Cougar Courier

September 19th, 2020

Austin Prep Transitions to Remote Teaching and Learning


It was announced this week that Austin Prep will transition to remote teaching and learning effective September 15th through Monday, September 28th. To help students organize their schedule, please read this document which includes the times and rotations of all the classes, extra help times, and advisory from now through September 28. The daily schedule for Remote Teaching and Learning can be found in Austin Prep's Reopening Plan, Appendix C, Page 32.

Through Orientation week, the first week of classes, and this past week of remote teaching and learning, students and advisors have started to make and grow connections, and students are forming relationships with classmates, teachers, and friends. Those relationships are among the hallmarks of the Austin Prep Journey. Should students or families need anything as we await a return to campus, your Advisor is the best place to start.

We are proud of our efforts in the area of remote teaching and learning, dating back to the Spring of 2020, when Austin Prep implemented the program quickly after the school closure mandate in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. As a result, Austin Prep has emerged as a proactive leader in remote teaching and learning.  We appreciate the hard work of our faculty and staff who have allowed Austin Prep to continue to offer quality educational experiences and unique learning opportunities for our students in any circumstances.


Austin Prep School Counselors are Here to Help

“School is stressful, and stress is cumulative. Remember your teenager’s mood on the roughest day he or she had at school before the pandemic began? Now imagine a day like that on top of the emotional wear and tear of living under pandemic conditions for six months or more. It’s probably smart to expect a bumpy ride.”

The 2020 Back to School List for Teens Emotional Well-being by Lisa Damour, PhD

Our Austin Prep Health and Wellness Counselors can be a great resource to students and families as we navigate these challenging times. Now, more than ever, caregivers and educators must be mindful of mental health needs and take the time to notice when our kids might need additional support.

This year, Austin Prep welcomes Mr. Nick Reynolds to campus. Mr. Reynolds will serve as the Upper School counselor after serving in various roles at The Cambridge School of Weston, The Winsor School, and Walnut Hill School for the Arts. Mr. Reynolds earned his B.A. from Colgate University and his M.A. from Lesley University.

If you have any questions or concerns about your student, our counselors are available via email, phone, or a Zoom call. For the Middle School, email Ms. Jessica Lenci, or call at 781.944.4900 ext 944. For Upper School, email Mr. Reynolds, or call at 781.944.4900 ext. 722.


Keeping Austin Prep Safe Video Series

As a reminder, Austin Prep has implemented many new health related standards and procedures to ensure that our community stays safe. We all share responsibility in the well-being of our school community. 

To that end, with the help of some of your classmates, we have produced a series of videos to help reinforce some of the ways you can do your part in "Keeping Austin Prep Safe." Please watch the videos carefully so the entire community is aware of the ways we can keep each other healthy and safe.

Keeping Austin Prep Safe: Hand Hygiene

Keeping Austin Prep Safe: Dining Hall Procedures

Keeping Austin Prep Safe: Thermal Check-in



Field Hockey Added as Varsity Sport

field hockey

When athletics makes its long awaited return to Austin Prep, there will be a new sport offering for the fall. Girls Field Hockey will begin its inaugural season this year, with the first game on October 12th. To date, 34 students have registered for tryouts, which begin September 29th, and it is anticipated that Austin Prep will carry both a varsity and developmental sub-varsity program. Girls Field Hockey was a club sport during the 2019-2020 academic year.

field hockey 2

The team will be coached by Ms. Brianna Robbins, a former collegiate field hockey player who also serves as the Executive Assistant and Events Coordinator in the Office of External Affairs. The team has a 10 game schedule with 6 home games scheduled to take place on Father Seymour Field. "What I am most excited for this season is seeing our team grow, and for us to finally play as Austin Prep’s first Varsity Field Hockey team,"  Patricia Bibeau '22 said. "As our program numbers continue to grow, the more our team comes together."


Reminder About Flu Shot Clinic

flu shot

As you may be aware, the Massachusetts state government now requires the influenza vaccine for all students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. All students must receive the vaccine before December 31st, 2020. If a student is unable to receive the vaccine, there are medical and religious exemptions allowable in the state of Massachusetts. 

In our ongoing effort to keep our community safe and healthy, and to provide a necessary convenience, we are pleased to be able to offer you a Flu Vaccination Clinic on campus later this month. On September 29th, from 2-6 pm, Walgreens Pharmacy will provide a Flu Vaccination Clinic for the entire student community. Students may attend the clinic without a parent present, but must have a signed consent form and a copy of their health insurance card. There will be an online signup form in the coming days with 5-minute time slots. More information will be forthcoming.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, or need information about vaccine exemptions, please do not hesitate to contact the Health Office at (781) 944-4900, ext 816.


Picture Retakes Scheduled for October 13th and 15th

For those who missed school pictures last week, picture retakes have been scheduled for October 13th and 15th from 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Chapel attire is required. If you had your picture taken last week but were not in chapel attire, you need to attend picture retakes. For picture ordering information, click here.

If you opted to participate in the remote only teaching and learning option this quarter, you will not take your school picture on campus. Please contact Mark Lawrence Photography directly to schedule a time to have your photo taken at their studio.


College Financial Aid Webinar Next Week

college counseling

Office of College Counseling Co-Directors My Doan and Cynthia Pitta hosted admissions representatives from Bates College, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College on Thursday evening.


The Office of College Counseling is excited to offer another virtual evening program for seniors and their families next week. Event details are below:

Wednesday, September 23 at 6:00 p.m. - Financial Aid Night
Presenter: Matt Carpenter, Founder and Managing Partner of College Funding Services. Matt and members of his team have helped thousands of families find creative and affordable strategies for paying for college. They have also provided education to families on how to negotiate with colleges once the students have been accepted. Come and learn the ins and outs of the financial aid process, and how to best prepare yourself financially for the next step.

To access the Financial Aid Night Webinar, please click here.

If you have questions or need assistance please do not hesitate to reach out to the Office of College Counseling Co-Directors, My Doan, or Cynthia Pitta. 


Students Connect Real Life Experiences to Summer Reading Assignment

outcasts united

This past summer, students read Outcasts United by Warren St. John as the Austin Prep summer reading assignment. The non-fiction book, announced in May 2020 by the School as the summer reading assignment, chronicles the journey of Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston, Georgia’s refugee children. The players include refugees from over 24 war-torn countries around the world such as Burma, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Eritrea.

As has been done in past years with the summer reading project, Austin Prep will revisit this story throughout the year through our academic and community programming.  One such exercise is currently taking place within our English department, where students are working with Google Voyager, a technology using Google Earth, that allows students to virtually visit locations around the globe. In class, students took a virtual journey to the many different countries that the refugees came from and the town in Georgia to which they were relocated. To view the map using Google Voyager, click here.

To further supplement the reading assessment, students will create their own voyage. Students will share important settings in their lives and connect their experiences in these settings with those of the refugees featured in Outcasts United. The project will include places where they felt at home, places where they felt “out of place” or unwelcome, and places where they accomplished a goal as a team. Throughout the year the Austin Prep community will continue to revisit the story of Coach Luma and the Fugees (the name of the soccer team) in order to learn more about diverse cultures and become more aware of the plight of refugees throughout the world. 


Mr. McLaughlin Participates in Notre Dame Virtual Summit

notre dame

Head of Middle School, Mr. Michael McLaughlin, was a presenter this past summer for a new series launched by the University of Notre Dame entitled "FACE to FACE: Talking about Critical Issues in Catholic Education." Mr. McLaughlin, who has received graduate degrees from Notre Dame, shared the work completed at Austin Prep to help teachers mitigate the logistical challenges of virtual and/or hybrid learning. During the presentation Mr. McLaughlin highlighted many school accomplishments in recent months, as well as a look into our Augustinian heritage. 


Upcoming Virtual Admissions Events

student ambassadors

The Office of Admissions had their first training call this week with Head Green Keys Ambassadors for the Austin Prep Student Ambassador Program.


We are approaching the Open House season at Austin Prep, and we are offering two virtual admissions events in the coming weeks. On Monday, September 28th at 9:00 a.m. we will host a Middle School event, and on Tuesday, September 29th at 9:00 a.m. we will host an Upper School event. Some of our best referrals come from current Austin Prep families, so if you know of someone who would benefit from the Austin Prep experience, please refer them to the admissions office at for more information about the events.