J.R. Neiswender | October 19 | Cougar Chronicle

Dear Upper School Families,

It’s hard to believe we are already nearing the end of October.  Fall break came at a much needed time for all of us, and I hope you and your family were able to enjoy a little extra rest and relaxation.  So much happens in schools all around the country at this time of year that it’s exciting to have a chance to focus on those events that feel more like “normal” school.  Activity is buzzing in all areas of the Upper School right now, and students are finding ways to celebrate the season and support one another in a wide variety of ways.  

Athletically, we are in the midst of switching from the fall sports season to the winter.  We are incredibly proud of the volleyball, cross country, and tennis teams that represented the Cougars so well this fall.  We are excited to open the boys and girls basketball seasons this week, and bowling is right around the corner as well.  With basketball starting this week, we certainly want everyone to be thinking about the best way to support the Cougars in our gym.  We are excited to be able to welcome fans into our stands this season. When you come to the games, please be mindful of the social distancing and mask-wearing protocols we have in place on campus, and follow the instructions on the signs posted around the area.  Our teams want you there to support them, but we want everyone to remain safe and healthy as well.

We also have the opportunity to participate in some school wide events as the last week of October brings both the Annual Fun Run and Red Ribbon Week, which is in celebration of our students making healthy choices.  Our Student Council has chosen dress up themes for each day of Red Ribbon Week and we will have an assembly (on Zoom of course) to support the cause.  We look forward to everyone getting into the spirit of the week.

And from an academic standpoint, I hope you got some great feedback from conferences with your student and their advisor earlier this month.  Last Friday marked the end of the first academic quarter of the year, and later this week you will be able to log into Blackbaud and read teacher comments about your student’s progress (you’ll receive a notification about logging in later this week.)  Remember, you can always log into the Gradebook function on Blackbaud and see your student’s grades at any time, but comments at this time of year give the teachers the opportunity to express how things are going halfway through the semester, as well as what can be improved while there is still plenty of time to work on the routines that can lead to success.  Hopefully this feedback will prove helpful for the students and for you.  Additionally, for our 10th and 11th grade students, we will administer the PSAT on Thursday October 29.  Those tests have been ordered for all students in those two grades - both distanced and on campus learners - and the test will be administered on campus that morning starting at 8am sharp.  Feel free to send along any questions you may have about the PSAT to me or to Marshall Gray in the College Counseling office.  

Have a great week! We look forward to continuing to find ways to connect with you all in the days and weeks to come.

J.R. Neiswender

Head of Upper School    

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