Sage Hill Transitions to Distance Learning Amid COVID-19 Outbreak


Kelly Abbate

An empty Town Square on Monday, March 30.

Courtney Davis

On Thursday, March 12 it was announced by Head of School Patricia Merz that Sage would be doing school online until the end of spring break or longer due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

“It is important that the Sage Hill community does its part to help ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the potential spread of the virus in our community by minimizing social interactions,” Merz said. “We are fortunate that Sage Hill has been investing in resources and professional training for online learning over the past few years, including utilizing Canvas, Google tools and the learnings we have gained from teaching multiple Sage Connected hybrid online classes.”

March 14 was supposed to be the annual Multicultural Fair, which is an event that celebrates different cultures through food and performances. The cancellation of this event has affected many groups preparing for this day, including the Sage Hill Nanta Group.

“We’ve been practicing Nanta, a modern adaptation of traditional Korean drumming, since late January at every X Block. We were excited for this year’s performance because it was a completely new routine with complex rhythms that we spent so much time learning,” said senior Stephanie Yang. “I was really disappointed when the Multicultural Fair got cancelled because we had a lot of seniors in the group, so it was the last time us seniors could perform Nanta.”

Another major event that has been cancelled is all of Spring at Sage trips and seminars. The director of Spring at Sage, Bethany Pitassi, had the extremely difficult decision to cancel the trips. 

 “When we canceled them, there were a lot of things we did not know and we simply could not take the risk of sending any community member on a trip. The situation has changed so much, and I know we made the right decision,” said Pitassi.

There are a lot of changes happening right now affecting Sage students, including distance learning, postponing of spring sports, and the lack of college visits. 

“Online school definitely has its perks, like being able to wear PJs all day, waking up 5 minutes before class, being able to mute myself and eat snacks, and watching Netflix during passing periods,” said senior Natalie Rosenberg. “It definitely sucks that we most likely won’t get to have a senior prank day or prom or college sweatshirt day. However, life goes on and there are definitely people suffering way worse, so I am trying to stay optimistic!”

It is still undecided when students will be able to return back to school. The story continues to evolve everyday.  Merz has said she will continue to update us during these times. 

“Sage Hill is monitoring all of our local, state and national public health resources for directives and recommendations going forward.” Merz said. “We are also in regular communication with heads of school across the state. At this time, we all want to return to school as soon as it is safe to do so.”