From the Head of School
Dear Miss Hall’s School Community,
 
It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that, after much careful deliberation, Miss Hall’s School will move to distance learning for the rest of the semester. We will not resume on-campus instruction or activities through the end of the academic year. 

When we opened school in late August, this was not how any of us imagined the second semester progressing, and my heart goes out to students and families — particularly seniors and their families — for the way the year is unfolding. Given this new reality, we will do our best to maintain a sense of community and connection among MHS students and adults, no matter where we are physically located. 

But first, let me pause to say, I am deeply sorry. 

This is an unprecedented decision in the course of the School’s 122-year history, and a decision we held off on as long as possible, in the hope we might be able to bring everyone back to campus this spring to hold traditional community activities such as Alumnae Weekend and to celebrate the Class of 2020 at Commencement. Unfortunately, the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is a real and distinct threat to our community and the world, and we need to put the health and safety of the Miss Hall’s community first. Though I fully believe that this is the right decision to do our part to help stem the spread of the coronavirus, it saddens me personally and as an educator and Head of School.

I wish that the circumstances were different, for all of us. I already miss the daily traffic through the Sun Room, the volume in the Dining Room, and — dare I say it? — yes, even the water bottles, keys, and cell phones toppling to the floor during Community Meeting. I do want to acknowledge that we still have thirty-two students on campus, being cared for by an incredible team of residents and other staff. We are working with these students and their families to make arrangements to travel home, if possible. Please know that the health and safety of students is always our first priority, and we will make any needed arrangements to ensure their well-being. This campus is very different — and quieter — without all of our students’ exuberance, but I want to be clear that our school is not “closing.” Learning, connection, and community will continue for MHS, even when we are not all together on Holmes Road.

No doubt, you have questions — What will distance learning look like? How will I stay in touch with my teachers and advisor and Proctor and Big and friends? What will happen with student belongings left at school? Will the School hold a “virtual” Commencement? How can I help? In the coming days, you will be hearing from other members of the Miss Hall’s School Leadership Team with answers to these questions, more information about plans that are in place, and ways to remain connected as a community. In addition, we have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions for your reference. As more questions arise, this will be where we address them. 

Miss Hall’s School has seen much during its history — the 1918 influenza pandemic, a devastating fire, the sudden death of its founder, two world wars, and the September 11 attacks. But, from its very beginning, the School has persisted with a singular mission of educating young women to the highest of academic standards and for lives of purpose. Through the years, the School has adapted and evolved as the world around it has changed. No doubt, the Miss Hall’s School of 2050 will look quite different from MHS in 2020, much as School today is vastly different from how it was a hundred years ago. Nevertheless, we will continue to pursue Mira Hall’s mission and live by our core values of respect, honor, growth, and authenticity.
 
These final eight weeks of school will be unlike anything we have experienced, but we are committed to making the most of this experience. They will require patience and empathy, creativity and compassion, and growth for all of us as we adjust and adapt to new teaching and learning methods and navigate uncertainty. Together we will find ways to highlight the ingenuity of our faculty, recognize the dedication of our families and alumnae, and honor the students’ achievements, even if we cannot do that on the athletic fields or in Centennial Hall or at the Awards Banquet. Even in these uncertain times, there will still be moments to celebrate — seniors getting into their dream colleges, faculty giving birth to babies, 5th, 25th, and 50th reunions, and birthdays, birthdays, and more birthdays.
 
I know how much Miss Hall’s School means to all of you — students, faculty, staff, families, and alumnae. The joyful and connected spirit of this school is one of the main reasons that I came to MHS six years ago, and I believe it will be this spirit that guides us and unites us in the weeks and months ahead. 

Miss Hall’s School is a very special place, and I look forward to the day we can be together again physically as a community. Until then, we will adapt, overcome, and, most of all, care for each other.

Meus Honor Stat,

Contacts and Resources


For health questions and concerns:  Christie Puz, R.N., Director of Health Services, 413-395-7074,  cpuz@misshalls.org  
 
For travel arrangements and Spring Break info : Mary Bazanchuk, Asst. Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life, 413-395-7045,  mbazanchuk@misshalls.org

For questions about counseling resources: Teresa Gentile, School Counselor, 413-395-7073,  tgentile@misshalls.org
 
For academics questions: Lisa Alberti, Dean of Academics and Faculty, 413-395-7108,  lalberti@misshalls.org
 
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