Parent Newsletter by Franny Shuker-Haines

Dear Buxton Parents, Families and Friends,

Happy winter, everyone!

It has been such a busy time from the moment we all got back from the winter vacation to now, we’ve barely had a chance to catch our collective breaths. Winter is a tightly packed term, because we add the winter study classes on top of all of the regular classes, AND we start meeting in our trip groups, AND the juniors research and write their senior theses, AND the seniors finish up all their college applications. Yowza!

We also always have the inevitable colds and bugs and general yuckiness circulating through our dorms and our people, so that has also made this term … challenging at times. We delayed room change for a few days, for instance, because we had enough kids feeling under the weather last Friday that we felt a calm, restorative weekend was in order. Which is exactly what we had and — voila! — by Tuesday, the kids felt ready to move and now everyone is in their new rooms and, in some cases, dorms.

Speaking of which, we are having our inaugural Gatehouse gender-neutral dorm rooming term this winter, and so far the reports from students and dorm faculty have been excellent. The kids are being so mindful and smart and respectful and great. It makes a (surrogate) mother proud!

I hope your kids have spoken to you about their winter-study classes! We have some great offerings this year—lots of field trips and interesting work. As you may know, everyone takes one of these classes, which means the classes have every students from every grade in them, and the offerings range from very hands-on experiences to reading- and writing-oriented courses to everything in between. Here’s a list of this year’s classes:

Film Noir (with Timothy)

Folk Arts (with Amrita)

Food Realities (with Chef Greg)

Beginning Guitar (with Derek)

Life Skills (with Chiara and Story and Allison)

Materials Workshop: woodwork, metal shop, and auto repair (with Matt)

Nature Writing (with Linda)

The Painted Mark: 20th century art (with Frank and Willie)

Personal Fitness (with David B.)

Robotics (with Lawrence)

Special Relativity (with Micah)

We have also started meeting in our project groups to get ready for our upcoming Urban Intensive Trip to Detroit. The topics we’re studying this year (and the faculty member associated with each group) are:

Art & Architecture (Derek)

Automobile Industry (Linda & Zhongwei)

Criminal Justice (Ben)

Music (Story & Allison)

Urban Agriculture (David & Lindsey)

Entrepreneurship (Timothy)

1967 Rebellion (Franny)

Environmentalism (Rachel & Gabe)

Bankruptcy (Henry)

Gentrification (Adrian)

If you have any leads/ideas/contacts on any of these topics you’d like to share, feel free to be in touch with the faculty member leading the appropriate group, or reach out to Timothy, who is running the trip overall (

Time to sign off! I have to do some more research before our next trip-group meeting!

Hope you are all warm and healthy and happy.

More soon!

All the best,


Start typing and press Enter to search