Back to School Update - September 11, 2020

Welcome GMS Falcons!

We cannot wait to see you next week, whether you are online or joining us at school we will be learning together.   Next week, September 14-18 will be devoted to our students getting to know their brand new environment.  While we wouldn’t typically devote this much time to student orientation, we believe the time spent will be essential for student success this year, particularly in light of learning a brand new school, a new school building, COVID safety precautions and, for those participating in the hybrid model, being back in school for the first time since March.  Whether you are participating in our hybrid model or as a full distance learner, we are thrilled to have you join us!

 When students are participating online, whether a hybrid online learner or a full distance learner, they must log in to their classes on Google Classroom to complete the ‘check in’ assignments.  You must send your teacher an email if you are having connection/technology issues.  If you are having a complete technology failure (no email) please call the school to let us know at (860) 446-4200.

Teachers are continuing to learn about ways to give instruction virtually.  Initially many lessons will be recorded or other given by other means.  Please be patient as we work to offer instruction in different ways for your student.  Students, it is important to participate in teachers’ office hours to get face-to-face time if you have questions.  Links / information will be posted on your teachers’ Google Classrooms.

If your student will be a full distance learner we will be scheduling opportunities for those students to visit the school to pick up materials they will need.  More information about this will be available soon.  

Some reminders:

  • If your student will be coming to school, please make sure that you send your student to the correct cohort.  Students with last names first letter A-K will physically attend Mondays and Tuesdays.  Students with last names first letter L-Z will physically attend school Thursdays and Fridays.
  • SCHOOL TIMES: 8:05AM – 2:45PM.  No student drop offs are allowed prior to 7:50AM.
  • TECHNOLOGY ISSUES - Students are required to 'check in' to each class, whether they are in school or not.  Students will be required to log on to Google Classroom.  We understand that students may have technology issues the first few days.  If your student cannot log into their Google Classroom for a class, please have them fill out this form so they are not penalized: https://forms.gle/D9VY9DXT48BPF5Qq6.  This form will also be posted on our website.  Students must do this for each class they cannot log into.  For September 14-18, students will need to log in twice - by 8:30 AM and 12:30 PM.
  • VIRTUAL LEARNERS (full distance and hybrid when at home) must log in to their Google Classroom at the start of each class period.  Please refer to your schedule for the class times which can be found by logging in to PowerSchool.
  • MASKS:  All students must wear a mask to school.  Please do not wear masks which have valves, gaiters / bandanas to school.  If your child needs a mask for any reason we will provide them with one.
  • WATER BOTTLES:  Students should bring a water bottle with them to school which may be filled at one of our filling stations.  Water fountains will not be available for use due to health safety precautions.
  • LOCKERS:  Due to COVID 19 safety precautions, we will not be using student lockers to begin the school year.
  • NUT FREE:  All products which contain nuts are not allowed at school until further notice.
  • CHROMEBOOKS:  Students who have a Groton Public Schools issued Chromebook, should charge it and bring it to school on their Cohort’s in person days.
  • INSTRUMENTS: Students should leave their instruments at home Sept. 14-18.
  • PHONES / ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES:  These devices should be turned off and safely stored in each student’s backpack from 7:50AM to 2:45PM.  Should you need to get an emergency message to your child during the school day, please call (860) 446-4200.
  •  STUDENT DROP OFF - please do not drop off your student before 7:50 AM.  Students can be dropped off at the curb by the main entrance.  Please see this slide show for specific details.  https://www.grotonschools.org/gms/family-info/arrivals-and-dismissals
  •  Please drive slowly and carefully in the school parking lot.  We expect that the first week of school our drop off procedure will take longer than usual.  We appreciate everyone’s patience as we all get used to this process.
  • BUSES:  If your child will be taking the bus, you can find the link to the GMS schedule here:  https://www.grotonschools.org/parent-and-students/transportation
  • ADDITIONAL INFORMATION may be found on our website:  www.grotonschools.org/gms

Here is a review of expectations that we will have for students and families for both in-person attendance and when students are learning from home. 

 

In-Person Days

 Please make sure you:

Students

  • Are on time to school and class.
  • Follow the directions of your teachers.  We will be reviewing expectations the first few days, please do your best to follow them for everyone’s safety!
  • Ask questions, this is new for everyone and we are here to help! 
  • Bring supplies you need for the school day, including water, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, if you wish. 
  • If you have a school issued Chromebook, please charge it and bring it with you each day to school.
  • Wear your mask and follow social distancing.  We will be working with students to get into good habits as we start the school year!
  • Gaiter or valve masks are not allowed.  If your student’s mask breaks or they need a mask for any reason we will provide one for them to use that day.
  • Do not bring any foods which contain nuts to school.
  • Students will be required to wipe down their desks at the end of each class.  Teachers will review this with their classes.
  • All food or drinks other than water will need to be put away until breakfast/lunch

Families

  • Make sure your student is not sick before sending them to school.  Students with cold or flu-like symptoms should stay home and call us at (860) 446-4200
  • For parents dropping off their student, please do not drop off until 7:50am.  Please use the driveway which starts near Grasso Tech.  We will have staff outside at drop off to assist you. 
  • If your student is taking the bus, you may find the bus schedule here:
  • Call the school if your student will be absent for a day, even if they will do distance learning that day instead of attending in person.  (860) 446-4200
  • Drive carefully in the parking lot and driveways.

Learning from Home

 Please make sure you:

Students

  • Know your schedule for the day.  Even at home, you are in school and will follow your schedule.
  • Be on time to class.  Students are expected to log onto Google Classroom for each class and complete the ‘Check In’ assignment, complete any class assignments posted for that day, as well as complete the work posted by the due date.  The ‘check in’ assignment should be completed in the first 15 minutes of class, or your student will be marked tardy or absent from that class.  If you student is having technical issues email the teacher.
  • Know your teacher’s Wednesday office hours!  This will be a great time to “zoom in” and ask questions! 
  • Communicate when you are having issues.  Contact your teacher for issues specific to your class or your school counselor.  We are here to support you!

Families

  • Call the school if your child cannot participate that day for any reason.  (860) 446-4200
  • Communicate with the school when you have questions or concerns.  Your child’s school counselor is a great place to start. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We look forward to this being a great school year as we learn and grow together!

Sincerely,

Peter Bass