On Sunday 1 March, 2020, the Italian government announced restrictions not seen in Europe since the Second World War. From the following day, schools, businesses and other institutions across the north of the country were closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For many schools, this would have caused panic. With students and teachers confined to their homes, how could learning continue? But the American School of Milan, an English-speaking school for 900 children aged between 3 and 18 years, was ready to act.