Griffin Spalding County School System Coronavirus Information and Resources
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corona virus

GSCS Announces Closure for the Remainder of the School Year

 
April 1, 2020
 
Dear GSCS Families and Staff:
 
In just a few months, we’ve watched the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has changed the way we interact with one another. On April 1, Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order to extend the closure of all Georgia schools through the remainder of the school year and a statewide Shelter-In-Place effective April 3. The safety and security of our students and staff are our priority and has remained at the forefront of all adjustments made in our service delivery to students:
 
Continuous Learning Plan
GSCS was fully prepared to extend our Continuous Learning Plan that began March 18, and it’s working well for us. Our goal was to ensure that students did not experience any loss of academic skills and knowledge over the course of this unprecedented pandemic. On March 30, we expanded our digital learning to all second graders by distributing chromebooks to their parents. This week we are preparing additional printed packets for at home learning to be distributed the week of April 13. Additionally, all school counselors have set up virtual office hours to support students between the hours of 9 and 11 am and 1 to 3 pm.
 
Last week, we added the Parent’s Guide to Google Classrooms on our district website to walk you through accessing your child’s digital classroom and assignments. This week, we added Social-Emotional Learning information and activities that are accessible via SEL Google Classrooms as a resource to students, parents and staff to explore and express their emotions, build relationships, and support each other during this challenging time. While we realize online learning cannot fully replace the quality of a face-to-face classroom, I am truly impressed with how our teachers have provided creative, unique learning experiences for students at home.
 
Special Education/504 Services
Services for Students with Disabilities are continuing through each student’s case manager and other services providers. Case managers are contacting parents and students to ensure that students continue to have access to the curriculum and are offering supports as needed. Case managers are also working with teachers to ensure that student accommodations are still in place. The district will hold student Distance Annual Review IEPs after spring break. Parent notifications of meetings will occur over the next few days. District staff are continuing to comply with student 504 plans. School psychologists are providing support to schools with the implementation of the plans.
 
Class of 2020 - Prom and Graduation Ceremonies
Given the Governor's announcement on April 1 to extend school closure through the end of the school year, we will review our contingency plans to ensure that the Class of 2020 is celebrated for one of the most important milestones of their lives.
 
SAT/ACT testing waived for USG admission
All SAT/ACT testing has been suspended for the remainder of the school year. First-year students applying to the University System of Georgia colleges for the summer and fall 2020 semesters can now be admitted without an ACT or SAT score, if they meet all other admission requirements.
 
GRCCA/Dual Enrollment
Students enrolled in the Griffin Region College & Career Academy should continue to check both high school and college emails daily for updates. There have been changes to dual enrollment effective June 2020. Please visit the GRCCA website at www.grcca.education for more information.
 
Spring Break
The district will observe spring break April 6-10 to allow our staff to relax and reset during these stressful times. We have had so many dedicated staffers working very hard over the past couple of weeks from custodians, nutrition workers, drivers, teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, etc. under very unusual circumstances and requirements.
 
Meal Distribution Program
Since March 18, GSCS has distributed 4,980 meal packages that included breakfast and lunch per child at four school sites. This equates to approximately 45,000 individual meals. We sincerely appreciate our School Nutrition Department for prepping and packaging meals, as well as staff volunteers and students from Southern Crescent Technical College for distributing meals. We are partnering with the Salvation Army and other community organizations to provide food resources while we are closed during Spring Break. We plan to resume meal distribution on April 14.
 
I want you to know that for the past month, we have communicated daily with local and state agencies regarding COVID-19 and its impact on our operations. I know you are concerned – about your child, their health and yours, as well as our staff, the community, and our future in general. Please talk to your family about following the daily preventative measures to keep them healthy. Visit the CDC Coronavirus website and Caring for Children: Tips to keep children healthy while school’s out . Parents and guardians are always encouraged to 1) update their emergency contact information in the parent portal of Infinite Campus; and 2) visit our district website (www.spalding.k12.ga.us) and following social media channels for updates:
 
 
We applaud all of our students, parents, guardians and employees for taking on this ever-changing environment, as we continue to navigate the impact of this pandemic together.
 
We are Griffin Great and Spalding Strong!
 
Sincerely,
 
James D. Smith
Superintendent
 

Click here to read the Spanish version of this letter.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Links:Top of Page

Caring for Children: Tips to keep children healthy while school’s out (March 29)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html

CDC: Children and Coronavirus Disease 2019 Tips to Keep Children Healthy while School’s Out (March 23, 2020)

 

Georgia Department of Public Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

 

Georgia Department of Education Coronavirus (COVID-19) and
Schools

https://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/communications/Pages/coronavirus.aspx

 

CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-for-schools.html

 

CDC Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html

 

U.S. Department of State – Travel Advisories

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province--china.html

 

For students and families that are hearing impaired, the CDC developed a series of American Sign Language videos that offer important information about COVID-19.


washing hands in sink

Internet Resources for Continuous LearningTop of Page

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Comcast Essentials
Families without Internet access can now have Comcast Essentials FREE for up to 60 days. Additionally, Comcast is increasing Internet speed for existing customers. Please see the brief facts below and click HERE (https://corporate.comcast.com/press/releases/internet-essentials-low-income-broadband-coronavirus-pandemic) for more information. All inquiries regarding Comcast Internet should be directed to Comcast.
  • To receive increased Internet speeds, existing customers will not need to do anything. New speeds will be rolled out nationally over the next few days.
  • All NEW customers will receive a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem with a Wi-Fi router. There will be no term contract or credit check and no shipping fee
  • Interested parties can simply visit www.internetessentials.com to receive information or sign up for Internet Essentials. The website includes options to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
How utility, phone and internet companies are giving consumers a break during coronavirus pandemic
 
Media companies to offer free internet to low-income families during coronavirus crisis