Girls learning, leading, succeeding

COVID-19 Information

This page has been created to update and inform the Dana Hall School community and provide resources regarding COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control has created this list of frequently asked questions and answers about the coronavirus.

Latest Updates from Head of School Katherine Bradley

List of 9 items.

  • April 2, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Families,
     
    Here we are, near the end of our first full week of distance learning. Our transition to remote teaching and learning is going smoothly, thanks to the attentive and thoughtful work of our faculty, staff and administrators. I am grateful to all of you who have written with words of thanks and affirmation for their efforts.

    Excellence in Remote Learning

    Throughout spring break, Academic Dean Nia Jacobs collaborated with Director of the Upper School Jessica Keimowitz and Director of the Middle School Lauren Goldberg to research best practices in remote teaching and to create our new online learning environment, including the schedule. 
     
    They led the way in taking webinars on effective remote learning so that they could become resources to faculty, and they brought their vast knowledge of girls at different developmental stages to the creation of our online approach. As you know, the result, based on that careful research, is innovative and solution-oriented. Educators from other schools and colleges have already commented to me about how creative our program is and how well it meets the needs of our students of different ages and time zones. The team was faced with many challenges, not the least of which was the speed with which our students and faculty were going to have to adapt to these changes! Their leadership, together with the faculty’s remarkably flexible, positive and professional approach, have made these early days of the transition a success, and other schools are now turning to us as an example of what is best practice in education. We will, of course, remain flexible and learn as we go, tweaking and adapting the program as we learn from experience.
     
    Our transition also went smoothly due to our amazing Information Technology (IT) department, led by Fred Clayton. Because our 1:1 iPad Program has been so robustly used and supported, and because the IT department is already well integrated into the academic program of the School, many of the challenges that other schools are encountering have not affected us. We have had some issues out of our control, mainly with Schoology and Zoom, which are being used at unprecedented and at times unsupportable levels. The entire IT team has worked cheerfully and tirelessly to ensure that our students have as robust an experience as possible. 

    Modifications to the Grading System During Distance Learning 

    I know many of you have questions about grading for the period of online learning. During this period, we will move to a Pass/Fail system. You will be hearing more details tomorrow from the division directors, but it is important to note the following: teachers will continue to grade work and offer students feedback to help them maintain a sense of their progress toward their mastery of key skills and content areas; students will be able to see individual assessment grades in Schoology, but there will be no overall trimester average or year average shown; currently, we are working on equitable solutions for how we will assess and portray a student’s overall work throughout the year. Director of College Counseling Cara Hanig and members of her office have been in communication with colleges, and they have assured us that this approach will not put our students at a disadvantage. Many colleges and universities have already issued statements indicating that they will treat P/F as typical; many of these same institutions have themselves transitioned to this form of grading for the spring of 2020.

    Sustaining our Community 

    While we are working to help our students advance in the curriculum, we also remain keenly aware of the social and emotional needs of our students, and the importance of connecting with one another. Faculty are checking in with advisees, Zoom interest groups are being hosted, and club meetings will soon be scheduled. Our coaches and fitness instructors are posting workout programs on the girls’ Schoology page. To facilitate social interaction, we’ve even continued with Upper School weekend activities! Last week's included suggestions to take a virtual museum tour; create positive affirmation signs; get book recommendations from our Dana Hall librarians, keep a quarantine journal, try baking a new recipe, or pick up an old hobby. Perhaps your daughters will invite you to join in on a future weekend activity. 
     
    Despite all our efforts, none of this will replicate a true Dana Hall education, one that is steeped in interpersonal connections, daily interactions and strong relationships. As I have said in the past, we can’t understate that other important aspects of our “curriculum” are delivered while waiting in line at the salad bar or during happenstance meetings in the hallways or while walking to Shipley or Bardwell. As I wrote last week, we do remain constant in our mission to help the girls become resilient, strong and compassionate as they undertake their academic endeavors.
     
    As we all look ahead to the hopeful return of a more familiar spring, I have disappointing news to share, although those of you in Massachusetts are likely already aware of it: Governor Baker has ordered that all schools remain physically closed until May 4. Hence, we know that we will not all be seeing one another in “3-D” until at least May 4. As a parent of teenagers myself, I give you my complete empathy as you manage the many disappointments that this unprecedented circumstance has caused.
     
    My thoughts are with all of you who are experiencing the virus first hand; many of us have been impacted through friends or family, and our grief is beginning to accumulate. I hope that the strength and support of the Dana community will sustain you.
     
    Amor Caritas,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School
  • March 24, 2020

    Dear Alumnae, Trustees, Corporators and Parents,

    As many of you know, the campus of Dana Hall School is closed until at least April 27, and we will be teaching all our courses online until then; all of our afternoon and evening events have also been canceled through April 27. These are indeed unprecedented times.

    And in a time lacking any sense of normalcy, familiarity brings solace. For example, faculty and staff returned yesterday, albeit online, and are preparing to teach remotely for the next month or more. Thanks to technology, we began to hold faculty meetings, and many of the usual Dana Hall questions were raised: How can I best help my students understand the material? How can I best support each and every one of my students? Where are the best resources for my subject area? How can we teachers effectively share resources and ideas with one another? And, as there is at so many of our meetings, there was much laughter: you can’t have a virtual room full of lively, interested, dedicated and bright people who love working with adolescents without encountering a lot of wit and humor, even in these challenging times.
     
    So, will online teaching and learning go perfectly smoothly? Not at all. There will be goofs and blunders and glitches. Will it replicate being in the classroom? No. There will not be the give-and-take of classroom banter or greetings at the doorway or spontaneous expressions of encouragement and celebration. But, familiarly, there will be adults who are committed to educating our girls and who are willing to do all that they can to make that happen. As always, the teachers are eager to help the girls to learn, to feel connected, to feel secure. In their usual fashion, teachers are helping the girls to become even more confident and feel an even greater sense of agency in their own lives. And, as ever, the faculty will do so with flexibility, patience, good will and good humor.
     
    Like all schools, Dana Hall is grappling with the logistics of this pandemic and its economic fallout. Much thought and time has been, and continues to be, given to ensuring that we’re handling all the details and possible outcomes and contingency plans as carefully as possible. And that is crucially important. But it is just as important to remember that we are a school built on the shoulders of the remarkable and visionary women who came before us, and we know from them that we are at our most powerful when we band together, help one another out, and share our burden cooperatively, and that one of our most familiar — yet greatest — responsibilities is to pass that sense of united strength on to the next generation of women.
     
    So, while we naturally focus on the latest news and the day’s unique challenges and the fear or anxiety they may bring, I encourage us all also to remember our school’s roots, and to concentrate on helping the next generation of women to be resilient, strong and compassionate. And may that familiar mission bring us each a sense of comfort and inspiration in these trying times.
     
    This truly is a unique community, and I remain humbly in service to its students, alumnae and employees.

    Amor Caritas,

    Katherine Bradley
  • March 16, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Community,
     
    Though I last communicated to you just five days ago, much has changed in our world, and will continue to change, as we face the health crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dana Hall’s Administrative Team convened (virtually) this morning, and I’d like to share the following decisions that we made to best ensure the safety of our community members and comply with local, state and federal guidance. As of today, we ask all students to remain off campus until at least April 27.

    Boarding Program

    • If boarding students are able to return home, we recommend that they do so as soon as possible. All students who are currently home should plan to stay there. Events and government guidance have changed so quickly since I last wrote that we now ask all students to remain off campus. 
    • Until students are able to travel home, we will work with families to find a temporary solution to make sure girls are cared for and safe. If you need assistance, please contact Dean of Students Kristin Ryan
    • Though our hope is to resume our regular academic program at some point this year (see below), we recognize that it may not be possible for many of our boarding students to return to Dana Hall at that time. I assure you we will continue to support online learning through the end of the school year, for those students who are unable to return to campus.
    • We recognize that many of you may have important belongings in your rooms. While we cannot permit access to rooms for health reasons, please contact Kristin Kristin Ryan or Dean of Boarding Life Donna Corrigan if there are essential items you need. At this time, we ask that families not come to campus to pack up student rooms.  

    Academic Program

    • As I previously announced, faculty will plan and prepare for remote teaching and learning options on Monday, March 23 through Wednesday, March 25. Students will begin taking classes online on Thursday, March 26. We will offer more specific directions about these details through these communication channels as the date approaches.
    • On April 17, we will make a decision about whether to continue our remote learning program, or to resume classes on campus. 
    • The earliest date that we would resume classes on campus would be April 27. Please note: the remote learning program will continue for students who are unable to return to campus.

    Facilities and Events

    • In accordance with local and state guidelines, all Dana Hall facilities and fields will remain closed until further notice. 
    • Staff will continue to work remotely when possible. Employees whose work is necessary to campus operations will be on campus and following recommended precautions, provided they are healthy. 
    • We have canceled or postponed all Dana Hall on-campus events involving outside guests, as well as Dana Hall events held off campus, through April 27. This includes Blue & White Night and Reunion; additional communications about those events will be forthcoming. We have also canceled the Middle School trips and Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day.
    • We have not yet made a determination about commencement and other closing events. If we are unable to hold traditional year-end events, we will work with senior class leaders to reimagine those important activities for the Class of 2020, as well as provide alternatives for other year-end activities. 

    Resources

    We know that you likely have many questions, particularly those families in our boarding community.  We will soon add a FAQ section to our COVID-19 Information webpage. We will also share resources there that provide helpful advice for managing anxiety, dealing with disappointment and other wellness challenges that will be common during the weeks ahead.
     
    If you have questions, please reach out to the following administrators, or me:
    Director of Upper School Jessica Keimowitz
    Director of Middle School Lauren Goldberg
    Dean of Students Kristin Ryan
    Dean of Boarding Life/International Student Advisor Donna Corrigan
    Director of Health Services Pia Manna
     
    These are extraordinary circumstances, and I am grateful for the dedication of our faculty and staff, as well as the resiliency and cooperation of our entire community. Our mission has not changed — we will continue to prioritize the academic success and social-emotional health of our students. I will provide ongoing updates as needed.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School
     
     
  • March 12, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Students and Families,

    As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, the number of cases has increased domestically, and Massachusetts has entered a state of emergency. Like all educational institutions, Dana Hall School places top priority on the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff. We are also a school that prides itself on responsible global citizenship, and as such it is imperative that we take steps as individuals and as a community to help limit the spread of the coronavirus. 

    As a result, and in the best interests of our community, we are making the following significant changes to our post-spring break schedule. I recognize that many of these changes will be disappointing to you and create challenges that together we will need to manage. 

    Academic Program

    • All students who are able to remain away from campus at the conclusion of spring break should do so. Please see below for those who are not able. From Monday, March 23 through Wednesday, March 25, faculty will have time to plan and prepare for remote teaching and learning options. Students will begin taking classes online on Thursday, March 26 through Friday, April 3. We will make an evaluation at that time to determine if there is a need to extend this period of remote learning.
    • Remote classes will include online teaching and video tools; we will also continue our use of Schoology and Google Apps. Students will need reliable, high-speed internet access. If your family is unable to accommodate a remote learning environment for your student, please contact the appropriate division director (Lauren Goldberg or Jessica Keimowitz). 
    • More specific details about the logistics of the remote academic program will be shared toward the end of the spring break.

    Residential Life

    • We recognize that this move to distance learning may present unique challenges to our boarding community. While our plan is that students remain off campus at the conclusion of spring break, we recognize there may be students who need to return to campus due to travel restrictions or other significant constraints. Students may request to stay in dormitories, using this form.
    • For those who must remain on campus, services and resources will be provided accordingly. Students who are on campus will be expected to participate in remote learning and may remain on campus until we return to classes as usual. We have felt deep compassion for those students who were unable to return home for spring break due to travel restrictions, and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure that they are well cared for.
    • Note that our Health Center staff will be available to help coordinate care remotely, including managing/rescheduling appointments, medication refills, and answering questions regarding ongoing health-related treatments.

    Return to Campus

    • As a reminder, If ANY community members have been in an area identified by the CDC as being at Warning-Level 3, or if community members have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be required to stay away from campus and be symptom-free for 14 days. They will also need to contact Pia Manna, Director of Health Services to discuss their status before they return to campus.
    • Closer to the date on which on-campus classes resume (currently April 6), we will ask all students, faculty and staff to indicate where they have traveled and whether they have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

    Athletics

    • All pre-season practices are canceled, as well as all practices and competitions through April 3. At this time games are still scheduled to begin in early April. Our Athletics Department is in touch with our peer schools, and there is no definitive information about schedule adjustments at this time; we will share those decisions as soon as possible. 

    Dana Hall Events

    We will cancel or postpone all Dana Hall on-campus events involving outside guests, as well as Dana Hall events held off campus, through April 3. While our Admission revisit days will be canceled, we are working on providing a virtual revisit program for prospective families. In the coming days, there will be additional communications about all of our events; no decisions have been made about events after April 3. 

    School Offices

    All offices will reopen on March 23, and staff will be encouraged to work remotely when possible. Employees whose work is necessary to campus operations will be on campus, provided they are healthy. Please note that the entire campus will be cleaned by the scheduled end of spring break. 

    Clearly, the measures outlined above are serious, and we will feel their impact on many levels. As a warm, caring community, we value each other’s company and the in-person interactions that make learning, teaching and working here so powerful. It is in this spirit of caring for our community, and especially for those most vulnerable in our broader community, that I ask each of you to understand the need for these changes and work together to face these new circumstances with a spirit of cooperation and determination.

    We will continue to use the same channels to provide updates related to this evolving and complex crisis. Please consult our COVID-19 Information webpage for resources and previous communications.

    Sincerely,

    Katherine Bradley 
    Head of School
     
  • March 6, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Community,
     
    As part of our ongoing effort to keep our school community informed, today we received the following communication from David Lussier, superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools:
     
    Dear WPS Families and Staff,
    We learned a short while ago that a Wellesley resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus.)  This individual is a parent of children who attend the Upham Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School.  It’s important to know that these children are showing no symptoms and are healthy.  Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the proactive decision to release students early at Upham and WMS in order to fully clean and sanitize both buildings. All other WPS Schools will complete their day on a regular schedule. We will continue to work closely with the Wellesley Health Department and other Town officials in providing additional updates.
     
    While we have no additional information at this time, we wanted to let you know we are aware of the situation and in touch with town health officials. As you know, Dana Hall School is on spring break and closed until March 24. A core group of administrators and staff will continue to monitor all issues related to COVID-19; please consult our COVID-19 Information webpage for resources and updates.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School
     

    Wellesley Resources

  • March 3, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Community,
     
    As the international health risk related to “COVID-19,” also known as coronavirus, continues to evolve, here are the latest measures Dana Hall is taking to support our students and families, with a particular focus on travel. 
    • As we head out for spring break on March 5, we respectfully ask that community members (students, families, faculty and staff) follow the official recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and avoid all nonessential travel to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and any other identified areas. As this situation is changing rapidly, the number of countries on this list is likely to grow in the days and weeks to come.
    • If community members have been in an area identified by the CDC as being at Warning-Level 3, or if community members have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they will be required to stay away from campus and be symptom-free for 14 days. They will also need to contact Pia Manna, Director of Health Services to discuss their status before they return to campus. In addition, they should contact either the Director of the Middle or Upper School to arrange for ways to continue to do their schoolwork while away from campus. 
    • As of today based on current CDC recommendations, all school-sponsored trips are scheduled to leave as planned.
    • We have prepared letters for all international students, as well as all students traveling on school-sponsored international trips, that certify that each student has been in attendance at Dana Hall since January 6, 2020, when she returned from winter break. Since many students will be traveling independently, and with non-US passports, this letter will verify that they have not traveled outside of North America to areas significantly impacted by COVID-19, in the event they are questioned. 
    • Members of the Administrative Team, Risk Management Committee and other key department leaders will continue to monitor developments and convene before the end of spring break to review evolving government recommendations and determine if additional precautions are necessary. We will use email and our website to provide these updates.
    Throughout the course of this event, we have been following best practices and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It is difficult to know today what we will be faced with as our community returns from spring break. While we do not believe there is an immediate cause for concern on campus, keeping our community safe is our top priority. 
     
    Note that as we focus on the best care for our community members, we affirm our support for our students who may be more likely to be subject to hurtful and ignorant comments regarding the virus. We stand firm in our commitment to equity and inclusion, as outlined in our Inclusion and Diversity Statement. Thank you for your ongoing empathy and support of our work to prevent stigma and discrimination at Dana Hall School. We ask students to reach out to a trusted adult if any such incident occurs. As we strive to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, I remain grateful for the compassion of this community.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School
  • February 27, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Community,
     
    As you have read in our previous communications, Dana Hall School continues to monitor the unfolding international health risk related to “COVID-19” also known as coronavirus, as we work to best support our students and our families. This is an unprecedented situation and our ongoing response is evolving based on new developments.
     
    Throughout the course of this event, we have been following best practices and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This includes monitoring and adhering to any government travel advisories. In accordance with those advisories, we have been working closely with our students who are not able to return to their home countries, to ensure they have alternate arrangements for spring break. Additionally, many of our students and families will be traveling to other destinations during their vacation. Upon our return to school after spring break, our Health Center staff will continue to follow the CDC guidance for clinicians.
     
    We are monitoring new developments and will continue to reevaluate our steps and actions daily, including operational plans as needed to ensure the safety and security of our school. We are committed to offering access to communication on this topic and have set up a COVID-19 Information webpage to hold all of our data and resources in one place. We will update this page with the most current information and resources available to us.
     
    Please be assured that the health and well-being of our community are our top priority. As we move forward, that includes remaining focused on empathy and offering additional support for those students and families most affected by this health risk and the related challenges. I’d like to thank those who have sent messages of compassion and generous offers of help for our students. I remain particularly grateful for the strength and togetherness of this community.

    Sincerely,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School
     
  • January 30, 2020

     
     
    Dear Dana Hall Community,

    Dana Hall is monitoring the international health risk related to “2019nCoV,” which is also known as coronavirus. The Administrative Team, along with the Director of Health Services and the Dean of Residential Life, is meeting regularly, as we continue to adhere to advisories from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Additionally, we are in close contact with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Wellesley Board of Health.

    Since our last email communication, the WHO declared that the coronavirus outbreak is a global health emergency, and the CDC has issued a new warning recommending that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China. We are communicating with students and families whose upcoming travel plans may be affected by these new advisories. 
     
    It is clear that this complex situation is rapidly evolving. The health and care of our students and the entire Dana Hall community remain of the utmost importance. We will continue to be responsive and vigilant, both in our care for our community members and in our communication about any changes in our course of action. Please let me know if you have any questions.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Katherine Bradley
    Head of School

    Resources:

     
     
     
  • January 24, 2020

    Dear Dana Hall Community:
     
    Many of you are aware of an international health risk related to “2019nCoV,” which is also known as coronavirus. The Dana Hall Health Center is monitoring the situation and following the standard health care procedures set forth by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. As this is an evolving and complex situation, we will be vigilant and continue our usual surveillance of the Dana Hall community, keeping in line with the guidelines of the local community health department and larger government agencies.
     
    We are in touch with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, our school physician and our peer schools, who are all monitoring the situation. At this time, surveillance is the only recommendation as the risk for coronavirus in Massachusetts is considered to be low.  
     
    During this season, we encourage good health habits for prevention of all viruses, including the flu: Avoid close contact with people who are sick, wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or tissues, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, keep rooms clean and surfaces wiped down. 
     
    Please let me know if you have any questions.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Pia Manna
    Director of Health Services

    Resources:

     

FAQS FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

General

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

UPPER SCHOOL

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • What platform will distance learning use?

    We will continue to use Schoology and the Google suite of applications. For videoconferencing, we will use Zoom. Students will need to check Schoology and their Dana Hall Gmail accounts daily. Students must have reliable access to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and Schoology. If you do not have reliable, high-speed internet access, or your location prevents you from reliably accessing Schoology, Zoom, and/or the Google suite of applications, please contact Dr. Goldberg as soon as possible
  • What about the spring trips?

    Given the travel restrictions and safety concerns, our April trips to Mystic Seaport, New York City, and Washingtond, D.C. have been canceled.
  • Will the Grand Canyon trip still happen?

    Since we cannot predict the risk to our girls or the likelihood that sites will be reopened by June, we have canceled the Grand Canyon trip. Families can expect to hear directly from our travel partner, Grand Classroom, with information about refunds.
  • Will there be a Middle School Moving Up Ceremony?

    We certainly hope to be able to celebrate our 8th graders' milestone at the end of the year. Further details will be available as we get closer to June.

BOARDING LIFE

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

  • If I leave the United States, what happens to my visa status?

    The United States government has adjusted their rules so that you will still be considered an "active" student regardless of where you are in the world. What that means is that as long as you continue with your Dana Hall coursework and requirements from teachers, your visa and I-20 will remain valid. Students can return home to other countries without an updated I-20 form. (But you will need a passport!) We will work with you on sending an updated I-20 to you in the coming weeks. If your travel plans change and you need your I-20 immediately, please let Ms. Keimowitz, Mrs. Corrigan, or Mrs. Miles know.
  • When can I get into the dormitories to pack my belongings? How will I get my belongings home? Can I put them in dorm storage?

    We recognize that many of you may have important belongings in your rooms. While we cannot permit access to rooms for health reasons, please contact Ms. Ryan or Mrs. Corrigan if there are essential items you need. At this time, we ask that families not come to campus to pack up student rooms.

    If we find that there are students that are unable to return to campus this academic year, we will communicate plans and resources for packing, shipping and storage, as appropriate.

HEALTH & WELLBEING

List of 2 frequently asked questions.

Dana Hall Contacts

Dean of Boarding Life/International Student Advisor
(781) 489-1391

Lauren Goldberg
Director of Middle School
(781) 489-1325

Jessica Keimowitz
Director of Upper School
(781) 489-1315

Pia Manna RN
Director of Health Services
(781) 489-1937

Dean of Students
(781) 489-1392

 
 
 

List of 3 items.

  • Current events reports

    Favorite Assignment
  • Middle Eastern Studies

    Favorite Class
  • The Library

    Favorite Place on Campus

List of 1 items.

  • Anna F. Quote

    "My favorite class at Dana Hall (so far!) has been Middle Eastern Studies. It covers interesting material that helps me to better understand current events, and provides me a unique perspective when so much of formal history education is focused on the West. The class has helped me break stereotypes, and I now view the world differently."
    -Anna