(The Spanish translation will be posted as soon as it is available.)
Our school community has experienced six months of upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic, and there is still uncertainty as we look ahead to the rest of the school year. This summer, administrators, teachers, and staff created a reopening plan that included flexibility so that we could change our course of action in response to the severity of the pandemic. At this time, we feel that our secondary schools are ready to change to more in-person instruction. Governor Holcomb’s new metrics indicate that it is safer now for students to be in school.
The current pandemic statistics show that it is safe for students to be in school. Our administrative team believes our students need to be back in school to allow staff to better meet the social and emotional needs of every student. Many parents are also asking for a return to in-class instruction, as they are having difficulty balancing their jobs with the hybrid instruction schedule.
Since March, as a district, we have asked a lot of our teachers and staff. We have also asked for an incredible amount of educational support and participation from parents. We are hopeful that a vaccine will become available this year, and that the vaccine and a return to full-time education will bring normalcy to our schools. Until then, GCS will continue to do everything we can to maintain a safe learning environment, and support students and teachers.
Last night, Dr. Hope asked the board to keep elementary students in Course III, where they attend school for a shortened day and receive their “specials” classes virtually. He also requested that GCS move secondary students at GMS and GHS to Course III, with a phased-in approach to returning to classes. After Dr. Hope’s presentation, board discussion, public input, and further board discussion, the board voted for a phased-in plan to bring secondary students back to school in Course III. However, even as GCS plans to move ahead, if the pandemic statistics in Goshen do not support this transition to Course III, then secondary students will stay in Course IV.
The Course III plan of action is this:
On Monday, September 21, 2020, 6th graders, freshmen and sophomores will return to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with virtual learning on Wednesdays.
On Monday, September 28, 2020, 7th & 8th graders and juniors & seniors will return to school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with virtual learning on Wednesdays.
(Until their return on the above-mentioned dates, the secondary students will remain in Course IV.)
We understand that not everyone will necessarily agree with the plans put in place by the school board and administrators last night, but we hope that people will trust that GCS continues to operate with the safety of students and staff as our first priority. If you have concerns, please contact Dr. Steven Hope at email@example.com or 574-533-8631.