Spring concert, school field trips cancelled due to coronavirus

Mar 12, 2020

All large gatherings and events related to the Dartmouth public schools have been cancelled or postponed through the end of March due to coronavirus, the Dartmouth Superintendent’s office has confirmed.

This directive includes field trips as well as the Dartmouth School Music Association’s Spring Pops Concert in honor of Music Director Bill Kingsland, which was set to take place at the high school tonight.

The concert has been postponed until further notice.

A letter from Superintendent of Schools Bonny Gifford sent to faculty and staff on March 12 stated that the schools will follow recommendations from federal, state, and local health officials and consult with experts on implementing social distancing measures.

Gifford also noted in the letter that the schools have “increased cleaning measures, instituting a deep clean session in every school every week,” and that the office is posting relevant information online as it comes in.

“It is important to remember that things are very fluid,” the letter continued. “We must be prepared for the possibility of changes with little or practically no notice.”

Assistant Superintendent Michelle Roy noted that the office has yet to make a decision on whether to delay the start of the spring sports season, and will await recommendations from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association on the matter.

According to Roy, the superintendent’s office is also “looking at” the possibility of moving classes to an online format, although concerns have been raised about online learning due to access and equity issues.

For now, Roy added, Dartmouth Public Schools will be following their regular schedules, including normal after-school club activities, as per guidelines from the CDC and Massachusetts Commissioner for Elementary and Secondary Education.

Organizations across the state are postponing or cancelling major events after Governor Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts on March 10.

UMass Dartmouth has postponed its celebration of the 50th anniversary of its Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality, which was set for March 18, as well as its Fashion for a Cause charity fundraising fashion show event on March 20, among others.

The university has also extended spring break and moved its courses online through April 3.