Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy Head of School Office
Rebecca Sykes, associate head of school

January 11, 2012

Winter Term is underway with its promise of snow shoveling, indoor sports, Head of School Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, increasing daylight hours, and the inevitable rise and fall of the mercury. We are also looking forward to several special programs, several of which are announced below. In order to do it all, we must stay healthy. Flu season is also upon us, and our medical director, Dr. Patel, has scheduled a flu clinic for next week. Students who have not yet gotten a flu shot are encouraged to get vaccinated next Tuesday, January 15, between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Susie’s. See Dr. Patel’s message below for more information.

In Touch with…

Linda Griffith, Dean of Community and Multicultural Development

While many schools and businesses give their students and employees a day off on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the PA community will spend the day exploring issues of race, class, sexual orientation, gender, immigration and the value of diversity in our community. The school’s regular class schedule will be preempted so that students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of an extensive offering of workshops, presentations, and guest performances.

We see Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity to promote dialogue on issues that matter to all of us, but are difficult to discuss. Through presentations by students and faculty members, as well as workshops, performances and lectures by several off-campus guests, we hope to create a climate on campus in which to reflect and talk about the challenging issues that face an increasingly diverse community and world.

This year I am excited to announce that writer Steve Pemberton will kick off the day’s events with a special All-School Meeting at 9:30 a.m. in Cochran Chapel. The Phillips Academy Gospel Choir and the Yorkies (our all-male a capella group) will also entertain us and set a tone for the day. Information on Steve Pemberton, author of A Chance in the World: an Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past and How He Found a Place Called Home, is available on the school’s website.

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

We ask your assistance in helping our community remain as healthy as possible. As you may have heard, higher than usual levels of influenza and influenza-like illnesses have been seen across the US, and Isham Health Center has been seeing a similar trend since the beginning of winter term. We will hold a flu clinic for students next Tuesday, January 15, 2013 from 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. at Susie’s. Please make sure that a signed consent form has been sent (fax 978-749-4469 or scan/email prior to Tuesday.

Influenza is a contagious, respiratory illness that may present with high fevers, body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, cough, nasal congestion, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Getting the flu shot is still the best preventive measure that can be taken against this illness. The CDC notes that, to date, 91% of the flu analyzed is included in this year’s flu vaccine.

Additionally, please remember additional preventive basics including hand hygiene—cough/sneeze into your elbow or tissue, wash or sanitize your hands frequently, and avoid touching your eyes/nose/mouth—as well as avoiding contact with those who have flu-like symptoms. Students who feel unwell should come to Isham for evaluation, treatment, and close monitoring. Treatment is largely supportive, with plenty of rest and fluids, and the Isham staff will do our best to care for your child during this illness.

Two Days, Two Fairs – Gap Year Opportunities Fair (Jan. 19) and 23rd Annual Summer Opportunities Fair (Jan. 20)

Parents and students are invited to the Gap Year Opportunities Fair, sponsored by USA Gap Year Fairs on Saturday, January 19, 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. Andover alumna, Sydney Keen ’12, will speak about her experience with City Year. For more information, please see the Parent Portal or contact Roxanne Barry, Director of the Gap Year Opportunities Office.

PSPA and the Summer and Gap Year Opportunity Office present the 23rd Annual Summer Opportunities Fair. On Sunday, January 20, from 12 to 3 p.m., in the Smith Center, representatives from approximately 90 local, national and international programs will be available to talk with students and their families. This unique fair 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 (from vendor fees) directly benefit PA student activities throughout the school year. Admission is free. Can you help? Volunteers are still needed, especially to set-up from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sign up on the PSPA website for a two-hour shift between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Other news from PSPA

PSPA January Parent Meeting, Thursday, January 17, 7 – 8:30 p.m., Peabody Museum of Archaeology. Tour the recently renovated museum with Director Ryan Wheeler.

If you are attending the College Counseling Weekend for Uppers, consider staying in a private home rental within a half mile of campus. Rental proceeds benefit PSPA. Visit the PSPA website for more information.

Upcoming Events

Friday, January 11

CAMD Scholar Presentation, The Perversion of the American Dream: Deconstructing Media Portrayals of Sex Workers Through Analysis and Real Narratives, Nikita Singareddy ’13. 6:30 p.m., Kemper Auditorium. Free and open to the public.

Saturday, January 19

Gap Year Opportunities Fair, sponsored by USA Gap Year Fairs, 3 to 5 p.m., Kemper Auditorium and the Underwood Room. Admission is free.

Faculty Piano Recital, featuring Stephen Porter, 7:30 p.m., Cochran Chapel. This concert is free and open to the public. For further information please contact the music department at 978-749-4260 or e-mail

Sunday, January 20

23rd annual Summer Opportunities Fair, sponsored by the PSPA. 12 to 3 p.m., Smith Center. Admission is free.

Solar Winds with guest, Krista River, mezzo soprano, 3 p.m., Timken Room in Graves Hall. For further information please contact the music department at 978-749-4260 or e-mail

Monday, January 21

MLK Day CAMD Scholar Presentation, What Happened to the Rainbow Nation: Xenophobia in South Africa, Lazola Nyamakazi ’13, 6:30 p.m., Kemper Auditorium. Fee and open to the public.

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