Parent Newsletter by Franny Shuker-Haines


Dear Buxton Families,

Hard to believe it is the last week of school. I can’t decide if this has been the longest shortest time or the shortest longest time. In any case, it has been a semester like no other, and we hope never to have to repeat this experiment again!

I also want to pause for a moment and acknowledge that, on top of dealing with all of the disruptions and difficulties posed by the coronavirus, our community has been hit hard by the recent incidents of racial violence against black Americans. Our students are upset but also engaged. I know that many of our kids have been (virtually) gathering together to talk and strategize, have been attending rallies and signing petitions, and are working hard to figure out what they can do to combat racism effectively and lastingly. I am inspired by their fervor and humbled by their fearlessness. The faculty, too, is striving to figure out how to make Buxton a better place, how to be actively anti-racist, and how to stand alongside our kids in this fight. 

In the meantime, there are several logistical things I want to make sure we cover this week, so without further ado …

COVID-19 Preparations

I want to make sure everyone saw last week’s mailing with our COVID-19 plans for the fall. We continue to get updated guidelines from the state, and we will continue to update our plans accordingly. If you haven’t had a chance to look at it, you can find it here.


Graduation is this coming Saturday, June 13th at 8:00 P.M Eastern Daylight Time. We hope that everyone in the school community will attend—families too!—to mark this milestone with us. This senior class has rallied in every conceivable way to end this year well, and their speeches should not be missed.

To give you an idea of how graduation will play out, here’s the rundown:

At 8:00, we will ask everyone to tune into the Buxton YouTube channel (the link will be sent out closer to the ceremony).

-There, you will experience the usual processional, you will see and hear each senior giving a speech that they wrote from the heart and recorded from home. 

-You will hear our traditional “Alleluia,” sung by a special faculty chorus.

-You will hear the director’s speech, followed by a recitation of every graduating senior’s name.

-The ceremony will end with a recessional.

Afterwards, there will be a Zoom afterparty/celebration for the whole Buxton community! (The link will be sent to students later this week.)

Report Conferences & Report Letters

Peter Beck, Linda Burlak, Timothy Shuker-Haines, and I will be holding report conferences for freshmen and sophomores this week. Shortly after we have had a conference with a student, the report letter for the spring term will be sent home to families.

For juniors, we are going to approach things a little differently. Typically, we ask juniors to spend significant time on their self-evaluation for their final spring term before becoming seniors. These reflections frequently happen in the context of conversations we have with them throughout the term—about what it means to be a senior, about their role at Buxton, and about their hopes and dreams for their last year of high school and beyond. Unfortunately, those conversations just couldn’t happen in the usual way because we are so far apart.

But we feel that that kind of self-reflection is so important as a student heads into senior year, so we are going to ask that rising seniors write those longer self-evaluations when they come back during our staggered return in the fall, and we will have one-on-one conversations with them at that time.

In the meantime, we will still be having report conferences with them next week to talk over the spring term both academically and generally, but we will save the really deep stuff for September.

The Rest of This Week—and Beyond!

  • We will continue to conduct classes as usual through the end of the school day on Friday.  
  • We will NOT be holding the Buxton Parent Get-Together this week, as we are slammed with end-of-year obligations.
  • Report conferences with freshmen and sophomores will happen throughout the week and, possibly, into the weekend. 
  • Report conferences with juniors will happen next week.
  • Linda will be in touch with returning students starting next week to sign them into classes for next year.
  • Room packing is almost finished; once your child’s room is all packed, Lindsey will be in touch to arrange pick-up.

Okay, that’s enough to digest for now. I wish everyone health and safety, optimism and energy!

All the best,



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