The GPCS Board of Directors has approved a plan for reopening the school this August 26 as an all-day, five-days per week, on-campus program, provided that the state permits reopening as we anticipate. A “Reopen Team” of parents, educators, and health professionals produced the first part of our plan for reopening GPCS in compliance with guidelines from the state (“Framework for Returning to Classroom Instruction”) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The focus of this first team was on physical health and safety. A second team is now developing specific learning plans that will include how we would respond should the need arise again for remote learning. Our primary goal is to reopen school with the safety of our students, staff, and their families as the uppermost priority.
This is one of those times that being a small school has advantages! We should be able to provide physical distancing fairly easily, for example. Smaller classes facilitate physical distancing for seating. We don’t have busing issues because our students are brought and picked up by parents. Students already eat lunch in their homerooms, so we don’t have cafeteria issues.
This reopen plan is subject to change, of course, due to the quickly changing nature of pandemic issues, so we will be updating it as necessary. We wish we did not have to make many of these changes but are convinced they are necessary to be able to protect our students and staff and their families. Regardless of state and CDC guidelines, these measures are medically necessary and are a way of obeying Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor (Matthew 26:36-40). We think this is an important lesson for our students—that sometimes we do things (or don’t do things) out of love and concern for the welfare of others, even if it is inconvenient to us. Another “teachable moment” for all of us!