A letter from head of school Caroline Erisman to the Dana Hall community, in light of about 100 students and staff calling in sick:
While Dana Hall has not had a confirmed case of the H1N1 flu in the past
10 days, there are many students, faculty, and staff with fevers and other
flu-like symptoms. After several communications with the Wellesley and State
Departments of Health, consultation with our School Physician, and much
discussion among the administration at Dana Hall, we have decided to close
school for the remainder of this week. Please know that no one is in serious
danger. We understand that the situation may present hardships for some
families, but we are attempting to prevent the spread of further illness.
There will be no classes or school activities from Tuesday, May 19th to
Friday, May 22nd. As originally scheduled, school is closed for Memorial Day on
Monday, May 25th. We will resume classes on Tuesday, May 26th. Please note
that this decision will not affect the end-of-year schedule and the school year
will not be extended.
I hope you know that we have not made the decision to close school
lightly. We have considered the many different ways that the students, faculty,
and staff will be impacted. In order to best meet the goals of ensuring a
healthy community, we appreciate your support of the following recommendations
* Day students should not come to school from May 19th through
May 25th. The dorms will remain open and boarding students are welcome to stay
* We recommend that students stay home during this time, sleep,
eat well, study for exams, complete assignments, and avoid large group
gatherings including team dinners and/or class activities. We appreciate your
support of these recommendations.
* Books and other school materials can be picked up any time today
until 10:00 pm and tomorrow morning between 8:00-10:00 am. If this is not
possible, please contact Campus Safety to make special arrangements.
* Boarding students who are able to go home or to a guardian or
relative may do so. Brunch and dinner will be served in the Dining Center, and
the Library and Health Center will be open to boarding students only.
Administrators, House Directors, and on-campus faculty will be present and
available to the residential students.
* The Shipley Center will be closed except for the Health Center.
The Music School will be closed. The Riding Center will be closed. Plans are in
place to care for all of the horses. Horse owners should contact Sarah Summers
or Cookie DeSimone with questions and before coming to the Riding Center.
* All school events and meetings scheduled for this week also will
* Tutors may not come to campus during this school closing. We ask
families to make alternate arrangements.
* Students should check their email frequently. Assignments from
your teachers will be modified and sent via email. If a student does not have
access to email, she should contact either Kelly Walsh in the Middle School or
Jessica Keimowitz in the Upper School to obtain the information.
* All buildings will be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly during
this 7-day period.
* A core team of Administrators will be available to answer
questions. In addition, a Dean on Duty or Administrator on Duty will be
available during the next 7 days.
* Questions regarding boarding students should be addressed to
Donna Corrigan, Upper School concerns to Jessica Keimowitz and Middle School
concerns to Kelly Walsh.
* You may also call the Wellesley Health Department at
781-235-0135 if you seek more information.
Head of School