A Message from the Head of School
Dear Griffin School Community,
The City of Austin has ordered that all schools in Travis County should keep campuses closed and start the new school year with online classes for the first three weeks. With that in mind, Griffin School will start the first three weeks of the 2020-21 school year in Phase 5 in which all classes will be held online.
Griffin faculty and staff are working hard this summer to plan for the new year and to revise our teaching practices with the intention to make online classes more effective and more engaging for students. Teachers understand that there is a need for students to have more hands-on learning activities, breaks from looking at their screens, and plenty of interactive experiences throughout the day.
We have revised our bell schedule for next year so that all programs can be allocated the time they deserve. This schedule is designed so that it can remain consistent as we shift from online learning (Phase 5) to one of our hybrid phases (Phases 2, 3, and 4) during the school year. Given our size and the robust planning we are doing to ensure student and staff safety, we are confident we will be able to transition back to on campus learning when it is allowable.
Building a strong sense of community is a top priority for us at the start of the school year. We are revising plans for orientation and other community-building efforts so we can welcome our new students and build a positive group culture for all of our students. If allowable and feasible within the bounds of this health crisis, we will find ways ways to have managed, small-scale gatherings on campus to support students seeing each other in-person and building new relationships. We will be watching the conditions in our community closely and working within the guidelines from the local health authority and city government as we make those plans.
The Griffin Board of Directors, faculty, and staff support the decision to start the school year online. The current status of community spread of COVID-19 makes that necessary. We are committed to reopening campus when it is safe to do so for our students and staff. In the meantime, let’s all commit to following the safety guidance from experts in the scientific community so that we can stay healthy and keep our loved ones safe.
The school year begins in about one month. Please make these next few weeks a time when you invest in your physical and mental health. Doing the things now that make you feel strong and resilient will be the foundation for you to have a successful year ahead.
Adam Wilson, Head of School
July 15, 2020
How To Contact Us
If your student or family has any specific needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us—we’re on call for you! We’re now calling firstname.lastname@example.org the “Griffin Hotline” and it’s the quickest way to reach us. Email the Hotline to report absences during online school hours, to report technical issues during an online class or if you can’t locate a class link, or for anything else you need.
For questions about admissions or shadowing (we’re doing online shadows!), email Caroline Wilson at email@example.com.
Where Do I Find the Latest Information?
To stay up-to-date on school information, current students and families should stay tuned to their “This Week at Griffin” emails. In addition, all families are welcome to attend our Monday Zoom Town Halls for announcements as well as our casual Zoom Parent Coffees on Friday mornings.
In addition, many people are finding the “Griffin Today” on the Pin To Mind Go app useful during this period to see the daily calendar, remote class schedule, and information about upcoming events. Refer to your “This Week at Griffin” emails for more information on how to download the app.
Our Faculty Ready to Greet Students!