COVID Updates


Galapagos is mask optional for 2022-23.  Staff and scholars may wear masks if they chose.  All staff and scholars are expected to respect the decision of others regarding mask wearing.   Extra masks are available to any scholar or staff member who wants one.  

Galapagos hosted four COVID Vaccine Clinics for members of the Rockford community in 2021 and 2022.  If you are interested in a vaccination or a booster shot in Rockford, please consult this site Vaccines ( for more information. 


Please review the following regarding GRCS plans during the 2022-23 school year.

  • Will scholars be able to be in-person for the 2022-23 school year?

    GRCS be fully in-person for the 2022-23 school year beginning on August 23, 2022.  Of course, we will continue to monitor the pandemic and changes are possible based upon the level of infections within the region and guidance we receive from the CDC and the Illinois Department of Health.   In specific cases we may quarantine specific classes based upon exposures.

  • What has GRCS done to improve air quality at the schools?

    In order to provide a safer environment for our scholars and staff, Galapagos is investing in improved air quality systems.

    1. We installed new air vent systems in the bathrooms at the Upper Academy.
    2. We installed a new air handling system covering the Upper Academy kitchen and cafeteria.
    3. We are installing a brand new fresh air handling system that will cover the entire Lower Academy.  (This project should be complete in the fall of 2022.)
    4. We have installed bi-polar ION purifiers in all of our heating and air systems at the Lower Academy and the Upper Academy.  

    To learn more about this IOS air system:

    Watch this video


  • Will my scholar have to wear a mask in school?

    As of the 2022-23 school year  scholars and staff will not be required to wear masks.  Mask wearing will be optional.   Any scholar or staff member who wishes to wear a mask may do so.    

    Individuals will be required to wear a mask if they are returning from a quarantine period or if they have had a close contact.

    In some cases, based upon circumstances, entire classes may be required to wear a mask

  • Will there be bus transportation for my child?

    Yes, there is bus transportation available for your child as long as:

    1. You live more than 1.5 miles from the campus that your child is attending.
    2. You are full registered at GRCS.
  • What are the expectations for social distancing?

    Social distancing is a proven practice that helps reduce exposure to the COVID-19 virus.  Generally, it is recommended to try to maintain three to six feet between individuals. 

  • What is GRCS doing to ensure the campuses are clean and safe?

    The safety of our scholars and staff is our top priority.  In order to provide a clean, sanitary environment GRCS has:

    1. Increased cleaning rounds of the school on a daily basis.
    2. Implemented increased deep cleanings.
    3.  Provided all instructors with disinfectant cleaners in the classroom.
    4.  Installed hand sanitizing stations throughout the campuses.
    5.  Purchased advanced cleaning equipment.  The UA and LA now both have advanced floor cleaning machines that will allow for more frequent cleanings in a quicker period of time.  This will allow staff to have more time to do even more cleanings.
    6. Purchased electrostatic sprayers that will allow staff to safely disinfect a classroom in 10-15 minutes.
    7. Purchased chrome book carts that use ozone technology to fully disinfect a classroom of chrome books in 15 minutes. 
  • Will Galapagos conduct temperature checks?

    As of the 2022-23 school year, GRCS will no longer be conducting temperature checks for staff and scholars.

  • Will scholars be required to wash their hands?

    Yes, all scholars will be expected to clean their hands upon entering the building.  For example, at our Upper Academy, portable hand sinks have been set up at each door so that scholars can use soap and water to wash their hands before they begin their day.  They will also be provided hand sanitizer at each entrance.  Scholars will also wash their hands before meals.  Additionally, scholars will have access to hand sanitizer throughout the day.

    Scholars at the Lower Academy will use hand sanitizer on a regular basis including upon entering the building in the morning.

  • Will Remote Learning be available?

    For 2022-23,  GRCS will be providing in-person learning only.  If we return to remote learning, or if there is a severe case in which a scholar has a severely compromised immune system we will inform parents and provide guidance on the process. 

  • My family is experiencing food scarcity issues, is there a way that I can get extra food?

    Galapagos currently has two options for additional meals.

    1. Scholars may be eligible for the back-pack food program.  Contact our social worker Deanna Hull,, for additional information.
    2. Galapagos has a food pantry at the Lower Academy, that is open the first and third Wednesday of each month.  The pantry is open from 1:30 to 3:30pm.  Masks are required at the food pantry.  Go to our Food Support page for more information.
    3. We are also offering holiday meals during the 2022 Thanksgiving and winter break.   Please click on Food Support on this website to sign up.  Supplies are limited.
  • Will After School X programs be provided in 2022-23

    Yes, our ASX programs are available.  In fact, we are growing our options.  Please visit the Shop page on a regular basis to see new and current offerings.

  • If my scholar is in-person can my scholar go remote on certain days?

    No. We are not offering an option to go remote for 2022-23 school year.  

  • When should I keep my scholar at home?

    Scholars or staff who have symptoms of respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, such as cough, fever, sore throat, vomiting, or diarrhea, should stay home. Testing is recommended for people with symptoms of COVID-19 as soon as possible after symptoms begin. People who are at risk for getting very sick with COVID-19 who test positive should consult with a healthcare provider right away for possible treatment, even if their symptoms are mild. Staying home when sick can lower the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to other people. 

  • What is the quarantine policy for GRCS scholars who have had close contact with a COVID positive individual?

    In general, GRCS will not require an individual who has had a close contact with a COVID-19 individual to quarantine.   However, the scholar or staff member who has had a close contact will be required to wear a mask for ten days.

    GRCS does reserve the right to quarantine a class when a severe outbreak has occurred.

  • When will a scholar or staff member be required to quarantine? (5+5 Policy)

    GRCS will require any individual who tests positive for COVID 19 to quarantine based upon our 5+5 Policy.

    1. The scholar or staff member will be required to quarantine for a minimum of five days from the day of the positive test.
    2. After five days, the scholar or staff member may return (a)  if they are not displaying symptoms for a period of 48 hours  (b)  they test negative on the fifth day.
    3. The scholar or staff member will be required to wear a mask for the next five days following the fifth day of quarantine or the negative test (whichever is later.)

    In most cases the class will not be required to quarantine.  However, they may be required to mask for up to ten days.

  • Are GRCS staff vaccinated?

    As of January 10, 2022, approximately 90% of GRCS staff have completed the two vaccine shots.  The vast majority of Staff were vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine.   

  • Are scholars required to get a COVID vaccine?

    They are not required to get immunized but they are strongly encouraged to do so.

    Some GRCS offsite programming will require scholar vaccinations to participate.

    If you are interested in obtaining a COVID vaccination and need assistance in obtaining the vaccination please contact one of our social workers for assistance.

    Lower Academy- Ms. Deanna Hull

    Upper Academy- Ms. Lilly Burris  

  • Why isn't GRCS offering a remote instruction option like last yeaar.

    Currently, the state of Illinois does not allow schools to go fully remote or offer a remote instruction option.   

    GRCS will monitor changes in State law and it’s impact on our ability to offer remote options.

  • How do I access P-EBT benefits?

    Galapagos does not manage P-EBT benefits but as of October 2022, the district and state released the following information.

    Families may qualify for a one-time P-EBT payment of $391 per student. The Summer 2022 P-EBT is a temporary state food benefit program offered during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an extension of the School P-EBT benefit programs.   

    Who qualifies? Scholars qualify – regardless of family income –if they were enrolled in RPS 205 (including charter schools) at the end of the 2021-22 school year. Families do not need to apply.   

    When will payment be made? The state hasn’t yet shared those details. We’ll share more information when we can.     

    Lost/missing P-EBT cards: If your student previously received P-EBT benefits, but the card is lost or you need to request a replacement card, visit Manage My Illinois Link Card or call the LINK hotline at 1-800-678-5465.

    Find more informationFollow this link for a list of frequently asked questions and answers, or contact the Department of Human Services: (833) 621-0737. You can also submit an inquiry on the P-EBT Website.   

    This info is also available on