GSSM cancelled Tuesday campus and virtual classes in anticipation of hazardous travel conditions and partner school closings ahead of the approach of Hurricane Florence. President Hector Flores told parents that the safety of students and families is the school's highest priority and he wished them well through the next few days.
The school closure put a damper on Homegoing Week activities, which include spirit competitions between Houses ahead of the first long weekend of the year.
The school originally announced cancellations beginning on Wednesday, but lane reversals on major arteries into coastal areas made it necessary to move up the closing so that students affected by the traffic pattern changes could return home beforehand. Most students had departed campus by late Monday night. Using the Parents' Facebook page and parent directory, many families arranged carpools.
An initial announcement for re-opening school will be made on Saturday at noon after the school has assessed Florence's impact on the campus and families around the state. During recovery from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, school re-opening was delayed by a few days to accomodate the safe return of students from harder-hit communities. If Hurricane Florence significantly impacts parts of South Carolina, GSSM will consider the needs of families in those areas in its re-opening plans.
Based on feedback from families in previous storms, the school expanded its communication plan. In addition to direct email to families, the school has set up a special page on its website to receive all updates: www.scgssm.org/florence. All announcements will also be made through the school's emergency alert service so that families with only phone service can receive updates as they are made.
As the storm approaches the Carolina coasts, everyone at GSSM has those in its path foremost in their thoughts. We look forward to hearing that all of our students, faculty, staff, and their families are safe and able to return to school very soon.
Pictured above: NOAA's Update 49A projection of Hurricane Florence's path.