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Gillispie School / covid19  / COVID-19 Holiday Return Schedule
Gillispie School

COVID-19 Holiday Return Schedule

Greetings, Gillispie Families!

Many of us draw strength from metaphors that keep us going when we experience extremely challenging times. Some of us would say we are soldiers going to war against the enemy known as COVID-19, while others see ourselves as goalkeepers in an incredibly high-stakes game, who will not let our guards down. Right now, I feel like I am facing off with a raging storm, always thinking about what is the next right move to stay the course. It’s exhausting for all of us—whatever your metaphor, lean into it, and please make the necessary sacrifices to protect our families and the broader community.

With the intention of doing the most we can to protect our students, teachers, and staff from harm as this storm rages around us, we have decided to implement additional defensive measures in connection with our return to campus after Holiday Break commensurate with the heightened risk.

Gillispie early childhood students will return to campus for in-person learning on January 4. All returning teachers and staff will be tested before returning to campus and it is strongly encouraged that early childhood students also be tested. For families electing not to return to in-person learning on January 4, virtual learning through the Gillispie at H.O.M.E. program will be provided. Early childhood students are not required to wear masks but are encouraged to do so, especially when inside the classroom (and not resting/napping). Please provide extra masks to keep at school in case a fresh mask is needed.

Gillispie will be virtual for all elementary students the week of January 4. To come back to campus on Monday, January 11, all students in grades K through Grade 6 will be required to show the results of a negative PCR test taken within four days of their January 11 return to school (to be clear, the negative results must be from a PCR test administered on January 7, 8, 9 or 10). Rapid Antigen Testing results will not be accepted. Test results should be emailed to Michele Greene at [email protected] If you are unable to provide a negative test result for your child, he or she will remain in virtual learning mode for the week of January 11 and may return to on-campus learning on Tuesday, January 19. All faculty and staff will also be tested before they return to campus.

There are three options to obtain a PCR test:

  • Go to one of the free 41 testing sites offered by San Diego County;

  • Visit a private clinic that provides PCR test for a fee;

  • Visit your child(ren)’s pediatrician’s office;

  • Come to Gillispie on Thursday, January 7. At a cost of $28 per test, we will be offering a PCR test through UCSD’s EXCITE Lab (Detailed information, schedule, and consent forms will be provided by January 1. This test is available to both elementary and EC students.)

For any of you who engage in activity that is inconsistent with the Stay-At-Home Order we entered on Sunday, quarantine rules apply, and the PCR test should be taken no sooner than 5 to 7 days after the high-risk activity. For example, the day of the event/gathering or arrival from travel back to your home is Day 0. Students will not be allowed on campus until the results of a negative PCR test are received or 14 days (symptom-free) have passed since the event.

A negative test is not a preventative measure; it is only a signal that an individual was negative for COVID-19 on the day of the test. Though testing will give Gillispie guidance on starting back in-person, the critical measures of physical distancing, hand washing, proper ventilation, and mask-wearing remain the best ways of lowering the spread of COVID-19.

As you make plans for what I hope will be a lovely and restorative Holiday Beak, I urge you to consider the potential impact of your decisions on our students and employees. We’re all in this together! Let’s keep doing everything in our power to keep the school open and safe. Thank you for your continued vigilance and support.


Alison Fleming, Head of School

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