When will the campus reopen?
updated May 3rd:
Based on the most reliable data we have today, Gordon is planning for our community -students, parents, caregivers, faculty, and staff - to be together, on our campus, for the 2020-21 school year. The work is underway now to develop a comprehensive health and safety plan that covers multiple scenarios, from a "semi-normal" return that follows any health mandates and social distancing guidelines that may come from the state to hybrid possibilities that combine in-person learning at school and online learning at home.
What communication can we expect while the campus is closed?
Dr. Thomas López will continue to email families directly with news about the school's response to COVID-19. If those emails are not reaching you, please contact Geoff Griffin at email@example.com or 401-480-9933. These emails are being archived here.
The school's weekly Thursday emails will continue with news and updates that impact the school community in general.
Students will connect with their teachers and classmates every school day through the Online Learning Community.
In Early Childhood and Lower School, homeroom teachers will schedule regular weekly phone calls or Zoom meetings with families.
In Middle School, homeroom teachers and advisors will connect with students daily, and will communicate feedback directly. All teachers will provide weekly office hours when students will receive additional one-on-one and small group support in a virtual format. Teachers and advisors will schedule additional online meetings with families as needed.
Division Directors will communicate weekly with parents through email.
How do we get in touch with people at the school?
Gordon’s faculty and staff will be answering emails and voice mails left at Gordon. Families can expect a response within twenty-four hours.
A full staff and faculty directory is online in the parent portal at www.gordonschool.org/parentlogin
Families should not reach out to faculty or staff about school business at their personal phone numbers. Please respect this boundary, even if a faculty or staff member might choose to use their personal phones to reach out to you.
Emails follow the formula first initial last name @gordonschool.org
Kim O'Donnell will be answering the school's phone at 401-434-3833. She will be able to take messages and help direct your call. If you know the extension of the person you are trying to reach, or you would like to use the spell-by-name directory, call 401 490-4921 and follow the prompts.
Who do I contact if I have a question about the Online Learning Community?
If you have a question specific to your child please reach out to your child’s teacher or advisor. A full faculty directory is available in the parent portal at www.gordonschool.org/parentlogin
Please direct questions about online learning in a particular division to the appropriate division director:
Early Childhood and Lower School Director
Maryanne Pieri, firstname.lastname@example.org, 401-490-4921 x120
Middle School Director
Gabe Burnstein, email@example.com, 401-490-4921 x121
What if my child (or parent) needs technology help?
Technology support will be available weekdays from 8am to noon and 1pm to 4:00pm. If your child is in need of technology support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name, their device type, and issue, or call 401-490-4921 x175.
Will the Health Office be available to help families while the campus is closed?
Sandy Horton, RN will be available by phone to answer questions and provide guidance for families that have questions or concerns. She may be reached at 401-203-1211 between the hours of 8am and 4pm. She also has Zoom drop-in hours that are posted in the Commons at www.gordonschool.org/commons
The Q&A on the Online Learning Community has moved to its own page at www.gordonschool.org/onlinelearning
Head there for the latest on accessing the community, online privacy, respecting students' learning spaced, and more!
What about other programs and events that I was looking forward to?
An extended closing of the building is having a ripple effect on programs and events that will likely be felt for months to come. The school's leadership wants to leave room for creative solutions, take time to consult with Gordon's peer schools, and allow for the fact that this crisis will continue to take surprising turns.
Please be assured that the school's leadership is committed to pursuing the mission of this school using every means available.
In thinking through changes to programs that happen after school, we have kept two goals front of mind: the practical need to have children cared for and constructively engaged between 3:20pm and 5:00pm every day, and the task of providing students with the teamwork, community-building and skill-building experiences that happen in all of our on-campus after school and programs.
Parent partnership is a crucial part of Gordon School. The immediate focus is on a successful launch of teaching and learning in our Online Learning Community. In the coming weeks, administrative liaisons will be in touch with committee chairs and volunteers to discuss virtual meeting possibilities if on-campus learning has not resumed.
How will faculty and staff be doing all this every day?
Gordon's faculty and staff are working at full capacity to build and sustain the Online Learning Community.
Gordon’s faculty are launching a new model for learning and are passionate about delivering their content in a new form. In addition to translating their curriculum into an online platform, reimagining and designing lesson plans, creating and posting videos, responding to student work, and communicating with families about their children's experiences, faculty will be collaborating with their colleagues and continuously identifying teaching tools to support student engagement, learning, and social and emotional wellness.
Faculty will also continue weekly team meetings and meetings with their Division Director to provide the most consistent instruction for all children. They will be providing individualized, online feedback for student work, and continuing to adjust and develop their online teaching methods to meet the needs of each student.
Gordon's staff is also fully invested in the success of online learning. In addition to their existing responsibilities—many of which are not reduced by the closing of the building—they are stepping up and into new responsibilities aimed at supporting the community in ways that go far beyond their job descriptions.
Many faculty and staff members also have children at home and, like all Gordon families, will be managing this new reality and finding a balance between their Gordon responsibilities and their own home lives.
Will Gordon be refunding tuition for the time students are not on campus?
Updated April 13th: Dr. Thomas López's email offers a more complete and updated explanation of the short-term and long-term challenges the school faces
Gordon has no plans to refund tuition. Gordon's faculty, staff and administration are working at full capacity to provide students with the best online learning experience possible. This is no small undertaking. Creating a mission-centric curriculum and systems of engagement online will take the effort and talents of our entire professional community.
Gordon's Buildings and Grounds staff will continue to care and maintain the campus and facilities while students are engaged online. There will be no financial surplus from shutting down the campus. We are absolutely looking to trim expenses during this period, but, at best, these reductions will help to offset the expected loss of income in auxiliary programs and facility rentals.
Most importantly, teaching and learning will continue, and the new capacities we are developing in this process will continue to inform our practice when we return to our "new normal." The pacing and delivery of the Gordon experience will change, but the commitment to community, and a child-by-child approach, will continue.
What do I do if the COVID-19 situation has made it impossible for me to pay this year's or next year’s tuition obligation on time?
Please contact Tom Cicatiello at 401-473-3316. He will be happy to work out an alternative payment plan with you.
Will Gordon be refunding fees for other programs such as after school care, lunch, enrichments, and music lessons?
Yes. Families will not be billed for enrichments, after school care, music lessons and lunches that do not happen because the campus is closed. After school instrumental lessons and payments will now be arranged directly with the instructor (see below). Families who purchased a Gator or YAP annual package will see a credit to their account for the time that campus is closed.
Added April 13th: Gordon has also suspended late charges on outstanding tuition balances.
No. Plans for Summer at Gordon are still on track. Should Gordon's campus remain closed through the summer, camps will, of course, be cancelled and all payments refunded. Also, if the COVID-19 situation has your family reconsidering your summer plans, please contact Jenny Alario at email@example.com who will coordinate a refund for you.