Dear Parents and Guardians,
Kindness is in the air at Thayer Academy! Students, faculty, and staff have participated in activities, organized school initiatives, and engaged in kindness discussion groups to promote this value within our daily work together. These activities have all helped propel our community into living the values we institutionally abide by.
The Middle School has participated in community-wide and advisory-driven kindness initiatives throughout the past weeks of school. Some highlights include participating at Braintree’s Smith Beach cleanup day in which students and parents engaged in spreading kindness and compassion with our Braintree neighbors. The Brosnan & Corcoran advisories led the school in discussion using the poem “Make a U not a Circle” by Amy Weatherly, as well as gifting our 5th graders with Kindness pencils, a surprise gift sharing handwritten notes of welcome to our youngest Thayer tigers. The Smith and Wyche advisories helped bring an atmosphere of kindness with spirited videos playing at the start of morning meetings as well as creating, directing, producing, and starring in the video “Choose Kindness.” The Butler, Gibson, and Knox advisories have provided kindness quotes to discuss during advisory morning meetings and have sponsored an Escape Room in our CDL’s sewing room (created by 7th grader Logan de Laar and CDL Coordinator Ms. Jimenez) to promote community, team building, and kindness. We look forward to the creative ways our younger students will continue to share in spreading kindness.
The Upper School has also participated in various kindness initiatives this fall. With much help from Student Government (formerly Community Council), many of these ideas were cultivated and seen to fruition. In September, all students wrote and delivered thank-you notes to their peers and/or faculty members for whom they felt gratitude. Students have also engaged in community service in a multitude of ways, including the “Stuff the Bus” challenge during Homecoming which benefited local food pantries and the Bahamas relief fundraiser to support our sister school, Deep Creek Middle School, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
In addition to the heart-warming efforts we’ve already seen from our Upper School community, there are more plans to continue spreading kindness throughout the school year. Starting next week, there will be special interest lunch tables designated in the dining hall intended to bring together students of all grades with like-minded interests as well as provide safe, inclusive tables for anyone to join and share a meal. Additionally, community members can nominate students to receive ‘shout outs’ by their class deans during class meetings when they have displayed exemplary behavior. There are also plans to provide more opportunities for students to write and present ‘sTAnds’ during class/school meetings, with the goal of fostering empathy. When it comes to kindness, the Upper School is dedicated to spreading the good vibes and will continue in this endeavor.
The opening months of school have brought great opportunities for students to engage in sharing and spreading kindness. As the year progresses, we anticipate these activities will continue to strengthen our Academy, inspiring all within our community to pursue the common good.
Amanda Acutt, M.Ed
Upper School Counselor
Jarvis Wyche, MS
Middle School Counselor
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Varsity field hockey hosts BB&N today (Friday, Nov. 1) at 2 p.m. on Main Turf Field #1. Time for the Tigers to roar!
See all upcoming games and meets for Thayer teams in the Athletics section.
No-School Reminder: In observance of Veterans Day, there will be no school Monday, Nov. 11. There will be no Upper School sports that day, and administrative offices will be closed.
Bus info: For the week of Monday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), buses will depart at 3:30 p.m.
New Exhibit: Beginning Tuesday, Nov. 12, Thayer Art Gallery will host a new exhibit featuring the works of Carol Abram and Emma Davidson.
Local Flavor: For the next couple of weeks, Chef Doug Foss P '23, '26 and the Thayer Academy Kitchen Team will showcase local apples and cheeses from Massachusetts. Each day's lunch will feature a different apple-and-cheese pairing. A display will offer more information about each local product and the farm from which it came.
Parent Volunteers Sought: The Admissions Department seeks parent volunteers for its upcoming open house. The Upper School Open House is tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 2) from 9 until noon. If you are available to help out, please let us know or email Admissions Parent Volunteer Chair Sheree Marinelli P '21, '24.Thank you so much!
Holiday Give and Save Program: If you are planning to order holiday cards and/or holiday gifts, Minted.com is offering 20% off and a 15% donation to Thayer on all orders placed from Nov. 1 until Nov. 30 using the code FUNDRAISETHAYER. If you have any questions about this promotion, please contact Chrissy Dahlheimer in the Alumni House at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-664-2517.
Open House: An Upper School Open House will take place tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 2) from 9 a.m. until noon, beginning in the CFA lobby. No RSVP is required. If you know of a student who would make a great addition to Thayer, please feel free to spread the word to that family and let them know they're invited.
Print the Calendar: Not only does Thayer Academy's online calendar have the most up-to-date information about events, but it also has a convenient printing option. Click here to access the calendar and then look for the Print Element icon just above the "Saturday" listings. Post a month's worth of event details on your fridge for handy reference.
Social Media: Don't forget to follow us to see pictures and videos of what's happening all over campus every day. Simply click these links to access Thayer's official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Senior-Parent Teacher Conferences: Parents of seniors are invited to Senior-Parent Teacher Conferences on Thursday, Nov. 7, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. in the Cahall Dining Hall and Tiger's Den. Parents should have received an email this past Wednesday with instructions to sign up for sessions through the Pick-A-Time website.
Shoulder-to-Shoulder Applications: Students Shoulder-to-Shoulder is now accepting applications for its 2020 summer courses. The nonprofit enrolls high school students in dynamic, experiential courses in global citizenship as it seeks to inspire and support generations of ethical leaders. You can find information about the 12 courses offered by SStS by clicking here, and you may submit your online application by clicking here.
Through Thayer's membership in SStS's Global Schools Coalition, at least one spot in each of the 12 SStS courses is reserved for a Thayer student as long as applications are submitted by Jan. 15, 2020. Programs can fill up fast, though, so do not procrastinate! If you have any questions, contact Ms. Archabal.
Spain Trip Registration: Registration for this summer's trip to Spain is now open. It is aimed at sophomores and juniors who have completed at least Spanish II. Please click on this link for more details.
Sports Sign-ups: Upper School registration for winter sports will take place Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
Grades 9-11 Parents: College Counseling will present "The College Process & Standardized Testing Overview" to parents of students in grades 9, 10, and 11 on Monday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. at Thompson Hall. The Thayer college counselors will address the college counseling process and provide information about what parents and students can be doing now to plan ahead.
Topics will include: college trends, course selection, extracurricular activities, college resources, and the college counseling program. At 7:15 p.m., a speaker from the Summit Educational Group will provide an overview of standardized testing options, including the SAT and the ACT.
Recruiting Process Info: The Athletic Department and College Counseling Office will host a joint informational coffee Thursday, Nov. 7, at 8:15 a.m. at Thayer Sports Center to explain the college athletic recruiting process. Parents and guardians are welcome to learn more about the NCAA, the timeline for the recruiting process, and Thayer's overall philosophy on athletic recruiting. This meeting is open to all families in grades 9-11. For more info, please contact Nellie Brennan Hall. Please note: Thayer Sports Center is located on the Academy's South Athletic Campus, 1535 Washington St., Braintree.
College Visits: Please click here to see the college visits for Nov.4-Nov. 8. If you are a senior and would like to attend a College Rep. meeting, clear your absence with your teacher and register through Naviance. If you are a junior, you may attend if you have a free period; you may not be excused from a class. Attendance will be taken before a visit begins.
Log onto Naviance to register and see who else will be here this autumn!
Financial Aid Forms Available: Financial aid applications are now open. All colleges require submission of the the FAFSA form for students to be considered for financial aid. You can access the FAFSA by clicking here. Some colleges also require the CSS Profile, which can be found by clicking here. Check with the colleges where your senior is applying for the specific deadlines and requirements.
Performing & Visual Arts Fair: The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) will sponsor a Performing & Visual Arts Fair Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Emmanuel College. This free college fair is designed for students who would like to expand their exposure and learn more about educational opportunities at leading performing and visual arts institutions. Learn more about the fair by clicking here. If you are ready to "Search, Find and Connect," register now at gotomypvafair.com.
Essay Competition: The Immerse Education Essay Competition offers students the opportunity to win a 100% scholarship to participate in an Immerse academic summer program in Cambridge, UK. Immerse academic enrichment programs are unique study-abroad experiences designed for motivated young learners from around the world.
Students aged 13-18 are required to submit essay responses to a pre-set question relating to their chosen subject and age group. From Medicine, Computer Science, Physics to Engineering, Creative Writing, English Literature, and many more subjects, there is a category for every area of interest. Students from all nationalities are welcome to enter the competition.
For further details and to enter, please click here.
Monday Morning Meeting: The Nov. 4 Monday Morning Meeting will be a Veterans Day-themed salute to service to our country.
Early Dismissal Reminder: Today (Friday, Nov. 1) has been designated as an ISL Game Day. As a result, the Upper School will see an early dismissal time of 12:10 p.m.
Grades 11 & 12 Parent Social: The 11th and 12th Grade Parent Social hosted by Head of School Ted '70 and Karen Koskores P '10, '13 will take place Wednesday, Nov. 13, from 7 to 9 p.m. This reception is for 11th and 12th grade parents to provide an opportunity to come together and become better acquainted. An invitation was sent via email and requires an RSVP to Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. Please contact Chrissy with any questions.
Sports Reminder: Upper School regular season fall sports will end Saturday, Nov. 9.
Parent Ads for Yearbook: Parent ads for the Upper School yearbook are due no later than today (Friday, Nov. 1).
Attached is the form for creating and purchasing ads to congratulate and honor your senior.
Snack-and-Study: The important skill of note-taking will be the topic of the MS Hale Learning Center's next Snack-and-Study, which will take place Thursday, Nov. 7, from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m (right after sports) in Room 107. Geared toward 7th and 8th graders, the session will focus on how to know what to include in your notes, organizational systems for recording notes, and what to do with notes after you've taken them. Students should arrange for transportation home. Please email Maryann Shafter to sign up or for further information.
Cradles to Crayons: From Nov. 4 through Nov. 13, the Middle School will host a donation drive for Cradles to Crayons. Cradles to Crayons is an organization that provides children (infant to age 12) with essential items needed to thrive at home, at school, and at play. All donations can be brought to the Middle School and dropped off in the bins located in the foyer. Donation guidelines can be found by clicking here.
Permission Forms: On Nov. 13, Thayer Middle School 7th grade students will participate in community service projects in the Greater Boston area. The locations this year include the Greater Boston Food Bank, Cradles to Crayons, Community Servings, and Heading Home Inc. Homeless Shelter. During their visits, students will have an opportunity to explore the mission of the organization, increase awareness of the organization’s impact in the community, and participate in activities to further the mission of these organizations. Students will receive location assignments and permission forms today (Friday, Nov. 1). For your convenience, permission forms are available by clicking this link. If you have any questions, please contact Middle School Counselor Jarvis Wyche.
Treats for Troops: For the sixth consecutive year, Thayer Academy Middle School will collect your extra Halloween candy and donate it, through the Wellesley Dental Group, to Treats for Troops. Save that extra candy and bring it to Mr. Lanagan's Room (Room 115) until Tuesday, Nov. 5. We thank you in advance for the support! If you have questions, please contact MS Foreign Language Faculty Bill Lanagan.
Sports Reminder: Middle School fall sports will end Friday, Nov. 8.
Grade 8 Parent Social: The 8th Grade Parent Social hosted by Head of School Ted '70 and Karen Koskores P '10, '13 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. This reception is for 8th grade parents to provide an opportunity to come together and become better acquainted. An invitation was sent via email and requires an RSVP to Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming. Please contact Chrissy with any questions.
Grade 8 Parents: Don't miss out on placing an ad in your child's 8th grade yearbook! Please click here for information regarding how to go about making, placing, and paying for your ad. The deadline for all ads and payment is today (Friday,, Nov. 1). Please help to make this year's Evergreen Yearbook one to remember. This is always a favorite section of the yearbook for our departing 8th graders. For questions, feel free to contact Ms. Young.
Science Cafe Schedule: The TAMS Science Cafe Program continues with the following dates:
- Friday, 11/15: Kristin Voldan '97 (Geneticist)
- Wednesday, 12/4: Kaela Leonard '03 (Biochemical Engineer)
- Wednesday, 12/18: Abimbola Cole '11 (Pharmacist)
Students will have the opportunity to sign up one week before the presentation on the Science Cafe bulletin board. The event is open to all MS students, but there is a limit of 15 students per lunch. Those with questions can contact MS Science Faculty Natalie Young.
Grade 6 Greek Plays Info: Please click here to access important information about the upcoming production, including key dates and costume information.
Important Once on This Island Jr. Info: Please click the following links for information regarding the Middle School's upcoming production of Once on This Island Jr: a costume list; a measurement form; and a guide for measuring.
Join the Auction 2020 Committee: Planning for Auction 2020 is commencing, and you're invited to join the committee. The committee kickoff meeting is THIS Monday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. in the Parent Association Room (located on the second floor of Cahall Building).
Join forces with Auction 2020 Co-Chairs Nicole Cox P '26, Debi Lashar P '26, and Danielle Shahied P '26, '27 to bring Thayer's Auction 2020 to successful fruition! The Auction will take place on Friday, March 6, 2020. It is a great way to get involved and meet Thayer families. All Middle School and Upper School parents are welcome and encouraged to join the committee! The Auction is our opportunity as a community to come together to celebrate and support the talented and caring faculty at Thayer Academy who make a difference in the lives of our children every day. The funds raised are directed to the Faculty Excellence Fund as well as TAPA Programming. Please contact any one of the co-chairs if you would like to join the committee: Nicole Cox P '26 / Debi Lashar P '26 / Danielle Shahied P '26, '27.
Sideline Sale on ISL Day: TAPA merchandise will be available during a Sideline Sale on ISL Day today (Friday, Nov. 1), from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Hospitality Pavilion (on the fields). While the games are taking place, you also have a second chance to stock up on your limited-edition TAPA merchandise — chairs, Sherpas, Champion sweatshirts, blankets, etc. Do not miss your chance to shop! (Cash, Check, Credit Cards, and Student Invoices will be accepted).
TAPA Seeks Parent Potluck Hosts: TAPA is working to revitalize the Parent Potluck tradition at Thayer! Grade-level potlucks provide parents with the opportunity to come together to get to know each other in a casual environment. It is often a chance to become acquainted with the parents of your children's friends as well as make personal connections. These are informal, community-building events, where the entire grade is invited and everyone brings a dish. The hope is to have the potlucks hosted in the winter months so folks can come in from the cold to enjoy some warm conversation. Members of TAPA's Executive Board will help the host with compiling the invitation list, drafting the electronic invitation, and setting up the SignUpGenius as well as any of the additional event logistics that the host may need assistance with. If you are interested in hosting a potluck or if you have any questions, please email Julie Wichern for Upper School Potlucks and Nancy Doyle for Middle School. (Hosts are needed for the 5th, 11th, and 12th Grade Potlucks.)
'Ask Joani': There are still spots available for the Feb. 6 and April 22 "Ask Joani" Sessions with Joani Geltman, MSW. Attendees will ask questions ahead of those sessions, and Geltman will tailor her focus to the topics of concern/interest for those in attendance. If you would like to reserve your spot, please email Chrissy Dahlheimer, Director of Special Events, Stewardship & Parent Programming.
Volunteers wanted: Volunteer! We encourage all parents to volunteer and get involved in the Thayer community. You may volunteer for as many activities as you would like. Please click this link to review the parent volunteer opportunities for the 2019-2020 school year. If you have any questions, please contact TAPA's Volunteer Coordinators Today Baker P '24, '24 and Susan Donovan P '22.
The Parents' Independent School Network (PIN) is a nonprofit organization of independent schools in the Greater Boston area that provides parent education opportunities for its member schools.
Middle School PIN Meeting: A Middle School PIN Meeting will take place Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Tenacre Country Day School, 78 Benvenue St., Wellesley. Coffee begins at 9 a.m.; the meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. ALL Thayer parents are warmly invited to attend the meeting!
The topic will be "Secondary School Admissions" featuring a panel discussion with:
- Will Crissman, Head of School, Tenacre Country Day School
- Joanne Butterfield, Secondary School Placement Coordinator, Derby Academy
- Linda Daley, Founder and Owner, Daley Educational Consulting
- Tim Murphy, Director of Secondary School Counseling, Fessenden School
The panelists will help us explore many of the questions and issues that arise during the secondary school admissions process, including such topics as: standardized testing, determining a child’s educational needs, getting the most out of school visits and events, encouraging children to take age-appropriate ownership of the process, and managing the process so as to minimize stress. They will share with us some of the best practices in navigating the secondary school admissions journey and what to expect along the way. In addition, they will take questions from audience members about the process.
Upcoming Upper School Meetings: Steve Scholzman will present "Do You Want Them to Watch That? (and What to do About it if you Don't)" on Friday, Nov. 15, at 9 a.m. at Boston University/Academy as part of a Kids and Modern Media Presentation and Discussion.
The Annual Meeting/Head of School Panel will take place Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 9 a.m. at The British School.
PIN Contact Info: Interested in learning more about PIN? Please contact Thayer's 2019-2020 PIN Reps:
- Middle School: Kerri Coughlin P '24, '26
- Upper School: Rebecca King P '16, '17, '20; Mamie Marcus P '20; and Eileen McCormack P '21, '23
PIN MS Programming: Please click here to see the school year's PIN programming schedule for Middle School parents. The Upper School schedule will be shared soon. Also, please mark your calendars for the upcoming PIN meetings, which are open to ALL Thayer parents.
Don't forget to follow Thayer Academy on social media! You don't need to download any apps to see pictures and videos of what's happening all over campus every day. Simply click on the icons below to access Thayer's official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Click on the book or article titles for the book review or full article.
Director of Health Services Kathy Cunningham, RN, MSN, P ‘07, ‘10 is reading The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson.
Middle School Athletic Director John Reid is reading A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York by Liz Robbins. And on Sunday, he will run the New York City Marathon as a member of Team MR8. Best of luck!