Dear Andover Students and Families,
I hope that you are taking care and staying well. We are weeks away from the start of school! Thank you to the recent Blue Key video on Instagram—your enthusiasm is infectious. We are eager to welcome you, engage with you, and learn with you. Thank you for your recent efforts signing and submitting your Non Sibi Safety Pledge and selecting your athletics activity for the fall. I write today with a couple of updates, a brief preview, and a few reminders.
As we begin a new school year amidst the dual crises of a global pandemic and rampant, horrific anti-Black racism, we want to seize the opportunity to reimagine how we welcome and welcome back our students. At this moment in time, we want to be exceptionally intentional and deliberate about how we frame, share, and consider what it means to be a student at Andover and in the broader world. To that end, we will be centering Orientation on three interrelated and overarching themes: community, justice, and joy. We hope Orientation will be the beginning of many ongoing conversations and discussions this academic year about these critical themes. We invite and welcome your engagement regarding community, justice, and joy throughout the school year. A collective, ongoing effort will make our community stronger, more just, and more joyful.
We have an outstanding cohort of folks who have been working hard to plan how we start the year. A special thank you to co-chairs Kate Dolan and LaShawn Springer, and to committee members Vivian Baez, Chris Capano, Susan Esty, Flavia Vidal, David Mallick, Paul Murphy, Devin O’Reilly, and Laura Warner.
ALL STUDENTS, new and returning, will participate in synchronous and asynchronous Orientation programming. The asynchronous component will include video introductions to different areas of campus (OWHL, Paresky Commons, Community Engagement, World Languages, Sykes Wellness, Concussion Testing, CAMD/Brace, Technology, CCC, ASC, Dean of Students, Dean of Studies, and others) and the synchronous component will address living and learning in a multicultural community (Community, Justice, and Joy). We will release Canvas courses devoted to Orientation materials on September 1 and set up several advising meetings to discuss and process the materials. ALL STUDENTS, new and returning, will participate in two days of remote Orientation on September 8 and 9. Please plan accordingly.
Student Belongings in the Snyder Center
The indoor track in the Snyder Center has a new look. Our colleagues in Facilities packed and moved over 5,000 items from student dormitory spaces to Snyder this summer! Here’s a video in case you are looking for a visual. This was a remarkable team effort and enabled us to clean and prepare dormitories for the year ahead.
We have learned much from the events of last spring. Most obviously, we need to avoid creating another situation like the one we have in the Snyder Center right now! To that end, we ask every boarding student to be thoughtful and disciplined as they prepare and pack to come to campus. We are providing a number of items for boarding students in their dormitory rooms to make packing simpler. We ask that boarding students only bring necessary items to campus that they are prepared to pack and take with them when they leave campus at the end of the term, or in the event that they test positive for COVID-19 and have to leave campus sooner. While we hope to maintain a residential learning environment on campus all year, we need to be flexible and responsive to unexpected circumstances and necessary adjustments. Refer to What to Bring 2020-2021.
We are partnering with FedEx to ship items home to all students who are not returning in the first cohort. Boarding students in the first cohort will have an opportunity to retrieve a few of their items during a structured and supervised time period when they will have the chance to pick a few items to carry back to their dorms. We will send their remaining items home through FedEx. Detailed information will be sent to families who chose to store items in Snyder.
- Week of August 24: Communication to families about academic and opening of school schedules, registration, and textbook information
- By August 28: Advisor Point Person pairings
- Week of August 31: Residential and cluster assignments
- September 1-3: New International Student Orientation
- September 8 and 9: Synchronous Orientation for all students
- September 13, 10 a.m. EST: Matriculation for all new students
- September 14: First day of classes