FALL 2021 Planning

Welcome to Gaston Day School’s planning page for a healthy fall. We are sharing our plans for the 2021-2022 school year. Please understand that information can change.

Campus Planning

If your child has had their COVID-19 vaccination, please email a picture of the vaccination card to our Wellness Coordinator, Melissa Fayssoux at mfayssoux@gastonday.org or make a photocopy of the vaccination card and send it in to the main office with ATTN: Melissa Fayssoux.
Questions about vaccinations? Contact Melissa Fayssoux at mfayssoux@gastonday.org or 704.864.7744 ext. 170. Visit our Wellness webpage at https://gdswellnesscorner.weebly.com/
Vaccination Cards:
Vaccination cards are required only for students and employees that have been vaccinated. This information will be kept as part of our official records, which means that it is confidential and kept under lock and key. Our need for this information is two-fold. 
First, it will serve as verification for CoVid tracing procedures and second, it will assist in the decision making process for determining the amount of time, if any, a student and/or employee may have to quarantine.  
Masks – Teachers and Students:
The use of face masks or face shields by employees and students will be guided by a number of circumstances as directed by the most recent mandates and/or recommendations released. Therefore, this policy and/or parts of it are subject to change. 
All employees, students and their families will receive notification of any mandates that impact our current mask policy. Unless otherwise notified, our operational procedure for wearing mask during the 2021 – 2022 school year will be as follows;
Gaston Day will start the school year with a mask wearing mandate for all employees, students, and visitors while indoors. This will stay in effect until re-evaluated for continuance or reverting to our default mask policy on or about September 1, 2021.
Our default policy when mask are not mandated is as follows; (Default is what we use as our normal everyday policy when there is no state or Local mandate)
Masks are optional indoors for teachers that have been fully vaccinated. Teachers and students who are not vaccinated must wear a mask when indoors. Students that have been vaccinated and have turned in their vaccination card, will have the option to not wear masks indoors when further than 3 feet from any other person. Students who do not have an option to vaccinate, must wear masks (we will continue to work with those that have problems wearing masks such as our younger students) 
All students will continue to pass through a thermal temperature check-in station before being directed to their designated classroom areas. 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 evaluated further for reunification with their parent or parent-approved responsible person.
After Hours Thermal Temperature Checks:
Coaches and personnel that only come after school hours will be required to have a temperature check just as last year. Although the obvious location for a coach to receive a temperature check is the Henry Center, other personnel may use the other two check-in locations depending on their assignment. For example, an after-school care employee may use the main entrance or the Henry Center, while the instrument instructors would use the PKW’s check-in location. 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. Employees, substitutes, and coaches who pass through a thermal scanner and are not flagged for elevated temperatures or have passed a temperature recheck will no longer be given a wristband each day to verify that they have been checked. 
Cleaning throughout the school day:
Just as last year, commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, desks) may be disinfected using disposable wipes throughout the day. Though it is not considered preferable to washing hands with soap and water, hand sanitizer will continue to be  provided in each class space and at the entrances to the school.  
In spaces where students move throughout the day (subject classrooms, middle and upper school), it will remain 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.
We will continue to disinfect bathrooms and other shared spaces, commonly touched surfaces (door handles, light switches, faucets, etc.) 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 still 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.
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. It is important to understand that we are staying within the requirements, guidelines, and recommendations provided by the Governor, and/or our Gaston County’s Health Department, and/or our Medical Advisory Team. 
Bus drivers experiencing any symptoms related to any Covid virus or variant will self-check their temperature before entering their buses (see the Health and Wellness Related Information below for symptoms). 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. We will no longer require bus drivers to check student bus rider temperatures. However, we are relying on the home inspections of our students by their parents and guardians to not place your child on a bus or bring them to school if they are presenting the following symptoms provided with our Health and Wellness Related Information below.  
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. Students/siblings living in the same house may sit together. The bus driver will continue to dismiss students from the bus to maintain spacing and to prevent early release when on campus. The bus driver or assigned personnel, will regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces on the bus using disposable wipes while wearing gloves.
Afternoon pick-up for bus riders will be at the front of the main building as it was last year. Again, all bus riders, including the bus driver, will be required to wear a face mask for drop-off just as required for pick-up.
Lower School: Pre-School – 4th grade
To start the school year, your lunches must be ordered by Sunday evening prior to the start of the school week. Parents, you’ll find a link on Sparty’s website to place your students’ lunch order. Each day, you’ll see they have the option to order the hot lunch- which will be served with a starch and a vegetable. You will also have the option of ordering a sandwich for your student. All lunches will include a drink. Please utilize the comments section to note any food allergies. Lunch for all Lower School students this year will be $5.50
Middle & Upper School: 5th grade – 12th grade
Welcome back to in person dining at Sparty’s! The Lower Dining Hall will be open for all Middle & Upper School students beginning Aug 18, 2021! In the Lower Dining Hall you will find a “hot lunch” option, a “chef’s station” lunch option, the “deli” lunch option and pre-made entree and side salads! You’ll also find our coolers stocked with your favorite beverages from Coke and Pepsi. There will also be other snacks for purchase such as chips, cookies, candy, ice cream and more. Lunch for all Middle & Upper School students this year will be $6.50
For spectators, our mask policy at home matches in the gym is:
Spectators are REQUIRED to wear face coverings for all indoor events and maintain six feet of physical distance from those they do not live with. Spectators who are unable to attend a game in-person can watch the live stream on NFHS Network.
As we travel to away games, most schools will have policies that are similar to ours. Please comply with whatever rules and procedures are in place at these venues. Agreeing to follow the rules of our host schools is the best way to represent Gaston Day in a positive manner while attending road games.

Academic Planning

Dedicated Art teacher in Lower School
Music and PE will have a classroom space for students to use
Library will set up a mini Lower School Library on the Lower School side of campus
Students will have dedicated time with Librarian, Ms. Ellison to check out books in person
We will add Learning Academy staff in Lower School to allow for more student service options 
All middle school students will switch classes and rotate classrooms
All middle school students will use lockers and dress out for PE classes
No classes in Lower or Upper Dining Halls
No classes in Gymnasium, other than PE classes
All middle school students will use the Lower Dining Hall for lunch
Adding Learning Academy teachers to increase coaching and coordinate programs
5 day rotating schedule with year long classes will add continuity to Middle School arts and World Languages Programs
We will be moving away from the quarter system and back to year-long courses with students enrolled in 6 classes at a time. 
Most classes will meet three times a week for 65 minutes; a few classes will meet two times a week for 90 minutes. 
We will not be offering a full-time learning from home option, but students in 11th and 12th grades have the option to enroll in up to three virtual learning courses from a select number of offerings for the entire school year. 
Students will no longer have to follow the cohort system and will be able to have classes, open campus, and lunch with all 9th-12th grade students. 
French, Spanish, PE, and health will be taught in person and will no longer be delivered in the asynchronous format.
We will not be keeping virtual Wednesdays, but we will have a flexible start on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 
We are adding classrooms in the library to create more spaces that are optimal for learning.
We will not be offering a full-time learning from home option, but students in 11th and 12th grades have the option to enroll in up to three virtual learning courses from a select number of offerings for the entire school year. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Classes begin on campus on August 17, 2021 with a noon dismissal.
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.
Students in K-12, as well as all faculty and staff, will be required to wear masks while indoors for the first two weeks of school. These policies will be reviewed every two weeks to determine their necessity, effectiveness, and the possibility that we can relax our protocols if the situation improves.
We will not be offering a full-time learning from home option, but students in 11th and 12th grades have the option to enroll in up to three virtual learning courses from a select number of offerings for the entire school year. 
Yes, student temperatures will be checked every morning when they enter their school building with our thermal scanners.
Contact our Wellness Coordinator, Melissa Fayssoux at mfayssoux@gastonday.org or 704.864.7744 ext. 170 or our Director of Safety & Security, Chief Buie at chief@gastonday.org or 704.864.7744 ext. 117

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