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Over fifty years of leading lives of passion and purpose.

Key Contacts

List of 6 items.

How can Derryfield safely reopen?

    • Fall 2020 Reopening

Welcome Back to Campus

Our consultants, who are public health experts with training in epidemiology, have advised that Derryfield’s whole student body will be able to be on campus in the fall because of these advantages: 
  • We have a small student body whom we trust to follow health guidelines;
  • Our indoor square footage per pupil is significant and we reside on over 84 acres of land;
  • We have high confidence in our parents to share responsibility for our community’s health; and
  • COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire are going the right direction and our population is only 1.3 million in an area the size of a European country.
We are committed to providing you with as much clarity as possible about the year to come. Our Reopening Plan is our best thinking about what the return to campus will look like this fall. If conditions change or the State of New Hampshire issues stay-at-home orders we will shift to virtual learning for all families.

Our goal is to have all students on campus when possible. 

An extremely important part of the plan is the ability to keep students at home if there is any question about their health, as they are able to fully and actively participate in instruction using new in-classroom technology. Heightened caution, coupled with this technology, ensures that no child will fall behind in instruction.

Return to Campus

List of 3 items.

  • Guiding Principles

    Our goal is to return to campus for the 2020-21 school year in a healthy, risk-mitigated way with new routines and protocols. The guiding and organizing principles for the Reopening Plan make provision for:
    • The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.
    • Derryfield-quality programming and courses, regardless of instructional modality.
    • On-campus learning as priority.
    • Synchronous learning as priority.
    • Consistent, division-specific schedules.
    • 100% Virtual Learning for families who prefer this option.
    • After-school programming for our families.
    • Transportation services.
    • Dining services (boxed lunches delivered to classrooms.)
  • Key Understandings

    • This is a monumentally stressful and disruptive time in history; and we should not expect to flip a switch back to “normal”;
    • There will be heightened attention to matters of wellness and public health which will impact our students, their families, and the format in which teaching and learning need to occur;
    • Various formal and informal forms of social distancing will continue; and
    • COVID-19 waves are predicted to cause future short-term, place-specific, stay-at-home orders for the foreseeable future.
  • What You Can Do Now

    You can help ready your children this summer by beginning to implement the new procedures for school:
    • Daily temperature checks (Please make sure you have a working thermometer at home. If not, we recommend you purchase/place an order for one now as they are in high demand.)
    • Daily Magnus App check-in
    • Incorporate handwashing breaks in your daily routine
    • Wear masks in public
    • Maintain 6’ social distancing in public
    • Continue regular doctor visits and well-child appointments
    • Keep immunizations and physicals current
    • Encourage physical activity and time outside

Schedule & Calendar

List of 5 items.

  • Retreat & Opening Dates

    Your advisor will be emailing you about a welcome zoom meeting the week before retreats! Please check your DS email for this information.There may be additional virtual meetings during retreat week, this will be communicated by your advisor.
    • Monday, August 31: Retreats for grades 8 and 12
    • Tuesday, September 1: Retreat for grade 11
    • Wednesday, September 2: Retreat for grades 7 and 10
    • Thursday, September 3: Retreat for grades 6 and 9
    • Friday, September 4: Virtual orientation for new parents
    • Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8 and 9: First days for grades 8, 11 and 12. No school for grades 6, 7, 9 and 10.  First days of bus transportation.
    • Thursday and Friday, September 10 and 11: First days for grades 6, 7, 9 and 10. No school for grades 8, 11 and 12.
    • Monday, September 14: All on campus students at school, grades 6-12.
  • Orientation & Safety Training

    Returning to campus is going to look and feel different from a typical school year, with many new safety precautions and procedures in place. Orientation sessions and grade-level retreats for students will include health and safety procedure training to familiarize students with new procedures. 
    Orientation and safety procedures training will include:
    • Arrival and dismissal procedures and expectations
    • Entering and exiting classrooms and buildings
    • Passing time social distancing
    • Materials use/Library
    • Lunches and snacks
    • Outdoor breaks
    • Healthy hygiene practices
    • Transportation
  • Daily Schedule

  • Schedule Details

    What will feel familiar?
    • We will continue to alternate between even and odd days.
    • Students will have four academic blocks each day.
    • Students will have engaging classes and activities, whether learning at school or at home.
    What will be different?
    • Classes will be 75 minutes long and there will be breaks in between each class (to allow for cleaning, bio breaks, outdoor breaks, airing out of classrooms, and staggering traffic through hallways.)
    • Students will eat lunch in classrooms; more information will be shared soon about ordering lunch through Celebrations as an option for families.
    • Middle school students will remain in one to three cohorts per day, minimizing the transmission of viral particles.
    • Minimizing cohorts in the upper school had such a significant detrimental impact on our program and the ability to provide appropriate classes for students that we chose not to create upper school cohorts. Masks and other protocols will be crucial in keeping students and faculty safe.
    • Free blocks and extra help periods will be supervised. Large communal spaces will have other uses because it will be unsafe to have large group gatherings this fall.
    • Advisory, Community meeting, and LEAD will be part of the academic schedule. We will not be able to safely offer Explorations electives this year, but through community meeting, LEAD, and advisory time, we will have fun, games, connection time, and virtual major activities.
  • Family Phase

    During the winter trimester, we will enter a Family Phase, a time to visit with friends and family and to quarantine as necessary.
    • Campus will close at Thanksgiving and remain closed until January 19. 
    • Thanksgiving vacation and Winter Break will be time off as usual.
    • Classes will be taught virtually for the weeks between the two vacations and the two weeks after New Year’s Day. Students will return to on campus learning on Tuesday, January 19.
    • This design will allow for family travel and visiting and also to quarantine before and after your visits to keep your loved ones and Derryfield community members safe. 

Commitment to Community Health

List of 9 items.

  • Honor Pledge

    We are in this together! In order for us to continue with on-campus learning, we are asking all families to follow our health and safety protocols. Please avoid travel and situations that increase your family’s exposure
    Derryfield’s core values of caring, community and family will serve as our guiding light—health and safety guidelines will enable us to reopen, and our standards will be higher than those the governor unveiled last week. We will go into the year with a spirit of optimism, and also the understanding that school will look and feel different and things will not always be easy. We ask our students and families to enter into a covenant for the year—an agreement to strictly follow school-prescribed health guidelines and safety protocols. Students who do not follow the guidelines will be required to attend school virtually. 
    • Any student, faculty, or staff who have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school for 10 days from the onset of symptoms and fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (such as Tylenol). 
    • Symptoms of COVID-19 include the following: Fever, or feeling feverish, respiratory symptoms (such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath), muscle aches, chills, severe fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea), and/or changes in a person’s sense of taste or smell. Students should stay home if they are symptomatic.
  • Daily Symptoms Check Using App

    Before coming to school each day, students will have a daily temperature check at home and complete the checklist on the Magnus App. The checklist is a short symptoms and exposure review.
  • Keeping the School Informed

    The Magnus App includes questions about exposure and quarantine. Use this to report possible exposure, quarantine, and testing to the school. Keeping the school informed of any known exposure and symptoms is critically important in keeping our students, faculty and staff, and community safe and healthy.
  • Mask Policy

    Everyone on campus is required to wear a Derryfield-issued mask at all times. Masks have been shown to reduce the risk of virus transmission and are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Fusion Cell, Derryfield’s public health consultants, recommend 3-ply, fabric masks to be worn at all times.
    • Students must come to school wearing a mask.
    • Derryfield has a limited supply of single-use face coverings in case a student’s mask is made unwearable during the course of the school day.
    • Parents are responsible for cleaning student’s masks.
    • Note: bandanas, handmade masks, and gaiters are not permitted.
  • New Procedures

    All aspects of the school day have been examined to identify ways we can reduce possible transmission of the virus. Some of these new procedures are classroom-specific, but others apply to the school as a whole. Details of key procedures are covered in this document. New procedures include:
    • Arrival to campus.
    • Outdoor instruction opportunities will be maximized.
    • Arrival, dismissal, and pick-up times will be staggered to allow for crowd control and social distancing.
    • Virtual Learning is available for anyone who is feeling ill, has been in contact with anyone with COVID-like symptoms, or is under quarantine (or a family member is under quarantine).
    • Thorough nightly cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Deep clean procedures as needed.
    • Frequent daily cleaning of high traffic/touch surfaces, e.g., door handles, bathroom faucets
    • Classroom cleaning procedures established in individual classrooms. All include disinfecting high-use surfaces before and after use.
    • Handwashing breaks are incorporated into the daily schedule in each classroom.
  • Mental Health & Wellness

    The School Counselor will be available to meet with students and parents via google meet during the school day, during a student’s free block or during break times. Private space will be provided for students to use during these meetings. Students and parents can email Mary Perkins at mperkins@derryfield.org to schedule a meeting, or to talk by phone as needed. On campus mental health supports include the student’s individual advisor, and Reina Stimpson, Dean of Students. Derryfield is also planning to have an on campus Assistant School Counselor available as an in-person support, and more information about this will be shared soon.
  • Becoming Ill at School

    Sadly, we are likely to have members of the community contract the virus. Should a person become sick at school, the following will occur:

    The nurse will separate anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 in a private room until they can leave campus. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is advised to contact their healthcare provider and be tested for COVID-19.
  • Testing Positive for COVID-19

    If confirmed with COVID-19, then tracing happens to prevent spread of the infection.
    • Public health will conduct a detailed investigation to identify people who may have been in “close contact” with a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period. 
    • As part of the public health investigation, investigators seek to identify close contacts starting two days before the person became symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19 (if asymptomatic). 
    • “Close contact” for the purposes of the public health investigation in New Hampshire is defined as a person being within six feet of the individual diagnosed with COVID-19 during their infectious period for 10 minutes or longer. Depending on individual circumstances, and on a case-by-case basis, public health may identify other individuals considered at risk for exposure. 
    • Any person who is identified as a close contact or at risk for exposure to COVID-19 based on the public health investigation will be required to quarantine for 14 days from their last day of exposure. Depending on the specific circumstances, this may involve quarantine of only specific individuals (e.g., those sitting next to a person with COVID-19 in a classroom), but could include whole classes (depending on degree or likelihood of close contact, classroom size, age of students, etc.); this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by public health. 
  • Quarantine

    The purpose of a quarantine is to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If your child is quarantined, but feels well, they may pivot to Virtual Learning.

Our Teaching & Learning Model

List of 2 items.

  • Guiding Principles

    Our commitment to The Derryfield School’s Mission is central to our pandemic planning and response. We are, therefore, focused on striking an appropriate balance which prioritizes academic excellence, safety, inclusivity, and wellness with the flexibility needed to adjust to an ever-changing situation.

    What will the classroom feel like?
    In order to meet the needs of our students, some students will be on campus while some students learn virtually from home. On campus, in order to provide 6 foot distancing, a class may be taught from two spaces: one day, some students will meet in one classroom, the mothership, while their classmates meet in another, the satellite space; the next day, the groups will switch. Teachers and teaching assistants can move between the spaces. Walls have been taken down in some of our smaller classrooms in order to create larger learning spaces.

    To aid in reaching students who are virtual, we will rely on a set number of familiar tech tools: Google Suite, MSA, and Zoom for video conferencing. In addition, we have invested significantly in technology, and our classrooms will be newly outfitted with cameras, screens, and microphones so that students learning virtually can see and be seen. One camera on the teacher and their work at the board or demonstrating, one camera on their classmates activities, and additional monitors will present the faces and interactions of virtual learners. 

    For virtual learners and students in satellite spaces, teachers will meet synchronously and take attendance at the beginning of each class. Teachers will also record critical content and post where and when to find recordings. 

    If a teacher becomes ill or needs to teach remotely, we will have teaching assistants and substitutes to provide continuity of learning. We have two “permanent substitute” teachers on staff.
  • Teaching & Learning Technologies

    Classrooms will be outfitted with technology that will allow remote students to engage in real time. This model has been proven in the past as it mimics the Derryfield Malone Schools Online Network (MSON) Model. The meeting platform we will be using for live streaming the classes will be Zoom. In conjunction with Zoom, we will be using 32” HD TVs in each room. These HD TVs will be outfitted with a computer, microphone, & HD WebCam to capture the live experience of the classroom and allow for real time interaction. Our faculty will also utilize their laptop webcam to join in on the meeting to show any information either on the classroom whiteboards or present their screen to the class. Beyond the new technology brought into the classrooms for live streaming our classes, we will continue to utilize MSA & Google Classroom.

Program Details

List of 4 items.

  • Student Life & Community Block

    What will happen during Community Block? 
    LEAD, Visual Foundations, Computer Science
    Community Meeting
    Activities (i.e. Robotics)

    Community Meeting

    In past years, each Monday morning, we have gathered in the auditorium to connect and build our sense of individual and collective belonging through attending our all-school Community Meeting (CM). This year, we will continue this tradition and live our core value of belonging through live streaming our Community Meetings during Day 2 community block. Community Meeting presenters will share their announcements, This I Believe speeches, team accomplishments, and much more from the auditorium’s stage and then through our state-of-the-art technology, we will live stream the CMs to all the advisories that will be gathered together in classrooms across campus. For students who are joining DS online, they can login to their advisor’s Google Meet to experience the CM in real time or watch the recorded CM that we will post on DS’ YouTube page. Any community member who wishes to present at Community Meeting this year should contact Diane Hotten-Somers at dhotten-somers@derryfield.org.


    Advisories will be held on campus, in-person weekly during Community Block. Advisors will remain an important source of help and guidance to students, and the first point of contact for families if they have questions.
  • Athletics

    Will there be a preseason for fall sports?
    First day of practice is Tuesday, September 8.

    Will there be a fall athletic season?
    Yes, teams will be able to practice, do skills and drills with the possibility of scrimmaging and playing other schools if the situation is deemed safe.

    Will the Athletic & Wellness Center be open for use?
    Yes, with modifications and new procedures to keep students and faculty safe while engaging in some activities in and out of the building. A list of approved activities and guidelines will be coming soon.

    Will the two-sport requirement be waived for the 20-21 academic year?
    The two-sport requirement will be modified to give students flexibility around how they complete their physical activity requirements each week. Students will have the option to participate in school-based activities or work out on their own with the guidance of a parent or trainer who will need to sign off on their hours of completion.

    Will students have access to the locker rooms?
    Students will not have access to lockers including those in the middle school, upper school and Athletic & Wellness Center.
  • Arts

    Will all of the visual arts courses listed in the 20-21 curriculum guide be offered?
    Ceramics has been cancelled for winter term. This class will be replaced with a section of Graphic Design and a section of 2D Mixed Media, both taught by Becky Barsi.

    Will there be musicals, concerts, plays?

    For the 20-21 academic year, there will be no choir, concerts, or musicals. Plays will be adapted to a film/cinematic format.

    Will Choir be held this year?

    For the 20-21 academic year, Choir will not be offered.
  • College Counseling

    The College Counseling office will continue to work individually with students and families to support their college search and application experience. Brennan Barnard and Jill Teeters will be available for Zoom meetings and will be sharing daytime and evening office hours with families as the academic year begins. We will also be holding remote class meetings and parent webinars/meetings to keep families updated on application details and changes.

    We will continue to host college admission representatives remotely through Zoom and students will be instructed as to how they can sign up for these sessions in SCOIR.

    College essay work will be built into the weekly schedule for students to work remotely with their cohort and a member of the English faculty or college counseling office.

    We are monitoring the standardized testing changes and availability and will continue to update families as the fall progresses.

Other Details

List of 4 items.

  • Food Services

    Students will eat lunch in classrooms. Each trimester, families must indicate their child(ren) ‘s lunch preference: to purchase a boxed lunch through Celebrations that will be delivered to the classroom or to bring lunch from home.
  • Transportation

    Students on buses will be prescreened, masked, and as distanced as they can be; however, that distance might not be 6 feet on some buses and we know ventilation on buses isn’t to the standard of the classroom environment. As a result, if a student or driver gets the virus, the whole bus group will be quarantined. Afternoon buses will depart campus at 2:45 and 4:30 p.m. (If you would like to reconsider your bus plan, contact Deb Allen at deb.allen@derryfield.org.) If you have questions pertaining to bus safety protocol, please contact Alex Vazquez at avazquez@derryfield.org.
  • Cleaning Protocols

    • Daily classroom, hallway and bathroom cleaning
    • High touch areas will be disinfected every two hours
  • Campus Signage

    Health guidelines signage will be placed throughout campus:
    • Safe distancing floor markers 
    • Healthy Derryfield posters
    • Proper Handwashing signage (in all restrooms)
    • Face Mask Reminder signs
    • Enter / Exit / one-way signs
    • Directional arrows
    • Max capacity signage for classrooms
    • Max capacity signage for common areas
    • Entrance signs listing Mandatory Mask Policy
    • Plexi shields for reception areas


List of 5 items.

  • How will advisory be held?

    Advisories will be held on campus, in-person weekly during Community Block. Advisors will remain an important source of help and guidance to students, and the first point of contact for families if they have questions.
  • My family carpools with two other families. What precautions should we take?

    This year, we encourage families to travel separately/within the same family unit. If this is not possible, all people within the vehicle should wear face masks and wash hands thoroughly upon arrival at school. Please alert administration if you plan to carpool this year so that we may keep a record, should tracing be necessary.
  • What will happen during Community Block?

    Advisories, community meeting, activities, LEAD, Visual Foundations, Computer Science, and study hall (for middle school students)
  • Will masks be provided for students?

    Students will be charged $20 to their school account for Derryfield-issued, 3-ply, fabric masks. Should a student lose or damage these, another mask order will be placed in late fall. It is important that the masks our students, faculty and staff wear adhere to Fusion Cell safety standards.
  • Will there be Delayed Opening Days?

    The 20-21 academic year will not include Delayed Opening days.

The Derryfield School

2108 River Road, Manchester, NH 03104     p: 603.669.4524     f: 603.625.9715