Update to Academy Families — January 15, 2021

Bell tower an flag
January 15, 2021

Dear St. Johnsbury Academy Families,


This first week of what we call “spring” semester (folks have assured me this will eventually make sense) has gone quickly—thanks to all who choreographed the dance of cohorts, sections, spaces and times to unfold properly every day. The addition of 28 new students for the spring semester made this a challenge, but the Academic, Guidance, and Campus Life Offices worked long hours over the break to make it all happen—and while some of you pointed out rightly that we were down to the wire getting students their schedules on Monday, it took every minute we had to get things right.


It’s been a delight to see students back on campus, and hear them in the halls and classrooms again—and we are thrilled to welcome all of our new students. We thank our many students who quarantined in the Maple Center and the Comfort Inn, and the dedicated staff who helped them stay sane and fed. And we still have 74 wonderful students across the world who join their teachers in the Virtual Academy every day—many thanks to Kendra Brazeau for her care and support of those students and their families. We are so grateful you’re all with us.


The bizarre backdrop of presidential impeachment, tension and fear of unrest around the upcoming inauguration, on top of the relentless progress of the pandemic have made for countless educational moments already, particularly in government and social studies classes. We will continue to seize opportunities to learn, while remaining aware of our current strife, as we celebrate Martin Luther King Day all next week with talks, reflection, and service to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Learn more about our plans, which include a talk on Monday the 18th by Dr. Reverend Robert A. Potter.


Our regulation size outdoor hockey rink is about ready to go—many thanks to John Lenzini, Ben Davis, and the whole crew in Athletics, Kurt Zschau and crew in Facilities for getting it poured and frozen, and to the engineering folks in the shops (Bret Bourgeois, Jim Baker, and their students) for designing and building the “bambini”—a small version of a Zamboni that we will use to resurface the ice. This is all still pretty experimental, but we know the hockey players, boarding students, and all of us are psyched to try it out.


One last note: we are eager for students to continue to observe good etiquette now that we’re back on Zooms, so please remind your students that they should behave in online class as they would in the classroom. Have a good weekend, and as always, don’t hesitate to be in touch with any questions or concerns as we get back into the swing of things.


Take care,


Dr. Sharon Howell


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