Letter from the School Administration

Parent letter July 21, 2020

July 21, 2020

Dear GSA Community,

We missed you so much! We have been going through unprecedented times since mid-March, and it seems like COVID-19 will cause major disruption until the scientists develop the vaccination for it. We need to stand strong by knowing the fact that the virus is not smarter than us and hopefully get back to normal life as early as possible.

The GSA administration team has been working hard to develop back to school plans in the fall. We need to make so many difficult calls in order to make it a safe return while experiencing a continued rise in cases and community transmission of COVID-19 both here in St. Louis as well as in other parts of the country. Our goal has always been to have students and staff back on-campus when it is safe to do so, and we closely monitor the guidance of the City and County Health Departments.  Today, we would like to share the current status of our plans and will update you on a weekly basis. Please note that the first day of school is changed to August the 24th in order for us to have additional time and be better prepared for a strong start.

Reopening Options for Parents to Consider:

As mentioned above, we would like to offer on-campus instruction in August with COVID-19 safety protocols in place. We are still considering the Onsite-face to face learning and Virtual formats with the following specifications:

Onsite – face to face learning:

  • Five days of instruction with no after school activities, sports, and before/aftercare service
  • To protect the health of students and staff, GSA will have
    • an infectious disease plan
    • conduct daily health and temperature screening for students and staff at the beginning of the school day;
    • require face coverings for all staff and students in the 4th grade and above while in the school building,

(Students with medical conditions that prohibit them from being able to wear face covering will be exempt as long as they have a document from their medical provider.)

  • at a minimum, maintain a 3ft radius around each student’s desk in the classroom;
  • minimize contact and social mixing during school hours
  • establish an isolation area within each school which will be used to remove any ill person from the school’s general population;
  • prohibit visitation of nonessential visitors;
  • require temperature and health screenings and wearing of face coverings for all essential visitors (e.g. parents/guardians, health officials, business officials, vendors that provide essential services for the school);
  • not hold any in-person field trips during the Fall semester of the 2020-2021 school year;
  • all students must have up to date immunization or a valid exemption prior to beginning in-person schooling;
  • work with the City of St. Louis Department of Health to ensure COVID-19 testing is available and required for all staff prior to returning to work;

Virtual School:

  • Offered to the students who chose not to participate in onsite face to face learning, or for all students when onsite instruction is not an option due to increasing COVID-19 cases
  • Students will have a daily schedule to follow
  • Students are required to watch live/recorded lessons and complete the assigned work
  • Platforms: Seesaw (K-2), Google Classroom (3-12), Zoom (all)
  • Parents will have an option to pick up pre-packed breakfast and lunch for their students at scheduled times.

GSA will provide Chromebooks for all students and also offer technical support. We will also help parents who have an internet connectivity problem.

Please review the options and feel free to submit your questions here. We will respond to your questions in a timely manner by creating a FAQ document. Next, you will receive

another form on Monday the 27th to submit with your final choice for the first semester of the school year.

We appreciate your continued support during this national pandemic crisis. It is our goal to ensure the safety and well-being of our community members, along with the continued learning of our students, as we embark upon the 2020-2021 school year.

GSA Administration