Dear GSA Community,
As the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) widens, we continue to closely monitor local, national, and international reports, following the recommendations of Austin Public Health (APH), Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). APH has updated the risk assessment for Austin on their website to elevated “due to the growing evidence of person-to-person spread in the United States” while noting there are have been NO positive test results received by Austin Public Health. Our primary concern continues to be on keeping the community safe and healthy.
Remote Continued Learning Plan
Being responsible members of the local and national communities, we have decided to enact our remote learning plan to begin Monday, March 23rd following Spring Break. This decision came after much deliberation, monitoring of the developing situation, and following the recommendation of both the WHO and the CDC. The number one step we can take to support the more vulnerable citizens in our broader community is to exercise social distancing. This will help to mitigate the spread of the virus which will provide relief for our healthcare system so those who need it most have the access they need. We are communicating early as we recognize that families will need time to prepare. We feel confident in our remote teaching and learning plan. The faculty and staff actively developed this robust plan to ensure our girls remain engaged, connected, and growing during this time. The situation has proven a great opportunity for our teachers to dive into new tools to enhance the learning experience for our students – creating a wonderful bright spot in current events. This remote learning plan will take place the week of March 23-27. In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the situation and reevaluate whether to return to campus the following Monday (March 30) or extend our remote learning experience. Please look for a more thorough communication before end-of-day tomorrow with specifics for what you can expect from your child’s teacher(s) during our remote learning time. We will outline how teachers will communicate with parents and students and the tools they will utilize.
Spring Break Travels
We continue to urge families not to travel abroad in the upcoming weeks. If you do opt to travel out of the country, or if you have visitors from abroad (particularly from areas with a risk level 2 or higher), we ask that you keep us informed by contacting the office.
Following guidance from the CDC, we ask that GSA community members avoid personal travel to CDC Warning Level 3 areas as they will be asked to self-quarantines for 14 days upon their return. Though there are not any domestic travel warnings currently, we recommend families monitor the CDC Travelers’ Health page as recommendations and restrictions may change while you are traveling.
We are extending excused absences to any family wishing to keep their kiddos home on Friday 3/13 If your daughter(s) will not be on campus, please stop by the main office tomorrow afternoon between 12:30-2:30 or 3:30-4:30 to pick up the necessary materials. This will provide time for teachers to gather the materials your daughter will need. Of course, these materials should be set aside in a safe place until after the spring holiday!
We appreciate your understanding and your partnership, as always. We will be in touch tomorrow with specific remote learning plans. Of course, please reach out with any questions or concerns.
Shanna, Frances, and Tricia