On October 25, juniors and seniors at High School North received a newsletter from the principal, Dr. Jonathan Dauber, regarding the cancellation of the Disney and Washington Seminar trips.
On October 25, juniors and seniors at High School North received a newsletter from the principal, Dr. Jonathan Dauber, regarding the cancellation of the Disney and Washington Seminar trips. Administrators from both High School North and South met with the superintendent to have discussions about the likelihood of offering students the chance to go to Disney and Washington Seminar. Although these trips would have taken place months from now, planning would have had to begin beforehand. Given the lengthy planning process that goes into both trips, the administration had to use then-current Covid information in order to inform their decision.
Information from both the West Windsor and Plainsboro health departments, as well as the CDC was used to guide their decision. Administration recognized that in the West Windsor-Plainsboro area, cases and hospitalizations are down and a majority of students and staff at HSN and HSS are vaccinated. However, there are still concerns about school-sponsored events involving overnight trips and large groups of people. When weighing the positives with the risks, they ultimately felt it was the best decision to cancel the trips, regardless of how disappointing their decision would be.
Admittedly, the cancellation of the Disney and Washington seminar trips were hard decisions to make for the administration, considering the weight of hundreds of students who have been looking forward to these trips. This was especially difficult for High School North principal, Dr. Dauber, who said, “I want students’ experience at North to be exceptional. I want them to have memories of times with friends and classmates that will last for many, many years. Truthfully, when students are happy, I’m happy too.” Although Dauber expressed that regardless of the emotional weight, he had to keep in mind that, “at times, leadership isn’t quite so simple and difficult decisions that may not be popular need to be made.”
When asked if alternative options for the Disney trip were being taken into consideration, Dauber said that he is open to suggestions. In fact, he met with a senior student leadership group prior to announcing the cancellation, where they discussed what could be done and students proposed informal ideas. Dauber emphasized that, similarly to Disney, these trips would all depend on health and safety protocols as well as how much planning is necessary to hold the event. Meeting with Dauber every two weeks, the senior student leaders will continue to develop their ideas and work collaboratively with their advisors, while keeping him in the loop. “My intentions are to support student ideas and proposals as much as I possibly can. I have nothing to gain, nor do I take any joy in limiting experiences for our students. I do, however, have to keep their safety as priority.” While seniors remain hopeful that there will be an alternative trip offered in the future, juniors can look forward to a virtual Washington Seminar.
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