As the summer continues, we are seeing more and more signs that life here on Storm King Mountain is returning to normal. Today, I am happy to reach out with some new and positive developments that will affect your planning for the fall and help you navigate through the changing guidance and regulations surrounding the reopening of schools.
Just moments ago, travel restrictions have been lifted for students coming to the U.S. from Europe, and easing of restrictions for students from other continents is expected to follow soon. This means many of our students can begin to set their travel plans unhindered.
Earlier this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) also rescinded its July 6th directive prohibiting international students living abroad from studying remotely during the pandemic. This means that the status quo remains in effect. International students may take classes in person or remotely while residing in the U.S. or from their homes abroad without jeopardizing their student visas for a return to campus in the spring.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates are also starting to re-open and students who are applying for F1 visas are being prioritized. An
official twitter account of the US Department of State @travelgov is
responding to F1 enquiries saying
“Beginning July 15, U.S. Embassies and Consulates may begin the phased resumption of routine visa services depending on local conditions.”
Already, some of our new international students have reported their success in scheduling visa appointments in China, Japan, and Vietnam in the last few days.
In addition, New York is a state with a very low Covid-19 infection rate. Since the virus hit in early March, we went from being the epicenter of the pandemic to becoming one of the safest regions in our nation. That is because New Yorkers take recommended health precautions very seriously. In our school's region of Orange County, Covid-19 testing is widely available and new positive case numbers are very low. For example, on July 13, only 9 out of 914 individuals tested positive. On July 12, 605 people were tested with 6 positive results, and on July 11, 847 tests were conducted with only 5 patients testing positive. With these numbers, we remain well within the guidelines allowing our schools to re-open safely.
This is all great news for new and returning Storm King students. Whether you decide to attend in-person on our beautiful campus or through our robust online learning program this fall, you can be sure that continuing your education at Storm King will benefit you well into the future, and that a Storm King diploma will help to get you where you want to be.
Despite the pandemic, our newly-graduated Class of 2020 had one of the best college placement records in the history of our school, with students attending The University of Chicago, Tufts, NYU, Cornell, Vassar, Wake Forest, University of Virginia and many other prestigious institutions around the world. Our school's reputation has endured for 153 years and will continue to serve its graduates well into the future, long after the pandemic subsides.
As new information about travel, visas, and other continues to unfold, I will keep you informed. I will also be in touch with more details about Storm King's reopening plan, our new health and safety protocols being put in place, the fall academic program and online learning options, and other important news. Tomorrow, you will receive an invitation to join an informational session via ZOOM which will address the topics discussed above. This ZOOM meeting is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 with details to come.
In the meantime, please don't hesitate to reach out to me
with your questions. Be well and enjoy the rest of your summer!
Assistant Head of School for Admissions and Marketing