FALL 2020 REOPENING

Welcome to Gaston Day School’s planning pages for a healthy fall. We are sharing our evolving plans for the 2020-2021 school year. Please understand that during this situation, information can change rapidly.

Healthy Planning

A COVID-19 Crisis Operations Team  was established to develop a reopening plan for fall 2020. The team has been working on policies and procedures to make our return to the Gaston Day campus the safest possible. Safety is always our number one priority when creating and developing any policies or guidelines. This team has been tackling every issue from; face coverings, physical distancing, sanitation, health and wellness, student life, and scheduling. Throughout the planning process, health educators, community leaders, and stakeholders have been engaged for their vital input.

CLICK HERE for the Policies & Procedures Manual.

During this time of COVID-19, we have added many new words and terms to our everyday language. As we continue to communicate about reopening in the fall and using some of these new words, we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of terms and what they mean for a better understanding moving forward. 

All students and employees that come to campus are subject to a thermal temperature check at one of the designated stations on a daily basis. This is to be done before they enter any shared space, classroom, or office at the beginning of each day. Coaches and personnel that only come after school hours will be required to have a temperature check as well. 

  • Any student that has a temperature reading of 100.4 degrees or above will be isolated and re-checked. If their temperature remains elevated, that student will be taken to a separate, safe holding area for reunification with their parent or parent-approved responsible person. Student drivers will be allowed to drive themselves back home after communicating with their emergency contact. Staff assisting in the recheck process will be required to wear face masks and gloves. Face shields and gowns are optional unless there is a need to monitor someone for longer than 10 minutes. 

 

  • Any employee that has a temperature reading of 100.4 degrees or above will be isolated and re-checked. If their temperature remains elevated, they will be asked to leave and have a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. 

 

  • 5th-12th grade students, employees, and visitors who pass through a thermal scanner and are not flagged for an elevated temperature or have passed a temperature recheck will be given a wristband each day to verify that they have been checked and approved to stay on campus before heading to any other part of campus. Individuals seen in any campus building without a wristband will be asked to go to a selected temperature scanning location to be checked and receive a wristband. This applies to late arrivals as well.  

Click here for more details in the Family Handbook

  • All age levels need to wear a mask for the screening process at check in
  • PS- K will not be required to wear masks consistently during the day
  • 1st-4th will wear masks with modifications based on classroom activity
  • 5th- 12th- will wear masks the majority of the day

Please supply 2 to 3 clean masks daily for your student. 

Students with health concerns regarding masks will be evaluated on case by case basis to make compliant with requirement.

Click here for more details in the Family Handbook

All individuals on campus should wash hands frequently.

Hand sanitizer is effective but should be used when soap and water are not available.

Cleaning Throughout the School Day

Commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, desks) may be disinfected using disposable wipes throughout the day. 

In spaces where students move throughout the day, it is necessary to clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces (doorknobs, desks, chairs, etc.) between each group of students. After applying disinfectant according to the product instructions, students and staff should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

In bathrooms and other shared spaces, commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, faucets, etc.) will be disinfected throughout the day. Gloves and cleaning supplies to clean and disinfect these surfaces are handled by staff according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and staff should wash hands regularly.  

Outdoor areas like playgrounds in schools and parks generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.

  • It is not necessary to spray disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds – it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public.
  • High touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, should be cleaned routinely.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (mulch, sand) is not recommended.

Click here for more details in the Family Handbook

We require that any student or employee identified with COVID-19 notifies Gaston Day School so that we may begin to take mandated precautions for closing any section of the school to include the entire school. The privacy of the information provided to us is paramount. We will only release information to local or state health officials as required.

The Gaston County Health Department is also required to notify us of any person(s) that has tested positive for COVID-19 and is associated with Gaston Day School, while they conduct their health assessment and track potential affected persons.

Return to school of students or employees that have tested positive with COVID-19 must meet the following criteria:

  1. 10 days since positive COVID diagnosis must have past AND
  2. Have been asymptomatic for 72 hours (fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medicines and other COVID symptoms improving) AND
  3. Have a doctors note certifying that you are ok to return to school

Return of students or employees with direct contact of person that has tested positive with COVID-19:

  1. You must wait 14 days before returning to school AND fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicines for 24 hours OR have a doctors note certifying that you are ok to return to school                                                                 

Direct contact is defined as being within 6ft of an infected person without a mask for more than ten minutes.

Return of students or employees sent home with an elevated temperature:

  1. Fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicines for 24 hours AND a doctor’s note certifying that you are ok to return to school.   

All return policies related to COVID-19 are subject to change based on state and local regulations. 

Click here for more details in the Family Handbook

Specific times for pick up and or drop off may fluctuate based on unforeseen circumstances. However, initial times will be disseminated to bus riders as usual. In the interest of our obligation to the health and safety of our students, we may be faced with the necessity for staggered pick-up and drop-off times. Unless otherwise notified that we are going to a staggered time for pick-up and/or drop-off, there will only be one time for morning pick-up and afternoon drop-off. 

Bus drivers will self-check their temperature at the beginning of the day before entering their buses. If their temperature is above 100.4 degrees, they must perform a recheck. If their temperature remains elevated, they are not allowed to drive the bus and must notify their supervisor in a timely manner so that appropriate arrangements are made for someone else to complete their route. Please refer to our Health & Wellness section for our return to campus policy. 

Due to close proximity within the confinement of our school buses, all bus riders, regardless of age, including the bus driver, will be required to wear a face mask. If they do not have a mask, one will be provided to them. 

As students receive a signal from the driver to get on the bus, the bus driver will take their temperatures while wearing a mask and gloves. If the student’s temperature is above 100.4 degrees, a second reading will be taken. If the student’s temperature remains elevated, the student will not be permitted to ride the bus or attend school and must return to a parent’s vehicle. Therefore, it is important for all parents of a bus rider, regardless of age, to wait and ensure their child can ride the bus to school. If your child is sent back home with you, please do not bring them to school the same day. 

Students boarding the bus should use hand sanitizer provided by the bus driver. Students on the bus should wear face masks at all times and follow instructions of the driver. Markings are provided to indicate where students should sit to maintain as much distance as possible between individuals (students living in the same house may sit together). The bus driver will dismiss students from the bus individually to maintain spacing and to prevent early release when on campus. The bus driver will regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces on the bus using disposable wipes while wearing gloves.

Upon campus arrival, all bus riders will go through one of our designated check-in stations before going to their classroom.  Bus drivers should maintain designated entry points for specific grades. In the afternoon, when it is time for bus riders to leave, each bus rider will exit according to our already established age groups from their location or classroom. All students will be picked up from the same area they were dropped off. All bus riders, including the bus driver, will be required to wear a face mask for drop-off. 

It is common for members of our GDS family to travel within the United States and abroad/international at any time of the school year. Although we do not discourage freedom of travel, we do ask that you use caution when traveling. As designated under the CDC travel advisory, members of our GDS family may be subject to self-quarantine upon their return. If a quarantine is imposed upon you, you are required to notify Gaston Day School by phone and/or email if you are in quarantine status within 24 hours of being quarantined or as soon as you return to the United States.

Please understand that all U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, and their immediate families who are returning from a restricted country must self-quarantine in their homes for 14 days after their arrival. In order to ensure compliance, local and state public health officials will contact individuals in the days and weeks following their arrival.

If your student is planning to travel at any point during the 20-21 school year, please complete the Travel Information Form.

Academic Planning

The more people a student or staff member interacts with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in school settings as follows:

  • Lowest Risk: Students and teachers engage in virtual-only classes, activities, and events.
  • More Risk: Small, in-person classes, activities, and events. Groups of students stay together and with the same teacher throughout/across school days and groups do not mix. Students remain at least 6 feet apart and do not share objects (e.g., block scheduling with fewer classes in a day).
  • Highest Risk: Full sized, in-person classes, activities, and events. Students are not spaced apart, share classroom materials or supplies, and mix between classes and activities.
(info. courtesy of the CDC)

We expect to shift between operating modes in the upcoming 20-21 school year. School will begin on August 13th and 14th, under Phase Orange.

The Administration has made the decision to have a slow opening of school on August 13th and August 14th. This means that only 50% of the school population will come on campus for those two days. This will help us manage the new entry procedures and campus movement protocols. What this means to families is that each student will only come to school one day, either the 13th or the 14th. The email from your child’s division head should have indicated which group, Gold or Blue, your child is in. We will hold a regular full day of school with after school care on both FIRST DAY of school dates. We will all be together, both Gold and Blue groups, beginning Monday, August 17, 2020.
TEAM GOLD- August 13th
TEAM BLUE- August 14th
  • Phase Green – Open / No Restrictions
  • Phase Yellow – Open / Minimal Physical Distancing
  • Phase Orange – Open / Moderate Physical Distancing
  • Phase Red – Closed / Virtual Learning Only

Click here for the Lower School Opening Day email

Click here for the Middle/Upper School Opening Day email

Click here for more details in the Family Handbook

GREEN

GDS is open and traditional learning resumes.

YELLOW

Will be implemented assuming state COVID-19 metrics continue to stabilize and/or move in a positive direction. All requirements in this guidance apply to the yellow mode. GDS is open with a slight modified schedule and routine.

  • Lower School will not share enrichment teachers with the other divisions. Enrichment schedule will still follow a 7 day rotation when we are all on campus. If we have to rotate numbers on campus – LS enrichments will switch to a 5 day rotation.
  • The 7/8 grades will operate on an AB block schedule, with four classes meeting on A days and four classes meeting on B days. 5/6 will operate on an AB rotation with six classes a day. Core classes will meet every day for grades 5 and 6. Electives may shift at each quarter to prevent sharing teachers across divisions.
  • The US schedule will operate on a block schedule with 4 courses in 1st and 3rd quarters and 4 courses in 2nd and 4th quarters.

ORANGE

Will be required if state COVID-19 metrics worsen and it is determined additional restrictions are necessary. All requirements in this guidance apply, with additional requirements in social distancing and minimizing exposure. GDS is open with a modified schedule and routine.

  • Lower School will not share enrichments teachers with the other divisions. Enrichment schedule will still follow a 7 day rotation when we are all on campus. If we have to rotate numbers on campus – LS enrichments will switch to a 5 day rotation.
  • The 7/8 grades will operate on an AB block schedule, with four classes meeting on A days and four classes meeting on B days. 5/6 will operate on an AB rotation with six classes a day. Core classes will meet every day for grades 5 and 6. Electives may shift at each quarter to prevent sharing teachers across divisions.
  • The US schedule will operate on a block schedule with 4 courses in 1st and 3rd quarters and 4 courses in 2nd and 4th quarters.

RED

Will be implemented only if state COVID-19 metrics worsen significantly enough to require suspension of in-person instruction and the implementation of remote learning for all students. GDS campus is closed and virtual learning and teaching continues at home. The 4 courses a day can easily transition to off campus learning as needed. Asynchronous learning will be more structured based on grade level activities.

  • Lower School teachers under my direction will establish daily sync/async educational plans.
  • Like the Upper School, 7/8 students will transition to synchronous, virtual learning, utilizing 4 classes meeting per day. 7/8 students will continue to attend all of their classes on the same two day rotation as they experienced on campus. 5/6 will adjust to a four class schedule of their core classes only in the mornings, while offering optional enrichment classes in the afternoon for any students looking to enjoy their favorite electives.

Throughout the 20-21 school year, we may have a number of students learning from home. This could be because:

  • a student is ill
  • is following return to school policies
  • family choice

Students are able to learn from home at any point during the school year with parent permission. Parents are expected to complete the online form in order to notify the school when a student is learning from home. Parents can choose to have their student learn from home, or return to campus as they see fit throughout the year. If they want their child to attend virtually all year long, that is allowed as well. To notify the school of your family’s intent, please complete the Learning From Home Form.

LOWER SCHOOL

Remote Learning for an extended time frame- See remote learning schedules by grade level on your child’s On Campus page. Remote learning will involve whole group and small group synchronous instruction in conjunction with asynchronous  assignments.  Students will have 3- 4 hours a day of instruction delivered in a combination of synchronous instruction and/or small groups and independent assignments and project based learning activities. 

    • PS/PK – should be on campus as a child care facility- see section on Early School 
    • K-1 45- 70 min of synchronous instruction daily 
    • 2-4  70 -90 mins of synchronous instruction daily 
  • K-1
    • 3-4 short recorded lessons a week
    • 45-70 mins a day of direction instruction-  broken up into small segments
      •  15- 20 mins of  small group instruction 
  • 2-4
    • 1-2 recorded review lessons – if needed
    • 70-90 mins a day of direct instruction broken up into 20-30 blocks
      •  15- 20 mins of  small group instruction

Policy if children are out sick for more than 2 days- or if parents chooses to learn remotely 

  • Teachers will record direct instruction for lessons in Math and Language Arts that introduces new material.  It will be sent out as a recording on a delay of 24 hours- Science and SS recordings will occur as the teacher sees apporatite to the learning process. 
  • Assignments will be delivered in a variety of ways- 
    • Google classroom
    • SeeSaw
    • Textbooks
    • Other materials as needed
  • Family responsibility for Assignments and completion 
    • Parents are responsible for picking up material is a timely manner from the school 
    • Cycle for completing work and returning will follow a 36 hour delay policy
      • Ex. receive work at 3 pm on Monday
      • Return work 8 am on Wednesday 
        • That gives the student an entire day to complete work and upload or return to school
    • Grades will be taken on school work and assessments
  • Touchpoints
    • A parent can arrange with the teacher one 20-30 minute session a week for help or support. 

Financial Considerations & Support

Tuition will remain the same for the upcoming year; to reduce tuition means weakening the educational product. We hope you see the value in what we deliver: a superior education and active student life second to none. Gaston Day is making unprecedented investments to strengthen and expand the delivery of our education. We understand that many families are facing difficult circumstances due to hardships created by the COVID-19 crisis. If you have concerns regarding tuition and financial obligations, please contact us. We are here to work with our families and develop solutions. Please reach out to dhobson@gastonday.org to discuss your concerns.

The NCISAA released its timeline for a return to play. The first permitted day of the fall season will coincide with North Carolina moving into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan. The first date competitions are allowed is three weeks after that. So, at the very earliest, we are looking at this:

-Monday, August 10: First day of tryouts/practices

-Monday, August 31: First day to possibly play

To be clear, this does not require Gaston Day to do anything, but we do have a blueprint for what a return to play could look like. Along with Dr. Rankin and Chief Buie, our athletic staff is working to put Gaston Day’s fingerprint on this timeline and planning what our roll-out will look like. As with every decision that Gaston Day has made since mid-March, the health and safety of our school community will be the primary concern. We will release more details about our plans once North Carolina is planning to move into Phase 3 of its reopening. A few other thoughts:
1) Given the fact that Gaston Day was one of the only schools in the country to offer virtual athletic practices last spring, I am confident that we will be able to serve the physical, social, and emotional needs of our students through athletics this school year. This could come through traditional seasons, this could come through skill workouts like this summer, or this could come through virtual sessions. Whatever the case might be, we will be there for your children.
2) This is stating the obvious, but the fall season will be shorter than usual. Please expect school sports to continue to look and feel different this year. Please be flexible. I know we have many club sport athletes; please remember that club sports and education-based athletics are different entities.
3) We are not releasing game schedules at this time because they are in constant flux. Below, you will find tentative start dates for all fall sports given the NCISAA timeline. More details will be available in the weeks ahead.
BOYS’ & GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Varsity Cross Country
Contact: Lisa Nussbaumer (lnussbaumer@gastonday.org)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 10
Middle School Cross Country
Contact: Lisa Nussbaumer (lnussbaumer@gastonday.org)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 17
*Cross-country will host virtual practice via google meet on August 3rd, 5th, 7th and 10th from 5:00-6:00 PM.  All MS & Varsity runners are welcome to attend. Please email Coach Nussbaumer if you are a new runner who has not yet reached out.
GIRLS’ GOLF
Varsity Girls’ Golf
Contact: Troy Carter (tcarter@gastonday.org)
First Tryout/Practice: To Be Determined
*Girls in the 7th-12th grades are eligible for this team.
BOYS’ SOCCER
Varsity Boys’ Soccer
Contact: Greg Lekavich (glekavich@gastonday.org)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 10
Middle School Boys’ Soccer
Contact: Collins Few (cfew@gastonday.org)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 17
GIRLS’ TENNIS
Varsity Girls’ Tennis
Contact: Erik Ibsen (erikibsen@yahoo.com)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 17
*Girls in the 7th-12th grades are eligible for this team.
GIRLS’ VOLLEYBALL
Varsity Volleyball
Contact: Derek Bing (bingderek@gmail.com)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 10
JV Volleyball
Contact: Carter Eck (cartereck525@yahoo.com)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 10
Middle School Volleyball
Contact: Alicia Carlson (coachaliciacarlson@gmail.com)
First Tryout/Practice: Monday, August 17

Details coming soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Classes begin on campus on August 13th and 14th, under Phase Orange.

The Administration has made the decision to have a slow opening of school on August 13th and August 14th. This means that only 50% of the school population will come on campus for those two days. This will help us manage the new entry procedures and campus movement protocols. What this means to families is that each student will only come to school one day, either the 13th or the 14th. The email from your child’s division head should have indicated which group, Gold or Blue, your child is in. We will hold a regular full day of school with after school care on both FIRST DAY of school dates. We will all be together, both Gold and Blue groups, beginning Monday, August 17, 2020.
TEAM GOLD- August 13th
TEAM BLUE- August 14th
Click here for the Lower School Opening Day email
Click here for the Middle/Upper School Opening Day email

That is not our plan. We are planning to return to school with in person classes. GDS is making every possible investment to create a safe campus and we feel confident in our plan to reopen.

The answer is a little more complicated than a yes/no but most people will be required to wear masks. Gaston Day is following CDC Guidelines. You can refer to our Health and Hygiene video under the Videos section in the sidebar or you can read more details in our Family Handbook by clicking here.

MIDDLE SCHOOL/UPPER SCHOOL

Yes, students will be able to learn from home with parent permission when classes resume in August. Those that are learning from home would attend class via Google Meet and participate in the discussion and activities just as if being on campus. Please contact your Division Head for further information and fill out the Learning From Home Form

LOWER SCHOOL

Please contact Head of Lower School for further information and fill out the Learning From Home Form

Remote Learning for an extended time frame- See remote learning schedules by grade level on your child’s On Campus page. Remote learning will involve whole group and small group synchronous instruction in conjunction with asynchronous  assignments.  Students will have 3- 4 hours a day of instruction delivered in a combination of synchronous instruction and/or small groups and independent assignments and project based learning activities. 

    • PS/PK – should be on campus as a child care facility- see section on Early School 
    • K-1 45- 70 min of synchronous instruction daily 
    • 2-4  70 -90 mins of synchronous instruction daily 
  • K-1
    • 3-4 short recorded lessons a week
    • 45-70 mins a day of direction instruction-  broken up into small segments
      •  15- 20 mins of  small group instruction 
  • 2-4
    • 1-2 recorded review lessons – if needed
    • 70-90 mins a day of direct instruction broken up into 20-30 blocks
      •  15- 20 mins of  small group instruction 

Policy if children are out sick for more than 2 days- or if parents chooses to learn remotely 

  • Teachers will record direct instruction for lessons in Math and Language Arts that introduces new material.  It will be sent out as a recording on a delay of 24 hours- Science and SS recordings will occur as the teacher sees apporatite to the learning process. 
  • Assignments will be delivered in a variety of ways- 
    • Google classroom
    • SeeSaw
    • Textbooks
    • Other materials as needed
  • Family responsibility for Assignments and completion 
    • Parents are responsible for picking up material is a timely manner from the school 
    • Cycle for completing work and returning will follow a 36 hour delay policy
      • Ex. receive work at 3 pm on Monday
      • Return work 8 am on Wednesday 
        • That gives the student an entire day to complete work and upload or return to school
    • Grades will be taken on school work and assessments
  • Touchpoints
    • A parent can arrange with the teacher one 20-30 minute session a week for help or support. 

Submit Your Question

Key Information

POLICIES & PROCEDURES MANUAL

VIDEOS
Parent Education Series video #1
Parent Education Series – Lower School #2
Parent Education Series – Middle School #2
Parent Education Series – Upper School #2
Parent Education Series – Health & Hygiene #3
Parent Education Series – Planned Virtual Learning #4
Parent Education Series – Student Life & Athletics #5
Town Hall Webinar 8.04.20 Password  6.7v4inJ
Preparing for School 
Arriving to Campus – Middle School
Arriving to Campus – Upper School
During the School Day – Middle School
During the School Day – Upper School 
Food & Drink – Middle School
Food & Drink – Upper School 
Leaving Campus – Middle School
Leaving Campus – Upper School 
Open Campus – Upper School 
Announcements

Next Steps

Get to Know Us.

Let us know you’re interested and we’ll send you everything you need to get  started.

I’m Interested.

Schedule a Tour.

See the full campus, visit the classrooms, and meet the exceptional faculty and staff.

Show Me Around.

Apply for Admission.

Ready to enroll? Begin the admission process by submitting an online application form.

Let’s Do It.