Welcome Back Letter

Welcome Back Letter
Posted on 09/02/2020
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Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,

I hope this letter finds you having an enjoyable and safe summer. The 2019-2020 school year was like no other and despite our sincerest hopes, the 2020-2021 school year is also looking to be unlike any that has preceded it. We are living through very strange times, addressing issues in ways that are new, uncomfortable and in some ways, untested. Through all the challenges, we must remain focused on our primary mission, which is to provide the best quality education possible to the students that attend Granville.

For the administration, 12-month staff and myself, it does not feel like there have been much of a summer. March blended into April, April into May and June and this summer seems to have been a process of finding never ending solutions to an ever-changing list of requirements all while moving forward with our building project, regular building maintenance and a whole new layer of prepping “socially distanced” classroom spaces.  I would like to thank our Operations and Maintenance staff for their dedication throughout our closure and this summer to get us ready to reopen safely. I would also like to thank our faculty, staff and community members who contributed to the creation of our reopening plan as well as providing a volume of thoughtful feedback once it was published. The plan is not a perfect solution. The perfect solution would be to return to pre-COVID Granville in September, but that is not to be.  The plan is a series of thoughtful compromises to get as many students possible back to in-person instruction within the parameters we must comply. Rest assured, the minute that we can return to “normal” we are ready and will waste not a single moment to get there.

School, regardless of grade level is, for now, going to look and feel quite different. Students, parents, and staff are all going to realize this very quickly. Smaller classes, health checks, less movement during the day and limited access to the buildings name only a few of the myriad of changes that have been made.  Without a doubt, there will be more changes and adjustments to our plans and our daily operations along the way. Remember, we are planning, developing, and implementing something entirely new, live and in real time.

To make this work well, it is essential that parents, students, teachers, and administrators remain in regular communication. This needs to be a two-way dialogue. If things are not working at home or school, we need to be talking about it and figure out solutions. Thus far, we have not found many hurdles that with some thought, could not be overcome. This is how we must all proceed this year. Simply waiting on the school or on parents to reach out is not going to be effective. This is especially true if students are in a virtual or remote setting.  We must strive not only be problem identifiers, but also problem solvers.  Individually, what we are trying to accomplish, the number of changes and the sheer volume of potential issues is overwhelming, but collectively we’ve got this! Anything less is simply unacceptable, for our students, children, community, and profession.

I hope that you enjoy the remainder of the summer, and I look forward to seeing you all in a few short weeks. If at any point you have questions, concerns or simply need to share an opinion, please do not hesitate to contact me. 


Tom McGurl

Superintendent of Schools