COVID-19 Update

A PDF with more information is available for parents to download here.

We look forward to welcoming students back to school as we return to on-campus/traditional classes on August 10, 2021. The school will return to its regular Monday-Friday schedule, including before-school and after-school care.

In anticipation of the upcoming school year, we want to share with you some ways we will be conducting school operations to maintain the health and safety of our students, their families, and our employees.

These details are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Alabama Department of Public Health, and the Alabama State Department of Education.

Information regarding COVID-19 is changing daily, and we do our best to keep abreast of any changes so we may respond quickly and update our plans as needed to keep your child and your family safe.

Campus Safety

To minimize exposure and spread of the illness, we plan to do the following:

  • Use physical distancing by
    • reducing classroom capacities
    • spreading seating apart in classrooms and reducing assemblies
    • modifying hallway traffic patterns
    • modifying snack and cafeteria seating (some classes will eat in the classroom)
  • Modify certain activities, including
    • fine arts classes & groups
    • physical education classes
    • athletic programs
    • emergency drills
  • Encourage good hygiene by
    • reminding students regularly about good personal hygiene habits
    • using hand sanitizer. In the elementary school, teachers will manage its use; in the middle and high school classes, students will be permitted to use it as needed.
  • Enhance our cleaning procedures with
    • a focus on high-traffic areas
    • increased cleaning protocols in classrooms, with specific plans on how each classroom is used with regard to the age of the student (more details are provided in the PDF document available here.)
  • Limit contact with parents and guests at school
    • the school building will have modified entrances and exits for students, parents, guests, and faculty. Parents and guests will be permitted to visit the school’s office only. Office personnel will assist with individual needs related to the classroom.
    • Lunchroom and chapels will be permitted for student and faculty use only.
    • School events are to be evaluated and modified on a case-by-case basis; some events may need to be cancelled or rescheduled.
  • Limit exposure to students and faculty who may be ill by
    • maintaining daily student wellness checks before and throughout the school day
    • asking parents to monitor their children’s temperature and symptoms daily, keeping any symptomatic children home from school
    • contacting parents if their child becomes symptomatic during school and quarantining their child until their parent arrives
    • asking parents to seek medical advice and to take appropriate action if their child shows symptoms or has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
    • asking staff to monitor their temperature and symptoms and stay home if they are symptomatic
    • maintaining cohorts of students where possible, avoiding unnecessary exposure to larger groups
    • notifying parents if their child has been potentially exposed to any illness during the school day
    • advising parents on a case-by-case basis
  • Face coverings
    • We are carefully monitoring health requirements and currently do not plan to require face coverings as a general requirement. Face coverings may be required in special cases or situations. For this reason, we do ask that students and staff have their own face coverings available on their person at school for use should the need arise.
    • We support any parents who wish their child to wear a face covering so long as it does not violate the dress code. Personal choices regarding facial coverings will be respected and supported.

Support

When a necessary precaution causes a significant difficulty for those affected, we plan to provide alternate solutions where possible.

  • School events (evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
    • providing virtual opportunities when a face-to-face event must be cancelled (e.g. parent-teacher conferences)
    • altering other components of an event when in-person attendance must be limited (e.g. limiting occupancy, livestreaming an event)
  • Distance learning
    • GSCS is unable to provide distance learning 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 virtual support.
    • Should local or state governmental agencies require in-person classes to be suspended, GSCS will transition to a distance-learning model.

Agreement of Understanding/Waiver

As part of the registration forms each year, we require permission for field trips and a release for emergency medical care, as well as other permissions. This year, included in your child’s registration paperwork will be an agreement/waiver regarding COVID-19 that parents will need to sign before their child returns to school.

More Information

As we move into the school year, we will communicate more details of specific events and any updates to the plan outlined here. We will continue to use this website, our Facebook page, email, and our new parent communication and school management software, Headmaster.

We look forward to seeing your child on August 7, 2021, our meet the teacher day!