It goes without saying that the last ten weeks have been unlike anything we could have imagined. Thank you for overcoming countless challenges along the way to help your children remain connected to their learning. The perseverance and optimism of our entire Goochland community has truly been an inspiration.
As we bring the current academic year to a close, we know that many of you are wondering about our plans for school in the fall. Decisions related to our operating status have an impact on child care, employment considerations, and multiple other issues that impact our daily lives. Many states across the nation have started to release concepts related to their potential operating plans, but Virginia has not made this determination. Although no decisions have been made at the state or local level, please know that we are hard at work preparing for the opening of 2020-21 in the face of continued uncertainty.
Clearly, there are many unknowns, and the context of this health crisis will evolve throughout the summer. Our division’s decisions will be informed, as always, by what’s best for OUR community. They’ll also be informed by the guidance and directives from the Virginia Department of Education, Governor Northam, and the federal government. Despite these variables, we are preparing now to ensure we are in the best position possible to serve our students and families in August.
It is possible that our transition into next school year will be more analogous to adjusting a light with a dimmer switch versus a simple on/off switch. In order to bring some concrete context to this abstract idea, this is how our team has made sense of it. I hope it helps provide some clarity for you as well.
We are currently delivering instruction within the yellow circle. It’s not perfect, but we are grateful to our GCPS team and to our families for pivoting quickly and making the best of a challenging situation. Thank you!
So, what will the fall look like? Of course, we don’t know the answer to that question with any confidence, but we are preparing for a number of possibilities. In any scenario, whether it is in person, virtual, or in a mixed delivery method, the health and safety of our students and staff will be the highest priority for us. We also know that even with safeguards and procedures in place to provide a safe learning environment, some families may still have concerns about their child attending school in person with other students and adults. Please know that we plan on working with each family, on a case by case basis as needed, to personalize students’ experiences to the greatest extent possible. We want our students to remain a part of our Goochland family during these unprecedented times, whether inside our schools or continuing to learn remotely.
In summary, no decisions have been made about the status of school for the fall, though we are preparing now to ensure we are able to begin 2020-21 on time and as safely and effectively as possible regardless of the circumstances when August arrives. Please know that we will be sure to communicate our plans for a return to learning for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year as soon we can. Once decisions are made at the state level, we will be able to move forward with putting our local plans into motion.
Thank you, again, for everything you do for our school-community. As always, we are just a phone call or email away. Stay safe!
Yours In Service,
Jeremy J. Raley, Ed.D., Superintendent
Stephen Geyer, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent of Instruction