Distance Learning Will Continue - May 4, 2020
Dear Stuart Families, Faculty and Friends,
This week marks nearly two months of social distancing in our country and Stuart's sixth week of distance learning. I am incredibly proud of our faculty and staff as they have met the challenge of providing a Sacred Heart education in the midst of a pandemic. Similarly, I am so grateful for the partnership of our parents throughout all of this! Your daughters and young sons have shown incredible flexibility and determination to continue learning and working together. As the weeks turn into months, and the challenges of distance learning and working weigh heavily on us, I know that our community will continue to adapt and rally to support each other. And while we mourn our inability to be together, we also celebrate all that we have been able to accomplish.
Distance Learning to Continue
Last week, at my request, fellow independent school heads joined me in a meeting with Mayor Liz Lempert and Princeton Health Officer Jeffrey Grosser to discuss the likelihood of safely re-opening our schools before the end of this academic year. As we awaited word from the Governor, the majority concluded that distance learning should remain in effect for all of our schools for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. As we anticipated, Governor Murphy announced this afternoon that "All schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year – to protect the health of our children, our educators, and their families."
Thus we will begin creating virtual programming to celebrate our key end-of-year ceremonies. Through the leadership of our faculty and administration, we will virtually observe hallmark milestones in each division and memorialize our girls' many accomplishments over the course of this year. Most significantly, we look to honor our seniors. With the support of the Upper School faculty and administration, they are designing their leave-taking. We will continue to acknowledge these exceptional young women through a variety of virtual celebrations — and a few surprises along the way.
The summer camps we had planned to offer are also impacted. Director of Auxiliary Programs Anne Pierpont is working to transition our summer programming to a virtual academic and enrichment experience. Please look for further details on this in the coming days.
The 2020-2021 School Year
We are at the beginning stages of planning a complex and multi-faceted response to how we will be educating our students in the 2020-2021 school year. Though the path may be uncharted, we are committed to delivering our mission and providing the highest quality of education in the safest manner possible. Decisions must be made based on current facts and evolving mandates, and with the safety of our students and faculty at the forefront.
The Leadership Team has joined with school administrators, infectious disease specialists, technologists, distance and hybrid learning experts, and health and safety professionals across the country and around the world to determine next steps. I have convened a cross-constituency task force that has begun planning for how we can most effectively and safely return to school in the fall. As some countries in Europe are reopening schools, we look to leverage our Sacred Heart network to learn from their experiences and ensure we have structures and protocols in place to ensure your child has the safest and best education possible. We will continue to study recommendations from local and state health departments, the CDC, and other relevant sources of information to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure we are best prepared for whatever is to come.
While the unknown can often be frightening, we have time to plan and be intentional about what the fall will look like. As St. Madeleine Sophie Barat said, "Hard work, dangerous for an imperfect soul, brings a great harvest for those who love the Lord." Through collaboration, analysis and informed decision-making, our greatest harvest will be the safe return of you, your daughters and young sons, and our faculty to Stuart. As more information becomes available, we will continue to be transparent and share with you.
I know you join me in praying for everyone affected by the current global pandemic and for a swift resolution. I pray that I will be able to greet you in person sooner than later. Together, we will get through this.
Patty L. Fagin, PhD
Head of School
- Distance Learning Announcement
- COVID-19 Positive Announcement - 3/24/20
- COVID-19 Positive Announcement - 3/21/20
- Distance Learning Announcement - 3/18/20
- COVID-19 Positive Announcement -3/15/20
- Update to Stuart Community - 3/13/20
- #LEADLIKEAGIRL Update - 3/11/20
- Update to Stuart Community - 3/10/20
- Update to Stuart Community - 3/6/20
- Update to Stuart Community - 2/28/20
The NJ Poison Control Center and 211 have partnered with the State to provide information to the Public on COVID-19:
Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
Text: your ZIP code to 898-211 for live text assistance.
PA residents are advised to direct COVID-related questions to 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258)
Penn Medicine (with a location in Princeton) recently published a list of FAQs addressing COVID-19 concerns like identifying symptoms, testing, treatment and illness prevention. Click here for the full list of questions.
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- NJ Department of Health
- "How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus" - New York Times
- "Talking to Teens and Tweens About Coronavirus" - New York Times
- "Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus" - NPR
- Coronavirus archive on NJFamily.com
All questions or concerns can be directed to email@example.com.
- All in-person events are cancelled for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.
- School officials are working on virtual opportunities for special end-of-year celebrations.
News about COVID-19 and the adjustment to distance learning may cause stress and anxiety in your children. Stuart's counseling staff will be available to help support students and families. Click here for a letter to parents from our school counselors.
EC & Lower School
From the Office of the Governor of NJ