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Frequently Asked Questions

Plan for 2020-21 School Year

We are continually assessing information and developing practices and procedures that will serve our community. We hope this FAQ will be helpful and answer some questions you may have. 

We take great pride in the summer camp programming we provide for children at NGFS and we are committed to ensuring that our campers receive a high quality, immersive, adventure-focused experience. Unfortunately, in assessing the current restrictions and guidelines put in place by NC Department of Health and Human Services, we are unable to provide the kind of summer programming that we are known for. While we are offering some virtual academic enrichment and camp programs this summer, our primary focus is on preparation for the new school year. This summer we are working to assess the latest health information, develop practices and procedures that will serve our community and re-design safe spaces for learning, working, playing, and socializing at school.

NGFS will be open as scheduled for the first day of school on August 25, unless the state does not allow schools to open. The health and safety of our community will always come first and we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in our area. We are developing modifications to our campus environments, daily operations, and practices to ensure the health and safety of NGFS students, staff, and families.

The decision about whether our campuses will be open will be based on the requirements issued by our state and local officials. The Governor’s Office and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will determine how schools can reopen safely for the 2020-21 school year based on the state’s COVID-19 metrics. They have announced their next update will be on July 1. The NGFS Scenario Planning Task Force is closely monitoring the evolving situation and how these guidelines and requirements impact the way we live, teach, and learn at school. As we develop plans, procedures, and policies for the new school year we will set clear expectations for students, staff, and families. You can expect to receive another update by July 15.

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection, hygiene, sanitation, and disinfection protocols will be in place that aim to minimize exposure of students, families and staff. These include adjusting use of space to provide for appropriate social distancing, adjusting student groups, the use of cloth face coverings, restrictions for on campus visitors, enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols, and other illness prevention and education measures. We are developing a screening process for COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home policies and plans for handling suspected, presumptive or confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in our community.

We understand that each family must make decisions about what is best for their student and their family. You may choose to keep your student at home for remote learning, even if campus is open. Beginning in August, students in the NGFS community will be learning together for at least part of the day whether they are on-campus or off-campus. NGFS is committed to providing remote learning for any student who needs this option for any reason. 

If you anticipate your student not attending school in-person, please contact your division head. Carolyn Vallejos,, for Preschool and Lower School and Tanisha Jones,, for Middle and Upper School.

No, not based on your place of work. Like all other families, we will require that you answer “No” to health screening questions regarding symptoms and known or suspected exposure.

Morning care will not be offered. We anticipate being able to offer afternoon extended care for students in preschool through 8th grade. Extended care is likely to look different than it has before, utilizing contained groupings of students and additional spaces in order to promote social distancing and reduce the risk of exposure. “Drop-in” care will not be offered except for emergency situations. If something unexpected comes up we will of course, always care for your child. As restrictions ease, we will resume our traditional model of after school care.

While we would all prefer to be on campus and acknowledge that remote learning cannot replace the in-person experience at NGFS, we are confident we can provide a valuable educational program for our students while in remote learning. We had a successful experience with remote learning in the spring of 2020. Under the leadership of Lisa Bates-Glass, Director of Instructional Design and Remote Learning, and in collaboration with the academic team, teachers are working to enhance their instructional design for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Yes, students who are learning remotely will learn through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. This will include Zoom small group activities with peers who are on campus and/or peers who are learning remotely, daily activities in each subject area (with some assignments being given with two days for completion), and instruction for new skills provided through synchronous instruction (real-time via Zoom) and asynchronous instruction (videos provided by teaching faculty.) 

Yes. Auxiliary and Athletics staff are actively planning for a variety of activities to be offered in the event that “traditional” sports are not possible as we have known them. On-campus extracurriculars including athletics will be modified, as necessary, in response to state guidelines. Some activities will be modified to comply with health and safety protocols. For example, cross country may not look much different than before, while other groups such as the chess team, will be modified to allow for social distancing. Some clubs will be offered for students learning both on and off-campus. More details will be coming at the beginning of the year.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate parents or other visitors in the classroom due to health and safety concerns. Limiting exposure is an essential part of keeping our community members safe.  As state health guidelines evolve, we will adjust our policies accordingly.