Parent Update: Nov. 30, 2017

Christmas Vespers: Hear NMH musical groups on campus or via live stream (Dec. 3) or in New York City (Dec. 14) in this popular holiday tradition. Read more.

Winter Break Details: When to leave, when to return, and suggested tips from the deans’ office. Read more.

Wellness During Winter: From light therapy to massages, meditation, and flu shots, the health center offers more than you think. Read more.

New Dock Construction Begins: We’ve broken ground on our new docks by the Connecticut River. Learn what’s next for our riverfront property. Read more.

NMH Christmas Vespers
A beloved holiday tradition, the Christmas Vespers services include scripture readings, carols, and music performed by students in the instrumental and vocal ensembles. The NMH Singers, Concert Choir, Select Women’s Ensemble, and Chamber Orchestra will perform music by Vivaldi, Telemann, Poulenc, Bloch, Dufay, Palestrina, Mendelssohn, Hatfield, DeCormier, and Arnesen.

Join us for on-campus vespers in Memorial Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 3:30 or 7 pm. There’s a reception at 2 pm in Bolger House, and visitors are welcome to have dinner ($10) in Alumni Hall beginning at 5:30 pm. More information is online. If you’re unable to attend either of these performances, listen from the comfort of your home by tuning in to the live stream.

Off-campus vespers is in New York City this year, on Thursday, Dec. 14, at 7 pm, at St. George's Episcopal Church (4 Rutherford Pl., between 16th St. and 17th St.). A festive reception with refreshments at the church will immediately follow the service. The NMH community is also welcome to join us for a Hogger holiday party at 9 pm at Raise New York, (416 Third Ave.), featuring delicious appetizers and a cash bar. There is no admission fee.

Check the website, contact, or call 413-498-3600 for more information.

Winter Break Information
Winter break begins Thursday, Dec. 14, at 5 pm. Students may leave after their last final exam or other commitment. View the final exam schedule. The dormitories close Friday, Dec. 15, at noon and reopen Wednesday, Jan. 3, at 2 pm. Please pay particular attention to the dorm closing and opening times when making plans. Students are expected to return to campus by 7:30 pm on Jan. 3. All students will be asked to complete a vacation form by Tuesday, Dec. 12, at midnight, indicating their departure and return times.

Charter buses will leave NMH on Friday, Dec. 15, at 9 am and will return students to campus on Wednesday, Jan. 3. Students should complete reservations for the charter bus by Tuesday, Dec. 12, at midnight. View the charter bus information. Occasionally there are delays in charter bus schedules, especially on return days, due to traffic or weather. Should you have any concerns, or if your student’s travel plans change during the break and this affects a charter bus reservation, please call the charter bus line directly at 413-498-3203.

We strongly encourage parents making travel arrangements for unaccompanied minors to check with the travel vendor (bus, train, or plane) about their unaccompanied-minor procedures. We have seen an increased tightening of these regulations over the last couple of years. We are unable to accommodate unaccompanied minors on the charter bus without prior notification. Please contact the deans’ office at 413-498-3423 or the charter bus line with additional travel questions.

Wellness During Winter
As the cold, blustery winter approaches, students often look for ways to combat the effects of the long New England season. At the O'Connor Health and Wellness Center, there are many offerings available to students each week.

Light-session therapy — a great way to combat jet lag, insomnia, and other seasonal effects — is offered at the health center. During a session, students sit or work near a light source that mimics bright, natural daylight. In winter months, early-morning exposure to light can be helpful for those who experience “winter blues,” Seasonal Affective Disorder, or insomnia. Additionally, morning sessions can help reset the disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep cycles associated with jet lag. Light sessions take place 6–10 am and are most effective when used for about 15 minutes daily. To participate, students must have a signed permission form.

The health center also offers other stress-management resources. Weekly massages are given by a masseuse trained in a variety of disciplines, including neuromuscular, Swedish, therapeutic, and sports massage. Massages are available 3–6 pm Sundays and 1:30–4:30 pm Wednesdays. Students can schedule sessions online and pay the masseuse directly.

Also, NMH peer educators offer stress-reduction activities ranging from pet-therapy sessions to craft projects. And on reading day, they partner with faculty member Atta Kurzmann — who is trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction — to offer meditation sessions.

Finally, with influenza increasing across the country, flu shots are still available. If your student has not yet had a flu shot, please encourage him or her to come to the Health and Wellness Center between 9 am and 7 pm to receive it.

New Boat Dock Construction Begins
This is an exciting time for NMH rowing. Construction has begun on phase I — new docks — of the NMH boathouse and riverfront project. Over the coming weeks, piles will be driven, and new docks will be ready for the spring racing season. These new docks, which will allow for three “eights” to launch simultaneously, will significantly improve safety and access to and from the river.

Construction of the NMH boathouse — a 7,000-square-foot facility with a second-story community-event space and an outdoor deck overlooking the Connecticut River — is the second phase of the project. To seek approval from the Board of Trustees to begin building the boathouse, we must raise the balance of the $7 million project cost — $2.8 million — by Jan. 25, 2018. If the funds are raised by then, the plan is to break ground in June 2018; if not, the plan will be to break ground in June 2019.

Plans also call for establishing an NMH rowing endowment and building-maintenance fund to ensure the program’s success permanently.

To learn how you can support the boathouse project, contact Liz Donald ’07, NMH boathouse campaign officer and girls’ rowing coach, at or at 413-498-3387.


Yearbook Deadline Approaching: Yearbook ads, senior portraits, and (for underclass students) yearbook purchases are due by Friday, Dec. 1.

Hogger Pack Reminder: Orders for Hogger Packs (exam-time treat/care packages) are due Dec. 8.

Host Families Needed: Local NMH families are needed to host Uruguayan students visiting Feb. 7–26 for a five-week language/cultural exchange. We are asking day families to consider hosting an exchange student. To express interest, please contact Bea Garcia.

Holiday Dinnertime Jazz: Join us for a holiday concert performed by the Jazz Ensemble and World Music Combo in Alumni Hall, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 5:30–6:30 pm.

NMH Calendar 2018–19: The 2018–19 school calendar is now available. Download it here.

Pie Race Results: The final results for all 2017 Pie Race participants are now available. See when your student came in!

Upcoming Events

12/1 Yearbook ads due
12/1 Admission Class Visit Day
12/1–3 Closed weekend
12/2 SAT or SAT subject test
12/3 Christmas Vespers at NMH
12/5 Holiday jazz concert
12/7 NMH Our Stories, DC
12/8 Hogger Pack orders due
12/8–10 Closed weekend
12/9 ACT and SSAT tests
12/11 Reading day
12/12–14 Exams
12/14 Fall semester ends at 5 pm
12/14 Christmas Vespers in New York City
12/15 Charter buses depart and dorms close

A bird's eye view