COVID-19 Update – Spring Will Come!

COVID-19 Update – Spring Will Come!

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COVID-19 Update – Spring Will Come!
April 27, 2020


Campus Closure Status:
With only about four weeks left in the term and COVID-19 restrictions still in place, we have decided to keep campus closed through the end of the term. The compounded risks of people coming and leaving and coming again (for summer term) from various parts of the country for, at best, a handful of days compelled us to make this decision. In addition, our counseling team has noted that seniors in particular need some time and support to anticipate and grieve the prospect of not returning this term. Our hearts ache that we cannot spend the last few weeks of your high school career together in person. We will, however, have a full blown Oliverian graduation as soon as we logistically (hotels, etc) and responsibly can, so please stay posted!

Summer Session:
We are planning for Summer Session 2020 to start on campus as scheduled on June 28. This is the plan, of course, subject to change based on the evolving COVID-19 situation. As a school poised between traditional boarding schools, which are mostly closed, and therapeutic programs, which have remained open as essential services, we have the opportunity, and burden, of some unique options. We will continue to weigh these options and plan our safety protocols with great care and transparency.

Room and Board Refund:
Because campus will remain closed for the balance of the school year, we will calculate a room and board refund accordingly. Most of our expenses remain intact as we deliver robust remote services utilizing all of our staff. Food and dorm-utilities costs, however, represent an unused portion of your tuition. I will send a separate note with details later this week.


Today while sitting on the front deck with my family it struck me how appropriately the word “spring” describes this season, especially in New Hampshire. Just last week it was snowing. But today the sun is out and the world is warm and stuff is springing up all over the place–bugs, grass, birds, flowers.

When spring really finally springs here–after a succession of teasingly nice-ish days followed by sadistic storms–it really springs. “Boing!” as the poet, Al Purdy, said. That happened today.

And while we sat, enjoying the sun, the birdsongs, and the breezes, a wasp landed on the the toy “eggs-cavator” tractor my son, Colton, was playing with. I exploded from my chair, screamed a profanity, and did a gangly martial arts-like sequence that scared everyone except the wasp. After this absurd paternal spasm, I composed myself with a deep breath and removed the the wasp with a flick of my index finger just as another landed on my arm. I swore again and did another gangly dance. They are everywhere now, as if materializing from thin air.

Later, during my run, the trail was more crowded with people and dogs than it has been lately. A large pit bull lunged viciously at Liam, almost pulling away from his owner. After the run I found a tick on Liam–the first of the year. A few hours later I took a tick off my son–the second of the year. During Beth’s run she surprised a mama bear and two kitten-sized cubs. They scrambled up a small tree six feet away, staring her down while she backed slowly away.

Spring is intoxicating, beautiful, explosively gorgeous. And its freakin’ dangerous. This co-crescendo of life and risk is nothing new. It is kind of how things work. The more life, the more risk.  The sun is shining! Go outside and play! But before you do, remember to watch for wasps, leash your dog, apply bug repellent, and pack bear spray.

Fortunately, unlike spring, which uncoils all of its gifts and hazards on us at once, we can exit this novel coronavirus winter on our own terms, a little at a time, working our way judiciously toward things like school at school, work at work, concerts, sporting events, dinner parties, and hugs. This exit will require thought and patience and creativity and care–which Oliverian parents, students, faculty, and trustees have already provided in abundance. It will include fits and starts and, maybe, a few unscheduled stops.

But spring will come! I look forward to enjoying it with all of you.

Warmly and hopefully,


Will Laughlin, Head of School/CEO