From the Head of School
March 10, 2020

Dear MHS Community,

I write with an update on steps Miss Hall’s is taking with regard to the ongoing and rapidly evolving coronavirus/COVID-19 developments, especially in light of learning about several cases of the virus now being treated in Pittsfield. Additionally, the approaching Spring Break means extended travel for many in the MHS community, and I write to address concerns and questions expressed in recent days.

At this time, it is important to underscore that there are no incidents of COVID-19 infections at Miss Hall’s, and we continue to remind all in the community of habits essential to maintaining community health. News of virus cases in Berkshire County has certainly raised concerns, and we remain vigilant in making decisions based on supporting the health and wellness of everyone at Miss Hall’s. We also continue to monitor local, state, and federal updates and guidelines and are consulting with cohort schools and professional organizations regarding best practices and steps we can take to minimize risk.

As you know, Spring Break begins on Friday afternoon. A number of students have opted to remain on campus for all or part of the break and will participate in planned activities supervised by faculty and staff. We know that many students and adults also have plans to travel during the break. As you and your family consider travel, I encourage you to seek updated information about associated risks and travel advisories, as this information is frequently changing. Additionally, I remind students to take recommended safety precautions, such as traveling with a buddy, alerting adults to your plans, and always being alert to your surroundings.

In particular, I call your attention to these important points: 

  • If a student or MHS adult travels to an area identified with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their ability to return to the United States may be limited, and the School will require them to self-quarantine and self-monitor their health for 14 days before returning to school.

  • We have asked all students and adults to provide information about expected travel, including dates and locations, in order to provide support in the event that travel advisories change. Given the rapidly developing nature of the situation, we are urging all community members to weigh the risks of traveling anywhere until the outbreak subsides.

  • Horizons site visits are canceled this Thursday, and we will instead use the time for on-campus work. In the coming days and weeks, we will re-evaluate the Horizons calendar for the remainder of the academic year.

  • Above and beyond what is advised by the CDC, we have canceled school-sponsored trips to large cities, including planned student field trips to Boston and New York City and alumnae events in Florida. Additionally, we will make decisions about school-sponsored travel — for conferences, professional development, and other purposes — on a case-by-case basis.

  • All students are required to complete a Health Declaration, signed by a parent/guardian, before they can return to campus after the break.

  • If a student or adult becomes ill during the break, has a fever, or is exhibiting signs of respiratory illness, they are not to return to campus until improvement in symptoms without the use of fever-reducing medications. Students who stay home for illness will not suffer any academic penalty for missed work or classes.  

  •  All students will be able to continue with our academic program in the event they are unable to return to campus, or if we must cancel classes because of health concerns. Please know that the MHS faculty have been incredibly nimble with students who have been away from school or out of classes for extended periods of time, and we will work to accommodate students and provide continued learning as the need arises. We are also developing plans for distance learning, should the School need to close for an extended period. We are committed to continuing learning for all students, though we recognize that the learning will look and feel different from our regular program. We will all have to be flexible and creative. If students complete assignments and assessments that are provided remotely, they will receive full credit for the semester. 

  • Accepted Students Day, scheduled for April 6, has also been canceled, and we will instead offer remote, internet-based experiences for students and their families. Further, we are re-evaluating plans for any upcoming large gatherings on the MHS campus.

  • Several international students have asked about potential impacts to their visa status. School officials met this morning with a representative from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and subsequently met with students to answer questions. Members of the School’s Leadership Team are always available to answer questions about academic and student life concerns. At the moment, it is our understanding that there will be no changes to the current visa protocol because of the coronavirus.

  • For those students and families who wish to avoid Spring Break travel, the option to remain on the MHS campus is still available. Please contact Mary Bazanchuk, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life for more information.

  • Finally, we are asking all in the community, including students, to continue to check email for updates from the School, because this rapidly evolving situation can change at any time. 

Please know that the School’s Incident Response Team continues to follow this situation closely and is meeting on a near-daily basis to share information and updates, and we promise to keep you informed of developments on and off the MHS campus. In the meantime, should you have specific questions, I encourage you to reach out to us. 

  • For travel questions, please contact Mary Bazanchuk, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, 413-395-7045,

  • For health questions, please contact Christie Puz, R.N., Director of Health Services, 413-395-7074,  

  • For academic questions, please contact Lisa Alberti, Dean of Academics and Faculty, 413 395-7108,

As always, you may contact me with concerns or questions.

As we continue to navigate this complex and changing situation, I am grateful to be part of a community that shares, at its core, a tireless dedication to one another and a shared belief in the common good. This school has faced many challenges in its 122 years, and we will calmly and successfully face this one as well — together. We remain ever committed to your daughter’s well-being and the health of our community.

Take good care,

Contacts and Resources

For health questions and concerns: Christie Puz, R.N., Director of Health Services, 413-395-7074,   
For travel arrangements and Spring Break info: Mary Bazanchuk, Asst. Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, 413-395-7045,
For general questions: Miss Hall's School Main Number, 413-443-6401 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The World Health Organization
The U.S. Department of State