Urgent – PLEASE READ
GCMS Families, March 11, 2020
I am writing this letter today to provide information, reassurance, and preparation for the families of GCMS School District as it pertains to the current concerns over COVID-19 (coronavirus) and how it could potentially impact the students and families of GCMS.
I want to reassure all families that GCMS has continued its standard practices for cleaning and sanitizing the facilities to minimize the spread of illness and germs. Each year we add safeguards to our standard cleaning practices to combat the increased illness of the cold and flu season. This includes extra cleaning of classrooms, shared spaces, busses, restrooms, and shared materials. This does not eliminate illness but certainly curbs the spread and transmission of germs. This practice was maintained this year with the added threat of COVID-19 as a best practice as relayed by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
The fluid nature of COVID-19 and the demands it is placing on the entire country / world is not something we can ignore. In the past 48 hours the expectations being passed down from both federal, state, and local health agencies has been changing as we learn how to best manage the spread of this illness.
Finally, this evolution of demands is what is prompting this letter of preparedness for GCMS. Currently we are proceeding with a majority of our activities as normal and planned. On Tuesday, March 10, 2020 we suspended all activities with both the Villas of Hollybrook and the Gibson Area Hospital Annex as a precaution to ensure the safety of both our students and the residents. Due to the rapid progression of restrictions across the country, we are preparing ourselves and you for what “COULD” happen next.
I would suggest that everyone stay in close contact with the many delivery methods of information that we provide, such as REMIND, GCMS Website, social media posts, and direct mailings through students. Some information and cancellations will be timely, and some could be last minute given the rapid progression of events around COVID-19.
Some districts, professional organizations, and universities, across the country are shutting down for extended periods of time. We are not currently planning on this, but it could happen, and it is essential that all families make arrangements for their children should this occur. Staff are currently preparing for more e-learning days to avoid losing any more instructional time than necessary should shutdowns occur. Should we be closed for a longer period of time it is essential that everyone try to stay engaged with learning to avoid regression.
GCMS will respect that each family has to make informed decisions for what is in the best interest of both their family and those they come in contact with. Should a family choose, or be forced into a quarantine situation, we will do our best to ensure limited breakdowns in the learning process.
We are truly approaching uncharted territories and we will make the best decisions we can for everyone in the system considering all information at each point in time. We look forward to working with students, families, health agencies, and the community to make decisions for the good of individuals and the community. I know that these times of uncertainty are challenging for everyone, but please be supportive and understanding as we navigate these unique times.