Griffin Spalding County School System Coronavirus Information and Resources
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March 17, 2020

GSCS School Closure Extended Through April 3
 
In response to Governor Brian Kemp’s order for school districts regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and to protect the health and safety of students, staff and the community, the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) has extended its closure of all schools and offices through Friday, April 3. The district will be closed during spring break scheduled for April 6-10 as planned.
All GSCS student activities and events, as well as staff-related travel are cancelled effective through April 3.
 
Although the GSCS Continuous Learning Plan is scheduled to start tomorrow, based on the extension of the closure, all GSCS students in grades 3-12 will move to all-digital learning March 30-April 3. Printed learning materials for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade only, will be available for parents and guardians to pick up from their child’s school on Monday, March 30 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. For families who do not have access to the internet, GSCS encourages families to take advantage of all internet providers offering free access for up to 60 days. GSCS will provide links to these providers the district’s Coronavirus Information and Resources web page at www.spalding.k12.ga.us.
 
Yesterday, the Georgia Department of Education announced the suspension of state testing which includes the Georgia Milestones EOGs and EOCs, the Georgia Alternate Assessment/GAA 2.0, and all other required testing. All GSCS high school dual enrollment students should continue to follow procedures set forth by their college or university and their guidelines for any coursework.
 
Tomorrow morning, GSCS will distribute 3-day meal packages of breakfast and lunch for pick up for GSCS students and children in the community 18 years or younger and for children with special needs 21 years old and under. Again, any child can pick up a meal package at any of the four school sites below between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the bus ramp:
 
Anne Street Elementary School
802 Anne Street
Griffin, GA 30224
 
Cowan Road Elementary School
1233 Cowan Road
Griffin, GA 30223
Atkinson Elementary School
307 Atkinson Drive
Griffin, GA 30223
 
Futral Road Elementary School
180 Futral Road
Griffin, GA 30224
The district is planning a second meal distribution with a 5-day meal package of breakfast and lunch to students and children in the community on Monday, March 23 during the same school sites and times previously mentioned. Parents and guardians of students with special diet considerations should contact Keiza Hunt, Menu and Wellness Coordinator ahead of time at 770-229-3710 ext.10356 or via email at Keiza.Hunt@gscs.org, so that meals may be planned and prepared for their child at the school site they select.
 
GSCS Superintendent James D. Smith stated, “We want to thank our community partners and faith-based leaders for pulling their resources together to donate gift cards, money, resources or just volunteering their time to make sure we can provide meals and printed learning packets for our students. Their contributions and unwavering support truly demonstrate to our GSCS families and staff that we are Griffin Great and Spalding Strong!”
 
As a school community, GSCS urges everyone to follow everyday preventive actions recommended by the CDC and the White House at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Superintendent Smith added the district will remain in contact with officials from District 4 Public Health, Georgia Department of Education follow the guidance of the Governor’s Office and the CDC regarding the schools’ operational status.
 
Parents and guardians are reminded to 1) update their emergency contact information in the parent portal of Infinite Campus; 2) visit the GSCS web site at www.spalding.k12.ga.us and; 3) follow all GSCS social media channels for updates:
 
Twitter: @GriffinSpalding
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GSCSS/
Instagram: @griffinspaldingschools
 
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Click HERE for the Spanish version of this letter.

March 16, 2020
 

GSCS Announces Meal Distribution Sites During School Closure on March 18, 2020

Sack lunches with apples
 
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS) will provide 3-day meal packages for pick up for GSCS students and children within the community 18 years or younger, between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. GSCS students will be offered meals to cover six (6) meal periods: three (3) lunches and three (3) breakfast meals. These meals are being offered at no cost through the USDA Seamless Summer Option (SSO) Program.
 
Meals will also be provided to children with special needs that are 21 years old and under. Parents and guardians of students with special diet considerations should contact Keiza Hunt, Menu and Wellness Coordinator, at 770-229-3710 ext.10356 or via email at Keiza.Hunt@gscs.org so that meals may be planned and prepared for their child at the school site they select.
 
GSCS students and children in the community will need to be present to receive the meals. Any child can pick up a meal package this Wednesday between 10:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the bus ramp at one of the following schools sites:
 
Anne Street Elementary School
802 Anne Street
Griffin, GA 30224
 
Cowan Road Elementary School
1233 Cowan Road
Griffin, GA 30223
 
Atkinson Elementary School                          
307 Atkinson Drive
Griffin, GA 30223
 
Futral Road Elementary School
180 Futral Road
Griffin, GA 30224
 
“We appreciate the Georgia Department of Education granting us the flexibility from the Seamless Summer program to provide meals to our students while taking advantage of our continuous learning plan at home,” said GSCS Superintendent James D. Smith. “We will spend Monday cleaning and disinfecting our schools and cafeteria prep area, preparing and packaging meals Tuesday, in order to be ready to greet and serve our GSCS families Wednesday morning.”
 
Meals will be prepared on-site by the GSCS Nutrition Department and delivered in bags outside each of the four designated schools. GSCS students will need to be present (except for medically fragile students) to receive the meals. For parents and guardians picking up meals by car, GSCS staff will bring them out to their vehicles. Parents and guardians who walk their child to school will receive the meals on a grab-and-go basis. In accordance with the CDC’s guidance on social distancing, no students will be allowed to consume meals on-site.
 
Reminder about GSCS Continuous Learning Plan:
Parents are highly encouraged to ensure students have a scheduled time each day to complete their print and/or digital learning assignments at home. In addition to completing their assignments, students are encouraged to read for at least 20 minutes each day. Parents and guardians are also encouraged to reach out to their child’s teacher(s) via email for virtual conferences as they will be available to respond.
 
REMINDER about CDC Guidance for COVID-19:
As a school community, please join GSCS in participating in everyday preventive actions recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include:
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
 
These measures and overall good hygiene practices will help the Griffin-Spalding community to prevent the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The district will remain in contact with District 4 Public Health, Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office as we continue to monitor developments, and keep you informed regarding our school operational status for next week by Thursday, March 19 by 4 p.m.  GSCS encourages all parents and guardians 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 follow GSCS social media channels for updates:
 
Twitter: @GriffinSpalding
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GSCSS/
Instagram: @griffinspaldingschools
 

March 13, 2020

GSCS Announces School Closure March 16-20, 2020

As a precautionary measure to protect the health and safety of students, staff and community in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Griffin-Spalding County School System schools and offices will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, 2020.
 
GSCS will continue to monitor developments and issue a decision on the district’s school operational status for the next week by Thursday, March 19 by 4 p.m. 
 
“This decision was made after consulting local health officials and recommendations from the Georgia Department of Public Health, Georgia Department of Education and the Governor’s Office,” said GSCS Superintendent James D. Smith. “During this time, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we will deep clean our schools, offices and buses.”
 
The SAT being administered Saturday March 14 at Griffin High School and Spalding High School will continue as planned.
 
All GSCS events and activities are cancelled effective Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, March 22, 2020. This includes all school events, extracurricular activities, school-related field trips, community school events, and facility rentals. All athletic practices and competitions will be suspended until March 27 in accordance with the recommendation by the Georgia High School Association. In addition, all GSCS staff work-related travel has been cancelled.
 
All GSCS high school dual enrollment students should follow procedures set forth by their college or university and their guidelines for any coursework.
 
In an effort to minimize the interruption to student learning, GSCS will implement its continuous learning plan starting Wednesday, March 18. All GSCS teachers will distribute learning materials to students to take home on Friday, March 13.
 
Parents and guardians of any students who were absent today will have an opportunity to pick up learning materials and their child’s medication (if needed) from school on Monday, March 16 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
 
The district will remain in contact with District 4 Public Health, Georgia Department of Education and other local and state authorities and continue to follow the guidance of the Governor’s Office and the CDC. Parents and guardians are encouraged to 1) update their emergency contact information in the parent portal of Infinite Campus; 2) visit our district website www.spalding.k12.ga.us for more information and resources and; 3) follow all GSCS social media channels for updates:
 
Twitter: @GriffinSpalding
Instagram: @griffinspaldingschools
 
 
corona virus

March 5, 2020

 

Dear GSCS Families & Staff,

The 2019-2020 flu season has been complicated by recent reports of a novel coronavirus originating in Wuhan, China. This has been identified as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Together, we have followed local, national and international news coverage about COVID-19 and preventative measures we can take to avoid the spread of the virus. We are monitoring the situation and we are in constant communication with District 4 Public Health Department and state health officials, who will provide updated information about the diagnosis and management of cases of novel coronavirus, as applicable and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads like other respiratory illnesses such as the flu and the common cold, primarily through coughing or sneezing by those who already have symptoms. The best way to prevent infection with any respiratory virus is to use the same preventive strategies used during a normal cold and flu season: get a flu shot every year, wash hands regularly with warm water and soap, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when experiencing symptoms of illness.

Although there have been reported cases of novel coronavirus in Georgia, to date, there have been no reported coronavirus cases in Spalding County. Our lead school nurse communicates regularly with District 4 Public Health to receive the latest updates regarding the flu and coronavirus. We are reviewing all student field trip requests/plans for students and staff, as well as any staff professional development travel outside of the state of Georgia. Locally, we are working with WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), our local Emergency Management Agency to be prepared in the event there is an outbreak. This has become a rapidly evolving situation and guidance from the CDC and updates from state health officials will continue as information is received. Many questions are being raised, so we are offering the following information and resources to keep GSCS families informed.

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

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

 
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