Student News

A Letter from Academic Dean Dr. Ivory Hills

Ivory Hills – March 25, 2020

Dear Students,

While the COVID-19-related landscape continues to change, I am reaching out with some academic-related information. I am optimistic about the days ahead. I have spent enough time with Deerfield students to know that each of you is talented and brilliant in your own way. I also know that our belief in and efforts to build a strong community will help us as we move forward. Relationships matter now, more than ever – I miss all of you.

It is our intention to modify our academic program so that versions of all of our courses can be delivered online for at least the first two weeks of the term, beginning on Monday, March 30. A key digital tool for us will be Zoom, a video conferencing app that will allow us to connect synchronously. Each student should register for a free account and install the free zoom app on their school-issued computer. Please do so no later than Thursday, March 26, since we hope to test out the technology via Zoom-mediated advisory meetings on Friday, March 27. If you have concerns about your ability to connect, please reach out to academics@deerfield.edu and we will try to help you.

Please also see the revised Academic Policies for Students – additional details will be posted on the Academic Dean’s website. I will take the time to highlight that our daily schedule moving forward is quite different from our typical schedule. It has been designed to enable students to engage in two weekly synchronous sessions per class. Additionally, we plan to record these synchronous sessions and post them on Canvas, so that they can be viewed by students who cannot attend the synchronous sessions (e.g., time zone differences). We will work with every student so that you have a path to complete our academic program, and to that end, teachers intend to be flexible.

Please know that you can reach out to me directly if you have questions, concerns or comments. In closing, I offer some simple guidance:1. Take care of yourselves and loved ones; 2. Stay engaged with our academic program; 3. Know that everything is going to be ok and we’re in it together.

Thank you and warmest regards,

Ivory Hills
Academic Dean