As the school year continues to take shape in new ways, I’m hopeful and excited for GAC students and families. We’re ready to see each other again and welcome new families on the GAC campus. We are in a season that continues to change rapidly, yet we remain committed to providing your children with the very best in learning, support, engagement and preparation for the future.
As you review the following plan to welcome you safely to campus, you will see GAC has worked to adapt to student and learning needs in transformative ways -as well as carefully planned to ensure the health and safety of every member of our community incorporating the best practices and protocols. At the same time, I want to assure you: GAC has not changed in its foundation or focus. Scripture calls us to “be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.“ Philippians 4:6-7
I am thankful for all the work that has gone into preparing for this school year. I’m thankful for our team of educators that embraced the synchronous learning concept and brought it to life with help from administrators, campus services and IT professionals. I’m thankful we were able to invest over $1.4M in those new technologies, resources, and health protections to advance our commitment to transformative learning, on campus and from home. I’m thankful for friends who in early 2020 supported our dream to transform some of our outdoor spaces. We had no idea at the time, the extra value those new open spaces would be as we reopen the campus in a new era of social distancing. I’m thankful for administrators who thoughtfully assessed learning spaces and revised schedules to provide smaller classes, limit hall transitions, expand dining areas, and think through how to make it all come together. I’m thankful for increased interest in GAC this summer by prospective families. In fact, in the last week we opened new classes in several grade levels due to increased applications and growing wait pools.
Last but not least, I’m thankful for each of you - our GAC families. You’ve partnered with us in new ways. You gave feedback to surveys, shared with friends why you selected GAC, and inspired and encouraged us. Yes, this is an uncertain time. Outlined on the following pages are our best plans based on what we know today. As we learn more, these will most likely change but we will not be anxious; we are trusting in the Lord and we are thankful to be returning to school. We are greater together. The coming 2020-2021 school year holds much promise and opportunity. We are ready!
Scott Harsh, Ed.D
Our goal is to have a successful start of school for all families, those with students who plan to start the school year on-campus and those who make the decision to keep their students at home a little longer. In order to achieve this goal we have planned a phased, progressive and rotating start to the school year which will allow students to practice new on-campus protocols that have been put in place for the health and safety of our community including class transitions, dining hall experiences, carpool, playground, and more.
In addition, we believe there is value for all students to have an initial synchronous experience from home to understand the options available to them as the school year continues. We recognize that students choosing the in-person option may have a reason throughout the year to utilize GAC Sync from home, whether by choice, when sick (Covid-19 or non-Covid related), or by the need to quarantine after possible exposure to Covid-19.
Students in K3 and younger will not be participating in GAC Sync and therefore will start the first day of school using their normal schedule.
Students in K4-12th grade will be split into three groups for the first two weeks of school.