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Head of School Update: March 13, 2020

Dear GA Community,

I am extremely proud to be part of a community that comes together and rises up to meet the challenges before it. Thank you to our families for supporting our decision to close and for scrambling to adjust child care and to facilitate the implementation of Virtual GA in your homes. My sincerest gratitude goes to our teachers and administrators for transitioning to an online platform and making the very most of it as they manage their own child care issues and health concerns. We are truly fortunate. 



Montgomery County has required all schools to close through March 27. As a result, we have canceled all previously scheduled Upper School athletics practices and games until March 30.

We will be monitoring the health of our own community as well as requirements from the state and county closely. We hope to reopen on March 30, but please know that we will have to abide by any state mandates and pay close attention to the wellness of our own community. If for any reason GA is not able to reopen our buildings on March 30, we will continue Virtual GA until we have permission to reopen. Each day we are analyzing the successes and challenges of Virtual GA (the former far outweigh the latter!). Should we need to continue distance learning after spring break, we will likely have a modified schedule (which we’ll inform you of as soon as possible). Should we not be able to reopen on March 30, we will arrange a specific schedule for the retrieval of important items which students and employees have left on campus so that we may continue successfully with Virtual GA.

Regardless of when we are permitted to reopen, we will complete another thorough disinfection of the buildings beforehand and implement a to-be-determined process for community temperature checks right at the outset.

If an immediate family member or student tests positive/presumptive positive for COVID-19, please be in touch immediately with me or our extraordinary nurse Lori Andress:


Any unessential international travel anywhere has now been designated Level 3 by the US Department of State. If you are planning on traveling abroad between now and March 30 and have not already informed me, please let me know immediately. Depending on how the virus evolves, we may need to survey the entire community on domestic travel as well. Please be thoughtful when planning travel for yourself and family, keeping in mind current recommendations regarding travel and social distancing. Based on your travel plans and recommendations from the Department of Health, we may require a period of self-quarantine when we reopen.

STUDENT WELL-BEING:                              

You have already received one email from GA’s Counseling Team regarding how to help children navigate crises such as this pandemic. Shortly you will receive another correspondence regarding more information for Middle and Upper School students along with details about how we will facilitate confidential virtual sessions for students with our counselors in all three divisions.

I am at your disposal for any questions and concerns you may have at this point. I have never been more grateful for the GA village.

Be well and healthy,



Rich Schellhas
Head of School
Germantown Academy