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GVMS Pivot to Virtual Learning

GVMS Pivot to Virtual Learning
Posted on 03/20/2021

Dear School Community,

We continue to see isolated, positive COVID cases coming into our schools. Although we have accepted that cases will emerge from time to time, the current phenomenon at the middle school has become troublesome. Through ongoing consultation with the Chester County Health Department (CCHD), the department believes that the middle school is experiencing a continued increase in probable or positive individuals who are in attendance during their contagious period, which increases the opportunity for transmission within the school. Additionally, due to the number of cases, determining close contacts is becoming increasingly more difficult. When this scenario occurs, the risk of transmission within a community can be difficult to determine. As a result, last evening the CCHD recommended that Garnet Valley Middle School pivot to virtual learning from March 22nd to March 26th for all students. All other Garnet Valley schools will remain in their current instructional model. 


We understand the inconvenience and frustration that many families will have as a result of returning to virtual learning for next week. However, based on the information that we were able to gather through contact tracing the current cases, it was apparent that the students were interacting freely in the community; therefore, it was impossible to know the full extent of their contact with others. We implore the school community to maintain health precautions even as more and more individuals get vaccinated. Without a strong community commitment, these types of interruptions in students’ in-person learning could continue. 


Reverting to virtual learning at the middle school next week will allow the district and health department to monitor all close contacts during the virus’ typical incubation period while also determining if more cases emerge. Should the mitigation effort work as expected, students along with the various cohort groups would return to hybrid learning after spring break. At that time, the district will monitor the incidence rates as well as positive and probable cases to determine if we will be ready to bring students back for in person learning on April 12th. 


I understand that parents will have questions about incidences in our other schools, so I’ve included our current COVID-19 Data Sheet. This information is updated daily and reflects the number of cases in each school. It is important to note that the number of cases is only one variable. Perhaps the most important factor is how easily the cases can be contact traced. At this time, our data indicates that there is no community or linked transmission occurring in our other schools. We will continue to monitor cases throughout the District, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus in our school community.


Dr. Stenz will be in touch with the middle school families to update them with specific information regarding schedules and other details. 



Dr. Marc Bertrando, Superintendent

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