A phone conference was held today between all the public-school superintendents from Elkhart County and the health officials from the Elkhart County Health Department (ECHD). After updates and discussion, and upon the recommendation of Dr. Lydia Mertz, ECHD Health Officer, it has been determined that the safest course of action for all Elkhart County schools is to begin the school year with online learning for all students. Online learning will continue through September 28, 2020, unless pandemic conditions improve significantly enough to safely reopen schools. At this time, Goshen Community Schools (GCS) will start the year on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 with all grades in Course V, which is online learning from home.
- GCS will delay the start of the school year by one day, making the first day of school Tuesday, August 11. This delay will allow administrators and teachers one additional day of preparation to get ready for an online start. To make up for the loss of the instructional school day, GCS will use the Friday before President’s Day, January 15, 2021 as a school day.
- Food Services: Meals will be served by pick-up/drive-through at each school, with staff members available to direct families through the line at each school. Families should have the student IDs, or student ID number, of the students for whom they wish to pick up lunches. Lunch will be available for pick-up Monday-Friday. Times for pick up at individual schools will be announced next week. Meals will be available starting Tuesday, August 11, 2020.
- Schools will be developing alternative plans for device pickup, as well as meeting their teachers. More information will be coming out as soon as those plans are confirmed.
- School counselors, social workers, instructors, TOIs, nurses, and paraprofessionals will be available for students and their families Monday-Friday via phone calls, email, or by other arrangements as set up with school staff members.
- Teachers will start online lessons on Tuesday. All students should start logging in as instructed. For instructions on logging in, please refer to the GCS website.
- Building principals and office staff will be available in the school buildings Monday-Friday during school hours.
- The GCS Administration Center will also be open to help answer questions or assist patrons as needed.
Goshen’s reopening plan included courses of action to make these kinds of abrupt changes and we are prepared to serve all students in an online learning environment. We will continue to be flexible during this pandemic and communicate changes to you as soon as possible. We will always choose to do what is best for our students and staff, and what is recommended by the local and state health officials. We appreciate your understanding (along with a healthy dose of flexibility!) as we change our plans to start in Course V to begin the 2020-21 school year. Our full COVID-19 school plan may be found at: https://www.goshenschools.org/schoolplan
Dr. Steven Hope
GCS Interim Superintendent
(Will post in Spanish as soon as it is available.)