Dear MHS Families,

I write with updates and reminders as we prepare to resume hybrid learning on Monday, January 25. 

Our goal has always been to have as many students as possible learning together on campus, so long as it is safe to do so, and returning to in-person instruction is possible only by efforts from all of us. This includes continuing to diligently follow our Common Good Guidelines and maintaining safe and healthy practices at home, on campus, and in the extended community. Though public health conditions have most recently been trending in the right direction, we must all continue to do our parts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
 
I also want to inform you that we have learned that a day student, who has not been on campus since November, has tested positive through off-campus testing and is currently isolating at home. We are grateful to this family for promptly notifying us, as per our community protocols. As a reminder, we will not share information about the community member’s identity or condition, out of a respect for privacy and adherence to HIPAA and ADA privacy laws.
 
The School’s Incident Response Team (IRT) is actively monitoring current conditions — local, regional, national, and on the Miss Hall’s campus. Currently, the city of Pittsfield is YELLOW on the city’s COVID-19 Community Impact Dashboard, with the average daily case rate and the positivity rate starting to trend down from the post-holiday highs. All of the boarding students who returned to school on January 9 and 10 have tested negative for the coronavirus/COVID-19 and are now out of quarantine. Our on-campus, weekly monitoring testing continues to run smoothly, and MHS nurses have administered 753 COVID tests, with zero positive test results. 

As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will continue to track these conditions and adjust our MHS campus reopening level as needed to maintain community health. To that point, we anticipate that Term 4 may see more frequent “pulsing” between YELLOW (hybrid) and ORANGE (online only). As always, we will inform you of any changes to the schedule or campus activities as soon as possible, using email and the MHS RAVE notification system. 

Notes and Reminders for Term 4

  • All community members should follow the MHS Common Good Guidelines.
  • When on the MHS campus, everyone is required to wear masks, maintain 6-feet distancing inside and out, and follow signage regarding movement and gathering in common spaces at all times.
  • On-campus learners (day and boarding) must complete their MyMedBot daily check-ins in order to attend classes or participate in on-campus activities.
  • Consistent with our YELLOW status, boarding students may not have weekend visits or day trips with family off campus, and day students’ on-campus times are limited to 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday,
 
Looking Ahead

Spring Break is March 4 to 14 and to limit the risks associated with travel and to avoid a third quarantine during the school year, we encourage boarding students to stay on campus during the break. We are already planning activities, putting together menus, and coming up with ideas for two fun and relaxing weeks. Please reach out to Acting Dean of Students Mary Bazanchuk with any questions about the break. Boarding students will be asked to complete a vacation information form this week and reserve their spot for spring break.
 
I am excited to have students learning together in-person again, and in order to do that, we must make adjustments to our normal practices. Students learning together and in-person is always preferable, but in order to do that, we must make adjustments to our normal practices. Our community has been doing this for nearly a year, with great care and commitment, and I am confident that we can continue to do so.
 
As always, please contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
 
Best,
Julia Heaton
Head of School

Contacts and Resources
 
Lisa Alberti, Dean of Academics and Faculty, 413-395-7108, lalberti@misshalls.org

Mary Bazanchuk, Asst. Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, 413-395-7045, mbazanchuk@misshalls.org

Paula Lima Jones, Dean of Equity and Inclusion, 413-395-7117, plimajones@misshalls.org