Very Important Notification 3/15/2020

Dear Gryphon Families,

We are writing to share our plan for moving forward with schooling from home for the next several weeks in light of Governor Cooper’s recent executive order closing schools for the next two weeks. We recognize that any plan will present challenges to our families, and we are committed to being flexible in our implementation of our strategies. We ask that families communicate with us their concerns and questions as issues arise.

Our Grammar School Strategy

At the grammar school, teachers are diligently preparing materials for your children to use over the next ten school days. Some students received their materials last week, but others did not. If your child has not received his/her materials, the materials will be available for pick up in the grammar school gym on Monday, March 16th from 12:00 to 6:00. Teachers will also try to post as much of these materials as possible on their web pages so that they can be accessed from home digitally. However, please do not rely on these digital copies as your primary resource. Please make every effort to pick up hard copies of your child’s materials from the school.  On Tuesday, March 17th, grammar school teachers will be available via email each day during regular school hours to take any of your questions. Please understand that over the next couple of weeks the assigned work will be a condensed version of what happens on a daily basis. We feel that the students can continue to learn and grow during this difficult time.

If grammar school parents have any questions or concerns, they are encouraged to call Mr. Cole or Ms. Waldrep at (828) 245 – 9526.

Our Middle School and High School Strategy

The middle school and high school will take the next several days of this week (Monday through Wednesday) to share resources and to plan, and we ask that families be prepared by Thursday, March 19th to begin implementing our “learning from home” strategy.

At the middle and high school levels, we plan to transition our classes to online classes using Google Classroom. We will begin this online learning for middle and high school students on Thursday, March 19th. If students have not already registered for each teacher’s Google Classroom, they will be able to do this by the end of the day on Monday, March 16th by visiting the web page of each teacher to find a registration code. Teachers are meeting tomorrow to finalize the schedules, and we will send another communication tomorrow afternoon to share the schedule information and to give students detailed instructions for how to get going on Thursday morning.

What if my child will have babysitting duties and not be able to meet online during the designated times?

We recognize that this will be an issue for some families, and we will record lectures and provide alternative assignments for live discussion groups and other activities that require live meeting. However, we do ask that parents make all effort to reserve the time that we will allot for online learning, if at all possible.

What if my child needs his/her books and supplies from the school?

Families may drop by the school on either Monday, March 16th or Tuesday, March 17th from 10:00 – 6:00 to pick up any needed items. Please exercise good social distancing when you come into the school. If your child needs books/supplies from the middle school, please sign in at the middle school office. If your child needs books/supplies from the high school, please park behind the high school gym and enter the double doors that face the football stadium. We will have signs marking this entrance.

What if my child needs a Chromebook?

We will have Chromebooks available for students to check out. Chromebooks may be picked up on either Monday, March 16th or Tuesday, March 17th from 10:00 – 6:00 in the high school gym. A parent will need to sign out a Chromebook for their child and only one Chromebook per student will be provided. If you are coming to the school to sign out a Chromebook, please park behind the high school gym and enter the double doors that face the football stadium. We will have signs marking this entrance for Chromebook pick up.

Is there any training available for parents?

Yes! If you have any questions or would like to have some instruction, please feel free to drop by the school on Tuesday, March 17th from 10:00 – 6:00. After Tuesday, parents will be able to ask for help via this Parent Technology Support Request form.

What if my family doesn’t have Internet access?

Several Internet companies are providing free service or reduced-cost service for the next two months for families with students. In our area, reduced-cost service from AT&T and Spectrum may be available: Access from AT&T or
Access from Spectrum. Also, cellular devices may be used for hotspots to connect computers and/or Chromebooks. If your family does not have Internet access and cannot acquire it, we ask that you call the Upper Campus office at (828) 657 – 9998, ext. 1100, and we will work with you to support your child’s needs.

What if our family has limited bandwidth and Internet time restrictions?

We recognize that limited access will be an issue for some households. Our teachers will be working together in their grade-level teams to determine when live instruction will occur, and these sessions should be very manageable for families.

I still have questions and concerns. With whom can I speak?

Middle school parents are encouraged to contact Mr. Fair by email at mfair@tjca.org or by phone at (828) 657 – 9998, ext. 1505; and high school parents are encouraged to contact Mrs. Bridges at dbridges@tjca.org or by phone at (828) 657 – 9998, ext 1508.

Once again, we extend our very best wishes to all of our Gryphon families during this challenging time. We encourage all families to heed the advice of the CDC and make wise choices for limiting group contact. We want to keep everyone safe and healthy!

TJ Strong!