Important information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
This page was created to update you on some of our initiatives and contingency plans in this regard. Please check back often for updates.
Current Pennington School status:
At this time, The Pennington School campus remains closed to all visitors. Current plans are to re-open for Orientation on Monday, August 31. Please refer to Pennington Prepared: Campus Reopening Plan 2020-21 for more information.
Latest Updates: July 30, 2020
The Pennington School released Pennington Prepared: Campus Reopening Plan 2020-21. This information will be continually updated as necessary.
Latest Updates: June 18, 2020
Pennington School administrators continue to work on plans to reopen our campus in the fall. Please see the latest letter from Head of School William S. Hawkey, below, for more details.
Latest Updates: May 11, 2020
In accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy's mandate that all school buildings remain closed through at least June 30, campus buildings and facilities remain closed to all but essential workers and those individuals and families who reside on campus.
On-campus summer programs have been cancelled; more information about remote programs will be available soon.
Virtual graduation ceremonies for Upper School and Grade 8 have been scheduled for their original dates.
School administration continues to prioritize the health and safety of everyone in the Pennington community. Please continue to refer to the state and federal websites for health-related information (on right-hand side of this page).
Latest Updates: April 23, 2020
The Pennington School has determined that it will not be possible for classes to resume on campus this school year. This decision also means the cancellation of the spring athletics season.
Alumni Weekend, scheduled for May 15-16, has been canceled for this year. The Scholarship Classic, originally scheduled for June 15, has been postponed to October 12, 2020.
The School will celebrate Commencement on June 6, most likely in a new, virtual format. If we are permitted to assemble as a group on campus this summer, we have set aside Saturday, July 25. If we are unable to return to campus with a large group, then we will plan to celebrate in May 2021 during our Alumni Weekend.
Middle School graduation plans are under consideration now as well, and Chrissie Knight will share those plans with the families of the Class of 2024 soon.
Latest Updates: April 17, 2020
NJ Governor Murphy extended school closings until Monday, May 18, so our distance-learning platform will remain in effect until at least Monday, May 18. Some slight changes were made to the daily and weekly schedules, and were announced on Friday, April 17 to students and parents.
Latest Updates: April 2, 2020
The federal government has extended social distancing initiatives until at least April 30. This means our distance-learning platform will remain in effect until at least Friday, May 1.
The physical campus, including the tennis courts, remains closed but School offices are open during normal business hours; staff members continue to work remotely.
Latest Updates: March 17, 2020
All boarding students have departed from campus and are at home or with local host families. The campus and all School buildings remain closed. Sparks Gymnasium is closed to all.
No outside visitors will be permitted on the Pennington School campus without prior permission for a minimum of two weeks. This includes day faculty and families. ALL visitors must check in with Security personnel when they arrive on campus.
School offices are open during normal business hours and staff members are all working remotely.
March 12, 2020
Head of School William S. Hawkey meets daily with a task force consisting of Pennington’s senior administrative team and other key staff members to respond to the evolving challenges surrounding COVID-19.
The following new policies are currently in place through April 13 but are subject to change at any time:
Beginning March 24, students will be moving to our distance learning platform. Students should check Schoology for notifications. More details will be forthcoming.
All dormitories will close by Monday, March 16. Boarding students are making plans to go home or stay with local families and/or guardians. Information from Chad Bridges, assistant head of school for community life and dean of students, to the residential community is ongoing and he will continue to keep everyone up-to-date.
All members of the Pennington community should submit details of their travel plans during the current Spring Break (see March 6 letter below).
All School-related travel, including all travel related to School business, has been suspended. This includes all Spring Break travel, athletics trips, and upcoming community service activities. Participation in the regional Odyssey of the Mind tournament (Middle School) has been canceled. Other event changes and cancellations are listed on the right.
All spring athletics are suspended until further notice. This includes preseason practices, scrimmages, and any games that were previously scheduled through April 13.
No outside visitors will be permitted on the Pennington School campus without prior permission until further notice. ALL visitors must check in with Security personnel when they arrive on campus.
School is not currently in session during the break. We are conducting a deep-cleaning of our campus to disinfect all classrooms and public spaces.
Families should continue to monitor the U.S. State Department for travel advisories to countries and regions where they are planning to travel. Keep in mind that the COVID-19 travel warnings are subject to change, so we request that you check to be sure you do not return to campus for any reason if you, or anyone in your household, have traveled to a country with a travel advisory. The voluntary cooperation of all members of our community is critical to prevent disease transmission and to protect the health and safety of our community.
Distance Learning Preparation
Students were asked to take home textbooks and other school materials before the break. Faculty members are prepared to conduct remote interactive classes using a distance learning model (please see additional information below). Schoology, the learning management system we already use, provides a robust online vehicle (Big Blue Button) that we will be using to conduct classes. Though there are certain to be some disruptions, we are confident that we can deliver an excellent academic program this way.
All School departments have developed plans that enable those employees to continue to work remotely.
- What is distance learning at Pennington?
- Will we follow the usual daily schedule for classes?
- Is there still going to be extra help?
- What if I do not have a good internet connection at home?
- Can day students come to campus while the School is closed?
- What about performing arts activities?
- What about other extracurricular activities and clubs?
- When will we be able to come back to school?
- Can I come to campus to use the gym or fitness room?
- What will happen if a member of our community is diagnosed with COVID-19?
- Where can I find updates about Pennington's response to the coronavirus?
- What about my music lessons?
- Can I still meet my tutor on Pennington’s campus?
Prospective families with questions about Admission may email the Office of Admission.
Parents or students with questions may email the Dean of Students.
Alumni with questions about events or campus visits may email the Office of Alumni Relations.
Parents, students, and Pennington School employees with health-related questions should contact our Health Center at 609-847-0830.
Students with questions for our tech department should continue to contact the Help Desk at 609-737-6100.