COVID-19 Update: March Travel Plans

March 6, 2020

Dear Putney Parents and Guardians,

I would like to give you some updates on our thinking and planning around the Covid-19 epidemic. We are, as we’re sure you are, monitoring the local and global situation carefully. We are taking advice from the CDC and instruction from the Vermont Department of Health.

As you know, it is necessary for students or adults who may have been exposed to the virus to be quarantined for 14 days. The list may expand during the course of our Spring Break, so if you or your child is traveling or are going to be in close proximity to someone traveling please monitor this list and make arrangements for quarantine if required.

We are working to adjust and develop campus practices to avoid infection as much as possible, and to handle what we anticipate to be the inevitable arrival of this illness. We are instituting changes in the cleaning process, doing extra cleaning over the break, and will use different and more robust cleaning systems when the students return. We are also working on adjustments to how food is served in the KDU, temporarily limiting public access to the Field House and other campus facilities, and acquiring materials and resources we may need should access to and from our campus become further restricted.

If and when we have students who test positive on campus, we will send any students who live within driving distance back to their homes. Students who live further away will be quarantined and cared for in the health office, as we do already with infectious diseases. If we have more cases than will fit in the health office we plan to use the Field House for the quarantine, since it has bathrooms and showers, and is close to the KDU. We will set up cots and make everyone as comfortable as possible.

We will be continuing to monitor the situation and will send more information about Family Weekend planning and other events after the break. We know that it may be necessary for some students to learn remotely for some time, and are working on how to do this. Progressive pedagogy is not well suited to online learning, but we will find ways to make it work.

We absolutely are going to need your help to make Putney as safe as it can be. We asked all students to tell us their travel plans before leaving campus – please tell us if these plans have changed. If your child is sick over the break or has been exposed to someone who is sick with this virus, we need to know that. Please send all information to Dean of Students Karen Guttentag at kguttentag@putneyschool.org.

If your child is not with you over this break, please share this information with your child’s adult host or chaperone.

Many thanks for all your help.

Emily Jones
Head of School