The Latest Information on COVID-19 (Updated Friday, 6/5/20 at 3:00pm)

March 13, 2020

Here is the Class of 2020 Final Assembly via Zoom…..due to copyright issues, some of the music on the senior slide show was not able to be used.  Thanks and enjoy!

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We’ve made it to the last day of school…so welcome to Friday! Mr. Nelson and Joe are ready to bring you the morning announcements one more time for the 2019-20 school year. Don’t forget about the final assembly via Zoom this afternoon. Ride on into the summer, Ponies! #rideonponies

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Good morning! It’s the final Wednesday of the 2020 school year and Mr. Smith is getting set to bring you the morning announcements one more time. There is plenty of information for seniors so pay attention! Three more days to go! #rideonponies

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Sent on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020 – Communication with FA Parents and Students

Dear Parents/Guardians/Students,

We have reached the end of the year and I wanted to share information for a successful close, share some important dates, and plans for next year.  I am very proud of the students and grateful for the community support.  

School issued material can be returned to the Academy anytime now if the students have completed their courses.  During next week, June 8th-12th, between 8 am and 4 pm, the materials can be returned by placing them in the container outside the gym lobby door.  If you use this method please make sure the material is labeled with the student’s name.  You can also “buzz” the door and Mrs. Smith will let you in and you can place the material on the table in the lobby.  If you are unable to return the material, please contact Mrs. Smith and she will make arrangements for the material to be picked up.

Final Assembly will take place this Friday, June 5th, at 1:30 pm.  We are using Zoom so that we can show everyone the senior slideshow.  Also, seniors will be “willing gifts” as per tradition to undergrads.  I have invited all students and staff and encourage you all to attend so that we honor our seniors who have lost the most during this pandemic.  Speaking of seniors, your Senior Tea will take place on Thursday, June 11th, at 1:45 pm on campus on the front lawn and the east lawn, ensuring no group will exceed the size of fifty.  Ames through LaChance will start at the front lawn site and Lemon through Willey will start at the east lawn site.  There will be an exchange so that seniors will be able to see all of their classmates.  Graduation, weather permitting, will take place on Saturday, June 27th, at 7 pm, and I am still in hopes that it will take place on Oakes Field.  I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Chief Reardon who has been very helpful.

The big question is, “What will next year look like?”  We do not know but we are planning for three scenarios: online, blended, or in person.  We are in hopes of starting on September 1st with all students.  Of course, it depends on the State of Maine and CDC guidelines, but we want our students back. Students whose grades seemingly declined due to the change to remote learning will possibly be able to make up unmet standards and this consideration will be made on an individual basis.

We are in the midst of tumultuous times dealing with social unrest and a pandemic, which heightens the need for education. Please be watchful for communication about plans for the start of school in the fall. Students, I wish you all a very safe and healthy summer, but I can’t wait to get you back in school!

All my best,

Arnold Shorey

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Welcome to Monday…and welcome to the last week of school for the 2019-20 school year! Where did the time go?? We hope you had a nice weekend. Mr. Shorey is standing by with today’s announcements. Seniors, welcome to your week!  #rideonponies

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Good morning! We have halfway through the week. It’s been beautiful outside and to make it more beautiful, if that’s possible, here is Mr. Smith with the morning announcements. Enjoy the day and ride on Ponies! #rideonponies

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We’ve reached the end of the week and it looks like another great day outside! Just when you thought the news couldn’t get any better, Mr. Nelson and Joe are standing by, ready to put more sunshine into your life! Take a watch and have a great Memorial Day weekend! #rideonponies

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Welcome to Wednesday! We are halfway through the week and the sun is shining! To add to that, Mr. Smith’s bright light shines through with today’s morning announcements. Take a watch and have a great day! #rideonponies

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Good morning! The weather is looking up this week so that should put a big smile on your face. If that doesn’t do the trick, this certainly will as Mr. Shorey is standing by with Monday’s announcements! Enjoy the day and be well! #rideonponies

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Attention FA Students…..here is the weekly (May 18th-22nd) Pony Time teacher availability sheet.  Take a look at it and communicate with your teachers if you need to talk!   Let’s get the week off to a good start!  Click the link below to access.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11oVzk7yB_isf3z2ncO5_UAvjNqHedGXXB82Mk60G67U/edit?usp=sharing

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It’s another week down on the road to the end of the school year. Welcome to Friday! Mr. Nelson and Joe are back for another Friday morning filled with information, laughter, and heartwarming entertainment…or something like that. Take a listen! Enjoy the day and weekend! #rideonponies

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Good morning! We’ve made it to Wednesday. Lots to talk about as we close in on the end of the school year. Mr. Smith is ready to go with the morning announcements. Give him your undivided attention…..just as normal. Enjoy the day! #rideonponies

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Good morning! We are back with another week of on-line learning at Foxcroft Academy. Just a reminder that we have four weeks left as our last day will be on Friday, June 5th. Mr. Shorey is ready and waiting with the morning announcements for you. Enjoy the day! #rideonponies

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Attention FA Students…..here is the weekly (May 11th-15th) Pony Time teacher availability sheet.  Take a look at it and communicate with your teachers if you need to talk!   Let’s get the week off to a good start!  Click the link below to access.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1lRqqP-ilDW4p3DxSf-tCAe_eX4T-q8f-jlW1ZrccH1g/edit?usp=sharing

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Good Friday Morning! We made it through another week of on-line learning! Mr. Nelson and Joe are back for another Friday morning bonding session! Lots of announcements heading into the weekend, so stay tuned! #rideonponies

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Good morning and welcome to Wednesday! There are a lot of morning announcements today from Mr. Smith including several from counseling services, plus Mr. Shorey is here to read a proclamation! Enjoy the day! #rideonponies

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It’s the first full week of the month, the sun is out, and it’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Mr. Shorey gives you the Monday morning announcements as we start a new week of on-line learning. Have a great day! #rideonponies

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Good afternoon!  If you need to talk to your teachers this week (May 4th-8th), they have times available for you!  Go to the link below to find times!

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1x7lfmaMiT6QzNZgICa030h1Gf8cDslL6tDEu_rBxg90/edit?usp=sharing

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Good morning and welcome to May! Only one full month of school left. Here are the morning announcements. Mr. Nelson and Joe are standing by with more including lots of stuff for seniors. Take a watch and enjoy the weekend as best as you can! #rideonponies

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Communication #6 – Letter from Mr. Shorey to the Class of 2020 (April 30th, 2020)

Dear Seniors

Well, it can be said that you will never forget your senior year and not for the best of reasons.  However, a lot can be celebrated not only about your achievements but also about your ability to adapt to challenges and change.  Your class has not complained, you accepted the challenges and you adapted.  We all have seen how quickly life can change and your ability to adapt is a very important skill.

I have waited to see how things continued to change before setting dates and times for your traditional events.  After consultation with Chief Reardon to ensure that the executive orders are followed, I am ready to announce dates for senior closing events, but keep in mind that everything is subject to change:

  • On May 15th the drive-up Rose Award Ceremony will take place in the faculty parking lot by the Cotton Garden at 2 pm.  By invitation, each family will remain in their vehicle while the ceremony is held outside.
  • The Senior Award Ceremony will happen at the same time as scheduled on Wednesday, June 3rd at 6 pm.  The ceremony will be live-streamed and taped and the awards will be mailed to the recipients.
  • Senior Tea will take place in some form on Thursday, June 4th at 1:45 pm.
  • Final Assembly will take place on Friday, June 5th at 1:30, probably in an electronic fashion (Zoom) as the traditional events can happen including the showing of the senior video.  More details will be forthcoming, but it could be fun.
  • Prom will be rescheduled for August 2025 at The Commons during your fifth-year reunion.  Since you will be 23 years old, feel free to grind (injecting some humor).  I do not see the possibility of doing a dance in current times because of the needed physical distancing, so doing it during one of your reunion years may not be a bad idea.
  • Graduation will be scheduled for Saturday, June 27th at 7 pm.  Depending on the State of Maine guidelines, graduation can potentially take place at one of three venues: East Lawn, Oakes Field, or at the Piscataquis County Ice Arena parking lot as a drive-up graduation.  By scheduling graduation in late June the hope is that the guidelines will allow a large group event with physical distancing.  Guidelines for graduation will be shared at a later date but, for example, if it is a drive-up graduation, each graduate will have one vehicle, two if there are step-parents that are part of your family unit, due to limited available spaces.  Prior to the ceremony, maybe a parade leading up to PCIA will be organized as I know the community would like to cheer for you as many have expressed their sympathy for the impact of this pandemic on your senior year.

I hope you recognize a genuine attempt on the part of Foxcroft Academy to plan and celebrate your accomplishments under difficult circumstances.  As the future becomes better in focus, more details will be shared.   The whole staff of Foxcroft Academy is extremely proud of you, and there is no doubt that lessons learned through this experience will serve you well in your post-secondary life.

Ride on Ponies,

Arnold B. Shorey
Head of School

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Good morning and welcome back to school. We hope you had a good vacation. The stretch drive begins today. Mr. Smith stands by with the morning announcements. There is plenty of information for you, so listen up! Enjoy the day! #rideonponies

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It’s back to school day at Foxcroft Academy! Students, please be checking your emails from your teachers as the stretch drive of the school year begins today. If you need to talk to your teachers, they have times available for you. Go to the link below to find times! June 5th will be here before you know it. Good luck and ride on Ponies! #rideonponies

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fuy5QmtowJEeOzSOQm_iBCQgeyGq9Umn-knpbNp4AFY/edit?usp=sharing

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Good morning all! We hope you had a great vacation. Today and tomorrow are staff development days, so if you have work to catch up on, it’s a good time to get it done. Mr. Shorey stands by with the morning announcements. Listen up and have a great day! #rideonponies

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We’ve reached the Friday before April vacation. We hope you’ve had a good week of on-line learning at Foxcroft Academy. To end the week, Mr. Nelson is standing by with a co-host for the morning announcements, and since it’s Friday, Mr. Shorey has you covered with Friday’s Funnies! Ride on into vacation, Ponies! #rideonponies

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Good morning! Here are your morning announcements for Wednesday, April 15th. Had it not been for the COVID-19 crisis, today would have been tax day. Today is our “Wacky Hair Wednesday” virtual spirit day at FA. Mr. Smith has that day covered for you. Two more days until April break! Ride on Ponies! #rideonponies

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Better late than never….here is Mr. Shorey with the morning announcements for Monday, April 13th. Only one week until April break! Do your best to enjoy the day! #rideonponies

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Hey Mother Nature. Thanks for the snow. We really needed it. And the power outages, lovely! All things no one has ever said. But it is Friday, so that’s good news. Here are your Friday morning announcements including information on our online “Spirit Week” next week and plenty of information for seniors. Please do your best to enjoy the weekend! Ride on Ponies. #rideonponies

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Communication #5 – Thursday, 4/9/2020 10:00am

April 9, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

With the Commissioner of Education recommending to Governor Mills that Maine schools should continue remote learning for the rest of the school year, and in coordination with RSU 68, I want to make it official that Foxcroft Academy will finish the school year with remote learning.  Though this is a decision I do not want to make, we live in extraordinary times that require extraordinary steps.

With this information, we are now able to plan for the close of the year and will share that information in the very near future.  I would like to share some information as I know there are and will be, a lot of questions.

  • There will be an April Break from April 20th-24th.  Students and teachers have been working very hard and all deserve a restful break.
  • The last day of school will be on Friday, June 5th.
  • Foxcroft Academy will be having professional development days on Monday, April 27th and Tuesday, April 28th. No school for students.
  • Coordination will take place to have student lockers cleaned out, the contents placed in a bag with the student’s name on it, and delivered to his/her home.
  • Work is being planned to ensure that many of our traditional activities will continue in a different form and we will announce the dates, times, and type of forum in the near future (Undergrad Awards Night, Senior Awards Night, etc.)
  • Though this is a good time to have a prom because of six-foot social distancing (a little humor), it is impossible to plan for this event at this time.

Today, senior leaders will meet with the Superintending Committee to request senior privileges, a long time tradition at least over the past ten years.  There aren’t a lot of privileges to be had during remote learning, but it is important to not have the seniors miss out on their closing activities. My heart goes out to them.  I am determined that graduation will take place but it will be later in the summer. There have been graduations at Foxcroft Academy for 197 years and that streak will remain unbroken. 

Stay well and safe,

Arnold Shorey, Head of School

April 9th Parent letter

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Welcome to Wednesday. The sun is shining and Mr. Smith matches that with his sunny disposition this morning! Wifi hotspots and lots of senior information are on the docket today. Take a watch. Stay positive, stay safe, and ride on Ponies! #rideonponies

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We start week four of online learning at Foxcroft Academy. Mr. Shorey starts the week out with your morning announcements. Lots of stuff for seniors so please take a watch. Enjoy the sunshine today!

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We made it to the end of the week! Good morning! In addition to the announcements, Mr. Shorey is standing by….or actually sitting by, to bring you the funniest two minutes of your week. Stay safe, stay strong, and ride on Ponies!

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Communication #4 – Thursday, 4/2/2020 7:00am

April 2, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian,

With a new executive order delivered by Governor Mills on Tuesday afternoon, I would like to provide you an update of what Foxcroft Academy is doing.  For the past two and a half weeks, Foxcroft Academy has been operating on an “essential staff status” as we support student online learning as well as caring for the health and safety of 41 boarding students.  Here are some reminders and information that will be in place until May 1st in accordance with the executive order.   

  • The Governor stated that schools will stay closed at least until May 1st.  In all likelihood, everyone should be prepared for online learning continuing for the rest of the year.
  • Foxcroft Academy is closed to the public which means students should not pick up or drop off material.  Through Rowell’s and Weymouth’s bus services, materials will continue to be picked up or delivered. Please continue to email Ms. Smith and Ms. Weatherbee to make arrangements.  The lunch/breakfast pickup will continue between 10 am and 12 noon, Monday, Wednesday, Friday at all of the same locations including Foxcroft Academy (10-11 am). Lunch and breakfast pick up will not take place during April break,  April 20th – April 24th.
  • Unfortunately, and in compliance with the executive order, the Burns-Johnson Tennis Complex will be closed to not promote large groups and to continue social distancing.  The track is closed between 2 pm and 7 pm for boarding students and dorm families to use. If you do use the track during the other hours please practice social distancing.  Foxcroft Academy is proud to share its facility with the public, but during this crisis, our focus needs to promote best practices that prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Within the next few weeks, there will be official announcements concerning Spring sports and we are predicting that they will be canceled.

It is heartbreaking that these steps need to be taken and it is obvious that we all need to participate in similar actions to do our part to fight COVID-19. Teachers are reporting good participation and effort by the students in their online learning.  Please keep in mind that all of our support services are in place and ready to assist students and families in any way that we can. We certainly want students to be actively engaged, but more importantly, we want your family to be well and safe. It is going to take all us working together and making sacrifices to overcome this pandemic.

All my best,

Arnold Shorey

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It’s Wednesday! It’s not March anymore! Welcome to April and welcome to another day of morning announcements with Mr. Smith. Let him be the light in your day. #rideonponies

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We start week three of online learning at Foxcroft Academy. We hope you had a good weekend. Here’s Mr. Shorey with the Monday morning announcements to get your week started off on the right foot! #rideonponies #morningannouncements

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A Message from Foxcroft Academy Head of School, Arnold Shorey (Friday, 3/27/2020)

To Foxcroft Academy Community

From our family to yours, we sincerely wish and hope that you are safe and well.  In accordance with Governor Mills’ executive order issued this past Tuesday, we are closing the outdoor basketball court and not putting the nets up on the tennis courts so as not to promote group gatherings of over 10 people and violating the six feet social distancing protocol.  Soon, the snow will be off the track and as long as the guidelines from the Maine CDC are followed, the public may use the track. However, the track will be closed to the public between the hours of 2 pm-7 pm so that our boarding students may have the opportunity for physical activity.  Please remember that we are pseudo-parents to 45 remaining boarding students and we are also practicing social distancing as we are doing all that we can to keep the students safe and well.  

We look forward to the time when everything returns to normal.  Again, please remain safe and well!

All my best,

Arnold Shorey

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A Message from Foxcroft Academy Counseling Services (Friday, 3/27/2020)

Good afternoon FA parents and guardians, 

While I realize that there is a great deal of information coming from all sorts of directions it is important to share the below thoughts, ideas and resources with you in an effort to support you and your child according to our new norms. Several nights ago an email to all FA students was sent from the Counseling Services office. The email outlined ideas to stay busy and the importance of talking about stress at a time like this when so many unknowns are out there, please ask your student to share the contents of that correspondence. The email was also sent to remind kids that while we as counselors might not be in the building we are certainly available! In that vein, the counseling services office felt that a similar email, but focused toward the parent, might be helpful. If you have a moment please take a look and if there is anything that we can do to help you or your family please let us know. As a reminder, here is how we divide our caseload: 

A-La day students: Kandi Martin    kandi.martin@foxcroftacademy.org

Lb-Z day students: Laurie Mallett.  laura.mallett@foxcroftacademy.org

Boarding student counselor and school social worker: Karen Smith.  karen.smith@foxcroftacademy.org

Helpful thoughts:

  1. Watch for concerns from your child and respond in a non alarming way.
    * For non urgent matters, utilize your child’s school counselor or contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at: 1-800-985-5990. Students or adults needing to talk can also text talkwithus to 66746. The helpline will get you in touch with a professional who can provide on the spot emotional or mental health counseling related to what’s happening with the coronavirus pandemic. This helpline is free, confidential and available 24/7
    * For urgent matters involve your child’s doctor and access resources that can provide immediate intervention such as the Crisis Hotline or authorities.

    The Maine Crisis Hotline number is: 1-888-568-1112.

    To the extent possible, check in with your child or children frequently. Often, talking about things can alleviate fear and anxiety and can make a big difference. When your child hears that worry and a healthy fear of the unknown is normal, there will likely be a sense of relief.

  2. Know that while you might be sticking to the guidelines of social distancing by not allowing your kids to hang out with friends, others, unfortunately, are not. Have a plan on how to address this frustration with your child or if it hasn’t happened yet – prepare for the fact that it probably will! Have a response on hand and consider telling your child that they can blame you when talking with friends about their inability to get together and assure them that as soon as safety guidelines allow, plans will be made to meet up with friends! Maybe even talk about what that will look like and start planning a post COVID 19 celebration (but be prepared to fulfill that promise!)
  3. Be cautious of conversations that you have around your children but also be age appropriate and realistic about the concern. End conversations on a positive note whenever possible.
  4. Is there someone your child is worried about? A sick friend who is immunocompromised, an elderly family member, a pregnant friend or relative who is more at risk if she becomes ill? Ask your child if this is a worry of his/hers.
  5. Supply your child with reputable sources if he/she wants factual information or you believe that your child would benefit from accessing a reputable source. 

More helpful information……..

  1. Talk with your child – sometimes conversation proves to unearth fears and anxiety that you never considered.
  2. Take note of your child’s activity level or non activity level. Set aside time each day where it is expected that they won’t be in their room or isolated but allow them to help design that time. 
  3. Plan family time, call/facetime a relative for a check in, play games – dig out a deck of cards or dust off the wii, take walks and include the dog, schedule a movie night, be creative and have a picnic in the car, start baking, make a meal together, design a random act of kindness activity, require your kids to help around the house even if they never have before – kids need to be busy! (Check out the Rainbow activity in Dover Foxcroft)
  4. Be aware of your own personal fears, frustration levels etc. Take time when you need time. Kids can usually pick up on parent stress.
  5. Continue to have down time at home but balance it with busy time as well.
  6. It may sound silly but move furniture in your living room every few days and allow your child to move his/her furniture. Changing things up provides a feeling of a new space.
  7. For parents to seniors – the Class of 2020 is POTENTIALLY missing out on major rites of passage – prom, spring fling, graduation.so much is unknown with regard to timeframes. Empathize with them and listen. Allow them to be upset but encourage the, one day at a time approach!
  8. Use caution not to project your financial fears onto the kids but also be age appropriate when dealing with the reality. Try to keep conversation about money, away from the kids. That being said, it’s ok to let kids know that since you or a loved one is out of work or there are too many unknowns, extra expenses have to wait.
  9. Do you work during the day? Leave a list of things your kids can do to soak up time: apply for scholarships, write a letter to someone, do something for an elderly family member, write down meal prep for the next few days. If possible, call and check in with your kids while you are at work.
  10. Set up time when school work should be the focus and check to be sure it is getting done. Talk about your child’s grades and the assignments that they are receiving online. Design your child’s school time schedule with him/her or at least talk about it. Allow for flexibility. Your child might not do school work from 8:00-2:00; especially, if they are helping with a sibling during your work day but if the school work is quality and it is getting done, consider it a win!
  11. Are you a nurse, medical responder or someone on the front lines? If so, first and foremost, THANK YOU. Second, it’s likely that your child is concerned about your risk. Ask if they are worried and talk about it.
  12. Be cautious of rumors. Small towns can easily fall victim to rumors – perhaps your child has heard that someone in the district has tested positive for COVID-19. Check the CDC website and ground your conversation with facts. Emphasize the importance of squashing rumors.
  13. Finally, for those struggling to make ends meet, don’t hesitate to ask for help: 
  • Are you behind on bills or fearful that you will be? Many if not most businesses are fielding these calls daily – you are NOT alone! Call the company in question and tell them what you can or can’t do for a payment. Even if you think you will be ok with paying bills for a bit, it’s ok to call and find out what your options are. Having this information on hand can help to alleviate stress that creeps in if the situation arises. Be proactive. 
  • If you are in need of food know that there are many wonderful area food cupboards. The Dover Foxcroft Food Cupboard has an informative Facebook page and recently posted the following info: 

Food will be distributed on March 27, April 10 & 25, 10 – noon and 1-3. Recommendations from the CDC are being taken seriously, and the Food Cupboard is making adjustments. Food cupboard distributions will be very similar to commodity food distributions:

  1. Food boxes will be assembled by volunteers, minimizing handling to the extent possible.
  2. Patrons will remain in their vehicles, and volunteers will load their food.
  3. First-time patrons will receive food boxes. Pre-registration is never required.

In closing, please know that we are thinking about you and our students. We miss them terribly and can’t wait to get back to normal. We are here to support you and your child in any way that we can. Please email if there is something that you need and if we can’t supply the answer we will work hard to find out who can. Please take care. 

School Counselors,

Kandi Martin

Laurie Mallett

Karen Smith

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We’ve reached the end of the week so let’s smile about that! It’s also Friday, so that means in addition to the regular announcements, you get to laugh, cry, boo, hiss, and cheer Friday’s Funnies with Mr. Shorey. It’s been called a roller coaster of emotions. Check it out! Stay safe and ride into the weekend, Ponies! #rideonponies

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Good morning! We’ve reached the midway point of the week. We hope you are all hanging in there and doing well. Mr. Smith stands by with your midweek announcements! #rideonponies

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Academic Update (COVID-19)

March 24, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

Thank you for the tremendous support as we have transitioned Foxcroft Academy to a remote learning institution in response to the emerging COVID-19 crisis. Now that we are all beginning to establish our “new normal”, we wanted to reach out with some updates about how our academic system and expectations are adapting along the way.

First, some “big picture” elements that, along with our mission, vision, and guiding principles, are serving as a compass to guide our decision making in this uncharted territory. Perhaps our biggest priority at this time is to “do no harm” to student learning outcomes. We understand that school closure is a tremendous disruption, not only to the academic experience but also to student social and emotional norms (and of course family routines and our community at large). We are working to retain as many of our regular expectations as possible while acknowledging the significance of our paradigm shift to remote learning and the background context of the ongoing local, state, national, and global COVID-19 crisis. Our hope is that with good communication and ongoing support we will minimize the negative impacts and perhaps even strengthen the bonds of this incredible school community that is the Pony Herd.

Connection, Engagement, and Social-Emotional Support

As we’ve now completed our first week of remote learning, we have noticed that many students have connected in some way or another with at least one of their classes. However, we have heard from teachers that there is room for improvement in the regularity of student communication and participation.

Here are the actions we are taking to support students:

  • Teachers have been prompted to reach out directly to parents/guardians via phone to check in if students haven’t yet been participating as much as expected. Our goal with these check-ins is to make sure we establish expectations for continued academic progress while at the same time learning what barriers may be limiting students, so that we can work together on solutions.
  • Student advisors will do weekly check-ins on advisees’ academic, social, and emotional well-being. Advisors will then, as appropriate, coordinate supportive responses with parents, teachers, school counselors, and others.
  • Our Counseling Services team stands ready to support students remotely, via email, phone, or videoconference. Guidance is being provided to all students, and individual support in collaboration with parents, teachers, and others is a top priority in this stressful time.

Teaching and Learning

Though we are fortunate and grateful to be as well-positioned as we are to make the transition to remote – online – learning, we want to be candid: we are learning and adapting as we go. There is a tremendous difference between technology integration in the face-to-face classroom and the wholesale transition to using technology as the foundation for learning at a distance.

Here are the actions we are taking to support teaching and learning:

  • Instruction will continue, as in Week 1, with asynchronous learning opportunities. In other words, we will not expect students to connect with their coursework on a specific schedule, so that we can honor the flexibility that students and families may need at this time. With that said, while there is not an externally-imposed schedule at this time, it is essential for each student and family to develop a personalized schedule for continued daily engagement with academics.
  • Instruction and related assessments will, to the best of our abilities, be limited to the amount of time that the student would be in that particular class for a week. We have asked our teachers to seek feedback from students this week so that we can calibrate our efforts so that there’s neither too little nor too much work required. This will take us some time to get “just right”, and is going to rely on constructive communication among all involved.

Grading and Reporting

There can be no question that our transition to remote learning in the context of the COVID-19 crisis introduced a significant variable into our standards- and proficiency-based grading system. We are working to ensure that our grades remain valid and reliable indicators of what students know and are able to do with respect to course-specific learning targets.

Here are the actions we are taking on grading and reporting:

  • Grading will remain focused on proficiency and relative to standards, with teachers making decisions as appropriate about which expectations to hold and which to release. For example, we will hold to Academic Initiative expectations across the board, and to almost all content standards generally, but will need to let go of some expectations that relate to hands-on learning (particularly in lab science and industrial technology courses). Teachers are working hard to find reasonable enrichments for the things we need to let go of at this time, and will be sure to communicate any modifications to expectations so that learning targets remain clear to our students.
  • Teachers will be flexible with assessment deadlines as appropriate on a case-by-case basis. Regular academic supports such as retake opportunities remain in place. We are working to develop a systematic approach to remote “Pony Time” (virtual office hours) to provide one-on-one / small group support opportunities while understanding that our teachers also need flexibility at this time (many of us are also parents with children now at home, too). For now, please communicate and coordinate academic support needs and plans directly with the teacher.
  • Q3 grades for year-long and second-semester courses will not be collected, nor reported on transcripts. We may put a placeholder in for all students, such as “COV”, to acknowledge the disruption rather than leaving it blank. P4 progress reports will be based on assessments through May 1, and distributed on/by May 8. Final grades for year-long and second-semester courses will, as usual, be collected and reported in Q4 at the end of this academic year.

Graduation Requirements (all students)

At this time, all graduation requirements remain in place for all students. There are no changes to course credit requirements nor to the student portfolio expectation.

Here are the actions we are taking to support Library Reading and Community Service:

  • Books for Library Reading can still be obtained from the Foxcroft Academy library. Please contact Mrs. Taggart via email (tina.taggart@foxcroftacademy.org) to inquire about the availability of a book. Books can be checked out remotely and delivered to your home via bus service. Expectations remain the same: one book per year of enrollment at FA. This is a great time to get lost in a book, and this time of school closure is a tremendous opportunity for students to catch up on this requirement if behind pace.
  • Community Service can now include the unpaid work students are doing to support their homes and families. Please document time spent caring for and/or tutoring younger children in the home. Parents/guardians, please email Jennifer Dunton (jennifer.dunton@foxcroftacademy.org) to inform us of the number of hours and the service provided. We will document these hours in PowerSchool and they will count toward the Community Service graduation requirement (36 hours total with at least 12 in the senior year) as well as the Community Service Award.

Class of 2020 Portfolio Presentations and Graduation Honors

Despite our closure due to the COVID-19 crisis, we remain focused on celebrating the tremendous accomplishments of the Class of 2020.

Here are the actions we are taking for our Senior class:

  • Portfolio presentations may be recorded and submitted to student advisors for completion. Although we are sure we are closed through April 27th, the actual duration of the closure remains indefinite and dependent upon future guidance from the CDC and DOE. As such, if students are interested in completing their presentation by recording audio over their slides, they may submit that file to their advisor to complete the requirement. We are working on the possibility of arranging live, remote presentations via Google Hangouts Meet for students who are interested, though details remain to be determined.
  • GPA-based graduation honors will be determined using Q2 data. Normally these honors (valedictorian, salutatorian, Rose Awards, and Latin Honors) are determined using Q3 grades, but the COVID-19 crisis has introduced too much variability for us to even record Q3 grades, let alone use them for such important decisions. We will rely on our most recent reliable data, Q2 grades, to make these decisions. We will follow the same process as would normally happen in Q3; grades from Q2 in year-long classes will be treated as final grades for the purposes of determining these honors. Regretfully, grades from second-semester courses will not be a factor in these decisions because Q3 grades will not be collected or recorded.
  • The deadline for Community Service Award determination has been extended to April 10, 2020. Normally this award is given to students who have completed their Community Service graduation requirement by the end of Q3 and who have a total of 100 or more service hours documented at that time. We are keeping the expectations for the award in place, but extending the deadline and allowing for home-based service (communicated as described above) documented by April 10th to count toward this award.

Once again, thank you for the tremendous support you have offered in this stressful and uncertain time as we change to remote education. If you have any questions, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Pratt

Assistant Head of School for Academics

jon.pratt@foxcroftacademy.org

207-564-8351 x1517

Academic Update Mass Mailing COVID-19 2020-03-24

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Week #2 of Foxcroft Academy Online begins today. We hope you have been able to get your work completed and submitted. Be looking for more communications from your teachers. Here are today’s morning announcements, and seeing that it is Monday, here is Mr. Shorey with more! Stay positive and stay safe, Ponies! #rideonponies

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Good morning. Here are your morning announcements for Friday, 3/20/2020. And because it’s Friday, Mr. Shorey is on hand with Friday’s Funnies! Most of our socially distanced audience thought they were funny…..except for Mr. Smith. He needs to cheer up. Anyway, ride on Ponies! #rideonponies

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Communication #3 – Friday, 3/20/20 10:00am

Good morning.  The following is the latest communication from Arnold Shorey, FA Head of School in regards to the ongoing escalation of COVID-19.  Please take note.

In conjunction with RSU 68, Foxcroft Academy will remain closed until at least April 27th and will continue with online instruction.  This is being done with guidance from the DOE and the CDC. April 20th- 24th will still be designated as “April Break.”

I would like to thank parents and students for adjusting to receiving online instruction.  I encourage you to email teachers if you have questions or are in need of help. Please also make sure that you contact Foxcroft Academy Counseling Services if you need assistance. I am very pleased with how the staff and faculty have responded to the transition to online learning and how the students are adapting to the new delivery of instruction.

A few reminders:

– If you are in need for something to be delivered by Rowell’s or Weymouth’s bus services, continue to contact Ms. Weatherbee (pam.weatherbee@foxcroftacademy.org) or Ms. Tammy Smith (tammy.smith@foxcroftacademy.org)

– The drop off points for breakfast/lunches have been announced as follows:

In Sebec:  The Event Center

In Charleston: The Community Center

In Monson: The Town Office

In Dover Foxcroft: SeDoMoCha and Foxcroft Academy

             Lunch and Breakfast can be picked up at the above 

             locations between 10 am and 12

             noon.

– If you call Foxcroft Academy and the phone call is not answered, please leave a voicemail and your message will be responded to in a timely manner.

– Information will be forthcoming concerning the end of the third quarter, senior presentations, and continuing to meet requirements.

“These are the times,” as Thomas Paine memorably wrote in 1776, “that try men’s (people’s) souls.”  Through these trials, we will be a much stronger and better community.

Ride on Ponies,

Arnold Shorey, Head of School

#rideonponies

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Attention Foxcroft Academy TCTC students….here is the latest communication from Tri-County Technical Center in regards to COVID-19. (Wednesday, March 18th, 2020)

Letter Parents and Students regarding shutdown – PDF

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It’s Wednesday, 3/18/20 and because we are midway through the week, Mr. Smith stands by with your morning announcements. Make sure to listen up….Mr. Smith hasn’t handed out a detention in a few days and he’s itchin’  Ride on Ponies!

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The drop off points for breakfast/lunches have been announced starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020:

In Sebec:  The Event Center

In Charleston: The Community Center

In Monson: The Town Office

In Dover Foxcroft: Foxcroft Academy

Lunch and Breakfast can be picked up at the above locations between 10 am and 12 pm.

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Monday Morning Announcements – 3/16/2020

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The following is the latest communication from Foxcroft Academy Head of School, Arnold Shorey.
(Updated 3/15/20 8:30pm)

Good evening students,

Welcome to FA online!  Your teachers will reach out to you via email, and please plan to respond to them as they will guide you to set up the proper platform that you will use for receiving the curriculum and instruction. Communication is critically important and it is essential that you stay in communication with your teachers. 

If you need material, an iPad, or something from your locker, email Mrs. Hutchinson (kelly.hutchinson@foxcroftacademy.org), and we will get what you need, place in a bag and you can come into the gym lobby to pick it up (the bag will have your name on it).

If you are unable to come to pick up your needed material, email Mrs. Hutchinson and we will make arrangements to have the material delivered to you. 

We are in historic times and just like any crisis in our history, it will take teamwork to overcome our challenges. Please work with your teachers. We have the equipment, tools, and expertise to have a very successful online program. Some of you may even enjoy learning online. 

If you have any questions feel free to email or contact any administrator and we will work to find your answers. 

Watch your email for announcements tomorrow by 10:40 am. 

Thank you and Ride On Ponies,

Mr. Shorey

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Communication #2 – Sunday, 3/15/2020, 11:30am

Dear Parent/Guardian,

I am writing to inform you that Foxcroft Academy in conjunction with RSU 68 will be closed starting on Monday, March 16, 2020, and will reopen on March 30, 2020, pending guidance from the CDC and the DOE.  A great deal of scrutiny went into this decision, but in light of the new information concerning the importance of “social distancing,” it was decided that Foxcroft Academy should close.

We realize that this is a difficult time for families and students and Foxcroft Academy is dedicated to help and support in any way that we can.  Communication is essential and we ask that you direct the students to check their student emails for information that will come from their teachers.  Also, we will set up a Covid19 web page on our website, www.foxcroftacademy.org, so that you can better track correspondence that will periodically come from the Academy.  

Information is rapidly changing and here are some major informational points that you need to know:

  • In conjunction with RSU 68 and Rowells transportation service,  any family that wants to participate in the lunch program needs to email the Director of Food Services, Rhonda Tyler at rhonda.tyler@foxcroftacademy.org.  Lunches will be delivered starting on Wednesday to “drop off” points in each community and the locations will be announced at a later date.
  • If your student needs material, such as an iPad, book, etc. they can come to the gym lobby to get the material between 8am until 3pm, Monday through Wednesday.  If this is not possible, please contact the school and arrangements will be made to have the items delivered in some manner.
  • Once again, please have students monitor their student emails for guidance from their teachers.
  • If you are in need of the Internet, please contact the Director of Technology, Robert Brown at robert.brown@foxcroftacademy.org and we will try to assist as the State of Maine has announced a program that will provide free wifi in your home.

It is important that we all have patience and flexibility as we are in unfamiliar times.  Foxcroft Academy is prepared to “walk our talk” and role model how to apply a growth mindset that we often implore our students to do.  This means that we will learn a great deal through this experience, and through this knowledge, our focus is supporting the students and their families.

Sincerely,

Arnold Shorey, Head of School

Foxcroft Academy

FA COVID-19 Closing #1

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Communication #1 sent Friday, 3/13/20 at 8:00pm:

Good evening. The following is the latest communication from Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey in regards to the ongoing escalation of COVID-19. We will keep you updated as new information becomes available.

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I am writing to inform you of the latest news and efforts as the coronavirus has been classified as a pandemic. In writing this letter, I also understand that things can change quickly and we will use all of our social media platforms to communicate the latest information that may affect you and your students. In compliance with CDC recommendations, large group events are being canceled.

– The Youth Wrestling Tournament that was scheduled to take place at Foxcroft Academy, tomorrow March 14, 2020, has been canceled.
– Senior presentations that were to happen on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, have been postponed. Seniors, do not get excited as they will be rescheduled.
– The Maple Sunday community breakfast scheduled for March 22, 2020, that was to be held at Foxcroft Academy is canceled.
– The Maine Principals Association has delayed the start of Spring athletics until April 27th.
– We will not do assemblies and will use the intercom system for announcements.

Foxcroft Academy has no plans at this time to close and will remain open as long as possible as per the guidance from the DOE and CDC. In the event that Foxcroft Academy does close for a period, we will use online instruction to continue student learning. Foxcroft Academy has the equipment, the expertise, and the tools to provide uninterrupted curriculum delivery and our faculty has been busily preparing for this possibility. We want the students to continue to have the opportunity to learn. If your family does not have access to the internet, please inform the Academic Office by calling 564-8351 and ask to speak to Ms. Weatherbee. We will make arrangements through the US mail delivery and/or telephone to support student learning. It does appear that free Internet may become available in the very near future. If this becomes necessary, more details will be provided.

During this historic time, flexibility is needed and Foxcroft Academy is prepared to offer the necessary flexibility to help our students. For example, attendance rules and protocols will be adjusted to support student absences for sickness or parental choice. The best practices that have been communicated for the past month of staying home if you feel ill, using proper coughing and sneezing techniques, washing your hands thoroughly and often, avoiding touching your face and eyes still apply, and now social distancing is recommended. As pseudo-parents to 70 boarding students, we have restricted travel of our students to be only in our region.

In difficult times in American history, we have always overcome major challenges by working together. This will be important for our community as we will undoubtedly overcome the Covid-19 pandemic by working together.

Thank you,

Arnold Shorey, Head of School

Letter to Boarding Parents 3-12-20

#rideonponies