GALA COVID-19 Update #5 (August 7, 2020)

Dear GALA Families:

After careful consideration, the GALA Return to School Committee, consisting of members of the school administration, teachers, and parent representatives have determined that GALA must begin the 2020-21 school year operating fully All Remote through the end of December 2020

We believe that opening remotely provides the best option in the current environment for GALA’s children, families, and staff by prioritizing the school community’s health and safety while delivering on our mission to educate our students. 

The Return to School Committee made this decision based on a number of factors, including:

  • the recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that schools begin the 2020-21 school year remotely “due to the elevated health risk posed to students, staff and family members”;
  • the updated state mandate that all K-12 children wear face coverings while at school, and what this would mean for students trying to learn the target language through masks, especially younger children; 
  • the news that several schools around the country, which have already begun the school year, facing positive test cases among their students and staff; and
  • the changing comfort level of some families and staff with the continued higher risk of infection in the county.

The recommendation by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health results in the need for our Return To School Plan, currently based on the four levels of the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, to change.  If conditions change in Cuyahoga County prior to the start of the school year and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health modifies their recommendation, GALA will reevaluate our plan and may adjust accordingly.  GALA’s Return to School Plan has been revised as follows:

OPHAS Level 1 (Yellow) Active Exposure and spread. – Along with a recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that supports in-person school, GALA will provide two learning options: Hybrid and All Remote; while adhering to public health sanitation and social distancing measures as outlined in Ohio’s School Reopening Guidance.

OPHAS Level 2 (Orange) Increased exposure and spread. Exercise high degree of caution. – Along with a recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health that supports in-person school, GALA will provide two learning options: Hybrid and All Remote; while adhering to public health sanitation and social distancing measures as outlined in Ohio’s School Reopening Guidance. 

OPHAS Level 3 (Red) Very high exposure and spread. Limit activities as much as possible. – GALA will provide an All Remote learning option for all students, with no in‐person instruction provided during this period of time.

OPHAS Level 4 (Purple) Severe exposure and spread. Only leave home for supplies and services. – GALA will provide an All Remote learning option for all students, with no in‐person instruction provided during this period of time.

For additional information on GALA’s Return to School plan, and Safety Precautions, please click here.

We will be discussing GALA’s Remote learning plan, collaboratively developed by the GALA Return to School Committee, at the upcoming GALA Board of Directors meeting on Wednesday, August 19th at 5:30PM

Additionally, GALA will host two virtual back to school orientations for all parents.  Please mark your calendars for the following times:

  • Tuesday, August 25th at 5:00pm – 6:00pm for parents of incoming kindergarten students
  • Thursday, August 27th at 5:00pm to 6:00pm, for parents of students in grades 1-5

A recording of the virtual orientation sessions will be shared to all families in case you are unable to attend the live session.

Lastly,  “All Remote” supply lists will be shared next week, and dates and times for chromebook distribution will be shared later this month.

We know this is very frustrating and stressful for the families who were relying on sending their children back to the school buildings this fall, and you probably have many more questions now that our plans have shifted. 

We will continue to work together to provide the best learning experience possible for each and every student, and will continue to share information with you regularly.  As you’ve witnessed by recent events, things change very quickly.  Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate these truly challenging and unique times.

As always, be well and be safe.

Sincerely,

GALA Return to School Committee

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