COVID-19 News and Resources
We want to keep our PDS community connected during this time of being apart! Send us photos, brief videos and reflections that we can share on our PDS digital platforms HERE!
The health and safety of our students, employees and families are our highest priorities. Throughout the spring and summer, Princeton Day School has been committed to actively monitoring news and developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), including the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Jersey Department of Health, to determine when and how to resume on campus operations and to what extent. Please bookmark and refer to this page regularly for updates and information regarding our preparedness and response as the situation evolves.
- We began Panthers Online! learning on March 30 and will continue online learning through the end of the 2019-2020 school year in keeping with the Governor's May 4 announcement regarding NJ school closures.
- All on-campus events and activities through the end of the school year have been canceled or postponed.
- PDS Summer Programs, our traditional on-campus day camp program, has been cancelled for this summer.
- Virtual events and activities for students and families were held for several key events this spring and will continue throughout the summer.
- PDS has suspended all facilities rentals until further notice.
- PDS has deep-cleaned and continues to sanitize campus facilities.
- PDS faculty and staff continue to work to plan and deliver programs, including ongoing online learning opportunities for our community members.
- Whether remotely or as critical on-campus staff members, PSD faculty and staff have continued working throughout the spring to deliver Panthers Online learning through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, an to plan for summer operations and the 2020-2021 school year.
- We continue to update this web page as a center of information and resources for the PDS community through the duration of COVID-19-affected school operations.
To avoid the spread of COVID-19, the state and federal government have issued guidelines for individual and family safety, and have continued to revise these guidelines throughout the spring and into the summer. Families or employees are asked to adhere to the latest federal, state and local guidelines as well as the CDC Coronavirus Information for Travel and U.S. State Department Travel Advisories websites, and to check these guidelines on a regular basis. We strongly encourage you to avoid non-essential travel and respect the safety and travel guidelines in place.
Our Panthers Online learning program went into effect on March 30 and continued through the June 5 official end of the 2019-2020 school year. Panthers Online frameworks and division-specific summaries can be found at Panthers Online! on pds.org.
- Family Impact: This is an exceptional time, with millions of families across the United States predominantly at home together and undertaking remote learning for the rest of the school year. It is important to continue discussing how the shift to online learning has impacted your family and daily home life and how it may continue to do so.
- Communications to Families:
- Throughout the delivery of Panthers Online, PDS students and families received regular communications from teachers, advisors, coaches, division heads, School leadership, staff and the communications office, all designed to enhance the student and family experience and establish clear lines of communication. PDS families also have access to resources and information via the password-protected parent portal, Inside PDS.
- Panthers Online is available via a button on the pds.org homepage as well as via Quicklinks and in the Academics dropdown menu. This online set of resources frames expectations, guidelines, processes and sample schedules for students and families, and includes division-specific information.
- Throughout the spring, the pds.org School News feed was updated with the latest information about the PDS community. Please check the PDS News Feed for an abundance of stories and insights about our exceptional community of adults and students, including compelling alumni spotlights of those working on and behind the front lines to combat COVID-19 this spring, Senior Spotlights designed to honor each of our graduating seniors, and much more. Our PDS social media platforms also remained active throughout the 2019-2020 academic year to help keep the greater PDS community connected.
Out of an abundance of caution and following the examples set by State, County and Municipal authorities to limit the risks of Covid-19 transmissions, all PDS campus recreational facilities remain closed this summer until further notice. This unfortunately includes all fields, tennis courts, and playground areas. Our beautiful campus can still be enjoyed by passive recreational activities such as walking, hiking, biking and jogging, etc. keeping social distance norms in mind. Please leash and clean up after your dog.
- If you develop cold, flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and call your health care provider.
- If any PDS family member or faculty/staff member has been diagnosed with probable or confirmed COVID-19, or has come into contact with someone with probable or confirmed COVID-19, we ask that you notify Dr. Candy Shah, Director of Wellness.
- The PDS Health Office is available for non-urgent communications with PDS families at email@example.com. If you have an urgent medical situation, please follow established protocols for contacting emergency services and your primary care physician.
The following actions are the best way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:
- Follow federal, state and health provider guidelines regarding social distancing and protective measures.
- Continue to practice social distancing to the extent possible at this time. Avoid non-essential gatherings and outings, and keep at least 6 feet (2 meters) from others for your health and safety and that of others. This is especially important for the protection of people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- If you are ill: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Clean AND disinfect daily all frequently touched surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sink areas.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- No classes or other activities on campus after spring break through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. (All spring and summer programming is virtual until further notice.)
- The PDS Summer Program, our traditional on-campus day camp, is officially canceled for the summer.
- Facilities rentals at PDS remain canceled this summer until further notice.
- All PDS campus recreational facilities are closed, though trails are available for walking/exercise.
- The Spring Break Global Studies trip to the Island School in the Bahamas was canceled and Spring Break Athletic trips for girls and boys lacrosse and baseball were canceled, as were all practices and games for all Spring sports through the end of the school year. School-sponsored travel and athletics remain off limits this summer until further notice.
Email Updates to PDS Community
Letters from the Board of Trustees and Head of School June 28, 2020
Update from Head of School June 18, 2020
Update from Head of School June 10, 2020
Update from Head of School June 2, 2020
(The June 2 update, which discusses the PDS community's values and its initial response to the ongoing social movement for racial equity and inclusion, also appears on Our Diverse Community landing page.)
Update from Head of School May 18, 2020
Update from Head of School May 7, 2020
Link to Head of School's Webinar May 7, 2020
Update on Panthers Online April 14, 2020
Thoughts from the Head of School video message, April 5, 2020
COVID-19 Update March 26, 2020
Panthers Online! Information now on pds.org March 23, 2020
Update on NJ Governor Murphy's Executive Orders March 21, 2020
Updates on Remote Learning Programming for PDS Families March 18, 2020 (these updates on the coming launch of Panthers Online are on the PDS family portal)
Why Social Distancing Matters: Update from PDS March 16, 2020
Campus Closure and Online Learning Announcement March 13, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Campus and Online Learning Preparations March 12, 2020
COVID-19 Update: Spring Sports Team Trips Canceled March 8, 2020
Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update February 29, 2020
Novel Coronavirus Update January 31, 2020
Talking to Children About Coronavirus (National Association of School Psychologists)
Coping with COVID-19 Anxiety (Harvard Health Publishing Blog 3/12/20)