Frequently Asked Questions
RETURNING TO CAMPUS
Will Williston Northampton School be open in the fall for in-person school?
Yes, when school re-opens in September, we expect that most students will return to in-person classes on campus, but that some students will need to participate in our classes remotely. Williston will therefore modify our learning model into a blended one for the 2020-21 academic year, combining the best of traditional classroom learning with the best of digital-course delivery. Our approach will be to de-densify in-person learning spaces to maintain both safe distancing and robust, engaged learning. Read our detailed plan for reopening.
Where can I find information on Williston's opening of school plan?
You can find Williston’s 2020-21 Reopening Plan here.
When will students return to campus?
That depends on each student’s situation. (See the full-year calendar here)
- International and domestic boarding students with specific travel restrictions or an inability to self quarantine within driving distance of school, can return to campus to allow for a two-week period of quarantine between August 12 and August 17. While there will not be organized programming during this time, we offer this as a service to families who do not have options for other nearby locations for this two-week period. If you might need this option, please contact Jenna Motyka in the Dean of Students Office as soon as possible. In addition, students who need to do so will be able to remain on campus through all school breaks for travel limitations/restrictions and safety considerations.
- Day students and boarding students who live within driving distance to campus will return between August 28 and August 30 (see more details in the Q&A below). Williston will ask these students to follow “safer at home” protocols for two weeks before traveling to campus without using any public transportation. Williston’s Safer-at-Home Guidelines can be viewed here.
- Our first day of classes for the Middle and Upper School will be September 1.
What are the detailed arrival dates?
Day students and boarding students who live within driving distance to campus will return between August 28 and August 31 (see the schedule below). The first day of classes for the Middle and Upper School will be September 1. Please also consult our On Campus Testing Calendar as you make your plans.
Below are details about our staggered, safe arrival.
August 12–17: International and domestic boarding students with specific travel restrictions or an inability to quarantine within driving distance of school can return to campus to allow for a two-week period of quarantine.
August 28–30: Staggered return of students to campus
August 28: Staggered arrival for all boarding student leaders and registration for all day students. Day students will register and depart from campus.
August 29: Staggered arrival for all new boarding students (other than those new students who arrived August 12-17 for quarantine)
August 30: Staggered arrival for all returning boarding student (other than those returning students who arrived August 12-16 for quarantine)
August 31: Orientation activities for all Middle and Upper School students. Details to follow.
September 1: First day of classes
Do boarding students need to let Williston know when they expect to be arriving on campus?
What do day students and local boarding students need to do before coming to campus for in-person learning?
Day students and boarding students who live within driving distance to campus must take a PCR Molecular test, and then follow strict safer-at-home practices until they are able to come to school within 72 hours to take the second test. See more on testing below.
What will the 2020-21 academic year calendar look like?
Where can parents find handy links?
The Parents section of our website has lots of information for parents, with links to forms, calendars, and portals, to an even more granular Frequently Asked Questions area with parent questions in mind.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
How safe is Massachusetts?
Massachusetts continues to be one of the safest locations in the country. It has one of the lowest rates of the virus in the United States, and western Massachusetts has an even lower population density and virus rate than the rest of the state. Our 125-acre campus provides a natural setting for outdoor activities on our two quads, our fields, and our nearby running and biking trails. That said, we are very focused on making our school and health protocols as safe and clear as possible for the fall, and to be prepared for many different scenarios as the virus evolves. Our plan is geared to safeguarding the health of students and staff with overlapping layers of protection. These will relax as the public health landscape allows (and tighten should that prove necessary).
What testing protocols are in place?
As of August 1, state requirements allow a negative test result in lieu of the previous 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers residing outside of most New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont), New Jersey, or New York. However, to make sure we add as many layers of protection as possible, Williston is exceeding the state requirements, and requiring Safer-at-Home Guidelines, a negative test before arriving on campus, and a test upon arriving on campus.
- Students residing outside of these states must complete a Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival.
- All students will be required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR molecular test result, with the test having been taken up to 72 hours prior to their arrival to campus. Or students may used one of our on-campus test days (see our On Campus Testing Calendar).
- All students will also be required to fill out a Risk Assessment Form about their activities during the previous 72-hour period.
As students arrive on campus with staggered timing, they will be tested again. Click here for more on our testing expectations at the outset of the year.
How often will students be tested once school begins?
We will test a percentage of the campus population each week during the first three weeks of school. After that, our testing protocols will evolve with the situation.
How will the school make sure the Williston community adheres to the rules about safety?
Williston will expect all students, faculty, and staff on campus to follow safe habits and expectations, including testing, self reporting, screening, mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and tracing. The details of this can be found in the Williston Community Compact, which all members of our community (including parents) will agree to uphold. View the compact here.
What steps do students have to take before returning to Williston?
To make sure we add as many layers of protection as possible, Williston is exceeding state requirements. We are using a three-step process, in which we strongly recommend two weeks of Safer-at-Home practices and require two negative tests prior to beginning school in person.
All students must be tested twice before starting the school year in person—once with a test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival on campus, and once upon arrival to campus. Students who do not have two negative tests may not start the school year on campus and must start the school year remotely. Once they are able to produce two negative tests within a three-to-five-day period, they may return to campus. Here is more detail on our testing.
- All students will be required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR molecular test result, with the test having been taken up to 72 hours prior to their arrival to campus. Families may elect to have testing with their own primary care physician (PCP) or use one of our on-campus test days, which we’re offering for your convenience or in the event that you are unable to secure a test from your PCP (see our On Campus Testing Calendar).
- Students unable to get a test before arriving will be tested immediately when they arrive to campus and will quarantine until a second negative test is confirmed after three to five days.
- As students arrive on campus with staggered timing (see our On Campus Testing Calendar and Staggered Return to Campus Dates, below), they will be tested again. We will test all students regularly and as needed at any time during the school year. Click here for more on our testing expectations.
- If, upon their arrival to campus, a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be asked to leave with their parent or guardian and remain home until they meet the CDC guidelines for being COVID-19 free.
I’m coming from out of state to drop off my child. Do I need to be tested first or fill out any special paperwork?
Please note that the Massachusetts’ “transitory travel” exception applies to parents, guardians, or other people assisting a student coming to the Williston campus from a non-exempt area only if they immediately depart the campus and state. If a person is traveling from a non-exempt area and plans to stay overnight, then they are subject to Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order and are expected to either receive a negative test within 72 hours of coming into Massachusetts or quarantine for 14 days. Unfortunately, Williston cannot order or provide tests for parents, guardians or family members.
What restrictions will be in place during the first three weeks of school?
In order to start the school year as safely as possible, Williston will have a closed campus for the first three weeks of the school year. During this time, all boarding students must remain on campus, and all day students must continue to practice strict Safer-at-Home Guidelines. Once a student returns to in-person classes and being on campus, they must commit to engaging only in Williston-sponsored activities until that restriction is lifted by the school. That decision will be determined by the administration in coordination with state and local health department guidance after the first three weeks of classes. Any violation of this policy means we will expect that student to leave campus/take remote classes, and rejoin the campus only once they are able to have a negative test, quarantine at home, then produce a second negative test three to five days later. The second test may be conducted at Williston.
What physical adjustments have been made on campus to ensure spaces are safe?
We have spent the summer making many physical adjustments to the campus to ensure greater safety. Changes include:
- Plexiglas shields in multiple locations, including at the Cage in the Sabina Cain Family Athletic Center, Clapp Memorial Library, the Stu-Bop and Campus Store in Reed Campus Center, Schoolhouse front desk, Birch Dining Common tables, and science labs in Scott Hall
- Reduced numbers of desks in classrooms for greater social distancing
- Use of additional large spaces on campus for teaching to reduce density
- Opening of additional dormitory spaces to increase the number of single dorm rooms to reduce density
- Signs posted on campus to reiterate messages of social distancing, mask wearing, and other principles of the Williston Compact
- Distinct entrances and exits to buildings and arrows to direct traffic within buildings
- Many increased locations for hand sanitizer dispensers across campus
- Additional picnic tables have been added to allow for outside dining
- Tents will be used at locations on campus to allow more activities to occur outdoors.
What are Williston's requirements for wearing masks?
Members of the Williston community must commit to wearing a mask in all shared community spaces, including classrooms, hallways in academic and residential buildings, residential and recreational common areas, campus pathways, and during meetings or gatherings with students, faculty, or staff.
The CDC recommends people wear cloth face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are the most important barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from spreading the virus.
Williston will provide each student with a mask at the start of school, and masks will be available for purchase at the Campus Store. Masks should be multi-layer fabric and should fit well around the mouth and nose. They should always be worn over the mouth and nose completely (not just over the mouth) and should be changed out daily or sooner if known to be contaminated. They should not be worn if wet—they should be changed out.
We ask that all students have multiple masks so the masks can be worn and changed daily. For more information on masks, see this CDC webpage.
Who will be allowed on campus?
Access to campus will be very limited for those who do not live or work at Williston. Vendors will only be allowed on campus if they follow protocols for wearing masks. Deliveries for various departments and students will be centralized at different locations to minimize exposure and the number of individuals involved in the delivery of goods. Williston will prohibit rental or outside use of our facilities this year—including use of our rink, pool, or field, the Bluefish Swimming Program, Easthampton community groups, summer camps. On-campus admission visits and tours may be scheduled and closely supervised at the discretion of the school and all current practices for masks and physical distancing will be required of interviewees. Parents or guardians wishing to visit with a child will need to make a formal request to the school’s Dean on Duty to do so and will need to show that they are COVID-free and are able to follow the school’s protocols for wearing masks and exercising physical distancing.
What cleaning protocols are in place?
We’ve increased the amount and frequency of cleaning and invested in new equipment designed to remove bacteria and germs.
- All dorm bathrooms will be cleaned three times a day. Showers will be cleaned using the Kaivac cleaning system. All dormitory common rooms will be cleaned daily using a Victory Gun sprayer.
- All other campus bathrooms will be cleaned two times a day.
- Locker Rooms will be fully cleaned each day using Kaivac cleaning system. The Fitness Center at the Sabina Cain Family Athletic Center will be cleaned after each use with a Victory Gun sprayer.
- All classrooms will be cleaned every night using a Victory Gun sprayer, and after each class by teachers. At the end of each class, teachers and students will use a disposable disinfectant towelette to wipe and surface they individually touched during the class period.
- Birch Dining Commons will be cleaned after each meal, using a Victory Gun sprayer. It will also be cleaned during meals by staff, as diners leave tables.
- In the Health and Wellness Services building, the bathrooms will be cleaned multiple times a day and the entire building will be treated using a Victory Gun sprayer daily.
Will students on campus still be able to walk to town to buy a coffee, a bagel, or a slice of pizza?
Yes, students must wear masks and maintain social distance, and can patronize local businesses following Massachusetts guidelines.
RESIDENTIAL AND CAMPUS LIFE
How will Williston ensure residential life is safe and rewarding for students?
Dormitory life is one of the hallmarks of the Williston Northampton School experience, but it also creates unique challenges in a pandemic. Working together and following new safety protocols, we are confident that we can preserve the rewards that come from residential living. To create more single dorm rooms and reduce student density in residence halls, we are expanding our available dorm room space through construction of the new Emily McFadon Vincent House and the reopening of other residential spaces, such as Hathaway House and Conant House, that were slated to close. We will have a variety of singles and doubles and will work with families to accommodate their preference to the best of our ability.
What dorm protocols will be put in place?
The following measures are meant to ensure students can live safely in the dorms:
- Masks must always be worn in hallways and common rooms.
- Students will be limited to their own floors in dormitories.
- Visitors to dormitories will be limited. No students other than dorm residents are allowed inside, and only two family members are allowed in the dorm at any one time at move-in. Parents and guardians must schedule any visits in advance.
- Lights-out times will be staggered to allow for bathroom use that follows CDC guidelines.
- Numerous hand-washing and sanitizing stations will be positioned throughout dorms.
- High-touch points will be cleaned regularly.
- Students will not be allowed to visit other students’ rooms. This will be adjusted to the current campus activity level if the community experiences no outbreaks on campus.
- Use of common areas and kitchen spaces will be limited initially.
- Dormitories will remain open during school breaks throughout the year, so that students who need to do so will be able to remain on campus because of travel limitations/restrictions and safety considerations.
- Because we will be sanitizing rooms more frequently, we are asking students to limit the number of items that they are bringing to campus and storing in their rooms. They may not bring any additional furniture into their dorm room, except for a personal desk chair. They may also bring a box fan.
- Boarding students are permitted to bring a compact refrigerator to school this year. Boarding students will be unable to use the common room refrigerators as they have in the past.
What measures are in place for safe dining?
The Birch Dining Commons and Reed Student Center have been reconfigured to minimize density. Community members will follow new guidelines for all meals.
- Breakfast will be for boarding students and faculty only. No day students or other guests.
- Lunch has been expanded to span three periods during the day and two different locations—the Dining Commons and a food trailer on the Reed Terrace.
- To reduce density at dinner, we will have two different eating times, with assigned locations for students and faculty. Dinner will also be for boarding students only, unless day students have a specific commitment in the evening.
- Middle School students will get their lunch each day at the food truck behind the Reed Center and will bring the food back to Whitaker-Bement Center.
- We have installed plexiglass shields on all table in the Dining Commons, and have added additional picnic tables and eating spaces outdoors.
Why won’t day students be able to eat breakfast or dinner on campus unless they have a commitment at school during that time?
The need to keep spaces de-densified means that, as we start the year, we must restrict access to locations such as the dining commons during high-use times of day. We do hope that these measures will be able to be relaxed as conditions change throughout the trimester.
How will community activities, such as Assembly and advisory meetings, work?
- There will be no all-school, in-person assemblies this fall. Large assembles and class meetings will happen virtually. All assemblies will be held in separate locations with advisors and their advisor groups.
- Advisory meetings will be in person whenever possible. Students who are unable to come to campus will be expected to remain in consistent contact with their advisor through email and Zoom.
- There will be no weekend travel of any kind for the first three weekends of the year.
- We will institute new, more limited, guidelines for food delivery to campus.
- We will issue new guidelines for students going into town.
I'm mailing boxes to campus. What address should I use?
Our new address for shipping items is:
Williston Northampton School
20 Greenwood Court
Easthampton, MA 01027
Our address for ordinary mail and the address to use to find directions to campus remains:
Williston Northampton School
19 Payson Avenue
Easthampton, MA 01027
More on visiting campus is here.
Will Williston facilitate both online and in-person learning?
When school re-opens in September, we expect that most students will return to in-person classes on campus, but that some students will need to participate in our classes remotely. Williston will therefore modify our learning model into a blended one for the 2020-21 academic year, combining the best of traditional classroom learning with the best of digital-course delivery. Our approach will be to de-densify in-person learning spaces to maintain both safe distancing, and robust, engaged learning. Face-to-face time will be used to connect, listen, and promote conversation and community. Students who will be engaging in class activities from a distance will be integrated into the face-to-face environment through collaborative technologies such as Zoom and OneNote.
What will the academic schedule look like?
We have modified our daily schedule (view it here) to address a variety of new priorities. We have developed an innovative new rotation to our class schedule to ensure that all students, either in person or online, can maximize their synchronous engagement with teachers and peers. You will notice that all blocks, A through G, meet for meet for two 45-minute and four 75-minute periods each cycle (or six blocks per cycle). These blocks have been balanced between morning and afternoon (EDT) to ensure that students in different times zones still have equitable access to synchronous activities. This new schedule also includes fewer transitions and contact groups each day, increased time between classes to implement cleaning and passing protocols, and a re-structured lunch period to allow for smaller groups to access dining services. We have also made the decision to continue to offer yearlong courses, because this offers the strongest pedagogical structure for academic continuity, particularly in courses that build from year to year, such as math and language.
How will Williston implement hybrid learning?
This summer, Williston faculty are receiving extra training and are practicing new classroom strategies that will allow all students—in person and remote—to engage with the teacher and with one another. For example, teachers will use OneNote as their white board, so that all students can see the teacher’s notes as they are updated live. Teachers will also include students in the classroom on Zoom calls when group work is used. Other class periods will be recorded (as appropriate to the content and activities of the meeting) and shared with students at a distance. We are confident that our technological ecosystem and our faculty’s longstanding experience with Microsoft Surfaces in the classroom will offer a rigorous and supportive learning environment for all students, and we very much look forward to welcoming students back to school, whether they join us on campus, or learn remotely at home.
What classroom protocols will be in place?
- All classrooms have been prepared for physical distancing with roughly 6 feet of space separating all individuals, and from the teacher to the nearest student.
- We have opened up new classroom areas for larger meeting spaces, for example, on the main gym floor and wrestling room of the Sabina Cain Family Athletic Center and in the Dodge Room, dance studio, and Grubbs Gallery in Reed Student Center.
- We have introduced new cleaning protocols for classrooms with deep cleaning each evening, but also increased passing time (15 minutes) between classes to accommodate cleaning between each class and to allow an orderly transition from one class to another, with social distancing guidelines in place.
- All students and teachers must wear masks during classes, and in hallways and other interior spaces as they travel between classes.
What attendance and engagement requirements will apply to students?
The school will continue to value full engagement from our students, all of whom, whether participating in person or remotely, will be asked to fulfill the school’s expectations regarding attendance. Attendance expectations for remote students are as follows:
- Online students are required to attend all synchronous classes that meet between the hours beginning at 7 a.m. and ending at 11:15 p.m. in their local time zone.
- Online students are required to review materials provided by teachers for classes that are outside of the time zone requirement. This could include watching recordings of class (if applicable), homework assignments, or other asynchronous engagement as determined by the teacher.
How will students be graded in the 2020-21 school year?
The school will return to using its typical numeric grading system, which will include the publishing of interim grade reports and the recording of formal numerical grades at the conclusion of each trimester. The Academic Office will consider any special circumstances that might arise, related either to the coronavirus, or to particular issues of attendance or academic performance that might emerge as a result of the remote learning system. Families with concerns about their personal circumstances and the grading structure should contact Greg Tuleja in the Academic Office. The office also retains its usual ability to shift students to a Pass/Fail system if they are unable to meet the outlined attendance requirements, either in person or online.
What technology options are available for students learning remotely?
All students will be provided a Microsoft Surface that can be used to remotely access all class materials through Zoom, OneNote, OneDrive, and Veracross. Surfaces will be shipped to students who are not able to join us in early September. E-book options will be offered where available from the publisher.
What platform will be used for online learning? Will my child be able to access all of the materials? What if there are technology or Internet connectivity issues?
We expect all material to be accessible online via their Surface. Content created by the teacher will be posted in OneNote, Veracross, or OneDrive. Most synchronous sessions will be taking place on Zoom. We are not currently aware of any country-specific accessibility issues, but if students or families have specific concerns, please contact Technology via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (413) 529-3338. Teachers are aware that some online content on select platforms (YouTube, Google, etc.) is not readily accessible everywhere.
We understand that all of our students, whether they are participating within the U.S. or abroad, may occasionally experience Internet connectivity issues depending on their individual circumstance. Students should report such issues to their teacher and/or advisor, and Williston will provide whatever remote tech support and advice we possibly can.
How do new students get their Williston email address?
When will I get my new Surface Pro 7?
New Surface Pro 7s will be issued to every student at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.
ATHLETICS AND AFTERNOON PROGRAM
What will the Afternoon Program look like this fall?
One of the hallmarks of Williston’s education is the breadth of opportunities students have in the afternoon, from theater to dance to robotics to athletics. While we know this fall’s athletic programs may look different than past years’, we are committed to providing a robust combination of challenge, development, and college exposure that has characterized our athletic program. We are working closely with our traditional NEPSAC opponents and thinking creatively about how we might be able to create opportunities for competition. Rest assured that if other schools are competing against one another this fall, Williston will as well.
What protocols are in place for athletics and the Afternoon Program?
- There will be no preseason prior to classes starting this fall.
- The Afternoon Program will begin for all students on the first day of school, September 1.
- For the competitive athletic program, we will follow a phased approach, with practices the first five weeks of the fall with safeguards specific to each sport. If possible, contests will start at the earliest the week of October 5.
- The current interscholastic plan is to partner with a small cohort of local prep schools for a six- to seven-week varsity competitive season from Oct. 5 until November 14 or 21. To minimize exposure, when possible, two schools will compete in as many sports as possible in the same week. Schools are establishing a common set of guidelines to follow to include locker room use, spectator policy, sanitation, etc.
- Lower level sports will look to strike a balance between maintaining the integrity of a fall sport experience with a variety of other activities to vary the experience and keep it fresh and stimulating for all. We will continue to prioritize providing a program that fosters all the tenets of our program: building strong connections with peers and faculty, vigorous exercise, and using athletics as an opportunity to teach.
- The daily Afternoon Program schedule is being designed to respond to recommendations that will reduce the density in on campus spaces such as the locker rooms, training rooms, and the fitness center.
- Strength training will remain a hallmark of the program’s success, and we will adhere carefully to recommendations for sanitation and capacity in spaces.
- In other Afternoon Program activities, to include the fine and performing arts, the hurdles for safely continuing school programs are less daunting, though we use Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local government recommendations for guidance.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENT INFORMATION
What documents should my student have?
All students should have their complete set of travel documents: passport(s), I-20, permanent resident card. Director of International Programs Meg Valine has re-signed students’ I-20s prior to break and has been sending out those left on campus so they are in students’ possession. New I-20’s were issued by the School and sent via email in July. Returning students with questions should contact Meg Valine at email@example.com. New students and families with questions should contact Kathie Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What's the best way to stay informed about updates for international student families?
The best way to receive updated information is to check this website, as we will post updates here as soon as more are available. Please also check the following for information about international documents and maintaining status as a Williston Northampton School student: Study in the States.
Can international students participate in online classes from outside the U.S. and still maintain the requirements of their F-1 student visas?
Yes, based on information from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), students on F-1 visas can engage in distance-learning outside the country, in light of COVID-19. SEVP expects to provide updated guidance as additional information concerning the scope and length of this situation becomes clearer.
Will students be able to return to the United States if they are continuing their studies outside of the country as a result of COVID-19?
Students who continue to make normal progress in their course of study remain eligible for admission into the United States. However, because of the changing array of travel restrictions, international students on F-1 visas should refer to their local embassy’s website through the U. S. Department of State for any updates about visa issuance. Also, the Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites both provide information about current travel restrictions to the United States. Additional information regarding changes for international students as well as studying at an American independent school can be found at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
Additional information regarding changes for international students as well as studying at an American independent school can be found at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website.
Students returning to campus in the fall should check with their local embassies for any updated travel regulations. We anticipate health screenings at ports of entry in the U.S.
Students traveling to campus must complete the Massachusetts Travel Form.
If travel is restricted, will boarding students be offered online schooling or deferred admission until January?
Williston will be ready to welcome students to campus whenever they are able to arrive safely from their home countries whether it be in September, November, or later in the academic year. We are going to be prepared to be teaching school here on campus in the fall, but we will also be prepared have online classes if necessary for students who are either unable to get to campus or who need to leave campus at any point during the year.
CENTER FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Will Academic Strategies Tutorial (AST) be offered this fall?
Academic Strategies Tutorial class will operate in its usual capacity this fall. As with all classes, we will follow protocols for safe distancing and use technology and other strategies to provide in-person instruction and support.
When will the Laboratory for Academic Success (LAS) program resume?
Laboratory for Academic Success will resume on campus this fall during evening study hall. Protocols will be followed for safe distancing and in-person support.
What will AST and LAS look like during the online instructional period from December 1 to December 18, 2020?
AST classes will transition to one-on-one online consultation and support. Our focus will be meeting individual needs regarding time management during this less structured teaching period. In addition, we will be assisting students with assignment preparation and guidance. These consultations will be very important for providing accountability and helping students meet deadlines and course expectations. LAS will not meet during the online instructional period and parents will not be charged for this support program until we return to on-campus operation. More information about pro-rated fees for LAS will follow.
What are the differences between AST and LAS, and how do I register for these support programs?
AST and LAS are the two main academic support programs offered through the Center for Academic Success and you can read more about both programs here. Both of these support services have an additional fee.
If you would like your student to enroll in either or both of these programs, please register here.
Will there be any extra support for rising seniors this year as they prepare for the college application process?
We know that many parents of our rising seniors are concerned about what all of this uncertainty means for their child’s college admissions process, and we plan to do all we can to help students and families navigate this.
College Counseling has been sending out weekly emails with important updates on what students need to be doing towards their college process. Topics have addressed virtual college visits, teacher recommendations and writing the college essay. We will continue to send out important information on a regular basis all summer. In the past we have sent the majority of this information to students, but in an effort to keep everyone as up-to-date as possible, we are currently copying parents on all of our communication with the class of 2021.
Students are asked to write a draft of their college essay over the summer and we are providing free resources to help.
In addition, we encourage students and families to reach out to their college counselor at any time with questions or to request an appointment by Zoom.
Lastly, we plan to offer some bootcamp-like opportunities in August to help students to complete their Common Applications.
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
What are some good mental health resources for students and families during this pandemic?
While social distancing is a critical step towards combating this virus and caring for the most vulnerable members of our community, it is also inevitably challenging our ability to maintain our sense of balance, and we are all tasked with finding new ways to manage difficult thoughts and emotions.
Here are some links with useful information for parents and students:
- COVID 19 is Hitting Teens Especially Hard
- Coping and Managing Stress and Anxiety
- Teens and COVID 19: Challenges and Opportunities During the Outbreak
- Resilience Expert Offers Three Ways to Tap into the Wisdom of the Body
- Building Resilience in the Face of COVID 19
- Coronavirus and Mental Health: Your Wellbeing Can be Someone Else’s Survival
- A Re-Frame on Going Viral: A Poet’s Perspective
As a reminder, the Counseling Department continues to be available to students and/or parents and guardians. Please reach out if you are concerned about your child’s emotional or mental health. We will work together to address these concerns, and if necessary, get them connected to providers in your area. Please email Sara Schieffelin or call her at (413) 529-3674 and leave a message.
Finally, if you or someone you know needs immediate mental health support, please:
- Call 911 or the equivalent emergency line in your country.
- Call the Disaster Distress Helpline through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. SAMHSA offers crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to disasters and infectious disease outbreaks. Call (800) 985-5990 or textTalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
- Call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255.
- Text the Crisis Text Line: text Talk or HOME to 741741.
Communication Updates from Williston
- July 18, 2020, Summer Update
- July 7, 2020, letter to families on opening of school
- July 2, 2020, Summer Update
- June 19, 2020, Summer Update
- June 9, 2020, letter to families on opening of school
- May 14, 2020, letter on refunds
- May 12, 2020, update for returning families
- May 12, 2020, update for new families