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Health Alert - School Closure March 5, 2020

Update 3-5-2020

Dear PHS Community,

As we previously shared, out of an abundance of caution, PHS closed today (March 5) to undergo an environmental cleaning. I know a school closure creates a burden for many people, and I thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We hoped to reopen tomorrow, but we have made the decision for PHS to remain closed on Friday, March 6. (PHS is one of five Bay Area schools with multi-day closures for a deep cleaning due to similar circumstances.)

The family involved has been incredibly thoughtful and proactive in sharing information with PHS once they were notified of the potential exposure to COVID-19, and I am deeply appreciative. The extended family member has not shown any symptoms, and the family’s healthcare provider has not issued a quarantine for the extended family member or any other members of the family; in addition, the extended family member spoke to the CDC today and was told they were not under any quarantine plan and they were not a risk given they were asymptomatic. Out of respect for the privacy of our families, we will not share any information about the identity of the family and we encourage all community members to refrain from speculation or assumptions about the identity as they are not helpful in building or protecting our community.

Although PHS will be closed to students tomorrow, administrators and faculty will return and  prepare for successful re-entry next week by learning about new health and safety tools, refining emergency operations plans, and considering additional options to protect our community.

We are eager to resume classes next week and look forward to sharing more information with you soon. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns that you think we may be able to help with.

In partnership,


Dear PHS Families:

We send this message to let you know there has been potential exposure to COVID-19 in our greater community. Out of an abundance of caution and in consideration for the safety and well-being of our families and employees, we decided to close PHS tomorrow for an environmental cleaning. All classes, field trips, meetings, clubs, and community gatherings are cancelled for Thursday, March 5. PHS may reschedule these trips and events for another time. Unless otherwise notified, we plan to re-open for classes on Friday, March 6. 

To respect family privacy, I will only share limited information. An extended family member in our community (who does spend some time on campus periodically, including this week) was possibly exposed to people who have now tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. The CDC recommends you follow preventative measures for stopping the spread of germs: wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, disinfect frequently used objects and surfaces, and avoid contact with those who are sick. For more information on the CDC recommendations, please visit www.cdc.gov/COVID19.

We understand you may be concerned hearing this news. While it is not our intention to unnecessarily cause concern or disrupt student learning, we are acting cautiously and in the best interest of our community based on guidance from public health officials including the San Francisco Department of Public Health. We will be communicating with you tomorrow evening before our return to school and plan to continue to communicate information about the School’s response to the ongoing public health concern. As always, if you have any questions, you are welcome to reach out to me anytime and please know that it may take up to 24 hours for me to respond to non-emergency questions and concerns.


Lisa Jeli​
Head of School