Georgia Academy for the Blind

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COVID-19 Announcements

  • July 21, 2020

    Dear Students, Families, and Staff,

    Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year at the Georgia Academy for the Blind.

    This letter contains much information.  Do not hesitate to reach out to me or your supervisor or your case manager for ongoing assistance.  We will find the very best way to launch the year of each family and staff person.

    Probably the first question on your mind is what procedures are in place for COVID-19. A complete plan is attached and posted to the website.  PPE will be provided and utilized. Social distancing will be taught and practiced.  Students and staff will have wellness checks upon arriving each day.  Any person who exhibits even one symptom of COVID-19 must remain or return home.  Parents/guardians must be prepared to come to the school to pick up your child when requested.  Students who become ill at school must be quarantined until family representatives arrive.

    The first day for staff is Monday, July 27, 2020.  The Preplanning Checklist is attached.  Staff may work remotely until further notice or may utilize the cottages to work on campus.  Hendricks Building has been cleaned and is presently on 14 days shut down.  School Nutrition, Residential, Maintenance, and Housekeeping staff will follow the direction of their supervisors.  All will follow wellness protocol.

    The 200 Day Teacher/Paraprofessional/Student GAB Calendar is located on the inside cover of the GAB calendar planner which you will receive.  Other calendars are on the S drive and available through appropriate supervisors.   The workday is from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. during preplanning with lunch as indicated on the Preplanning Schedule which will be provided.  If you work onsite, enjoy a relaxed dress code until students return.  Shorts, scrubs, sweats, or other active wear may be beneficial.  Add scrubs to the acceptable dress code until we do not have to be so conscious of COVID-19 protection.

    During preplanning case managers will contact families to confirm preferences of distance learning or on-site attendance choices available once again for the 1st nine weeks of school.

    Open House activities will be held Sunday afternoon, August 23, 2020.  Plans for moving into the cottages are attached.

    The first day of school for students is Monday, August 24, 2020, whether distance learning or on-site. Case managers and teachers will be providing additional information on accessing the electronic platform and how technology, instructional material and lesson assignments will be provided.

     

    Note the following very important items.  1)  Please be aware that as GAB is not a medical facility, we must follow schoolhouse nursing guidelines to require that your student not attend school until symptoms subside or medical needs are addressed.   These guidelines are followed by all Georgia Public Schools.  We apologize for any inconvenience picking up your child in time of illness may cause you.  Consider your distance and prepare for emergency transportation. 2)   Students are to be signed in late or signed out early in the Hendricks Building office.   Identification may be requested to ensure that students are released only to appropriate caregivers.  3) Occasionally GAB must close unexpectedly because of inclement weather or other emergencies.  Information will be provided to you as soon as available.  We understand the hardship this may cause you, and appreciate your understanding that closure is a serious safety decision. 4)  For car riders, we want to emphasize that it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that the child passenger is secured in accordance with legal and safety guidelines.  GAB staff will assist students to and from the car at the indicated car rider location.

     

    Everyone’s cooperation with all the inconveniences since March 13 is so appreciated. I look forward to your returning as we prepare to serve our 2020-2021 students and families.  Together we will rock GAB Reopened and Ready!

     

    As ever,

     

    Cindy Gibson, Ed.D. Superintendent

    Comments (-1)
  • We have hot off the press updates, and the final plan will be posted to our website as soon as final approvals are given. The plan includes CDC requirements for social distancing and use of PPE.  Note that students who require personal assistance in the instructional and Living and Learning Centers settings will have that with the understanding that  6 foot distance is not possible. Use of PPE affords some protection.   Students/staff who have any symptoms or exhibit even one symptom of COVID must either remain to return home following guidelines in the plan.

     There will be personal concerns to be addressed.  Don’t hesitate to state concerns and needs as we get students back into the instructional process.  Anxiety is a very real factor and psychological stress cannot be ignored.   We will find the best way for every family, student and staff person.

     The proposed start date for teachers is the original start date Monday, July 27.  Professional Learning  and meetings will be online, but staff may work at school using CDC protocols during preplanning weeks as needed for student instruction preparation.   Our first order of business instructionally is to provide a plan for DL such that students are not logged in to 7 classes daily.

     We are reaching out to families again to update Distance Learning (DL) or onsite preferences.  Student start date is requested to be pushed to August 24, giving additional weeks for teacher preparation for DL and onsite instruction and keeping safety top priority.  We encourage students who need assistance with the DL platform to come to school onsite for the first 2 weeks.  The students may attend GAB for technology training to become proficient in the skills listed below.  We will devise a plan for guardians to receive training on the platform virtually or onsite. A number of our students do not need this assistance as they have used the platform successfully in spring COVID DL.

    Skills addressed are:

    • Log on to the Microsoft Teams platform
    • Navigate the platform  (chat, assignments, and videos)
    • Submit assignments
    • Check for updates
    • Attend virtual class

     Tyrene is reaching out to affected counties to ensure their transporting students per our adjusted start dates, as counties are grappling with the safest measures for their staff and students.

     We extend students/families choice of on-site or distance learning from  August 24 to October 23, 2020,  end of our 1st  nine-week grading period, and will re-evaluate as the weeks progress toward that time. If you would like to change your selection of DL or on-site instruction, or if you originally selected “hybrid,”  email Tyrene Neil tneil@doe.k12.ga.us so that we can be prepared.

     Stay tuned for additional updates by email, website, and case manager contacts.  Please email me cgibson@doe.k12.ga.us with individual considerations to take into account for students or a staff member.  Thank you to families and staff who responded to surveys to help us with this guidance.   We will convene IEP meetings for specialized planning if needed moving forward.

     

    Always,

    Cindy

    Comments (-1)
  • Calling all GAB Families:
    Please look for an email, which was sent Friday, Jun 26th, with a short survey about your child starting the new school year. If you do not receive this email with a link attached to answer questions, please call Jennifer Minter at 478-262-3303 or email her at jminter@doe.k12.ga.us - Thank you
    Comments (-1)
  • To Parents/Families and LEAs

    The Georgia Academy for the Blind staff are working to open school for the 2020-2021 school year as scheduled with students reporting to school in person!  That means the first day of school for students is Monday, August 3, 2020. The top priority for all of us is to open school safely. Although we are working hard to open school on time, we know we will need to be flexible given the current unfolding circumstances related to COVID-19. If the reopening date changes, the Georgia Academy for the Blind  staff will inform you as soon as possible. The school calendar for 2020-2021 is posted to this site. 

     We will provide plans for our Open House which is on Sunday, August 2, 2020, as we get closer to reopening and know the social distancing guidance in place at that time.

     I hope you are having a nice summer time and enjoying family events.  We will stay in touch. Email, text, or call if you have any concerns.

     

    Always,

    Cindy

     

    Cindy B. Gibson, Ed.D., T.V.I.

    Superintendent

    Georgia Academy for the Blind

    Comments (-1)
  • Distance learning for the Georgia Academy for the Blind ended on May 15, 2020. Thank you to parents/families for working with staff to return student issued technology devices. Staff are working on a plan to open the 2020-2021 school year. The plan will depend on many factors as students come to GAB from many school districts. When a plan has been finalized, it will be shared with parents and school districts. Staff are committed to ensuring that a reopening plan has students‘ safety as the priority.

    La educación a distancia para la Academia para Ciegos de Georgia finalizó el 15 de mayo de 2020. Gracias a los padres / familias por trabajar con el personal para devolver los dispositivos tecnológicos emitidos por los estudiantes. El personal está trabajando en un plan para abrir el año escolar 2020-2021. El plan dependerá de muchos factores a medida que los estudiantes vengan a GAB desde muchos distritos escolares. Cuando se haya finalizado un plan, se compartirá con los padres y los distritos escolares. El personal se compromete a garantizar que un plan de reapertura tenga como prioridad la seguridad de los estudiantes.

    Comments (-1)
  • Important Update from the State Schools Director/Actualización importante del Director de Escuelas del Estado

    Comments (-1)
  • GAB Family,

    As we prepare to end the 2020 school year in just a few weeks we want to thank our families for patience and ingenuity in addressing the rigors of online instruction.  Our GAB teachers have done an awesome job of providing a variety of activities for engagement with instruction.  We will continue to update you through the website, Remind app, Panther Press, FaceBook and case manager contacts.

    Today Gov. Kemp extended his shelter in place order through June 12, 2020.  As a State agency, the Georgia Academy for the Blind is closed.  We know your concerns for retrieving your personal items and will provide a plan as soon as we are cleared to do so.  In the meantime, campus maintenance is continuing. Part of that cleaning and maintenance is discarding perishable items that were left during closure.    When we do return, the campus will have upgraded HVAC and will be ready for occupancy.  If you have specific concerns during this time, please reach out to Frank Reynolds for cottage issues frreynol@doe.k12.ga.us   or your student’s case manager, or me cgibson@doe.k12.ga.us

    GAB intends to serve the WHOLE child and WHOLE family.   As we are now into the 7th week of closure, please let us help you with needs which have arisen if we have resources for you.   

    Stay strong and be good to yourself!

    Always,

    Cindy

    Familia GAB,

    Mientras nos preparamos para terminar el año escolar 2020 en solo unas pocas semanas, queremos agradecer a nuestras familias por su paciencia e ingenio para abordar los rigores de la instrucción en línea. Nuestros maestros de GAB han hecho un trabajo increíble al proporcionar una variedad de actividades para comprometerse con la instrucción. Continuaremos actualizándolo a través del sitio web, la aplicación Remind, Panther Press, FaceBook y los contactos del administrador de casos.

    Hoy el gobernador Kemp extendió su orden de refugio hasta el 12 de junio de 2020. Como agencia estatal, la Academia para Ciegos de Georgia está cerrada. Conocemos sus inquietudes para recuperar sus artículos personales y le proporcionaremos un plan tan pronto como tengamos autorización para hacerlo. Mientras tanto, el mantenimiento del campus continúa. Parte de esa limpieza y mantenimiento es desechar los artículos perecederos que quedaron durante el cierre. Cuando regresemos, el campus habrá mejorado la HVAC y estará listo para ser ocupado. Si tiene inquietudes específicas durante este tiempo, comuníquese con Frank Reynolds para conocer los problemas de la casa de campo frreynol@doe.k12.ga.us o el administrador de casos de su estudiante, o mí cgibson@doe.k12.ga.us

    GAB tiene la intención de servir a TODO el niño y TODA la familia. Como ahora estamos en la séptima semana de cierre, permítanos ayudarlo con las necesidades que surjan si tenemos recursos para usted.

     

    ¡Mantente fuerte y sé bueno contigo mismo!

    Siempre,

    Cindy

    Comments (-1)
  • In compliance with Governor Kemp's executive order, GAB's campus is closed. Travel is not permitted in our state unless it is for essential travel per Governor Kemp's executive order. If your child left something essential like medicine at school, please contact your child's teacher. 

    Mensaje importante sobre el cierre de la escuela y los viajes no esenciales En cumplimiento de la orden ejecutiva del gobernador Kemp, el campus de GAB está cerrado. No se permite viajar en nuestro estado a menos que sea para viajes esenciales según la orden ejecutiva del gobernador Kemp. Si su hijo dejó algo esencial como medicina en la escuela, comuníquese con el maestro de su hijo.

    Comments (-1)
  • Families, Dr. Gibson has asked that anyone who is able please download the remind app so that teachers and the school can be in contact with you. We want to stay in contact with you! Thank you!Remind app logo

    Comments (-1)
  • FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS

    Students age 21 or younger may be eligible to receive a breakfast and/or lunch through their local school system. To receive a meal, the student does not have to be a student enrolled in the Local Public Schools. Children younger than pre-K or kindergarten age are able to receive meals. Children must be present to receive the meal(s).

    Information about individual schools, serving sites, dates and times of availability will be shared on your local school system’s website if they have applied for the USDA waiver to serve. Please click the link below to find where your student can receive a free meal at the local district. Please contact Andrea Johnson State Schools Nutrition Director, 404-558-3857 or email ajohnson@doe.k12.g.aus  if you have difficulty in finding the location.

    Updated Free Meals List/Lista actualizada de comidas gratis

     

    COMIDAS GRATUITAS PARA ESTUDIANTES

    Los estudiantes de 21 años o menos pueden ser elegibles para recibir un desayuno y / o almuerzo a través de su sistema escolar local. Para recibir una comida, no es necesario que el estudiante esté inscrito en las Escuelas Públicas Locales. Los niños menores de pre-kínder o jardín de infantes pueden recibir comidas también. Los niños deben estar presentes para recibir la (s) comida (s).

    La información sobre escuelas individuales, sitios de servicio, fechas y horarios de disponibilidad se  estaré compartiendo en el sitio web de su sistema escolar local, si ellos han solicitado la exención del USDA para servir.  Haga clic en el enlace a continuación para saber en qué distrito escolar local su estudiante puede recibir una comida gratis. 

    Comuníquese con la Directora de Nutrición de las Escuelas del Estado Andrea Johnson,  al 404-558-3857 o envíe un correo electrónico a ajohnson@doe.k12.g.aus  si tiene dificultades para encontrar los lugares en los cuales se ofrecerán las comidas. (para espanol: Maria H. 404-326-5096)

    Comments (-1)

Welcome

  • The Georgia Academy for the Blind was founded in 1852 to serve the needs of Georgia's students with visual impairments, including those with additional disabilities.  Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), we are committed to providing the highest quality educational services to our students and families across the state.  We offer day and residential programs on our campus, as well as outreach services and professional learning opportunities.

    Mission Statement

    The Georgia Academy for the Blind provides quality education services to Georgia’s students with visual impairments and/or visual impairments in conjunction with other disabilities to prepare them to achieve their highest level of independence in transition to college and career readiness.  

     

     

Announcements

  • An Important Message regarding 2020-2021

    School year opening!

     

     Hello, Families and Staff,

     

    We have hot off the press updates, and the final plan will be posted to our website as soon as final approvals are given. The plan includes CDC requirements for social distancing and the use of PPE. Note that students who require personal assistance in the instructional and Living and Learning Centers settings will have that with the understanding that 6-foot distance is not possible. The use of PPE affords some protection.

     

    Students/staff who have any symptoms or exhibit even one symptom of COVID must either remain at home or return home following guidelines in the plan.

     

    There will be personal concerns to be addressed.  Don’t hesitate to state concerns and needs as we get students back into the instructional process.  Anxiety is a very real factor and psychological stress cannot be ignored. We will find the best way for every family, student, and staff person.

     

    The proposed start date for teachers is the original start date Monday, July 27.  Professional Learning and meetings will be online, but staff may work at school using CDC protocols during preplanning weeks as needed for student instruction preparation.  Our first order of business instructional is to provide a plan for DL such that students are not logged in to 7 classes daily.

     

    We are reaching out to families again to update Distance Learning (DL) or onsite preferences.  Student start date is requested to be pushed to August 24, giving additional weeks for teacher preparation for DL and onsite instruction and keeping safety top priority.  We encourage students who need assistance with the DL platform to come to school on-site for the first 2 weeks.  The students may attend GAB for technology training to become proficient in the skills listed below.  We will devise a plan for guardians to receive training on the platform virtually or onsite. A number of our students do not need this assistance as they have used the platform successfully in spring COVID DL.

     

    Skills addressed are:

    ·      Log on to the Microsoft Teams platform

    ·      Navigate the platform  (chat, assignments, and videos)

    ·      Submit assignments

    ·      Check for updates

    ·      Attend virtual class

     

    Tyrene is reaching out to affected counties to ensure their transporting students per our adjusted start dates, as counties are grappling with the safest measures for their staff and students.

     

    We extend students/families' choice of on-site or distance learning from  August 24 to October 23, 2020,  end of our 1st  nine-week grading period, and will re-evaluate as the weeks progress toward that time. If you would like to change your selection of DL or on-site instruction, or if you originally selected “hybrid,”  email Tyrene Neil tneil@doe.k12.ga.us so that we can be prepared.

     

    Stay tuned for additional updates by email, website, and case manager contacts.  Please email me at cgibson@doe.k12.ga.us with individual considerations to take into account for students or staff members.  

     

    Thank you to families and staff who responded to surveys to help us with this guidance.  We will convene IEP meetings for specialized planning if needed moving forward.

     

    Always,

    Cindy Gibson

                cgibson@doe.k12.ga.us

            (478) 751-6083  X 1110

     

    Parents - Please contact Jennifer Minter 
    (Parent Mentor/Family Engagement Specialist)
    for any additional questions at: 
    JMinter@doe.k12.ga.us
    478-262-3303 (mobile)
    478-751-6083 Extension 1140

    Comments (-1)
  • Provision 2 Non-Base Year 2020-2021

    Comments (-1)
  • Learn more and get involved! Read and/or watch this webinar to learn more about the Bill of Rights for Children with Visual Impairments and their Families:

    Comments (-1)
  • Safety Update

    Dear families:

    As a result of seeking to be as secure as possible, effectively immediately, the access gates will remain locked throughout the day.  Gates 2, 3, and 5 will be opened from 7 am to 8:30 in the mornings and opened again from 2:30 to 3:30 in the afternoons.  Also, we have a few gate operators assigned to remotely open the gates.  You simply call them by pressing the Gate operator button shown in the picture.Once you are parked, remember to bring your license in order to receive a visitor’s badge.  To enter the Hendricks school building, you will ring the doorbell which is located on the right and left access door to the building.  You press that button and you will gain access to this building where you will sign in and receive a visitor’s badge.

    We appreciate your help and patience in this matter. 

    GAB gates  

    Comments (-1)
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