Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

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

September 16, 2011

Happy New School Year!

The campus is alive with students dashing off to classes, connecting with faculty and friends, and enjoying a string of beautiful, late-summer New England days. Visit the academy’s Facebook page to relive the ear-splitting Blue Key welcome that greeted you and your children last weekend. No need for a Facebook account to see our page, but you do need an account if you want to post a comment.

Thank you to returning parents who completed our communications survey last winter. Your feedback continues to guide discussions about how best to keep you informed. You will notice an immediate change with this issue of the Parent Bulletin. In response to your desire to hear from the adults on campus who play significant roles in the lives of students, we launch a monthly guest-written column. Appropriately, the first message comes from Barbara Landis Chase, who begins her 18th—and final—year as Head of School.

We thank all of you who have supported, cajoled, scolded, cheered and promoted your offspring. We are ever in your debt for sharing your children. We wish them well and will follow their accomplishments with both interest and pride.

In Touch With…
Barbara Landis Chase, Head of School

Welcome! I am delighted to be the inaugural “guest columnist” in this latest endeavor to keep you connected to happenings on Andover Hill.

Andover spirit spread far and wide during opening week. New students arrived to enthusiastic cheers, tie-dyed tees, and the handmade signs of our Blue Key Heads. More than 300 new students from Colorado to Connecticut and Nepal to New Zealand joined 800 returning students from Boston to Brazil and Jamaica to Japan. Youth from every quarter, indeed!

The faculty, both new and returning, prepared for the year through a series of meetings and workshops. We welcomed a new cohort of very talented faculty, and they spent the better part of a week in orientation to teaching at Andover. Our new academic integrity policy, designed to teach our students and make clear to them what our expectations are, received special attention. Andover intends both to maintain its high standards of integrity and at the same time recognize that students in this digital age face new challenges in doing so.

At our first full faculty meeting, we heard from Harvard professor Ron Ferguson, a highly regarded authority on strategies to address the achievement gap, as we recognize that our students enter with significantly different preparation. Dr. Ferguson was a captivating speaker and gave us all much to keep in mind as we set out to give each of our students the best possible chance to succeed.

This week’s All-School Meeting marked the first official gathering of the student body and faculty. I spoke with the students and faculty about: (1) perseverance; (2) great teaching; (3) the strong Andover bond. At that meeting we experience one of our most moving traditions, the annual flag procession, during which the flag of each nation represented by our students is carried down the aisle and placed on the stage to form a vibrant international backdrop. The ceremony symbolizes an American boarding school with a world view. We are a school community that is enriched by our excellent and diverse faculty and student body. Welcome to the 2011-2012 school year.

PSPA Update

Parents of Students of Phillips Academy (PSPA) is an active parents’ association. Any current or former parent, alumni, and present or past faculty/staff is welcome to participate regardless of geographic location. PSPA a non-profit charitable organization with two primary goals:

  • To enhance communication between parents and the Academy’s faculty and administration
  • To raise money and organize events that support both the students and the school

PSPA’s Fall Reception was held last evening. If you would like to watch a video of the event, featuring Barbara Landis Chase’s remarks visit and enter the password: PAparent. The video will be available beginning Sept. 22.

PSPA is sponsoring several Non Sibi Day projects:

  • For distant parents—Contribute to our Athletic equipment drive for kids in Haiti. Items may be sent to the alumni office to arrive by Sept. 30. Be creative–Invite PA parents in your area to a gathering and ask everyone to bring an item to donate; host your own local equipment drive and donate the items to us.
  • For local parents—Join other parents on Oct. 1 or Oct. 2 to support the Brickman Triathlon in Lawrence, MA, to benefit Habitat for Humanity and the Lawrence YMCA. Or, donate to the athletic equipment drive for kids in Haiti by dropping off a donation at the GW circle on Oct. 1 from 9-11 a.m. You might also help with the collection, packaging and mailing of the equipment.

Join PSPA’s Facebook Group! Even if you previously joined, you must REJOIN this year as Facebook updated its “Groups” format. Click here,

Upcoming Events

September 30 World-renowned pianist Gabriel Chodos in concert, presented by the Phillips Academy Music Department. 7:30 p.m., Cochran Chapel. Free and open to the public.
October 1 Non Sibi Day
October 5 College Fair, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Borden Gym.
October 14 Exhibition opening and reception, Addison Gallery of American Art, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Free and open to the public. (The Addison, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, extended its summer closure to complete a roof replacement project. The building is scheduled to reopen in early fall.)

Bid on Blue Online Auction Begins! Go to to view the catalogue.
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