Coronavirus Response

December 18, 2020

Dear Dragons,
 
As we prepare for our Winter Break—the symbolic mid-point of the school year—I want to update you on our plans for the return to school.
 
While we certainly recognize the serious conditions we are all experiencing nationally and locally, there is some good news as well. GCS is no longer considered in “outbreak” status by the state and local health departments. This is important and gives us some flexibility in our operations. We will continue to adhere strictly to the county and state reporting requirements. Our ability to welcome students back to campus depends upon everyone taking the protocols seriously.
 
The Howard County Dept. of Health has approved the following plan, presented by our Health Committee, for our community:
  • The school will continue to require mask wearing on campus for all.
  • We will emphasize hand washing, social distancing, staying home when feeling ill.
  • We will strictly adhere to quarantining recommendations.
  • The state-mandated travel restrictions and policies for gatherings, newly updated by Governor Hogan yesterday, must be adhered to by all. Testing results must be reported via the Student Tracker in the Magnus app.
  • The week of January 4–8 will be a “reset” period to insure that post-holiday travel protocols for quarantining and testing are in place before we welcome everyone back to campus.
  • Digital Dragons learning will be in place for that week.
  • The school will re-open on January 11, with full on-campus programs for Lower School (Kindergarten–Grade 5) and hybrid programs for the Middle and Upper Schools.
  • Both the State of Maryland and Howard County continue to recognize the childcare status of the Little Dragons and Pre-K programs. As such, they will open January 4 on campus. 
We will continue to monitor COVID-19 data and must consider high community spread as an indicator that may impact our status. We will assess the positivity rates in our area and measure the cases in our own community, where we have not had a single case of on-campus transmission. Watch for divisional follow-up to this message. Any change to this plan will be communicated on a divisional basis.
 
I have missed seeing you all at our usual holiday concerts and other seasonal events around campus. I wish everyone in the Dragon family peace and health for the holiday season, and I know we all share the hope that 2021 will allow for a return to the life we cherish. 
 
Thank you for your continued support.
 
Sincerely,
Greg Ventre
Head of School


Disclaimer: COVID-19 is extremely contagious and is believed to spread by person-to-person contact, and, as a result, federal and state health agencies recommend social distancing and various other measures to mitigate the risk of contracting the virus. The School will be implementing reasonable preventative protocols, policies and procedures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on the School’s campus for the 2020-2021 school year, and these will be updated in response to new information. Despite the protocols and procedures in place to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 on campus, there are inherent risks associated with returning to campus. Those who return to campus acknowledge and voluntarily assume these risks .


An independent school serving students from age 2 through grade 12 in Howard County, Maryland.