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Dear GSSM Families,
The spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its emergence in the U.S. are prompting questions about its potential impact on workplaces, communities, and schools. Due to this outbreak, we have seen higher education institutions extending their spring breaks or transferring to a virtual learning environment for the remainder of the semester. The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE), working closely with the Governor’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), is monitoring this rapidly developing situation and is preparing regular updates for schools and districts.
Because GSSM is a public school, we fall under the South Carolina Department of Education. Earlier this week, the State Superintendent of Education, sent all District and School Leaders an email providing guidance on COVID-19. Per that memo, “Any decisions regarding school closures or canceling school events as a result of COVID-19 should not be made solely at the local level. Please consult with the State Superintendent of Education, who will work with state health officials at DHEC and the Governor’s office for the final appropriate decision. In addition, any announcement of local cases should come from state DHEC officials.” Therefore, the decision to close the GSSM campus and transfer our school to interactive virtual learning until the risk of COVID-19 declines is not one that I have the sole authority to make.
We are continuing to follow the guidelines of DHEC, SCDE, CDC, and the Governor’s office. Should we be directed to implement our campus closure plan that was sent out on Tuesday, March 10th, all families will be notified immediately. In the meantime, I encourage you to check our communications page for a list of links that contain updated information from the government agencies.
Ershela L. Sims, Ph.D.