COVID-19 Updates and Information

At Deerfield, our community’s health and wellness are top priorities. In recent weeks, Head of School Dr. John P.N. Austin and members of Senior Staff have been monitoring updates, best practices, and recommendations from the CDC, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the US Department of Health and Human Services, among other organizations, regarding COVID-19. They have also been working to support our students and families who have been impacted by unexpected disruptions as they navigate this time of uncertainty and rapid change. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this disease.

As of April 1:

CANCELED:

Families: please check your email and this webpage regularly for Deerfield Academy COVID-19-related updates.

Employees: please continue to check your email regularly and visit this webpage for current information.

COVID-19 FAQs

WHAT IS COVID-19?

A virus strain (previously referred to as “coronavirus”) that has only spread in people since December 2019 and has the potential to cause severe respiratory illness (pneumonia) in some people.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear in as few as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus, and include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing

HOW CAN THE TRANSMISSION OF COVID-19 BE PREVENTED?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If water and soap are not available, use hand sanitizer that is 60% rubbing alcohol;
  • Avoid touching your face—eyes, nose, mouth—with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick;
  • Stay home if you are sick (and avoid close contact with others);
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing; cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Check for the latest COVID-19 Travel Alerts and follow the CDC’s Travelers’ Health guidance.

 

FAQs for Current Students and Families

For Spring Term Academics FAQs please click here.

Spring Term:

  • Is the health center open?

    The D.S. Chen Health and Wellness Center is effectively closed. Our Office Manager Carol Rogalski will be answering the phone and administrative questions during usual business hours (M-F; 8 am-4:30 pm). We are asking all students to transition their care to local providers at home and will not see employees for acute care issues. Dr. Benson, Dr. Relin and other clinical providers at the Chen Center are happy to speak with families and home provider as needed to provide an effective transition of care.

    If you are ill or have an acute medical issue, please call your primary care provider’s office for advice. If there is an emergency, please call 911 (and if you are an employee who lives on campus, call Security 413-772-9880).

  • Is it possible to have something from my room or one of the locker rooms shipped to me?

    2 people found this helpful

    Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to ship anything to you other than your laptop and charger, which you will need for online learning. The entire Athletics Complex (including locker rooms) is currently closed, as are classroom buildings and dorms, in an effort to reduce the number of spaces our facilities staff need to clean and sanitize on an ongoing basis. The only exception (other than your laptop and/or charger) are some prescription medications, and Ms. Gardner from the health center has reached out to those students and their families for whom this applies. If you have any questions or concerns regarding prescription medication and have not heard from Ms. Gardner, please email or call the Chen Center at 413-774-1600.

  • If my child has the international student insurance plan, does it still work if they are not on campus?

    5 people found this helpful

    If your child has the international student insurance plan (also known as United Healthcare Student Resources plan) your child has insurance anywhere in the world except for their home country until July 1, 2020. This coverage is not affected by whether the school is in session or being taught remotely. This insurance plan will cover any health issues related to COVID-19.

    The health center’s Office Manager, Ms. Carol Rogalski (crogalski@deerfield.edu) will email all families and students covered by the international insurance plan a copy of their insurance card by the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. If you have not received your insurance card by that time please reach out to Ms. Rogalski directly.

    Please also feel free to reach out to Ms. Rogalski at the health center if you have any questions regarding the international student insurance plan.

  • If I am nearby campus, may I come and get some things out of my dorm room?

    8 people found this helpful

    At this time, we ask that you please refrain from coming to campus. If you need something from your room, including your laptop and charger, please reach out to Assistant Head of School for Student Life Amie Creagh.

  • Would a Deerfield student risk losing their visa or any other international student documentation if they were to travel to their home countries and possibly remain there for the balance of the spring term and learn remotely? 

    1 person found this helpful

    No. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program has approved online learning as an alternative to being on a school’s campus at this time.

Online Learning:

  • I’m an international student, and I’m now at home. Do I need any different documents to online learn through the end of the school year?

    You will not need any new or additional documents to continue your studies online.

  • What if I don’t have internet access at home?

    1 person found this helpful

    If you don’t have internet service at home that is sufficient to support access to lessons in Canvas or ZOOM-hosted conferences, please reach out to Ms. Butz, who will work with you to investigate options.

  • When will online classes begin?

    5 people found this helpful

    March 30

  • Will online classes follow the usual daily Deerfield class schedule?

    16 people found this helpful

    No. The schedule will be modified and will include some times to be “in class” together as well as time to work independently. “Class time” will be recorded and archived so may be watched at a student’s convenience and in their time zone.

  • Will students need their textbooks and other supplies?

    13 people found this helpful

    No. Teachers know that students won’t have all their typical school supplies. The only required and necessary tool will be your Deerfield-issued laptop (and charger!)

  • What happens if I left my Deerfield laptop in my dorm room?

    5 people found this helpful

    Please let Assistant Head of School for Student Life Amie Creagh know, and she will make arrangements to ship your laptop to you.

For Seniors:

  • I’m an international senior: What documents do I need in order to return to the US for college in the fall? How will I receive these documents?

    Seniors who will continue on to universities in the US will need a new form I-20 from the university they enroll with. Later in April, Ms. Dolan will reach out to international seniors to confirm their destinations then transfer their student visas on June 1. This is not a change in the normal procedure. 

    Students who cannot leave the US over summer break will be continuously covered by their transferred visas and will not fall out of active status. If your home address is different from your summer address, be sure to provide the correct address to your university so they can mail you a new form I-20 with your continued program dates.

  • How will I get my things out of my dorm room? (Can I come back to campus to get my belongings?)

    5 people found this helpful

    Unfortunately, current local, state, and federal restrictions have forced us to shut down most of campus. We will happily ship students’ computers and chargers so they can access online learning, but at present, these restrictions prevent us from permitting students into their dorms and from sending along less essential items; we’ve had many, many requests, and we’d like to be as fair and consistent as possible. 

    The COVID-19 steering committee will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and local, state, and federal agencies to determine the most appropriate way to reunite students with their belongings. This will take some time, and we appreciate your patience.  

    If restrictions loosen in the near future, we may be able to allow seniors and families who live within driving distance to return to campus on a staggered schedule to retrieve their things. If current restrictions remain in place through the end of the academic year, we may need to pack and ship seniors’ belongings to their home addresses. With this possibility in mind, the Student Life Office is working closely with members of the Physical Plant staff and local moving companies.

  • What’s going to happen with the prom, Senior Day, the Cry, and Commencement?

    4 people found this helpful

    We’re acutely aware of the disappointment our seniors will feel at the possibility of postponing these important activities. As Dr. Austin noted in his letter, “When we can gather, we will,” and we will seek to include each of these events in our planning for your return to campus.

For Returning Students:

  • How will I get my things from my dorm room? (Can I come back to campus to get my belongings? Where can I store them?)

    2 people found this helpful

    Unfortunately, current local, state, and federal restrictions have forced us to shut down most of campus. We will happily ship students’ computers and chargers so they can access online learning, but at present, these restrictions prevent us from permitting students into their dorms and from sending along less essential items.  We’ve had many, many requests, and we’d like to be as fair and consistent as possible.

    The COVID-19 steering committee will continue to monitor guidance from the CDC and local, state, and federal agencies to determine the most appropriate way to reunite students with their belongings. This may take some time, and we appreciate your patience.

    If restrictions loosen in the near future, we may be able to allow returning students and families who live within driving distance to return to campus on a staggered schedule to retrieve these items.  If current restrictions remain in place, we may need to pack and then store or ship students’ belongings to their home addresses. With this possibility in mind, the Student Life Office is working closely with members of the Physical Plant staff and local storage and moving companies.

  • How will DC/AHC and proctor selection work?

    The DC/AHC process will begin on April 15 and will last until April 24. During that time, students may fill out an application. A DC/AHC selection committee will read through all of the applications and make a decision in mid-May. More information for tenth- and eleventh-graders will be available on April 3. Additional questions should go to Ms. Melvoin.

  • How will the proctor selection process work?

    Proctor interviews (on Zoom) will begin the week of April 6 and will wrap up no later than April 17. Mr. Bicknell will send along that schedule by April 3. Once the interviews wrap up, the Proctor Selection Committee will meet a few times in mid/late April and decisions will be shared by the end of the month. Additional questions should go to Mr. Bicknell

  • How will I choose my advisor for next year?

    1 person found this helpful

    Deerfield’s advisor feedback and request process has always taken place virtually, so we’ll undertake the process in the same manner this year. Advisor-related questions can be directed to Ms. Creagh.

  • I’m an international student; what documents do I need to return to Deerfield in the fall and how will I receive these documents?

    The only document you will need to return will be your form I-20; please contact Ms. Dolan with any visa-related questions.

  • What’s going to happen with housing for next year?

    5 people found this helpful

    The Student Life Office usually holds its housing “lottery” for returning students in May. Rising tenth-graders, juniors, and seniors come to the Student Life Office and pull their tiles at designated times over the course of one week. Obviously, with students off campus, we won’t be able to do that this year. Instead, students will email their housing preference forms to the Student Life Office, and we’ll use a randomizing software to assign students housing lottery numbers. The process will then unfold in its usual manner.  

    In mid-April, Ms. Creagh will email all returning students with further information. That email will include a link to online housing preference forms; please direct any housing questions to Ms. Creagh.

For All Students:

  • I have some clothing with E&R laundry service. How will I get it back?

    Further E&R details will be shared as soon as possible. Please continue to check these FAQs for updates.

  • I borrowed something from IT. How should I get it back to them?

    If you have borrowed an item or items from IT, please contact the Help Desk to make arrangements for its return. 

  • I ordered gear from the school store. How will I get it?

    Mrs. Yager is still working on outstanding team gear orders and will be in touch with distribution plans as soon as she can. Specific questions about these orders and others, including class rings from Jostens, can be directed to her by email

  • Will we still have a 2020 yearbook?

    We will! The fall and winter sections have been completed, and our editors are working hard to brainstorm creative ideas to populate our spring term pages. Please stay tuned for communications and calls-to-action for your own remote yearbook contributions in the near future.

    Deerfield yearbooks are typically printed and distributed in November, so the 2020 book will be finished during the next academic year, distributed on campus, and mailed to members of the Class of 2020 in November (of 2020).

    For all other yearbook questions, please reach out to advisors Haley O’Neil and Amy Lareau via email

  • How should I return my room key?

    1 person found this helpful

    The Student Life Office asks that all students return their keys to the Physical Plant Office at the following address: 

    Deerfield Academy

    Attn: Amanda Dawicki

    Physical Plant Office

    7 Boyden Lane

    Deerfield MA 01342

    Student keys must be mailed in a padded or Tyvek-like envelope (most Post Offices have them in stock) to lessen the risk of the key ripping out of an ordinary envelope. Any students who left their keys in their rooms should notify the Student Life Office.

  • I live in a double. If I can’t come back to school to pack, how will Deerfield know what belongs to me and what belongs to my roommate?

    Those tasked with packing students’ belongings may take photos or a video of the room and share it with occupants so they can determine what belongs to whom. Alternatively, that person may Zoom or Facetime with occupants in real time to determine what belongs to whom. Further details on this process will be forthcoming.

  • What if I have contraband in my room and someone finds it when packing my things?

    1 person found this helpful

    Any prohibited items that would indicate major school rule violations will be handled in accordance with Deerfield’s Sanctuary Policy.

College Advising and Testing:

  • Is the College Advising office still open and available to me remotely?

    The college advising staff is still available to continue to give all of the college advice we would have done in person!  Like classes at Deerfield, the college advising office will be moving to work with you virtually for the near future.  We are happy to set up phone calls, skype meetings, or use other online platforms to keep our advising of your college process up to date – both juniors and seniors.  We’ll send out instructions on how to set up meetings after spring break.  For example, for the canceled spring family weekend, we’ll send out an email to junior parents inviting them to set up Skype meetings with us but will now have the flexibility to spread that out over more than just two days.

FAQs for Employees

Employees, please follow this link for FAQs. Thank you!

Wash your hands often with with soap and warm water, or use an alcohol-based gel.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Cover your mouth by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your inner elbow—NOT YOUR HANDS.

Call your primary care provider if you are sick and practice social distancing.

Stop the spread of germs

Help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like the flu and COVID-19

Clean frequently touched items with household cleaning spray or wipes.

Think ahead and know how to take care of yourself and your loved ones if the virus starts spreading in the community.

Review the checklist:

mass.gov/KnowPlanPrepare