Going From Fall to Winter at WMS

One of the things I aim to do in this space each week is give you a sense of what life is really like here on campus.  Perhaps helpful in this effort for those of you not from New England is including some information about our rather unique weather.  To that end, I wanted to let you know that I walked my dog on our trails this November morning while wearing shorts with the abnormally warm temperature slated to top out near 70 degrees later today.  For a frame of reference on the incredible variability of November weather in our area, I have also attached a photo taken in early November last year that shows the campus blanketed in a few inches of nice fluffy snow!  It appears that this year’s first measurable snow will have to wait a bit (sorry skiers and snowboarders!).
 
Hi WMS Families,
 
One of the things I aim to do in this space each week is give you a sense of what life is really like here on campus.  Perhaps helpful in this effort for those of you not from New England is including some information about our rather unique weather.  To that end, I wanted to let you know that I walked my dog on our trails this November morning while wearing shorts with the abnormally warm temperature slated to top out near 70 degrees later today.  For a frame of reference on the incredible variability of November weather in our area, I have also attached a photo taken in early November last year that shows the campus blanketed in a few inches of nice fluffy snow!  It appears that this year’s first measurable snow will have to wait a bit (sorry skiers and snowboarders!).
 
As we wind down our fall sports season, it is a good time to remind everyone that next Friday evening we will host our Fall Sports Awards.  This ceremony gives all of our fall coaches a chance to reflect publicly on their seasons and to highlight their team’s or group’s efforts and achievements.  This event always has a really nice unique WMS feel about it and it is always one of my favorite events. Held at 5pm in the Great Hall, families are welcome to join us for this event and the Community Dinner that follows it.  If you are interested in attending, please RSVP to Jessica Willis (jessica.willis@whitemountain.org)
 
As I mentioned last week, students are all signing up for their winter sport(s) today and tomorrow.  You should have received information earlier this week about each of these options and some of the costs associated with a few activities.  We are really excited about the breadth of our winter offerings and our students really enjoy having somewhat more flexibility to try more than one sport over the course of the season.  Brent is available to answer any questions you may have about winter sports schedules, ski passes or equipment needs.  Ski pass forms and waivers will be available soon and winter sports will begin (for most sports) right after we return from Thanksgiving break.  
 
With Thanksgiving break coming up quickly, it is time for me to give thanks to those who have already communicated their child’s travel plans.  Thanksgiving Break begins after students’ last commitments on Friday 11/20.   For most students that will be around 4:30pm after our interim sports block on that day.  Our bus leaves for Manchester airport at 6:30 am Saturday 11/21 and the Concord Coach bus to Boston (South Station and Logan Airport) leaves Saturdaymorning at 6:50am.  Dorms close for the break at noon on Saturday 11/21.  Boarding students should plan to return to school on Monday, November 30th and classes resume on Tuesday, December 1st.  Please don’t hesitate to let me or Jessica know if you have any travel questions or concerns!
 
We had a wonderful experience this past week with our visiting committee from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).  This great group of teachers and administrators from independent schools across New England spent three days talking to just about everyone on campus (including a number of you parents – Thank You!), gathering information and helping us reflect on the deep and engaging work we had done for our self-study.  The initial reports from the committee were very positive on our work and our school with one member noting that all of the committee members would love to work here!  We look forward to sharing with you more complete information from their very comprehensive report once it is available.
 
We are excited to have some of our students again attending the annual Eastern Snow and Avalanche Workshop on Saturday.  This year’s conference, at the Mount Washington Resort, is being held in collaboration with the families of Bryce Astle and Ronnie Berlack, two members of the US Ski Team who were killed this past winter in an avalanche in Austria.  Ronnie grew up locally and was well known to many of us here at WMS and I’m proud that so many of our students are out there learning and sharing important information about traveling safely in the winter backcountry.
 
As usual, there is much going on this weekend, even without a Project Block!  A lot of seniors are taking the SAT (last time for most!) and both soccer trams are in action at home Saturday afternoon.  Our sport climbing team is heading to Portland, ME for their third bouldering competition of the season and a good number of students involved in our Diversity Club are attending a multi-school dinner and conference at Holderness Saturday night focused on students of color in our schools.  Given that the mid-term ends next week, I’m sure students will also spend some of their free time this weekend preparing for tests and quizzes and wrapping up any and all academic loose ends as well.
 
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything you have questions about!  Have a wonderful weekend!
 
-Nate
 

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