GSST Hybrid Opening March 15, 2021

The Governor's School for Science and Technology

Phase One, Virtual Learning to Continue through March 12, 2021

Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri: It is expected that GSST students and faculty will continue meeting entirely in the Virtual Environment through early March. Students will continue to participate in a dynamic mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. They may be expected to attend live class conferences via Zoom, Canvas, etc. up to four times per week. In the event of an unavoidable absence from a session, students will have access to a video recording of the day's session.

The live (synchronous) sessions will continue to occur during the times of our conventional bell schedule (no change from our current timing).

Wednesdays: Wednesdays will be reserved for individual students and student groups to meet with various faculty for additional help with assignments, technical help, discussions about student research projects (Faculty Advising), and other student support.

Are you ready to return to the classroom for in-person instruction?

The GSST staff is making preparations for students to return to the NHREC campus for in-person learning as soon as we can do so with the utmost safety.

This is predicted to occur beginning on March 15, 2021

Information included in this newsletter is intended to inform you of our plans to optimize learning while maintaining the safest and healthiest conditions possible.

After reading through the information, discuss your options and decide upon your learning preference - whether you will attend in-person classes with a small cohort on campus or continue to work entirely virtually for the duration of Phase 2.

Phase Two_Hybrid/Blended Learning_THE SCHEDULE

GSST Hybrid instruction is expected to begin on March 15, 2021

Hybrid instruction means that students will attend a combination of on-campus instruction and online instruction each week. Those students who opt in to hybrid learning will be assigned to an in-person learning cohort which will attend the NHREC campus on a rotation, two days per week (E.g. Monday/Tuesday or Thursday/Friday).

Buses will run from the districts to NHREC per the alternating M/T and Th/F schedule below.

Cohort A: Mondays & Tuesdays


PM: IOW, NNPS, Grafton HS

Cohort B: Thursdays & Fridays

AM: Gloucester HS, Poquoson HS

PM: Bruton HS, York HS, Tabb HS

On days when a cohort is not scheduled for in-personal learning, students will continue to learn virtually in a combination of synchronous work with their on-site peers and asynchronous work on their own, facilitated by their instructors via the Canvas Learning Management System.

Once we move into Phase 2, both face-to-face and synchronous virtual learning will follow our B/C block bell schedule with two 90-minute classes each day. Students will attend their assigned Math and Science Classes on one day and their Research and Science classes the other day, as shown in the graphic below.

Continuing in the Hybrid model, Wednesdays will be entirely remote, and used for student and faculty support - Faculty advising of student research, faculty office hours and scheduled student support, etc.

Big picture

IMPORTANT Information Regarding Division Schedules

GSST is aware that each of the seven participating school divisions will have different virtual and hybrid schedules and we are prepared to support the learning needs of all students. As we transition from phase one to phase two, GSST has put in place the following support measures:

  • Wednesdays – No direction instruction on Wednesdays. All instructors are available to provide extended academic support.
  • Office Hours- Students should arrange to meet with instructors during their designated office hours.
  • Recorded Lessons -Instructors will post recorded lessons on the GSST Canvas learning platform.
  • GSST will continue to accommodate late arriving/early departing school divisions as it has in prior years. Students will not be penalized for the conflict in division schedules.

GSST is committed to the overall success of our exceptional students!

Phase Two Covid-19 SCREENER

EACH DAY that your Cohort is scheduled to attend in-person, EACH STUDENT will begin their day by using the NHREC app (download it here) to access the Covid-19 Screener. You must sign in to the app in order to use the Covid-19 Screener.

Answering a few questions and submitting will yield either a Green Checkmark and the go-ahead to travel to in-person classes, or a Red Stop Sign, indicating that the student is not permitted to go to school in person (STAY AT HOME). The Green Checkmark will be shown to the bus driver, door monitors at school, and classroom teachers to allow for entry to each.

This process is to take place each and every day that a student's cohort is scheduled for in-person learning. If a Red Stop Sign is assigned, the student is not permitted to ride the bus or to enter the building or any class. Any student who arrives at school with a red stop sign on the app, or who is experiencing symptoms, will be sent home or isolated and the parent called for immediate pick up.

All students who are isolated/quarantined as well as those students who have chosen the full-virtual learning format will meet with their teachers as each teacher indicates. These meetings will be a combination of *live* video sessions, viewing pre-recorded videos, and various assignments that will offer the best possible engagement and learning opportunities.

As always, students who are ill, or who have medical appointments, should stay at home and their parents should contact the teachers to let them know the student will miss classes.

Phase Two Covid-19 Safety Precautions _ A Team Effort

The following safety precautions will be adhered to strictly by everyone attending in-person learning.

  • NHREC students will use the Covid-19 Screener app each morning, before they travel to school.
  • Students will show their resulting green checkmarks on the Covid-19 Screener of their phone or other device in order to: board the bus, enter the building, enter a classroom.
  • GSST students will enter and exit the building using only the main doors at the front of the building, unless instructed otherwise by their GSST teachers.
  • Upon arrival, students will proceed immediately to their first classroom.
  • It is mandatory to wear an appropriate, well-fitting mask, covering the nose and mouth at all times on the bus and in the building.
  • Students & staff will maintain the pre-arranged, appropriately distanced, seating arrangements and laboratory bench arrangements.
  • The block scheduling model will limit exposures by having just a single classroom change each of the two days of in-person learning.
  • Students and staff will maintain appropriate social distancing during the classroom change, during restroom breaks, and while entering and exiting the building.
  • Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer will be readily available in all classrooms, and in the hallways, for use by anyone who wishes.
  • Between classes, desks, chairs, laboratory spaces, etc. will be disinfected using a combination of disinfectant spray and UV radiation wands.
  • Restroom breaks will be scheduled and limited to only 2 people in the restroom at one time.

In preparation for NHREC on-campus learning, the public water fountains in the hallways have been turned off, so students should plan to carry a water bottle. Water coolers to act as refilling stations for water bottles have been purchased and are accessible to students in the Junior and Senior Research classrooms.

Restrooms have been outfitted with touchless flush toilets and sink faucets, in addition to the existing touchless hand dryers.

New Horizons is committed to keeping both students and staff safe through a comprehensive cleaning program that involves:

· Daily cleaning protocols to maintain the cleanliness of all student and staff spaces

· Disinfecting high-touch points 3-4 times/daily

· Deep cleaning of all rooms 1-2 times/weekly

· Misting Disinfectant technology to be used daily

· Use of highly absorbent microfiber cleaning materials

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the NHREC Butler Farm Rd. building will be closed for deep-cleaning.

Links to Discipline-Specific Newsletters

GSST Student Advisory Holiday Thank You Video

This video was created by Student Advisory Board members, to be shared soon after the Christmas holiday. We hope the video still brings a smile to your face!