Tuesday, November 3, 2015
I wanted to send news from Suffield as we head into the final weeks of the fall term. The academic year is successfully unfolding and our senior class is doing an excellent job leading the student body.
The fall term will conclude with exams on November 16-20. A modification to the previously posted exam schedule may be necessary on Wednesday, November 18 due to the success of several athletic teams and possible participation in New England tournament play on that day. Academic Dean Sara Yeager will soon communicate specifics about the schedule for November 18 and the details will also be posted in upcoming versions of Suffield's Daily Bulletin. Previously posted times will remain unaltered for the other exam days.
A series of events in support of a nonprofit organization called Circle of Care will begin this Saturday evening (November 7) with a color course paint run. Presented by Carlos Salguero '18 and Eva Hafner '18 as one of four possible charities to help, Circle of Care was the resounding choice of our student body. They provide immediate and ongoing support to families of children with cancer. Efforts aimed at raising awareness about important issues and organizations beyond our campus have become a wonderful tradition at Suffield and brought inspired leadership by our students. You will be hearing more this week about how to support the color course, and about future events including a winter telethon of live arts performances. Also on Saturday, our Parents' Association will host a meeting in Tisch Auditorium (at noon) focused on college athletics and the recruiting process. Mike Stone, owner of Parents of Athletes, will be the guest presenter.
More than 40 students are preparing for the upcoming musical, Spring Awakening. Three shows will be held in Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center (December 10-12). There are 26 students in the cast, 5 serving with professional musicians in the band, and 12 working on the crew. Spring Awakening won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. It is a rock musical about the trials and tribulations of adolescence.
Our fall athletic season has been enhanced by the newly installed lights on our turf field. By the end of the term we will have night games for girls' and boys' soccer, field hockey, and football. As noted above, several teams are positioned for opportunities in highly selective postseason tournaments. These include varsity volleyball (12-0), boys' varsity water polo (14-1), and possibly boys' varsity soccer (8-3-4) and varsity football (5-1). Across the board our athletes are showing resilience and spirit, and regular season contests will conclude over the next two weeks.
We have had four guest chapel speakers this fall (James Crotty, Scott Fried, Peter Vanlaw, and Robert Siciliano), and an engaging performance yesterday by Joshua Holden ("The Joshua Show") focused on authenticity. Current parent Lt. Col. Michael Cousins P'19 will speak next Monday as the school reflects on Veteran's Day and recognizes the men and women that have pursued military service.
Our seniors—with the support of their college counselors and recommendations by their teachers—have been closely focused on college applications as the first of many deadlines (November 1) has now arrived. The proliferation of early action, early decision, and rolling admission programs over the past few years has accelerated the application process. This reality was part of what led to Suffield's distinctive, unique four-year approach to college counseling that is now fully implemented. More details about the program can be found at http://www.suffieldacademy.org/Page/Academics/College-Counseling.
Later this week (on Friday, November 6) parents with mobile phone numbers in our database will receive a message confirming that you wish to receive mass notification texts from the school. We will follow this up with an email so that those who want these messages but do not have a mobile number in our system can have it added.
Finally, as we head to the winter term I should outline our inclement weather policy. Since the majority of Suffield Academy's students reside on campus, the school does not normally suspend classes or activities during snowstorms or other extreme weather conditions. Although classes and school activities will occur, day student families are asked to make their own decision about the safety of travel and notify the school in the cases of absences due to the weather, following our standard procedure for reporting an absence to the Dean of Students' Office (860-386-4492). Our faculty understands there will be no academic penalties for excused absences and will offer appropriate help for any missed classes.
Thank you to the many parents that have already supported the Annual Fund. Our high levels of parent, alumni, and faculty participation are the envy of other independent schools and have helped lead to dramatic progress in strengthening the school's infrastructure and programs.
Hillary and I look forward to seeing you on campus as the academic year unfolds and send best wishes from Suffield.