Head's E-letter Vol XIII issue XV

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dear Parents,

I wanted to send along some news from Suffield as we proceed through the winter term. There is a great deal of activity and very positive spirit on campus. The midterm arrives on January 24 and grades will be emailed to parents on the 28th. In the coming days you will receive a letter from me that includes the 2014-2015 academic year calendar.

Earlier this week we heard a chapel talk by Franky Carrillo, who was wrongly convicted of murder and spent twenty years in prison. Franky's remarkable story of hope and resilience was very moving for our community. On January 20, Harvey Alston will help us honor the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by speaking of Dr. King's legacy and the theme of pursuing goals and dreams.

The popular Winter Guitar Show will take place on Saturday evening in the Jeanice Seaverns Performing Arts Center, and earlier in the day we will be hosting a program for parents of juniors (Suffield's Class of 2015) about the college search process (https://www.suffieldacademy.org/jrparentprogram). Most of our eleventh graders will take the SAT on January 25, and all juniors are now in the middle of the College 101 program, an integral part of our Leadership curriculum. This course provides an overview of several important areas: the college counseling process at Suffield, options for standardized test preparation and the differences between the SAT and the ACT, shaping a college list, and writing effective application essays. Finally, our Regional Studies history projects will be displayed on campus on the evenings of January 27 and 28.

Planning and fundraising continue for two campus projects: an expansion of Brewster Hall and creation of a healthy lifestyle center called "The Balance Barn."  As you know, Brewster houses our dining room facilities and student center (and a small dormitory), and this ambitious construction project will directly impact everyone in our school community. Located next to the Courtney Robinson '88 Outdoor Leadership Center, the Balance Barn will have space for yoga, meditation, and other health-related activities. This building is a particular passion of my wife, Hillary Rockwell Cahn '88, and it will facilitate evening and weekend programs that will greatly benefit Suffield students and staff and further distinguish our school. You can learn more about the Brewster project, the Balance Barn, and our campus master plan on the Suffield website (www.suffieldacademy.org/masterplan).

I am pleased to write that our admissions office is extremely busy as the first-round deadline hits for next year's applicants. More than two hundred families are visiting this month, and we may well have our largest-ever first round applicant pool with more than eight candidates for each available space.

Finally, as we proceed through the winter term I should again 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 to 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.

If poor weather causes a delay in the start of classes because of dangerous campus conditions, this information is accessible through our website, our campus intranet (email) system, our mass notification texts, and by calling our Emergency Communication Line at 860-386-4404. These decisions will be communicated to students, parents, and faculty through these vehicles by 6:00 a.m. Administrative functions at the school such as meals and switchboard coverage will continue along scheduled hours.

In closing, I want to thank the many parents who contributed to the Annual Fund during the holidays. The fact that ninety percent of current parents supported the Annual Fund last year sends such a wonderful message about the strength and spirit of our school. Fortunately we are headed for similar results in the current academic year. Thank you for your enthusiastic support of Suffield, and Hillary and I send our best wishes for the new year.


Charlie Cahn

Suffield Academy   185 North Main Street   Suffield, Connecticut 06078   Phone 860.386.4400  |  Fax 860.386.4411