Maybe the first signal of seriousness about the oncoming changes from the COVID 19 virus were the cancellations of a special trip Mrs. Long, Mrs. Barkovich, Mrs. Chester and Mrs. Villani were asked to take. On March 15th, these four teachers at Avonworth were going to Israel with  Classroom without Borders as an extension of the exchange program they have participated in all  year, but due to the international travel risks,   Classroom without Borders organization has canceled the trip.

Classrooms Without Borders organized a seminar between four local schools and a group of Israeli teachers.  These Israeli teachers co-taught with the Pittsburgh schools in the fall for a week and then a subsequent exchange was planned for the next two weeks in March.” said Mrs. Long.  “Within our building I taught with Gila and Michal in my Genocide Studies elective and then both Israeli teachers taught with Mrs. Barkovich, Ms. Chester, and Ms. Villani in the integrated-10 class.”

Mrs. Long, who was also looking ahead towards hosting another program at Avonworth in late April, further shared her viewpoint.
“To be honest, I am super bummed about the cancellation.  We have been mentally preparing since August and really preparing in all other areas over the last month.  I understand the concern over coronavirus and the potential for being quarantined either in Israel or once returning home which would be less than ideal.  I think my husband is more excited that he will not be home with our three kids (ages 6, 4, and 2) by himself for two!  I am hoping they reschedule as this was truly a once in a lifetime type event.  The trip was centered around education and history which are two passions for me so I will keep my fingers crossed.”

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