From the Deans
March 19, 2020

Dear Families,

Hello from the Miss Hall’s campus, where we continue to host some students and make the best of social distancing. Please know that we are committed to providing your children with continuity of high quality learning, community and connections with friends and teachers, even at a distance. We know that there are challenges in the unknown, yet we are confident that the strength and resilience of the MHS community will guide us in these unprecedented times.

We write to update you on our plans for learning and coursework in the coming weeks, having sent a similar communication to students earlier today . Appreciating the many complexities of student location and variety of disciplines taught at MHS, we are creating an academic schedule that we hope will be consistent and straightforward, so that students can at once navigate their individual responsibilities and continue with their curriculum.

No matter their location, students will spend the majority of their work time in asynchronous learning and, then, will gather for “classes” and meetings using Zoom , a user friendly video conference platform accessed by computer, tablet or phone. School work (assignments, assessments, discussion boards, messages and due dates) will be shared with students through our already existing learning management system, PowerSchool.

As we have emphasized with the students, the learning experience will not be the same. There are bound to be moments of frustration and challenge and we must adjust our expectations and methods in order for students to thrive in this very different situation. Please know that MHS staff and teachers are committed to providing individual support, compassion, and guidance that will allow our students to make the most of distance learning.

In order for us to maintain our strong MHS community and important personal relationships, we will provide all students with opportunities to continue connections with teachers, friends, and the groups to which they belong. Within the weekly schedule there will be time set aside for meetings with advisors, proctors, community gatherings, and fun community building challenges. Teachers will seek out the guidance of student leaders to guide us in establishing opportunities for students to connect, communicate and support each other.

Next week, we will send students and families everywhere a longer communication with important detail to prepare everyone for distance learning beginning Monday, April 6th . We will share:

  • A questionnaire to understand each student’s technology accessibility and any information that will be important for us to know about availability for learning.

  • A weekly schedule that includes the times that students will come together for synchronous lessons and meetings. We understand that we must navigate different time zones, and different family responsibilities. Please note that all lessons will be recorded so that they can be viewed at a different time, should students be unavailable at specific lesson times.

  • Guidelines and expectations for schoolwork and communication.

  • Student leadership guidelines and a timeline.

  • Plans for continuing support from our Academic Skills Center, Health and Counseling Services, the Office of College Counseling, the Deans' Offices, etc.

Mid-Semester grades and comments will also be coming by the end of next week. During the days before break, teachers were focused on student support and preparing for distance learning and therefore grades and comments will be sent later than originally anticipated.

Thank you for your partnership as we flesh out this plan. Please don't hesitate reach out with questions and concerns as we move forward.

Dean Lisa Alberti
Dean Christie Higuera
Dean Paul Lima-Jones