Eagle Nation: Weekly GWHS News

Back 2 School Edition: Vol 1. Issue 2 / August 26, 2021

From the Principal's Desk

Dear Eagle Nation,

Welcome to the 2021-2022 academic school year at George Washington High School. Whether a new student or a returning student, we plan to make this school year memorable for all stakeholders! I am looking forward to the great things we will accomplish together!

Wow, what a fantastic start we have had! It has been a heart-warming experience to see our happy, smiling students traditionally return to our campus. While COVID-19 remains a global health concern, our school district's support staff has worked extremely hard to ensure that the health and safety of all school stakeholders is a priority by current guidelines from the state and county health and education agencies. Please be sure to read the Danville Public School District's Covid Mitigation Strategies which includes essential information on our health and safety protocols/COVID-19 Safety Plan. The plan is located on the school district's web page. At GWHS, we are committed to providing a high-quality education in a safe and healthy environment. I have included our school's updated health and safety plan later in this newsletter.

At GWHS, students are at the forefront of everything we do! They will graduate college and career ready and be an integral facet of our community, respectful, and dedicated to personal growth and development. We believe every child needs a connection and a challenge. As a school, we celebrate the uniqueness of each individual and honor the diverse backgrounds, values, and perspectives which comprise our community. We strive to recognize, learn about, support one another and prepare our students to learn, work, and thrive as citizens with cultural awareness and responsibility.

As a member of the Eagle Nation, students have numerous opportunities to connect with peers and teachers through innovative classroom experiences, a wide variety of elective courses, clubs, activities, athletics, and more. The faculty and staff of George Washington High School are committed to providing rigorous, equitable instruction and preparing all students for college and career pathways. We are dedicated to maintaining the highest standards so there will be no shortage of opportunities for your child to feel challenged through high-quality instruction while accessing a wide variety of options to get connected to their school and peers.

As a learning community, we feel that two-way communication between home and school is key to student success at the high school level. All contact information for our faculty and staff is located on the school's website. Our teachers are required to maintain a Canvas Classroom for each of their assigned classes. They use Canvas to post assignments, provide resource materials, and communicate with students. Our school's website and social media are places to obtain information about upcoming activities and events.

In closing, I am incredibly proud of our school's rich traditions and the academic accomplishments of our students. As we reflect and celebrate our school's extraordinary achievements, we can clearly say our school is on a path towards greatness. A journey we plan to continue with our exceptional students. Our faculty and staff's collective efforts to achieve excellence inside and outside the classroom are beyond impressive. I look forward to working with our parents to inspire students to recognize their strengths, foster confidence, and challenge them to pursue and develop their passions.


Dr. Johnnie M. Simmons

Proud Principal

George Washington High School

Important Dates: Upcoming)

Upcoming important dates:

  • Golf Match--Monday, August 23
  • MAP Testing--Monday, August 23 to Friday, August, 27
  • Freshman Class Meeting--Monday, August 23 @ 2:30
  • Senior Class Meeting--Tuesday, August 24 @ 2:30
  • Sophomore Class Meeting--Wednesday, August 25 @ 2:30
  • Junior Class Meeting--Thursday, August 26 @ 2:30
  • Underclassmen Pictures Day 1 (Last Names A-L): August 26
  • Underclassmen Pictures Day 2 (Last Names M-Z): August 27
  • Fire Drill--Wednesday, August 25 @ 1st Period
  • Faculty Meeting--Wednesday, August 25 @ 3:45 in the cafeteria
  • Lock Down Drill--Monday, August 30 @ 1st Period
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Updated GWHS Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

On Friday, August 13, 2021, George Washington High School revised all arrival and dismissal procedures. We changed our practices to help parents maneuver in and out of traffic more expediently and ensure our students' safety as they arrive and depart campus. Although your child may ride a bus, please review these procedures so that you will know what to do should the need arise for your child to become a car rider. Please use PATIENCE, especially during the first few weeks of school. Keep in mind that over 1100 students are entering and exiting our building each day. Some wait-time is inevitable. Please remember, buses always have the right-of-way.

Car Rider Route and Procedures

  • Car riders may enter the building at 7:45 a.m. and report to the lunchroom or until 8:15 a.m.
  • The car rider line will begin near the gym entrance located off Christopher Lane. All cars will travel in a single lane to the drop off located at the back of the school.
  • The personnel on duty will motion drivers to pull forward until the student drop-off/pick-up zone is filled.
  • In the morning, once the personnel stops drivers, students must exit on the right-hand side of the car.
  • In the afternoon, parents are encouraged to notify their children of their approximate time of arrival.
  • Drivers must not pass other cars in the car line.
  • Students who arrive after 8:40 a.m. are considered tardy to school.
  • Car riders are dismissed from school at 3:30 p.m.
  • Students who do not participate in after-school activities must depart campus in a timely manner.

Walker Procedures

  • Walkers may enter the building at 8:00 a.m. and report to the lunchroom until 8:15 a.m.
  • Walkers must use crosswalks when moving about on campus.
  • Walkers are dismissed from school at 3:30 p.m.

Student Driver Procedures

  • Student drivers may enter the building at 8:00 a.m. and report to the lunchroom until 8:15 a.m.
  • Student drivers are dismissed from school at 3:30 p.m.
  • Student drivers will use the same travel pattern as previously established and must park in the student parking lot located off Broad St.

Bus Rider Procedures

  • Bus riders are released from their buses at 8:15 a.m. and report to their homeroom class.
  • Bus riders are dismissed from school at 3:30 p.m.
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New guidance from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) allows school divisions to make locally-informed decisions on masking and other mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools. During Thursday evening’s meeting, the Danville School Board approved a recommendation brought forth by Director of Safety and Security William Chaney on mitigation strategies for the 2021-2022 school year.

The approved protocols included the following:

 All staff, students and visitors will wear masks.
 Students will maintain a 3 to 6 feet physical distance.
 Desk/face shields will be used.
 Cafeteria shields will be installed.
 Frequent hand sanitizing.
 Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
 The COVID-19 daily dashboard on our website will be reset with the new school year.
 Contact tracing will be conducted immediately upon notification of a positive case.
 Hygenica machines will be used to sanitize the schools.

Central office staff and Virtual Academy staff can remove masks if fully vaccinated. In addition, vaccinated employees can remove masks when students are not on the premises. Masks are required on all buses, and buses will be full capacity.

For athletics, all spectators will be required to wear masks at indoor sporting events, and capacity will be limited at 70 percent to allow for extra space. Coaches and athletes are not required to wear masks during competition, but those not actively participating should have a minimum of three feet physical distance. DPS recommends that unvaccinated spectators at outdoor sporting events wear masks, but mask usage will not be mandated outside.

All athletes and coaches will wear masks while traveling on buses. Any COVID related issues among athletes will be addressed immediately. By order of the Virginia High School League, visiting teams are to obey COVID protocols of the hosting team.

Decisions on the mitigation strategy for the upcoming school year were informed by information provided by the local health department, evaluating levels of community disease transmission, and school level vaccine coverage for students and adults. In addition, the CDC now recommends students, staff, and visitors wear masks in schools, regardless of vaccination status. DPS encourages eligible students and staff to be vaccinated, as vaccines are a critical prevention strategy. The division will continue to work with the Virginia Department of Health and monitor updates related to local COVID-19 data.

“We are excited to begin this school year with students in classrooms full time, but we know that certain protocols must be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston said. “This layered prevention strategy will be key in keeping students, teachers and staff safe and healthy so we can return to educating students in an engaged and rigorous environment.”

Every Student...Every Day..Every Opportunity! Have a Great Week Eagle Nation!!!

It's always great to end on an inspiring note. Take a few minutes and watch this video (at home with your children)/(with a colleague or friend) about A.V.I.D. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. GWHS is proud to announce that we are an AVID school for the 2021-22 school year. We will begin accepting applications for AVID in October. Members of the Class of 2024 and 2025 are strongly encouraged to apply. Do you have what it takes to be an AVID scholar?!?!?! Take a moment to watch the video below and decide for yourself. Are you LIMITLESS?!?!?!

Be Limitless