COVID-19 Information

In response to the public health risks associated with the COVID 19 virus, St. Mark’s has suspended onsite academic classes for the remainder of the 2019–2020 school year, as well as all co-curricular events, including athletic practices and games, campouts, trips, and other events. During this period away from campus, the School is conducting online classes as part of our remote learning plan.

St. Mark’s has formed a Remote Learning Team comprised of faculty leaders across campus to support our teachers and students with training, guidance, and technical service. In addition, a Health & Wellness Team has been assembled to ensure the continued support of the physical and social-emotional learning for boys across all three divisions of the School.

To keep the bonds of community as strong as ever, St. Mark's has launched 10600, a webpage dedicated to keeping students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, and friends connected to the School while campus is closed. 

Read the latest updates from the Headmaster below.

Community Updates

List of 13 items.

  • An Update from the Headmaster (May 2)

    As we enter the final weeks of the school year, I want to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you. The past nine months have challenged our School in ways we never could have imagined, yet we’ve come together and consistently demonstrated how important it is to care for one another. Parents caring for other parents, for teachers, and for their sons. Teachers caring for boys and each other. Boys reaching out into the community and caring for Dallas neighbors they don’t even know. And while it would be easy at this time to focus attention on what we are missing, I find great inspiration in the way Marksmen continue to respond to adversity. As Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Well, our boys, from first grade to this year’s senior class, have remained steadfast throughout one of the most challenging years in the School’s history.
     
    And while we continue to focus attention on bringing the year to a successful close, this past week I’ve had the opportunity to join my colleagues and welcome all of the newly admitted Marksmen to the St. Mark’s community via Zoom calls organized by our Admission team. These calls have been energizing as we learned more about our newest Marksmen and heard their genuine enthusiasm and excitement about joining our School family. It has been yet another reminder of how much we have to look forward to in the coming months.

    During the past week, our team has also been formalizing plans for culminating activities with the boys in each grade. In the coming days, we will share more information about year-end recognition and closing activities across the Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools. I want to acknowledge the leadership, creativity, and ingenuity provided by our Division Heads, Department Chairs, and the entire faculty and staff; they have been unwavering in their commitment to support every Marksman during our time away from campus.

    As we look ahead, I also want to reassure you that we are making plans to safely resume school on campus this fall. We look forward to welcoming boys back to campus and continuing the many programs and experiences we all treasure. We will, of course, take every necessary precaution to safeguard the well-being of both students and adults. I want to thank our School nurse, Julie Doerge, for her thoughtful leadership, as well as our Medical Advisory Committee and our Health and Wellness team. As we head into summer and learn more about public health requirements and expectations, we will share more information about our plans to safely resume classes on campus this fall.
     
    As many of you know, one of our highest priorities in Goals for St. Marks IV is to expand student access and affordability. We have spent the past several years working on plans to reduce the financial barriers to student enrollment. We also recognize that recent events have presented unexpected financial challenges for many of our current families and will respond to those needs to the greatest extent possible. In the coming days, you will be receiving information from Suzanne Townsend, our Chief Financial Officer, about expanded tuition financing options and new initiatives to respond to potential increases in the need for financial aid. St. Mark’s longstanding commitment to sound and prudent financial management is more important than ever, as it provides a firm foundation during times of uncertainty.
     
    The recent gratitude collage posted on 10600 of all 32 first graders thanking the senior class really warmed my heart. It was a great reminder that we are one community, made up of many varied parts, unified by a common purpose and a core set of enduring values. I hope you had a chance to see it.
     
    Thank you for all that you do to make St. Mark’s such a special place for boys to develop into good men.
     
    St. Mark’s Strong!
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W.Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (April 25)

    Dear Members of the St. Mark's Community,
     
    Greetings from St. Mark’s. Many of you know that today we would normally be gathering with more than 1,000 graduates and their families to celebrate Alumni Weekend. In fact, this past week we would have held our All-School Spring Convocation, celebrated our most accomplished senior scholars at the Cum Laude induction ceremony, and enjoyed the Spring Orchestra concert, among many other year-end celebrations. We also would have attended Chapel, watched boys share time together on the quad, sat across the lunch table from colleagues and friends, taken in spring sporting events as we geared up for SPC, and so much more. It’s the little things and the big things that make every day at St. Mark’s special.
     
    Instead, several members of the senior class have delivered protective masks made from their senior blue shirts to our home. Boys have given thoughtful and heartfelt talks and breathtaking performances on 10600. Listening to the Upper School Choir sing together “virtually” or seeing the gratitude collage from all of the first graders to the class of 2020 literally brought tears to my eyes. We’ve celebrated Passover, Easter, and Ramadan Chapels across all three Divisions of the School, held virtual assemblies, and stayed motivated and focused thanks to regular updates from Coach Dilworth, Dr. Gabby, Nurse Julie, and others. Boys have raised money for the North Texas Food Bank. New students are being welcomed and recognized. Teachers have stretched themselves in ways that were previously unimaginable to support not just ongoing learning and instruction, but also to deepen meaningful relationships with their students Marksmen of all ages have worked hard, remained positive, exhibited great resilience, and resisted the temptation to let frustration or disappointment rule the day.
     
    During the past five weeks our family has spent as much time as possible out and about in the neighborhood. I’ve enjoyed a daily run with our oldest daughter, Megan, who teaches second grade at Lamplighter, and we frequently encounter St. Mark’s families. One day last week, Megan and I ran into a Lower School Marksman who was out on a bike ride with his mom and his sister. Later I learned that he had been feeling a bit down and that our chance encounter had lifted his spirits. Well, what he doesn’t know is that seeing him cheered me up, too! Like everyone else, I greatly miss the daily energy of being together on campus, seeing and talking to the boys, watching them lead, encouraging them as they compete, and learning from colleagues. We are all doing our best during these difficult and challenging times, but it is certainly not easy. I am incredibly grateful for the strength of community that we enjoy and have every confidence that we will emerge from this period stronger, more resolute, and even more grateful for the many blessings that we enjoy.
     
    As we complete our fifth week of remote learning and head into the final month of school, our team has developed a new year-end schedule, and I have attached this for your review. It includes the dates when School will conclude for our various grade levels, information on AP Exams, and a preview of culminating activities. In the next week, we will share more detailed information about year-end recognition and various concluding traditions. 
     
    In the meantime, I want to express, once again, my profound gratitude to each and every one of you — it is on my mind every minute of every day. This year has tested us in many new ways, but I am proud of how our community has responded. Thank you for never wavering in your commitment to our School.
     
    St. Mark’s Strong!
     
     
    With sincere gratitude,
     
    David W.Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (April 18)

    Dear Members of the St. Mark’s Community,
     
    I hope this note finds you and your family doing well and staying safe. As many of you now know, yesterday we learned that our campus will have to remain closed through the conclusion of this school year. While not unexpected, this news is certainly disappointing.
     
    In the coming week, we will communicate more about our plans to bring the year to a successful and positive close. The Lower, Middle, and Upper Schools will be sharing additional information in the coming days and weeks. In addition, we recently shared our Graduation Contingency Plan with the senior class and their families, as we focus on celebrating these young men who have contributed so much to the St. Mark’s community. While we’ve all had to make dramatic adjustments to our plans and expectations, I continue to be heartened and encouraged by the response from our boys, our families, and our colleagues. The values, spirit, and commitment that underpin our community have never been more evident.
     
    As we look back on our first four weeks of physical separation and remote learning, there is certainly much to be grateful for. Every day we experience opportunities for new discovery, unexpected growth, and renewal. At the same time, we recognize the many challenges that have affected people around the world, as well as families in our own community. From economic hardship and financial uncertainty to those who have been on the frontlines of the healthcare crisis and those who have lost loved ones, we have all been touched in different ways by this dramatic turn of events.
     
    I want to reassure you that many people across our community have been working hard to prepare for whatever lies ahead. Of course, our first priority is always supporting the continued growth and healthy development of every boy in our charge. Hence, our energies have been squarely focused not only on providing the most robust remote learning experiences possible, but also preserving and strengthening the sense of community that is so important to our School culture. At the same time, our senior team and Trustee leaders have continued to focus on the School’s long-term well-being and the advancement of our core mission.
     
    As I’ve told the boys and my colleagues many times in recent weeks, this year has without a doubt been one of the most challenging periods in our School’s history. And yet, we’ve all grown in ways that are difficult to measure. In a call last week with the senior class, I reminded the boys that many of history’s most notable leaders lived through and, in fact, thrived in the face of great adversity. Lincoln. Churchill. King. After the call, one of the boys texted me an image of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, noting “who could’ve guessed how relevant this would be for our senior year!” Indeed, from a devastating tornado to a global pandemic, we’ve all grown and been tested in unimaginable ways. Of course, I am proud to say that our boys have repeatedly and consistently lived out our motto, courage and honor.
     
    Nancy joins me in sending our prayers, warmest wishes, and sincere thanks to each and every one of you. Thank you for your unwavering support and partnership.
     
    St. Mark’s Strong!
     
    Sincerely, 

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • Graduation Contingency Plans from the Headmaster (April 17, 2020)

    Dear Senior Parents,

    I hope this note finds you and your family doing well and staying safe.
     
    While this year has presented quite a remarkable array of unexpected challenges, it has been inspiring to see how your sons have consistently responded with thoughtfulness, resilience, determination, and grace. Ever mindful of the needs and well-being of others, the Class of 2020 has led our school community forward in good times and in bad, and never shied away from responsibility. Thank you for raising such outstanding young men, and for partnering with us to help every Marksman reach his full potential.
     
    As you may know, we have been actively developing contingency plans for our major graduation events including Marksmen Ball, Baccalaureate, and Commencement, in the event that we cannot hold these events as originally scheduled in May. We have actively sought feedback and guidance from the boys during this process and are pleased to provide you with an update on our plans.
     
    Should we unable to hold our graduation events in May, we have identified two series of dates, in early and late summer as backup possibilities. As is noted in the attached document, if we have to defer next month’s activities, we will first look to the Plan B dates (June 15, 16, and 17). If for some reason the Plan B dates in June are not possible, then we will shift to the Plan C dates (July 29, 30, and 31). This information has been shared with your sons, and I encourage you to make sure these dates are secured on your calendars. While there is still uncertainty ahead, it is our sincere hope that this planning will ensure that we are well prepared to properly celebrate and honor the Class of 2020 no matter what.
     
    If you have questions or concerns, I urge you to reach out to Colin Igoe as soon as possible. Of course, we all recognize that postponing these important events is certainly not desirable. However, we want to make sure that we are as prepared as possible for every contingency.
     
    Thank you for your understanding, and your unwavering support!
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (April 11, 2020)

    Dear Parents,
     
    I hope this note finds you and your family doing well, enjoying the Passover and Easter weekend. As we look back on our third week of remote learning, it has been affirming to hear positive anecdotes from boys and teachers about the value and impact of expanded interactive engagement. With the integration of added structure and synchronous class meetings for boys in Middle and Upper School, we’ve seen encouraging results. As always, I want to express my gratitude to you for your ongoing support of your sons and our shared partnership. I also want to recognize and thank our dedicated teachers and professional staff who continue to extend themselves in the face of new and ever-evolving challenges.
     
    This week we released the Policy on Third Trimester Grading to provide greater clarity on the topics of grading and assessments, to articulate clear expectations, and to offer continued encouragement for the boys. We also announced this week that final exams have been cancelled. The feedback from the boys and from teachers has been positive. We continue to focus our energies on continued learning and active engagement with the boys. At the same time, we want to reduce anxiety and uncertainty, enabling the boys and our teachers to simply focus on the opportunities for continual growth and progress.
     
    On Thursday afternoon, several colleagues and I had the opportunity to gather with the senior class “virtually” to talk about the contingency plans being developed for graduation activities. It was great to hear (and see) the boys, and fun to once again interact with them as a group. I was reminded what an exceptional collection of young men they are when the first three questions they asked focused on the well-being of others, including: “How will junior class traditions for the Class of ’21 be sustained?” “How is the School supporting the health and safety of our security officers who continue to work on campus?” and “Are the hourly employees including custodians, cafeteria staff, and others still being paid during the campus closure?” I came away inspired and lifted up by the boys, as they remain squarely focused on what it means to be a good man.
     
    This past week the Class of 2020 also received a great deal of positive admission news from a varied list of colleges and universities. I am incredibly proud of these boys, not for just earning admission to such a wide range of highly selective universities, but rather because of the kind of young men they are becoming – thoughtful, caring, determined, compassionate, and resilient. At the same time, enrollment demand for St. Mark’s remains high. We just completed the most selective admission year in school history, admitting just 18% of the applicant pool, and enrolling 95% of the boys who were admitted for next fall. Student attrition is also currently at an all-time low. In a time of great uncertainty, these results are encouraging and affirming, and they speak to the strength of community that we enjoy. Rest assured, we never take any of this for granted. For further updates, I encourage you to check out recently released editions of The Pride and The ReMarker, and as always, you can visit 10600.
     
    Thank you for your unwavering support as we work together in support of every Marksman. Here’s to a very positive week ahead.
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (April 4, 2020)

    As we reflect on the second week of remote learning, I hope that you and your families are doing well and staying healthy. I also want to thank you for actively supporting your sons and for partnering with our teachers during this period of uncertainty and disruption. While we all continue to adapt to the challenges and limitations of daily life, the past week we’ve been lifted up by stories of connections that affirm the strength of the relationships we value so highly in our community. I was particularly moved by the junior class “gratitude” video that was featured on 10600 yesterday, hearing the boys express heartfelt thanks to their teachers, coaches, and advisors.
     
    Given ongoing public health efforts and restrictions, we are planning to keep the campus closed through at least May 1. As you well know, this is a fluid situation. Given the uncertainty ahead, we are making plans to continue remote learning through the end of the school year, should that be necessary. In response to these circumstances, the Southwest Preparatory Conference has also cancelled the spring sports season, including the Conference tournament. While necessary, this decision is disappointing for all of us, including coaches, parents, and of course our athletes, most notably our seniors in their final season as a Lion.
     
    I know that these continuous changes are unsettling. The past year has, without a doubt, been among the most challenging in our School’s long and storied history. And, this is the time of year when we all begin looking forward to the many celebrations and milestones that mark the passage of time and of our boys progress on the path to manhood. We are, of course, already thinking carefully about how to bring forward our important rituals and traditions, not the least of which are the culminating events for our graduating seniors. Notwithstanding the extraordinary disruption to their final year at St. Mark’s, these boys have continued to lead us forward with optimism, thoughtfulness, and generosity.
     
    We have all learned a great deal during the first two weeks of remote learning. In week one we established basic rhythms, patterns, and interactions. This week we introduced advisory meetings and more interactive engagement. After considerable planning and preparation, next week we will transition to Phase II of remote learning and layer in a clear and simple schedule for Middle and Upper School boys to further expand interactive student-teacher engagement. In grades 5-12, synchronous class meetings will be added not just to support continued learning, but also the important relationships that underpin our community.
     
    Thank you for your continuing support as we work together, hand in hand, to support the continued growth and development of every Marksman. While the learning curve is certainly steep for all of us, we’re in it together.
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (March 27, 2020)

    Dear Parents,
     
    As we near of the end of the first week of remote learning, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere hope that you and your families are healthy and doing well. I also want to thank you for supporting your sons during these unprecedented times. As we go forward together and continue to navigate these uncharted waters, I am heartened and inspired by the responses we have seen in recent days. The past week has been filled with stories of connections that affirm the strength of the relationships we value so highly in our community. Thank you for nurturing and encouraging the boys during this period of uncertainty and disruption.
     
    We continue to closely monitor efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, and after careful consideration, have decided to keep our campus closed through at least Friday, April 10. Our priority continues to be the health and safety of our community, and we are in constant communication with Dallas area health authorities and with schools and other organizations around the country to ensure that we are making informed decisions. We will keep you updated as our planning develops. It is our strong desire to have our boys and teachers back on campus as soon as possible.
     
    The past few weeks have been filled with many noteworthy and memorable experiences. In particular, I want to acknowledge and recognize the extraordinary leadership, thoughtfulness, and initiative that has been demonstrated by the Class of 2020. Notwithstanding the extraordinary disruption to their final year at St. Mark’s, they have stepped up time and time again to lead our community forward with care and compassion. Even over spring break, seniors were working on a variety of fronts not only to support one another, but also to support younger Marksmen. We’ve had daily meetings and conversations with many boys, and it is safe to say, without hesitation, that I have never been more grateful to be part of the St. Mark’s family.
     
    It is also important to acknowledge the spirit of commitment, dedication, and initiative that has been demonstrated by our faculty and staff. I want to recognize their ongoing efforts to support and care for every boy. As you well know, recent days and weeks have presented all of us with a steep learning curve, and we are growing and learning together, one step at a time. Faculty and staff continue to work tirelessly to maintain meaningful connections and relationships that are central to the St. Mark’s experience.
     
    Our philosophy this week has been “go slow to go fast,” and our priority has been to establish rhythms, patterns, and tools that establish a sustainable foundation that we can build on, improve, and expand. As always, these efforts require teamwork, and I want to thank the members of our Remote Learning Team and our Health and Wellness Team who are going to great lengths to support students, teachers, and families. In the coming week, you will see meaningful expansion of our interactions and activities, including student-led chapel services, regular and more frequent advisory gatherings, faculty office hours, and ever-increasing efforts to sustain the bonds of community that are so important to us all. In that regard, daily updates from across the community can be found on 10600.
     
    Finally, I want to acknowledge the unfailing leadership provided by the Board of Trustees, the Parents’ Association, and the Alumni Association. We are blessed to have so many dedicated volunteer leaders who support us at every turn and always have the School’s long-term well-being in mind.
     
    I continue to find great confidence in the spirit of our community and the strength of our mission. As always, we are squarely focused on the continued development and well-being of every boy. Decisions in the days and weeks to come will be guided by our commitment to serve the boys well. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out for support and guidance.
     
    My sincerest thanks to each of you as we continue to navigate together what has been a truly extraordinary school year. Thank you for your patience, your unwavering support, and your continuing partnership as we work to help every boy reach his full potential.
     
    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update to Faculty & Staff from the Headmaster (March 23, 2020)

    Happy Monday, I hope you’re doing well. Thank you, once again, for all of the time, energy, and creativity you are investing in the transition to remote learning. The spirit, enthusiasm, and professionalism that our whole team has generated in recent days have been simply remarkable.

    We have reviewed the Dallas County “Shelter in Place” order that was passed late yesterday and concluded that, as of midnight tonight, the campus must now be completely closed, except for a very limited number of people who support the school’s critical infrastructure. I know a number of you were planning to work from your office or classroom and am very sorry that campus access will not be possible after today. Should you need technical support, have questions, or need to gain access to the campus for some reason, please reach out to department chairs, division heads, or members of the remote learning team.

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness and care for one another and for the boys.

    Again, we are in it together! Onward and upward!!!

    With sincere gratitude,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update to Faculty & Staff from the Headmaster (March 21, 2020)

    Dear Colleagues,
     
    Happy Saturday afternoon, I hope you’re doing well, staying safe, and having a good weekend.  Despite the unsettling times we are facing, I hope you have been able to enjoy some rest and relaxation this spring break.  Certainly, this has been a time of considerable disruption and unease as we all work through the newfound challenges of social distancing and we anticipate the transitions and changes ahead.  In addition to managing our personal lives with a new set of rhythms and patterns, we are also filled with questions and uncertainty as we imagine the shifts in our daily lives as school, albeit remote school, resumes next week!
     
    Of course, it is important to always remember that we are in this together. This morning Nancy and I were walking into the grocery store and we ran into a member of the junior class, who immediately stopped to greet us with enthusiastic elbow bumps. When I asked him how he felt about the transition ahead and the prospect of distance-learning, he eagerly responded by saying, “I’m excited!” He then told us that his parents were moving one of his two older brothers, both Marksmen, home from college this weekend.  And again, I was reminded of the many varied challenges and new realities that every family is navigating.  It also reminded me how lucky we are to have each other, and to have so many amazing boys in our community, each one of whom will play an important role in making the balance of this school year not just successful, but one that will change their lives, and ours, for the better. 
     
    Let me share a few thoughts with you as we prepare for the transition to remote learning next week. It’s incredibly important that we all agree that the safety, health, and well-being of faculty, staff, and all our students are our foremost priorities. While our commitment to continued learning and delivery of content remains, we must also recognize the new realities that will challenge us and our boys in ways that were previously unimaginable. It will be vitally important for us to constantly, willingly, and repeatedly extend grace to one another, to all of our students, and to families throughout our community. We are fortunate to be part of a special extended community, and we are at our best as we care for and support one another in good and bad times. We all must hold dear and vigorously protect the fundamental values that bind us together.
     
    As we go forward, here are four principles to keep in mind.
     
    First, set realistic expectations for yourself and the boys.  
     
    Second, remember, classroom instruction will be asynchronous
     
    Thirdrelationships are at the center of everything we do.
     
    Fourth, stay focused on the health & well-being of the boys and each other. 
     
    As we near the end of spring break and begin the transition to remote learning, keep in mind that uncertainty about what’s ahead will likely reach a fevered pitch in the coming days. The boys, along with all of us, are coming to grips with the reality that we will not be on campus together for some time, and we don’t yet fully understand how distance learning will work and feel. One of the most important things we can do is to provide positive reassurance that we will get through this together, and to set some basic and realistic expectations that everyone will understand.  As an example, just letting the boys know that assignments will be posted each day by 11am on Blackbaud and that they should plan to check in by that time is a very good first step. Giving them basic guidance about the first day or two will help us reach day three, four, and five.
     
    It will also be important to try not to accomplish too much too quickly. Like in any new situation, we need to crawl before we walk, walk before we run, and run before we sprint.  We’re all accustomed to moving quickly and getting things done, but it’s important to recognize that the landscape has shifted dramatically, and we need to be prepared to adjust our expectations accordingly. We all know this intuitively, but it will be a balancing act as we learn together.   
     
    We have all witnessed the seismic shifts that are happening around us with many new realities that none of us could have ever imagined. As we go forward with the boys, let us do so thoughtfully, deliberately, and intentionally, as we always do.  You are all gifted educators, and more important you are trusted advisors, coaches, mentors, and friends. Together, we will navigate uncharted and, perhaps, even choppy waters ahead.  Tending to the needs of our students, one boy at a time, will ultimately make all the difference.
     
    Also, just to confirm, students are not allowed on campus.  Faculty and staff are discouraged from coming to campus and encouraged to work remotely.  If you choose to come to campus, please notify your department chair in advance, keep in mind the guidelines from health officials, and remember that children are not allowed.  You also will be hearing from Kurt Tholking soon about the Remote Learning Team and the resources that they can provide for teachers.  The most recently updated version of theRemote Learning Plan is attached for your review.  
     
    Thank you for your unwavering commitment as we work together to support every boy in our charge.  And, as always, please reach out to department chairs, division heads, John, and me in the coming days and weeks with questions, suggestions, and stories. 
     
    And just remember, one step at a time!!!
                                                          
    With profound gratitude and admiration,
     
    David...
  • An Update from the Headmaster (March 20, 2020)

    Dear Members of the St. Mark's Community,
     
    I hope this note finds you and your family doing well, staying safe, and enjoying some restful and restorative time together. As we have made our way through a highly unusual spring break, all of us have wrestled in different ways with the uncertainty that has become so common over the past several weeks. It has been affirming and inspiring in recent days to have heard from students, colleagues, parents, and graduates who have shared their enthusiasm, commitment, and love for our School and the sense of family and place that it represents.
     
    In so many ways, the strong sense of community that we share continues to inform our thinking and planning as we transition to remote learning on Tuesday, March 24. Our commitment to helping every Marksman reach his full potential remains our primary focus, and, while the methods of interaction and program delivery will shift, our mission and fundamental objectives remain intact.
     
    In response to the State of Texas Governor’s executive order yesterday, we will extend our suspension of onsite classes through at least Friday, April 3, and we will update you on our plans as we learn more. While it is our strong desire to resume onsite classes and learning as soon as possible, we recognize the possibility that we might have to extend remote learning through the end of the School year and are making appropriate plans should that be necessary.
     
    As part of our ongoing preparation, we have formed a Remote Learning Team comprised of faculty leaders across campus to support our teachers and students with training, guidance, and technical service. In addition, a Health & Wellness Team has been assembled to ensure that we continue to support the physical and social-emotional learning for boys across all three divisions of the School. These groups include professionals from the offices of Counseling, Athletics, Physical Education, Computer Science, Technology, Nursing, and Communications. I want to acknowledge the leadership and commitment of these and other colleagues who have stepped forward in myriad ways to make the coming weeks as seamless as possible.
     
    As we begin the transition to remote learning next week, it will be important to manage expectations in ways that not only support student learning and progress, but also underpin overall health and well-being for students and teachers. As spring break comes to a close, next Monday will be a day of transition as students and teachers prepare for the resumption of class activities and remote learning. More detailed information will be shared with you and with the boys in the coming days.
     
    Thank you for your continued support as we work together on behalf of every Marksman.
     
    Warmest wishes,
     
    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (March 12, 2020)

    To Members of the St. Mark’s Community,

    As I shared with the boys in Middle and Upper School Chapels in recent days, we’ve learned a great deal this year about the importance of resilience, determination, and flexibility. In addition, we’ve also developed an even greater appreciation for the importance of community.

    As circumstances regarding the COVID-19 virus evolve, we remain in constant contact with local and state public health officials as well as with our peer schools. In response to growing safety concerns about large group gatherings and CDC guidance about social distancing, we write to bring you up to date on the School’s plans for the next several weeks.

    We have concluded that it is in the best interest of our community to suspend classes and activities tomorrow, March 13, so that faculty can gather on campus to continue preparations for implementation of remote learning plans. Students will be allowed to come to campus tomorrow to retrieve materials, books, supplies, or other items that they might need over the coming weeks as part of their ongoing academic obligations.

    Immediately following Spring Break, we will also suspend onsite academic classes for the week of March 23-27, as well as all co-curricular events, including athletic practices and games, campouts, trips, and other events. During this period away from campus, we will conduct online classes as part of our remote learning plan.

    This decision has been made after lengthy consideration and is driven by our commitment to the health and safety of the community. We also recognize the challenges and disruption associated with these developments and appreciate your understanding.

    As has been noted previously, members of our team have been actively preparing to conduct classes remotely so that teachers can advance student learning and ongoing interaction with the boys. We will provide continual updates and specific information about our remote learning plan on the School's website.

    Thank you for your continued patience and support.

    Sincerely,

    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • An Update from the Headmaster (March 7, 2020)

    Dear Members of the St. Mark’s Community,
     
    As we make our way into the third trimester, I am constantly reminded of the strength and resilience of our community. As tornado repairs continue across the campus, last week the junior class led a wonderful McDonald’s Week in support of Austin Street Center, and the boys organized another outstanding STEM Conference, which included inspiring scientists and educators who covered meaningful topics from technology and medicine to dark matter research and space exploration. This, on the heels of a truly remarkable winter SPC weekend and the opening of another Habitat for Humanity house in west Dallas built by students from both St. Mark’s and Hockaday.
     
    During what continues to be a time of some uncertainty, I am reaching out to provide an update on planning related to COVID-19. We are actively preparing to minimize the potential impact of this health issue on our School community and have been meeting regularly to discuss our readiness for various contingencies, including how student learning can continue should we have to close school temporarily.
     
    We are carefully tracking information from the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health, and all local health officials and remain in close contact with the other independent schools across the area and Dr. Wendy Chung, Chief Epidemiologist for Dallas County Health and Human Services. Our team has participated in briefings and updates from leading organizations across the country including U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS), among others.
     
    The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and families are, of course, our foremost priorities. While the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. remains relatively low and there are currently no confirmed cases in our area, it is important for us to plan and prepare for every possible scenario. Currently, the key recommendations from public health agencies to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses are as follows:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Cover coughs or sneezes
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
    • Get a flu vaccine
     
    In addition, we strongly urge students to stay home if they show any signs of respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms.
     
    St. Mark’s routinely takes the following proactive steps to keep our campus facilities safe and clean. We place hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes in all classrooms and other centralized locations, perform nightly cleaning of every building on campus, and regularly wipe down frequently touched surfaces including doorknobs, light switches, desks, and countertops. In addition, we will perform a deep cleaning of the entire campus this weekend and plan to repeat that process during the latter part of spring break.
     
    As you are aware, businesses and organizations around the country are curtailing and, in some cases, even restricting non-essential travel. At the same time, global travel restrictions are being continually updated as circumstances change in different parts of the world. Last week, we were notified that the annual ISAS Fine Arts Festival, which was scheduled for early April and brings together more than 3,500 students from 43 schools across the region, was cancelled due to increased concerns about travel and large-group gatherings. 
     
    As spring break approaches, we urge families to be mindful of global travel restrictions and to consider the potential challenges associated with travel to regions directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Please monitor all State Department alerts and pay careful attention to CDC and WHO warnings about the risks of both domestic and international travel. We are closely tracking all scheduled student travel programs and will keep you updated.
     
    Please consult the following organizations for more information:
     
    For more information, visit the Health and Wellness page on the School’s website. We will send out additional updates in the weeks ahead as developments arise.
     
    Thank you for your ongoing support.
     
    David W. Dini
    Eugene McDermott Headmaster
  • Letter from Nurse Julie (January 27, 2020)

    Dear Members of the St. Mark’s Community,
     
    As part of our ongoing commitment to campus health and safety, we have been closely monitoring the current coronavirus outbreak in conjunction with the School’s Medical Committee, which includes Dr. Wendy Chung, Chief Epidemiologist for acute communicable diseases at the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a variety of other physicians and medical specialists from across our community.
     
    As you may know, the 2019 novel coronavirus emerged from the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China last month. This virus, thought to have been initially transmitted to humans from animals, is now being spread from person to person through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, in much the same way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.
     
    At this time, people considered at risk for contracting the virus are those who have traveled to Wuhan, China, or those who have been in close contact with infected individuals. A limited number of cases have been confirmed in the United States to date, while there are many additional cases being monitored. At this point, no cases have been confirmed in Texas, and health officials have reported that the immediate risk to our population is low.
     
    As you likely know, there continue to be intensive, ongoing investigations to learn more about the virus, such as the source of infection, populations at risk, and manifestation of symptoms, and this information is changing rapidly as the outbreak continues to evolve. We will remain in close contact with local health officials and provide updates to our community as needed. For more information on the coronavirus and the flu, I recommend the following resources:
     
    In the meantime, public health officials note that the flu and other common respiratory illnesses are circulating in our area, and they recommend the following basic prevention guidelines:
    • Individuals 6 months and older are encouraged to get a flu shot.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
    • Stay home when you are sick, and keep sick children at home.
     
    Thank you for your continuing commitment to the safety and well-being of individuals across our community. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Julie Doerge R.N.
    School Nurse

Event Changes & Cancellations

CANCELLED EVENTS
  • All school activities, including athletic games and practices, through the remainder of the 2019–2020 school year.
  • On-Campus SAT Testing (June 6)
  • On-Campus ACT Testing (June 13)
RESCHEDULED EVENTS
  • Alumni Weekend (April 23–25) has been rescheduled to coincide with Homecoming Weekend (October 16–17, 2020).
  • St. Mark's plans to hold Commencement for the Class of 2020 on Friday, July 31. At the same time, ongoing public safety restrictions and social distancing will also likely preclude us from having Marksmen Ball and Baccalaureate as originally anticipated.
  • The Pecos Wilderness Trip originally scheduled for August 2020 has been postponed to August 2021. The School has already begun the preliminary planning for next summer and looks forward to leading trips for both the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025. More information will be released later in the year as our planning is finalized.

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.