News & Blogs

Enterovirus precautions for parents

Fork Union Military Academy is requesting the assistance of our parents and families in preventing the possible spread of illnesses within our Corps of Cadets. The past couple of weeks have seen a rise in reported cases of Enterovirus D68 across the country, including several suspected cases in central Virginia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Virginia's Department of Health have provided some common sense guidelines for limiting any possible outbreaks of this highly contagious illness.

Enteroviruses are quite common, with more than one hundred types of enteroviruses identified, and these viruses can cause a variety of symptoms. The Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is similar to a rhinovirus which causes the common cold, but whereas colds may start with fever, cough, and runny nose, EV-D68 seems to only cause a fever in 25-30% of reported cases, and it can quickly lead to more significant respiratory symptoms including coughing and wheezing. 

With many of our young men going home on leave in the upcoming days, it is important to be aware of such illnesses and take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of this virus and other illnesses in our Corps of Cadets. 

Upper School Day Student Schedule and Uniform Information for September 15-21

** There is an optional Corps activity on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13.  Day students are invited to participate in the DODGE BALL TOURNAMENT to be held in the Estes Athletic Center (main floor) after Retreat at 1900 (7:00 pm).   Cadets are to wear PTs (gray t-shirt, PT shorts, and orange reflective belt).

 

UNFORM REGULATIONS  - WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 15-21

 

Monday, September 15             BDU Uniform

Tuesday, September 16            Class B Summer

Wednesday, September 17      BDU Uniform

Thursday, September 18          Class B Summer

Friday, September 19               BDU Uniform

Saturday, September 20           No Corps Activities requiring Day Students to attend

Sunday, September 21             No Corps Activities requiring Day Students to attend

 

 

UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 --        ACT REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR OCTOBER TEST

If you have any questions please contact Ms. White in the Guidance Office at 434-842-4203or by email at whiter@fuma.org.

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 –    TERM 1 SEMESTER EXAM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – COLLEGE FAIR in the Estes Athletic Center (for Juniors and Seniors).

From the Middle School Headmaster...

Good afternoon. It’s quiet in the school building as our students are in the barracks getting ready for dinner, so I thought I’d take some time to give you an update of what’s going on around campus. We opened school this year with an enrollment of 49, which ties last year’s enrollment. We very much hope to build on this number as the year progresses. Our cadets represent 10 different states, the District of Columbia, China, Korea, and Mexico, offering our cadets a unique, diverse student body.

I make a point each day of sitting with a different group of cadets at meal time, giving me an opportunity to share in conversations about cadet life. I ask them about their day, their favorite teachers, class activities, how they’re getting along with their roommate, how their teams are doing, etc. I always enjoy hearing anecdotes about their FUMA experiences. I’m feeling really good so far about how our cadets are evolving into a cohesive Corps of Cadets. Camaraderie develops quickly among our cadets as they learn to rely on and encourage one another through their daily routine. Our cadets are well on their way to mastering the skills of marching, cleaning, making a bed, and shining shoes. They are getting used to the evening study hall schedule, and most are completing their homework without difficulty. I’m hearing positive reports from the teachers regarding the cadets’ overall adjustment to the new school year.

Reminder of Two Guidance Office Deadlines This Week

Just to make you aware there are two guidance office deadlines that end this Friday, September 12th.  The October SAT registration deadline is this Friday along with the ACT Prep Class registration that is for the Seniors and PG's.  You can register your son for the October SAT by going to www.collegeboard.com.  You can register for the ACT Prep Class by calling 434-842-4203 and give your permission along with credit card information for payment of $150.  Remember this is for the Seniors and PG's.  We will not take registations after the deadline.

Iambic Pentameter

I love poetry.  Iambic pentameter refers to the rhythm of certain poems, which is measured in small groups of syllables.  The word "iambic" refers the type of foot that is used...an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable.  The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet" [from Wikipedia].

We've been back in full rhythm for only a week, but it has been a full week.  The pentameter is our core values of respect, integrity, faith, character, and discipline.  This is the second year of embracing these as our foundation.  The foundation of any organization must be its values.  Without a solid foundation, nothing can stand for long.  MAJ James Benson, our Chaplain, presented respect and integrity at our first chapel services...basing each in Scripture.

It is reassuring to know that our young men learn the importance of these values...and even more important that our examples help cadets form habits around these key traits.  Fork Union Military Academy is no ordinary school.

This year our stressed syllables are:

  • The morning matters
  • Character is essential to leadership development
  • Improvement must be continuous and constant

Our Commandant of Cadets and Academic Departments are focusing on the 0600 to 0900 time-frame...ensuring that cadets start each day with a sharp military appearance, healthy breakfast, fully prepared for class, each class day beginning with the Pledge of Allegiance and a morning devotional.  We believe if everyone can start the day well, they will finish well...

Too many leaders today are derailed by flaws in their character.  We are all works in progress, but character is an essential quality of leadership.  This year our Director of Character and Leadership Development, LTC Houston Eldridge, is working directly with our cadet leaders, coaches, teachers, and staff to keep our focus on character and leadership.  As one of my mentors said once: "It is important to keep the main thing the main thing." 

Continual improvement, and the capacity for change, is also a hallmark of successful organizations.  I've been impressed this year by our willingness to be open to feedback, responsive to parents, and to accept constructive criticism while staying true to our values, mission, and vision. 

We started this year with 440 cadets.  Twenty-five more than last year, and our returning retention rate was 82%.  This is all very healthy and encouraging.  Our 10th and 11th grades are nearly filled to capacity.  We anticipate a fairly large number of cadets enrolling in October to begin our second term.

Tomorrow at 1015 the cadets will gather at Commandant's Call and learn about the various activities at Fork Union.  If parents want to encourage their sons in a certain direction, the activities list (not including athletics) is posted here: Activities and Clubs.  The Commandant's Department also puts out a monthly Activities Newsletter, which is available here: Upper School Activities Newsletter - September 2014.

Some are saying this is one of the smoothest starts in our history.  We are encouraged by the example set by our cadet leaders.  One of our company commanders asked our Director of Technology to ensure that no officers or NCO's in that company receive their laptops until each cadet [Private] in that company had received theirs.  And I'm told that the officers in another company make it a point to eat only after their entire company has been through the line.

These two examples reflect the best leadership I observed while on active duty, and signal the end of a "rank has its privileges" culture.  We prefer to see that "rank has its responsibilities" to strengthen, support, and remove obstacles for those entrusted to their care.

We will find more ways this year to have cadets lead various activities.  A small step today involved two cadets leading the Corps in song before the chapel service, and a brand new 9th grader has volunteered to sing the National Anthem before this weekend's postgraduate football game.  This will be worth seeing and hearing.  The game begins at 1500 (3:00pm).

Our sports season is in full swing, and Betsy and I will begin attending many events, beginning with the prep football game against Goochland High tomorrow night (in Goochland).  We host our Fork Union Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, anticipating over a thousand runners at our world-class cross country course on Academy Drive...a mile walk (or run) from our main campus.

It is terrific to have the campus full, and to be back in poetic rhythm once again. We may not fully rhyme until a little later this month...certainly by Parents' Weekend.  We hope that all our parents are making plans to attend.  There is much left to do...not the least of which is to make final preparations for our decennial reaccreditation visit later this school year.

I better get back to finalizing our faculty promotion list, preparing for our Board of Trustees meetings, finalizing The Campaign, reviewing our draft campus master plan, approving final plans for a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Certification, answering parents, resolving uniform issues centered around obsolete items, and discerning the stressed from the unstressed syllables...

Next week I've asked COL Todd Giszack to be a "guest blogger" for a variety of reasons, many of which will be evident after you read his blog.

Go School's Beginning! Go Blue Devils! Go FUMA!

Upper School Day Student Schedule and Uniform Information for September 8-14

UNFORM REGULATIONS  - WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 8-14

 

Monday, September 8                BDU Uniform

Tuesday, September 9               Class B Summer

Wednesday, September 10        BDU Uniform

Thursday, September 11            Class B Summer

Friday, September 12                 BDU Uniform

Saturday, September 13            No Corps Activities requiring Day Students to attend

Sunday, September 14              No Corps Activities requiring Day Students to attend

 

UPCOMING IMPORTANT DATES

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 –    TERM 1 SEMESTER EXAM

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – COLLEGE FAIR in the Estes Athletic Center (for Juniors and Seniors).

Over 60 colleges and universities, both in-state and out-of-state,represented.

 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 –   PICTURE DAY!  Yearbook and Athletic Teams photos will be taken. 

UNIFORM REQUIRED – Class A Winter (long-sleeve white shirt)

All Blouse/Jackets have not been issued, but various sizes will be available at the picture site.

Athletic Teams photos will be taken in the team uniform issued by the Athletic Department.