Phillips Academy

Parent Bulletin

Phillips Academy

November 15, 2013

With school spirit at a high following the athletic success and social events of Andover-Exeter weekend, students and faculty are now focusing on end-of-term assignments and preparing for assessments. One week from today, students will depart campus to join family and friends for the Thanksgiving break. This time between terms provides a much needed rest for your child and a chance to recharge before the start of winter term.

End of Term Reports

As at the midterm, student reports at the end of fall term will be shared with parents and guardians via the Parent Portal. We plan to have reports available Friday, November 29.

After viewing your child’s reports you may have questions. We encourage you to raise these questions with your child first. If you have questions that remain unanswered, please be in touch with your child’s faculty point person (House Counselor for a boarder and Day Student Advisor for a day student) preferably after the vacation. In anticipation of some likely questions, we wish to clarify the following:

At the end of the fall term, with the exception of English 100, History 100, and Physical Education, all courses taken for credit are graded on a 0-6 scale.
Student reports do not accumulate to become your child’s transcript. The transcript is a separate document, generated upon request by you or your child for submission to outside organizations. Our transcript presents a term-by-term listing of all courses taken for credit with final (and, when appropriate in multi-term courses, cumulative) grades. In addition, with the exception of fall term of ninth grade, a term average is provided, rounded to the nearest 0.5.
House Counselors and Day Student Advisors will submit reports on their students during the early weeks of winter term, which begins on December 5. These reports will be available via the Parent Portal on Thursday, December 19.

If you have any questions about how to access the Parent Portal, please contact the technology Help Desk at 978-749-4357 or For questions about how to access all information contained in your child’s reports, please see the video tutorials available on the Parent Portal. Questions not answered by these videos, as well as feedback on this new method for communicating reports, should be directed to Thank you for feedback submitted earlier. Improvements are in the works, although some may not be finalized until next academic year.


In Touch with…
Patricia Davison, Director of the Academic Skills Center

The Academic Skills Center (ASC) has had a busy fall. We began the term by offering three skill-based workshops targeting students new to Phillips Academy. Topics included: principles of effective time management, organizational tips, and the importance of becoming a strong self-advocate. Students were introduced to a variety of academic resources on campus including the Math Study Center, Science Study Center, The Writing Center, Instructional Librarians, peer tutors and conference period. In the weeks leading up to final assessments, we held three additional workshops providing strategies in preparation for end of term assessments. All six of these workshops were very well attended. Considering that the availability for one-on-one appointments with an ASC faculty member is extremely limited, we find these seminars to be an excellent forum for reaching a large number of students and sharing essential knowledge as they transition to Phillips Academy.

As active participants in the new Student Response System, ASC learning specialists work collaboratively with the cluster deans and faculty to support students throughout the term. Our goal is to proactively identify students for whom an individualized support plan seems warranted before their challenges become overwhelming. The good news: it’s working!

Looking ahead, Thanksgiving break is a wonderful opportunity to reflect upon the fall term and set measurable goals for improvement. A few suggestions for students to modify their habits:

Read all instructor reports from fall term and implement any suggestions your teachers have made.
Label and date notes and keep them in chronological order.
Save all old tests and quizzes; make test corrections along the way; don’t wait to do this in preparation for finals at the end of the term.
Spend a little less time on social media.
Try to maintain the same sleep/wake cycle by going to bed and getting up at the same time very day.
Don’t compare yourself to other students who you think are smarter or more attractive. No one is perfect!

Watch Your Email for Strategic Planning Survey

Phillips Academy has recently begun a strategic planning process that will last through the fall of 2014. The Strategic Planning Task Force is currently gathering input from the community, and feedback from parents/guardians is a vital part of this process. Your thoughts and opinions will join those from students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni in helping the Academy build upon its strengths as it sets strategic priorities for the next three to five years. We have created a survey specifically for parents/guardians and plan to send it via email later next week. We hope you will participate. If you have any questions about the survey or have any additional thoughts to share with the Strategic Planning Task Force, email

Travel over Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks

Phillips Academy will be offering the following transportation options for the upcoming Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. Forms and further information are available on the Parent Portal, Student Life Tab under Dean of Students. If you have any questions, please contact Claudia Scofield or 978-749-4124.

New York City buses
PA will offer roundtrip bus service to NYC, with a stop in Darien, CT. Students may sign up for one-way travel, $90, or roundtrip, $150. Buses will depart at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving Break, and Thursday, Dec. 19, for winter break. Buses will return to campus on the last day of each break. Please note: Because of reduced ridership, the NYC bus will no longer stop in Hartford, CT. Parents can pick up students at Phillips Academy or at the Darien stop.

Transportation to Logan and Manchester airports
Students can make arrangements with private taxi and limousine services for travel to and from Logan and Manchester airports. A complete list of these providers is available on PAnet and the Parent Portal. Flightline ( is offering special rates of $29-$34 to Logan and $35-$40 to Manchester for PA students. Please refer to the Flightline flyer in the Dean of Students section of the Parent Portal.

News from the PSPA

PSPA Campus Closet will be open for its Holiday Merchandise Sale on Friday, December 13, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is located in the lower level of GW Hall. Our online store is open 24/7 to purchase PA apparel and gifts. All proceeds support student activities. Thank you!

Would you like to feel more connected to your child’s experience at Andover? Join the PSPA Board of Directors! Open positions starting in March 2014 include: Treasurer; Director of Communication/Website; 2nd Vice President; Summer Opportunities Fair Co-Chair; and Director of Regional/Non Sibi Activities. While board members are encouraged to attend monthly meetings, some positions can be held remotely. For more information, please contact Tina Kinard.

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