GSES - From the Head of School

Dear Good Shepherd Families,

As we rapidly approach the unusual end of this 2019-2020 school year, we anticipate there will likely be some changes needed for the next school year. While we have concentrated our efforts on implementing our distance learning plan for your children, we have also been diligently working on what school will look like once we are able to return to campus. These discussions started as early as the first day we announced the suspension of on-campus learning and activities in March! 

As we prepare for continuing updates from the State of Texas, the City of Dallas, and also our Episcopal Diocese, please know Good Shepherd is working hard with you, and for you and your family. To keep you updated, we are announcing the "Our Future Is Strong" series of brief, informative emails/posts from the school which will come out every two weeks, beginning with this one today. Through these emails/posts, we will share our thoughts and preparations for our return to campus. Currently, we do not know whether our return will be in the summer with on-campus camps, in the fall with the start of the new 2020-2021 school year, or at some other time yet to be determined. 

In this first email, we will update you on our Summer Program and give you a high-level summary of our thoughts as we prepare for Fall 2020. 

Good Shepherd Summer Program
In an abundance of caution, we will shift our June camp offerings to an online format. Not all camps are available online, and we might have some offering(s) online that were not available previously. We will proactively refund June camps, allowing families to re-enroll once the online offerings are communicated. Expect an email from Whitney West in the coming days regarding the refund and also the June online offerings. 

For July, we are still hopeful that we might be able to return to camps safely. We will make a decision about July camps by June 15th. If we are unable to have July camps, or if there are other changes to those camps, we will refund those fees at that time.  

Fall 2020
Just as businesses, large and small, are working on new procedures once they reopen, we, too, understand the fall might look differently for Good Shepherd. Currently, we have several teams working, researching, and creating plans for multiple scenarios for the return to campus. Our teams are thinking about learning models, curriculum, living our mission, operations (cleaning, screening for illness, etc.), financial implications, and more. We are also in regular contact with our Dallas area independent schools as we work through our decisions. Ultimately, our goal is to be proactive and nimble so, as the pandemic situation evolves, we have ways to pivot while we keep our students learning and engaged. In future editions of Our Future Is Strong, look for information about our design thinking project facilitated by Stanford d.school faculty that we are using to proactively and intentionally consider how we might navigate these uncertain times. As we continue our work and make decisions, we will communicate those plans through this series.    

Please expect the next edition in this series in two weeks, or sooner, if there is information to report. We will also post the series on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for your reference. 

Together we are #gsesStrong,

Julie McLeod, Ph.D.
Head of School