Andrew Withers: Grass Valley School District welcomes back students, staff and families
It has been wonderful to have everyone back on campus this week! We’ve been through a tremendous amount in a very short time frame, including a worldwide pandemic, school closures, hybrid instruction, wildfires, PSPS closure days, and much much more. We attained so much success last year and we are proud of what we were able to execute. Our learning community grew and we adapted in so many ways. We also have a new level of respect for how important the relationships are between our district, staff, students and community. Our school district theme last year was #GVSDBetterTogether and while we will continue to live by this, we have updated our theme to #GVSDBackBetter for the 2021-22 school year. Now with updated safety mitigation strategies we are able to return to a full day of in-person learning.
The first day of school for the Grass Valley Charter School Crew was on Tuesday, Aug. 17 and the Bell Hill Academy, Margaret Scotten, Lyman Gilmore, and our pre-school students began on Wednesday, Aug. 18. Our school district and the Grass Valley community continue to face extraordinary challenges and impacts from the River Fire as well as increasing cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant and our hearts and care are with everyone who has been impacted. It is important for everyone to know that we are following all COVID-19 health and safety guidelines including adherence to the strictest recommendations in the event of a guidance conflict. In alignment with guidance we are requiring masks for everyone inside and they are optional when outside. We remain focused on the health and safety of everyone and will conduct contact tracing and ongoing staff testing in alignment with state guidelines. We are also adhering to a new state mandate to ensure that we conduct weekly screening testing of any unvaccinated staff. We recently completed a very successful full day in-person summer school program and these additional COVID testing practices will help us maintain and support quality in-person services.
Also new this school year is a state mandate for our school district to offer an Independent Study (IS) option. This option is for families who want to make a long term/year long commitment to IS due to a health risk impacted by in-person instruction. This program follows the independent study guidelines which means the bulk of the instructional program is supported by the parent/guardian.
We are proud to serve our community and we appreciate our families for choosing GVSD. We still have enrollment openings and we encourage those who are interested to reach out with any questions. The safety of our students, staff, and community is always our number one priority and we are here to serve the Grass Valley community!
Andrew Withers is superintendent of the Grass Valley School District
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