Update to Academy Families — August 27, 2021
Dear St. Johnsbury Academy Families,
It was truly joyful to be in chapel on Wednesday to kick off our new school year. To see the happiness of students as they reconnect with friends and with some measure of normalcy has been incredibly gratifying for faculty and staff, who’ve had this as a goal for months. By all accounts classes and activities are humming along, and soon we’ll be in the groove of the fall semester. I have thanked the teams here at the Academy whose hard work went into getting us here—including our great student leaders—but I also want to thank all of you, our families. We are incredibly fortunate to have the community we do, and to be back to the business of learning together at last.
My personal delight in leading my very first live chapel was followed by some pause about the change in COVID circumstances, which is why we are going to have weekly morning meetings in the Amphitheater by class for a while instead of gathering indoors. For now, some classes, lunches, and other activities will be able to move outdoors, especially while the weather is nice. We continue to reassess and, if necessary, realign what we do based on the best advice available from public health officials.
We do have a way to go before we’re back to normal—and we don’t want to mess with the Delta variant while we get there—so we’re very eager to reach the 80% vaccinated goal for students to increase everyone’s safety and comfort. After the campus vaccine clinic today, we’ll be close to 70% vaccinated, and we’ll hold another clinic on campus on September 17th. But please help us by getting your student vaccinated as soon as possible—and please send Sarah Garey your documentation of vaccination at firstname.lastname@example.org, so we know to count you toward our total.
After our casual week, a reminder that we’re in dress code next week (with welcome cooler weather ahead).
As we relearn how to be in community, my message to all has been to default to kindness and respect—remember how easy and powerful it is to share a kind thought or a word of praise. For our part, we will be as thoughtful and communicative as we can about our work with your students, and about our strategies and thinking; and we hope that you will be our partners in transparent exchange and gratitude for all we have.
Take good care, and never hesitate to be in touch.
Dr. Sharon Howell