Reopening Letter 7-21-20

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