March 20, 2020

General News

Note from our Principal
This has been quite a week. I am not sure what other words to say about it – “unprecedented” and “social distancing” are going to be in the running for the words of the year 2020 edition.  As I have reflected on this week, I have experienced so many emotions, as I believe we all have. However, over and over, I have been nudged and reminded how much I have to be thankful for.  Our school has been richly blessed. We have resources, technology and also people. This week was a testament to our students and teachers, as they continued to learn in new and different ways, and did so at high levels.  I was so blessed by the creativity of our faculty and staff seeking to support students and families in this time. Wow, you all are amazing!  No doubt.  I knew that, and this week it was reinforced. 

I have also been heart broken, as I think about schools and teachers who aren’t positioned as we are.  So many times this week, I have heard about students who will fall further behind, or who will struggle to eat among many other things. Our response, I believe is found in Jesus words, “To whom much is given, much is required.”  Thank you for stewarding what we have been given so well. As we continue into next week, our E-learning will follow a similar format.   

Also, as we move ahead next week, I want us to be a light for those in our community as well as in our towns and world. I am praying as to how we can be used in this time not only for our families, but as the hands and feet of Jesus. Please pray that with me and we will see where God leads us. 

We continue to monitor the situation and we will communicate with you as we gain more information. Remember this upcoming week will be E-learning week two, and then we will have Spring Break, where students will not be “in school.” We don’t yet know what will follow that, but be assured, we will continue to collaborate with state and local officials to do what is best for our students, families and community.   

In my Bible reading today, I resonated with 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20,

“But as for us, brothers and sisters, after we were forced to leave youfor a short time (in person, not in heart), we greatly desired and made every effort to return and see you face to face.So we wanted to come to you—even I, Paul, time and again—but Satan hindered us.For who is our hope or joy or crown of boasting in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?Indeed you are our glory and joy!” 

So true – you are missed and deeply appreciated.   Stay well Wheaton Academy.
—  Mrs. Kori Hockett

E-Learning: Week One Recap
Although this situation is not ideal, we have not skipped a beat in Wheaton Academy’s commitment to learning. Academic rigor remains, and students continue to learn and to be challenged. Check out this recap of week one to tour some of our virtual classrooms, watch chapels, and access resources from our student services department.Week 1 Recap

Stay Connected through Wheaton Academy Social Media
A great way to stay connected to the school is to subscribe to our social media platforms. You can watch chapel (Tuesday / Friday ), watch waTV segments, and see messages from our principal.

To subscribe to these channels, you may go to the following links:

A Note from our Student Services Team
Dear Wheaton Academy Families,
We hope that the first week of e-learning went well for your students.  We want to continue to support all of you, even though this will look different over the next few weeks.  It has been on my mind that while some students may enjoy having some extra time outside of the school building, this may be very difficult for others in the coming weeks. 

Kids who were already struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, and other social-emotional concerns may experience an even heightened level of worry and distress.  This is in part because of the coronavirus, but also due to the social isolation and uncertain circumstances that come with it.  Kids who struggle with learning and executive functioning may find it all the more difficult to stay on task and keep up.  Additionally, many students may be grieving the loss of their athletic seasons, co-curriculars, potential college visits, and more.

We want you to know that we are here to support your students as much as possible.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the social-emotional wellbeing of your child, please feel free to reach out to myselfGina ChurchillKermit Ellison, or Erin Carwell.  We can set up a time to talk with you and can connect you with community resources as needed.

In the meantime, we wanted to talk a bit about how kids with anxiety can be supported at home during this time.  First, please know that many counseling agencies in our community are still open for now.  Many are offering HIPAA-compliant telehealth services so that they can still meet with their clients via video/phone.  If your student currently sees a therapist, please have them continue with this as much as possible.  Continuity is so important for building and maintaining those therapeutic relationships.

Please also be aware of and sensitive to the different symptoms of anxiety and panic that might arise.  A panic attack could include shortness of breath, the sensation of throat closing in, sweating, hot flashes, shaking, etc… some might think these are similar to symptoms of the virus!  When anxiety escalates, encourage kids to turn to their coping strategies, but understand that they might not be able to utilize those strategies until they are calmer.  Once the brain reaches the fight or flight stage of stress, it can be very difficult to think clearly and logically.  Below and in the attached worksheet, you will see some calming strategies that you can encourage: 

Coping Strategies

  • Taking a walk and getting fresh air
  • Intentional deep breathing
  • Calm App – offers free mindful meditations, deep breathing, sleep stories, guided relaxation, etc.  
  • Talking to family and friends
  • Journaling
  • Drawing
  • Listening to relaxing or uplifting music
  • Eat a snack, drink some water (stop the “hangry” in its tracks)
  • Weighted blanket

Download a PDF with More Coping Strategies

Social Media
Consider monitoring and/or limiting the use of social media.  I say this fully knowing that your children might not like you for doing so. 😊  However, with more time at home and away from their friends, many will turn to social media more often.  This often adds to feelings of isolation, loneliness, comparison, anxiety, self-consciousness, etc. 

Stick to your routine
It can be tempting to allow more freedom without the normal routine of school drop-off.  However, sticking with normal mealtime/bedtime routines can help kids have some predictability in a very unpredictable situation.  This also helps them get enough sleep, which we all know helps everyone involved!

Connect as a family
This can be simple.  Eat dinner together, watch a tv show, play a game, read next to each other on the couch.  With many people working from home, it may be difficult to balance spending intentional time together.  Connecting as a family not only helps your kids feel safe and heard – it will also help you notice if they are withdrawing, seeming more sad or hopeless, losing interest in things… all of the things that might need more attention and support.

Lastly, for those of you who also have younger kiddos at home — A child life specialist shared this graphic as a helpful way to talk to kids about the coronavirus.

We are praying for peace and health for all of you.  Please feel free to reach out to us as needed.

Hollee Ball, School Social Worker

Gina Churchill, Guidance Counselor

Kermit Ellison, Guidance Counselor

Erin Carwell, Dean of Students

Right Now Media
At the beginning of the school year, Wheaton Academy offered our parents a free subscription to Right Now Media – an online resource to thousands of faith-based videos. In case your family did not subscribe at that time, we will be sending out another email invitation at the end of the day today. This time of being more inside would be a great time to subscribe if you haven’t already, to take advantage of these resources.

Wheaton Academy Tutoring Center – Help Available
The Wheaton Academy Tutoring Center tutors are busy helping students with their e-learning via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, etc. If you would like more information on how to get help for your student, please go to

WA Service Team Sign-Ups
The Sign-Up link for the WA 2020-2021 Service Team is now live.  You may click here to access it. We encourage students and families to sign up early.  Contact Jim Holtrop at if you have any questions. To read additional information regarding the WA Service Teams, click here.

Summer Academy
Summer Academy registration is now open.
If you have any questions, please contact Angie Roberts.Register for Summer Academy

Order Your Yearbook Now!
WA yearbooks are for sale again this year for last year’s price of $25.00 each.  Your 2019-2020 yearbook is now available for purchase at  Go to the Yearbooks dropdown to find “Buy your Yearbook,” then search Wheaton Academy to finish your purchase. They will only be for sale through the website. We do not want you to miss out on receiving a yearbook, so please order yours today! If you do not order via the Jostens link, you will be unable to receive a yearbook next fall. 

Senior Ads for Yearbooks
Parents, senior yearbook ads will again be available for purchase for $150 per quarter-page ad.  Fees for ads will include a yearbook at no additional cost. Ads are due by March 1, 2020, and may be submitted to If you order a senior ad, you do not need to order a yearbook through the Jostens website.

College Corner

There are no new announcements at this time.


There are no new announcements at this time.