This week’s Family Newsletter from Assistant Head of School Nate Snow!
Greetings from the very cold White Mountain School! We’ve had some of the coldest temps we’ve seen in two years these past few days, forcing the cancellation of ski events and pressing coaches to be creative with practice time. Even some of the ski areas closed down for a day or two! The forecast is for temps in the 40’s by the middle of next week. Welcome to New England!
We held a wonderfully successful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this past Monday. There were a lot of amazing presentations, discussions and activities. It is so great to be able to put together a day like this behind the energy of our students. I think everyone (myself included) learned something valuable from our work examining and discussing a number of challenging issues related to diversity in our community and the world. You can check out an album of photos from the day on the school’s Picasa page.
Grades and Advisor Comments for the first semester were posted this past week on the school portal. Please let us know if you have any difficulty accessing these or would prefer to receive a hard copy. There have been a flurry of course adds/drops this first week of the new semester. You can check in with your child’s advisor if you have any questions about course planning or requirements as we enter a new semester.
In addition to the weekend schedule, you will also find attached to this email a list of our 2013 Spring Field Courses. Faculty have been busy planning these courses and we are really excited about the breadth of experiential opportunities for our students. It is a truly wonderful program where some students can study women’s rights and suffrage in Washington, DC and others can study avalanche science and safety in Washington State during the same week! Students will sign up for Field Courses right after February Break and then group preparations will begin in earnest. Field Course runs from March 11-15 (with a few exceptions for the longer trips) this year. Spring Break begins when students return from these trips and dorms will close at noon on March 16th.
As anyone who has seen the news recently can attest, this has been a particularly bad flu season in some areas. To date (knock on wood), WMS has not had to deal with much illness on campus this winter. We have worked hard to be prepared, beginning with our flu clinic this fall in which we vaccinated a good percentage of our population. Our Health Team and Administration have been meeting regularly to solidify our plans both to prevent the flu from taking hold in the community and to prepare to respond effectively if we should have some who fall ill. We recently installed a number of new hand sanitizer stations throughout campus and have increased support for the dorms to keep surfaces clean and germ free. We are providing a lot of education to our students and have instituted some additional controls in the kitchen and gym as well. If we have students who come down with the flu (or ‘flu-like illness’ in the parlance of the day), we will treat them as effectively as we are able. As part of our management plan, we do ask that if students fall ill who live within driving distance (< 4hours) that they return home until they are better and no longer contagious (typically this is a full 24 hours with no fever/symptoms). We also ask that if your WMS student is sick over the upcoming break that they not return to school until cleared. We thank you in advance for your assistance with this. If you have any questions about any of this, please ask Laura Morse, our Director of Health Services.
One great way to prevent the flu is to get outside and be active (I’m pretty sure even germs struggle when it is 10 below)! Luckily we have a great weekend of activities coming up. Saturday is our 2nd Annual Alumnae/i Ski Race at Cannon. While most students have class (Project Block A) Saturday morning, hopefully some students will join the alumnae/i and some current and former faculty members in this super fun event. If you like your outdoor adventure from a comfy seat in a theater, Miguel is taking a trip to see the traveling films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival on Saturday evening. Tonight, we are hosting our third Advisor/Advisee dinner of the year. There are also trips for ice skating, bowling and to see either our basketball teams or the Dartmouth Women’s Basketball Team in action against Harvard.
Our short February Break begins next Friday 2/1 at noon so I will not send out a full schedule and update next week. Boarding students are due back on campus between 3 and 7pm on Tuesday 2/5 (except those traveling by bus). Please let me know if you have any travel related questions.