COVID-19 Information

St. Mark’s continues to closely monitor public health information and make deliberate and informed decisions about protecting the physical and social-emotional well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and extended community. Given the fluid and ever-evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances are constantly changing and require great flexibility, patience, and creativity both on and off campus. Disciplined adherence to fundamental safety practices underpins our ability to sustain normalized curricular and co-curricular programs throughout this school year.

Our goal for the 2021–2022 year is to provide normalcy and routine so that every boy across campus can stretch, grow, and thrive. Whether it is your first or final year at St. Mark’s, know that we will work together, arm in arm, and continue to demonstrate the individual and collective strength, resilience, and character that define our School.

Health & Safety Guidelines for the 2021–2022 School Year

List of 4 items.

  • Masks

    Public health conditions across the city have thankfully improved markedly in recent months. We are also encouraged by our experiences on campus this fall with limited COVID impact, quarantines, and disruption. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of our students and teachers have been vaccinated. Given this progress and our steadily improving conditions, St. Mark's made masks optional for all students and adults on campus beginning Monday, November 29, 2021.
  • Isolation & Quarantine Procedures

    Students or staff with a positive COVID test will be asked to remain at home and isolate for 5 days. They can return to school on Day 6 if fever free and symptoms are resolving. They will be required to wear a well-fitting mask upon return through Day 10.

    If you are a known close contact of a positive case and are unvaccinated, you will be asked to quarantine for 5 days and then return on Day 6 with a well-fitting mask through Day 10.

    As the scope of transmission of the Omicron variant has intensified in recent weeks, determining close contacts of students with COVID is difficult. Therefore, we ask parents and boys to stay home when symptomatic or upon testing positive.  
  • Community Screening and Monitoring

    We will continue to conduct voluntary PCR surveillance testing during the school year. However, testing will not be required for participation in academic or co-curricular programs, except in limited cases. We are continuing to work with our on-site testing partner SafeWork to make surveillance testing easy and convenient for the entire St. Mark’s community.

    The first testing date for students will be on Friday, August 20, in Nearburg 114. Again, this testing will be voluntary, and your son’s participation in this service will be left to each family’s discretion.
  • Return to School Guidelines

    Return to School Guidelines: All school policies and procedures with respect to any illness or injury will remain in place. We will continue to require families to log into School Pass daily and answer the questions prior to their son’s school arrival on campus.

    If there is any question about if a boy may or may not attend meet the health criteria for school attendance on a given day, please call the Clinic (214-346-8219) for clarification prior to sending him.

    More information about the School's attendance policy is available on page 256 of Lion Tracks, in the back of your school directory. 

Community Updates

List of 5 items.

  • An Update from the School Nurse (January 7, 2022)

    Dear Parents, Colleagues, and Boys:

    We hope that you and your boys all enjoyed some well-deserved rest and relaxation over the recent holiday break. It has been great to have the boys back on campus. I know it continues to be an unsettling and frustrating time for many reasons amidst another Covid surge; however, there is cause for hope and optimism. Our return this week, while challenging in some respects, has been affirming. Our team continues to work in close partnership to support the boys’ physical and emotional well-being, making sure that they feel a sense of stability and normalcy when they come on campus each day.

    As our first week of 2022 comes to a close, we want to update you on the adjustments that have been made to our isolation and quarantine protocols, as noted below.

    • Students with a positive Covid test will be asked to remain at home and isolate for 5 days. They can return to school on Day 6 if fever free and symptoms are resolving. They will be required to wear a well-fitting mask upon return through Day 10.

    • If you are a known close contact of a positive case and are unvaccinated, you will be asked to quarantine for 5 days and then return on Day 6 with a well-fitting mask through Day 10.

    • As the scope of transmission of the Omicron variant has intensified in recent weeks, determining close contacts of students with Covid is difficult. Therefore, we ask parents and boys to stay home when symptomatic or upon testing positive.  
    Thank you so much for your ongoing support. We are hopeful that this current surge, while challenging, will pave the way for a very positive 2022 ahead.  

    Sincerely, 
    Julie Doerge, R.N.
  • An Update from the Headmaster (January 2, 2022)

    Dear Parents and Marksmen, 
     
    Happy New Year!
     
    I hope this note finds you doing well and that you and your families enjoyed a peaceful, joyous, and blessed holiday season. This time of year often prompts us to pause and reflect on what matters most in our lives and to consider the things that we can do to positively impact the year ahead.
     
    This school year has indeed been a blessing thus far for all of us. When we started in late August with some trepidation and uncertainty, none of us could have predicted the energy, momentum, and progress of the past five months. The time on campus this fall with the boys was filled with memorable experiences in and out of the classroom. Our time together leading up to the holiday break was energizing. We gathered for time-honored traditions like Lessons & Carols, Banner Chapel, and the All-School Christmas Party, attended concerts, assemblies, and winter sports contests, and witnessed the boys and the community come together to support those in need across our great city. Thank you for your strong support in helping us establish the normalcy and routine for the 900 Marksmen that walk our halls each day.
     
    Amidst the time away in recent weeks, we’ve all witnessed yet another surge in COVID activity around the world and of course right here in our community. This increase is a source of concern and has directly affected a number of our students and teachers. While we don’t necessarily know what the coming weeks will bring, the boys need a clear sense of stability, consistency, and confidence about the path forward.
     
    Given the increasing pressure on our community and the potential for disruption of the boys’ daily experience, it is important that we continue to take responsibility for our own well-being and the well-being of those around us. Our community continues to pull together at every turn, enabling us to remain focused on St. Mark’s core mission: helping every Marksman prepare for a life of leadership, responsibility, and service. As you know, indoor masking was required throughout the fall before transitioning to optional masking following Thanksgiving. As classes resume this week, we will continue with our mask-optional approach. At the same time, it is likely that many students and teachers will continue to wear masks while indoors, as they did during the leadup to the Christmas break. We will continue to carefully monitor our experiences on campus and will be prepared to make any adjustments should they become necessary.
     
    As always, thank you for your ongoing commitment to the boys and to one another. Nancy joins me in sending best wishes to you and your family for a very positive year ahead! 
     
    Gratefully,
     
    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (November 8, 2021)

    Dear Parents and Marksmen,
     
    I hope this note finds you and your family doing well.
     
    In reflecting on the first several months of the school year, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our boys, our parents, and of course all my colleagues for helping us re-establish normalcy and routine across the campus. After several years of disruption and dislocation due to the pandemic and the tornado, it has been affirming to see all our academic and co-curricular programs back at full strength. From Chapel services, assemblies, and class meetings to community service events, pep rallies, athletic and fine art programs, spirit parties, and so much more, daily life at 10600 Preston Road has been upbeat and fulfilling. At the same time, welcoming parents back to campus has been a blessing and contributes greatly to the resumption of the routines, activities, and traditions we all cherish. The meaningful daily support that parents provide uplifts our work with the boys. It has been great to see so many of you at games, in the lunchroom, walking the halls, or simply participating in the many activities across our community.
     
    As you know, public health conditions across the city have thankfully improved markedly over the past few months. We are also encouraged by our experiences on campus this fall with limited COVID impact, quarantines, and disruption. Moreover, the overwhelming majority of our students and teachers have been vaccinated, and with this week’s rollout of the vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11, there will be added protections available to everyone in our community. Given this progress and our steadily improving conditions, we plan to make masks optional for all students and adults on campus following Thanksgiving break. Like you, I am incredibly proud that Marksmen of all ages have consistently demonstrated optimism and determination when faced with new challenges. We are eager to take this next step together and firmly believe that it will further support the social and emotional well-being of our boys as we strive for even greater normalcy and routine.
     
    Looking forward, in the next few weeks we will also provide several important updates on our planning for the redevelopment and expansion of the athletic facilities that were destroyed by the tornado. In addition, we are excited to share progress on a number of other strategic priorities, including faculty recruitment efforts and our commitment to expand student access and affordability in the years ahead. Along those lines, we are anticipating more than 1,000 attendees at next week’s Admission Open House as interest in St. Mark’s continues to resonate across the metroplex and beyond. We are also eager to once again welcome extended family members to campus for Grandparents’ Day on November 19.  
     
    As always, please know your support and partnership are vitally important. The values that underpin our mission, our community, and our culture are substantive and enduring. Thank you for working together, arm in arm, to sustain and strengthen the bonds we share. Nancy joins me in extending warmest Thanksgiving wishes to you and your family.
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (August 13, 2021)

    Dear Parents and Marksmen,
     
    The past week has been filled with several significant milestones. Early Tuesday morning, the Class of 2024 returned from a successful Pecos Trip, marking the fiftieth anniversary of this Marksman tradition of boys trekking into the wilderness to forge even closer bonds of friendship and shared commitment as emerging leaders on campus. And just last night, we hosted the annual College Send-Off for the Class of 2021 and unveiled their newly inscribed names on the walls in Graduate Hall. Excitement continues to build on campus as we move ever closer to the first day of school and prepare to welcome faculty back to campus next week for pre-sessional meetings. We are particularly pleased to welcome a talented group of experienced new colleagues to the St. Mark’s team and are looking forward to the many contributions they will bring to our community.
     
    As plans are being finalized for the year ahead, we remain undeterred in our commitment to resume a high degree of normalcy and routine with all of our curricular and co-curricular programs, activities, and events. Chapel, the Great Hall, the Fine Arts Center and other communal spaces will be open, and we will welcome parents back to campus to support our daily work with the boys. All of our athletic and fine arts programs will operate at full strength.
     
    During the past year, we’ve gone to great lengths to support the physical and social-emotional safety and well-being of our boys, faculty, and community at large. In the face of considerable disruption last year, Marksmen and their teachers exhibited ongoing resilience, strength, and determination. With your support and encouragement, boys didn’t just endure the disruptions and challenges, they faced them head on and led our community forward with grace and optimism. Simply look back to Spirit Week, Banner Chapel, concluding athletic and fine arts events, Baccalaureate, and Commencement, and we’re quickly reminded how much leadership the boys demonstrated day in and day out. As one boy shared in a letter with me over the summer, "This past school year, every member of 10600 Preston Road worked as one to embody the principles of 'St. Mark’s Strong.' Blake and the Student Council constantly put the needs of the School before their own, bringing tremendous success to the entire student body." This year we will build on that momentum and provide Marksmen across campus with the most robust, engaging, and fulfilling experiences possible.
     
    At the same time, we have all followed the shifting landscape in recent days regarding how to address the rapidly deteriorating health conditions in our area, most of which we had hoped were in the rear-view mirror. Of course, the structural improvements we made across campus last year to support a safe and healthy environment on campus will continue to underpin our well-being in the months ahead. The major question we’ve been wrestling with over the past few weeks is how to respond to the guidance related to masking on campus. We are grateful that more than 95% of our 250 employees and nearly 75% of our boys in grades 7-12 (which is two-thirds of our total student body) are vaccinated. And, while evidence over the past eighteen months indicates the risk of serious illness and mortality for children from COVID-19 has thankfully been low, in recent weeks there has been an alarming uptick in the number and severity of pediatric cases, including in North Texas. In conversations with UT Southwestern and Children’s Medical Center this week, we’ve learned how much pressure our pediatric care facilities are currently facing, which affects not only risks associated with the pandemic, but also other pediatric emergencies or critical care needs that emerge during this tenuous time.
     
    Thus, we have made the decision to open the school year with indoor masking for all students and adults on campus, including teachers, professional staff, parents, and visitors. And while there are no perfect answers to the challenges we face, it is incumbent upon everyone in our community to work in unison to support the well-being, development, and success of every Marksman in our care. Given the high vaccination rates across our community and the use of masks indoors, we anticipate that the need for quarantining of close contacts will be much less common than last year, again promoting greater normalcy and routine. In addition, we will continue to conduct voluntary surveillance testing; however, it will not be required for participation in academic or co-curricular programs, except in limited cases.
     
    As we have said repeatedly, our goal for the coming year is to provide normalcy and routine so that every boy across campus can stretch, grow, and thrive. Whether it is your first or final year at St. Mark’s, know that we will work together, arm in arm, and continue to demonstrate the individual and collective strength, resilience, and character that define our School.
     
    Thank you for your ongoing support, encouragement, and partnership. I look forward to seeing you in the coming days and weeks as we get the new school year underway, together. Here’s to an outstanding year ahead!  Go Lions!
     
    With gratitude, excitement, and anticipation,
     
    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (August 2, 2021)

    Dear Parents and Marksmen,
     
    I hope you are enjoying a positive, restful, and restorative summer. As we make our way into August and look toward the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year just three weeks from today, there is a growing sense of energy and excitement across the campus. We are eager for our hallways, classrooms, playing fields, labs, and public spaces to be filled with Marksmen once again, as we know they will bring great energy, creativity, and commitment as we embark on our 116th school year.  
     
    It’s been wonderful to have boys on campus throughout the summer for athletic workouts, art projects, journalism workshops, greenhouse gardening, and much more. Today, the Football team began two-a-day workouts and, early tomorrow morning, members of the Class of 2024 will head out for the Pecos Wilderness Trip, following in the footsteps of generations of Marksmen who've come before them. These experiences, much like our many culminating events in May, provide important and much-needed momentum as we prepare for the start of a new school year.  
     
    The summer months have thankfully provided meaningful opportunities for all of us to regain some sense of normalcy, balance, and perspective. In our house, we were grateful to have the opportunity to spend more substantive time with our children and extended family, time that we certainly treasure. And with a growing family moving in many directions, that has become increasingly difficult. But throughout the summer, I took time to reflect on all that we have been through together during the past few years and repeatedly found myself counting our many blessings.
     
    As we look to the year ahead, challenges and opportunities certainly remain. Of course, we all recognize the ongoing public health challenges before us and remain focused on providing our boys with both safe and meaningful experiences. Next week we will share additional information about our mitigation efforts for the opening of school, but want you to know that we are continuing to plan for a high degree of normalcy and routine. Among other things, we look forward to welcoming parents back to campus and reestablishing consistent rhythms that underpin our sense of community.  
     
    Let me express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. In particular, I want to welcome our newest Marksmen and their families to the St. Mark’s community. We are thankful that you have joined our School family and look forward to the positive contributions you will make in the years ahead.
     
    Please enjoy the remaining weeks of summer. I look forward to seeing you on campus and catching up in person sometime soon.
     
    With gratitude and eager anticipation, 

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster

St. Mark’s School of Texas

10600 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75230

214-346-8000

About Us

St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.

St. Mark’s does not discriminate in the administration of its admission and education policies on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or national or ethnic origin.