Jamie's Update: Upper School to Re-open Next Week

October 15, 2020
Dear SGS Community,
Fall is here!  If we needed a reminder, the colorful leaves and the cooler mornings confirm the season.  The first month and a half of this school year has produced a successful and safe roll out of our hybrid model in grades K-8.  It looks neat and tidy as a written description, but the complexity of this process cannot be understated.  I have never been prouder of our teachers as they continue to adapt during this school year.  The recipe for success thus far includes:
1. Take home learning kits, routine and stable daily schedules
2. Hybrid classes with varying ratios of students at school and at home
3. Full in-person classes
4. Distance Learning (DL) Classes – Synchronous and Asynchronous
5. Switching between Hybrid, full in-person and DL as needed
6. Evening classes for International Students in their home country
7. Porch drops when needed
8. On-site tech support
9. Small grouping of Upper School students on campus: Conditioning, EE Boot camp, etc.
10. Patience, flexibility and resilience by everyone
I am pleased to announce our Upper School grades will move to a hybrid (in-person and DL) model next week. We are starting with an alternating model at this time to limit the number of high school students in the building to further mitigate the risks of transmission at school.  When at school, grades 9-12 will follow a four-period block schedule to limit the number of transitions during each day.  We will continue with DL on Mondays (8 period) for grades 7-12 until further notice.  
11th and 12th Grade Students will move to a hybrid model on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21.  (9th and 10th grade students will attend DL classes these two days.)
9th and 10th Grade Students will move to a hybrid model on Thursday, October 22 and Friday, October 23.  (11th and 12th grade students will attend DL classes these two days.)
Dr. Mulazzi will be sending additional information and details about next week and Kathy, Joelle and Ryan will provide updates in a timely manner to the appropriate divisions.  US students will receive an attestation card “The Golden Ticket” in the mail this weekend.  You may also print one from the SGS website if necessary.
We continue to work with Dr. Lutz and the Spokane Regional Health District team to plan our move to the US hybrid model.  As many of you have seen, the 2-week virus activity continues to be a concern in Spokane County.  Using the systematic approach of bringing small numbers of students back to the SGS campus has been successful, as we can make adjustments along the way.  Our students have done an outstanding job of following guidelines, and our parents have been proactively communicating with the school regarding symptom checking, learning pods, and COVID testing.  These combined efforts keep our community healthy and allow us to have students return to campus.  Thank you for your ongoing support and cooperation.
We are excited to welcome some of our Upper School students back to campus next week and will continue to provide the DL option for those students attending from home.  We expect there will be a learning curve next week for students and teachers as we transition to the hybrid platform.  Communication will be key to navigate this new method of instruction. 
Please contact me, the division heads, or Ryan Peplinski (COVID Coordinator) with any questions.
Thank you and Go Dragons!
Jamie Tender
Head of School