Eastern Regional High School is preparing contingency plans for a senior trip that administrators are still hoping to pull off.
The Eastern Camden County Regional School District Board of Education updated parents last month on the school’s plan for the trip, held annually at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This week, Superintendent Robert Cloutier said the school will account for any quarantine restrictions that may be required.
“We did move the trip forward about five days earlier so that a seven-day travel quarantine would not interfere with graduation,” Cloutier said in an email.
Cloutier said he is aware of the many uncertainties that influence future decisions relating to the senior trip. He originally anticipated an April timetable, but “there are so many unknowns in the environment that we do not control.” According to The Sun Papers, Disney opted not to host student groups in April or May 2021.
“Our philosophy since the pandemic has started has been to create contingencies so as many school functions can occur,” Cloutier said in an email. “We work for solutions to match the circumstances.”
One of the barriers, Cloutier said, is the new U.K. COVID-19 variant. However, he speculated that by April, approval and production of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will aid in supply increases. He said he hopes that all educators will be vaccinated by June but is unsure if the vaccine will be available to healthy teenage student populations at that time.
Cloutier said the school is accounting for any quarantine restrictions that may be required.
“We did move the trip forward about five days earlier so that a seven-day travel quarantine would not interfere with graduation,” Cloutier said.
This is a significant development, because during the recent school board meeting, Cloutier said that travel restrictions in place would prohibit traveling seniors from participating in graduation. However, if conditions have not improved and there is still a 14-day quarantine measure in place, it may not be possible to have a trip this year at all.
Cloutier is optimistic that conditions will improve, which will eliminate the need for long travel quarantines. Eastern Regional High School’s school board will meet again next week to discuss new developments.