Is it possible to simulate for students the eye-opening, transformative experience of international travel in a virtual format? Over Winter Break, Director of Global Education and Engagement Julia Dunbar and History Department Chair Dr. Megan Jones gave it a try.
Update on Coronavirus and Recommended Precautions
February 27, 2020
Pingry continues to monitor travel advisories from the U.S. State Department and information about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) from various sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), to consider the potential impact of this disease, which the CDC has called a “public health emergency of international concern,” on our school community. We are also in close communication with representatives at International SOS (iSOS), the world's leading medical and travel security services company with whom we partner for our Global Education programs. Additionally, in order to aggregate a breadth of information as effectively as possible, we are in touch with peer schools both locally, via the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools (NJAIS), and nationally, via the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), as well as the Global Education Benchmark Group (GBEG). As you might imagine, many factors must be considered as we aim to protect our students, faculty, and staff—our primary goal—while seeking to maintain our educational programming.
To date, the CDC reports that the spread of COVID-19 has been minimal in the United States, and there have been no confirmed cases in New Jersey or neighboring states. However, families are strongly urged to take the precautions detailed in the January 30 letter from our nursing staff, follow Pingry’s sick policy, and monitor their children for flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, and difficulty breathing), contacting their physician promptly if these symptoms are identified.
With Spring Break approaching, we are also asking families who might be traveling to destinations where COVID-19 occurrences are known to take extra precautions, including considering altering their travel plans. Please refer to the CDC's recommendations regarding travel health notices. Even if there is no significant occurrence of COVID-19 for your travel destination at this time, we suggest you remain informed and weigh the risks related to your travel. (This resource from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University provides helpful information about the location and status of confirmed cases.)
To this end, a team of Pingry administrators is relying upon guidance from all the organizations mentioned above and closely monitoring travel advisories and recommendations as they relate to School-run trips over Spring Break. Director of Global Education and Engagement Julia Dunbar and Director of Athletics Carter Abbott will communicate updates directly to families involved in these trips. While we are carefully monitoring the immediate situation, we are also mindful of the travel programs planned for this summer, and will communicate further with these families if necessary.
Matt Levinson P ’21
Head of School