We look forward to welcoming students back to school as we return to on-campus/traditional classes on August 10th. The school will be held on its normal schedule Monday through Friday. The school day will begin and end at its normal time, including Before Care and After Care.
In anticipation of the start of the school year, we want to share with you some ways we will conduct school operations and maintain the health and safety of our students, your family, and our employees.
The details are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Alabama Department of Public Health, and Alabama State Department of Education, GSCS administrative staff.
The information regarding COVID-19 is changing daily, and we do our best to keep abreast of the changes so that we can respond and update our plan.
To minimize exposure and minimize the spread of illness, we plan to
- Use physical distancing, including where appropriate
- Reducing room capacities
- Spreading apart seating in classroom and reducing assemblies
- Modifying hallway traffic patterns
- Modifying snack and cafeteria seating (some classes will eat in the classroom)
- Modify certain activities, where appropriate
- Fine arts classes/groups
- Physical education classes
- Athletic programs
- Emergency drills
- Encourage good hygiene by
- Reminding students regularly about good personal hygiene habits
- Use hand sanitizer. In the elementary school, teachers will manage its use; in the upper school students will use it as needed.
- Enhance our cleaning procedures with
- A focus on high-touch areas
- Increased cleaning protocols in classrooms, with specific plans on how the classroom is used(e.g. a desk is used by one elementary student for the entire day; or a desk is used by multiple upper school students each day) and the age of the student (e.g. young child vs. teenagers)
- Limit contact with parents and guests at school
- The school building: modified entrance and exist for students, parents, and faculty. Parents and guest visit the the school office only; office personnel will assist with individual needs related to the classroom
- Lunch and chapels: students and staff only
- School events: evaluated and modified on a case-by-case basis; some events may need to be cancelled
- Limit exposure to other students and staff who may be ill by
- Maintaining daily student wellness checks before and during the school day
- Asking parents to check their student’s temperature and symptoms daily, keeping home a student who is symptomatic
- Contacting parents if their child becomes symptomatic during school and quarantining their student until a parent arrives
- Asking parents to seek medical advice and take appropriate action if their student shows symptoms or has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
- Asking staff to daily check their temperatures and stay at home if they are symptomatic
- Maintaining cohorts of students where possible where possible, avoiding unnecessary exposure to larger groups
- Communicating appropriately to parents if their student has been exposed to illness at school
- Advising parents on a case-by-case basis
- Face Coverings
- We are carefully monitoring health requirements and currently do not plan to require face covering as a general requirement . Face coverings may be required in special cases or situations. For this reason, we will ask students and staff to have their own face coverings at school for use should the need arise.
- We support any parent who wants their child to wear a face covering as long as it does not violate the dress code. personal choices regarding face covering will be respected and supported.
When a necessary precaution causes a significant difficulty for those affected, we plan to provide alternate solutions where possible and suitable.
- School events (evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
- Providing virtual opportunities when a face-to-face event is cancelled (e.g. parent teacher conferences0
- Altering other components of an event when in-person attendance is limited (e.g. limiting occupancy, live streaming an event)
- Student learning (if an extended absence is required)
- GSCS is unable to provide distance learning lessons while conducting traditional in-class instruction. However, the administration will work with teachers to provide appropriate homework assignments and/other learning materials for students. teachers at their discretion may provide limited synchronous/asynchronous virtual support.
- Should local or state governmental agencies require us to suspend in-person classes, we will transition to a distance- learning model.
Agreement of Understanding/Waiver
As part of the registration forms we require a trip permission for and a release for emergency medical care, as well as other permissions. This year it will also include an agreement/waiver regarding COVID-19 that parents will need to sign before their child returns to school.
As we move into the school year, we will communicate details of specific events and any updates to our plan. We will continue to use our website, our facebook page, email, and our new parent communication and school management software, Headmaster.
We look forward to seeing your student on August 7, our meet the teacher day.