Frequently Asked Questions
These questions will be updated as information
becomes available and as new questions arise.
How and when does TGS plan to start the Fall 2020 semester?
We will begin classes remotely on Monday, August 24th. We will use the week of August 17th to provide a multitude of opportunities for TGS community building and making connections across our school community—especially for our new families—as well as helping families prepare to collaborate on effective remote learning. Some of these opportunities will be in-person in small groups with social distancing and others will be remote. A team of teachers and administrators is in the process of planning these activities and more information will be announced soon.
Will the delayed start date affect the end date of the school year?
Yes. The school year will be adjusted accordingly. Spring semester final exams and assessments will end on May 27, 2021. 5th Grade promotion will take place on May 27. Middle School promotion and Commencement 2021 will be held on Friday, May 28. Please refer to our downloadable calendar for more information.
What will the remote learning schedule be like?
During remote learning, students will have their Day 1 and Day 2 schedule on Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. Wednesday will be a condensed schedule so that all eight periods can meet in the middle of the week. Day 1 and Day 2 classes will last one hour each, and students will have tutorial and advisory each of those days. Wednesday classes will be 35 minutes each. You may view the complete schedule here. Please note that this schedule is subject to updates. We hope to resume Friday Explorations soon, but the lessons learned from our remote learning experience last spring, as well as the feedback from our family survey, point to the importance of more regular check-ins and a consistent routine.
Will teachers take attendance during remote learning?
What technology will be used during remote learning?
Remote learning classes will take place on Zoom. Zoom links will be posted in Google Classroom, along with homework, assignments, and class information. The link to Google Classroom is in the Family Portal. Login is required. Plans are underway to create training sessions for parents and new students in the technology during the week of August 17.
What are the expectations and requirements for students while participating in remote learning?
The following are student requirements and expectations for attending every Zoom class:
- Zoom invitations and instructions to join class meetings will be provided by your teacher in Google Classroom.
- Use your school email account to join Zoom and be admitted to class.
- Be on time and prepared for class. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every Zoom meeting.
- Video and microphone will be required. Test your video and audio before joining.
- Dress appropriately according to the TGS dress code as stated in the Student Handbook.
- The same standards for classroom behavior as stated in course syllabi and the student handbook apply to Zoom meetings, chat sessions, online discussions, and breakout rooms.
- Create an appropriate environment free of visual and auditory distractions.
- Sit at a desk or table. Make sure you can freely access class materials.
- Simplify and organize your screen. Close unnecessary windows and tabs. Avoid all digital distractions that are not relevant to class.
- Avoid backlighting.
- Look at the camera when speaking rather than your screen. This gives the impression of eye contact.
- Wear headphones or earbuds for better sound and microphone quality. You might consider muting your microphone when you’re not talking during class in order to reduce any distracting background noise.
- Interact. Though the pacing of Zoom discussions can be slower than live discussions, you learn more when you participate.
- Announce yourself before speaking (e.g., “This is Elizabeth”). This method of announcing yourself creates audio/visual clarity on the screen.
- Practice the same careful listening skills you would while in the classroom (take notes, prepare follow-up questions, offer additional ideas).
- If a Zoom meeting gets interrupted or unexpectedly ends (due to technological issues), wait a few minutes for the meeting to resume, but also check Google Classroom to see if your teacher has posted further instructions or updates. Do not assume that class is over.
Will any classes meet on campus during remote learning?
We are exploring creative ways to have select classes meet in person, on campus, when possible. For instance, the garden-to-table class could be completely outdoors and facilitated with social distancing. Optional music classes like orchestra may be held in the evenings when the temperatures are cooler and social distancing can be achieved by spreading out on our expansive lawns. Yoga classes could be held outdoors. Any class offered on campus would be optional, dependent on family transportation availability, and would only continue if we had 100% compliance on the safety protocols outlined for all participants. However, if the governor requires all schools to move to entirely remote platforms, such in-person offerings may not be possible.
What is happening with the lunch program?
We are exploring the possible continuation of the lunch program during this period of remote learning. Providing families with a campus curbside pick-up service is one example of how we could continue to foster connections within our school community.
When will in-person school resume?
Minimally, criteria that will be considered by the school administration and Board of Trustees include the following:
- Two consecutive weeks of declining rates of positivity (i.e., out of all PCR tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19)
- Two consecutive weeks of positivity rates less than or equal to 5%
The TGS leadership team commits to continue monitoring all relevant data closely and providing weekly updates to families about any and all changes to the current plan. We assure you that as soon as the school administration and Board of Trustees determine, based on routine review of the above criteria as well as recommendations from medical and public health experts, that it is safe to bring larger groups back to campus, we will do so. We are confident that all our planning this summer will result in our being able to make such a transition possible, and relatively quickly, once a decision is made.
How will families be communicated with?
School-wide updates and announcements will be sent to all families by email. Where applicable, these FAQs and our web page will be updated as well and, again where applicable, announcements may appear on The Gregory School Facebook and Instagram pages. However, families should rely on email foremost for initial information.
Information about specific classes will be posted in Google Classroom and, depending on the announcement, will be emailed to families from teachers.
Are physicals for students still required by August 3?
We can waive physicals for all students with the exception of Upper School students who plan to participate in a school sport, because physicals are required by the AIA. However, all students registered at TGS MUST have immunizations up to date.
Will campus visitors, including parents and families be allowed? Will they be screened?
Generally speaking, visitors will not be permitted on campus, and as much business as possible will be conducted via email and online meetings. Family members and other visitors with school business that must be conducted in person will be required to make an appointment and wear a mask.
Will there be interscholastic athletics?
We will make this determination in collaboration with the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA). We will update this answer as we receive information from the AIA.
Will there be field trips?
There will be no field trips in the fall semester. We have not yet made a determination about the spring semester.
Will there be clubs?
We are moving forward with plans to have clubs, and are working to determine how students will create, sign up for and participate in these. We will post more information as we have it.