Dear Members of the Killington Mountain School Community:
Concern about the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been increasing in our country and around the world for the last several months, and KMS has been following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Vermont Department of Public Health. This is an ever evolving and fluid situation, and KMS is responding to the changing dynamic with one primary goal; protecting our children and employees, their extended families and loved ones to the very best of our ability. We have been in consultation with the heads of all of the Eastern ski academies, state chairs, US Ski & Snowboard officials, school trustees, Mike Solimano of Killington Resort and Mike Castellini of the Killington Ski Club, as well as with members of the professional medical community here in Vermont and New Hampshire. Today we learned that US Ski & Snowboard has cancelled all domestic and international events effective Monday, March 16, and yesterday USASA cancelled their national championship event in Colorado scheduled for the end of March/beginning of April.
To our knowledge, no one at KMS or in our club development program has been diagnosed with COVID-19. However, we currently have an employee at home in isolation with flu-like symptoms, and the likelihood that other members of our community will experience similar symptoms, COVID-19 or flu, is certain. Currently, there are not enough tests in the state to go around, so we have been told by hospital officials that the only thing to do is stay at home, isolate and recover. Only if a patient requires hospitalization are they to go to a facility for testing or admittance. Currently, anyone with a recorded fever of 100.2 degrees or above will be mandated to quarantine for up to two-weeks. As it will be impossible for us to separate the infected from the healthy here on campus or on the road, we have determined that our ability to provide care for our school population will quickly become unsustainable. Given current circumstances and the importance of helping to safeguard not only our campus community but also wider society, we have decided that Killington Mountain School should take the following steps:
Cancel all on-campus classes, effective tomorrow, March 12, through the end of the winter-term semester, and move to online instruction for all full and winter-term students starting Wednesday, March 18, lasting through the end of winter-term, Friday, April 3, 2020. We intend to fully support all winter term students through the end of winter term, unless we hear otherwise from their parents.
Close the school campus, including residence, academic, athletic and administrative spaces, and require students to vacate their rooms starting Friday, March 13, at 3:00 p.m., and ending Sunday, March 15, at 9:00 p.m. KMS coaches will be the point of contact for parents and students from this point forward. Meghan Girardi, Director of Student Life, will collect all information regarding travel plans. In order to not overwhelm our systems, please forward all questions and correspondence through the coaches and Meghan for the time being. The building will remain closed to all non-KMS employees from Sunday, March 15 through the end of our regularly scheduled spring break, Sunday, April 19. All winter-term dorm students will need to take all of their belongings home when they are picked up. Full-Term dorm students should be prepared to take home everything they will need until they return from April break, with the understanding that the building will not be accessible for any student for any reason until our planned reopening in April.
Suspend all KSC/KMS Development Program operations immediately. This includes weekend programs, KSC/KMS+ Program and KSC/KMS ETP. There will be no weekend program events or training through the remainder of this season.
Students currently traveling on KMS competition trips will remain with their groups and finish their current series. KMS coaches will coordinate with parents and Meghan Girardi on a return to school to collect personal belongings.
Suspend on-campus academic and any and all KMS-sponsored athletic training or events (unless currently in progress) as well as KMS-sponsored travel to international and domestic locations, unless approved by the Head of School, Assistant Head of School, or the Director of Academics.
Continue to provide updates about COVID-19 and KMS’s response on a regular basis. Those with urgent questions should send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KMS Director of Academics, April Hayden and KMS Registrar, Emily Hudson, will send details about the transition to online learning, and Director of Student Life, Meghan Girardi, will continue to provide information for full-term students at Killington Mountain School. Development Program Director, Chuck Hughes, along with Alexis Voutas will communicate with our Development families and employees.
I realize that these decisions will bring challenges to many at KMS, including families in our weekend development programs. But knowing the shared values, KMS spirit, sense of gratitude, and commitment of our community, I am confident that we will resolve any issues we face, and I ask that you join me in praying for those affected throughout the world by COVID-19.
Tao Smith, KMS Head of School