COVID -19 Update from the Head of School

March 16, 2020

Dear Good Shepherd Families,

We have been closely monitoring the information from our healthcare experts around COVID-19 and their recommendations for social distancing during this pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and I know the continued uncertainty might be a challenge for your family. In an effort to be responsive, support the healthcare system, and also help families make plans and arrangements with as much lead time as possible, we will proceed with the following plan:

  • Beginning Monday, March 23rd, Good Shepherd Episcopal School and Good Shepherd PDO will suspend on-campus classes and activities and begin distance learning for all students through April 3rd. 
  • Each week, we will communicate decisions on a revolving two-week schedule. For example, the week of March 23rd, you will be notified whether we will continue with distance learning during the week of April 6th. The week of March 30th, you will be notified whether we will continue with distance learning during the week of April 13th. We will keep this schedule of notifications as long as the situation demands. 

This is a proactive response, not taken lightly by the school. It is one made in conjunction with the recent decisions by the Episcopal Church regarding the suspension of large group gatherings in church facilities, and many of our neighboring private schools as they begin to implement distance learning, as well. Our efforts are designed to keep our community virus free and safe, as well as to continue to provide the level of education you have come to expect. 

By the end of the day tomorrow, you should expect to receive several communications from the school: 

  • Distance Learning Framework - Classes will continue through a distance-learning format coordinated by our talented team of technology experts, our division heads, and our faculty members. You will be receiving an email from your Division Head explaining in greater detail how your children will continue their classes online. We will offer technology support and tutoring should your child experience any challenges in this new online learning process. We will be scheduling time for technology and supply pick up as needed, and more details will be forthcoming.
  • 7th Grade COE - We are making arrangements for shifting the 7th grade COE trip later in the school year. This COE trip will not occur on our originally scheduled dates. 
  • Encore - Mrs. West will be sending information to you if you have enrolled your child in an Encore class this semester. 
  • Lower School Choir at Pinstack - Mrs. Spriggs and Ms. Graham will be contacting you if your child is in the 3rd and 4th grade lower school choir. This off-campus field trip is not occurring as scheduled on Thursday, March 26th.

Important information will continue to be communicated through our weekly newsletter so please read it thoroughly, and visit our website, while we are not together on our campus. Immediate changes and/or updates will be sent to you through email.

I want to thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding while we work through this extraordinary situation. We remain in regular contact with local health officials, and we will promptly update the community with any changes that may affect you.

Should you have any questions, you are welcome to reach out to me or to your Division Heads.

Thank you,

Julie McLeod, Ph.D.
Head of School