Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

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

February 22, 2013

Thank goodness for holidays and annual festivities that occur during our sunshine-deprived Winter Term. Last week, after the long weekend and the fifth largest snowfall in Boston’s meteorological record books, we celebrated Mardi Gras and Lunar New Year 4711 in Andover style. There were beads and King Cake for Mardi Gras, banners and dancing dragons for the Year of the Snake. This week, while 12 pairs of Uppers were in presidential campaign mode, they and their peers have been focused on finishing their courses in good fashion. Meanwhile, we are preparing for major athletic competitions. Our friendly rivals in New Hampshire will host the Andover-Exeter games on Saturday; our swimming and diving teams are already in Philadelphia for the Eastern Interscholastic Championships; our squash teams will compete in interscholastic championships (girls at Brooks and boys at Deerfield); and three of our wrestlers will represent us at nationals in Lehigh, PA. Wherever you are this weekend, please send some extra Big Blue wishes to our student-athletes.

Weather Update

Our Storm Team has mobilized to anticipate this weekend’s impending snowstorm. Current forecasts suggest that the snow will begin to fall late Saturday evening and will reach its heaviest in the early morning hours of Sunday. Computer models predict anywhere from 2 to 9 inches of snow in our area. We will continue to monitor road conditions to ensure the safe return of all students and faculty members who are traveling for school-related activities. At this point, this looks like the type of winter weather that we will be able to respond to relatively easily. If there are major developments, we will surely keep parents informed. As always, we will encourage families of day students to use discretion in determining whether your children will attend weekend events on campus.

In Touch with…
Anne Gardner, Director of Spiritual & Religious Life; Protestant Chaplain

As our Christian community begins the season of Lent, our campus remains humming with all sorts of activity in celebration of the vitality and diversity of the many communities of faith here at Andover.

The winter term began with a week-long forum on Islam, hosted by members of the Muslim Student Association. This forum included a service program with the Islamic Academy (a local primary school), a joint discussion with other faith groups on the spirituality of pilgrimage, and a campus-wide dinner featuring cuisine of the Middle East. Later in the term, noted scholar Dr. Reza Aslan spoke to an over-flowing crowd in Kemper Auditorium on the aftermath of the “Arab Spring.” Dr. Aslan’s visit brought many guests to our campus, including Muslim students from many of our nearby peer schools.

January was also the time of “Jewish Cultural Weekend”, an annual celebration of the religious and cultural traditions of Judaism. This year Leo Ullman ’57, a Holocaust survivor, author, and businessman, shared his experiences of life in Holland during World War II. His remarks painted a fascinating and poignant picture of the Holocaust, one which our students are unlikely to forget.

With the flavors and festivity of last week's interfaith Mardi Gras party still lingering, we look forward to Spring and all of the various celebrations on the horizon. The joy of Easter, the traditions of Passover, the colors of Holi, the sacred promise of Confirmation, and the pageantry of Commencement will soon be upon us. As always, we remain excited to be part of this rich cultural and religious tapestry.

Safety and Security Update

The safety and security of our campus are among our highest priorities and we continue to explore ways to improve our protocols and practices. Incidents such as thefts of student property and the tragic events at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, CT., have prompted us to step up our attention to building access. To that end, we are re-instituting a guest policy for Paresky Commons and re-issuing the policy regarding tutors.

We open the campus wide for families of current students to take unlimited meals with us during the opening of school, Parents’ Weekend and Commencement Weekend. At all other times, beginning this spring, we will ask everyone from off campus who wishes to eat in Paresky to carry a pass to indicate that they are guests of someone in the school. We will follow up at a later time to describe the logistics.

With regard to tutors, we continue to require them work with our Human Resources Department to complete criminal and sexual background checks, sign a Phillips Acadmey Tutor Code of Conduct, and work with students only in a designated area of Oliver Wendell Holmes Library. If you have engaged a tutor to work with your child, or plan to do so in the future, please help us to ensure that the individual adheres to this policy. We understand how important this additional support is to some of our students, and thank you for helping us to maintain these expectations. You may reach our Human Resources Department at 978-749-4103.

Message from Isham Health Center

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

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2

Brighton Beach Memoirs, 7:30 p.m., Tang Theatre. Admission is $5 and tickets can be reserved by calling the box office at (978) 749-4433. For more information please visit

Saturday, March 2

Phillips Academy Chamber Music Society Concert, 6:30 p.m., Timken Room, Graves Hall. Performed by students and faculty, the program will include movements of chamber music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Gordon Jacob, Carl Nielsen, Jansons, Beethoven, Weber, C.P.E. Bach, Dvořák and Mendelssohn. (Free and open to the public.)

Sunday, March 3

Academy Concert Bands and ensembles, under the direction of Vincent Monaco and Derek Jacoby, 3 p.m., Cochran Chapel. The program will feature the music of J. P. Sousa, Holst, Copland, Colgrass, Story, Respichi and King. (Free and open to the public.)

Find us online: Phillips Academy Facebook Phillips Academy Twitter Phillips Academy Vimeo Phillips Academy YouTube Phillips Academy Alumni Comunity Phillips Academy LinkedIn
powered by CONVIO
nonprofit software