Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy

January 10, 2014

We are in the throes of winter: cold temperatures, snow, ice, and shorter daylight hours. In response, the Office of Physical Plant team is working long hours to keep the paths clear and the heat pumping in all campus buildings. Paresky is offering lots of delicious warm soups and comfort food, and steaming cups of hot chocolate are available in many places around campus.

During snowstorms, traveling to and from campus for day students can be challenging. The well-being of our students is our top priority, and parents who feel that traveling to campus is not safe should be in touch with their child’s cluster dean.

House Counselor and Day Student Advisor Reports

House Counselor and Day Student Advisor Reports were posted on the Parent Portal on Monday. They can be accessed from the Welcome Parent > My Student > Student Reports, next to fall term grades.

It’s Flu Season! Update from Dr. Amy Patel

The influenza season has started and is expected to peak in the next few weeks. Influenza (“the flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness that may present with fevers, body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Getting the flu vaccine is still the best preventive measure. The predominant strain of influenza circulating so far this season is the H1N1 virus, which historically has disproportionately affected healthy children and young adults (although it affects all ages). Fortunately, this year’s flu vaccine covers the H1N1 virus, in addition to two to three other strains predicted to be seen this year.

It is not too late to get vaccinated, but it will take approximately two weeks after receiving the vaccine for the it to be effective. Isham Health Center can administer the vaccine to any student who has a signed consent form (from a parent/guardian if the student is under 18 years of age), which is available on the Isham section of the Phillips Academy website and on the Parent Portal under News and Notices. We strongly recommend that every Phillips Academy student receive the influenza vaccine to reduce the risk of infection, flu-related complications, and one to two weeks of illness and missed school. If your child received the vaccine from a provider other than the Isham staff, please let Isham Health Center know, so that we can update your child’s immunization record.

For tips to help your children and our community stay healthy, please see the message from Dr. Patel posted on the Parent Portal.

Two Fairs in Two Days

Parents and students are invited to the Gap Year Opportunities Fair, sponsored by USA Gap Year Fairs, on Saturday, February 1, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Kemper Auditorium and the Underwood Room. Forty Gap Year program directors and representatives will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. The event begins with a speaker at 3 p.m. For more information, please see the Parent Portal or contact Roxanne Barry, director of summer and gap year opportunities.

PSPA and the Summer and Gap Year Opportunity Office present the 24th Annual Summer Opportunities Fair on Sunday, February 2, from 12 to 3 p.m. in the Smith Center. Representatives from more than 100 local, national, and international programs will be available to talk with students and families. This event offers a wide range of programs that focus on academic enrichment, language study, community service, camps, sports, arts, research, internships, outdoor adventure, and international travel for middle and high school students. All profits from the fair (derived from vendor fees) directly benefit PA student activities. Admission is free and open to the public. Volunteers are still needed for two-hour shifts between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Please sign up on the PSPA website.

Health Insurance Updates

It is common for employers to offer or implement new health insurance coverage plans beginning with a new calendar year. If your family coverage has recently changed, please be sure to update your child’s information with the health center. Communication of updated coverage helps us to better manage health care claims while school is in session. You may forward updated information and copies of cards to Lisa Conlon, medical insurance specialist, Isham Health Center, fax (978) 749-4469, email: or mail to: Phillips Academy, 180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810, Attention: Isham Health Center. If you have questions, please call 978-749-4455.

News from the PSPA

Developing Healthy Relationships in the Digital Age
This year’s Wellness Week speaker, Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair, will make a presentation to parents on Tuesday, January 28, 7 p.m. in Kemper Auditorium. She is a former PA instructor, a current member of the Harvard Medical School faculty, and an author on the impact of digital technology on children’s social and emotional development. Please note that this special presentation is on Tuesday evening, as Dr. Steiner-Adair will be addressing students the following morning.

Join the PSPA Board of Directors
We are looking for a few good men and women to fill some positions this March. It's a great way to be connected to the Andover experience. For more information, visit:

New Stop for Spring Break Buses

For spring break, we are planning to offer a bus from Andover directly to New York’s JFK Airport. This would be in addition to the buses to New York City and Darien, CT, that we currently offer. The bus would leave midday Friday, March 7, and go directly to JFK airport. The cost for the trip would be $100. This would be a ‘drop and leave’ service, offered only at the beginning of spring break. Students would need to make their own arrangements for transportation back to Andover at the end of break.

We are interested in knowing if this is an option your student would use. Please contact Claudia Scofield at or 978-749-4124 to let us know. Additional information will be published in the next issue of the Parent Bulletin.

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