Fall 2020 Updates

More information regarding the GRCS response to Covid-19 for the 2020-21 school year will be added throughout the summer. (Last Updated 9-13-2020.)

We are excited to provide remote scholars with free breakfast and lunch.  Click here to fill out an order form for our Galapagos to Go food program .

Please note, that due to the changing nature of the pandemic and requirements related to it, these plans are subject to change.  Please review Frequently Asked Questions below as well as view our Parent Reference Guide.

Please review the following regarding GRCS plans during the 2020-21 school year.

  • When does school begin?

    The first day of school is Wednesday, August 26.   Our doors will open at 7:40 am and classes will end at 12:30 pm.

    Parents dropping their children off may sign their child in outside of the building.  However, parents will not be permitted in the building.

    Please make sure that your scholar has full school uniform before the first day of school.

    Galapagos will maintain regular hours, with school beginning at 8am on and dismissing at 4:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Galapagos will continue to dismiss at 12:30 pm on Wednesdays.

  • Will classes be held in-person or remotely?

    We are planning to provide two instructional options. Option 1 is what most parents have expressed that they want; modified in-school instruction.   Option 2 is to continue remote learning in the fall, which will require the use of remote resources, recorded lessons and live streaming.

    ACTION ITEM- In order to ensure your child is able to participate in the option you prefer we need to hear from you. It is essential that all parents fill out the Confirmation of Instruction Form. The form will ask you to choose one of two options.

    Option 1: Confirming 2020-21 Enrollment for in-School Instruction

    We expect most families to return to traditional in-school instruction.   We also believe that this is the best instructional option for most scholars. We will follow CDC and ISBE guidelines that require social distancing and mask wearing in school.

    • Go to “Confirmation of Instruction
    • Indicate that you would like your child to receive in school instruction
    • Fill out and send in the RPS bus form confirming that you wish to have bus service.   We have included one with this letter but you can also get the form on our website. This form must be into RPS by July 25 in order to ensure bus transportation, you must live 1.5 miles from school for the district to provide service

    Option 2: Confirming 2020-21 Enrollment for Remote Instruction

    GRCS is providing this option for parents of children who may be immunocompromised or have other health reasons in the household that may prevent a return to traditional learning. This option will look a lot different from what we did this spring. Scholar expectations for this option will mirror the expectations that we have for scholars in school.  

    • Go to “Confirmation of Instruction
    • Indicate that you would like your child to receive remote instruction for the first semester
    • After you do so, GRCS staff will set up an August orientation time for you so that you can understand the expectations for remote learning.
  • Will my scholar have to wear a mask in school?

    Yes, scholars and staff will be required to wear a mask at school.   Galapagos will provide all scholars and staff with a reusable mask- although, scholars may also use their own mask.

    The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends masks in all situations in which social distancing cannot be maintained.  There is growing evidence that masks significantly reduce exposure to and contraction of the COVID-19 virus.

    Due to this fact, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) have made it mandatory for all Illinois students to wear masks at any school in the state.

    GRCS scholars will have to wear mask on the bus as well as in school.  Scholars will be permitted to take masks off while eating lunch at socially distanced café tables.  Scholars will also be allowed to remove masks during certain wellness activities taking place outside.    

  • 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 have filled out and submitted the Bus Opt-In form by July 26.

    The Bus Opt-In form is a requirement of RPS.  We do not have control over this requirement.  We do believe that the RPS decision to require parents to Opt-In is unfair and burdensome to parents.  Additionally, the district will not accept electronic signatures, so we need actual pen to paper signatures.   We cannot change these requirements; we can only help you meet them.  If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to our Campus Manager, Aurora Schnorr, at ASchnorr@galapagoscharter.org .

  • 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 six feet between individuals.  The reality is that within a school this is not always possible.  However, we are doing what we can to provide social distancing whenever possible.   The ways in which we are doing this include:

    1. Adding new furniture to K-2 classes that allow for more social distancing.  In years past K-2 scholars shared tables, they will now sit at individual desks like the 3-8th grade scholars.
    2. Posting signage throughout the school to indicate social distancing points (e.g. by the water fountains, the office and bathrooms.)
    3.  Scheduling meal service in the café that ensure that there is appropriate distance between scholars.
    4.  Galapagos has routed additional entrances for scholars at the Upper Academy.  This will allow for scholars to enter in small groups that allow for social distancing.
    5.  Scholars will remain in one classroom pod and will not move about the building.  This will reduce exposure to other areas.
    6.  GRCS has developed schedules and routines to ensure small group movements.  For example, scholars will go to lockers in small groups that are designed to ensure social distancing.
  • 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 is

    1. Increasing cleaning rounds of the school on a daily basis.
    2. Implementing increased deep cleanings.
    3.  Providing all instructors with disinfectant cleaners in the classroom.
    4.  Installing hand sanitizing stations throughout the campuses.
    5.  Purchasing 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.  Purchasing electrostatic sprayers that will allow staff to safely disinfect a classroom in 10-15 minutes.
    7. Purchasing chrome book carts that use ozone technology to fully disinfect a classroom of chrome books in 15 minutes. 
  • Will Galapagos conduct temperature checks?

    Galapagos requires that all individuals entering our campuses must have their temperature checked.  For example, all staff have their temperature checked when they arrive to school.  Similarly, all scholars will have their temperatures checked as they enter the school.   All guests will also be required to have a temperature check.  Any person displaying a fever will either be asked to go home or will have their parents contacted to pick them up.

  • Will scholars be required to wash their hands?

    Yes, all scholars will be expected to clean their hands upon entering the building.  They will 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.

  • I chose Remote Learning, what is my next step?

    While we wish we could see scholars in person, we are so excited to offer two Instructional Options for scholars during the first semester of the 2020 school year.

    The Remote Learning Orientation is mandatory for all parents whose scholars are participating in the remote option.  We believe this is a great opportunity for parents to understand the expectations and rules for remote learning.

    To sign up for an orientation, please navigate to one of our available days: 

    August 19 at 4:30 pm, August 20 at 5pm or August 22 at 2pm.

    If you have any questions about our Remote Learning Orientations please contact Ms. Kenney at enrollment@galapagoscharter.org or call (815) 708-7946 ext. 406. 

  • My scholar is learning remotely, is there a way that they get meals?

    GRCS is happy to provide remote scholars with breakfast and lunch. Galapagos will provide a week supply of meals every Thursday. Meals must be picked up between 1:00 pm and 2:15pm on Thursdays  at Academy you list on the following form.  Click here.

    For each of your scholars that you sign up you will receive a box that includes 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches as well as milk.

    You must sign up in advance to receive the meals.  You will only need to sign up once a quarter.