One-on-one with Head of School Laura Danforth

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Logan Schiciano

Head of School Laura Danforth addresses the Upper School at this year’s MLK assembly in January. Danforth recently talked about some of the decisions she’s had to make as head of school amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Logan Schiciano, Editor-in-Chief

Head of School Laura Danforth has been leading The Masters School through the coronavirus pandemic that has devastated millions across the world. Danforth reflects on the many crucial decisions she has made and discusses plans for the future.

Topics of discussion:

  • “I knew that it was not going to come as a surprise, but a profound disappointment to everyone,” said Danforth on her decision to extend remote learning through rest of the year. She first notified the community of this decision in an email on April 16. Listen more at 2:00 mins.
  • Danforth reflects on her decision to close school the week before spring break. “I remember that weekend, when I had asked all our boarders to stay on campus, not even to go into town, because there were so many unknowns about COVID-19. And all the day students were out doing their thing…  We started to understand enough about the spread of this virus, that I felt like I was putting everyone in danger if I allowed all of us to come back together.” Listen more at 5:00 mins.
  • “Decision to go pass/fail; Juniors and the college process (6:55 mins).
  • “I promise the class of 2020 that we will find a time to commence together, to celebrate one another and all heir accomplishments,” said Danforth on her plans for holding a graduation at some point down the road. Listen more about her plans and her “profound sadness” for seniors at 9:20 mins.
  • End of year events, next steps (12:00 mins)
  • Challenges and take aways: though loss of life is tragic, Danforth also shared her appreciation for the community during this difficult time. “What brings me hope is that Masters is very strong… this is my eighth school in 35 years of education and never have I felt a sense of community like I have here at Masters. It is absolutely remarkable. Listen more at 14:25 mins.

This podcast was recoded on April 17, 2020.