November 20, 2020

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Week Schedule
Monday, November 23, is a regular bell schedule. Tuesday, November 24, we will run a 7-period schedule with Chapel and no Advisory:
7:55 – 8:43 – 1st period
8:53 – 9:36– 2nd period
9:46- 10:29 – 3rd period
10:34 – 10:59 – Chapel
11:04 – 11:47 – 4th period
11:47 – 12:25 – Lunch
12:30 – 1:13 – 5th period
1:23 – 2:06 – 6th period
2:16 – 3:00 – 7th period
There is no school, and offices are closed on November 25-27. There will be no WA Weekly the week of Thanksgiving. Enjoy the holiday!

General News

A Message from the Principal 
This November has not been like any I have experienced with Thanksgiving upon us. In fact, much of 2020 has been completely different from what I expected it would look like.  Recently, I have been challenged by Paul’s words to the Philippian church in chapter 4, verses 4-6:         

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

I have been challenged to see every day as one that God has made in which we are called to rejoice and worship Him.  This semester, I have been inspired by our students and faculty as they have truly made the most of each day.  While it has not been “normal” by any means, our students and faculty have “rejoiced” and done so much good this semester.  Highlights were abundant: the freshman PIXAR experience, our fall athletes in golf, tennis, and cross country, our Homecoming service initiatives led by our Senior Project Lead teams, our National Merit Semi-finalists, our Fine Arts students coming together for WAvinia, sophomores coming together for leadership training, our seniors seeking to serve and lead in this atypical year –to name a few.  I am so encouraged to see our students seeking to use their gifts to glorify God and serve Him well each day. 

There is so much to be thankful for, and thanksgiving is not our default for many of us.  Paul reminds us that our worries and circumstances should drive us to look to God.  In this time, I have taken so much comfort in the character of God that is unchanging.  He is always faithful, always good, always sovereign, always loving, always true, and always our hope.   

We want to thank each of you parents, students, faculty, and staff for your support and willingness to come together this semester.  As we celebrate Thanksgiving next week, my prayer is that we would take time to rejoice in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  As the writer of Lamentations says, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (v 22-23).   May we be a community who daily gives thanks for the Lord’s great faithfulness in our lives – no matter what our circumstances may bring.  Blessings and grace to you this Thanksgiving – Mrs. Hockett 

COVID-19 Update
Over the last week, we had ten individuals test positive for COVID-19​ with 50 students in quarantine, 24 of whom will be back on Monday.  As we have done in previous weeks, we have contacted those who were in close contact with these individuals and asked them to quarantine at home for the appropriate time. 

We ask for your continued vigilance.  We know how important in-person instruction is for student learning and discipleship. As we mentioned last week, key metrics for us to continue providing learning in this environment are: 

  • Sufficient number of faculty and staff on campus
  • Low amount of virus transmission at Wheaton Academy
  • Small number of students who are sick and unable to do school work

At this point, these metrics continue to be favorable.  Please join us in praying for healing for our nation and for a vaccine to be distributed very soon.

Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions.

Important Information Regarding Final Exams
Wheaton Academy remains committed to high levels of student engagement and learning.  To deliver on that commitment, we have traditionally used final exams to measure what students know, understand, and can do at the end of each semester.  Our students and teachers have worked so hard to continue to learn at high levels.  With the many different ways students have learned this year due to virtual learning, quarantine, and other factors, we have re-assessed how to best carry out final exams this semester.  

This year we will require that all semester-long classes complete a final summative assessment. However, the final assessment will not carry 20% of the final grade as in past years.  This will allow for an appropriate assessment for our in-person students and our virtual students, who will need to take the assessment remotely. The result will be that it will look similar to last spring on the report card, and there will be a final grade without a 20% final exam score.  Teachers will communicate with students what the final assessment will look like and how they can prepare for it.

For all year-long classes, we will take various approaches to best assess and further student learning.  Some teachers will use the time during finals week to have students engage in a final assessment for the semester (not worth 20% of the semester grade for the reasons outlined in the previous paragraph).  Other teachers may choose to use the additional time to engage with further learning activities to bring students to the place they would be at the end of a normal semester. Teachers will communicate clear expectations to students for how to best prepare for the time together.

Also, we have amended the finals week schedule slightly.  Please plan on having your student participate in class live, whether in-person or through Zoom.  Please see the revised schedule below:

Monday, December 14
1st Period: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
2nd Period: 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Tuesday, December 15
3rd Period: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
4th Period: 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Wednesday, December 16
5th Period: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
6th Period: 9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Thursday, December 17
7th Period: 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Important Information Regarding Second Semester
Throughout this year, we have been so grateful for the Wheaton Academy community’s flexibility to allow us to make the needed adjustments to execute the UNITE plan for in-person learning.  We wanted to let you know that we are making some adjustments to the schedule based on our students, parents, and faculty’s feedback.  Here is the new schedule:

Monday: 7-period day with Advisory
7:55 – 8:43 – 1st period
8:53 – 9:36 – 2nd period
9:46 – 10:29 – 3rd period
10:34 – 10:59 – Advisory Groups
11:04 – 11:47 – 4th period
11:47 – 12:25 – Lunch
12:30 – 1:13 5th period
1:23 – 2:06 – 6th period
2:16 – 3:00 – 7th period

7:55 – 9:35 – 1st period
9:45 – 10:20 – Chapel
10:30 – 12:10 – 2nd period
12:10 – 12:45 – Lunch
12:50 – 2:25 – 3rd period
2:30 – 3:00 – Community Time

7:55 – 9:30 – 4th period
9:40 – 11:10 – 5th period
11:10 – 11:45 – Lunch
11:50 – 1:20 6th period
1:30 – 3:00 – 7th period

Thursday: Late start with Collaboration time
8:55 – 10:30 – 1st period
10:35 – 11:05 – Chapel
11:15 – 12:45 – 2nd period
12:45 – 1:20 – Lunch
1:25 – 3:00 – 3rd period

 The major changes are:

  1. Late start and chapel will be moved from Friday to Thursday.
  2. We will alternate our period 1-3 and 4-7 days on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday, so students don’t have the same classes back to back.
  3. We will switch Community Time and Advisory Groups – Advisory will now meet Monday, and Community Time will be Tuesday. 

Thank you so much for all of your cooperation and partnership with us this school year.  God has certainly been gracious to our school community, and we want to give Him praise and glory as we seek to nurture growth in all of our students. 

2020 Yearbooks Available
Students received their 2020 yearbooks last week. If you were not at school last Friday and you ordered a copy of the book, please come to the front office to get it. There are extra copies if you did not purchase one last year.  They are available at the front office for $25.00. Stop by and get one!

Senior Pictures
Lifetouch will be available for the last time at Wheaton Academy to have senior pictures taken. They will be here on November 30, from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. Please make an appointment by either calling Lifetouch at 630-910-6800 option five or go online at, create an account, select your school, and follow the prompts to book an appointment.

Senior Ads for Yearbooks
Parents, senior yearbook ads will again be available for purchase for $150 per quarter-page ad. If you order a senior ad, you do not need to order a yearbook through the Jostens website as that fee is included in the $150. Turn in your ad with a check out to Wheaton Academy and send it to the front office to the attention of Jim Holtrop. You may click here for an example of what an ad should look like.

Senior Cap and Gown Orders
On Friday, November 20, and Tuesday, November 24, during lunch, seniors can purchase their cap and gown for graduation 2021. Seniors may pick up an order packet at the front office or purchase their cap and gown directly from If you had an older sibling graduate from WA, you may use that cap and gown. Only a new tassel would be required.

Donations Needed for the Live Nativity Fundraiser
The Project Lead Global and Discipleship teams are hosting a family-friendly, Covid-safe, Live Nativity Drive-Thru Fundraiser on the evenings of Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5.   Project Global is raising funds for the 23 vulnerable children Wheaton Academy sponsors through Kids Alive International.  We are looking for donations of hot cocoa supplies and parent volunteers to help prepare and distribute hot cocoa during this fundraising event.  We are also accepting monetary gifts to defray the costs of this fundraising event.   Please use this link to find out more details and sign up for donations and/or volunteer. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Gregersen, Ms. Johnson, or Mr. Holtrop. *This activity may be subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Live Drive-Thru Nativity Fundraiser Vehicle Sign-up
You and your family are invited to the Live Drive-thru Nativity at Wheaton Academy on Friday, December 4, and Saturday, December 5.  The Wheaton Academy Project Lead Global and Discipleship teams are hosting a live Nativity fundraising event.  For a suggested minimum donation of $10 and 2 canned food items per vehicle, families will be given hot cocoa and will be able to drive through Wheaton Academy’s campus viewing scenes from the Christmas story.

Details of this Christmas fundraiser, along with a sign up for times to arrive, can be found using this link, Live Drive-Thru Nativity Fundraiser.  If you have questions, please contact Valerie Gregersen. This activity may be subject to change due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Christmas Toy Drive
The Project Lead Local team will be organizing a Christmas toy drive for children in foster care through Youth Service Bureau.  Foster care provides safe homes for children in state custody who are unable to remain in their homes.  The holidays, especially during Covid-19, can be especially difficult for youth in foster care.  While we practice social distancing, many youths in care cannot see their biological parents, support team, doctors, and friends.  Please join Project Lead Local this season in sending some Christmas joy to the children in foster care!  Your student can bring gifts to the Atrium’s collection bins starting in December, or you can send gifts directly to Youth Service Bureau by accessing their Target & Amazon Wish Lists.  Directions below:

To Access YSB Target wish list:
Go to
Click on Menu
Click on Registry
Key in:  first name:  YSB
Key in:   last name:  Christmas

To Access our Amazon Shopping list:
In the address bar key in:
This will take you directly to our list. 

**All purchased items will ship directly to the YSB office, and our caseworkers will deliver them to our foster care children.

Financial Aid Applications for 2021-2022
As we prepare for the 2021-2022 academic year, this is a reminder that you must re-apply through the FACTS platform each year for financial aid. To apply for financial aid, visit After completing the online application, you will need to upload all required supporting documentation before your request can be reviewed. *Note: FACTS charges a $35 processing fee payable at the time of application.

FACTS opens on November 15, 2020, for 2021-2022 financial aid applications. The award dates are February 15, March 15, and April 15, 2021. You will receive an email once your application has been reviewed, and you may check status on the FACTS portal after February 15.

Please contact Sheri Guarnizo, Finance & Accounts Receivable Coordinator, at or Patrick Brooke, Controller, at, if you have any questions.

Winterim Internships
An internship provides a first-hand perspective of the skills and tasks needed to succeed in a potential career and helps students discover how God has uniquely equipped them to impact the world positively. All students interested in an internship during Winterim need to review the requirements and fill out the application in the Winterim Guide. The deadline to submit applications is Tuesday, November 24. If you have any questions or if any parents or Alumni are interested in providing an internship experience to a student, please contact Phil Strzalka, the Business & Innovation Program Director at

College Corner

There are no new announcements at this time.