Updated 3/13/2020

Dear GCS Family,

With the latest news of COVID-19, we wanted to send an update on the coronavirus, and our school’s response. As you know, there are no easy answers, and we are trying to neither under-react nor overreact. We waited until Friday to send this out, because the situation is changing rapidly and I wanted us to have the most current information before making decisions. Today, I attended the City of Tyler press conference announcing 3 new cases in Smith County, and I met with local area superintendents and NETHealth, as well as communicating with the other large private schools in the area, that have all extended Spring Break through next week, and several churches, including our parent church, who have postponed services this week. In my meeting with local superintendents today, the public schools have indicated their intent to extend Spring Break into next week, as well.

With families traveling all over the country and around the world over Spring Break, as well as Go Week travel for our high school students the week before, we wanted to ensure that we have the safest possible environment before we resume classes together as a school community. We also recognize that, when we resume classes, we will have to have a number of new procedures in place for heightened health screening for students, adjusting to several competitions that have been canceled, determining what curtailing congregating in large groups looks like for us, and the like.

In order to facilitate that environment and make plans for school moving forward, we will be extending Spring Break through next week, Friday, March 20th. Our current plan is to resume classes as normal (but with some of the restrictions I just mentioned, and which I will detail towards the end of next week) on Monday, March 23rd.  We will definitely be revisiting that concept at the end of the week, together with the other local schools. In the meantime, we ask that any families or students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 please self-quarantine for 14 days, and let us know. If you have questions as to what those symptoms may be, please see the Center for Disease Control guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html.

While our plan as of this minute is to resume class as usual the following week of March 23rd, I’m sure you understand the volatility of the situation, which is changing daily, if not hourly.  Please know that we may have to make changes as circumstances arise, including moving to a virtual learning instruction platform. In that event, we will be using next week to prepare to offer a quality and God-honoring instruction in that format. Please be looking for further updates at the end of next week regarding protocols for school moving forward.

I realize this creates some degree of inconvenience and challenge for you, but I hope it will also create an opportunity to spend more valuable time with your family and contribute to a safer learning environment.

Thank you so much.

In Christ,

Jay Ferguson
Head of School


Updated 3/12/2020

Dear GCS Family,

With the latest news of COVID-19, I am in the process of preparing an update on our school’s response to the coronavirus. We have been conducting extensive research into CDC and local requirements and recommendations, having discussions with infectious disease experts and other health care professionals, conversations with area K-12 public school superintendents and heads of private schools, both locally and nationwide.  As you know, there are no easy answers.

As I said earlier, we will be sending further information out Friday regarding classes next week. I have several meetings with experts tomorrow that will give us further clarity to make a good decision. As we’ve done our investigation and research, however, it is apparent that it is necessary to have an in-service in order to refresh our teachers on online instructional day procedures, should online instructional days become necessary in the future.

In order to be prepared should the need arise, we have determined to have this in-service on Monday, March 16. Therefore, students will not have classes on Monday. Tomorrow, I will send out further information about the rest of next week.

We deliberated about sending this letter out with the further information coming out tomorrow; however, I know that this will require some of you to make childcare arrangements for Monday, and I wanted to give you as much advance notice as possible to do that. I am deeply sorry for the inconvenience, but I know you will agree that these are extremely unusual circumstances.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

In Christ,

Jay Ferguson
Head of School