November 1: Heading into winter, Deep Springs has made the creative decision to swap term 4 and term 6. This means students can go home over the winter break, make the break longer, and then we have more people on campus in the summer, when returning students would typically choose a term off.
This decision addresses the concern that although Deep Springs is remote, and therefore relatively safe from the virus, having students coming and going over the holidays and then living in close quarters with a shared heating system qualifies as a risk.
June 18: Deep Springs is open and prepared for the arrival of new students on July 3. This decision required the agreement of students, county health authorities, our board, the staff who live and work here; and the establishment of rigid and thoroughgoing policies and procedures.
May 18: Like many communities of learning around the globe, we are discovering silver linings from inconvenient distance. Unlike many, we are nimble enough to continue educational life for the nine students in the Valley, where “social distancing” is geographic, historic, and deliberate– and our mission specific enough to carry on lives of leadership and service in communities beyond.
Unable to invite our new short-term faculty to the Valley, we have suspended our normal program for Term 6. Instead we will offer field ecology for those here, and one online course and directed reading groups for those on zoom.
We are consulting with medical professionals and the Inyo County Health Department about how we can begin bringing the rest of the students back to the Valley. We anticipate a two-week quarantine for any incoming community members in keeping with recommendations of CDC and CA government.
We hope for a regular July arrival of the new class. If July 1 proves too early, then we will postpone on a month-by-month basis until we can resume.
Again, many thanks to everyone in the extended Deep Springs family for your ongoing communication and support. We thank you also for your continued financial support, which takes on new significance in an uncertain economy.
March 26: Board unanimously approved the updated recommendation (linked below) whereby Deep Springs: continues Term Five with nine on-campus students and twenty-one off-campus students, learning and self-governing via zoom; resolves to maintain self-isolation of the College and social distancing through April 30; discusses and anticipates possible permutations for Term Six and Summer Term (in accordance with California government and CDC recommendations) to maximize safety, ensure best student experience, and aim to welcome the Class of DS20 on schedule.
March 13: Deep Springs to postpone start of Term Five by two weeks, suspend normal operations, prepare online instruction for those outside the Valley currently on break, and to keep the community running safely for all students and staffulty currently in the Valley.