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Reopening Plan

We are Greater Together

A Purposeful Start to the 2020-2021 School Year

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

Download the Reopening Plan

A Flexible Academic Plan - The GAC Choice: Synchronous Learning

Planning for the 2020-2021 school year prioritizes student health and safety, social-emotional well-being, and the importance of continuity of learning. We are committed to a successful face-to-face learning environment on campus and from home. However, we all recognize that this year school will look different. We recognize some of our families may not be ready to return to an in-person learning environment. We also realize that students who choose the in-person, on campus learning environment may need to participate from home at some point in the school year.

For the past several months, a team of GAC senior leaders, school level administrators, and lead teachers have been working to transform our K-12 learning spaces so that classes can be taught face-to-face and online, simultaneously. GAC’s Synchronous Learning (GAC Sync) provides students real-time teaching and collaboration regardless of location, allowing our families the flexibility to choose (even on a daily basis) to attend school on campus, from home, or while traveling. View the video below to see a demonstration.

Make Your GAC Choice

This investment in technology and teacher training allows us to go well beyond what we offered during the spring 2020 shelter-in-place mandate, truly transforming the GAC educational experience. Furthermore, all instructional content, will be recorded daily and readily available for students to access later. So, when a student wants to review a given concept discussed in class, they can view the lesson as many times as needed. Incorporating this technology as part of the GAC learning environment also helps us maintain a healthier campus. Students who do not feel well for any reason, on any given day, can stay at home but not miss valuable class time.

Students utilizing GAC Sync from home will be expected to adhere to the current Student-Parent Handbook, including academic, attendance, uniform, and behavior policies.

“We are committed to leading through this pivotal time with transformative learning.”

8-Period Block Schedule

As announced June 26, 2020 and in conjunction with GAC Sync, we have adjusted the daily schedule for middle school and high school students. The new 8-period schedule will allow us to reduce class sizes, offer more electives, and create some flex time in the school day. In addition to electives, your student may choose a “Learning Lab” which will allow time during the day to work on homework or take a mental break. The new rotating block schedule also reduces the number of class transitions during the school day.

Health and Safety Measures

Our goal is to bring our community back to campus while prioritizing everyone’s health and safety. We have invested much time and over $1.4M in financial resources to make changes to the campus and our processes. We will need to work together to stay as healthy as possible. The learning environment at GAC will look different this fall, with measures in place to provide the best educational experience while protecting the health of every student and our faculty/staff.

We recognize that we are in a changing environment and therefore will be continually reevaluating our processes. We are monitoring the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH). GAC leaders and nurses participate in partner calls with the Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale County Health Departments (GNR Health) on a weekly basis to hear the most up-to-date information. We are unique from other school systems in that the GAC campus has been open since

mid-May for our Young Learners, and since mid-June for Summer Camp, and other approved activities. This has allowed us to practice and fine tune our protocols. 

Campus Life

We recognize that an important element of the GAC mission - “to help each student grow as Jesus did in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and Man” includes many experiences beyond the classroom. Our goal is to provide as many of these experiences as possible, however some may need to be adjusted or postponed during this time.

Please note: All students including those choosing GAC Synchronous Learning (GAC Sync) from home will be allowed to fully participate in all co-curricular and campus life activities at GAC.

A Progressive Start of School

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.

  • Group A: Students with a last name starting A-K who choose in-person at GAC.
  • Group B: Students with a last name starting L-Z who choose in-person at GAC.
  • Group C: Students who choose GAC Sync from home.
  • Please complete this GAC Choice form to let us know you are choosing the GAC Sync from home option. If you do not complete the form, we assume your child will be on campus as we start the school year.
  • Note: For the first three weeks we are asking students to remain with their choice of either on campus or GAC Sync from home. After those three weeks you may change your option at any time.

View the Progressive Start Schedule  Make Your GAC Choice

A Phased Approach for Decision Making

We are committed to return to face-to-face education in August.  However, we realize that the health situation in our community is changing constantly.  The reality is that when we return it seems highly likely that we will eventually have positive cases of COVID-19 within our student body and/or faculty/staff. For these reasons, we have adopted a four-phased plan to help guide our decision making and to help communicate our approach to teaching and learning.  

Frequently Asked Questions

GAC is taking extensive measures to support strong academics while maintaining the health and social-emotional well-being of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to add to these FAQs as common questions arise.



Health & Safety


Jimmy Chupp, Director of School Life

Annabelle Townsend, MS/HS Nurse

Kristen Wilson, LS Nurse

Rhonda Helms, LS Principal

T.J. Dixon, MS Principal

Shane Woodward, HS Principal

Chad Dybdahl, Athletic Trainer