13 April 2020


Dear Gould Families,

I write to you today, as promised, to provide an update on our plans for the remainder of the spring trimester at Gould. On Tuesday evening, April 7, Maine’s Commissioner of Education Pender Makin, with the support of Governor Mills, made the recommendation to Maine schools to extend their remote learning plans until the end of the current school year.

Consistent with this guidance, and after consulting with the Senior Administration, the Pandemic Response Team, and with the full support of our Board of Trustees, we must make the difficult decision to keep our campus closed and to continue to provide our outstanding remote learning program for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.   In keeping with the mission of our school “to prepare academically motivated students for college and help them to become independent-minded, ethical citizens who will lead lives of purpose, action excellence and compassion in a dynamic world,” it has become clear that this is the only responsible decision.
 
I am so proud of the amazing work that our faculty and staff have done to shift our academic work to a full-time remote model. They have been led by our remarkable Teaching and Learning team under the skillful leadership of Assistant Head of School for Teaching and Learning Brad Clarke. In addition to the team’s focus on the academic program, they have developed a non- academic program to support the physical and emotional well-being of our students. Olivia Hendry, our director of health services, has worked tirelessly to ensure that wellness check-ins are available to provide emotional support for our students.
 
I know this is a difficult decision for everyone, but I am particularly sensitive to what it means to the members of the class of 2020. I know there are many rites of passage that you have been looking forward to. I pledge to you that we will do all that we can to appropriately celebrate your tremendous accomplishments. We are in the process of forming a task force that will, with your assistance and creativity, explore a meaningful way to have a virtual Commencement on May 30, with a special reunion scheduled as early as the fall.
 
While there remains a great deal that we don’t know, here are some things we do know. We are planning on moving forward with the following events virtually:

  • Seniors Baby Picture Assembly
  • Four-Year Senior Assembly
  • Senior Four Point Presentations
  • Underclass Awards
  • Spring Family Weekend – April 26-28
  • Board of Trustee Meeting – May 2

The following events have been canceled.
  • Grandparents Day
  • Spring Sports Schedule

As conditions change, we are working on a plan to ensure that students can safely retrieve their belongings, but at this time, students may not return to campus for their belongings or for any other reason. Students who have questions should contact Mr. Manning. 

Though it seems very unlikely, should conditions change such that we could safely and feasibly return to campus, earlier than we expect, we would consider it. We do still hope to reopen the campus in time for our summer programs in July and August.

Please keep in touch. We welcome your feedback, thoughts, and suggestions. Thank you for your patience, understanding, support, and recognition that we are all in this together and that together we will all get through this. Stay safe and well.

All the best,
Chris Gorycki
Interim Head of School