) will feature two components: an academic spotlight on the pedagogical value of student-led discussions in 7th and 8th grades as well as an interactive learning discussion centered on student well-being.
During the first component, parents and guardians will have an opportunity to understand how these student-led discussions are structured and how this model is used to strengthen students' speaking and analytical skills.
During the second component, Assistant Head of School for Student Engagement and Well-being Jed Wartman P '30 will share data from the Challenge Success Survey administered this fall. He will then lead a discussion about the role parents and guardians can play in helping students to find a healthy balance in their lives.
Middle School Winter Social Event Is Feb. 10
All Middle School students are invited Friday, Feb. 10, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to come cheer on girls varsity basketball. At halftime there will be a pizza party.
In addition, while the game is going on in Memorial Gym, the Middle School will have its own games and activities in Alumni Gym until 8 p.m. and then finish the night with a sweet treat. More details to follow next week.
Middle School DEI Conference at Shady Hill School April 1
The Thayer Academy DEIB Office looks forward to bringing a group of Middle School students to the AISNE Middle School Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference. The conference is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Shady Hill School in Cambridge.
The DEIB Office encourages families to talk about this exciting opportunity at home. If you have questions and/or think your student(s) would be interested in attending, reach out to Sarah Miller or Destiny Palmer.
Coffee With Galen Is Feb. 1
TAPA will host some coffee and conversation with Middle School Director Galen Hamann Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8:15 a.m. in the Middle School Forum (please see the notice in the Middle School section for more details). It's a great time to learn about what's happening at the Middle School and catch up with fellow parents and guardians.
Parent/Guardian Affinity Groups
TAPA and the DEIB office welcome participation in upcoming affinity group meetings for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ parents and guardians. Affinity groups are a resource to provide a sense of community and a safe space for parents and guardians to unite and support one another in meaningful conversations and activities.
Please note: affinity group meetings are intended to be a safe space for those individuals in our community who self-identify as a member of that designated group and are able to speak from the "I" perspective. These meetings should only be attended by those individuals; they are not intended for those who identify as allies.
For any questions about the BIPOC Affinity Group, please contact TAPA DEIB Coordinator Sharisse Cail Perry P ‘24 ‘24. For any questions about the LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group, please contact Julie Austin-Johnstone P ‘24.
Remaining BIPOC Affinity Group meeting dates (All meetings begin at 7 p.m.): Feb. 22; April 5; and May 3.
Remaining LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group meeting dates (All meetings begin at 7 p.m.): Feb. 21; April 6; and May 10.
Academy Jackets: On-site Measurement Day to be Rescheduled
Please note: Jostens will reschedule their on-site measuring day in the near future; check the TNN for more information.
TAPA Book Club Set for Feb. 15
Catch up on the latest literary works with your fellow parents and guardians when you stop by Southworth Library Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. and join the TAPA Book Club.
For more information, contact Mary Ellen Kilmer P ’99, ‘06.
Parent/Guardian Casual Get-Togethers — Walk or Talk
Winter is all too often a time when people tend to hibernate. If you find it hard to get motivated when the weather is cold or the nights are long, TAPA offers a reason for you to get out and socialize.
Check the TAPA list of 2023 Winter Walks and Coffees and then join your fellow parents/guardians on a brisk walk or gather together at a local coffee shop for a warm chat.
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities: Senior Activities
For our senior parents and guardians, this time of year brings thoughts of graduation as families are deep in the throes of college applications. Perhaps it has fostered some thoughts of all the activities that the school hosts on behalf of graduating students. TAPA sponsors The Last Hurrah! dinner, Senior Fest, and other spring activities. TAPA seeks a few parents/guardians to chair and volunteer for these events. Both senior and junior parents/guardians are encouraged to sign up. Please reach out to TAPA President Martha McNally P ’22, ‘24, ‘27 (last year’s chair) with questions or to participate.
For those interested in participating in the organization of the May Parent/Guardian Social, come ready to brainstorm in the new year. This committee will meet in January to start the planning process. TAPA also needs volunteers to help with decor, food selection, and auction item collection.
Review and/or sign up for all volunteer needs.
Coming Soon: TAPA Scholarship Applications
Attention, all senior parents and guardians: please note that TAPA provides scholarship opportunities for those students who have demonstrated interest in, experience in, or aptitude for community service. Scholarships will be awarded at the Last Chapel in June.
TAPA encourages all to apply, and links to the application form will be placed in the TNN in the coming weeks.
Here to Help
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martha McNally P ’22, ‘24, ‘27: President
Caroline Kuhlmann P ’25, ‘28: Vice President
Lee Sentnor P ’21, ‘24, ‘26: Treasurer
Kaityln Aiello P ’26, ‘28: Secretary
Heidi Barry P ’26, ‘28: MS President
Colleen Hernandez ‘90 P ’26, ‘28: MS Vice President
JoAnn Brown P ’27: MS Secretary
Sharisse Cail Perry P ’24, ‘24: DEIB Coordinator
Kim Millian P ‘26: Volunteer Coordinator
Dasan Harrington P ’27: Volunteer Coordinator
Nicole Arnold P ’24, ‘25: Parent Athletic Coordinator (PAC)
Yemi Talabi-Oates P ‘26, ‘29: MS DEIB Coordinator
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Middle School Director Galen Hamann is reading You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters by Kate Murphy.