Sent on behalf of Interim President / Senior Vice President for Residential, Mr. Danny Dorsel:

Dear GSSM family,
 
Last night, Governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order that changes the state’s posture on COVID-19 protocols in light of recent favorable trends in COVID-19 infections.
 
The executive order allows parents and guardians to opt their students out of face-mask requirements established by schools by submitting a signed opt-out form developed by the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). DHEC’s form is posted here: https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/D-4286.pdf
 
As of this writing, both DHEC and the CDC recommend wearing masks when indoors, or outdoors when social distancing is not possible. The Governor, in his executive order, encourages those who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask.
 
Our safety protocols have played an important role in allowing us to open in residency safely and confidently. We believe that they are especially relevant in a school like ours where students live in close proximity to each other.  We are pleased that our students, faculty, and staff have supported these protocols not only for their own health, but also for the health of the GSSM community.
 
We have had a safe and healthy semester; therefore, the GSSM’s safety protocol will remain unchanged. That means that students who do not have an opt-out form on file, and all employees and visitors will continue to wear masks according to our policy. All non-mask-related COVID-19 safety protocols will continue in force for the entire school community.
 
To opt your student out of GSSM’s mask wearing requirement, please return a signed copy of the DHEC opt-out form to Ms. Kristin Gibson, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Development, (kgibson@governors.school). Once she receives the form, she will confirm with your student that they may choose when, or if, they will wear a mask on campus.
 
Note that students visiting non-GSSM facilities as a part of their interim course may be required by the facility owner to wear a mask. Also, as provided in the Governor’s executive order, all students will be required to wear masks while riding GSSM buses.
 
We have just over a week to go in the spring semester. Our plan is to continue to do the things that help us stay focused on learning and achievement. I know we will finish this semester strong, because our commitment to excellence and each other remains as strong as ever.
 
As always, we are grateful for the trust you place in us to care for your student.
 
Sincerely,
Mr. Danny Dorsel
Interim President / Senior Vice President for Residential
SC Governor's School for Science + Mathematics