Dear GEMS Families,
We are excited to announce that our staff received access to the vaccine and are able to schedule the first doses this week and next week. As a result, we have created a plan for re-opening in a hybrid model starting in mid March, which is outlined below. The safety of our GEMS community has been a priority in our decision making from the beginning. There are increased risks with any plans to return to in-person learning, however, our hybrid opening timeline was designed to minimize those risks to the greatest extent possible and was based on the following primary factors:
Staff will be fully vaccinated (both doses) before returning to in-person learning.
A projected decrease in COVID-19 community spread in Franklin county in the coming weeks and months.
The risk of infection and transmission increases with increases in age. As a result we developed a staggered reopening plan where we bring back the youngest students first.
The staggered reopening plan where some grade levels begin in-person learning before other grades provides time to learn and adjust our practices and policies before bringing more students and staff into the building.
Families will have the option to enroll their student in the hybrid learning model or remain in a virtual learning model. Details about each model are included on page two.
Our ability to maintain standard safety protocols in the building as recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other local and national health experts.
Please check out our video regarding our reopening plan here: bit.ly/GEMSOpening
You can find a list of frequently asked questions to help inform your decision for your child’s mode of learning for the remainder of the school year at: bit.ly/GEMSReopeningFAQ
We also invite you to join us for a live question and answer session on Tuesday, February 9th at 7:00 pm. If you are unable to join us at that time the webinar will be sent out in a separate email, posted on our website, and on Facebook for your review. You can also share your questions with us at [email protected] or 614-253-4000.
Modes of Learning
1) Hybrid Learning
Students learn in person at the GEMS building 2 days a week and virtually 3 days a week through a combination of live instruction on Zoom with a teacher (synchronous lesson) and daily assignments posted on Schoology for students to complete individually or with the help of an adult (asynchronous work). Students will be assigned to attend in-person classes on Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday. In-person learning days will be aligned for families with more than one student in grades K-4.
2) Virtual Learning
Students learn virtually 100% of the time through a combination of live instruction on Zoom with a teacher (synchronous) and daily pre-recorded lessons and assignments posted on Schoology for students to complete individually or with the help of an adult (asynchronous). Due to the challenges of meeting the needs of every family, a greater portion of the instruction in the virtual learning mode will be asynchronous for students in grades 3-8.
Synchronous - Learning that happens live through Zoom with a teacher.
Asynchronous - Learning that happens without live interactions with a teacher.
Pre-recorded lessons and curated assignments will be posted on Schoology for students to complete each week. In addition, students will have daily assignments on Lexia (an online reading program), K-2 Mathseeds and 3-8 Mathletics (an online math program), and reading independently or with a family member.
Please reach out with any questions or concerns. Sending safe and healthy thoughts!
GEMS Administration and Staff