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Gillispie School / covid19  / Safe Return to School
Gillispie School

Safe Return to School

Hello Gillispie Families,

With Holiday Break around the corner, I wanted to remind you about the protocols that we will be following to increase the likelihood of a safe return to school.

Gillispie will welcome back early childhood students on January 4 and 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.

Here are four options available 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 tests 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, appointment link, and consent forms are below. 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 currently in place, 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.

Elementary Return-to-Learn Schedule

Monday, January 4: Pick up of devices and materials for virtual learning. All families are required to come to campus to retrieve items. Please drive up to the Girard pick-up lane at the following times based on your child’s class. If you have more than one child, you may choose to come at either time slot. If you cannot make your assigned time, please call the front desk to arrange a time. No classes will meet on this day.

Class Pick-up Schedule

8:30-9:00 a.m. – Kindergarten – Collins/Wright

9:00-9:30 a.m. – Kindergarten – Leard/Dutcher

9:30-10:00 a.m. – Grade 1 – Flores

10:00-10:30 a.m. – Grade 1 – Jimenez

10:30-11:00 a.m. – Grade 2 – Argent

11:00-11:30 a.m. – Grade 2 – Stolzenbach

11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Grade 3 – Belsha

12:00-12:30 p.m. – Grade 3 – Hurley

12:30-1:00 p.m. – Grade 4 – Haas

1:00-1:30 p.m. – Grade 5 – Chaney

1:30-2:00 p.m. – Grade 5 – Inigo

2:00-2:30 p.m. – Grade 6 – Long/Adams

Tuesday, January 5 – Friday, January 8: Virtual learning – please follow the schedules distributed by your teachers.

Thursday, January 7: COVID testing offered to EC and Elementary students on campus from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – please see details and consent form below.

Monday, January 11: Return to on-campus learning if you have submitted a negative COVID-19 PCR test to Michele Greene at [email protected] taken no earlier than January 7. If you have not, continue in virtual learning for the remainder of the week.

PCR Tests Offered at Gillispie in Partnership with EXCITE Lab of UCSD for EC and Elementary Students

The testing on January 7 will take place in the Girard courtyard. Gillispie employees will provide you with the swab kit and take the sample once collected. The specimens will be sent to the lab in the afternoon of January 7, and we should receive results within 24-48 hours. Results will be provided by the lab’s doctor to the School. In the case of a positive result, the family will be contacted by phone. If we cannot reach you by phone, we will email to arrange a phone call, but we are not permitted to email results. You will not be contacted if the result is negative.

The specimens for these tests are collected with a cotton swab which is placed in the nostril. This is not the deep nasopharyngeal collection that is more invasive. Because our students are not over the age of thirteen years of age, we ask the parents to handle the swabbing while Nurse Greene observes the procedure. You can watch a video of what is required for the test here.

As mentioned above, this test is one of several options available to you as you plan to get tested before returning to school. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please print and sign this consent form, and click here to schedule an appointment for the test. When you schedule your appointment(s), please sign up for one slot for each child. You must bring the signed consent form with you to your appointment. Families will be charged $28 per test by the School.

I can’t tell you how impressed I have been with your children. Their resiliency, openly expressed joy, and willingness to rise to the occasion have been remarkable. The reason for our success in remaining open has been our communal efforts in staying honest and thinking about what is best not for ourselves, but for the community. I’m grateful to you, your lovely children, and each and every employee at Gillispie. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize in starting our second semester!

Alison Fleming, Head of School

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