PHASED GISW REOPENING 2020
Please find the following tabs with information about our comprehensive re-opening plan. Please note that this information is updated frequently.
Phase starting Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020:
Please familiarize yourself with these descriptions of phase 2:
- Phase 2 at the Elementary School (SEL through Grade 4) - bilingual letter, please scroll down for English
- Phase 2 at the Upper School (Grade 5 through 12)
- Blue & Yellow groups
REQUIRED PHASE 2 DOCUMENTS - SEL THROUGH GRADE 12:
Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Current negative COVID-19 test result (when you receive your results from the lab, please froward them to email@example.com)
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your family wishes to quarantine and she will send you the form to start the quarantine.
The bus routes for the blue and yellow week are under CAMPUS LIFE > BUS. It is important to give your child the following form every day:
Please contact the Transportation Manager, Karen Kinsler at email@example.com with questions regarding the school bus service.
Phases of our Re-Opening Plan
On August 24, 2020, we opened our doors for 4 preschool groups from age 2 through 4. All preschoolers are screened before entering the building.
We are delighted to inform you that we are able to offer spaces in our Afternoon and Extended Care program to all preschoolers without restrictions. Should you be interested, please contact the Admissions Coordinator Ms. Dubrey by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you very much for your patience and flexibility during these unusual times. With questions, please contact our Preschool Principal, Mojdeh Khojasteh at email@example.com.
Phase 1: Distance Learning
- SEL through 12th grade will begin the year in a virtual learning environment. Despite some political back-and-forth, GISW has chosen to comply with the recommendation of the Montgomery County Health Department that private schools at the Kindergarten (our School Entry Level) through 12th grade not resume in-person instruction at this time.
- The GISW pedagogical team is confident in implementing improvements and incorporating parental and student feedback in its next iteration of virtual teaching and learning. Three major areas of on-line learning improvements focus on a) fidelity to one and the same platform (SeeSaw in Elementary School, Microsoft Teams in 5th -12th grades); b) a balanced approach to on-screen and off-screen time; and c) a moderated homework schedule.
- Our preschool program will open every day during its core hours from 8:00 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. This is in accordance with the Division of Early Childhood of the Maryland Department of Education. Afternoon and Extended Care will be limited to dual-working or single-parent working households through 4:45 p.m. Numerous health precautions such as cohorting, wearing facemasks, frequent handwashing, and strict cleaning protocols will be implemented with a clear bias toward outdoor instruction. We are planning to offer lunch but are still investigating bus service. A potential preschool closing may become necessary periodically should public health conditions warrant such a step.
Phase 2: Re-entry – Hybrid Model
- If the local health data keep improving, GISW will enter a 50% student capacity phase, during which time students in SEL-12th grade will alternate on-campus and virtual instruction on an alternating weekly basis, based on a new schedule.
- Students receiving in-person instruction on campus will follow numerous health precautions such as social distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing, and daily temperature checks. GISW is committed to meeting and/or exceeding re-opening guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control as well as state and local health agencies.
- During this phase, those students unable to come to school based on actual student health conditions or family preferences will be able to participate in Online Learning.
Phase 3: In-Person Instruction
- When local health conditions permit everyday in-person and on-campus instruction, GISW will continue with in-person and on-campus instruction. Again, this phase must be in line with local, regional and national public health agencies’ guidance or mandates.
- Families with students on GISW bus routes will be expected to take their childrens’ temperatures at home every morning. Every student will need to present a signed note to the bus driver, stating that the student does not have a temperature above 100.4 ° F/ 38°C.
- All students, faculty, and staff will have their temperature taken each morning at one of three designated temperature-taking stations. Faculty, staff, and students arriving late will either report to the Nurse’s Office for a temperature check or be screened by a thermal imaging camera that GISW is attempting to secure. We will use contactless thermometers, and if students register a temperature above 100.4°F/38°C, they will be screened by our nurse, who will make a final determination about whether the student may enter the building or will need to be picked up. Students, faculty, and staff will be issued daily stickers, indicating that their temperature is at or below 100.4° F/38°C.
- Lastly, all families, faculty, and staff will be issued a Health Pledge form, indicating their responsibility to follow school guidelines and the promise to report confidentially any household member’s diagnosis of COVID-19. This practice reinforces our mantra: “We’re in this together.”
- Our Nurse’s Station has been relocated to the building adjacent to the preschool entrance, giving her space to create “wellness” and “sickness” stations as well as restroom facilities. This new location is not in the immediate vicinity of any teaching spaces, and it also offers easy access for families picking up children. Our Nurse will also work with an assistant.
- Physical distancing of six feet will be mandated whenever possible between persons on campus indoors or outdoors.
- Face covering (face masks) will be mandated. GISW will furnish a mask for each student. However, we recommend that students wear a clean mask each day, and, thus, we recommend that you have a supply of masks for your children. Please work with your children in the upcoming weeks on getting used to wearing a mask for prolonged periods of time. There will be designated times when students may remove masks, i.e. eating or drinking.
- Frequent hand washing and/or sanitizing will be required of all students, faculty, and staff, and we will of course offer support to younger students with handwashing, mask-wearing and physical distancing. There will be multiple hand sanitizer stations available throughout the campus, and each classroom will have its own supply of hand sanitizer.
- Visitors to enter any school buildings will be limited to essential visitors such as school personnel, public safety and health officials. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to enter any GISW buildings. Drop-off for younger children will take place outside their respective classroom buildings. There will be no campus tours as part of the Admissions process during school hours, shadow days or visiting students until further notice. In addition, per applicable regulations, no visitors will be allowed in the preschool at any time.
- Finally, we request your help and cooperation: If you have traveled internationally, we ask that you self-quarantine for 14 days, as recommended by the CDC or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test and a doctor’s note indicating that it is appropriate for your child to return to school. Likewise, if a member of your household has been to a large gathering, visited a U.S. state with high rates of COVID-19 infections, or engaged in any other high-risk activity, please self-quarantine or obtain medical clearance for a return to school. Please consult these two CDC sites here and here.
- Our Facilities and Cleaning crew will circulate throughout the school day, repeatedly disinfecting all high-touch areas such as door knobs. All classrooms will be equipped with disinfectants. There will be separate cleaning personnel assigned to the preschool. All buildings will be cleaned thoroughly each night.
- Air Filtration: The school will install a high standard of HVAC filters, changing them on an accelerated schedule.
- School Buses: All seating areas of the school buses will be disinfected after each route has been completed.
- All cleaning and disinfecting agents will meet recommended CDC guidelines. Please note that German Languages Courses, our Saturday school, will not be on our campus, allowing us greater opportunity to clean thoroughly over the weekend and minimize access of non-GISW students.
- Faculty, staff, and students must remain at home if presenting with symptoms of illness.
- An administrative team will take on all tracing and tracking, informing those with whom an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 may have been in contact. Confidentiality regarding the sick individual will be maintained.
- If a COVID-19 diagnosis is confirmed, the school will work with the local and state authorities to determine an appropriate approach to any necessary facility closures. At a minimum, the classroom/office of the individual with the diagnosis will be closed for 24 hours. A case of illness may require a potential three-day cancellation of classes in which the individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19 is enrolled. Any decision to reopen will be made in consultation with local and state authorities.
- For anyone with a household member testing positive for COVID-19, a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine or a negative COVID-19 testing result will be required to be able to return to school.
- Optimizing Sleep
- How to help an anxious child calm down
- Meditation Apps
- Managing Anxiety
- Toys to alleviate Anxiety / Stress Spielzeug
- Distance Learning: Keeping Children Motivated (German: Motivation beim Fernunterricht)
- Social Emotional Learning
If you feel distressed, you can also reach out to the CDC via the national distress hotline: 1-800-985-5990, or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
State of Maryland:
Tuition and Fees
In case of closure of the GISW campus beyond a 2-week period, please take note of the following:
- 1st –12th grade: Distance learning will be provided, and full tuition will be charged. There will be no credits or refunds if GISW must switch to a virtual learning program.
- Preschool/SEL: GISW will permit families to opt out of the virtual program with a tuition credit of 50% for preschool students and 25% for SEL students. These tuition credits will be prorated for the period of closure.
- Bus Transportation Services: GISW will provide credit for bus services prorated for the period of closure.
Most importantly, let us resolve to work together in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff.
We’re in this together,
Marc Aurel Löckmann, StD Dennis Fehr Ben Hebebrand
Acting Head of School Chair of the Board Business Director