Dear Girard Families,

Following the latest report from the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, there is good evidence that transmission rates of coronavirus are on the decline in our region. The test positivity rate in Philadelphia has been steadily falling, which is one of the key trends we have been following.
Based on the most recent data and knowing that our own health and safety procedures are sound, we are prepared to welcome students back for in-person instruction starting on January 24-25. We are returning to a modified Phase 2 of our Re-Opening Plan and will continue to evaluate all aspects of our plan with regard to community health and student achievement.

All staff and students are required to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning, and testing will continue to be a key part of our strategy to keep everyone safe.

Additional details on our return to campus schedule and COVID testing plan are laid out below. Please reach out to us with any questions using the email address.

Thank you for your continued flexibility as we make this transition. I look forward to seeing many of our students back on campus soon!
Heather D. Wathington, Ph.D.
President, Girard College
Students Returning on January 24

  • Grades 1-5
  • 12th Grade
  • Targeted student groups in Grades 6-8

Students Returning on January 31

  • Targeted student groups in Grades 9-11 (in addition to those listed above)

All other students will continue virtual instruction until further notice.
Additional Notes

  • Families have until January 17 to update their student’s in-person or virtual status. Information on this process has been sent in a separate email based on your current option.
  • The in-person school week will continue to run on a 4-day schedule, Sunday evening through Thursday afternoon.
  • Home Clothes – Any students who have not yet been on campus this year must bring a week's worth of home clothes their first week back.
COVID-19 Testing Prior to Return

All staff and students are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to campus. Rapid antigen tests will be administered to staff on Friday, January 22. Students will need to return early on Sunday, January 24 to be tested according to the schedule below.
Flu Vaccines Required

All students returning to in-person instruction must provide a record of receiving a flu vaccine. If you have not yet submitted proof of vaccination or received a flu shot from the Girard Nursing Staff, please email proof of vaccination to as soon as you receive it.

Most health insurance covers flu shots. They can be administered by your Primary Care Physician or at local pharmacies. Uninsured patients can obtain flu shots at community health centers or flu clinics.
COVID-19 Testing Day and Summary

  • Sunday, January 24, 2021 is a scheduled campus testing date for students returning to in-person instruction (Grades 1-5, Grade 12, other students as directed).
  • Masks must be worn, and social distancing procedures must be followed.
  • Only 2 Adults can accompany a student on campus for testing/return. Only 1 adult may accompany the student for testing.
  • Testing and health screening will take place in the Armory.
  • Security officers will direct families to the Armory and supervise entry.
  • Everyone entering the Armory will be temperature screened before gaining access. 
  • Once a student is cleared, they will move to the basement of the Armory to check-in with Health Services, then report to their designated residential halls for check-in with their RA.
  • In the event a student is not cleared to return, they must leave campus and follow up with the contact tracer and their health provider.
Sunday, January 24, 2021: Student Testing Schedule

If there are siblings in different grade levels, all students will return with the youngest sibling in their grade level timeslot.

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. – 1st and 2nd grade
1:45 – 3:00 p.m. – 3rd and 4th grade
3:15 – 4:15 p.m. – 5th grade
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – 6th–8th grade
5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. – 12th grade