Notes from the Upper School Office

Dear Upper School Families,

I hope this letter finds you well, and that, with a month of summer yet to come, you have as much to reflect back on with a smile as you have to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

As is always the case at this time of year, we have important information that will help you plan for the school year that lies ahead.  The “start-of-school” information found on this Back to School will bring you up to speed on updates and reminders.

You will see that one of the posts on this page contains information about accessing your daughter’s course list and ordering text books. Students typically obtain their books through MBS Direct’s online book ordering services (open August 5) or at the Used Book and Uniform Sale here at school (August 7). Please contact the US Office or MBS Direct should you have any questions. The online bookstore will open on Wednesday, August 7 with free shipping the first two weeks.

Please reference the course list (posted in the Student Database on July 26) when procuring books for the year. Grade 11 students please see important information in the Notes from the Grade 11 Dean cautioning you against repeat purchases of history textbooks that carry over from tenth grade). 

Class Deans (Tucker Sowers 9, Martha Macon Smith 10, Shay Squeglia 11, and Yolanda Keener 12) return to school on August 19, and will be available to meet with students at that time should the course list be inaccurate (we hope this is not the case!). The Student Course Registration process began in February and concluded in May so as to give students adequate time to make well considered decisions. Wherever possible, students have been placed into the electives requested. Course changes will be permitted in the event that a student’s placement has changed (i.e. because of summer work completed in a specific discipline and a subsequent placement test) or to drop an elective. To preserve the carefully balanced section sizes at all grade levels and in all disciplines, any other request for changes will be considered only if section sizes and balance allow. Student schedules will be available August 31.

I look forward to seeing you all when school gets underway. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or, in my absence (July 22 – Aug 13), Adriane Anderson, our wonderful Upper School Administrative Assistant (301.365.6045). We are here to help.

Sincerely and with gratitude for being a member of this community,

Chris Lynch
Upper School Director
301.365.6089

2019-2020 Important Fall Dates for Upper School Students and Parents

  • Monday, August 19 Preseason for Fall Athletics Begins at 8 a.m.; Parent Meeting for All Fall Athletic Teams 5 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 29 Grade 9 Fall Activity Day (for all ninth graders not participating in a fall team sport at school; for further information, see “Grade 9” below)
  • Thursday, August 29 Grade 9 Parent Orientation to Upper School, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 3 Convocation and First Day of Classes
  • Tuesday, September 3 Grade 12 Parent Orientation to Senior Year, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, September 5 Upper School Back-to-School Night
  • Wednesday, September 11 First 9:00 a.m. opening for Professional Work
  • November 7 and 8 Upper School Conferences (students attend; please do not schedule conflicting travel arrangements)

For All Grade Levels:

Holton/Landon Leadership Summit
We will be hosting the Holton/Landon Leadership Summit on August 19, 20, and 21. Read more about the summit and how to participate.

Wednesday Mornings will be late 9 a.m. starts for Professional Development beginning September 11, 2019. We will use this time for faculty professional work and collaboration time. Bus transportation will remain on a normal schedule; therefore, girls may arrive on campus at a normal school day time and the building will be open for their use. 

BACK-to-SCHOOL NIGHT Thursday, September 5

We will send you more information about Back-to-School Night closer to the opening of school. The evening will include grade-level meetings with your Parent Grade Reps and Class Deans.

GRADE-LEVEL RETREATS Friday, September 13 (The Junior Retreat will run from September 12-14)

Each grade will spend the day in retreat, primarily off campus. Students and Advisors engage in day-long activities; Class Deans will provide grade-specific details at the start of school.

PARENT CONFERENCES for all grade levels – November 7 and 8

Reminder:  all Upper School students participate in conferences. Please do not schedule conflicting travel as we cannot accommodate requests for alternate dates.

To encourage and to equip our students to take responsibility for their learning and to advocate and speak for themselves as effectively as possible, we include students as active participants in the conferences. The success of this format rests on our readiness to support our students as they assess their progress and reflect on their strengths, weaknesses and goals.  With this in mind, we offer some suggestions for your summer reading pleasure:  

  • Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
  • The Blind Spot by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

PARENT FINGERPRINTING - While there are relatively few Upper School events or class trips for which a parent might be asked to chaperone, please know that all parents who will serve as chaperones should make arrangements to be fingerprinted. If you were fingerprinted last year, there is no need to have it done again this year. Please contact Security for further information.  fingerprinting@holton-arms.edu or 301-365-6070.

LAPTOP PICK-UP for any student who ordered through DSR (Computers need to be ordered by Friday, July 12, 2019. Please refer to this email sent home in May)

You or your daughter can pick up a DSR purchased laptop during orientation week, August 26 through August 30, 2019*, signature required. *Please note school offices will close at 2 p.m. Friday, August 30.

The entire IT staff look forward to meeting you and working with you to ensure that you and your daughter understand how to care for her laptop so that she can rely on its multiple uses without interruption throughout the school year. The orientation session will introduce Holton’s technology program, discuss digital citizenship, and discuss expectations for responsible use of technology while at Holton.

Please feel free to contact Mike Robertson, Director of Library and Information Services.

ORIENTATION and LAPTOP TRAINING for ALL Grade 9 and New Students Friday, August 30, 2019 from 8 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (in uniform)

The purpose of Orientation is to help make the first days of transition to the Upper School as smooth as possible. Please read more here.