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          Good, day GCA Families!

          We are so glad to have you with us and know that it will be a great year for your students!

          For our returning families, Welcome Back!  I know that you are already up and running on the first day of school!  If you have not had the opportunity to go through our Stay Strong orientation to see our updates and new features, then please review it very soon and if possible today.

          For our new families, this may your first day in a virtual environment and/or with GCA. I know it might be uncomfortable and sometimes confusing.  I just want to assure you that everything will be OK. Technology does not always behave, so please try to be patient.  We really do provide a lot of grace the first several weeks, so please know that your student will not be held accountable for anything that was beyond their control.  There will be delays and most likely some rocky patches, but we will get everything resolved as soon as possible.  Try to remember that this is new for your family and it will take some time for everyone to get used to it.  Don't give up.  Just take a deep breath and try to be patient.

          Added to the normal, inevitable technology glitches that always seem to arise at the beginning of school, we have approximately over 6,000 new students!  Wow!  We are so excited to have you join us, but I think you can understand why emails and the return of your calls may be a bit delayed.  Please know that we are receiving your communications and answering them as soon as possible.  Please only email or call only once per day about any given issue, so that we can return your communications as fast as possible. 

          Also, I want to address some concerns that some of our newly enrolled families or students may be experiencing.  

          • If your enrollment paperwork could not be processed in time to start on 8/3/20 and/or you still had outstanding documentation to submit, then your student will start in one of the rolling cohorts we have throughout the month of August.  Alternate first day of school start dates are 8/10, 8/17, 8/24, and 8/31. There are many families that were not able to complete all their enrollment documentation and/or complete their iReady/MAP test in time to start on 8/3/20.  It will be OK.  It is a process and your student will not be penalized in any way.  Further communications will follow as soon as your enrollment paperwork/documentation is reviewed.
          • Your student may not have a class schedule yet, because we have not received their official school records/transcripts and/or we have no MAP/iReady scores.  This information allows us to place your student accurately and minimize the beginning of the year class moves.  As soon as we receive your student's records/transcripts and/or they take the MAP assessments we will be able to provide a class schedule for your student.  Please be patient. Although there is a slight delay in assigning your student classes,  they will not be behind.  Everyone is primarily just testing this week, so they will be just fine.
          • Some students have not been issued and/or received computers yet as your enrollments are still being processed and/or you have not returned the computer use agreement.  It will be OK.  Your student will not be counted absent for classes that they cannot attend. If you requested a computer during the enrollment process, your student's computer will arrive shortly after the enrollment paperwork review is complete and/or the computer use agreement is signed. If you did not request a computer during the enrollment process, but need one please let your FSL know when she contacts you.  
          • Please make sure that you pay close attention to your emails and Canvas messages and check your email SPAM folder, too.  We primarily use these modes of communication and don't want you to miss any important messages and/or directions.
          • Be assured that everything will work out.  Sometimes it just takes patience and understanding.  It is the first day of school, but it may not necessarily be your student's first day. Regardless, it will alright. GCA has provided online education for over a decade, so we are used to the beginning of the year hiccups.  I know it is hard to be patient when it is uncomfortable and new, but luckily you are only new ONCE! Over the next few weeks, you will become a professional learning coach and your student will master learning in a fully online environment! 

          We have great things planned this year!  There are so many new supports available that I really think you will find valuable. Also, please do not forget to sign up for our virtual field trips.  Ms. Tonette loves planning them for you and can't wait to see you there.  It will be a great year!  Thank you for joining us and entrusting your students to us!  Rise Up, Aim High, and Soar!

          Sincerely,

          Angela Lassetter

          GCA Superintendent

          Angela Lassetter

           

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