A Letter from the Headmaster
Dear Lower School Families,

We are so very grateful for your support. Thank you for continuing to help your students at home and for those who are encouraging our in-person learners also. The teachers are working tirelessly to provide instruction for two groups of students in two separate formats while remaining faithful to the principles of a classical, liberal arts education deeply rooted in the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.

As many of you saw in a recent note from the Upper School Headmaster Mr. Cowan, because our teachers are all in frequent and regular communication with families about their students' academic progress, we will not be hosting conferences on October 19. If there is anything you would like to discuss with your child’s teacher, please reach out at any time. Teachers may hold conferences at any time during the year, but no formal conferences will occur this fall.
Return to School

If your child is current in Distance Learning and you plan for your child to return to school in person for Quarter 2, please let Ms. Finn know via email on or before October 16. We only need to know if you have changed your plans. There is no need to email if your child has already returned to in-person learning and plans to stay. Children returning for Quarter 2 will come to school on October 26 and should make sure to bring all their learning materials with them.
Monitor Symptoms

To help safeguard the health and well-being of students and teachers, it is vital that parents monitor their students for any symptoms associated with COVID-19 at home. Please use Great Hearts’ Student Home Screening Form for guidance on symptoms to look out for. Once students have returned to school in person, they will not return to Distance Learning should they become ill or need to stay home. When in-person students cannot come to school, their teacher will set aside their work for them to complete when they return. Families may opt at any time to return to Distance Learning, but once you have done so it will be necessary for your child(ren) to remain in Distance Learning for the rest of the quarter.
Carline Updates

Yesterday we communicated about an important update to our afternoon dismissal procedures. Effective Monday, October 5, 2020 we will be swapping the cars who should come to the White and Blue Lines. Beginning this Monday, cars picking up students in 4th and 5th Grades Only along with their siblings should use the Blue Line. Cars who will be picking up students at both the Lower and Upper School campuses should use the White Line. Because cars exiting the White Line must turn right onto Skyway Circle, this change has the added benefit of allowing cars headed to the Upper School to take Skyway Circle around to the four-way stop and make a safe left onto Story Road.
COVID-19 Case Notification

In the event that a teacher or student who attends school on campus tests positive for COVID-19, a key part of our response protocol is to inform families. All families of students in section(s) with the positive case will be notified of the case by email on the same day (or the following day if the notification arrives after hours). Additionally, we will notify the entire Irving community by updating the "COVID Counter" on our website. You can always find the COVID Counter under the Parent Resources tab. This counter is not a running total; rather it states the current number of on-campus scholars or teachers actively isolating with a positive case. The counter will be updated by 6pm on school days as needed. All individuals who have tested positive will quarantine until all requirements are met for their safe return.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition began in 1804, when President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring the lands west of the Mississippi River. The excursion lasted over two years: Along the way they confronted harsh weather, unforgiving terrain, treacherous waters, injuries, starvation, disease, and both friendly and hostile Native Americans. Nevertheless, the approximately 8,000-mile journey was deemed a huge success. We are on our own arduous expedition as we continue to navigate the unchartered territory of concurrent in-person and distance learning. We too are being met with challenges that we are overcoming, and in the end, we too shall be successful.

Marcy Finn
Headmaster, Lower School
Great Hearts Irving
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