Headmaster’s Newsletter

Update to Academy Families — May 7, 2021

Bell tower an flag
May 7, 2021

Dear St. Johnsbury Academy Families,


I am happy to be writing to you on this sunny Friday, especially since it’s been an extra week since my last update. Things haven’t stopped happening as we head into the final three weeks of the term and the year, and we’ve been busy adjusting and confirming plans. I want to share some of this information and hopefully answer some of the questions that have been coming up. Forgive the lengthy email—there’s a lot!


End-of-Year Update

  • Thursday, May 27th: Last day of Classes

  • Friday, May 28th: Wrapping up, make-ups, non-senior resident students depart

  • Sunday, May 30th: Deadline for student work (exceptions through Department Chairs only)

  • Tuesday, June 1st through Sunday, June 6th “Senior Week” activities and events

  • Monday, June 7th: Commencement—Outdoors, rain or shine, with the field house as a hostile-weather option.


A full official schedule of events with details will go out to senior families from our office by next Tuesday, May 11th, but in the meantime, the top-line items are below.


Senior Week June 1st-June 6th

The week’s activities will really start on Thursday with Last Chapel and Senior Sports Recognition, so the action is a little more compressed. Full official schedule of events will come out from the Headmaster’s Office next week, but here is the gist:


  • Thursday, June 3rd: Last Chapel/Senior Breakfast and Senior Sports Recognition

  • Saturday, June 5th (Friday, June 4th rain date): PROM on Brantview Lawn, with parade through town at 7:00pm, fireworks concluding at 10pm.

  • Sunday, June 6th: Class Day

  • Monday, June 7th: Commencement               



We are following the Governor’s “Vermont Forward” phased plan for reopening, where by June 1st, if 60%-70% of Vermonters are vaccinated, we will be able to hold an outdoor, in person graduation with seniors, faculty, and families—four guests for each senior. The plan is to hold it on the football field, rain or shine, and in the Field House if there is some kind of hostile weather event.


Summer Programs

Our plan is to open the campus to Summer courses, camps, and activities aimed at restoring learning and enrichment; and then by Fall 2021 to have the Academy back to full operation, with all students on campus and programs running. Until then we will be working to create the conditions academically and culturally for true long-term rebuilding and reimagination. Our current slate of Summer Programs includes:



The Academic Summer Session is still building its offerings, but these are the confirmed courses:



We are also hoping to include additional art offerings, and there are a couple of different project-based and experiential learning programs specifically for middle schoolers in development for 5- week-long sessions throughout the summer. We will update as soon as we have more detail on any updates to these programs. Please visit the webpage for our summer academic programming for more information.


COVID-19 Vaccine

We strongly encourage all eligible members of the community to get vaccinated when you are able. If you’re unsure if you’re eligible or how to access the vaccine, please go to the Vermont State Vaccine Information page, and if you are confused about where you should get the vaccine, contact Sarah Garey at the Health Center, sgarey@stjacademy.org.


This past week students did some lovely things to celebrate their teachers, including thank-you notes, Chapel talks, and goodies in the faculty room. Now we are all getting excited to celebrate our students together in the near future. At the Senior Class Council meeting this morning, even though it was 7:15am, the students were already raring to go on preparations for an on-campus prom.


We thank you so much for all the work you do every day to get your kids motivated and on track in these strenuous times—with just a few more weeks, we hope that if any students are struggling in ways we can help to address, you will reach out to us so we can partner in support of them. I also always appreciate hearing from you all, and hope that you will continue to be in touch with me when and if you have questions at showell@stjacademy.org. Enjoy your weekend!


Take care,

Dr. Sharon L. Howell


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