December 2021 Newsletter

Term 2021-2022 | Issue 3 | December 2021

Steve Says

Dear Friends,

Along with cold weather, the onset of winter is raising concerns about the new variant and rising Covid case counts in our area. To date we have had no transmission within the school, which tells us our two core mitigations — masking and airflow — continue to be highly effective. 

That said, it’s getting cold, and we’ve updated our airflow plan for the winter months, so our fingers don’t freeze as we try to work! These days we’re shutting the main doors but running the HVAC fans at all times and changing the filters every two weeks. We’re keeping the classroom windows cracked, and classroom doors open with access to return vents, to recycle the air continuously. We have also added portable air purifiers to select rooms. The air is flowing and being filtered non-stop.

The temperature is comfortable in the classrooms and offices (no frozen fingers), but it can get a bit chilly (maybe 68 degrees) because of the cracked windows and unheated air moving through the vents. It’s nothing like a scene out of Charles Dickens, but we’re wearing more layers than we used to! 

We continue to consult health professionals to affirm our mitigation strategy and anticipate any needed changes. We’re remaining vigilant, but we also remain confident in our ability to keep everyone at school safe. 

My door is always open. Wishing you all a joyous and safe holiday!


In Exciting College News…

Early acceptances are beginning to trickle in! So far our seniors have been accepted at the following colleges:

College of Charleston
George Mason University
Hood College
Longwood University
Macalester College
McDaniel College
Penn State
Randolph-Macon College
Roanoke College
University of Mary Washington

This is just the beginning—watch this space! Congratulations, seniors!

Thank you for All Your Support!

Dear New School Donors,

Thank you for all of the support you give to teachers and students. We’re so grateful.

With Love,
Everyone at The New School

You Made This Possible

Thank you again to everyone who supported teachers through the Wish List. You helped raise just over $11,000, making it possible to buy everything off of the list. Here are some more photos of what you made possible!

Theatre is Hard–But That’s Good (by Sarosh Parvez)

You know, one important thing that I’ve definitely learned during high school is that I shouldn’t underestimate a single thing, because if I do, I’ll set myself up for failure. I learned this lesson the year all of this started for me: freshman year, 2019. Math was always easy for me in elementary and middle school (I swear this article is about theater and not the quadratic formula), and I’d always do well on Math tests without having to study for them. Since elementary and middle school math was that easy for me, I’d figured that high school Math would be pretty easy as well. It wasn’t, and it still isn’t. The Math class I’d taken freshman year was Algebra 2, and oh boy, let’s just say I didn’t start off that strong during my first year of high school. When we were learning the first unit of Algebra 2, I thought that it was just a review of this specific concept that I had already learned from Algebra 1, but with a bit of new things about those concepts. I breezed through the quizzes, and I showed up to the classroom on the day of my first unit test, thinking that this was just like all of the other tests that I’ve ever had to do in math: easy. I didn’t study for that test, and that messed me up big time. I ended up gloriously failing that test, and having to do a retake for it. I had underestimated how hard that test was going to be, and that ended up causing my grade to suffer. 

That day, I learned the lesson that I’m telling you about today. But there’s one specific class that you need to apply this lesson to, and that’s anything to do with theater. You may think “Wow, theater must be so easy, I guess I’ll pick that class for an easy A!” Don’t ever say that about any of the classes that you take in high school, but don’t say that especially in this case. I myself already understood that before I ever stepped in the Black Box on the first day of school, but it’s something that you should all keep in mind. If you’re not convinced by my 100% always perfect advice, here’s why theater is hard, but also why that’s a good thing. 

One aspect of theater is that you have to make sure that you’re staying as true as possible to the character that you portray. When you’re performing, don’t just perform by doing all of the necessary things like body language, movement, and range of voice in a way that you come off as yourself doing all of these things. You need to do all of that, but as your character, otherwise the audience will believe that it’s just you on the stage talking. And just to be clear, props and costumes and other practical things like those won’t help you in any way if you use those items as yourself and not the character. All of this can be quite difficult, as you have to take the essentials of performing into account while transforming into potentially a completely different person than you. It takes a while to get to the point where you start truly becoming your character. I know this for a fact because of the countless amount of times that I practiced trying to be this specific character for a monologue I had to perform. But all of that can give you motivation. Motivation to do better than before, and motivation to become that other person. And feel free to experiment on that. But uh, if you’re trying to go for Hollywood, don’t experiment with becoming a character you’re performing too much, otherwise you might do what Jared Leto did during Suicide Squad’s production and send dead rats to co-stars as the Joker.   

This leads me to my next point about why theater is hard and good at the same time: it makes you think outside of the box. You’ll need to have a bit of nuance within your performance, and while again, that takes time, the payoff of having an insightful and captivating performance should be worth it. You have to not only think about what you (actually your character, not you!) are saying and how you’ll say it, but also what part of the stage you should go to at specific points of the dialogue, what emotions you have to express at certain parts of the scene, or the way that you’re physically expressing your character through the use of your body. You can consider some of these points through annotating the scripts. While all of this could be hard for you to process and think about, theater and performing push your creative boundaries, and get you to be more experimental with things.  

The final point I want to make is that theater also helps you deal with failure. I stayed up until three in the morning practicing for a monologue that I needed to perform in class, just so that I could become the character I wanted effectively, so that I could feel and sound like what that character could be like if they were real. Unfortunately, some things didn’t go too well the day I had to perform the monologue in front of my classmates and my teacher, Jonathan. While I did alright with my body language and moved to the parts of the stage where I wanted to for the most part, as Jonathan himself put it, my voice ended up sounding like Ms. Piggy from The Muppets. I was initially frustrated at the fact that I had messed up, but after talking to Jonathan about my performance, I realized that it’s okay to mess up, especially in theater, as long as I learn from those mistakes. And I was at least trying to figure out how to feel and sound like that character, and despite messing up the “sound” part, I know that I can improve on this with my next performances. Dealing with failure is often one of the hardest things that anyone can endure, but we all learn to live with it and move on. Theater is just one of those things that gives you the strength to keep moving forward, so don’t underestimate its power, but try to understand the power that it can give you.

A New School Year: 2018-2019 Edition

Haven’t seen the inaugural edition of The New School’s annual magazine, A New School Year: 2018-2019? Now’s Your chance! You can access the magazine via the link below or under the Community menu of

The goal of this magazine is to give you a glimpse into what happens during a year at The New School. The articles included were written by students, teachers, staff, current parents, and alumni parents. The front and back covers of the print version were designed by 2019-2020 New School Development & Marketing Graphic Design Intern, Surya Punjabi, Class of 2020.


Happenings at The New School

Quarter 2 is well underway! We have enjoyed Community Time in student-led clubs, home basketball games, and even a faculty vs. students volleyball game!

Faculty vs Students!

New School Bonus Programs

Here are six easy ways to support The New School while you shop, and have a big impact for students and teachers:

AmazonSmile works with your existing Prime account and donates 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases when you select The New School as your charity:

Through CauseNetwork, some of your favorite online stores will donate a portion of every purchase you make to The New School.  You can sign up at:

Download the BoxTops app to start scanning your grocery store receipts to automatically find and add products to our earnings online. This video shows you how to scan and submit your receipts.

If you do your grocery shopping online, you can submit your email receipts from select retailers. All you have to do is create a BoxTops account and forward your email receipt to Visit this site to learn more.

Traditional Box Tops clips may continue to be found on many products. You can still clip them and send them to the school until they expire.

Through Harris Teeter’s “Together in Education” program, when you buy HT brand items, a percentage of those purchase dollars goes back to The New School. This includes purchases made at HT pharmacies.

Go to to link your VIC card today. VIC cards need to be relinked each school year.

New School TIE Code: 5713

At Office Depot, when you provide our school ID at checkout, The New School will receive 5% back in credits for FREE supplies. You can even link an existing rewards card to the school.

Just provide our school ID at checkout, in store and online: 70103652

Save money and donate to The New School at the same time by shopping through DealAid. Through our DealAid link, you’ll find coupons to use at your favorite online retailers. When you use a coupon, money is donated to The New School. Shop through this link to support the school today:

Thank you for your support!

If you have any questions about these programs, contact our Director of Development & Community Engagement, Noelle Andreano, at

Increase the Impact of Your Donation

Many corporations offer matching gift programs for employees and their families. This is a great opportunity to increase your gift in support of The New School. You can check with your employer’s human resources department to find out if they offer matching gifts.  This information can also often be found in the list of benefits provided to you by your employer.  Please let us know what you need from us in order to process a match through your organization.  

Contact our Director of Development & Community Engagement, Noelle Andreano, at with any questions.

Find Us on Facebook and Instagram

Follow us on Facebook at @NSNVA and on our re-launched Instagram page at thenewschoolva

You’ll see photos from classes, events, performances, and more as well as updates about the school and event invitations. Be sure to check us out!

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