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Virtual Exeter

Welcome to Virtual Exeter. This page serves as a connection point for the Exeter community as we live and learn remotely. Here you will find links to content, events, opportunities and tools. 

Questions about issues related to COVID-19 can be sent to ncov@exeter.edu.

Teaching and learning remotely

Faculty innovations

Dean of Faculty Ellen Wolff and Principal Bill Rawson discuss new tools and approaches faculty are using to help students learn remotely, in a session moderated by Dean of Enrollment Bill Leahy.  (3:24 minutes)

Teaching guidelines

Faculty are focused on making distance learning as effective and inclusive as possible for our students working from locations around the globe, some in very challenging situations. Although the virtual term experience cannot replicate the closeness and dynamism of discussion around a Harkness table, we have established guidelines to support students as they learn new ways to engage and learn:

  • Students have a minimum of three touchpoints for each course. Because time zones make it difficult for all students to attend class at the same time, touchpoints can include Zoom classes, emails or conversations with the teacher, the use of online discussion boards, or other methods of participation. 
  • Each class meets at least once in the morning and once in the afternoon to maximize students' ability to attend across time zones. 
  • Teachers support flexibility around the daily schedule and homework deadlines. 
  • Each faculty member has three blocks of open "office hours" per week.
  • All students meet twice weekly with their adviser via online conference or phone.
  • Exeter advisors work with students and families to ensure equitable access to the resources and support needed to succeed during the virtual term.

Health & wellness

Exeter’s Counseling and Psychological Services

CAPS is hosting CAPSupport webinars, videos and print materials on a variety of topics relating to remote learning, anxiety and separation. Check the Parent Portal or Student Connect for details, including dates of upcoming webinars.

Good Mental Health in Uncertain Times,” a new section on Student Connect, is designed to help students transition from campus to a remote learning environment and cope with the many changes occurring in their lives. It includes information on how to:

  • Stay healthy
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Talk with students about COVID-19
  • Avoid germ spread
  • Put on masks and PPE correctly
  • Find a mental health professional in your area
  • Locate emergency services in countries around the world

Students can also send questions directly to CAPS faculty via anonymous form. Answers are posted on the CAPS section of the student and employee portal. 

FAQS: How to stay healthy

What if I need help?

If you are an Exeter student and you need help, please contact your adviser. Together, you will discuss your situation and determine what resources you need. Exeter can provide assistance in many situations, and can help you locate other resources or contacts for those situations the school cannot address directly. For help with loneliness, anxiety and emotional stress, check out the videos, webinars and information sheets provided by Counseling and Psychological Services on Student Connect. If you need medical help urgently, call 911 (if you live in the U.S.) or your local emergency services. 

What can I do to stop the spread?

COVID-19 spreads primarily from person-to-person through close contact. However, it can also remain active in water droplets in the air from coughs or sneezes or by touching infected surfaces. 

You can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding close contact with people who are sick, washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth and nose with a cloth or facemask when you are outside, not touching your face with your hands and adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

Do my actions really make a difference?

Yes. Staying at home and social distancing may seem like passive actions, but they are key to flattening the outbreak's curve. Those actions protect you and everyone else, including your family and loved ones. 

If you're looking for activities to do at home, check out social media — many Exonians are actively engaging with each other, and combating boredom, through activities such as cooking, playing music and more. See "Social media softens the impact of social distancing" for ideas. 

What if I need to go to work, or someone in my family does?

Not everyone is able to stay at home. If you or someone in your household must go to work, practice all the safety rules to avoid the spread of COVID-19 outlined above. Take the time to discuss the steps required to reduce the risk of transmission inside your household, and plan how you will self-isolate if one of you develops symptoms. 

Information resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The World Health Organization

Talking to teens about COVID-19

Virtual events

School is open, and there's a lot going on virtually. Here's a sample:

Graduation | June 7: Commencement will take place virtually at 10 a.m. We invite students, families, friends, faculty and staff to come together as a community online to celebrate the class of 2020. Watch the ceremony at the Graduation 2020 site.  

Community Healing Meetings | June 3: Students can come together to speak, listen and share. More sessions to be scheduled.

Alumni Career Interest Panel | Alumni share their experiences and take questions during four one-hour sessions with seniors: finance (May 11), law (May 13), engineering (May 18) and entertainment (May 20).

Assemblies | May 6: Principal Rawson | May 13: Michael Fossel ’69: Alzheimer’s and dementia research and treatment | May 20: student recitals | May 27: PEAN | June 3: Closing Assembly.

Virtual Open Studios | May 8 & May 9: Students are invited to meet with the Art Department faculty over Zoom.

Catching Up on Broadway | Thursdays in May at 8 p.m.: Join a series of quarantine conversations with Broadway actors and technicians, hosted by the Department of Theater and Dance.

Open Forum with the Deans | May 12 and May 19: for students, parents and guardians. 

Creating Conversation: Exeter Innovators, Leaders and Entrepreneurs | June 5: A one-on-one interview with Brian Shactman ‘90 and Tom Steyer ’75. Details at Alumni Virtual Events.

Exeter Industry Meet Up Series | Zoom gatherings for Exonians to network: Marketing and PR (June 2), Small Business/Entrepreneurs (June 11), Conservation and Sustainability (July 14). Details at Alumni Virtual Events.

Find more information about upcoming events on your portal:

Student Connect  |  Employee Connect  |  Parent Portal  | Alumni Virtual Events

Communications and campus updates

Planning for fall term

Principal Rawson announces that he anticipates “a final decision about how we will come together next fall sometime in June, possibly late June. We will base our decision about on-campus vs. distance learning, as always, with the health and safety of all members of this community at the center of our planning.” See his letter to parents sent May 22.  

Reunions postponed

2020 reunions have been rescheduled to 2021. For more details, see the Reunions page.

Exeter Summer

We have canceled our annual on-campus program for middle school and high school students, and are offering a distance-learning version of the program.

To see more communications from Principal Rawson and members of the administration, go to the COVID-19 section of Exeter Connect. 


Staying connected during virtual spring term.